The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today


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50 years ago, young civil rights activists boarded buses and trains to beat Jim Crow

Celebrated former Chicago Sun-Times columnist Dave Hoekstra unearths stories as he travels, tastes, and talks his way through 20 of America's soul food restaurants Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Bush to baked cheese grits and scolding Barack Obama for putting Tabasco sauce on her gumbo. Following the "soul food corridor" from the South through northern industrial cities, The People's Place gives voice to the remarkable chefs, workers, and small business owners who provided sustenance and a safe haven for civil rights pioneers, not to mention presidents and politicians; music, film, and sports legends; and countless everyday, working-class people.

Featuring photographs, recipes, and ruminations from notable regulars—including Minnijean Brown, one of the Little Rock Nine who integrated Little Rock Central High School in ; former congressman and Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young; jazz legend Ramsey Lewis; James Meredith, the first African American student admitted to the segregated University of Mississippi; and many others—The People's Place is an unprecedented celebration of soul food and community.

Today we have Dominique Dawes , the first African-American female gymnast to win an individual medal. If I could choose to have dinner with somebody who has passed away, I would choose to dine with Mother Angelica. She is the only woman to have founded and led a cable network for over 20 years. Mother Angelica would understand this meal: She was raised around blacks and poor Italians in a tough Canton, Ohio, neighborhood. She knew people, she understood their plights, she was one of them!

And she knew resilience most of all, raised by a single mother from an early age after her father had abandoned them. I often wondered how she overcame this abandonment, learned to forgive her father and ultimately trust in God? She was a cloistered nun, in a convent, yet she was seen by hundreds of millions of people worldwide as the host of a series on EWTN. How was she able to embrace both of these so very opposite vocations?

I am an introvert by nature, and performing in front of millions during the Olympic Games gave me anxiety, as does speaking at events in front of thousands now. And I would ask her how I might help others, whether they suffer from anxiety, depression, addiction, physical ailments or the pain of abandonment or divorce.

Her whole life, after all, was dedicated to helping others, especially the disenfranchised. Mother Angelica, I would ask, how can we here on earth emulate what you did, even in a smaller way, offering help to others in a world that so desperately needs it? The Sultan of Swat. The Caliph of Clout. The Great Bambino.

When baseball fans hear these monikers, nearly 70 years after Babe Ruth died on Aug. But before Ruth tantalized fans with his prodigious power, he was practically helpless. From the time he was 7 years old, Ruth grew up in St. He might have amounted to nothing without the help of one dedicated mentor. George Herman Ruth Jr. His mother was the former Katherine Schamberger. He was a rambunctious child who routinely skipped school, drank and taunted local police officers around his home. He became so unruly that his parents sent him to St. At St. His parents had signed over custodial rights to the school and essentially washed their hands of him, leaving Ruth alone and desperately in need of a father figure.

Then he met Brother Matthias, a brawny, 6-foot-6 disciplinarian and assistant athletic director at St. Matthias was widely credited with introducing Ruth to baseball. Ruth learned to play during the dead-ball era of the early 20th century, when hitters swung down on the ball, kept it inside the park and relied on speed as their greatest asset. Baseball was strategic, built on grounders, bunts and stolen bases instead of power. Matthias had a different approach.

He belted majestic fly balls deep into the St. That summer he was acquired by the Boston Red Sox, for whom he would win his first three championships as a pitcher and an outfielder. Ruth played 15 seasons with the Bombers, amassing four more championships. His records include a. An inveterate cigar smoker, he learned he had throat cancer a decade later and died from the disease on this day in Most boxers battle for the title, money and acclaim.

Stevenson, who stood 6 feet 5 inches, weighed pounds and battered opponents with a deft left jab and a sledgehammer straight right, won three consecutive Olympic heavyweight gold medals for Cuba, in in Munich, in Montreal and in Moscow. His victory made him the first Olympic boxer to earn three consecutive gold medals in the same division. But he might have had a chance for another: Stevenson was still a tremendous fighter when Cuba boycotted the Olympics in Los Angeles.

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He won the last of his three amateur boxing world titles two years later at the age of After his first two medals, boxing promoters were practically slavering at the potential ticket sales of a Cold War-era match between Stevenson, a product of Communist Cuba, and Muhammad Ali , who died in June at Ali told The New York Times in that he thought Stevenson was a promising amateur fighter but that he was probably not ready for the pros. Stevenson never took the bait. He had remained a promising amateur at his death, in Havana on June 11, You make a lot of money, but how many boxers in history do we know that died poor?

While the world was consumed with war in the first half of the s, three men were subsumed with growing unrest across India, with the fates of tens of millions of their compatriots in their hands. At the stroke of midnight on Aug. But there was a fatal flaw: There were no borders. Indians had struggled for decades to rid themselves of British rule, galvanized by the nonviolent movement led by Gandhi. Their efforts were kept in check by ruthless military force, but by the end of World War II, Britain lacked the will and the means to defeat the campaign.

They reluctantly relinquished India after years, leaving the country at the brink of implosion. Gandhi, Nehru and Jinnah were divided on what should happen once the British left. Gandhi, more an idealist than a realist, wanted an undivided nation; he chose to remain out of government. The British negotiated with the Muslim League, led by Jinnah, who believed that a separate state was the only way to protect the rights of Muslims, who were a minority; and the mostly Hindu Indian National Congress, led by Nehru, who grudgingly went along with the British decision to divide India on the basis of religion.

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But it prolonged the uncertainty for millions and very likely increased the loss of life to come. Shortly before the clock struck midnight on Aug. Those stirring words met the occasion, but had no effect on the swirling chaos on the ground as mobs sought on their own to determine the religious makeup of towns and villages. Communities that had lived together for centuries viciously turned on each other.

The borders were announced two days after independence: Hindu-majority India flanked by Muslim-majority West Pakistan and East Pakistan. Up to 15 million people moved across the two borders in less than a year, one of the fastest mass migrations in history. Millions of Muslims fled India, most heading west. About the same number of Hindus and Sikhs went mostly east into the new India. About one million people were killed. On Jan. Nehru ruled for 17 years and died on May 27, Those hastily drawn borders by the British became the focus of four wars and seven decades of animosity between India and Pakistan.

For many millions on the subcontinent today, all the promise that came with independence remains unfulfilled. Were you, a family member or your community personally affected by the partition of India? First and last preferred, please. You are agreeing that we can use your submission in all manner and media of The New York Times and that we shall have the right to authorize third parties to do so. And you agree to our Terms of Service. Robin Williams, an indefatigable, improvisational genius, arrived on screens as an alien and left as an Academy Award-winning actor.

After his death , two years ago today, The New York Times described him like this:. Onstage he was known for ricochet riffs on politics, social issues and cultural matters both high and low; tales of drug and alcohol abuse; lewd commentaries on relations between the sexes; and lightning-like improvisations on anything an audience member might toss at him. His gigs were always rife with frenetic, spot-on impersonations that included Hollywood stars, presidents, princes, prime ministers, popes and anonymous citizens of the world.

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His irreverence was legendary and uncurtailable. We remember Williams with some of our favorite scenes and lines some of which contain strong language , and encourage readers to do the same on Twitter using tellnyt. Williams broke through to mainstream audiences on this quirky sitcom, in which he played Mork from Ork, a sweet, goofy alien who befriends a young Colorado woman.

Stick that sword into that snake! He voiced an unforgettably zany blue genie in the Walt Disney feature. Oh, dear. Well, they say a man who has to buy a big car like that is trying to compensate for smaller genitals. Williams played an actor who cross-dressed as a British housekeeper to spend more time with his children in this family comedy.

Babe Didrikson preferred victory to humility. Didrikson backed up her swagger; There was seemingly no sport she could not master. Some teams had as many as 22 athletes, but Didrikson performed solo in all of the events as a publicity stunt for her sponsor. She won five individual events, tied in a sixth and won the championships single-handed.

At the Games, Didrikson won gold medals in both the javelin throw and the high hurdles. In the high jump, she cleared 5 feet 5 inches, the same as gold medalist Jean Shiley. But she was disqualified on her final jump and awarded the silver medal after a judge ruled her technique had violated Olympic rules, even though the issue had not been raised in earlier rounds.

The fact that Didrikson won only three medals also deserves an asterisk. Women were limited to three Olympic track and field events in , so Didrikson could possibly have won more had she been allowed to compete. She had only taken up the sport in , but had tackled it with the same drive she brought to all of her athletic endeavors. She met her future husband, the professional wrestler George Zaharias, when they were paired to play golf together at a tournament. She took his surname when they married in She developed an aggressive, dramatic style, hitting down sharply and crisply on her iron shots like a man and averaging yards off the tee with her woods.

As an amateur golfer, Zaharias once won 14 tournaments in a row. Zaharias beat Betty Hicks by 12 strokes in the United States Open, an astonishing margin considering that Zaharias had been treated for colon cancer in and had undergone a colostomy. Zaharias became a spokeswoman for cancer awareness and toured for as long as she could, but the disease returned.

She died from it in September Eisenhower said at the time. Sports Illustrated lauded her as the woman Athlete of the 20th Century in individual sports. A few seconds, perhaps a fraction of a second, can mean the difference between victory and defeat, between becoming a legend or leaving as a footnote. Yet that lifetime of training, which propelled Owens into the history books with his performance in the Games in Berlin, seemed for a time as if it might be of little use.

With the rise of Nazi Germany roiling Europe, the Amateur Athletic Union remained divided in over whether to allow American athletes to compete in Berlin; it ultimately approved their participation, but only by a narrow vote. The purpose of the Olympics, anyway, was to do your best. The A. Owens, who was black, was encouraged by some civil rights groups to boycott the games. After deciding to go, he found a chilly reception in Germany, where claims of Aryan supremacy were central to Nazi ideology.

He was called racial epithets and subjected to other mistreatment. To the dismay of Hitler and the Nazis, Owens went on to win four gold medals — in the long jump, meter dash, the meter dash and the 4x meter relay — more than any other American track and field athlete in a single Olympic Games. His long jump record, of 8. The son of a sharecropper and grandson of a slave, James Cleveland Owens was born on Sept. Sickly in his youth, he went by the nickname J.

But it was his time at Ohio State University that proved crucial in his development. For all his record-breaking Olympic success overseas, his return home was sobering. President Franklin D. Unlike modern-day athletes who can be paid handsomely through endorsements and other commercial deals, Owens had to take myriad jobs to support his family. He later became a motivational speaker and public relations representative.

In , President Gerald R. Ford awarded him the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the highest honor given to civilians in the United States. Owens died from complications related to lung cancer on March 31, In Rio, the heirs of Owens, like Usain Bolt of Jamaica and Allyson Felix of the United States, are looking to carve their own names in Olympic history, propelled by the chance for glory, pride for country and perhaps, as Owens had expressed, a simple love for the sport.

Yauch, known as MCA, was born 52 years ago on this day in Brooklyn. He attended Edward R. It became the first hip-hop album to reach No. Born and bred in Brooklyn the U. Yauch became a supporter of feminism and a practicing Buddhist, creating the Milarepa Fund to support Tibetan independence from China. A series of Tibetan Freedom Concerts raised awareness for his cause. In , the Beastie Boys offered a post-Sept. Offstage, Yauch, Horovitz and Diamond were businessmen, too. In , they started Grand Royal, their label and magazine. Hans Christian Andersen , whose fairy tales endure more than a century after his death on this day in , had a childhood as difficult as those of his plucky protagonists.

Born on April 2, , in Odense, Denmark, Andersen grew up in stark poverty, but his father, a shoemaker, cultivated his imagination. Andersen was a solitary child who spent most of his time making costumes for puppets and enacting plays on a model stage his father had built for him. He headed for Copenhagen when he was just a teenager. Many of his stories featured children who persevered in the face of ridicule, ignorance and evil.

In time, Andersen became famous and traveled around Europe, meeting celebrities like Charles Dickens. So the opening line of his autobiography is hardly hyperbolic. When Henri Cartier-Bresson first picked up a tiny Leica 35mm film camera in , he began a visual journey that would revolutionize 20th-century photography.

His camera could be wielded so discreetly that it enabled him to photograph while being virtually unseen by others — a near invisibility that turned photojournalism into a primary source of information and photography into a recognized art form. In , he and Robert Capa helped create the photographer-owned cooperative photo agency Magnum.

Though he often focused on the human condition in his photographs, Cartier-Besson would often look at his contact sheets or prints upside down to judge the images separate from any social content. They stood as rigorous compositions on their own. His signature shooting technique was to find a visually arresting setting for a photograph and then patiently wait for that decisive moment to unfurl. They also admired his coolness under pressure. The director Louis Malle remembered that, despite all the turmoil at the peak of the student protests in Paris in May , Mr.

Cartier-Bresson took photographs at the rate of only about four an hour. With the primacy of digital photography and social media in the 21st century, slow, painstaking image-making is becoming a relic. Photographers and their images now move at a pace as fast as the events swirling around them. Photographs are no longer rare artifacts, nor primarily a means of learning about the exotic or unknown.

They arrive instantaneously on our phones every day from every corner of the world and from all kinds of people. With a smart phone, everyone is a photographer, and images compete for crowd approval on social media channels like Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook. Or are they even more instructive today? Respond on Twitter using the hashtag tellnyt. James Baldwin, whose cutting, unequivocal writing about race relations helped make America more equal than it was before, was born on this day in , according to many accounts.

The Times wrote in his obituary on Dec. I imagine one of the reasons people cling to their hates so stubbornly is because they sense, once hate is gone, they will be forced to deal with pain. What is ghastly and really almost hopeless in our racial situation now is that the crimes we have committed are so great and so unspeakable that the acceptance of this knowledge would lead, literally, to madness. The human being, then, in order to protect himself, closes his eyes, compulsively repeats his crimes, and enters a spiritual darkness which no one can describe. Only white Americans can consider themselves to be expatriates.

Once I found myself on the other side of the ocean, I could see where I came from very clearly, and I could see that I carried myself, which is my home, with me. You can never escape that. I am the grandson of a slave, and I am a writer. I must deal with both. I was a maverick, a maverick in the sense that I depended on neither the white world nor the black world. It gave me another touchstone — myself.

On March 10, , Professor Alexander Graham Bell stood in a Boston boarding house holding a receiving device connected to a series of wires that ran into an adjacent room. There, his assistant, Thomas A. Watson , waited patiently, clutching another receiver to his ear. Come here! I want—! I heard you! From that experiment using just a few feet of wire would grow an industry that would transform the world. Alexander Graham Bell — who died at 75 on this day in at his estate in Nova Scotia in Canada — was fascinated by speech, sound and communication from a very young age.

He was homeschooled by his father, a phoneticist and the developer of Visible Speech, a series of symbols designed to aid the deaf in oration. Bell moved to Boston in the early s and there used methods that he had learned from his father to teach deaf students. His techniques proved so useful that he eventually taught them to others as a professor at the Boston University School of Oratory. During these years he continued his research into sound at the university, experimenting with electricity.

He hired Watson, an electrical designer and mechanic, for his electrical expertise. Soon they were collaborating on acoustic telegraphy, hoping to transmit a human voice by means of pulses along a telegraph wire. Bell was granted a patent for the telephone — No. The patent, however, proved controversial from the start. Even though Bell is known as the father of telephony, his claim as its inventor has been challenged repeatedly in hundreds of legal cases, some of which have appeared before the United States Supreme Court.

He would go on to undertake important work in fields such as hydrofoils and aeronautics; make early advances in the creation of the metal detector; and develop a wireless telephone, called the photophone. Well, fairy tales have a way of coming true in science and invention. I often wonder what Yves Saint Laurent, who was born on this day in , would think of the modern fashion world.

This is in part because his name has been in the news recently, given the upheaval at the brand he built, where yet another creative director will debut a newish vision for the label next month. In fact, he never saw them as causes per se, but rather as simply part of the definition of what it meant to be modern. Saint Laurent was among the first designers to embrace black models on the runway, claiming such women as Iman, Katoucha Niane and Dalma Callado as his muses.

Naomi Campbell credits him with getting her her first French Vogue cover. Yet every season, we still seem to have the same discussion about the color myopia of the industry. The power of pantsuits? He understood what they could mean for women back in , when he unveiled his first Le Smoking: a tuxedo for women worn with a ruffled white shirt and a satin cummerbund. The idea shocked the world then.

The New York socialite Nan Kempner was turned away from Le Cote Basque for wearing hers, only to return having divested herself of the trousers and wearing the jacket as a mini-dress. That was, somehow, more acceptable to the management. The democratization of fashion? Saint Laurent popularized the idea of high fashion ready-to-wear, introducing Rive Gauche, his Left Bank boutique and off-the-rack collection, in He was the first couturier to make his clothes available to consumers beyond the gilded doors of the haute salons.

Now e-commerce has moved the dial even further, and for the first time this season three designers Tom Ford, Tommy Hilfiger and Burberry will be showing clothes that can be bought the next day, instead of six months down the line. So maybe Mr. Saint Laurent, who died on June 1, , would be rolling his eyes. Maybe he would be laughing. But the breathtaking disclosure was delivered with a major caveat: The practical application of the discovery, if any, would take 25 years.

That prediction, as it turned out, was off by a long shot. Hahn made his discovery in his laboratory at the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute in Berlin, working with his assistant, Fritz Strassmann. Hahn said after the war that he had opposed Nazism. But the process of splitting the uranium atom would not be labeled nuclear fission until later, and Hahn himself, as a chemist rather than a physicist, initially described his discovery in the most equivocal terms. Hahn later said that he had never believed that his discovery would have military implications.

He later became an antiwar activist who opposed nuclear proliferation and expressed his fears in this rhyme:. American elections — and the American electorate — grow more complex and confounding every campaign cycle. George H. Gallup, who died 32 years ago this week at age 82 , could not, and probably would not, tell you who he thought would win in November.

But he could tell you what forces were driving public opinion, from fear of crime and terrorism to a widespread unease about rapid cultural and demographic changes. And he most certainly would have pointed out the flaws in a presidential primary system that produced two candidates with such high negative ratings and so many voters in despair. Gallup, an Iowan with a commanding presence and a bone-crushing grip, would also undoubtedly have strong feelings about the profound changes roiling the polling industry.

His organization pioneered many of the advances in measuring public opinion , including use of the telephone rather than mail or face-to-face interviews. That technology is now under scrutiny, as more and more pollsters are turning to the internet and mobile devices to conduct surveys. Gallup and The New York Times rely almost exclusively on telephone polling, but are experimenting with reaching the public in other ways.

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A Gallup poll famously predicted that Thomas E. Dewey would defeat Harry S. The company instead is now focusing on the mood of the public, taking, as Mr. When Hillary Clinton formally clinches the Democratic presidential nomination this week in front of television cameras and a crowd of thousands, one vital influence will be conspicuously absent: her mother, Dorothy Rodham , whose quintessentially American story of resilience is woven into the fabric of her candidacy. It was sent to states for ratification and took effect 14 months later.

Dorothy and her little sister were sent on a cross-country train to live with their grandparents in California.


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Dorothy was 8, her sister was 3. Their grandmother was old-fashioned and strict. She preferred black Victorian dress and tolerated no disobedience — Dorothy was not allowed to attend parties or have visitors. After she went trick-or-treating one Halloween, she was confined to her bedroom for a year, let out only to go to school.

She cooked, cleaned and nannied for a family in San Gabriel, Calif. She lived in near abject poverty, but in that household Dorothy learned what family was. Would you like it? But her mother lied: She brought Dorothy back to work as a housekeeper. Heartbroken, Dorothy eventually found secretarial work.

In , Dorothy married Hugh Ellsworth Rodham , a conservative Republican who operated a small drapery business. They raised three children — Hillary Diane, Hugh Jr. Dorothy Rodham raised her daughter to stand her ground and hit back if necessary, Mrs. Clinton wrote. In , after Hillary Rodham had entered Wellesley College as a civic-minded Republican and had become plagued by doubts about remaining there, her mother bucked her up. The war in Vietnam and the turmoil of the civil rights movement led Mrs. Clinton to undergo a political transformation. She graduated as an antiwar Democrat. During her unsuccessful campaign for the presidential nomination, Mrs.

Later in life, Dorothy Rodham resumed her education by taking college courses. She died on Nov. Clinton wrote :. Mom measured her own life by how much she was able to help us and serve others. I knew if she was still with us, she would be urging us to do the same. Never rest on your laurels. Never quit. Never stop working to make the world a better place.

This is the story of Cassius Marcellus Clay — not that Cassius Clay, the heavyweight fighter and luminous worldwide presence best known as Muhammad Ali. This story is about the original Cassius Clay: the 19th-century scion of a slaveholding family who became a belligerent emancipationist, globe-trotting statesman, unsparing duelist, early Republican and larger-than-life American eccentric. A firebrand publisher, Yale-educated lawyer, Kentucky state legislator, major general in the Union Army, survivor of multiple assassination attempts and the United States minister to Russia under Presidents Lincoln and Johnson, General Clay was as well known for his private activities as for his public ones.

His obituary in The New York Times, published on July 23, , is remarkable for a level of catty candor rarely seen in American news obituaries of the era — traditionally staid, reverential documents — and, very likely, of any era. On one occasion, caught without his pistol, General Clay was shot above the heart by a would-be assassin.

He was 84 at the time. And so he did, taking Dora Richardson as his bride in Young Dora, who evidently had little say in the matter of her betrothal, did not take kindly to being yoked to a man more than five times her age. She ran away repeatedly from home and from the boarding school to which her husband sent her. The youngest son of Gen. His father had been a hero of the Revolutionary War and was a general in the War of ; Henry Clay, the United States senator and statesman, was a cousin.

Returning home after earning a law degree in , he established a practice in Lexington, served three terms in the Kentucky General Assembly and was a captain in the 1st Kentucky Cavalry in the Mexican War. In , he freed his own slaves and the next year started The True American, an emancipationist newspaper published in Lexington. His proposals for gradually ending slavery, which he also promulgated in public lectures, did not go over well in Kentucky. He kept a cannon on hand to protect the newspaper office from looming mobs and weathered several more attempts on his life.

General Clay, who in the s helped establish the Republican Party, was a friend and staunch supporter of Abraham Lincoln. After the outbreak of the Civil War, he organized the Cassius M. Clay Battalion, a corps of several hundred volunteers charged with protecting the White House. In , Lincoln appointed him minister to Russia, a post he held through the following year and again from to Dispatched to St. Petersburg, General Clay was instrumental in brokering the deal that in let the United States purchase Alaska.

Barricaded in White Hall with a veritable arsenal beside him, he pined for the faithless Dora and worried obsessively that enemies, real and imagined, were coming to kill him. Clay Decreed Insane. He fathered a string of children — as many as 10 in some estimates — most with his first wife, although at least one with a St. Petersburg mistress. In , he donated the land for what became Berea College in Berea, Ky. Established two years later, it was the first interracial and coeducational college in the South, open to blacks and to women from its inception.

July 20, — a date that lives in my memory as the great divide, the B. It was the day of the first walk on the moon by humans, Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin, and I covered the event for The Times from mission control in Houston. I began my front-page article with a sentence as simple as it was astonishing:. Two Americans, astronauts of Apollo 11, steered their fragile four-legged lunar module safely and smoothly to the historic landing yesterday at P. Neil A. Armstrong, the year-old civilian commander, radioed to earth and the mission control room here:.

Just think, the 50th anniversary of the first moon walk is only three years away. Although I am now 82, my doctors seem to think I have a good chance of still being around for it. I doubt I will be up to the dawn-to-dawn workdays and multiple deadlines of yore, but a bit of the remembered excitement should be a tonic. Sadly, Neil Armstrong will be absent. He died on Aug. Aldrin is living and so is the third astronaut, Michael Collins. The Armstrong obituary I wrote ran above the fold on the front page on Sunday, Aug.

As I wrote it, I felt the old surge of Apollo emotion returning. Ever so briefly, I was young again, responding to a deadline and waiting presses. In the obituary , I continued the exchange between Armstrong and mission control:. Thanks a lot. The same could have been said for hundreds of millions of people around the world watching on television. One reader that Sunday was a woman I had known and been fond of more than 50 years ago. She was still a space buff and in an email praised the obit. One thing led to another and in our rediscovery we dispelled creeping loneliness in favor of love.

Today we are together. Before Bruce Lee sprang into martial arts movies in the early s, the average actor in a kung fu film may have been better prepared to deliver a Shakespearean soliloquy than a roundhouse kick. But the audiences can tell the difference. It knows a real fighter when it sees one. He began studying martial arts in earnest as a teenager, augmenting his fighting with strength training and dancing. In time he developed his own style, Jeet Kune Do. Lee did his own stunts, helped write the script and choreographed the fight scenes.

The film transfixed audiences around the world and cleaned up at the box office. Rumors that he had been murdered by gangsters added to his mystique, but the cause of death was thought to be a brain edema , possibly resulting from an adverse reaction to medication. More than police officers had to bar thousands of screaming fans from his funeral service. They inspired the next generations of martial arts movie stars, like Jackie Chan and Jet Li, and helped open up Hollywood to Asian actors although the extent to which that has happened is questionable.

He has inspired video game characters, even entire games. A statue of Lee, poised to strike, on the Hong Kong waterfront still attracts throngs of fans. The one by Mr. Lee, who also staged the combats, died very recently. Here he could not be more alive. He made his first appearance in The Times when he was one day old , and undoubtedly has yet to make his last. From the start, every detail of his life hurtled round the world: his baptism ; his first Christmas ; his first teeth, first steps and first haircut; the box of stuffed animals he received from Madame Charles de Gaulle; the time he caught a cold.

Years later that photograph — taken on Nov. For if John Fitzgerald Kennedy Jr. John Jr. His wife of barely a thousand days, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister Lauren Bessette also died in the crash. His adult exploits were chronicled no less voraciously than his childhood ones had been: his graduations from college and law school; his admission, after well-documented struggle, to the bar; his founding, in , of George, a glossy magazine of politics and popular culture.

Bessette, a fashion publicist, in , in a humble wood-frame chapel on a secluded island off the Georgia coast. But a darker thread ran through it all. By the time they died, Mr. Kennedy and his wife were reported to have been living apart. Bessette Kennedy — a golden-haired beauty fit for a prince — was said to be hotheaded and volatile. He wanted children; she did not. He embraced the limelight; she abhorred it. The magazine, too, was in trouble, condemned by some media watchers as little more than bombast and already embarked on an economic decline.

It ceased publication in They took off at dusk, amid hazy, erratic weather and limited visibility, with Mr. Kennedy — a relatively untried pilot who had been told by doctors not to fly because of a recent broken ankle — at the controls. In a speech he gave by the sea in Newport, R. And it is an interesting biological fact that all of us have, in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood that exists in the ocean, and, therefore, we have salt in our blood, in our sweat, in our tears. We are tied to the ocean. And when we go back to the sea, whether it is to sail or to watch it, we are going back from whence we came.

Kennedy Jr.


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William Henry McCarty Jr. He died in in New Mexico, which was still only a territory and did not yet furnish official death certificates. And, by the time he was dubbed Billy the Kid, just a few months before his death, he had already reached his majority and barely qualified for the moniker anymore.

Also known as William H. According to one version, his mother had moved with her two sons to the Midwest, then to New Mexico to recover from tuberculosis. Still, as recently as six years ago, Gov. He testified, but Wallace reneged, and Governor Richardson ultimately decided against a pardon. Near-mirror images, they reflect love and loss and ideas surrounding beauty. The two hold hands, connected by shared veins that flow to their exposed hearts.

The other is intact with blood pumped to a framed photo of Diego Rivera , the celebrated muralist with whom Kahlo had a tumultuous marriage and had divorced that year. The couple remarried the following year. Together, the two Fridas suggest the physical and emotional toll of the divorce. Kahlo expressed herself in dress as well, using her raiment as both adornment and armor. She embraced traditional Tehuana clothing, which in her paintings was often interpreted as a symbol of female authority. The choice to wear it in self-portraiture was a nod to her own fortitude.

It was amputated later in life. If her clothing was an embrace of cultural identity, her signature unibrow and her wispy mustache were in some ways a rebuke to conventional standards of beauty. At her death on this day 62 years ago, she was well-known as an artist but nevertheless remained overshadowed by Rivera. By then her paintings had been exhibited and well-received in major cities like Mexico City, Paris and New York. Her work today sells for millions of dollars, and her likeness has appeared on everything from T-shirts to beer bottles. As noted by Graham W. In it, a white-haired gent, moving with unhurried and ominous purpose, unpacks a set of dentistry implements and sets to work on a young man who is bound to a chair.

Knighted in and raised to a life peerage in , Lord Olivier was, of course, one of the great theatrical performers — some say the greatest of all — of the 20th century, equally adept at comedy and tragedy, especially revered as a Shakespearean of charismatic intensity and daring physicality. But illness and age led him to retire from the stage in ; few, if any, people under 50 today saw him perform live. His Szell was too cruel, too evil to be believed and yet memorably credible — frightfully, shudder-inducingly persuasive.

Try to watch it. But perhaps inevitably, such a portrait feels a little musty, as though the man himself was a figure most alive in the distant past, a sepia-colored character to be revered — Lord Olivier, not Larry, as he was known to friends and colleagues — who could not be the technicolor movie villain whose villainy he so clearly relished embodying and enhancing. He enjoyed playing good guys, too, of course, and did so, even in his dotage, with similar verve. Many would suspect that Conan Doyle, a trained physician who was often beseeched by the public to apply his skills to real-life cases , might have been as inflexibly rational as Holmes.

But by the end of his life, on July 7, , Conan Doyle was a fervent believer in spiritualism , having spent decades researching ghosts, fairies and the paranormal. His fascination with the supernatural grew after his son Kingsley and his younger brother, Innes, battle-weary from service in World War I, died amid the worldwide influenza pandemic shortly after returning home. Conan Doyle attended seances and wrote and lectured on spiritualism. He befriended Harry Houdini , the escape artist and magician, maintaining that Houdini had psychic powers even though Houdini himself denied it.

Leckie produced several pages of automatic writing, in fluent English and signed with a cross. By the time he died, Conan Doyle — after killing off Holmes in , only to be forced by popular demand to revive him 10 years later — had forsaken Holmes for good. To jazz aficionados, he was also something more: the trumpet virtuoso with the boundless musical imagination who almost singlehandedly shifted the focus of jazz from collective improvisation to individual expression — the man whose playing on the remarkable Hot Five and Hot Seven sessions , recorded when he was in his 20s, virtually defined the art of the jazz solo.

He learned fast. Before he was out of his teens, he was a fixture on the New Orleans music scene; a few years later he moved to Chicago, where he made the records that changed jazz history. In due time he became the first jazz superstar, embraced by the world for his bravura playing, his ebullient singing and his larger-than-life personality.

Louis Armstrong died at his home in Queens on July 6, That this quintessential American success story was born on July 4, , always seemed too perfect to be true. Call it poetic license. The date he and everyone else celebrated was, as the old saying goes, close enough for jazz. Being born on Feb. Celebrating your birthday every Dec. We culled our obituary files for people born that day to explore what, if anything, they had in common.

Were they more patriotic? Their ranks include Calvin Coolidge , the laconic 30th president; Stephen Foster , whose songs celebrated Americana; and Stephen Mather , the first director of the National Park Service. They do not, however, include George M. Cohan , the Yankee Doodle Dandy who, contrary to popular wisdom, was actually born on July 3. Mayer born in what is now Belarus. For all the celebrities who were born on the Fourth of July, the holiday may be more famous for two adversaries who died on that date. A star athlete in high school, he participated in the Allied invasion of Europe, rising to the rank of sergeant before his honorable discharge in But for Evers, who was born on this day in to an African-American farming family in Decatur, Miss.

The racial injustice there rankled so much that he resolved to fight it, becoming the first field officer for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People in Mississippi. He recruited new members, championed school integration, encouraged blacks to vote and staged daring protests against racial inequality in the South. He also called for a new investigation of the murder of Emmett Till , a year-old African-American who was lynched in Mississippi in , supposedly for flirting with a white woman. People called his home threatening to shoot his family, and his house was firebombed.

He did not back down. The battlefields of Europe did not stop Evers; those of Mississippi did. Early in the morning of June 12, , a bullet from a rifle ripped through his back, the gunfire awakening his neighborhood and reverberating through the civil rights movement for decades. He was shot returning home from an N. Kennedy delivered a televised address calling for equal rights for all American citizens , regardless of race.

Evers managed to drag himself to his doorstep, where his wife, Myrlie , an activist who later became chairman of the N. At the emergency room he was initially refused admittance because he was black, until his family explained who he was. He was 37 when he died less than an hour later. His murderer was Byron De La Beckwith , an avowed white supremacist. In two all-white, all-male juries deadlocked and refused to convict Beckwith.

A second trial that year ended in a hung jury, and he spent most of his days as a free man. In documents surfaced that indicated that jurors had been illegally screened, and Beckwith was brought to trial and convicted in He died in prison in Two months later, in August , the protests culminated with the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, a pivotal, galvanizing moment for the civil rights movement. As a war veteran Evers was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, with full military honors, achieving in death what he had been denied in life — equality with his brothers-in-arms and his fellow citizens.

President Theodore Roosevelt signed two historic bills aimed at regulating the food and drug industries into law on June 30, With decisive strokes of his pen on that oppressively hot day , Roosevelt also provided Upton Sinclair with the greatest validation for which any muckraker could hope. It remains an inspiration to journalists investigating the food industry and food health scares, workplace conditions and the environmental impact of industry. Sinclair later said that his readers had missed the point by focusing on the health risks created by unsanitary stockyards and meatpacking facilities rather than on the dehumanization of workers and the brutal treatment of animals.

Still, Sinclair was quick to harness the reaction. He died on Nov. Roosevelt invited Sinclair to the White House, then ordered a federal investigation. Sinclair took every opportunity to harangue the Beef Trust, as the meatpacking industry was known, and sent a stream of telegrams to the White House demanding reform. Sinclair did no such thing. He was invited to the White House again in , the year before his death, to witness the signing of a new food safety law by President Lyndon B.

On June 28, , an year-old student named Gavrilo Princip fired a pistol in Sarajevo, Bosnia, and changed the world. Ferdinand was aware of the danger — earlier that day he had deflected a bomb hurled at him by another would-be assassin, The Times reported. Many contemporary accounts say the bomb actually bounced off the car.

He was traveling to visit people injured in that blast when he was killed. Such courage, or perhaps obstinacy, was typical for Ferdinand. After the assassination Austria-Hungary declared war on Serbia. Soon Europe, and much of the world, spiraled into war as one country after another, enmeshed in a web of previously established alliances, took sides — either with the Central Powers Germany, Austria-Hungary and their allies or the Allies France, Britain, Russia and others, including, eventually, the United States.

What became known as the Great War, or later World War I, would prove to be more devastating than any that had come before. Those two shots brought the world to arms, and the war that followed has brought devastation upon three continents and profoundly affected two others, and the tocsin has sounded in the remotest islands of the sea. Towns have been bombarbed in the Society Islands and battles have been fought in all the oceans, from the extremity of South America to the Malay Peninsula, from the heart of Africa to the coast of China. Nation after nation has been drawn into the whirlpool, and more are drawing toward it, and the end is far off.

What face the world will wear when it is all over no man can predict, but it will be greatly changed, and not geographically alone. During the four years that followed, millions of young men died as they scrambled between trenches or were killed by disease and chemical weapons like mustard gas.

There were more than 30 million servicemen killed or wounded. By the time an armistice was declared in , a generation had lost its innocence, and writers like Hemingway and Fitzgerald were inspired by the malaise of their contemporaries. The war formally ended when the Germans signed the Treaty of Versailles , agreeing reluctantly to terms dictated by the Allied forces.

The date was June 28, , exactly five years after Ferdinand was killed. In 20 years the world would be at war again, the wounds of World War I never having fully healed. An earlier version of this article misidentified the country that Austria-Hungary declared war on after Archduke Franz Ferdinand was assassinated.

It was Serbia, not Bosnia. They were both fighters. They had both devoted themselves to defending what was right. And they were both nearing 50 on June 27, , as a summer night fell over Greenwich Village. By the time the sun came up, however, Mr. Pine, a deputy police inspector, and Ms. DeLarverie, a cross-dressing lesbian singer, were standing together at an intersection of history — even if they were on opposite sides of what appeared at first to be an old-fashioned donnybrook outside a mobbed-up bar.

It was Deputy Inspector Pine who led the police raid on the Stonewall Inn on Christopher Street that night; the night that queer patrons fought back. And it was Ms. No one dared cross her, Ms. DeLarvarie said. For the police, a raid on a joint like the Stonewall had been, until June , a no-brainer. Gay bars were often controlled by organized crime. Corraling homosexuals was a good way for officers to boost their arrest records.

Pine said when discussing the Stonewall uprising at the New-York Historical Society on the occasion of its 25th anniversary.

The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today
The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today
The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today
The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today
The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today
The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today
The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today

Related The Peoples Place: Soul Food Restaurants and Reminiscences from the Civil Rights Era to Today



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