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I thought it would be fun to take a day do a few “on this day in history” moments. My selections are completely based on things I find neat and want to share. Enjoy!

1881 — American Red Cross founded by Clara Barton

  • While I find Clara Barton utterly cool, and her story is compelling from both humanitarian and feminist perspectives, over the past few years I’ve found more resonance in her work in identifying the wounded and the dead which is incredibly moving. Two of the books my kids loved that introduced them to this hero are Civil War on Sunday (Mary Pope Osborne) and Outrageous Women of Civil War Times (Mary Furbee). The former is part of the history/reading skill building “Magic Tree House” series, while the latter is an anthology of short bios about strong women!
  • 1927 & 1932 — Lindbergh lands in Paris & Amelia Earhart finishes her transatlantic flight

  • I think it is so cool that Earhart matched Lindbergh’s achievement, 5 years to the day. She exemplifies curiosity, strength and adventure. The mystery of her disappearance just compounds the fascination. Earhart tells her own story in a witty and engaging style, try The Fun of It: Random Record of my Own Flying and Women in Aviation. In the share with daughters category, enjoy Amelia & Eleanor Go for a Ride (Pam Munoz Ryan), a re-imagining of a real encounter between two strong women.
    On the other hand, I learned about Lindbergh’s “America First” affiliation as a teen, and it has completely shaped my view of him. For a concrete illustration of my own disillusionment, check out the Frank Capra’s film, Mr. Smith Goes to Washington (1939 — one of the great movies). In it, the idealistic Jefferson Smith (Jimmy Stewart) discovers the rampant corruption of Washington politics and in particular Senator Joseph Paine (Claude Rains). As the disheartened Smith rushes to confront his former mentor (Rains), Capra pans the camera slowly across the Senator’s office. A painting of Charles Lindbergh graces the morally ambiguous senator’s wall. I’ve never seen it referenced, yet given Capra’s obvious interventionist sentiments — I think he was expressing the same disappointment I felt.
  • 1945 — Humphrey Bogart & Lauren Bacall marry

  • OK — I have to say I not all “Brangelina” mad. They just don’t do it for me. But Bogey & Bacall — how cool could two lovers be? His jagged edges and her smoky velvet sleekness just defined true glamour! For some Memorial Day sizzle, watch To Have and Have Not — and whew! You’ve heard the quote…… “Oh, maybe just whistle. You know how to whistle, don’t you, Steve? You just put your lips together and… blow.”
  • 1955 — Chuck Berry records “Maybelline”

  • just saying………….
  • deep cut media: awesome movie & soundtrack, try Standing in the Shadows of Motown. It’s a documentary about the Funk Brothers, the session artists behind the “Motown” sound. The soundtrack rocks incredibly hard — the covers use contemporary artists, as well as surviving Motown legends to recreate some of the classics of the genre. Track Listing: Heat Wave (Joan Osborne); You‘ve Really Got a Hold on Me (Meshell Ndegeocello); Do You Love Me (Bootsy Collins); Bernadette (instrumental from the Funk Brothers); Reach out I’ll Be There (Gerald Levert and Tom Scott); Ain’t too Proud to Beg (Ben Harper — completely incredible); Shotgun (Gerald Levert and Tom Scott); What Becomes of the Brokenhearted (Joan Osborne — probably my favorite cut on the entire album); I Heard it through the Grapevine (Ben Harper); You Keep Me Hanging On (instrumental from the Funk Brothers); Cool Jerk (Bootsy Collins); Cloud Nine (Meshell Ndegeocello); Band Intro/Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (Chaka Khan and Montell Jordan — another cut that just kicks); and The Flick (Earl Van Dyke).

    Never do things others can do and will do if there are things others cannot do or will not do. –> Amelia Earhart

    Take care,
    Aly

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