Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Moche (of Peru) Burials Uncovered

by Christopher B. Donnan photographs Kenneth Garret and art by Christopher A. Klein, National Geographic, March 2001.
The Moche predate the Inca by about 1000 years.  They inhabited the northern coast of Peru.  This article tells of the discovery of three tombs, whole and intact.  This find is rare in this area where people have been looting for 300 years.  The 105 foot pyramid at Dos Cabezas had been virtually destroyed by Conquistadores looking for gold.  It has also been pock marked by those seeking artifacts.  However these tombs were left undisturbed, and provide a wealth of information about the people.  This included a ceramic death mask.  It also included miniature tombs, a model of the actual tombs.   There were artistic potteries of animals which are very fascinating.
There are mysteries surrounding the Moche people, where did they come form and where did they go.  The inhabited one of the most arid regions on earth, and did so with irrigation methods.  They were there form about 100 a.d to 800 a.d.  They appear to have had classes, as one of the tombs honors someone of some import.  The people found appear to have been related.  They are unique in that the seem larger than other Moche people who were generally short.

Monday, September 11, 2017

National Geographic - George W. Bush: The 9/11 Interview

This video is fascinating.  It is an interview with President Bush about ten years after the event of 9/11.  His insight, from that of the President is intriguing.  With the third and fourth planes he determined America was at war; and accepted the fact that his would be a war presidency.  That first day started with the President being flown away, and ended after he had gotten back to Washington, and was whisked to the bunker when they thought there was an attack on the White House.  Turned out a friendly plane just had the wrong transmitter.  This also shows a few days after 9/11.  Addresses to the American people, visiting the Pentagon, and visiting New York.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

Book Review: Post Dates: A Chronology of Intriguing Event in the Mails and Philately

by Kenneth A. Wood, Van Dahl Publications, Albany, OR, 1985.
This is a book of much more history about post and stamps than you would ever want to know.  It starts from 4000 BC where some type of post is known among the Chinese people.  There were forms of message delivery in India as well.  Most early message delivery involved rulers.  It wasn't until much later that message delivery was offered to the general public.
The Penney Black was issued in 1840.  Before this time there were stamps used to verify the payment of postage.  The first of these were in England, 1680.  The first American stamps were issued in 1847. This book also contains tidbits on specific mail routes.  The includes overland stage routes and the Pony Express, where light weighted men were recruited to fun the mail on horseback.  It also includes many international routes.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

National Parks: Article Review

July 1979 edition of National Geographic was dedicated to the National Parks.  I love to look of pictures of National Parks, to places I've been and places I hope to go.  In 1979 the National Park Service managed 306 parks and monuments.  They now manage over 400, of which about 80 are National Parks.  Ulysses Grant signed into law the bill that established Yellowstone National Park in 1872.  The national Park Service was established in 1916.  National Parks represent the most historical, the most beautiful, the most significant of our nation.  In other words the best of the best.  I love looking at the pictures.  This magazine is a keeper.

Sunday, September 3, 2017

Book Review: It Happened in Northern California

It Happened in Northern California: Remarkable Events that Shaped History, by Erin H. Turner, Twodot, Guilford, CT, 2016.
This book presents 33 short stories of history in Northern California.  It lists them chronologically, although some stories take place over a period of time. 
Among other stories it includes, the first siting of California by non-Native Americans.  Juan Rodriguez Cabrillo lead the expedition, which never did make landfall because the tides and winds were not favorable.  However Cabrillo would not survive the trip.  He had previously fallen on rocks in the San Diego area and broken his arm.  He continued on, but eventually gangrene set in and killed him.  His first-mate made a final attempt to make it to shore, but eventually his men insisted it was not to be and the returned to Mexico.
He tells of an early Native American story teller.
A romance between a Russian trader and the magistrate at San Francisco Bay; Nikolai Petrovich Rezanov and Maria de la Concepcion Arguello y Morage.  In this the guy does not get the girl, but intends to.
The Bear Flag Revolt of 1846.
He tells the bravery of Patty Reed of the Donner Party in 1847.
The discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill by James Marshall.
The story of Joaquin Murieta, who was considered a bandit by some.  By others he was compared to Robin Hood, fighting against injustice after the Mexican American War and many Hispanics were forced off their land.  However Murieta became a cold blooded killed.  In his wrath he killed many.  He could gather 80 men or more, people who had been offended by the Whites, and they would take out their vengeance.  This included killing Chinese.  The reward offered for his capture eventually bore fruit.  He was killed and his head taken as proof, as well as the hand of the three-fingered bandit, his side-kick.  Although displayed, his wife said it was not him.  She said Joaquin Murieta had escaped to Mexico. 
The story of Ulysses Grant in California before the Civil War.
The mail delivered by Snowshoe Thompson.
Start of the wine making business in Sonoma,
Jessie Benton Fremont confronting those who would take her property.  She was the wife of John C. Fremont.
A terrible massacre of Indians.  The responsible parties were never identified.
Mary Ellen Pleasant, and African American business woman had an early incident similar to that of Rosa Parks. 
Emperor Norton, who was treated as royalty because he had a delusion that he was.
The take of Captain Jack, chief of the Modocs, who refused to be relocated, and the had an effective stronghold in lava caves.
The story of Caruso during the San Francisco earthquake.  Damage would have been much less had not the fires started. 
The story of Ishi, last of the Yahi, a small tribe of Yana Indians.
The fire that destroy the dream of Jack London, and in a real way also took his will to live, and he passed away not long after.
Sarah Winchester and her mystery house in San Jose, when the tools did not go silent until after her death.
The state of Jefferson; proposed from parts of Northern California and Southern Oregon, which may have really happened if not for the advent of WWII which took everyone’s focus.
Japanese internment.  Those who wouldn't say yes to the loyalty question were kept at Tule Lake. 
The Olympics in Squaw Valley, 0960.
Bodega Bay and the birds,
Haight Ashbury summer of love in San Francisco, which came out of the protest movement.
The Native American take over at Alcatraz.
How a computer club developed into Apple, McIntosh and the iphones.
An art project you could see from space.
The mayor and supervisor in San Francisco murdered, George Moscone nd Harvey Milk.
And the World Series being stopped by an earthquake.

I think there are a couple left out, such as the explosion during WWII, the train robbery in Manteca, the story of New Hope, The Brooklyn, or the history of Drawbridge in the San Francisco Bay, The Battle between Mexican forces and Native Americans close the Riverbank.  I will be using this post as a link for some of these stories. 

Saturday, August 26, 2017

ESPN Documentary:Jordan Rides the Bus: 30 for 30

I have often wondered why Michael Jordan gave up a year of play basketball for baseball.  He really wasn’t that good at baseball, because it was something he had not been doing every day.  After a year of playing ball, riding the bus, he was getting better.  He played right field, and played in the Autumn League.  This was a league for the best of double AA.   He really started to come into his stride.  He stole bases, fielded ok.  And brought his batting average up to 250.  It is possible for Michael Jordan to have made the majors in a couple more years if he continued to improve.  However a threatened baseball strike loomed large, and Jordan likely would have been in the middle.  He decided to return to basketball instead. 
An interesting point of Jordan’s baseball career centers around the murder of his father.  His father was murdered in a botched robbery.  Jordan’s father always wanted Michael to play baseball, and so he did.

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Article Review: Finding Their Navajo Way

There is a very good article in the Utah State magazine Spring 2017 written by John DeVilbiss about a couple who lived the Indian Placement life.  This program provided an education to Native American children by placing them in the homes of church members where opportunities may be better than on the reservation.  For a period of time, the church sponsored this program and many people started their education this way.  In this case, the couple Teresa and Curtis Frazier left the reservation, living with their placement families.  As a result they struggle with their native language.  It also put them between two worlds, which can be a hard place to be.  However they have both been able to find a balance, and now work in providing educational opportunities to others.  However, those others do not have to leave their homes, as they work in Blanding, Utah for the Utah State extension.
Curtis mentions that he felt the church accomplished their goal of providing opportunities that were not available.  The children were well-fed and clothed.  Many thrived better in this type of environment, than at the Indian boarding schools available.  However the program created a separation between the children and their families with sometimes negative consequences.  In this case there was a positive result.  In their case they are able to love both families.