Thursday, September 8, 2011

American Red Cross founder Clara Barton’s Missing Soldier’s office on 7th Street discovered by accident by GSA worker.

American Red Cross founder Clara Barton’s Missing Soldier’s office on 7th Street discovered by accident by GSA worker.
Over a decade ago, a GSA worker Richard Lyons accidentally discovered lists of missing soldiers from the civil war and found it was the actual office used my Miss Clara Barton, founder of the American Red Cross on 7th Street. Clara Barton’s office (room #9 at 437 7th Street in Washington DC) is across the street from restaurant Jaleo and the Shakespeare Theater. GSA workers discovered the papers in the ceiling boards.

Early in the civil war, Clara Barton raced to the Manassas battlefield and set up a small ad hoc aid station on the grounds of St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Fairfax Station on Rte 123. She was called the “angel of the battlefield” and as the war dragged on, her self-appointed duties increased from not only providing water, food and bandages, but also to help frantic families to find out the fate of their fathers, sons and brothers.

She did all this as a volunteer in the beginning. President Lincoln later commissioned her to help families find their missing soldiers. She and her assistants sent 21,000 letters to families and this helped reunite families and discover the fate of missing soldiers, esp. at the horrific Andersonville concentration camp.

To this day, the American Red Cross principles maintain an ethos of volunteerism, impartiality, neutrality and the International Committee of the Red Cross also has a tracing service in combat zones to find the fate of missing soldiers.

The little apartment on the 3rd floor on 7th Street is available for tours by appointment and will be renovated and administrated by the National Civil War Medical Museum in Fredrick, MD as soon as they raise enough money.

Call for an appointment, (301) 695-1864. Then go to Jaleo!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Ladies Dancing Again on New York Ave.: National Museum of Women in the Arts

These beautiful, playful sculptures are back again on New York Avenue in front of the Museum of Women in the Arts. They were removed, much to my chagrin, probably for winter.


Dancing in the Streets!

Beginning March 26, 2011, Niki de Saint Phalle’s larger-than-life sculptures return to New York Avenue, N.W. between 12th and 13th streets. Come experience the first and only major outdoor sculpture corridor in our nation’s capital by women. Her colorful and joyous works of art will remain on view through the end of October 2011." (from the National Museum of Women in the Arts website. Pictures from my iPhone.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Indiana Boilermaker tells his daughters of the Triangle Shirtwaist Fire 100 years later and why unions still matter

I drove a Boilermaker and his Indiana family with two girls, 5th and 7th grade, past the FrancEs Perkins Dept. of Labor Building yesterday. Frances E. Perkins was Pres. Franklin D. Roosevelt's Sec. of Labor for 12 years and helped during the last Depression to create Social Security, minimum wage and other worker's rights.

As a young social worker in 1911 she happened to be nearby and was shocked when young Italian and other immigrant women jumped out of the burning Triangle Shirtwaist Factory building several floors to their death because management had chained the escape doors shut. The union father told the story of the Triangle Shirtwaist fire beautifully. These stories need to be told and re-told. We all forget.

The Washington Post has an editorial that ends today, the 100th anniversary of this fire where 146 women were burned or jumped to their death, with refutation of worker's rights rollbacks, "Such complaints, of course, are with us still. We hear them from mine operators after fatal explosions, from bankers after they’ve crashed the economy, from energy moguls after their rig explodes or their plant starts leaking radiation. We hear them from politicians who take their money. We hear them from Republican members of Congress and from some Democrats, too. A century after Triangle, greed encased in libertarianism remains a fixture of — and danger to — American life. " 

The Indiana Boilermaker was here to try to educate Congress. He told the story passionately, perhaps because he feels he is reliving it?


Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Australiam Prime Minister honors Vietnam veterans

It was a cold and windy morning yesterday at the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial when Australia's female Prime Minister, Julia Gillard, promised $3.3 million to build an Education Center for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund. Retired US Army Gen. Barry McCaffrey and US Navy CNO Adm. Mike McMullen also spoke with Jan Scruggs of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund.

The finger in the picture points to the one Australian service member named on the Wall. He was a US Marine Corps Reserve. (From WTOP news,) "more than 500 Australians lost their lives during the conflict.
The planned exhibit space, called The Education Center at the Wall, will be underground and display items that have been placed at the memorial.
The Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund, which is building the center, says it has raised $26 million of the approximately $85 million needed to build the facility. The group hoped to break ground in 2010 but now says groundbreaking will likely happen in next several years."

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Boys hold old Libyan flag at protest at White House

I shot the picture with their innocent faces covered. The technology of repression is well refined and funded. This will not be over in 18 days, I'm afraid.

Friday, March 4, 2011

Cherry Blossoms peak bloom time is.....March 29 to April 3!!!

From the Washington Post via Guild listserve:

Cherry Blossoms peak bloom time is.....

By Washington Post editors
National Park Service Chief Horticulturalist Rob DeFeo says Washington's famed cherry trees will be in peak bloom from March 29 to April 3.
It is an announcement closely watched by a tourist industry that reaps $150 million from the National Cherry Blossom Festival, which will run from March 26 through April 10.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Life under President Washington from 3 slave's perspective : lecture at Gadsby's Tavern

"At Gadsby’s Tavern Museum, Professor Peter Henriques spoke on  Those Who Labor for Me: A Closer Look at Some of George Washington’s Enslaved Workers.” Professor Peter Henriques, Professor of History Emeritus from George Mason University took a somewhat different approach to the topic of George Washington and slavery. The focus was primarily on a handful of enslaved workers, Charlotte, Sambo Anderson, and Ona Judge, plus a few others, and only tangentially on Washington. With the goal of introducing these fascinating but largely forgotten people to a wider audience, Professor Henriques not only illustrated the horrors of slavery but also revealed a more complicated story than generally known. "

(I cite most of the text above from the Alexandria VA website.)  The lecture will be broadcast on C-SPAN. Some of these slaves, for example, owned a gun and was skillful in its use. Another, such as Washington's chef Hercules, was quite a "dandy" in his sartorial expression. Prof. Henriques spoke illustratively about their relationship and President Washington's duplicity in moving Hercules in and out of Pennsylvania so as to prevent a local law from freeing him. If a slave were in Pa. for six continuous months, he could sue for his freedom. Hercule's pride was hurt when discovering why Washington moved him out of the State of Pa. in that manner.

As Black History Month is almost half over, I hope to learn more about our nation's tarnished legacy of slavery.