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Cooley Hurd

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Member since: 2002
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Let's talk about Bessie - an extraordinary human being.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bessie_Coleman#Airshows

Coleman quickly realized that in order to make a living as a civilian aviator—the age of commercial flight was still a decade or more in the future—she would need to become a "barnstorming" stunt flier, and perform for paying audiences. But to succeed in this highly competitive arena, she would need advanced lessons and a more extensive repertoire. Returning to Chicago, Coleman could find no one willing to teach her, so in February 1922, she sailed again for Europe. She spent the next two months in France completing an advanced course in aviation, then left for the Netherlands to meet with Anthony Fokker, one of the world's most distinguished aircraft designers. She also traveled to Germany, where she visited the Fokker Corporation and received additional training from one of the company's chief pilots. She returned to the United States with the confidence and enthusiasm she needed to launch her career in exhibition flying.

"Queen Bess," as she was known was a highly popular draw for the next five years. Invited to important events and often interviewed by newspapers, she was admired by both blacks and whites. She primarily flew Curtiss JN-4 "Jenny" biplanes and army surplus aircraft left over from the war. She made her first appearance in an American airshow on September 3, 1922, at an event honoring veterans of the all-black 369th Infantry Regiment of World War I. Held at Curtiss Field on Long Island near New York City and sponsored by her friend Abbott and the Chicago Defender newspaper, the show billed Coleman as "the world's greatest woman flier" and featured aerial displays by eight other American ace pilots, and a jump by black parachutist Hubert Julian. Six weeks later she returned to Chicago to deliver a stunning demonstration of daredevil maneuvers—including figure eights, loops, and near-ground dips—to a large and enthusiastic crowd at the Checkerboard Airdrome (now Chicago Midway Airport).

But the thrill of stunt flying and the admiration of cheering crowds were only part of Coleman's dream. Coleman never lost sight of her childhood vow to one day "amount to something." As a professional aviator, Coleman would often be criticized by the press for her opportunistic nature and the flamboyant style she brought to her exhibition flying. However, she also quickly gained a reputation as a skilled and daring pilot who would stop at nothing to complete a difficult stunt. In Los Angeles, she broke a leg and three ribs when her plane stalled and crashed on February 22, 1923.

Through her media contacts, she was offered a role in a feature-length film titled Shadow and Sunshine, to be financed by the African American Seminole Film Producing Company. She gladly accepted, hoping the publicity would help to advance her career and provide her with some of the money she needed to establish her own flying school. But upon learning that the first scene in the movie required her to appear in tattered clothes, with a walking stick and a pack on her back, she refused to proceed. "Clearly ... walking off the movie set was a statement of principle. Opportunist though she was about her career, she was never an opportunist about race. She had no intention of perpetuating the derogatory image most whites had of most blacks", wrote Doris Rich.

Coleman would not live long enough to fulfill her dream of establishing a school for young black aviators, but her pioneering achievements served as an inspiration for a generation of African American men and women. "Because of Bessie Coleman," wrote Lieutenant William J. Powell in Black Wings 1934, dedicated to Coleman, "we have overcome that which was worse than racial barriers. We have overcome the barriers within ourselves and dared to dream". Powell served in a segregated unit during World War I, and tirelessly promoted the cause of black aviation through his book, his journals, and the Bessie Coleman Aero Club, which he founded in 1929.

60 Years Ago tonight: Edward R Murrow called out Joe McCarthy



"No one familiar with the history of his country can deny that Congressional committees are useful. It is necessary to investigate before legislating. But the line between investigating and persecuting is a very fine one, and the junior senator from Wisconsin has stepped over it repeatedly."

Good night, and good luck.

Bill Hicks died 20 years ago today...




Marketing.

You are SO missed, man...

Devo Guitarist Bob Casale Dead at 61

http://www.tmz.com/2014/02/18/devo-guitarist-bob-casale-dead-whip-it/

Devo Guitarist Bob Casale -- known for the hit 1980 song "Whip It" -- has died, TMZ has learned.

Bob's brother Gerald -- also a founding member of the band -- tells TMZ, Bob passed away suddenly on Monday from health complications that led to heart failure.

Gerald tells us, "As an original member of Devo, Bob Casale was there in the trenches with me from the beginning. He was my level-headed brother, a solid performer, and talented audio engineer, always giving more than he got."

Bob was 61.

Devo was formed in 1972 and hit the Billboard charts in 1980 with "Whip It" ... one of the first music videos to make a huge splash on MTV back in the day.

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Shit... cross gently Bob.

116 Years Ago Today: USS Maine explodes and sinks in Havana Harbor

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USS_Maine_(ACR-1)#Sinking

In January 1898, Maine was sent from Key West, Florida, to Havana, Cuba, to protect U.S. interests during the Cuban War of Independence. Three weeks later, at 21:40 on 15 February, an explosion on board Maine occurred in the Havana Harbor. Later investigations revealed that more than 5 long tons (5.1 t) of powder charges for the vessel's six and ten-inch guns had detonated, obliterating the forward third of the ship. The remaining wreckage rapidly settled to the bottom of the harbor. Most of Maine's crew were sleeping or resting in the enlisted quarters, in the forward part of the ship, when the explosion occurred. In total 260 men lost their lives as a result of the explosion or shortly thereafter, and six more died later from injuries. Captain Sigsbee and most of the officers survived, because their quarters were in the aft portion of the ship. Altogether, though, there were only 89 survivors, 18 of whom were officers. On 21 March, the US Naval Court of Inquiry, in Key West, declared that a naval mine caused the explosion.

The New York Journal and New York World, owned respectively by William Randolph Hearst and Joseph Pulitzer, gave the Maine intense press coverage, but employed tactics that would later be labeled "yellow journalism." Both papers exaggerated and distorted any information they could attain, sometimes even fabricating "news" when none that fitted their agenda was available. For a week following the sinking, the Journal devoted a daily average of eight and a half pages of news, editorials and pictures to the tragedy. Its editors sent a full team of reporters and artists to Havana, including Frederic Remington, and Hearst announced a reward of $50,000 "for the conviction of the criminals who sent 258 American sailors to their deaths." The World, while overall not as lurid or shrill in tone as the Journal, nevertheless indulged in similar theatrics, insisting continually that the Maine had been bombed or mined. Privately, Pulitzer believed that "nobody outside a lunatic asylum" really believed that Spain sanctioned the Maine's destruction. Nevertheless, this did not stop the World from insisting that the only "atonement" Spain could offer the U.S. for the loss of ship and life, was the granting of complete Cuban independence. Nor did it stop the paper from accusing Spain of "treachery, willingness, or laxness" for failing to ensure the safety of Havana Harbor. The American public, already agitated over reported Spanish atrocities in Cuba, was driven to increased hysteria.

The Maine's destruction did not result in an immediate declaration of war with Spain. However, the event created an atmosphere that virtually precluded a peaceful solution. The Spanish–American War began in April 1898, two months after the sinking. Advocates of the war used the rallying cry, "Remember the Maine! To Hell with Spain!" The episode focused national attention on the crisis in Cuba, but was not cited by the William McKinley administration as a casus belli, though it was cited by some hawks already inclined to go to war with Spain over perceived atrocities and loss of control in Cuba.

Christie vacationing in Puerto Rico during crippling winter storm aftermath in NJ

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2014/02/14/first-on-cnn-christie-vacationing-in-puerto-rico/?hpt=hp_t2

Washington (CNN) - On the heels of a major winter storm that blanketed his state with snow, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie spent Friday at a resort in Puerto Rico with his family.

CNN was alerted to his whereabouts by a person who saw the governor poolside at a resort in San Juan.

Asked to confirm if Christie is in Puerto Rico, a spokesman for the governor said he is on a brief vacation with his family.

"After the storm had passed, the governor left the state this morning for a long weekend away with his family, and he will return Monday night," said spokesman Colin Reed.

In accordance with state protocol, Lt. Gov. Kim Guadagno is in charge of government business until Christie returns.

Democrats criticized Christie in December 2010 for not cutting short a family vacation to Disney World while a massive blizzard brought New Jersey to a standstill. Guadagno was also out of state at that time.
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Former 2nd Lady Joan Mondale Dies at Age 83

Source: ABC

ABC News link:
http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/2nd-lady-joan-mondale-dies-age-22352296

Joan Mondale, who built a reputation as a national cultural arts advocate while her husband was vice president, has died.

Her family issued a statement through their church saying she died Monday afternoon with family by her side.

Mondale was so passionate about the arts that she was nicknamed "Joan of Art." She herself was an avid potter when her husband Walter, then a Democratic U.S. senator from Minnesota, was elected Jimmy Carter's vice president in 1976.
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Read more: http://abcnews.go.com/US/wireStory/2nd-lady-joan-mondale-dies-age-22352296



Gross gently, Joan and comfort to those left behind.

55 Years Ago Today: The Day the Music Died

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Day_the_Music_Died

The Day the Music Died, so dubbed by a lyric in the Don McLean song "American Pie," is a reference to the deaths of rock and roll musicians Buddy Holly, Ritchie Valens, and J. P. "The Big Bopper" Richardson, in a plane crash near Clear Lake, Iowa, on February 3, 1959. Pilot Roger Peterson was also killed.

After terminating his partnership with The Crickets, Buddy Holly assembled a new band consisting of Waylon Jennings, Tommy Allsup, and Carl Bunch, to play on the '"Winter Dance Party" tour. The tour also featured rising artists Ritchie Valens and The Big Bopper, who were promoting their own recordings as well. The tour was to cover 24 Midwestern cities in three weeks.

The distance between venues and the conditions prevalent aboard the poorly equipped tour buses adversely affected the performers. Cases of flu spread among the band members, and Carl Bunch was hospitalized due to frostbite. Frustrated by the conditions, Holly decided to charter a plane when they stopped for their performance in the Surf Ballroom in Clear Lake, Iowa, to reach their next venue in Moorhead, Minnesota. Carroll Anderson, owner of the Surf Ballroom, chartered the plane from the Dwyer Flying Service. Richardson, who was affected by the flu, swapped places with Waylon Jennings, taking the latter's place on the plane, while Tommy Allsup lost his place to Ritchie Valens on a coin toss. Dion DiMucci (of Dion and the Belmonts fame) decided not to board the plane for the $36 fee.

The investigation of the incident determined that soon after take off, a combination of poor weather conditions and pilot error caused spatial disorientation that made pilot Roger Peterson lose control of the plane. Hubert Dwyer, owner of the flight service company, could not establish radio contact and reported the aircraft missing the next morning. He took off in his own Cessna 180 and spotted the wreckage less than six miles (9.7 km) northwest of the originating airport in a cornfield. He notified the authorities who dispatched Deputy Bill McGill, who drove to the wreck site and found the bodies of the passengers and pilot. They were later identified by Carroll Anderson.
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TJ Holmes should have his own weekday show on MSNBC...

He's "subbing" for the usual weekend news host now, but he really should have his own show. He's brilliant and personable.
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