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This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: Birmingham.co.uk
SOURCE: Birmingham.co.uk (1-30-06)
The drain was infilled in the 16th century and the work has uncovered a builder's dump full of fascinating archaeology.
The Trust carried out excavations of the monastic drain at Lacock Abbey in Wiltshire to help understand the present-day problems with damp in the building, which includes famous medieval cloisters.
The dig, carried out by hand, removed 64 tonnes of debris used as infill by William Sharrington, who bought the abbey in the 16th century after the Dissolution.
The drain originally served the reredorter, which were the lavatories in the 13th century nunnery and which functioned as the main sewer for the abbey and would have originally run off into the river.
Name of source: Quad City Times
SOURCE: Quad City Times (1-31-06)
Name of source: ChennaiOnline
SOURCE: ChennaiOnline (1-30-06)
Briefing newspersons at the end of the three-day Congress, IHC vice president and leading historian Irfan Habib said the peer body condemned all attempts of interference in freedom of academic debates and research.
"Noisy demonstrations were organised for deletion of a statement about Mahatma Gandhi's assassination in Prof N K Mangalamurugeshan's textbook on history and the government of Tamil Nadu had reportedly issued a circular asking all schools to consider that the whole clause in the relevant statement be deleted," the Congress noted.
On the oft-repeated demand of creating more space for history in school textbooks, the IHC noted that the official declaration that substance of history taught at schools needed to be changed and space for it reduced was unacceptable.
"While the study of more serious elements of history is curtailed and eliminated, to be replaced by 'interesting' but inconsequential 'facts', is a cause of grave disquiet. No adequate reason has, however, been given for the NCERT's failure to restore the history textbooks in use previous to the promulgation of saffronised textbooks," the resolution adopted at its AGM said.
Prof J V Naik of Pune University was elected general president for the 67th IHC to be held in Kurukshetra University next year.
Welcoming the NCERT's decision to stop further issuing of the saffronised school textbooks published by it during 2002-04, the IHC also said it was sane of the education body to abandon the 'so-called' national curriculum framework 2000 under which 'communal colour' was sought to be given to school education under the guise of instruction in religion.
"IHC recalls that it has resolutely opposed the curricular framework 2000 and exposed mischievous intent behind the kind of history that was provided in the saffronised textbooks," the resolution said.
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (1-30-06)
The 300-year-old Qing vases were among the best known artefacts at the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge.
The visitor is said to have slipped on a loose shoelace and fallen down a staircase bringing the vases crashing down as he tried to steady himself.
The vases, donated in 1948, were said to hold a "significant value" and were among the best known pieces on display.
The museum declined to identify the man who had tripped.
SOURCE: BBC News (1-31-06)
Mr Aso said the visit was impossible "under the current situation", but he hoped it would happen in the future.
The Yasukuni shrine, which honours 2.5m war dead, has been avoided by Japanese emperors ever since 14 top World War II criminals were enshrined there in 1978.
Prime Minister Junichiro Koizumi's visits have strained ties with China.
China cancelled a bilateral summit last month over the issue.
SOURCE: BBC News (1-23-06)
The new evidence found by BBC Radio 4's programme Document centres on the mystery of Ted Macey, a British army major who was abducted, presumed killed by Greek Cypriot paramilitaries.
In 1964, Martin was a naval intelligence officer, sent to Cyprus to do an extraordinary job. Fighting had broken out in the capital, Nicosia, between Greeks and Turks.
Unrest spread, and the British troops in Cyprus stepped in to keep the peace. But the British General, Peter Young, thought that peace meant more than keeping the two sides apart. He believed the communities could live side by side, sometimes in mixed villages, as they had for centuries.
But that meant small disputes had to be prevented from turning into big ones. Gen Young appointed Martin, a fluent Greek speaker, as a roving trouble-shooter and negotiator. With two officers from the mainland Greek and Turkish armies, he roamed the north of Cyprus by helicopter, settling disputes.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (1-31-06)
The particular mix of strontium in the teeth of the four, the researchers concluded, showed that they were born and spent their early years in West Africa. Some of their teeth were filed and chipped to sharp edges in a decorative practice characteristic of Africa.
Because other evidence indicated that the cemetery was in use starting around 1550, the archaeologists believe they have found the earliest remains of African slaves brought to the New World.
In a report to be published in The American Journal of Physical Anthropology, the archaeology team led by T. Douglas Price of the University of Wisconsin concluded, "Thus these individuals are likely to be among the earliest representatives of the African diaspora in the Americas, substantially earlier than the subsequent, intensive slave trade in the 18th century."
SOURCE: NYT (1-31-06)
In addition to dealing with her husband's death, which left her alone with four young children, Mrs. King faced other trials and controversies over the years. She was at times viewed as chilly and aloof by others in the movement. The King Center was criticized at first as competing for funds and siphoning energy from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, which Dr. King had headed. In recent years, it has been widely viewed as adrift, characterized by intra-family squabbling and a focus more on Dr. King's legacy than on continuing his work. And even many allies were baffled and hurt by her campaign to exonerate James Earl Ray, who in 1969 pleaded guilty to her husband's murder, and her contention that Ray did not commit the crime. But more often, Mrs. King has been seen as an inspirational figure around the world, a tireless advocate for her husband's causes and a woman of enormous spiritual depth who came to personify the ideals Dr. King fought for.
SOURCE: NYT (1-30-06)
Supporters of the project, including many black cultural, political and academic leaders, who labored for years to have the museum approved, greeted the selection by the Board of Regents, the institution's governing body, with elation.
High-profile advocates of the museum, the institution's first dedicated to a comprehensive study of the black American experience, had told Smithsonian officials that any site off the Mall would be viewed as a slight to African-Americans.
In September 2004 the National Museum of the American Indian opened to much fanfare and high visibility on the eastern edge of the Mall near the Capitol.
Some groups responded to the announcement on Monday with disappointment, arguing that the project would clutter the Mall, the grassy expanse stretching from the Lincoln Memorial to the Capitol.
Smithsonian officials said the vote on the site was not unanimous but would not give details. Officials said they hoped to open the new museum within the next decade.
"My first task for tomorrow is to stop smiling," said Lonnie G. Bunch, director of the museum.
The selection of the five-acre site allows Mr. Bunch to move forward with choosing an architect, as well as to begin raising money and acquiring collections. Cost estimates for the museum, the 19th in the Smithsonian complex, range from $300 million to $500 million. Fifty percent of the cost will be paid by the federal government, the other half by private sources.
The building will probably be at least 350,000 square feet, roughly the same size as the National Museum of the American Indian, Smithsonian officials said.
Mr. Bunch, former director of curatorial affairs for the Smithsonian's National Museum of American History, left a position as president of the Chicago Historical Society in July to lead the new project. He said it was "quite fitting that the experience of African-Americans take its place among the museums and monuments that make the National Mall a world-renowned location."
Fund-raising has already started and will be greatly aided by the site selection, Mr. Bunch said.
Lawrence M. Small, secretary of the Smithsonian, said the institution was committed to building "a remarkable museum that will inspire generations of future visitors from around the world with truly American stories of perseverance, courage, talent and triumph."
Richard D. Parsons, chairman and chief executive of Time Warner Inc. and a co-chairman of the museum's advisory council, said he planned to use America Online, which Time Warner owns, to create a virtual connection between the museum and potential donors, by offering links to the kinds of material and artifacts that the museum will contain.
"We are going to try to hit this at several levels," Mr. Parsons said in a telephone interview after the announcement. "We will reach out to the entire corporate community and the philanthropic community, but also just folks at very large levels and at the $5 and $10 level. And you can use online communities to reach these people in new and unique ways."
Supporters said the highly visible spot, adjacent to the Washington Monument across the street from the National Museum of American History, acknowledged the centrality of the African-American experience in the country's development.
Efforts to build a national museum of black history began in the early 1900's but were repeatedly thwarted by political and social opposition well into the 1990's. In 1994 Senator Jesse Helms, Republican of North Carolina, passionately blocked Senate passage of a bill authorizing the museum, saying Congress should not have to "pony up" for such efforts.
"Thank God," said Robert L. Wilkins, a Washington lawyer who headed the site selection committee on a presidential commission formed in 2002 to make recommendations for the museum to Congress. "Even though the building has not yet been constructed, I feel like we have finally fulfilled this long quest in an honorable and appropriate way."
The papers were among a vast collection of documents that Mr. Giuliani transferred to a private archivist when he left office in December 2001, under an unusual agreement with the incoming Bloomberg administration. The transfer sparked an outcry from historians and leaders of public interest groups, who argued that the documents should not leave the city's control. Despite the opposition, Mr. Giuliani followed through with his plan to have the material professionally archived before returning it all to the city records department, which said it received the final batch late last year.
''It's a partial record of what it took for the city to deal with the worst terrorist attack on the United States,'' said Sunny Mindel, a spokeswoman for Mr. Giuliani. ''It speaks to the care and concern of the world community for the city and state of New York, and the concern that New Yorkers had for each other.''
Paging through it on microfilm offers a somewhat scattered retrospective of the Giuliani era, revealed through draft reports, newspaper clips, personal notes, internal memos and schedules spanning not just the post-Sept. 11 period but also the mayor's eight years in office.
Among the documents from 2000, for example, were a personal note from Senator John McCain, inviting Mr. Giuliani to an Arizona cabin for a weekend of ''food, fun and good friends,'' and a memo about problems opening a waste transfer station peppered with handwritten speculation on the source of opposition. ''Ferrer?'' the writer wondered, referring to Fernando Ferrer, then the Bronx borough president. Another file was filled with copies of newspaper articles about political opponents like Mark Green, Al Sharpton and David Dinkins.
There was a report from the Department of Business Services, observing that a reputed mobster was spotted at the Fulton Fish Market early one morning, and adding dryly that it ''did not appear he was buying fish.'' And there was a short letter from former President George H. W. Bush, who dashed it off after watching Mr. Giuliani announce his withdrawal from the Senate race because of a diagnosis of prostate cancer. Mr. Bush hit a slightly off-key note:
''Now you have made all Americans very proud as they saw a warm, sensitive, decent human being,'' he wrote. ''But although others might not have seen that side of you, we Bushes have seen it all along.''
Of particular interest is the portion of the papers dealing with the events of Sept. 11 and the period up to Dec. 31, 2001, when Mr. Giuliani left office. City officials said, however, that much of that material was not yet available on microfilm because it had been delivered to the archivists later than the rest of the papers.
''Much of the post-Sept. 11, 2001, material was gathered afterward because it was still in people's offices at the time,'' said Kenneth R. Cobb, the deputy commissioner of records.
What is available from that period offers not only a fresh perspective on the city's struggle to get back on its feet, but also a few insights into Mr. Giuliani's private activities during the period.
For instance, a fax dated Sept. 10, 2001, contains an unsigned agreement between the book publisher Talk Miramax and William Novak, who was to be a ghostwriter for a Giuliani memoir, a project the mayor later scrapped. There is an e-mail message from a publishing executive urging the mayor not to miss a November 2001 lunch because ''the attendees -- sales representatives -- are the very people who will go out and sell this book.''
Among the thousands of ''advance information sheets'' prepared by the mayor's schedulers over the years was one for Sept. 11, which said he was to attend, in black tie, the opening of ''The Flying Dutchman'' at Lincoln Center that night. The appearance was canceled.
Within days of the attacks, memos began to circulate outlining economic recovery plans and requests for federal assistance, some offering hints of behind-the-scenes tensions with Albany and Washington.
A mayoral aide in Washington sent an urgent message to City Hall from his BlackBerry, saying, ''New York's $$$ on shaky ground'' and warning that White House budget officials ''believe they can shuffle around monies for New York'' and spend it elsewhere. A memo detailing how federal aid would be spent had additions scribbled in the margins aimed at making sure the city had an equal voice with Albany.
The files also show that not even the worst terrorist attack in American history could snuff out the parochial concerns of politicians and lobbyists.
Just days after the attacks, a city councilwoman, Juanita Watkins, left a note for Deputy Mayor Rudy Washington at his home, asking for help getting the Fire Department to approve a certificate of occupancy for a new school in Queens. A list of discussion topics for a ''town hall meeting'' on Staten Island included the World Trade Center attacks, the anthrax scare and ''the Weed Avenue sewer.''
A Republican lobbyist in Washington, Wayne Berman, sent a note saying that one of his clients was offering heavy equipment to help remove debris from ground zero. And an artist in Tennessee asked about getting some steel from the trade center to fashion a Sept. 11 memorial in Memphis.
''We would prefer smaller beams, approximately 10 to 12 feet long, and numbered about 10,'' the letter said.
Elsewhere, the mayoral papers chronicled efforts to kick-start the vast machinery of New York's bureaucracy. A long memo from the city's pension actuary dispassionately pondered the likely purchasing power of surviving spouses of police and firefighters.
An analysis by city lawyers examined potential liability, concluding that there were as many as 10,000 possible plaintiffs who could claim, among other things, that authorities had mistakenly directed people into harm's way and that rescue workers had been given faulty equipment. The memo explored options for seeking federal indemnification against lawsuits: ''We have been advised that the city will have to convince Congress that it has a compelling need to be bailed out, something in the order of a likelihood of bankruptcy without federal protection,'' it said.
Throughout the internal correspondence, it was evident that the mayor's staff, despite all the chaos swirling about, remained vigilant for potential slights or risks to the reputation of their boss.
When Gov. George E. Pataki's office sent along a proposed script for an ''I love New York'' television ad, a Giuliani aide sent it back with revisions that gave the mayor a larger speaking role. A proposal by NBC to have Rosie O'Donnell join Mr. Giuliani in opening the Rockefeller Center tree lighting show was quickly reconsidered: ''We have moved Rosie O'Donnell out of this greeting,'' a network executive said in an e-mail message to the mayor's office.
Amid the familiar parade of city officials and politicians making entreaties to the mayor's office, a few famous faces made cameo appearances, usually requesting some sort of assistance or making unsolicited offers of advice.
A week after the attacks, a Microsoft executive sent an e-mail message to the mayor's office saying Mr. Gates wanted to know if it was still appropriate to announce his new Windows operating system at a Times Square event in October. The message observed that Mr. Gates had donated $3 million to ground zero relief efforts, adding, ''These gifts have not been announced by the Gates Foundation.''
There was a note saying Mr. Kissinger called to recommend that Mr. Giuliani meet with Iain Duncan Smith, leader of the Conservative Party in Britain. Other memos contained recommendations from the State Department on the diplomatic value of having the mayor meet with foreign dignitaries like the Italian deputy prime minister, Gianfranco Fini: ''It would be useful to cultivate him,'' an e-mail message said.
Memorial services for the dead weighed heavily and were a constant presence in the files. Day after day, the schedules of the mayor and his deputies were filled with funerals and wakes, each one demanding respect for the wishes of the families involved: A planning sheet for the funeral of one firefighter said that his relatives did not want Fire Commissioner Thomas Von Essen to attend.
If nothing else, the archival trove offers reassuring evidence that, for all the trauma inflicted by Sept. 11, New Yorkers wasted little time recovering the time-honored norms of social engagement that define life in the city. The artful meld of entreaty and enticement that lubricates the gears of politics and business was on display in an ''urgent and sensitive'' fax to Deputy Mayor Joseph J. Lhota from Peter G. Peterson, a private equity investor who was chairman of the Council on Foreign Relations.
The emir of Qatar wanted to tour ground zero and have his picture taken presenting a donation to Mr. Giuliani, Mr. Peterson wrote, adding that it ''might be a good thing to show a Muslim leader reaching out to the city.'' Then he offered a personal sweetener. Commenting on how hard the mayor and his staff were working, Mr. Peterson said they should all be rewarded by grateful citizens like himself.
''Taking the mayor and his son out to play golf in the Hamptons or wherever else he would like would simply be my first step,'' he wrote to Mr. Lhota, ''as would taking you to the Four Seasons.''
At once insightful, poignant and banal, the documents vividly portray an administration toiling in the shadow of catastrophe, grappling with basic needs, fielding requests for help and offers of advice, and coping with an unrelenting dirge of wakes and funerals. They also provide the occasional glimpse of Mr. Giuliani's personal activities.
Fires still burned at ground zero. Fighter jets patrolled the skies. The country mobilized for war. And in Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani's office, the phone calls, faxes and e-mail messages never stopped coming.
Bill Gates wanted to know if he should continue with plans to announce his new Windows XP software. A city councilwoman sought help with a building permit in Queens. Henry Kissinger called from Tokyo with a few thoughts.
It has been stored in attics, sheds and storage lockers over the years, and most recently in the Cowans' home here in Boulder, where they were interviewed on a recent morning. Its contents cover the scandalous (a relative jailed for embezzlement), the intriguing (a runaway slave seeking refuge in the North) and the historic (the settling of Chicago).
Now the current owner of the collection, Mr. Cowan's grandmother, Mary Leslie Wolff, who is 82, is negotiating to donate the papers — called the Ames Family Historical Collection, for her father's branch of the tree — to a historical society somewhere back East, where the family began. Ms. Wolff declined to say where the collection might go because discussions were continuing.
SOURCE: NYT (1-27-06)
The Democrats who introduced the bills said they hoped to compete with Republicans for conservative Christian voters. "Rather than sitting back on our heels and then being knocked in our face, we are going to respond in a thoughtful way," said Kasim Reed, a Georgia state senator from Atlanta and one of the sponsors of the bill. "We are not going to give away the South anymore because we are unwilling to talk about our faith."
In Georgia, the proposal marked a new course for the Democratic Party. The state's Democrats, including some sponsors of the bill, opposed a Republican proposal a few years ago to authorize the teaching of a different Bible course, which used a translation of the Scriptures as its text, calling it an inappropriate endorsement of religion. The sponsors say they are introducing their Bible measure now partly to pre-empt a potential Republican proposal seeking to display the Ten Commandments in schools.
SOURCE: NYT (1-28-06)
The conflict turns on arcane and often disputed aspects of international law that govern sovereign waters and the rights of shipwreck owners and finders.
Spain claims the waters, off the coast of Gibraltar. Britain claims the ship, says its decomposing hull rests in the high seas, and has struck a deal with the American company, Odyssey Marine Exploration Inc. of Tampa, Fla., to split the recovery's proceeds.
SOURCE: NYT (1-27-06)
On Wednesday, the assembly, which represents legislators from European countries, called for governments to confront their nations' former policies of starvation, mass executions and concentration camps. Yesterday, Boris Gryzlov, the Russian speaker, labeled the statement "a waste of energy and time" and a "crusade against ghosts of the past."
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (1-31-06)
For centuries, people living in and around the chicken farm called Pen y Bryn on top of a hill overlooking the Menai Straits in Caernarvonshire have been convinced that it is a royal place.
More than that, they all firmly believed that the 36-acre farm was the last remnant of the palace of Llywelyn, the first and last prince of a "free" Wales, who died in 1282.
But Cadw, the Welsh equivalent of English Heritage, says it has found traces of a medieval house about 400 yards away, near to a Norman motte, or defensive mound, that is the real site of the palace.
Today, even the current prince has become intrigued in developments after Kathryn Gibson, the owner of Pen y Bryn, tried to convince him to accept that he is the 22nd, not the 21st Prince of Wales.
"We had all the local tradition that this was the palace site, but what we were lacking was the last documentary proof that this was the case," Mrs Gibson said yesterday after the broadcast of the programme on BBC2's History Mysteries series. "But thanks to Nick Barratt and his colleagues, we now have that."
Mr Barratt, who is The Daily Telegraph's "Family Detective" found the crucial evidence in archives at Bangor, a few miles from the site. A document dating to 1284 stated clearly that there was a "Ty Hir" or long house, at the centre of the manor of Aber, previously known as Aber Garth Celyn.
It was from there that Llywelyn was known to have written his last letter of defiance to the English. But the site near the motte was not a long house, but an H-shaped dwelling which the historians believe was an administrative centre for the infant Welsh court, but not the prince's home.
Investigations showed that the chicken farm, which has a tower attached to it tentatively, is built on the ruins of a long house. On another document, dating from the 1730s, the manor house at the centre of the lands of Aber is clearly identified as Pen y Bryn.
Mr Barratt said: "It shows that Llywelyn had two separate buildings, one domestic, one business, and that the Welsh court was much more sophisticated than English historians have portrayed it to be."
Mrs Gibson is hoping that the programme will be seeen by Prince Charles, whom she met a few years ago. "I told him that he ought to acknowledge that Edward I's son was not the first Prince of Wales and that he is the 22nd, not the 21st person to hold that title."
Name of source: Financial Times (London)
SOURCE: Financial Times (London) (1-31-06)
Mr Chirac described the holiday, marking the day the French senate passed a law recognising slavery as a crime against humanity in 2001, as a chance to "show the way" to other countries by exhibiting France's "glory and strength".
"The grandeur of a country, it is to assume all its history. With its glorious pages, but also its more shady parts," said Mr Chirac, in a speech designed to cool the racial tensions caused by last year's riots and defuse a bitter political debate over French colonial history.
He promised to fight modern forms of slavery by allowing companies that knowingly used forced labour in any country to be prosecuted in French courts. He also proposed a "European or international initiative" forcing companies to respect "basic worker rights" in poorer countries.
Slavery is a thorny issue for many of the world's richest countries and African states have long been pushing them to make a formal apology.
Mr Chirac yesterday recalled France's role in banning slavery - once in 1794, before it was reintroduced by Napoleon in 1802, only to be finally outlawed for good in 1848. "The (French) Republic can be proud of the battles it has won against this ignominy."
However, not everyone in France welcomed the move. Historians are upset about the government's attempts to dictate how history should be taught in schools.
A petition, entitled "freedom for history" and signed by 600 historians, was published this month calling for the repeal of laws imposing a certain view of history, including a 1990 law on racism, a 2001 law recognising the Armenian genocide and the 2001 law on slavery.
Name of source: Washington Post
SOURCE: Washington Post (1-30-06)
Some groups argue that the Mall is too crowded. But others -- including President Bush and Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) -- argue that the museum needs to be on the Mall because the place is so central to African American history and because it is impossible to understand American history without understanding the African American experience.
"In the 20th century, the Mall became a magnet for political expression not only for its accommodating space but also the symbolic -- and in the television age -- photogenic backdrop of the Capitol and the Lincoln Memorial," says Lonnie G. Bunch, director of the African American museum. "Almost every story you want to tell crosses the Mall, all protests from the right to the left. For African Americans, there's no greater symbol than being in view of the Capitol, the Lincoln Memorial and the White House. It reminds people of America's promise. Not only am I protesting, but I am using your symbols of power as a way to mirror and remind us of what America doesn't do."
Some of this history is burned into public consciousness, such as the grand Marian Anderson singing "My country, 'tis of thee" on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial in 1939 after the Daughters of the American Revolution shut their doors to her at Constitution Hall. But much of it is hidden.
Few tourists hear of the pens where slaves were kept on the Capitol grounds or learn about Benjamin Banneker, a self-taught astronomer and mathematician working with Pierre L'Enfant, who designed the city of Washington in 1791.
"The country has always been reluctant to come to grips with the slave part of its history. Washington, more than any other city, has that contradiction," says journalist Charles Cobb, who is writing a tour guide to national civil rights landmarks. "People look at the South with the cotton plantations and sugar plantations and say, yes, slavery.
"But the idea of Thomas Jefferson and James Madison as slaveholders is a much more difficult idea. You don't sit in Lafayette Square and think about the slave auction block."
The slave trade was legal in the District until 1850. According to the late historian Frederic Bancroft, Washington merchants conducted a brisk slave trade that, "although far from being the largest, was the most notorious." The city provided slave buyers and purchasers a good location, between two slaveholding states, Maryland and Virginia, and on a major waterway.
Slave labor helped build the city, including the White House. Records show dozens of slaves worked on the Capitol, and slaves worked at the Aquia Creek quarry in Stafford County, Va., cutting sandstone that was used in the Capitol and the Treasury Building. One account says these slaves generally were given a blanket and some clothing. In most cases, the master retained the money earned through these labors, but some slaves were paid under the table.
To house the slaves, the federal government let owners keep them in local jails for 34 cents a day. Slave owners also used a system of privately owned jails called "Georgia pens."
Along Seventh Street, which cut through the heart of the Mall, the slave trade flourished. Slaves frequently were sold in front of Lloyd's Tavern on the southeast corner of Seventh Street and Pennsylvania Avenue NW, and at the nearby Isaac Beer's Tavern on Seventh. The pen and tavern of Washington Robey stood at Seventh Street SW, between B Street and Maryland Avenue. The private jail of William H. Williams stood across the street in a yellow brick house.
"The slaves didn't stay at the Willard Hotel. They were locked up in these jails at night," says John Whittington Franklin, a program manager at the African American museum office. (His father is the noted historian John Hope Franklin.)
From 1802 to 1931, the huge Center Market at the corner of Seventh Street and Constitution Avenue NW -- where the National Archives now stands -- was where slaves and freed blacks could sell products outside the building. Some beat the odds: Alethia Browning Tanner, a vegetable vendor near the Capitol, saved enough money to buy her own freedom and that of several family members, part of the beginnings of a black middle class.
Tensions between the races were very evident, especially when the immigrant white population and freed blacks vied for jobs.
In 1835 a race riot occurred, beginning at the Epicurean Eating Grill on the north side of Pennsylvania Avenue at Sixth Street NW. Beverly Snow, the owner of the restaurant and a free black, allegedly made remarks about the wives and daughters of men working at the Navy Yard. Whites trashed the restaurant, but Snow escaped. The rioters also destroyed black churches, schools and houses.
In his 1791 plan, L'Enfant established the positions of the Capitol and the White House and showed an expanse that generally went from Third Street to 14th Street. He envisioned a 400-foot-wide savanna, lined with trees and important buildings, but the Mall initially evolved into a disorganized range.
Work sheds and shacks stood behind the Smithsonian Castle, which was completed in 1855. During the Civil War, the Mall was used for military drilling and to hold grazing pens for bison. The stench of sewage and slaughtered animals from the Washington Canal (covered today by Constitution Avenue) was so bad that President Abraham Lincoln established a summer retreat up North Capitol Street to get fresher air.
Railroad tracks were set down across the south side of the Mall in the 1870s, connected to a depot where the National Gallery of Art now stands. An African American neighborhood sprang up on land where the National Museum of the American Indian stands. Blacks lived in houses facing the Mall and along nearby alleys. All of the structures on that land were razed in the 1930s.
Things began to change in 1901 when Sen. James McMillan of Michigan formed a commission of distinguished planners to bring order to the Mall. The group extended its boundaries over existing waterways to the edge of the Potomac River and filled in the swampy land that would support the Lincoln and Jefferson memorials.
The grand buildings of today's vista started to arrive at the turn of the 20th century. By the 1930s, much of the land had been cleared of trees and leveled. When temporary office buildings built during World War II were finally removed in the early 1970s, the area looked much like it does today.
Most chronicles of black Washington detail the night life on U Street, the intellectual oasis of Howard University and the sports events at old Griffith Stadium. What is often overlooked is that black life did exist beyond segregated areas, and the Mall was often a respite from those restrictions.
"The Mall was a green space where you could go and have picnics and just sit out and enjoy the weather. Black residents, even in the context of segregation, were claiming the city," says Marya Annette McQuirter, a historian who has written about leisure and the development of black communities.
But even recreation wasn't always pleasant. Instead of opening the Tidal Basin to all swimmers, Congress closed the beach in the 1920s.
There were other troubling moments.
In 1922 the Lincoln Memorial, later a symbol of unity, was dedicated. The tribute to the man who had issued the Emancipation Proclamation, freeing slaves, was given one of the most prominent locations on the Mall. But the celebration was marred when black participants were roped off in a separate section. Even one of the guest speakers, Robert R. Moton, the president of what was then Tuskegee Institute, was kept separate from the white crowd.
"He was relegated, along with other distinguished colored people, to an all-Negro section separated by a road from the rest of the audience; and the language of the ill-tempered Marine who herded the 'niggers' into their seats caused well-bred colored people as much indignation as the segregated seating itself," wrote Constance McLaughlin Green in her landmark book, "The Secret City: A History of Race Relations in the Nation's Capital."
Three years later, on Aug. 8, 1925, blacks stood at the corner of Seventh and Pennsylvania NW to watch a Ku Klux Klan march.
But the notion of the Mall as a special place for blacks took root. The following year, on Aug. 6, members of the A.M.E. Zion Church -- 2,000 strong -- stood at the west end of the Mall, holding what many describe as the first civil rights rally. From that time, the Mall and marches became intertwined.
By the next decade, the uses of the Mall became more defined for organizers. "With the building of the Lincoln Memorial, blacks and everyone else began to be focused on the Mall. In the 1930s, when the Mall was cleared, it became more of a national space," says Lucy Barber, a historian at the National Archives. Veterans of World War I, including blacks, camped out on the Capitol grounds and marched down Pennsylvania Avenue demanding back pay during the Bonus Army March in 1932. Their shantytowns were burned by the U.S. Army.
At Anderson's concert in 1939, 75,000 people -- black and white -- showed up dressed in their Sunday best to hear the African American singer. "This was a concert, but it was an early interracial protest against discrimination, and that discrimination was symbolized by the DAR," says Bunch, the museum director.
A. Philip Randolph, the founder of the Brotherhood of Sleeping Car Porters, was one of the first black leaders to understand that the Mall's location and a powerful message could help break down segregation. His union was a powerful organizing force in the black community, and in 1941 he planned a march to demand the government stop employment discrimination.
"The organizers were savvy about how they imagined they could use the Capitol and assemble at the Lincoln Memorial," Barber said. "In a way, African Americans played a crucial role in seeing the Mall's potential and taking a space in the center of the city and making it a place for protest. The 1941 plan was an act of political imagination."
The Randolph march was canceled in June 1941 after President Franklin D. Roosevelt ordered an end to discrimination in federal agencies and at defense plants, but the blueprint for a mass rally on the Mall was set. In 1947, a prayer session, as part of an NAACP convention, was held at the Lincoln Memorial, with President Harry S. Truman participating. Ten years later, Randolph organized a prayer pilgrimage, attended by 20,000 people and featuring an address by King.
The 1963 march, capped by King's "I Have a Dream" speech, sealed the Mall's identity as a nexus of political protest.
In the aftermath of King's death, his followers tried to carry on one of his goals -- to mount a Poor People's Campaign on 15 acres in West Potomac Park, southeast of the Lincoln Memorial. In May and June 1968, thousands erected a "Resurrection City" of temporary houses, struggling through the mud and rain to proclaim the need for economic equality. The "city" was dismantled after six weeks, its leaders taking credit for some minor concessions.
The Mall became a destination for other rallies and protests, including the Vietnam War Moratoriums in 1969 and 1971, annual gatherings of advocates for and against legalized abortion, and the 1987 display of the massive quilt made in memory of those who had died from AIDS.
From 1971 to 1975, a musical event called Human Kindness Day was organized to mark racial solidarity. Held near the Washington Monument, Kindness Day attracted 200,000 in 1975, but violence on that day led to its cancellation.
On the 20th anniversary of the 1963 march, about 750,000 people came to the Mall to mark that event and complain that a King holiday was long overdue. Legislation creating the holiday was signed into law by President Ronald Reagan later that year. Now, carved into the steps of the Lincoln Memorial where King stood in 1963 are words commemorating that first March on Washington. Also, a parcel of land near the Mall has been promised for an official King memorial.
And in 1995, a huge television audience saw hundreds of thousands participate in the Million Man March.
The Mall continues to be a place of festivals, concerts and Fourth of July fireworks. But today, in large part because of the civil rights movement, it has become a symbol of free debate, serving as a national megaphone.
"Even people who are critical of America chose the Mall to say we are Americans, too," Bunch says.
The question now is whether the Smithsonian will make room on the 21st-century Mall for a museum that would unavoidably have to tell the history, hidden and celebrated, of the Mall's 19th and 20th centuries.
Name of source: Irish Times
SOURCE: Irish Times (1-30-06)
"As various diplomatic and military archives located in Berlin, Brussels, Freiburg, Paris, Rome and Vienna reveal, continental Europe was much interested in Ireland. By occupying her they believed that the British would have to surrender. Kaiser Wilhelm II of Germany was closely following the Irish crisis. He became more and more frustrated by Britain's attitude towards Germany and more and more aggressive in his comments regarding Ireland."
The Kaiser was personally informed of events in Ireland by Dr Theodor Schiemann, a historian with Irish-American contacts.
When, in September 1912, the chargé d'affaires of the German embassy in London suggested that the Home Rule crisis "would weaken England as a world power because of the influence the Irish exercise in America", the Kaiser wrote in the margin: "That would be a great boon".
Name of source: The Independent (London)
SOURCE: The Independent (London) (1-30-06)
In July, the Palace of Versailles will extend its acreage open to visitors to include a new Marie-Antoinette domain surrounding her beloved private retreat, the Petit Trianon.
And an exhibition of artefacts from the Marie-Antoinette era which opened on 2 November, the 250th anniversary of her birth, continues at the Wallace Collection in London until 28 February. On some days, visitors are invited to maker plaster heads, and then guillotine them, as a "family activity".
But why? Why this sudden surge of interest in a woman long held to be the personification of all that was worst about France's absolutist ancien rZgime? Was she not, after all, the woman who advised the starving, breadless French peasantry to "eat cake"? (Answer: no, she never did).
Weren't her extravagances, her love affairs and her foreign intrigues partly responsible for the bloody collapse of the French monarchy? (Answer: possibly, but her naughtiness was much exaggerated. She was much detested and lied about in the snake-pit of late-18th-century France because she was foreign.)
Evelyne Lever, the foremost French authority on Marie-Antoinette and the ancien rZgime says: "The renewed interest is partly linked to the emotions evoked by the death of Princess Diana. It may partly be my fault. I had lunch with Sofia Coppola a few years ago and mentioned the many parallels between their lives. In certain portraits of Marie-Antoinette, there is even a startling resemblance with Diana.
"Here was a young woman pushed into a loveless marriage, who had little in common with her husband, who had loves of her own which she could not publicly express, who wanted to live her own life, who became the centre of great scandals and died in dramatic circumstances.
"The great difference is that, in the final years, adversity brought Marie-Antoinette closer to her husband. The revolution revealed in her, depths of character and toughness which were not apparent before."
Mme Lorin cautiously welcomes the boom in popular interest in her heroine. But she is anxious about the Hollywood film which comes to cinemas in August with a script based on the books of Antonia Fraser. Apart from Kirsten Dunst as the queen, the film has Steve Coogan in the improbable role of Austria's ambassador at the French court.
"I've seen the trailer for the film on the internet. It is a fright," said Mme Lorin. "We've spent years trying to convince people that the Queen was not just a libertine who told the starving to eat cake. What do you see on the trailer? You see Marie-Antoinette eating cake. You see her lying naked on a chaise longue. I fear that the film is going to set us back many years."
Judging by Antonia Fraser's pro-Marie-Antoinette books and the subtlety of previous Sofia Coppola creations (such asLost in Translation), Mme Lorin may be worrying needlessly. The movie, filmed at Versailles last year, will be more than just a costume romp.
In the meantime, it is possible to "hear" the voice of the real Marie-Antoinette. Unusually for a royal figure of her epoch, the queen was a great letter writer. Most of them have survived, even though many were written secretly and some in code....
...Her husband was not, as usually supposed, an arrogant man stuck in a disappearing world. Louis XVI's tragedy was that he was too modern - a man obsessed with the new technologies of the emerging Industrial Revolution. In a letter to Comte Rosenberg in 1775, the queen explains jokily, and a little bitterly, her energetic social life and her failure to produce a child. "My tastes are not the same as those of the king, who only likes hunting and mechanical inventions," she says.
"You will agree that I would not appear very graceful in charge of a forge. I am not Vulcan and I displease him more in the role of Venus than in my other activities, which he does not object to." Her other activities in this period included her mock farm and village at the Petit-Trianon where she dressed up as a milkmaid and cared for perfumed sheep and goats.
After her mother's death in 1780, the correspondence is taken up - usually when he wants something - by her brother, now the Emperor Joseph II. (The same Emperor Joseph who told Mozart that his music contained "too many notes".)
Unwisely, she tried to intervene with Louis on world affairs at her brother's behest. Her efforts were seized upon by her many enemies at court, who detested her because of her separate social circle' because she was foreign' and because she was an independent-minded woman. Aristocratic gossip, and the gazettes, accused her of multiple affairs with young men, and women. She was decried as extravagant and immoral - although she was probably no more guilty than the rest of royal and aristocratic society.
Her surviving letters are an-noyingly quiet on this troubled period. They are also uninfor-mative on the first year of the revolution in 1789, when the royal family was forced to move to the Tuileries Palace in Paris as virtual prisoners of the mob.
When the correspondence picks up pace in 1790, a very different Marie-Antoinette emerges. The flighty wife, dismissive of her husband, becomes his constant friend and ally, working tirelessly to save the family business.
She is contemptuous of the revolutionaries, who are dismissed as "monsters", "scoundrels", "madmen" and "animals", egged on by "freemasons". She plots with her friend, and probable former lover, Count Axel de Fersen, the Swedish nobleman who organised a royal flight from Paris towards Habsburg territory in June 1791.
The king and queen were arrested just short of safety. The letters she wrote to Fersen, when she was back in gilded captivity in the Tuileries, are terse and courageous. "Don't worry about us. We are alive ... I exist and I am worried about you."
Marie-Antoinette then began a long, almost daily, secret correspondence with a moderate revolutionary leader, Antoine Barnave. On behalf of her inert and depressed husband, she became the centre of attempts to rescue a constitutional monarchy on the British pattern from the Jacobin radicals who threatened to hijack the revolution.
Her letters, some running to several pages, are tough, wily and shrewd. They demonstrate a close grasp of the minutiae of revolutionary politics. Attimes, she seems to trust Barnave and his friends "even though they cling to their [democratic] opinions".
At other times, all the haughtiness of her royal blood surges through her pen: "Is it possible that, born in the rank I was... I should be fated to spend my days in such a century with such men?" Her other letters of 1791, smuggled out of France in code, or in vanishing ink, show that Marie-Antoinette was also conspiring to reimpose absolute monarchy. She sent letters to her younger brother, by then Emperor Leopold II, begging him to start a war against democracy ("this tissue of impractical absurdities"). The emperor replied, promising much, but did nothing.
If Marie-Antoinette and the king had wholeheartedly seized the moderate option, could French royalty have been saved, and the bloody terror of 1793 been avoided? Could Barnave and the other "constitutional monarchists" have prevailed over the radicals? Probably not. In any case, Barnave, like Marie-Antoinette, paid for his efforts with his head.
The king was tried and executed in January 1793. Marie-Antoinette's eight-year-old-son was taken from her and brainwashed until he accused her of sexually abusing him. He later died of hunger, illness and neglect. The queen had several opportunities to escape alone but refused to do so without her family.
To the end, Marie-Antoinette believed in the righteousness of absolute monarchy. All the same, a case can be made for France's last great queen as a tragic heroine.
She never grasped the causes of the revolution but it exposed, in her, unsuspected depths of fortitude, courage and loyalty. By contrast, the Jacobin "democrats" and mobs who took over in 1793, acting in the name of common humanity and "the rights of Man", demonstrated little but pettiness, bad faith and viciousness.
Unfortunately, by all accounts, the Coppola film ends in 1789 and misses the less glamorous, but most moving, part of Marie-Antoinette's life.
In her final letter, to her sister-in-law, she wrote: "I pardon my enemies the wrongs they have done me ... I also had friends... Let them know that, to my last moment, I was thinking of them."...
Name of source: The Guardian Unlimited
SOURCE: The Guardian Unlimited (1-30-06)
The four-part American-made series, which begins tonight on the UKTV History Channel, is based at least in part on archives which the Vatican only formally opened to scholars in 1998, though church records from other parts of Europe of such events as the notorious trial of the astronomer Galileo have long been published. The revelations drawn from the church's meticulous recording of its persecutions have forced officials on to the back foot, leaving them claiming that its behaviour in the campaigns to root out error and unorthodoxy, during which many thousands of people were tortured and killed, were really not too bad, or at least only in keeping with the standards of prosecution of the time. Kings and Protestants were also enthusiastic torturers.
The series interviewed the Very Rev Joseph Augustine Di Noia, the New York-born priest now under-secretary for the Congregation of the Doctrine of the Faith, the church's successor to the Inquisition, which was formerly headed by Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, now Pope Benedict XVI. Possibly the highest ranking Vatican offi cial ever to be interviewed publicly on the subject, Di Noia told the documentary makers: "It is a mistake to torture people. However, torture was regarded as a perfectly justified, legitimate way of producing evidence and it was therefore legally justified. Killing people over ideas, generally speaking, seems to us not to be a very good idea after 2,000 years of history . . . and generally we disapprove deeply of this kind of purgation, but it seems to me it is possible to understand it within the context of its times and also to understand it within the sociology of religion, how communities react to threats which they regard to be dire or fatal."
The attempt to put the Inquisition in context, despite several hundred years of condemnation of the church's behaviour, is recognised as probably a lost cause even by Professor Agostino Borromeo, the Italian historian, whose ancestors include nine cardinals, at least one pope and a 16th century saint, who was entrusted by the Vatican with editing a scholarly symposium on the newly released archives in 1998. Prof Borromeo says surviving documentation indicates just a small minority of heretics were executed, because only the truly unrepentant were burned at the stake. There were rules about punishments according to age and sex and limits to the length of torture. Torture and execution were always carried out by the secular authorities, not church officials.
"Torture was a method of proof, the best proof, the queen of proofs," he said. "Torture was not invented by the Inquisition, but heresy was regarded as so dangerous that it was allowed. This is not an apology for the institution, but modern studies have revised the black legend and as historians we have to record that."
Nevertheless, two years ago, Pope John Paul II issued an apology for the Inquisition. The files in the Vatican archives are far from complete and have not yet been fully investigated. Despite being studied by historians for the last eight years, only about 10% of what survived has been examined, Prof Borromeo estimates.
Monsignor Charles Burns, the Glaswegian former deputy chief of the Vatican's secretarial archives for 35 years, is not surprised. He guarded the church's diplomatic, chancery and exchequer papers stretching back more than 1,000 years - probably the greatest and oldest institutional archive in the world, which occupies more than 100km of shelf-space.
"Oh yes, there are wonderful things there," said Father Burns. "What other archive would have a letter from Ghengis Khan's nephew, the love letters of Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn and the letters of Lucretia Borgia, showing what an accomplished, Princess Diana-like young woman she must have been? It is a Pandora's box."
But unlike British government archives which are released after 30 years, the Vatican has only got up to 1922.
Prof Borromeo thinks it is too late to change the image of the Inquisition, even though he thinks the correct picture of its activities has now emerged. "You cannot project backwards our modern morality to a society which did not know toleration, in politics as well as religion. Even one death for heresy is a problem."
Name of source: San Francisco Chronicle
SOURCE: San Francisco Chronicle (1-28-06)
"You're going to relegate my history to a month?" Freeman asked in an interview broadcast on"60 Minutes" in December."I don't want a black history month. Black history is American history."
Some African Americans agree that the observance belittles black history. But most prominent African Americans and historians say Freeman's thinking is wishful -- the reality is that black history isn't being taught and that trumpeting it, even for the shortest month of the year, is the best alternative.
"Without Black History Month, we wouldn't think about our history at all," said Tony Muhammad, a Nation of Islam minister in Los Angeles who does about 80 speaking engagements about black history from Kwanzaa through February each year."Every culture needs its identity. We should better use the month to tell the truth of our history and what black people have given to the world ... instead of leaving it to the Europeans."
Black History Month began as Negro History Week in 1926. Historian Carter G. Woodson picked the second week of February to mark the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and iconic abolitionist, orator and former slave Frederick Douglass.
In 1976, after supporters lobbied federal officials, the week was expanded to the entire month during the nation's bicentennial celebration.
Woodson didn't expect the celebration to last forever.
Name of source: Baltimore Sun
SOURCE: Baltimore Sun (1-28-06)
The money -- included in a recently approved transportation bill -- is expected to help complete decades of planning to replace a building that National Park Service officials believed was too small and limited from the time it opened in 1964.
SOURCE: Baltimore Sun (1-28-06)
There is a growing chorus of voices who think there ought to be a new museum here in Dorchester, where Tubman was born, to house artifacts associated with the Underground Railroad heroine, Civil War spy and nurse.
"We realize the value of Harriet Tubman now - people have opened their eyes and can see her importance," said Kay McKelvey, a retired teacher who runs an after-school mentoring program in Hurlock that she named for Tubman. "But we still don't have a school or a street named for her," she said, saying Tubman needs "official recognition."
State and local tourism officials say they are considering possible sites for a visitors' center that could double as a local Tubman museum. "The need for this kind of facility has grown exponentially," said Marcie Ross of Maryland's Office of Tourism. "It's still very much in the discussion stage, but we are considering some sort of major interpretive/education center focused on Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad."
As interest in Tubman grows, a headquarters/museum in downtown Cambridge, operated for more than 20 years by local volunteers known as the Harriet Tubman Organization, appears inadequate.
It lacks amenities such as computer access for visitors and security for artifacts and displays. The building's heating system has been out of commission lately, and a leaky roof is due for replacement soon. Volunteers aren't always available to lead guided tours when out-of-towners call.
Evelyn Townsend, a retired schoolteacher and principal who has led the organization for more than two decades, supports a modern facility to better serve visitors. Tubman's legacy, Townsend says, is big enough to accommodate this new surge of interest without displacing longtime volunteers.
Name of source: Discovery News
SOURCE: Discovery News (1-27-06)
The unusual burial is the first of its kind for Iran, and possibly for the rest of the world.
"He is holding a 26-centimeter dagger and appears to be making a forward thrust," said archaeologist Ali Mahforuzi, who led the excavation at Gohar Tepe, where the skeleton was found.
Gohar Tepe is located in northeastern Iran near the town of Behshahr and the Caspian Sea.
"Beside the skeleton, a number of dishes have also been found which seem to have been presented to the warrior," Mahforuzi said. "One of the dishes has some holes in it containing the remains of coal.
"Archaeologists had discovered such dishes before, but they could not determine their practical application; but the traces of coal indicate that the dish has been used for burning agalloch (a soft, fragrant wood) or other types of incense."
Name of source: zeenews.com
SOURCE: zeenews.com (1-29-06)
The seven-member Pakistani delegation here on the invitation of the Indian Council of Cultural Research (ICCR) regretted that the Musharraf government was making conscious efforts to see to it that history text books 'toed' the government line.
Mubarak Ali, head of the delegation participating in the Congress, the largest annual congregation of peers in the sub-continent, said here that like-minded historians in Pakistan were fighting against this phenomenon in the country.
"It has become a state policy to inculcate ideas that suit a particular ideology. This is unacceptable and flawed," Ali said in an interview on the sideline of the Congress.
The process of distortion, he alleged, was carried out in an elaborate and 'sophisticated' manner. Ali also alleged that particular events and personalities that suited the government's liking were selected to be part of the textbooks and interpretation of these subjects was strictly coherent with the government's stand.
Name of source: SF Chronicle
SOURCE: SF Chronicle (1-29-06)
This isn't how communities are stabilized. It's how they're eviscerated.
There was a time when Ford took a diametrically opposite approach to its workers, a trailblazing recognition that well-paid employees make for a more stable and productive company.
Those days are gone. But it's worth one last look in the rear-view mirror to see if any lessons can be learned as Ford and other automakers adjust to a new world order.
"The idea of treating workers better is still very much relevant today," said Howard Segal, a history professor at the University of Maine and author of "Recasting the Machine Age: Henry Ford's Village Industries."
"Henry Ford understood this," he said. "He knew that you have to make workers feel appreciated if you want a stable workforce."
As 1913 was drawing to a close, though, Ford was troubled. His introduction of the assembly line had allowed his namesake firm to crank out Model T cars every
24 seconds. But employee absenteeism was running about 10 percent a day, turnover was soaring and productivity was lagging.
Ford needed a way to attract the best workers and keep them steadily on the payroll, which in turn would improve the quality of his vehicles and thus increase market share.
His solution: In January 1914, Ford introduced a minimum wage of $5 a day, or about twice what other automakers were offering.
"The commonest laborer who sweeps the floor shall receive his $5 per day," Ford explained at the time. "We believe in making 20,000 men prosperous and contented rather than follow the plan of making a few slave drivers in our establishment millionaires."
He also believed in messing with people's lives through what Ford Motor Co.
called its Sociological Department. This was a team of investigators who visited workers' homes to ensure that they were living the sort of upright lifestyles that Henry Ford approved of.
Unless the Sociological Department signed off on a worker's moral qualifications, that $5 daily wage would remain out of reach.
David Gartman, a sociology professor at the University of South Alabama who has studied the auto industry, noted that Ford's workforce at this time was comprised largely of immigrants.
"Ford was concerned that just throwing money at people wouldn't do the trick,"
he said. "He wanted to introduce them to the American way of life -- buying houses, buying cars, taking care of their families. This in turn would tie them more tightly to the workplace."
Ultimately, he and other academics say that Ford was acting primarily out of economic self-interest when he doubled the pay of virtually his entire workforce.
They argue that stability for both employees and their employer comes only when both sides prosper. This creates a sense of mutual respect and a shared commitment to facing whatever challenges may come.
"The $5 minimum wage was a moment of real innovation," said Thomas Sugrue, a professor of history and sociology at the University of Pennsylvania who has written extensively about the auto industry.
"Ford created a stable, loyal workforce by paying more than a living wage to employees," he said. "This benefited the company but it also transformed the lives of working-class folk."
On the other hand, the $5 wage ended up going only part way toward achieving its goals. What Ford hadn't also addressed was the way his assembly lines had changed the workplace.
"It was brutal," said Segal at the University of Maine. "You were literally a cog in a machine. After a few years, Ford discovered that $5 a day would get people through the door, but it didn't guarantee a happy workforce."
Labor upheaval and unionization would gradually follow, accompanied by a shifting of the industry's focus away from employee well-being and toward increased automation.
"Since the 1950s, there's been very little innovation on the human-capital side," noted Sugrue at the University of Pennsylvania, "and it's hard to imagine it ever happening again."
Name of source: chichestertoday.co.uk
SOURCE: chichestertoday.co.uk (1-5-06)
But it will not mark the end of work elsewhere in the cathedral. And meanwhile, the task ahead is to raise more than £1,000 a week in the coming year and beyond.
Many thousands of people born and brought up in Chichester, as well as many who have moved to the city, will never have seen the cathedral without scaffolding on some part of it.
The restoration programme has been running for 42 years, and financed by the Cathedral Restoration and Development Trust for the past 25.
Name of source: Chronicle of Higher Education
SOURCE: Chronicle of Higher Education (1-27-06)
Scholars and public figures from the United States, Britain, and Israel said that virulent anti-Israel sentiment, much of it emanating from the academic left, has created an atmosphere in which students and faculty members in some fields are intimidated if they do not accept the proposition that Israel's existence is illegitimate.
The conference, entitled "Academic Freedom and the Politics of Boycotts," was sponsored by Bar-Ilan's International Advisory Board for Academic Freedom and the American Jewish Congress.
Last April, the Association of University Teachers in Britain called on its members to refrain from collaborating in academic or cultural projects with colleagues at Bar-Ilan and the University of Haifa, on the grounds that the two Israeli institutions were believed to have violated the rights of Palestinians and of faculty members who supported the Palestinian cause. The boycott was the latest in a series of actions taken by anti-Israel faculty members seeking to ostracize colleagues of Israeli nationality. The decision caused an outcry within the academic community in Britain, as well as in the United States, Israel, and elsewhere, and a month later it was rescinded....
David Newman, chairman of the political-science department at Ben Gurion University of the Negev, in southern Israel, criticized the conference organizers for not inviting or soliciting papers from any proponents of the boycott, and even from left-wing Israeli social scientists.
However, Gerald Steinberg, a Bar-Ilan political scientist who is chairman of the International Advisory Board for Academic Freedom's conference committee, defended that decision.
Name of source: Inside Higher Ed
SOURCE: Inside Higher Ed (1-27-06)
"To live in America is to live in a religiously charged atmosphere,” and that includes colleges — whether they like it or not. With those words, William M. Sullivan, a senior scholar at the Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching, summed up why 25 scholars — from a range of disciplines and faiths — have been working on a new statement about the role of religion on campuses. The Wingspread Declaration on Religion and Public Life: Engaging Higher Education is still only a draft. But the document, which comes out of discussions that started during the 2004 elections, was presented — and at times the subject of intense discussion — at the annual meeting of the Association of American Colleges and Universities on Thursday.
Name of source: National Security Archive
SOURCE: National Security Archive (1-27-06)
Represented by Matthew W.S. Estes, the scholars seek to alert the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit to the broad implications of the lower court’s ruling.
In the lower court, U.S. District Judge David Levi held that the CIA may categorically refuse to review for release all President's Daily Briefs, in perpetuity, regardless of their content, because the intelligence reports are a protected intelligence method. Attorney Matthew Estes commented, "Judge Levi's expansive ruling could reverse 40 years of access to historical CIA intelligence products. The decision is not required by the Freedom of Information Act or court precedents and, in fact, is in direct conflict with applicable Supreme Court holdings and Congressional action. It also represents poor public policy that runs counter to the principle that historical presidential records should be made public that has been cited by the Supreme Court, Congress and our past Presidents."
Further, Judge Levi held that the Briefs also could be categorically withheld because they are protected by a limitless presidential privilege for confidential communications with advisers. The scholars argue that this holding contradicts the Supreme Court's decision in the Nixon tapes cases that privilege erodes over time and Congress's clear finding in the 1978 Presidential Records Act that the privilege no longer applies 12 years after the president leaves office. Moreover, the rationale for the privilege makes no sense in light of the extensive public availability of President Johnson's deliberations, including over 400 hours of tapes of his oval office conversations.
Appelants include: American Historical Association, American Political Science Association, National Coalition For History, Organization Of American Historians, Presidency Research Group, Society Of American Archivists, Society For Historians Of American Foreign Relations, Barton J. Bernstein, Robert Dallek, Lloyd C. Gardner, Fred I. Greenstein, George C. Herring, Jeffrey P. Kimball, Stanley I. Kutler, Walter Lafeber, Anna Nelson, and Robert D. Schulzinger
EXCERPT FROM THE BRIEF
This case involves the question of whether two President's Daily Briefs ("PDBs") prepared by the Central Intelligence Agency ("CIA") 40 and 37 years ago for President Johnson should be subject to a blanket exemption from disclosure under the Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA") regardless of their contents. Although the FOIA request at issue involves only two specific PDBs, the district court's ruling was not based on the contents of those specific documents, but rather on broad principles that would exempt all PDBs from disclosure under FOIA in perpetuity, regardless of their content.1
The district court's broad holdings are not mandated either by FOIA or by any precedents interpreting FOIA. Instead, the court has gone well beyond any previous ruling regarding the applicability of exemptions from FOIA. Indeed, in some respects the court's decision represents a de facto overruling both of applicable Supreme Court precedent and Congressional findings. It is the broad nature of the district court's holdings that concerns the Amici and causes them to participate here. The Amici have no interest in the disclosure of materials that could threaten the national security or endanger sensitive intelligence sources or methods. The PDBs, however, provide a vital historical record of what issues were important to President Johnson and what information President Johnson consulted as part of his decision-making process. There has been no showing by the CIA that the release of PDBs from the Johnson administration, redacted to prevent disclosure of intelligence sources and methods, would have any material impact on national security. The Amici concede that it very well could be the case that more recent PDBs could be exempted from disclosure under FOIA for some period of time. However, it is not necessary for this Court to decide that issue, nor to define precisely how long such a blanket exemption should last. This Court need only find that PDBs are not subject to a blanket exemption from FOIA in perpetuity, and that PDBs from the Johnson administration should be released under FOIA, subject to redaction of specific references to intelligence sources and methods. ...
I. THE PDBs SHOULD NOT BE DEEMED TO BE AN "INTELLIGENCE METHOD"
One of the arguments made below by the CIA was that the PDBs should be considered an "intelligence method" subject to protection under the National Security Act, which charged the Director of the CIA with "protecting intelligence sources and methods from unauthorized disclosure." See 50 U.S.C. §§ 403-3(c)(7), 403g (2004).3 If accepted, this argument would entitle the CIA to withhold PDBs in response to FOIA requests under Exemption 3 of FOIA –which applies to information "exempted from disclosure by statute." 5 U.S.C. § 552(b)(3). Consequently, the CIA would be able to withhold PDBs in perpetuity, regardless of the age of the PDBs and regardless of their content.
Although the district court noted this argument in its discussion of whether FOIA Exemption 3 applies, 378 F.Supp. 2d at 1215, the court never specifically ruled whether the PDBs are an intelligence method in that section of its opinion. Instead, the district court addressed both this claim and the CIA's "mosaic theory" (discussed below), and concluded that Exemption 3 applies, without ever specifically stating which of the two CIA theories it adopted. 378 F. Supp. 2d at 1215-18. However, in a subsequent section of its opinion, the court stated that "the PDB is itself an intelligence method," to support its finding that the PDBs are exempt from disclosure in their entirety, regardless of their content Id. at 1222.
Because the district court never specifically articulated why it agreed that the PDBs should be considered to be an intelligence method, it is difficult to discern the exact basis for the court's conclusion. However, based on the record –principally the affidavit submitted by the CIA –it is clear that this finding is erroneous, whatever the court's reasoning....
1 The district court opinion is reported at Berman v. CIA, 378 F. Supp. 2d 1209 (E.D. Cal. 2005).
3 Subsequent to the date of Berman's FOIA request, the responsibility for protecting intelligence sources and methods has been transferred to the Director of National Intelligence. See Berman, 378 F.Supp 2d at 1214 n.5.
Name of source: MSNBC
SOURCE: MSNBC (1-27-06)
If that happens, here's the way the mission may be remembered:
Few people actually saw the Challenger tragedy unfold live on television.
The shuttle did not explode in the common definition of that word.
The flight, and the astronauts’ lives, did not end at that point, 73 seconds after launch.
There were pressures on the flight schedule, but none of any recognizable political origin. Claims that the disaster was the unavoidable price to be paid for pioneering a new frontier were self-serving rationalizations on the part of those responsible for incompetent engineering management — the disaster should have been avoidable.
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (1-27-06)
They came amid a storm provoked by an Iranian plan to stage a conference questioning the Holocaust, which Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad has described as a "myth."
At the site of the Auschwitz-Birkenau camp in southern Poland, the largest built by the Nazis, Polish Prime Minister Kazimierz Marcinkiewicz presided over ceremonies attended by camp survivors and the Jewish community.
Marcinkiewicz said it was impossible to be indifferent to the horrors of the Holocaust.
"The Nazis' Auschwitz camp is the biggest cemetery in Europe that has no tombs. It's all the more important to preserve the memory of what happened here ... as a warning for a world still full of hate and aggression," he said.
Historians estimate around 1.1 million men, women and children, most of them Jews from Germany and Nazi-occupied countries, died at Auschwitz-Birkenau between 1940 and 1945.
Earlier Friday during a visit to Switzerland, United Nations chief Kofi Annan denounced those who deny the mass murders committed by German dictator Adolf Hitler's Nazi regime.
Last November the UN General Assembly declared January 27 its official memorial day for the Holocaust -- the systematic slaughter by the Nazis of mainland Europe's Jews, as well as other groups, during World War II.
In Berlin, the speaker of the lower house of parliament, Norbert Lammert, said recent statements from Iran's Ahmadinejad denying the Holocaust showed the need to recall terrible crimes.
The solemn service in the Bundestag was accompanied by other events in Germany and across Europe.
One unusual act of remembrance took place in the Polish capital Warsaw Friday, where an empty tramcar bearing the Star of David in place of a number rolled through the streets.
The tram was identical to those that in the 1940s travelled through the Warsaw ghetto, which was created then annihilated by the Nazi occupiers.
Meanwhile, Poland's powerful Roman Catholic Church called on believers to light candles in their windows Friday at 4:00 pm (1500 GMT) in memory of those who perished in the Holocaust.
In Estonia, invaded by German troops in 1941, the government issued a statement expressing regret that some Estonians collaborated with the Nazi occupiers in perpetrating crimes against humanity as policemen or camp guards.
"There is no justification whatsoever for the participation of any person in those shameful and morally condemnable acts," the statement said.
In Lithuania, the ambassadors of Britain, Germany, Poland, Russia, the United States and other officials gathered at a memorial at Paneriai, close to the capital Vilnius, to listen to prayers.
Paneriai was the site of a Nazi death camp where some 100,000 people, mainly Jews, were killed between 1941 and 1943.
In Belgrade, where 5,000 Jews and Roma died in a concentration camp, Serbian Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica opened a monument to the memory of victims.
"We must fight against all types of intolerance, against racial, religious or national segregation and all sorts of exclusion," he said.
In Italy, a ceremony presided by Foreign Minister Gianfranco Fini marked the publication of a book about some 400 Italians who saved Jews from 1943 to 1945 during Nazi occupation.
Council of Europe chief Terry Davis warned that "61 years after the liberation of Auschwitz, Europe is not yet free of racism, anti-Semitism, prejudice against Roma or homophobia.
"If anything, it has added new forms of intolerance such as Islamophobia to this shameful list."
"We need deeds, not words" to fight discrimination, the secretary general of the democracy and rights body added.
Croatia's President Stipe Mesic said at a ceremony that young students should be taught about the Holocaust to ensure peace for future generations.
He reiterated criticism that Croatian schoolbooks virtually ignored the Holocaust and condemned public displays by nationalistic teenagers of symbols of Croatia's wartime pro-Nazi Ustasha regime, under which thousands of Jews, Roma, Serbs and anti-fascist Croatians were killed in concentration camps.
Ceremonies also took place in the Czech Republic, Finland, Norway, Spain and Sweden, with more planned over the weekend, including in Amsterdam and the Greek city of Salonica, whose thriving Jewish community was wiped out.
Name of source: Boston Globe
SOURCE: Boston Globe (1-26-06)
Orchestras halls and opera houses worldwide planned performances of his works. Piano students scheduled Mozart marathons and puppeteers were planning jubilee performances as hundreds of cities across five continents toasted the musical genius.
For mezzo-soprano Angelika Kirchschlager, Mozart is "a gift from God" and "the light I orient my life around."
Salzburg cabbie Andrea Gautsch put it more simply Friday: "For us, Mozart came with mother's milk."
Too much hoopla? Consider this: Mozart wrote his first symphonies before turning 10 and his first significant opera at 12. He was instrumental in changing opera into the form we enjoy today.
He was prolific like few others, creating at least 626 musical works despite living to only age 35. Other greats like Beethoven and Wagner publicly recognized their debt to him.
But he had plenty of detractors in his day.
Some history books depict his tenure in Salzburg ending ingloriously in 1781 with a kick in the bottom from a servant of a patron, the city's imperious archbishop, after Mozart refused to follow orders on how to compose.
Still, the town where he was born on Jan. 27, 1756, was Mozart Central on Friday.
Always a trove for Mozart kitsch, Salzburg has outdone itself. Stores are stocked with Mozart beer and wine, Mozart baby bottles, Mozart milkshakes, Mozart knickers and Mozart jigsaw puzzles -- along with the usual T-shirts, calendars and coffee mugs.
Salzburg was sprinkled with posters proclaiming "Happy Birthday Mozart" on Friday and the daily Salzburger Nachrichten displayed a full-page portrait of a serious-looking "Wunderkind" sitting at the harpsichord, as it proclaimed: "Salzburg celebrates its great son."
On the Salzburg schedule were Nikolaus Harnoncourt and the Vienna Philharmonic with Mozart's Piano Concert No. 18. Later, Riccardo Muti was to lead the orchestra -- and renowned singers -- through their paces in a collage of his works. Many of the 12 main events, including outdoor parties complete with mulled wine, were to start in the evening.
Salzburg visitors were advised to watch the calories. One of the attraction at an open-air event was a gargantuan birthday cake weighing in at more than 300 pounds.
In Salzburg's ornate Neue Residenz museum, visitors eyed Mozart's clothes brush and tobacco tins as they scurried through the "Viva Mozart" exhibit. Others at the interactive presentation joined in a minuet, under the watchful eyes of a dancemaster, dressed in 18th century garb.
"Front step, back, step, now back to your places," she intoned, as a group of Japanese tourists attempted to curtsy and pirouette in a clumsy copy of the bewigged and corseted dance troupe going through the movements in a live telecast behind them.
Vienna, which claims Mozart in his later years, was staging a new production of his "Idomeneo" in one of the city's three opera houses and reviving "The Magic Flute" in another.
Mozart ruled elsewhere as well.
Public broadcaster Swedish Radio set up an Internet radio station broadcasting Mozart music for 24 hours. The station will be up for at least five days, playing what Swedish Radio called "Wolfie's hits & misses." Public TV also honored Mozart with a 12-hour special.
Performances of his works were planned by orchestras or opera houses in New York, Moscow, Washington, Prague, London, Paris, Tokyo, Caracas, Quito, Havana, Mexico City, Taipei, Budapest and scores of other cities worldwide.
America's oldest orchestra, the New York Philharmonic, got a jump on the birthday by performing an all-Mozart program on Thursday night. The program, being repeated Friday and Saturday, included the orchestra's first ever performance of the uplifting "Coronation Mass," which Mozart wrote in 1779.
Even Nashville, more famous for country than classical, scheduled a musical tip of the hat to Amadeus, with the city's symphony orchestra performing his Piano Concerto No. 21.
Many classical radio outlets worldwide were reprogramming for the day to play only Mozart. Hundreds of marionettes were to take to the stage in excerpts of his operas in the German city of Augsburg, where his father was born.
Back in Salzburg, not everyone was in all-Mozart-all-the-time mode. Breakfast at the Hotel Auersperg was accompanied by the soft piped-in sounds of Beethoven's Seventh Symphony. But the seeming protest against too much Mozart was short-lived.
"Oops, how did that happen?" tittered waitress Anna Santiago, when asked about the choice of music. Within minutes, a Mozart concerto was wafting through the air.
Name of source: Chicago Tribune
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune ()
The vivid scene of animals real and mythical cavorting around the edge of lakes that once shimmered in Mexico City was painted by Aztec Indians in the early 1530s during a rare, brief moment of tolerance in an era when Spaniards were obliterating Aztec culture to cement their own rule.
Guilliem, who found the mural beneath the floor of a former Spanish convent, uses the beam to avoid treading on or touching the painting, done on the sides of a water holding pool that was later ceremonially crushed and buried. Because of the burial, the bottom half of the 16-yard-long mural was preserved. But the top half -- about one yard in height -- was broken into about 25,000 fragments, which archeologists must now painstakingly reassemble.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (1-27-06)
Researchers at the University of Minnesota have discovered a gene mutation in 11 generations of relatives who descended from Lincoln's grandparents. There's a 25 percent chance that Lincoln also inherited the gene, said Laura Ranum, a genetics professor who led the research.
"Because the historical literature talks about his clumsy gait ... it raises the possibility that that was caused by a mutation in this gene," Ranum said.
But since Lincoln has no living direct descendants, confirming whether the nation's 16th president had the defective gene would require that his DNA be taken from historical artifacts and tested _ an issue that has been debated over the years.
"What historical purpose would it serve? It (wouldn't) change the facts of how he became a great president," said Kim Bauer, Lincoln curator at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield, Ill. "I would fall on the side of leaving President Lincoln alone."
The new findings on the ataxia gene were reported this week in the online edition of the journal Nature Genetics. Since 1992, the Minnesota researchers have studied more than 300 members of the Lincoln family. About one-third of them have ataxia.
Terry Smith and Laurie Crary _ both ataxia sufferers and descendants of Abraham Lincoln's uncle Josiah Lincoln _ said they would like to know if the president had their disease.
"If a president had it, and he was disabled but still running the country, maybe people would lighten up on disabled people a little bit," said Smith, 57, of Manteca, Calif., who said he was once arrested for drunken driving because of the disease's symptoms.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (1-27-06)
``I have been really embarrassed by this,'' said Winfrey, whose praise for Frey's book in September helped make it the top-selling book on nonfiction lists in the United States last year.
``I really feel duped,'' she told Frey on her television show. She said he had betrayed millions of viewers.
At one point early in the interview Frey said he still viewed the work as a memoir, not a novel. By the show's end Winfrey made him admit he lied.
``This hasn't been a great day for me,'' he said. ``I feel like I came here and I have been honest with you. I have, you know, essentially admitted to ...''
``Lying,'' Winfrey interrupted.
``To lying,'' he said. ``It's not an easy thing to do in front of an audience full of people and a lot of others watching on TV. ... If I come out of this experience with anything it's being a better person and learning from my mistakes and making sure I don't repeat them.''
SOURCE: Reuters (1-26-06)
The Seoul High Court overturned two lower court decisions and found Dow Chemical Co. and Monsanto Co. negligent for manufacturing defoliants used by the U.S. military in the Vietnam War with an excess dioxin content, according to court papers.
"The ruling recognizes responsibility lies with the defendants, who were manufacturers of defoliants, for damages suffered by South Korea's veterans to the Vietnam War due to a product defect," the court said in a summary.
The ruling awarded damages ranging from 6 million won to 46 million won to the former veterans who brought the case in two class-action suits.
The defoliant Agent Orange was dumped by U.S. warplanes on Vietnamese forests between 1962 and 1971 to destroy sources of food and cover.
Among the chemical by-products of Agent Orange is dioxin, a compound that can cause cancer, deformities and organ dysfunction.
The chemical companies argued in U.S. cases they produced Agent Orange according to U.S. government specifications and that there has never been a proven connection between the agent and the health problems it is accused of causing.
In 1984, seven chemical companies, including Dow and Monsanto, agreed to settle out of court for $180 million with U.S. veterans who claimed Agent Orange caused cancer and other health problems.
More than 300,000 South Korean troops fought in the Vietnam with U.S.-led forces, historians said.
Due to problems arising from jurisdiction and the amount of time that has elapsed since the war, legal experts said it will be cumbersome or perhaps impossible for the veterans to collect damages, South Korean media reported.
The court upheld a separate lower court ruling denying 15 children of Vietnam War veterans seeking damages for claims that they inherited illnesses from their veteran fathers who were exposed to toxic agents.
SOURCE: Reuters (1-26-06)
The American's new film "Munich" was launched in 400 cinemas across Germany on Thursday after weeks of intense media coverage that revived unwanted memories of the shockingly inept handling of events that led to the slaying of 11 Israeli athletes.
Magazine cover stories and endless newspaper reports about "Munich" have rattled Germany -- though perhaps not as deeply as Spielberg's 1993 film "Schindler's List" -- as it gets ready to host the World Cup soccer tournament.
Some doubts about the country's ability to manage a tournament of the world's 32 top soccer nations have crept into the air, deflating confidence about its organizational skills in the run-up to its first major sporting event since 1972.
Palestinian gunmen killed two Israelis at the Olympic Village and took nine hostage on September 5, 1972. The Germans negotiated for hours before the hostages, five gunmen and a policeman were killed during a failed airport rescue attempt.
"Terror erupted in the middle of one of Europe's richest cities and the whole world watched on live television as Jews were once again killed in Germany," wrote Stern magazine in an eight-page cover story.
The best-selling weekly informed its German readers, most of whom do not associate Munich with the terror that struck the 1972 Olympics, that Israel leader Golda Meir later wrote the "disgraceful actions of the Germans made her 'physically ill."'
The film may be about Israel and the PLO, but Germany's woeful security and their amateurish police response have come into focus just as they were hoping to show the world a better Germany for the World Cup starting June 9.
"It was the West German government that was not able to protect the visitors from Israel," Michael Wolffsohn, a German Jewish leader and historian at the Germany army's military academy in Munich, told German radio, touching a raw nerve.
Spielberg's film also portrays the bungling by five men sent by Meir to track and kill members of the guerrilla group blamed for the raid. The assassins killed an innocent waiter.
"Munich created a national Israeli trauma," Spielberg said in an interview with Der Spiegel magazine published on Monday.
"I think Israel's prime minister had to react to the incredible provocation of Munich. Jews were killed in Germany and at the Olympics. It was an act of such historic dimension that it could not be left unpunished. In principle, I believe, she did the right thing."
The mass coverage of the film's release in Germany has been intense and has even begun to prompt a mild backlash.
"We've already shown you so much this week about Spielberg's film 'Munich' that today we promise you a 'Munich-free zone' here," said an ARD television host on Thursday.
Just as Spielberg's "Schindler's List" about a German industrialist who saved 1,100 Jews from concentration camps stirred a fresh round of profound soul-searching over the Holocaust, "Munich" has struck a chord.
"'Munich' is a watershed film for Spielberg the way 'Schindler's List' was before it," wrote the daily Die Welt.
A wealthy city of 1.2 million, Munich is the fun-loving Bavarian capital filled with yuppies who ski in the nearby Alps or sail on pristine lakes. Fortunes have been made in booming high tech industries. Unemployment is low and rents are high.
But dark memories that could mar Munich are blotted out -- in contrast to Berlin where the Nazi past is inescapable.
"Munich, despite objections being raised on it, is certainly the most inspiring and thoughtful film that will reach us this year from Hollywood," wrote Munich's Sueddeutsche Zeitung daily.
Name of source: Guardian (UK)
SOURCE: Guardian (UK) (1-26-06)
More than 60 members of the body's 315-seat assembly, made up of MPs from Europe's parliaments, were due to speak in a debate on a report by the conservative Swedish MP Goran Lindblad, which argued that 15 years after the collapse of the eastern bloc international condemnation of its governments' activities was "urgently necessary".
Mr Lindblad's motion also called for an international conference on the issue and urged former communist states to "revise school books to reflect what happened, establish museums documenting these crimes, and introduce a memorial day for the victims of communism".
The MP adopted the 100 million victim figure arrived at by Stéphane Courtois in his 1997 Black Book of Communism. The count includes 65m in China, 20m in the Soviet Union, 2m in North Korea, 2m in Cambodia, 1.7m in Africa, 1.5m in Afghanistan, 1m in Vietnam, 1m in east Europe and 150,000 in Latin America. (Mr Courtois puts the number of deaths due to Nazism at about 25m.)
Mr Lindblad listed communist regimes' crimes as "assassinations and executions, concentration camp deaths, starvation, deportation, torture, slave labour and other mass physical terror", saying they should be condemned like Nazis' crimes.
Council officials said 99 of the MPs present voted in favour of the motion, 42 opposed it and 12 abstained. Communist parties, mainly in western Europe, had reacted fiercely, saying the report deliberately failed to distinguish between the ideals of communism and its application by totalitarian regimes.
The Belgian Communist party, the PCB, called the motion "a violent attack on history, present and future of communism". The Greek KKE called it "a declaration of war and persecution against all communist parties", and Germany's PDS said it was "neo McCarthyism".
Mikis Theodorakis, the Greek composer, said: "In the name of our dead comrades, of those who passed through the hands of the Gestapo and the death camps ... shame on those who want to turn victims into executioners, heroes into criminals and communists into Nazis."
French communists said the motion "banalises the Holocaust" and "ignores the communist role in fighting fascism".
André Guerin, a Lyon MP, told Le Figaro that the council's idea was to "definitively bury the values of communism" and "make believe they are outmoded and that the only alternative is capitalism".
Protests were vigorous in Russia, where a survey found 50% of Russians felt Stalin had played a "positive role" in their history and 42% thought "somebody like him" would be helpful in Russia today.
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek ()
In June 1947, Capt.-Lt. Konstantin Tershkov of the Soviet Navy had a serious problem on his hands. He'd been ordered to dump 34,000 metric tons of captured Nazi chemical weapons into the deepest part of the Baltic Sea by the end of the summer. Since most Soviet merchant and military ships in the Baltic were laden with loot from defeated Germany, Tershkov commanded only two small freighters rented from the British and two Soviet Navy trawlers, plus a crew of German civilians press-ganged into duty. "At this rate the job will take us 10 months," he wrote in his diary, frustrated by the distance to his appointed dumping ground in the Gotland Basin, between Sweden and Latvia. Instead, the resourceful Tershkov suggested a closer alternative: a patch of 100-meter-deep water just off the tiny island of Kristanso, east of the Danish island of Bornholm. By December, Tershkov's task was completed.
Almost 60 years later, his choice of a dumping ground is turning out to be a fateful one.
Name of source: Bloomberg News
SOURCE: Bloomberg News (1-25-06)
Plans to build a $100 million American Revolution museum at Valley Forge, 20 miles northwest of Philadelphia, are ``in crisis,'' Rendell said in a letter last month to Interior Department Secretary Gale Norton. The U.S. government should consider returning the park or give the state 100 acres to complete the project itself, Rendell wrote.
``The museum makes sense,'' said Gordon Wood, a history professor at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and author of ``The Radicalism of the American Revolution.'' ``We don't have one, and the American Revolution is the most important event in our history. We don't really celebrate it properly.''
The American Revolution Center would house about 300,000 documents and artifacts that are scattered around the Philadelphia area, including Washington's tent. Both private donations and government money would finance the project.
The park service said it would cost $9 million a year to run the center at the proposed size of 90,000 square feet, exceeding Valley Forge's annual budget and leaving taxpayers on the hook.
``What they were proposing was something huge,'' said John Wright, a spokesman for the Interior Department, which oversees the park service. ``We need to be in tune with and sensitive to a lot of things in managing these parks efficiently and effectively -- and we answer to the taxpayers.''
Name of source: National Geographic News
SOURCE: National Geographic News (1-25-06)
"[Neandertal] hunting patterns were indistinguishable in terms of the species they targeted and the ages of the animals they killed," said lead study author Daniel Adler, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Connecticut in Storrs.
The study is described in the February 2006 issue of the journal Current Anthropology.
Name of source: Toqueville Connection
SOURCE: Toqueville Connection (1-26-06)
The president accepted advice from a parliamentary committee to resort to a rarely-used constitutional procedure in order to remove the offending article -- which appears in a government bill passed a year ago providing financial compensation to repatriated colonials.
The clause is to be referred to the country's constitutional council -- a nine-member body that decides on the constitutionality of laws -- on the grounds that it is outside the competence of the legislature.
Article Four of law 2005-158 states that "scholastic programmes recognise in particular the positive role of the French overseas presence, especially in north Africa, and accord to history and to the sacrifices of army soldiers from these territories the eminent place that they deserve."
At Chirac's request, the constitutional council is expected to rule that school texts are fixed by government regulation not by law, and that the clause is therefore unsustainable.
The device provides the government with a get-out from a highly embarrassing episode, which further damaged relations with the country's black and Arab populations just as the country was reeling from last November's rioting in high-immigration suburbs.
The clause was introduced as a private amendment to the wider law by a right-wing member of Chirac's Union for a Popular Movement (UMP), and it went unnoticed for several months until a petition circulating on the Internet began to draw the media's attention.
Academics said the article was a flagrant intrusion by politicians into the realm of historical debate, while left-wingers accused the government of trying to lay down an official version of the colonial past that ignored its huge human cost.
Opposition drew to a head shortly after last year's riots when Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy was forced to cancel a trip to France's territories in the Caribbean because of a threat of anti-government demonstrations -- even though he made clear he personally had little truck with the law.
Virtually the whole political class expressed satisfaction Thursday with the apparent resolution of the impasse. Veteran Affairs Minister Hamlaoui Mekachera, who drafted the overall law, said Chirac's intervention was a "solution of wisdom and conciliation."
For Christiane Taubira, a black legislator from French Guyana, the decision was one of "lucidity, wisdom and courage which will finally bring an element of reconciliation and allow us to cool down the debate."
The Algerian government, which vehemently opposed the law, also expressed satisfaction, with a spokesman for the ruling coalition partner the National Democratic Rally (RND) saying its abandonment could open the way to a long-awaited treaty of friendship between the countries.
But some historians remain concerned about the on-going temptation among French politicians to make legislative pronouncements on historical events, and are campaigning for three other laws to be repealed.
These are a 2001 law recognising the Turkish massacres of Armenians in 1915 as genocide; a law from the same year recognising slavery as a crime against humanity; and a 1990 law which makes it a criminal offence to deny certain defined crimes against humanity.
"We have to abrogate all these so-called laws of memory. Even if they are well-intentioned, they end up trying to impose a particular vision of history," said Paris-based historian Jean-Jacques Becker, a specialist in World War I.
Name of source: Bangor Daily News
SOURCE: Bangor Daily News (1-26-06)
Although Rice wrote "Baseball's First Indian-Louis Sockalexis: Penobscot Legend, Cleveland Indian" to make a case for Sockalexis, he did not have solid proof that the Penobscot Indian was the first. He believes he has that now in the form of the 1919 death certificate of James Madison Toy, who is currently recognized as the first American Indian to play professionally.
The delivery of a copy of that document caused Rice to set aside his chores that afternoon. On the death certificate, Toy's race is listed as white.
Information about Toy's father included on the death certificate makes Rice confident he has all the evidence he needs to prove that Sockalexis' name should be restored after a National Baseball Hall of Fame historian proclaimed Toy, who was said to be a Sioux Indian, was the first American Indian to play professionally in a 1963 paper.
"I want to turn this argument around," Rice said. "It's 43 years of a hoax as far as I'm concerned. It wasn't a deliberate hoax, but it was a hoax. A document puts me on the offensive rather than the defensive."
The offensive for Rice will likely mean notifying the Hall of Fame of his discovery. Rice is in contact with a number of people there, including librarian Jim Gates. Rice, who is teaching journalism classes at the University of Maine, has called a press conference for 1:30 p.m. today at the UM campus to announce his findings.
Hall of Fame Director of Research Tim Wiles declined to comment on Rice's findings. Spokesman Brad Horn said the Hall would look at the death certificate when Rice sends a copy to Cooperstown.
"As a research institute we always like to look at new information," Horn said. "We'd like to take a look at everything that is a part of baseball history."
It's unlikely the Hall of Fame would make any proclamation about Sockalexis, Horn added, but his picture and information could be displayed in the museum if an exhibition calls for them.
"It's not our job to do that," Horn said. "Our job is to present the history of the game."
The copy of the death certificate will go into the Hall's library files about Sockalexis, Toy and American Indians in baseball.
Rice has said he doesn't dispute that Toy may have had Indian blood - many people do, he said - but it was likely that Toy was never subjected to the daily prejudices that Sockalexis faced at the ballpark.
Sockalexis had a bright but brief career playing outfield for the Spiders, as the Cleveland team was then known, and batted .328 through July 3, 1897, to rank behind future Hall of Famers Honus Wagner and Big Ed Delehanty.
He was out of major league baseball two years later because of injuries and alcohol abuse and died in 1913.
Toy played from April 20, 1887, through July 30, 1890, and had a .222 career batting average. Sockalexis' career batting average was .313, according to the CNN/SI.com Web site.
Rice's breakthrough - the discovery that Toy had died in a different town in Pennsylvania than Rice had believed based on his research for the book - came just a few weeks ago.
Ever since the book was published in 2003, Rice has talked to different groups around Maine about Sockalexis' story. He spoke last June at a symposium in Cooperstown, N.Y., the site of the Hall of Fame.
After he met with members of the Bangor Rotary in early December, Rice was approached by Michael Palmer.
Palmer, the vice president and general manager of Bangor television station WVII, is interested in baseball and genealogy and told the author about a number of different research routes Rice could have taken.
In his research about Toy, Rice found that he was born in Beaver Falls, Pa., and was buried there, but Rice's understanding was that the records had been destroyed in a town office fire in the 1920s.
Working on his own, Palmer found that Toy had died in the town of Cresson, Pa., and not Beaver Falls. According to www.baseball-reference.com, Toy died in Cresson.
Palmer notified Rice who contacted the town and the Pennsylvania Division of Vital Records.
Rice found he could get a copy of Toy's death certificate, but only if he was related to Toy. He marked on the form that he was kin and submitted it electronically to the records department. When an official called a few hours later to find out how he was related to Toy, Rice lied and said he was a great-great cousin in Maine.
"I just took a deep breath and thought, if there's a record, God, why aren't I entitled to get it out there into the public domain?" Rice said. "I don't see that I'm doing harm other than I'm trying to get my hands on a record once and for all."
The death certificate arrived a few days later on the Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. holiday._Rice was home preparing for the next semester of classes he was to teach and catching up on housework when he sat down and read the document.
The word "white" in the Color or Race section of the death certificate first caught his eye. Caught off-guard momentarily, it didn't take Rice long to realize what he was holding in his hands.
"I'm stunned," he said. "I've never had a document in my hands to be able to say to the folks back at the Baseball Hall of Fame, we've got to really take another look at this whole James Madison Toy file."
But that wasn't all the death certificate revealed. Through his own research Rice had unearthed Toy's mother's maiden name and determined she came from a white family, but Rice was never able to find Toy's father's name. Now, thanks to the death certificate, he had that. Toy's father's name was James Toy and the document stated he was born in Pennsylvania.
James Toy's name disappeared from census records after James Madison Toy was born in 1858.
Palmer set about researching Toys in other parts of the country who claimed American Indian heritage. He was unable to find any in the east or central parts of the U.S., but found some among Ute Indians in Colorado.
However, plenty of Toys live in Beaver County, Pa. Palmer was unable to find the exact line from which James Madison Toy was descended, but he did find that the Toys there were all born in Pennsylvania or had emigrated from Ireland.
"That is huge," Rice said. "We're talking about a man who is supposed to be a Sioux Indian. What's a Sioux Indian doing off the reservation in the early 1800s? This is a grown man who is no longer living with his people in the Dakota country where the Sioux lived. He's just wandering around."
Hoping that the Hall of Fame might see it that way, too, Rice intends to submit what he's found and try again to convince officials in Cooperstown of his belief that Sockalexis was the first American Indian to play professional baseball.
Rice plans to submit his new material to national news outlets such as Sports Illustrated and ESPN, which he said have rejected his story ideas in the past.
Rice said he doesn't feel vindicated, but having an official piece of paper strengthens his argument.
"I just wanted to present the idea that Louis was recognized as an Indian and faced all this prejudice," Rice said. "... I feel as though we've really flipped the balance on the scales right now. Now I have a document."
Name of source: China View
SOURCE: China View (1-25-06)
The paintings in Altay, in the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, "have been verified as humans hunting while skiing and, therefore, archaeologists can prove the Altay region to be a place of skiing some 100 to 200 centuries ago," the news agency said.
Wang Bo, a noted researcher with the Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Regional Museum, said he had seen a picture of four people chasing cattle and horses, three of them on a long rectangular board with poles in their hands.
"Hence, he held these instruments are skis and ski poles," Xinhua said.
Name of source: CBC
SOURCE: CBC (1-26-06)
Representatives from the federal and Berlin's municipal government announced the new venture Wednesday, saying that they had chosen a local architecture firm to complete the project, estimated to cost nearly $25 million US.
Historian Andreas Nachama, former head of the Jewish Community in Berlin and head of the foundation overseeing the project, said officials had reviewed more than 300 proposals.
Construction of the new centre is scheduled to begin in late 2007 and take two years, after which more time will be needed to install the exhibition, he said.
Nachama is director of the Topography of Terror Foundation, which has maintained an open-air memorial to Nazi victims at the site since 1987. The current exhibit features the excavated and preserved ruins of the former Gestapo building.
Located in downtown Berlin, the former Nazi headquarters was a hub of power during the 1930s and 1940s. SS leader Heinrich Himmler worked from the complex, which was also where the final stages of the Holocaust were planned. The former "Checkpoint Charlie" border security station for the Berlin Wall is also located nearby.
In the early 1990s, Berlin's municipal government chose Swiss architect Peter Zumthor to build a similar museum. Work began in 1997, but the project was scrapped in 2004 because of spiralling costs and construction delays. Officials eventually tore down the partly built structure.
Once completed, the new museum will be Berlin's third major memorial and exhibition focussing on the horrors of the Second World War and Germany's Nazi past. The Daniel Libeskind-designed Jewish Museum, which opened in 2001, is one of the city's most-visited landmarks, and a Holocaust memorial, designed by U.S. architect Peter Eisenman, opened in May 2005.
Name of source: Newsday
SOURCE: Newsday (1-26-06)
Published in 1995, "The Well" by Mildred Taylor is about a black family in early 20th century Mississippi that has the town's only working well and shares its water with neighbors, including members of a white family who use the racial epithet.
The book had been included on a list for students at the H. Ashton Marsh School. The Board of Education voted Tuesday to remove it pending a review by a committee of faculty members and citizens about whether it is appropriate for use at all, The Press of Atlantic City reported Wednesday.
"We will respect the concerns presented and hold off on reading the book," said Schools Superintendent James Giaquinto.
Fourth-grade teacher Terry Maher said the students who were to read it have already been taught about the mistreatment of certain groups of people.
"The word is not taught in the book, the word is hated in the book," Maher said. "The book has gotten rave reviews. We would be sorry to lose it."
But one parent who turned out for the board meeting said it was wrong to let children read a book containing the slur.
"If children hear it, and are allowed to read it in class, it legitimizes it," said Robert Preston. "It gives them ammunition to tease others, without really understanding."