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Thursday, August 1, 2013

HAWAII



HAWAII

The Aloha State


Archaeologists tell us that the Polynesians who first settled in the Hawaiian Islands about 1,200 years ago arrived in double-hulled canoes from Tahiti and other nearby Pacific islands. They found a paradise of balmy winds, a sea teeming with fish, and fertile volcanic soil in which to grow an abundance of fruits and vegetables. The natives' first contact with white men occurred when

Captain James Cook landed in 1778 and named the islands the Sandwich Islands. During the 19th century, other white men, including American missionaries, began to arrive in ever increasing numbers. These unwelcome guests not only stayed on to develop prosperous pineapple and sugar planta­tions, but they converted the Polynesians to Christianity. In 1810, the various tribes were centralized into a monarchy ruled by King Kamehameha. The last ruler was statuesque Queen Li­liuokalani, who gave up her throne in 1893. A republic was formed under President S.B. Dole, founder of the famed pineapple company, and lasted until 1898.

During the Spanish-American War, when American ships began sailing to the Philippines, the U. S. government became aware that the Hawaiian Is­ lands represented a valuable base in the South Pacific. A treaty was signed in, 1898 whereby Hawaii voluntarily annexed itself to the United States. It was made a territory in 1900 and achieved statehood in 1959. Today Hawaii is still largely agricultural, but its heavily pop­ ulated cities, Honolulu and Hilo, are experiencing severe growth pains. Because most goods must be imported, the cost of living is quite high, and infla­tionary pressures are driving costs even higher.

FACT BOX Location: 6,420 sq. miles (17,000 sq. km.) including a chain of islands and islets 1,600 miles (2,500 km.) long in the central Pacific; 2,400 miles (3,800 km.) west of San Francisco. Main islands: Oahu, Maui, Hawaii, Kauai, Lanai, Molokai, Kahoolawe, Niihau. Climate: mild (average temp. 75° F); average rainfall: 9 inches (23 cm.) per annum. Population: 887,000 (1976). Capital and largest city: Honolulu (p p. 705.381 est. 1975). Major products: pineapple, sugar, coffee, rice, bananas, nuts, tourism. Stale flower: hibiscus. Stale song: "Hawaii Ponoi." State bird: Nene (Hawaiian goose). Nickname: Aloha State. Motto: "Ua Mau Ke O Ka Aina I Ka Pono" .... "The life of the land is perpetuated in righteousness."

Illustration: Aerial view of Hawaiian islands painted by David Greenspan
(C) 1979. Panarizon Publishing Corp. USA IIust: American Heritage Pub. Co.
Printed in Italy 03-012-02-01

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Saturday, July 27, 2013

The First Battle of Bull Run


  

The First Battle of Bull Run

1861

Tourists Watch a Battle

In the summer of 1861, the Civil War had not yet won serious attention in the North particularly in the nation's capital. This mood of complacency was abruptly shattered on Sunday, July 21, as the cream of Washington, D.C., society rode out into the Virginia countryside southwest of the city to see some action. There, it was rumored, some 30,000 Union troops under General Irvin McDowell would do battle with 22,000 Confederates commanded by McDowell's West Point classmate (1835), General P.G.T. Beauregard. These odds were soon changed, for Beauregard was reinforced by about 9,000 men under General Joseph E. Johnston. Still, the sightseers remained convinced that McDowell's Northern troops, dressed in their gaudy, comic­ opera uniforms, would easily win the day and go on to capture the important rail junction at nearby Manassas (Virginia).

At first, each commander maneuvered his forces so as to outflank the other's left side. Beauregard directed his right wing to advance, but his orders never reached the men. His makeshift command organization had already broken down. McDowell then pressed his advantage at a stone bridge where the Warrenton Turnpike crossed a small stream, called Bull Run. Meanwhile, the bulk of his army crossed the stream further up, near Sudley Springs. Then they marched down along the Confederate line that stretched for eight miles (12.5 km.) from Little Bald Hill on the left to the bridge over Bull Run.

The amateur Union forces hit the enemy at Bull Run like a confused mob, and at first the equally green Confederates gave ground. But they had an advantage. As defenders, their forma­ tions tended to stay together. And in the center of their line, General Thomas J. Jackson stood, "like a stone wall," rallying his men (and earning himself the nickname of "Stonewall"). Despite the support of Union artillery, which was manned by regulars, McDowell's men faltered. Battered by bullets, choked and blinded by dust and thick, black smoke, the Union troops recoiled. Some men began to run, while others stumbled off blindly in different direc­ tions, entangling themselves with the sightseers, who panicked and carried a good part of the Union army with them in their flight.

The Confederates, however, were too exhausted to follow. In all, they had lost about 2,000 men, but the enemy had suffered more than 3,000 losses. More important, the Confederates had proven that theirs was a force to be reckoned with in the months to come.

Illustration: The North and South clash in the first major battle of the Civil War.

© 1979, Panarizon Publishing Corp. USA Illust: NY Historical Soc.
Printed in Italy 03.012.01.24
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Friday, July 26, 2013

The Yankee Whaler


  

The Yankee Whaler

1750-1865

Hunting on the High Seas

Although whaling in America existed before the Revolutionary War, it reached its height during the period from 1830 until the Civil War. Prosperous New Bedford, Massachusetts, along with neighboring Nantucket Island and Long Island, New York, was the home of more than 700 sturdy, three-masted whaling vessels and their intrepid crews. Their purpose was to hunt the great sperm whales, which measured up to 60 feet (18.5 m.) in length and weighed as much as 100 tons (90.1 m. tons). The prize was whale oil, the fuel that lit the lamps of the world, and one large whale might yield 90 barrels or more of it. Between 1835 and 1860 the industry's products averaged $8 million a year.

The ships, called "barks," weighed 400-500 tons (365-460 m. tons), and each one carried a huge boiler imbedded in brick on its deck. The boilers were used for rendering, or "trying out," the whale blubber, cooking it until the oil was extracted. Including the cook, doctor, blacksmith, carpenter, and cooper (barrel maker), as well as the officers and crew, each whaler car­ried about 30 men.

Slung along the decks were the whaleboats, 28 feet (8.6 m.) long, each one manned by a crew of six or seven men, ready for launching as soon as the cry, "Thar she blows!" echoed from the watch. Then, as the boat drew alongside its prey, the captain or mate drew back his arm at the exact, calculated moment and hurled a harpoon, with its cruelly curving hook, deep into the side of the animal. The whale now became a runaway horse, dragging the whaleboat on a mad race through the water, sometimes called a "Nantucket sleigh ride." Occasionally, it turned and tried to grind the boat between its great teeth, or lash at it with its tail and huge, armlike flukes.

The lives of all aboard depended on the skill of the helmsman, but some­ times even his nerve and coolness could not save the boat. Many lives were lost during these battles between man and the world's largest living creature. If all went well, the whale soon tired and slackened its pace. A lance was driven into a vital spot, killing the animal, and the carcass was towed back to the mother ship. There it was hauled onto the deck and speedily cut into sections, its blubber tossed into the boiler.

Whaling subsided in the 1860s as people turned to fossil fuels kerosene, mostly and electricity. Soon America's whaling days became a part of history, kept alive by such great literature as Herman Melville's novel, "Moby Dick."

Illustration: Whalers harpooning a giant whale, 1862

© 1979. Panarizon Publishing Corp, USA Illust:: Kendall Whaling Museum
Printed in Italy 03.012.01.23

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Martin Luther King, Jr. Part 1

  

Martin Luther King, Jr. Part I

1929-1968

A Great Leader

December 1, 1955, had been a long day of hard work for Rosa Parks. She was dead tired and her feet hurt. So, when the Montgomery, Alabama, bus driver ordered her to give up her seat to a white passenger, Mrs. Parks refused and was immediately arrested for disobeying the city's segregation law. Thus began the massive Civil Rights movement that changed the face and future of the United States. It also introduced to the world an eloquent and inspirational black minister from Atlanta, Georgia, named Martin Luther King, Jr.

He was born on January 15, 1929, the son and grandson of Baptist preachers. After graduating from Morehouse College in Atlanta (which he entered at age 15), he studied for the ministry at Crozer Theological Seminary, Chester, Pennsylvania, where he graduated with the highest average in his class. Later he attended Boston University, where he earned a Ph.D. in 1955. It was also in Boston that King met Coretta Scott, a music student from Alabama, whom he married in 1953. They had four children.

On that historic day in 1955, King was serving as pastor of Montgomery's Dexter Avenue Baptist Church. After the arrest of Mrs. Parks, black Civil Rights advocates decided to force the desegregation of the city's bus system, and they asked King to lead them. King quietly agreed, saying to them, "We have no alternative but to protest."

And protest they did. It took more than a year of work, and they were forced to endure physical and spiritual abuse, arrests, threats, and bombings before the city buses were desegregated. And in the process the small, struggling Civil Rights movement had acquired a dynamic leader. From that moment, King, who was a firm believer in non-violent resistance, began traveling around the country and abroad, preaching freedom, civil rights, and desegregation. Slowly and painfully, his efforts began to arouse the conscience of blacks and whites all over the country.

In 1963, while King and his followers were demonstrating in Birmingham, Alabama, an unbelieving nation watched on television as fire hoses and dogs were turned against the demonstrators. Later, from his Birmingham jail cell, King wrote that the issue "can no longer be ignored .... Freedom must be demanded by the oppressed." It would take more years, and many more tragedies, before real progress could be made, but the young black preacher from Atlanta was right: the issue could no longer be ignored.

Illustration: Martin Luther King, Jr., in Chicago, September, 1967
© 1979. Panarizon Publishing Corp. USA Photo: Black Star
Printed in Italy 03-012-01-22

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

The Indian Medicine Man


  


The Indian Medicine Man

Understanding Nature's Ways

Because they lived in a seemingly limitless land, under a wide and mysterious sky, the Plains Indians of North America had great respect for nature and its forces. From life-giving rains to violent storms, and from blizzards to searing droughts, they tried to live in harmony with nature.

To attain this goal, they looked to the spirits on high to give them aid and ad­vice. Most members of the tribe sought supernatural help through visions that came to them after a solitary vigil and long fasting. A man who had especially . strong visions, and who then took special training in conducting tribal rituals, became a shaman.

He was known as a medicine man, because it was believed he had the ability to cure the sick.

As a healer of the sick, the medicine man, dressed in animal skins, would perform cures in which tribal dances and incantations were the major part of the treatment. But he also prescribed herb remedies and performed simple surgery, often with considerable skill.

But his power went beyond the mere treatment of illness, for he could also look into the future and predict events. He spoke to the spirit world and called on a supernatural power one of the great spirits to aid the tribe in times of trouble.

The great spirits of the Plains tribes were the Sun, the Thunderbird, and Napiwa, the Old Man of the Dawn. The Sioux called these spirits the wakan tanka, meaning "the greatest sacred ones." Among the Sioux, Sitting Bull was perhaps the most famous medicine man. Shortly before the battle of the Little Bighorn in 1876, in which Lt. Col. George A. Custer was killed, Sitting Bull told his people that he had a vision predicting the defeat of the white soldiers.

Some Plains tribes gave the medicine man the added responsibility of caring for, and protecting, the sacred objects of the tribe. These were wrapped up in a medicine bundle, which usually con­ tained the skins and skulls of animals and birds, a pipe and tobacco, a wooden food bowl, braids of scented grass, strangely shaped stones, and a rattle made from a buffalo bladder.

The tribal medicine bundle was treated with great reverence, because it brought bountiful harvests, successful buffalo hunts, and victories in battle. The bundle was hung outdoors in good weather and taken inside in bad weather. And each time it was moved the proper prayers had to be chanted, for the Plains Indians believed that supernatural power existed everywhere and in everything.

Illustration: Mandan medicine man in full dress with body paint and feathers

© 1979. Panarizon Publishing Corp, USA Illust: G. Catlin, Smithsonian Institution
Printed in Italy 03·012·01·21

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Geronimo

  

Geronimo

1829-1909

The Desert Warrior

In 1876, the U.S. government decided to relocate the Chiricahua Apache tribe to an Indian reservation known as the San Carlos Agency on the Gila River in Arizona. And with that act, the government transformed a peaceful, unknown Apache into a dreaded renegade, called Geronimo.

Described as "Hell's forty acres," San Carlos was not to Geronimo's liking. He refused to be relocated and led raiding parties throughout the southwest and into Mexico. The Apache Wars of 1876-1886 brought him continual notoriety, for when he became weary or hard pressed by the U.S. cavalry he would surrender, only to renew his raids as soon as reservation life again became irksome.

Born in southern Arizona in 1829, Geronimo was physically unimpressive, but his short stature belied the strength that was bound up in his large girth of chest. Geronimo (who began life as Goyathlay, meaning "One Who Yawns") assumed virtual control of the tribe not as an actual chief, but as the leader of a tough faction that followed him be­cause of his demonstrated skills in warfare.

In 1881, following a peaceful three­ year stint as a farmer, Geronimo led another series of forays. Caught and re­ turned to the Indian bureau, he took to the warpath again in April, 1882, only to be recaptured by General George Crook. Two more years of peaceful coexistence under military observation suddenly went up in flames when Geronimo was discovered manufacturing tiswin, a native liquor. Fearful of reprisal, the chief and his tiswin-sopped band of only 134 warriors fled deten­ tion in the early summer of 1885 to begin their bloodiest campaign.

For ten long months they terrorized settlers in Arizona and New Mexico in­ discriminately. Pursued into Mexico by more than 5,000 U.S. troops and 409 Apache Scouts, Geronimo was entrapped during May, 1886. Unable to obtain a promise of safe· return to America, he out-foxed his captors and escaped once more.

Finally, in September, 1887, Geronimo and the remnants of his band surrendered unconditionally. Although most of the settlers who had been victims of his savagery despised him and wanted him hanged, Geronimo was imprisoned at Fort Marion, Florida. Later, he was transferred to Mount Vernon Barracks, Alabama, and in 1905, he lived to ride again as a haughty but subdued warrior in the inauguration parade of President Theodore Roosevelt. He died at Fort Sill, Oklahoma, in 1909.

Illustration: Geronimo, photographed in his war gear, a studio portrait, 1877
© 1979. Panarizon Publishing Corp. USA
Photo: National Archives
Printed in Italy
03·012·01·20

Monday, July 22, 2013

The First Thanksgiving Dinner

 


The First Thanksgiving Dinner

1621

The Start of an American Tradition

In November, 1620. when the first New England colonists landed near Plymouth, Massachusetts, it was too late to plant any crops. Thus, by the following spring, disease and the long, harsh New England winter had killed nearly half of the original settlers. Many others were too weak to begin planting the crops that would supply enough food for the coming winter months. The Plymouth settlers probably would not have survived at all had it not been for two people. One was Governor William Bradford, whose good sense and firm leadership kept the colony together. The other was Samoset, a member of the Pemaquid Indian tribe from Maine, who had wandered into the weakened Plymouth colony in March, 1621. He and other friendly Indians taught the colonists to plant crops and prepare such foods as succotash (a mixture of beans and corn), cranberry pudding. wild turkey, corn­ meal, and a variety of squash and pumpkin dishes. It was after the first good harvest in 1621 that Governor Bradford called for a feast of "thanksgiving." All the members of the colony some 40 men, women and children and about 90 Indians. dressed in animal skins and gaily colored turkey feathers. joined in the celebration. The Indians brought deer meat. called venison. and wild turkeys. These were cooked on spits turned over open fires. The colonial women made johnnycakes, a cornmeal bread, and the men supplied geese, ducks, and fish. Other foods included lobsters, oysters, clams, roast corn, and maple syrup. Rum and cider were favorite beverages. Long tables were set up outdoors for eating together, and the fires burned and the food roasted for three days of celebration. Colonists and Indians alike gave thanks for the good harvest, which meant survival and an easier winter ahead. That was the first Thanksgiving dinner. Although the other colonies, and later the states, also observed this custom, it did not become a national holiday until President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed "a day of thanksgiving" on the last Thursday in November, 1863. He did so largely because of one woman, Sarah Josepha Hale, editor of Godey’s Lady’s Book. who had worked for many years promoting the idea of a national Thanksgiving Day. Today, Americans still celebrate Thanksgiving after harvest time. Since 1941, it has been observed as a legal national holiday on the fourth Thursday in November.

Illustration: Pilgrims and Indians gather to give thanks.
© 1979. Panarizon Publishing Corp. USA
Illust: Pilgrim Soc, Plymouth, Mass.
Printed in Italy 03.012.01.19