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Showing posts from July, 2014

Last Surviving Member of the Enola Gay Crew Dies in Georgia

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ATLANTA – The last surviving member of the crew that dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, hastening the end of World War II and forcing the world into the atomic age, has died in Georgia. Theodore VanKirk, also known as "Dutch," died Monday of natural causes at the retirement home where he lived in Stone Mountain, Georgia, his son Tom VanKirk said. He was 93. VanKirk flew nearly 60 bombing missions, but it was a single mission in the Pacific that secured him a place in history. He was 24 years old when he served as navigator on the Enola Gay, the B-29 Superfortress that dropped the first atomic bomb deployed in wartime over the Japanese city of Hiroshima on Aug. 6, 1945. He was teamed with pilot Paul Tibbets and bombardier Tom Ferebee in Tibbets' fledgling 509th Composite Bomb Group for Special Mission No. 13. The mission went perfectly, VanKirk told The Associated Press in a 2005 interview. He guided the bomber through the night sky, just 15 seconds behind schedule, he…

FLOYD MANN AND THE FREEDOM RIDES

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The South has a sad and terrible history in the area of race relations but history teaches us that it has been Southerners who have done more to right America's wrongs than anyone else. Lincoln was born in Kentucky and was raised in a family heaped in Southern culture. Harry Truman was from Missouri and Lyndon Johnson was from Texas. Both regularly used racial slurs and the N word. Truman nearly joined the Klan at one point and Johnson was considered a segregationist but these three presidents did more to free black people than any other presidents in American history. Martin Luther King was from Georgia and Frederick Douglas was from Maryland. Southerners have been very much part of the problem but they understand the problem of race better than anyone. Martin Luther King once said that when he visited John Kennedy in the White House Kennedy asked questions for the whole hour they were together. When he visited Lyndon Johnson, LBJ talked the whole hour. Like many Southerners o…

John Wesley Hardin

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It was alleged that John Wesley Hardin killed 42 men in his lifetime and he killed one man just for snoring. He was born in 1853 in Bonham Texas and was the son of a Methodist preacher and named after the founder of the Methodist Church, John Wesley. At the age of 8 Hardin witnessed a man being stabbed to death in a drunken brawl. At the age of 9 he tried to join the Confederate Army. At 14 he nearly killed a classmate with a knife after another boy accused him of writing a poem on a wall that disparaged a girl in their class. The boy charged at him with a knife but but Hardin stabbed him twice with a knife of his own. When he was 15 Hardin challenged his uncles former slave Maje to a wrestling match.and Hardin won. Maje was angry that Hardin won and he ambushed him the next day as he rode by. Hardin pulled his revolver and shot him five times. He rode to get help for Maje but he died 3 days later. This was just after the Civil War and Texas was under the control of Union forces. H…

Homer Adolph Plessy

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Many people are familiar with the story of Rosa Parks and how she bravely refused to give up her seat to a white passenger on a segregated Montgomery city bus. Most people however have never heard of Homer Plessy and how he also refused to move from the white section of a New Orleans street car on June 7, 1892. In the Rosa Parks case segregation would be dealt a blow that would end segregation on public transportation in 1956 and segregation in general would eventually end 9 years later with the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. In the Homer Plessy case segregation would be firmly established by law throughout the United States by the famous Supreme Court case of Plessy vs. Ferguson which established the concept of so-called separate but equal. The decision legalized state-mandated segregation anywhere in the United States so long as the facilities provided for both blacks and whites were putatively "equal".In both cases a Civil Rights organization purposely planted …

Forrests Murfreesboro Raid - Sunday July 13, 1862

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