Archive for ‘‘History is what’s happening’’

February 12, 2013

Reaction to the Resignation of Pope Benedict XVI

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Varied reaction of praise, sadness and even criticism upon the news that Pope Benedict XVI will be stepping down.

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January 28, 2013

Journalist and historian Stanley Karnow dead at 87

The Pulitzer Prize winning foreign correspondent, author, historian, and documentarian died Sunday at the age of 87.

Stanley Karnow, a Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and journalist who produced acclaimed books and television documentaries about Vietnam and the Philippines in the throes of war and upheaval, died on Sunday at his home in Potomac, Md. He was 87.

The cause was congestive heart failure, said Mr. Karnow’s son, Michael.

For more than three decades Mr. Karnow was a correspondent in Southeast Asia, working for Time, Life, The Saturday Evening Post, The Washington Post, NBC News, The New Republic, King Features Syndicate and the Public Broadcasting Service. But he was best known for his books and documentaries.

Karnow was one of a crop of print journalists whose reporting during the Vietnam War pointed out the discrepancies between the upbeat statements of the U.S government and military, and the far more complicated and less sundry reality on the ground.

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August 27, 2012

Space pioneer Neil Armstrong, who did the actual moonwalk, dead at 82

Neil Armstrong, who in 1969 captured the attention of millions of television viewers and the world who took ‘one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’ when he became the first man to set foot on the moon died Saturday at age 82, from complications due to heart surgery Armstrong had undergone in July.

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July 14, 2012

One Hundred years of Woody

It was one hundred years ago today Woodrow Wilson Guthrie, better known to the world and those who met him as ‘Woody’ Guthrie, was born in Okemah, Oklahoma a place marked by rural poverty. Eventually Woody’s search for work in the years of the Great Depression and Dust Bowl would take him across much of America, where with his guitar he documented  the beauty of the lands, the injustices of the powerful,  the events of his  time, and the characters he met.

During his life Guthrie wasn’t a celebrity in the modern sense. Nor during his life did he have many if any best selling albums.  He wasn’t donning the covers of magazines and sure as hell would never be handled by a publicist,  but his original music well simple, would become the call of  many. It would touch the pioneer,  the dispossessed wanderer, the migrant farmers, the labor union member, the  coal minor, and all those  suffocated by hardship or the powerful. Over time he would not become merely a king among the pantheon of other singers and songwriters, many of whom he inspired (could you really picture Bob Dylan without Woody Guthrie), or even as an artist who heralded a message of  social justice. Rather, Woody would become an icon a force in and of himself. One whose words and imagery reminded those who he sat and sang with that in a difficult world they were not alone, and offered a glimpse to all of us into their lives.

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June 5, 2012

This Date in History- RFK Assasinated

He was an isle of hope for many Americans in a world of increasing turbulence, and on this day in 1968 then Senator and Democratic Presidential nominee Robert F Kennedy was assassinated after winning the  California State Democratic primary.  Hours after being hit by two shots, Kennedy died at the age of 42.

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June 1, 2012

Whatever Happened to the ‘napalm girl’ ?

Phan Thi Kim Phuc (center) fleeing as napalm burns her back and arm (UT/ Associated Press 1972 ).

On June 8, 1972, Associated Press photographer  Huynh Cong “Nick” Ut  took this  iconic  Pulitzer prize-winning photograph that has become one of the most powerful images of the Vietnam War.

The most searing element of  this  image was Phan Thi Kim Phuc, a then nine-year-old Vietnamese girl running from the plumes of smoke  during an air attack on the South Eastern Vietnamese Trang Bang District by U.S-allied South Vietnamese  forces.  The napalm dropped in that assault burned through her clothes and ate away at the flesh on the arms and the back of nine-year old Kim Phuc as she and others fled.

This black and white image is a slice of time frozen in the  ice of history that will never fully melt, only be lost among a mosaic of others . But as explained by this Associated Press piece,  time or life  did not stop for Kim or the man behind the camera who also saved her life. 

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