Archive for the 'Music' Category

04
Jun
09

Obama Inauguration: Air and simple Gifts

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03
Jun
09

Gorecki — Symphony No. 3

04
Apr
09

On This Day, April 4: Martin Luther King

April 4, 1967

Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks out against the war

The Reverend Martin Luther King, Jr., head of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, says in a speech that there is a common link forming between the civil rights and peace movements. King proposed that the United States stop all bombing of North and South Vietnam; declare a unilateral truce in the hope that it would lead to peace talks; set a date for withdrawal of all troops from Vietnam; and give the National Liberation Front a role in negotiations.

King had been a solid supporter of President Lyndon B. Johnson and his “Great Society,” but he became increasingly concerned about U.S. involvement in Vietnam and, as his concerns became more public, his relationship with the Johnson administration deteriorated. King came to view U.S. intervention in Southeast Asia as little more than imperialism disguised as “fighting the communists”. Additionally, he believed that the Vietnam War diverted money and attention from domestic programs created to aid the black poor. King maintained his antiwar stance and supported peace movements until he was assassinated on April 4, 1968.

“Martin Luther King, Jr., speaks out against the war.” 2009. The History Channel website. 4 Apr 2009, 05:31 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=1767.

April 4, 1865

President Lincoln in Richmond

President Abraham Lincoln visits the Confederate capital a day after Union forces capture it.

Lincoln had been in the area for nearly two weeks. He left Washington at the invitation of general-in-chief Ulysses S. Grant to visit Grant’s headquarters at City Point, near the lines at Petersburg south of Richmond. The trip was exhilarating for the exhausted president. Worn out by four years of war and stifled by the pressures of Washington, Lincoln enjoyed himself immensely. He conferred with Grant and General William T. Sherman, who took a break from his campaign in North Carolina. He visited soldiers, and even picked up an axe to chop logs in front of the troops.

He stayed at City Point, sensing that the final push was near. Grant’s forces overran the Petersburg line on April 2, and the Confederate government fled the capital later that day. Union forces occupied Richmond on April 3, and Lincoln sailed up the James River to see the spoils of war. His ship could not pass some obstructions that had been placed in the river by the Confederates so 12 soldiers rowed him to shore. He landed without fanfare but was soon recognized by some black workmen who ran to him and bowed. The modest Lincoln told them to “…kneel to God only, and thank him for the liberty you will hereafter enjoy.”

Lincoln, accompanied by a small group of soldiers and a growing entourage of freed slaves, walked to the Confederate White House and sat in President Jefferson Davis’s chair. He walked to the Virginia statehouse and saw the chambers of the Confederate Congress. Lincoln even visited Libby Prison, where thousands of Union officers were held during the war. Lincoln remained a few more days in hopes that Robert E. Lee’s army would surrender, but on April 8 he headed back to Washington. Six days later, Lincoln was shot as he watched a play at Ford’s Theater.

“President Lincoln in Richmond.” 2009. The History Channel website. 4 Apr 2009, 05:30 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=tdihArticleCategory&id=2158.

03
Apr
09

On This Day, April 3: Richmond Falls

April 3, 1865

Richmond captured

The Rebel capital of Richmond falls to the Union, the most significant sign that the Confederacy is nearing its final days.

For ten months, General Ulysses S. Grant had tried unsuccessfully to infiltrate the city. After Lee made a desperate attack against Fort Stedman along the Union line on March 25, Grant prepared for a major offensive. He struck at Five Forks on April 1, crushing the end of Lee’s line southwest of Petersburg. On April 2, the Yankees struck all along the Petersburg line, and the Confederates collapsed.

On the evening of April 2, the Confederate government fled the city with the army right behind. Now, on the morning of April 3, blue-coated troops entered the capital. Richmond was the holy grail of the Union war effort, the object of four years of campaigning. Tens of thousands of Yankee lives were lost trying to get it, and nearly as many Confederate lives lost trying to defend it.

Now, the Yankees came to take possession of their prize. One resident, Mary Fontaine, wrote, “I saw them unfurl a tiny flag, and I sank on my knees, and the bitter, bitter tears came in a torrent.” As the Federals rode in, another wrote that the city’s black residents were “completely crazed, they danced and shouted, men hugged each other, and women kissed.” Among the first forces into the capital were black troopers from the 5th Massachusetts Cavalry, and the next day President Abraham Lincoln visited the city. For the residents of Richmond, these were symbols of a world turned upside down. It was, one reporter noted, “…too awful to remember, if it were possible to be erased, but that cannot be.”

“Richmond captured.” 2009. The History Channel website. 3 Apr 2009, 07:32 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=2157.

21
Jan
09

John Williams — Air and Simple Gifts

20
Jan
09

January 20, 2009

IMG_4097

Appalachian Spring:  Simple Gifts

by

Aaron Copland

10
Dec
08

On This Day, 12-10-2008: Otis Redding

December 10, 1869

Wyoming grants women the vote

Motivated more by interest in free publicity than a commitment to gender equality, Wyoming territorial legislators pass a bill that is signed into law granting women the right to vote.

Western states led the nation in approving women’s suffrage, but some of them had rather unsavory motives. Though some men recognized the important role women played in frontier settlement, others voted for women’s suffrage only to bolster the strength of conservative voting blocks. In Wyoming, some men were also motivated by sheer loneliness–in 1869, the territory had over 6,000 adult males and only 1,000 females, and area men hoped women would be more likely to settle in the rugged and isolated country if they were granted the right to vote.

Some of the suffrage movement’s leaders did have more respectable reasons for supporting women’s right to vote. William Bright, a territorial legislator who was in his mid-forties, had a persuasive young wife who convinced him that denying women the vote was a gross injustice. The other major backer, Edward M. Lee, the territorial secretary who had championed the cause for years, argued that it was unfair for his mother to be denied a privilege granted to African-American males.

Ultimately, though, appeals to justice and equality did not pass the legislation–most Wyoming legislators supported Bright and Lee’s bill because they thought it would win the territory free national publicity and might attract more single marriageable women to the region. Territorial Governor John A. Campbell appreciated the publicity power of the policy and signed the bill into law, making Wyoming the first territory or state in the history of the nation to grant women this fundamental right of citizenship.

“Wyoming grants women the vote.” 2008. The History Channel website. 10 Dec 2008, 11:39 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=4363.

Otis Redding:  Sitting on the Dock of the Bay

December 10, 1967

Music star dies in Wisconsin plane crash

A plane crash in Madison, Wisconsin, kills soul singer Otis Redding and members of the Bar-Kays band on this day in 1967. The plane crashed into Lake Monona, several miles from the Madison airport.

One survivor, Ben Cauley of the Bar-Kays, later reported that he had been asleep until just before the crash. He saw his friend in the band, Phalon Jones, look out the window of the small plane and exclaim “Oh no!” and, before he knew it, he was in a frigid lake holding onto a seat cushion. The following day, the lake was dragged and the bodies of the victims were recovered. A storm in Madison that day was a factor in the crash but the exact cause was never determined.

Redding was not the only well-known singer to die in a plane crash. In 1959, Buddy Holly, along with the lesser known J.P. “Big Bopper” Richardson and Ritchie Valens, were killed in a crash that is thought to have inspired Don McLean’s well-known song “American Pie.” Country singer Patsy Cline died in a 1963 crash. Ten years later, Jim Croce perished in one in Louisiana. Key members of the band Lynyrd Skynyrd died in an accident 1977. Singer John Denver was killed piloting his own plane in 1997.

Four months after his death at the age of 26, Otis Redding’s “(Sittin’ on the) Dock of the Bay,” the last song he ever recorded, reached the top spot on the pop music charts. It was his first No. 1 hit.

“Music star dies in Wisconsin plane crash.” 2008. The History Channel website. 10 Dec 2008, 11:36 http://www.history.com/this-day-in-history.do?action=Article&id=52521.




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