helen keller - street art - meunierd - Shutterstock

This Day in History – June 27th – Hijinx, Humor, and Insight

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NewsWhistle is pleased to feature Gary Jenneke’s “This Day In History” column.

You can read the original at Gary’s THIS DAY IN HISTORY blog — or scroll down to enjoy Gary’s unique look at life’s comings and goings.

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THIS DAY IN HISTORY… JUNE 27

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1778 – Liberty Bell returns home.

After the British won the Battle of Brandywine on September 11th, 1777, they were poised to seize the city of Philadelphia. The fleeing colonists took everything that might be of use to the British, including bells that could be recast into cannons. After its return the Bell wasn’t rehung in the State House because the steeple was too rotten. Instead it remained in storage for seven years. A new steeple was built and the Bell was rehung in 1785. The Bell was rung on notable occasions such as the signing of the Constitution and the deaths of Washington, Adams, Jefferson, Lafayette and other patriots. The State House was sold with the land being subdivided into lots for sale and the ownership of the Bell was in dispute for a time. When the famous crack occurred is unclear. It had cracked several times with repairs being made. Most likely though the historical crack appeared in 1846 when the Bell was being rung for Washington’s birthday. In 1852 it was taken down and placed in Independence Hall. Since then the Bell has not tolled, being used for ceremonial purposes only.

Today’s history lesson for an iconic symbol of our liberty.

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1833 – Prudence Crandall arrested.

Crandall, a Quaker, had opened a young women’s boarding school in Canterbury, Connecticut in 1831. Catering to the daughters of the wealthy the school was a success. She was also a subscriber to an abolitionist newspaper. (Damn liberal media!) When she received a request from a wealthy free African-American family for their daughter to attend, Crandall accepted the young woman and horrified white families pulled their daughters from the school. Now determined to educate young black women, she ran an ad in the abolitionist newspaper and soon had many applicants. Laws were quickly passed to keep her from operating but she refused to close her school. She was arrested and endured several trials, with the case eventually being dismissed on a technicality. She continued with the school, but both she and her students suffered verbal abuse and were in danger of physical assault. Crandall closed the school and moved out of Connecticut, but would continue to advocate for equal civil rights for all.

Silly woman, taking the Constitution at face value. 

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1954 – Guatemalan Coup.

Guatemala had had a democratically elected government since 1944. Jacobo Arbenz became president in 1951 and immediately incurred the wrath of the U.S. by instituting land reforms. United Fruit, a U.S. owned corporation, lost much of its land in Guatemala and this was unacceptable to the U.S. So the CIA was sent in to rectify the situation. They were successful and a right-wing dictator became head of the country and United Fruit regained its rightful place in the world.

Here in America we value democracy. . .in its proper place. The problem in Guatemala was that they were trying to put people before corporations, not realizing as we now do that corporations are people too.

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Birthdays:

1880 – Helen Keller.

Writer, educator, humanitarian. Keller lost her ability to see or hear at age 19 months due to an unspecified disease, perhaps scarlet fever or meningitis. A special educator, Anne Sullivan, was able to successfully teach Keller to communicate. As an adult, Keller became an advocate for social change, supporting women’s suffrage, birth control and pacifism. She advocated for those with disabilities and testified before Congress for the welfare of the blind. Keller was also co-founder of the American Civil Liberties Union. Widely admired, that is until she announced she was a socialist and supported Eugene Debs for president. Then she was criticized in the press and her disabilities noted, as if they were responsible for her faulty reasoning. Undeterred, Keller kept advocating for those less fortunate. Throughout her life she traveled extensively, visiting 35 countries, and offering inspiration to millions of people. Keller and Anne Sullivan were life-long companions until Sullivan died in 1936. Keller passed away in 1968 at age 88.

I think everybody is aware of the story of Helen Keller, if not, they should be. She was a courageous, remarkable force in this world. I must also confess to some ignorance, however; I hadn’t known she was a co-founder of the ACLU.

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1928 – Rudy Perpich.

Dentist, politician. Perpich was the 34th governor of Minnesota, the longest serving governor, and the only one to serve non-consecutive terms. Perpich’s father, from Croatia, immigrated to America and worked in a Minnesota iron ore mine. Young Rudy did not learn to speak English until he was in the first grade. He graduated from Hibbing high school, spent two years in the army, went to dental school, and returned to Hibbing to practice dentistry. (I could find no record of him ever filling any of young Bobby Zimmerman’s cavities.) Rudy entered politics, first serving as a state senator from the Hibbing area. He then was elected Lt. Governor, and became Governor when Wendell Anderson appointed himself to fill a vacant U.S. Senate seat. He was defeated in the 1978 election but returned to win in 1982 and again served as Minnesota’s governor from 1983 to 1991. His policies contributed to the Minnesota economy by promoting the state internationally. A Republican rival, future Governor Arne Carlson said of him: “Perpich was the first person that I was aware of to focus on the international role that states are going to have to play.” Rudy was a colorful and controversial figure who promoted everything from the idea of the Mall of America to a chopstick factory on Minnesota’s Iron Range.

Here’s a Rudy story from a friend of mine, Darrold. 1983 Super Bowl, Beverly Hills Hilton. He sees Rudy walking across the lobby. Perhaps without the proper deference, Darrold calls out to him. “Rudy, what’s a Ranger like you doing in a place like this?” Rudy loved it and came over to talk. And as Darrold put it, talked and talked and talked. Darrold, still trying to score some tickets to the game, had to make an excuse to leave. If not the best, stories like that are why Rudy was my favorite governor.

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1975 – Toby McGuire.

Actor. A high school dropout, he later got his GED, McGuire turned to acting. He often found himself in competition with Leonardo DiCaprio for the same parts. (Guess who won.) But they became friends and tried to help each other advance their careers. McGuire developed a drinking problem as a young actor but joined AA and has been sober since. He’s a vegan and in 2002 PETA named him world’s sexiest vegan. McGuire is best known for his lead role in the Spider Man movies.

I’m not a fan of comic book movies so I’ve never seen him in the Spider Man role. However, McGuire starred in two movies I really liked, “The Cider House Rules” and “Seabiscuit.”

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ABOUT GARY JENNEKE

At various junctures of his life, Gary has been an indifferent grade school student, poor high school student, good Navy radioman, one-time hippie, passable college student, inveterate traveler, dedicated writer, miscast accountant (except for one interesting stint at a Communist café), part-time screenwriting teacher, semi-proud veteran, unsuccessful retiree and new blogger.

You can reach him at gary@newswhistle.com.

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CREDITS

The above information was sourced from the following sites and newspapers.

Sources:

OnThisDay.com

USHistory.org

TodayInHistory.com

History.com

Biography.com

Wikipedia.org

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We’d also like to thank the following photographers and videographers for the use of their images:

* Lead-In Image (Helen Keller)  – meunierd / Shutterstock.com – “MONTREAL CANADA FEBRUARY 07: Street art Montreal Helen Keller on feb. 07 2015 in Montreal Canada. Montreal. is the perfect place to walk in the back alley and abandoned areas, looking for street art.”

shutterstock_251276725 - meunierd - Shutterstock - Helen Keller art

* Helen Keller (video)  – Guardian News / YouTube.com

* Rudy Perpich (video)  – tcmedianow / YouTube.com

* Jimmy Kimmel (video) – Tobey Maguire Fanclub / YouTube.com

* Outro (Man-In-Museum Cartoon) – SkyPics Studio / Shutterstock.com

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OTHER DAYS IN HISTORY …

December 2

December 3

December 5

December 8

* December 9

December 11

December 12

* December 13

* December 15

December 16

December 18

* December 19

December 22

December 23

December 24

December 25

December 28

January 1

January 3

* January 4

January 6

January 7

January 8

January 11

* January 12

* January 14

January 15

January 17

January 19

January 22

January 23

January 24

January 28

January 29

February 1

February 2

February 3

February 5

* February 9

February 10

* February 12

February 14

February 15

February 20

February 21

February 22

February 25

February 28

February 29

March 2

March 4

March 6

* March 9

March 11

March 12

March 14

March 15

March 17

March 19

March 21

March 22

March 23

March 27

March 28

March 29

April 2

April 3

April 4

April 6

April 9

* April 11

April 13

April 16

April 18

April 21

April 22

April 23

April 26

April 28

April 29

May 1

May 2

* May 3

May 5

May 6

May 9

May 10

May 11

* May 13

May 16

May 17

* May 22

May 24

May 26

May 27

* May 28

May 29

May 31

June 1

June 3

June 4

June 8

June 10

June 11

June 13

June 16

June 17

June 18

June 21

June 22

* June 24

June 28

June 29

July 2

July 3

* July 9

July 13

July 15

July 19

July 23

July 25

July 30

July 31

* August 3

August 7

August 10

August 11

August 16

August 17

August 21

August 24

August 25

* August 28

August 31

September 2

September 5

September 6

September 8

September 11

September 12

September 15

September 16 

September 17

September 21

September 23

September 25

September 26

September 27

September 30

October 1

October 3

October 4

October 5

October 7

October 10

October 11

* October 12

October 14

October 15

October 16

October 18

October 20

October 24

October 25

October 26

October 27

October 30

October 31

November 1

November 3

* November 4

November 5

November 6

November 8

November 9

November 10

November 11

November 13

November 14

November 15

November 16

* November 17

November 18

* November 19

November 20

November 23

November 24

November 26

November 28

November 29

November 30

* Stay tuned for more!

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