Archive for July 23rd, 2008


Lost Canoe Lake

I had been hiking about this time last year.  Winding my way through the forest on a trail prepared by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources (DNR) in the Northern Highland – American Legion State Forest in northern Wisconsin.  Due to an early morning rainstorm the trail was damp, which gave me the opportunity to see what kind of animals walked the trail because I could see tracks.  I had seen footprints from bear, coyote, racoon and similar types all morning.  I had gotten to a part of the trail where I wasn’t having to swat as many flies and I noticed a very narrow trail that broke off from the main trail and headed down to a small lake.  When I popped out of the woods and onto a beach I began taking pictures.  The first two pictures are of Lost Canoe Lake.



When I found this lake I also scared an adolescent eagle off of its perch.  It had been sitting in a pine tree watching the water for fish.  Eagles aren’t fond of humans and he immediately flew away.  The camera I had at the time was not meant for taking pictures of wildlife, but I managed to get one good shot of the eagle in flight.  Because this eagle is an adolescent it hasn’t got the distinctive coloration of a bald eagle, which is why people often mistake adolescent eagles as hawks.  This is an adolescent bald eagle in flight.



On This Day, 7-23-08: Virginia Park

The 12th Street riot

In the early morning hours of July 23, 1967, one of the worst riots in U.S. history breaks out on 12th Street in the heart of Detroit’s predominantly African-American inner city. By the time it was quelled four days later by 7,000 National Guard and U.S. Army troops, 43 people were dead, 342 injured, and nearly 1,400 buildings had been burned.

By the summer of 1967, the predominantly African-American neighborhood of Virginia Park was ready to explode. Some 60,000 poor people were crammed into the neighborhood’s 460 acres, living in squalor in divided and sub-divided apartments. The Detroit Police Department, which had only about 50 African Americans at the time, was viewed as a white occupying army. The only other whites seen in the neighborhood commuted from the suburbs to run their stores on 12th Street.

At night, 12th Street was a center of Detroit inner-city nightlife, both legal and illegal. At the corner of 12th and Clairmount, William Scott operated an illegal after-hours club on weekends out of the office of the United Community League for Civic Action, a civil rights group. The police vice squad often raided establishments like this on 12th Street, and at 3:35 a.m. on Sunday morning, July 23, they moved against Scott’s club.

That night, the establishment was hosting a party for several veterans, including two servicemen recently returned from Vietnam, and the bar’s patrons were reluctant to leave. Out in the street, a crowd began to gather as police waited for paddy wagons to take the 85 patrons away. Tensions between area blacks and police were high at the time, partly because of a rumor (later proved to be untrue) that police had shot and killed a black prostitute two days before. Then a rumor began to circulate that the vice squad had beaten one of the women being arrested.

An hour passed before the last prisoner was taken away, and by then about 200 onlookers lined the street. A bottle crashed into the street. The remaining police ignored it, but then more bottles were thrown, including one through the window of a patrol car. The police fled as a riot erupted. Within an hour, thousands of people had spilled out onto the street. Looting began on 12th Street, and some whites arrived to join in. Around 6:30 a.m., the first fire broke out, and soon much of the street was set ablaze. By midmorning, every policeman and fireman in Detroit was called to duty. On 12th Street, officers fought to control the mob. Firemen were attacked as they tried to battle the flames.

Detroit Mayor Jerome P. Cavanaugh asked Michigan Governor George Romney to send in the state police, but these 300 more officers could not keep the riot from spreading to a 100-block area around Virginia Park. The National Guard was called in shortly after but didn’t arrive until evening. By the end of the day, more than 1,000 were arrested, but still the riot kept growing. Five people were dead.

On Monday, 16 people were killed, most by police or guardsmen. Snipers fired at firemen, and fire hoses were cut. Governor Romney asked President Lyndon Johnson to send in U.S. troops. Nearly 2,000 army paratroopers arrived on Tuesday and began patrolling the street in tanks and armored carriers. Ten more people died that day, and 12 more on Wednesday. On Thursday, July 27, order was finally restored. More than 7,000 people were arrested during the four days of rioting. A total of 43 were killed. Some 1,700 stores were looted and nearly 1,400 buildings burned, causing $50 million in property damage. Some 5,000 people were left homeless.

The so-called 12th Street Riot was the worst U.S. riot in 100 years, occurring during a period of numerous riots in America. A report by the National Advisory Commission on Civil Disorders, appointed by President Johnson, identified more than 150 riots or major disorders between 1965 and 1968. In 1967 alone, 83 people were killed and 1,800 were injured–the majority of them African Americans–and property valued at more than $100 million was damaged, looted, or destroyed.

“The 12th Street riot.” 2008. The History Channel website. 21 Jul 2008, 01:08


On This Day

1715 – The first lighthouse in America was authorized for construction at Little Brewster Island, Massachusetts.

1829 – William Burt patented the typographer, which was the first typewriter.

1904 – The ice cream cone was invented by Charles E. Menches during the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in St. Louis, MO.

1914 – Austria-Hungary issued an ultimatum to Serbia following the killing of Archduke Francis Ferdinand by a Serb assassin. The dispute led to World War I.

1938 – The first federal game preserve was approved by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The area was 2,000 acres in Utah.

1952 – Egyptian military officers led by Gamal Abdel Nasser overthrew King Farouk I.

1954 – A law is passed that states that “The Secretary of the Navy is authorized to repair, equip, and restore the United States Ship Constitution, as far as may be practicable, to her original appearance, but not for active service, and thereafter to maintain the United States Ship Constitution at Boston, Massachusetts.”

1958 – The submarine Nautilus departed from Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, under orders to conduct “Operation Sunshine.” The mission was to be the first vessel to cross the north pole by ship. The Nautils achieved the goal on August 3, 1958.

1998 – U.S. scientists at the University of Hawaii turned out more than 50 “carbon-copy” mice, with a cloning technique.


Connecticut Patriot Roger Sherman dies

On this day in 1793, Roger Sherman, a Connecticut Patriot and member of the Committee of Five selected to draft the Declaration of Independence, dies of typhoid in New Haven, Connecticut, at age 72. Sherman alone among the Patriots of the American Revolution signed all four documents gradually assigning sovereignty to the new United States: the Continental Association of 1774, the Declaration of Independence, the Articles of Confederation and the United States Constitution. Thomas Jefferson credited Sherman with having never said a foolish thing in his life. Although Sherman was a self-educated shoemaker, raised on the western frontier of Massachusetts, he would eventually distinguish himself as a surveyor and astronomer; join the Bar of Litchfield, Connecticut; and serve as both a professor of religion and treasurer of Yale College in New Haven, Connecticut. He served in numerous elective and judicial offices, including in the Second Continental Congress, in the Connecticut General Assembly, and as justice of the peace, justice of the Superior Court of Connecticut and a representative in the first United States Congress. Sherman was the mayor of New Haven and a member of the United States Senate at the time of his death. Sherman was as prolific in his personal life as he was in his political career. He had seven children with his first wife, Elizabeth Hartwell, and eight more with his second wife, Rebecca Minot Prescott. Sherman was buried near the Yale campus. He is remembered with a statue at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia and a street named in his honor in Madison, Wisconsin.

“Connecticut Patriot Roger Sherman dies.” 2008. The History Channel website. 21 Jul 2008, 01:08

Sherman’s most notable achievement in life is the “Connecticut Compromise” which resolved the dispute at the Constitutional Convention of 1787 between the so-called big states and little states.  While convening in Philadelphia in the summer of 1787 a dispute had overtaken the Constitutional Convention between the big states who wanted congressional representation based on a states population thus giving states with more people more power.  The little states wanted congressional representation based on one state one vote thus giving states with lesser populations an equal amount of power. 

Roger Sherman’s idea was to have two houses.  One:  The House of Representatives would be based on proportional representation thus giving the big states greater power.  Two:  The Senate would have two representatives for each state thus giving the smaller states an equal say in government.  Sherman further argued that the two should have powers that counter-balanced each other.  For instance, the Senate can vote for war, but the House of Representatives has the power to decide whether or not to pay for that war.  Sherman’s compromise resolved the dispute between the big states and the little states and led to the formation of the United States Congress.

July 2008
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