FULLSCREEN AUGUST 25, 2010
SOARING IN SEATTLE
THE SPACE NEEDLE GOODBYE SUMMER
HELLO LABOR DAY THE POLITICAL LIFE OF RFK
AMERICAN PATRIOT THE POLITICAL LIFE OF RFK
6 SOARING IN SEATTLE
THE SPACE NEEDLE
8 AMERICA’S NATIONAL PARKS
HELLO LABOR DAY
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THE ‘LADIES’ SAVED WASHINGTON’S
14 QUOTE OF THE WEEK
15 THIS WEEK IN AMERICAN HISTORY
THE POLITICAL LIFE OF
"SOME MEN SEE THINGS AS THEY ARE AND SAY WHY. I DREAM THINGS THAT NEVER WERE AND SAY WHY NOT.”
4 AMERICAN PATRIOT
Nobody was surprised when Robert Francis Kennedy entered the political world. “Bobby” was destined to participate from the moment he was born, though how it played out took an unpredictable and tragic twist. Born in Brookline MA in 1925, Robert Kennedy
He was considered the second most powerful
grew up with the influence of some of the greatest
person in the country.
political minds of the era including his grandfather John Francis Fitzgerald, a mayor of Boston, and
Along with the rest of the nation, RFK was stunned
his father Joseph Kennedy, a wealthy industrialist,
by the assassination of his brother in 1963. At
political operative, confidant and rival of Franklin
the 1964 Democratic convention, he introduce
Roosevelt, and ultimately Ambassador to England.
a film about his late brother. The crowd at the
He also watched his older brothers — Joe Jr. and
convention applauded for 22 full minutes before
John — be tutored by their father, who dreamed
he spoke. Never comfortable with new President
ambitious dreams of having a son as President.
Lyndon B. Johnson, Kennedy left the cabinet and ran for U.S. Senate in New York. During his
RFK was enthusiastic about serving his country. By
term, he worked to end poverty in New York and
his eighteenth birthday, Kennedy enlisted in the
continued his campaign for civil rights.
U.S. Naval Reserves. He served from 1944 until 1946 on the USS Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr., named
In a fateful last minute decision, RFK entered the
for his oldest brother, who had perished on a bomb-
presidential race of 1968, adding his voice to the
ing mission. After that, Kennedy enrolled in Harvard
anti-Vietnam War chorus. He declared to the public,
and earned a varsity letter in football. Upon grad-
“I do not run for the Presidency merely to oppose
uation, he wrote for the Boston Post on the Middle
any man, but to propose new policies. I run because
East, and eventually enrolled in the University of
I am convinced that this country is on a perilous
Virginia’s law program. In 1951, Kennedy began
course and because I have such strong feelings
practicing law at the Internal Security Section,
about what must be done, and I feel that I'm
investigating suspected Soviet agents. From there,
obliged to do all I can.”
Kennedy held several staff jobs in the government. Then the turning point came. RFK was instrumental in John’s presidential campaign of this brother and, as a reward, was appointed as Attorney General of the United States. Robert had outsized influence on policy in his brother’s cabinet, and became a
Kennedy’s victory in the California primary gave him momentum. But addressing his supporters at The Ambassador Hotel in Los Angeles after the win, he was shot three times and died the next morning. He left an important legacy as a politician who fought for what he believed in.
close personal advisor to his older brother on all FORWEBSITE A CLIP OF RFK IN AN CHECK OUTCLICK THEHERE FAIR’S issues, including landmark civil rights legislation. ELECTORAL DEBATE JUST BEFORE HIS DEATH FOR VISITOR INFORMATION
SOARING IN SEATTLE
THE SPACE NEEDLE
6 AMERICAN PATRIOT
Seattle’s best known landmark is the soaring Space Needle. Indeed, the Needle has been a symbol of the Northwest region since it was built for the 1962 World’s Fair.
The Space Needle was actually a compilation of two architectural designs. Edward Carlson had proposed a giant balloon tethered to the ground, and John Graham envisioned it as a large flying saucer. Together they compromised on the current design, and built a tower with a saucer top that could withstand hurricanes, earthquakes, and high-speed winds.
Renovated in 2001, the Space Needle has become an official landmark. During its designation, the Landmark Preservation Board wrote: “The Space Needlemarks a point in history of the City of Seattle and represents American aspirations towards technological prowess. [It] embodies in its form and construction the era's belief in commerce, technology and progress.”
During the World’s Fair, approximately 20,000 people rode up in the elevator per day. A revolving restaurant and observation deck graced the top of the 605 foot building. The revolving section was balanced so exactly that it only took a one horsepower electric motor. The legs of the structure were painted Astronaut White to give it a futuristic look. The entire building was constructed for $4.5 million, and for a time was the tallest building west of the Mississippi.
Today, one million people visit the Needle annually and it is the number one tourist attraction in the Northwest region. It has become part of the popular culture, featured in many tv shows and movies including Sleepless in Seattle, 10 Things I Hate About You, Grey’s Anatomy and Frasier. CLICK HERE FOR A LINK TO THE OFFICIAL SITE AMERICAN PATRIOT 7
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AMERICAâ€™S NATIONAL PARKS
The hunt for saber-toothed cats, sloths, and bears some 15,000 years ago brought the first prehistoric settlers to the Southern portion of Florida. The hunters were the Paleo-Indians, among the first settlers on the American Continent. As climate changed and civilization evolved, these indigenous people gathered into huntergatherer tribes, and the land became wetter and more verdant, creating the sub tropical wetlands now known as the Everglades. 8 AMERICAN PATRIOT
The Everglades stands now as a unique feature of the American landscape. This “River of Grass” is presently 4,300 square miles of often flooded, sometimes drought-stricken, stunningly diverse subtropical wetlands. About 50 percent of its original area has been preserved, owing to decades of constant conservationist campaigns from Teddy Roosevelt to the present day. The environment is unlike any other region of the continental United States — sawgrass marshes that contain estuarine mangrove forests, tropical hardwood hammocks, bays, islands, and pine rockland. As the tribes fell into decline following the arrival of the Spanish, they were absorbed into the larger, newly arrived Seminole tribe. Having largely escaped the ravages of Andrew Jackson’s Indian wars, they still number in the few hundreds, have maintain their way of life and would never be “officially” conquered. American exploration of the Everglades dates back to 1840, coinciding with the Indian Wars. It would remain largely unmapped until about 1900. The earliest written records were unkind to the Everglades: of the region, one Army Surgeon wrote “It is in fact a most hideous region to live in, a perfect paradise for Indians, alligators, serpents, frogs, and every other kind of loathsome reptile.” Drainage of wetlands was the accepted method of land settlement in the 19th century, with the assumption that the recovered soil would be suitable for farming. Millions of acres were purchased and canals were built, but the land proved largely resistant to agriculture. Still, the investment and construction of railroads spurred tourism and development of large parts of South Florida, notably Miami.
Many newcomers would make their living by trapping the exotic animals. Raccoons and otters were harvested for their skins, and alligator populations declined rapidly. No species, however, suffered as much as the Egret. In 1886 alone, an estimated 5 million egrets and wading birds were killed for their plumage, a prized accessory for women's hats. By 1915, the price by weight for egret plumes, or aigrettes, was the same price as gold — $32 an ounce. The rapid draining of the wetlands and slaughter of birds sparked a conservation movement in the region. The widely read Marjory Stoneman Douglas book “The Everglades: River of Grass,” which characterized the area as a vibrant river rather than a stagnant swamp, generated popular support grew for the designation of the Everglades as a national park. It was officially recognized by Congress in 1934. Already settled areas grew in population as farmers adapted to the soil, growing increasingly large crops of sugarcane. Today, the economy of the Everglades depends largely on tourism and conservation. Sugarcane production is being phased out and wetlands are being restored, owing to the efforts of groups like the Everglades Foundation. The area is popular for airboat and nature tours, with around one million visitors annually. TAKE AN EVERGLADES AIRBOAT TOUR AMERICAN PATRIOT 9
HELLO LABOR DAY 10 AMERICAN PATRIOT
Nowadays Labor Day marks the end of barbecues, the end of wearing white, and just generally the end of summer. But the original holiday was so much more than just an ode to summer’s passing. It was, and is, observed in honor of American unions and workers. The U.S. Department of Labor calls it a “national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” gress, seeking to reconcile labor and management in the aftermath of a series of painful strikes, made it an official national holiday in 1894. It was signed into law by President Grover Cleveland, not a friend of labor but a realist about the power and importance of the labor movement. The legislation declared that “the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations” should be displayed in local street parades. Labor Day Parade, Union Square, New York, 1882
Today, Labor Day has morphed into both a celeLabor Day is an annual Federal holiday observed
bration of working people and a long weekend
on the first Monday of September. Doubt remains
marking the unofficial end of summer. Parks,
about the founding of the holiday. Some records
swimming pools and campgroups are packed
show that Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of
on this day as vacationers take one last plunge.
the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and
Many colleges and secondary schools start classes
a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor,
immediately after Labor Day. Every locality has
was first in suggesting a day. But many believe
its own celebrations, so check the events sched-
that Matthew Maguire, a machinist, proposed
ules. But for a nationwide event, the National
the holiday in 1882 while serving as secretary
Symphony Orchestra performs a free Labor Day
of the Central Labor Union in New York. What is
Concert on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capitol
clear is that the Central Labor Union organized
each year, the Sunday before Labor Day.
a picnic and demonstration. Soon, the idea and the celebrations, picnics and parades spread to many other cities and states. Eventually 23 states embraced the holiday. Con-
PRESIDENT OBAMA SPEAKS ABOUT LABOR DAY THE HISTORY CHANNEL ON LABOR DAY’S BEGINNINGS
AMERICAN PATRIOT 11
THE ‘LADIES’ SAVED WASHINGTON’S
One of the most inspiring preservation and restoration programs in U.S. history was led by Ann Pamela Cunningham, who almost single-handedly saved a deteriorating Mount Vernon, home of George Washington. 12 AMERICAN PATRIOT
First, a little background. Mount Vernon is located near Alexandria VA and was the plantation home of George and Martha Washington. The first President loved the property and inherited it from his half-brother in 1761. He added to the estate, operated it as several separate farms, held it through the difficulties of the Revolutionary War, returned there after the war, and during his Presidency was in residence for 434 days. The remains of George and Martha are entombed on the grounds. After his death, the estate passed to several relatives who let it run down. The State of Virginia and the U.S. governments refused to purchase it and, by the 1850s it was largely in disrepair.
Enter Ann Pamela Cunningham. She was an invalid, having had a riding accident as a teen. In a letter, Cunningham's mother described to Ann the sad condition of the estate as she saw it in 1853. This inspired Cunningham initiated a campaign to save the estate. Largely from her room, she raised funds to purchase Mount Vernon by appealing for donations through letters and newspaper articles directed toward “the Ladies of the South” under the auspices of her Mount Vernon Ladies’ Association. She often signed her pieces “A Southern Matron.” The Association still owns and manages Mount Vernon today, and stands as the largest preservation society in the country. Cunningham raised enough money to buy the property by 1859 and, with no tax dollars, managed to restore the mansion. The restoration is complete with period furniture and decor, and today is a popular tourist attraction. The estate is also well known for its exceptional landscaping and ancillary buildings. There are also related educational programs and activities. Work goes on regularly to preserve, renovate and enhance the 500 acre estate. Mount Vernon was designated a National Historic Landmark in 1960 and is now in the National Register of Historic Places. As for Cunningham, she was honored during her lifetime for the energy she brought to the Mount Vernon project. in the last year of her life she presided over the Grand Council of the Mount Vernon Ladies' Association, and lived to see the fruition of its purpose. She died in 1875.
AMERICAN PATRIOT 13
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Nature's first green is gold, Her hardest hue to hold. Her early leaf's a flower; But only so an hour. Then leaf subsides to leaf. So Eden sank to grief, So dawn goes down to day. Nothing gold can stay. —
“NOTHING GOLD CAN STAY” A POEM ABOUT THE END OF SUMMER
14 AMERICAN PATRIOT
THIS WEEK IN
1967. Thurgood Marshall is appointed the first African American Supreme Court justice. He sat for nearly a quarter of a century and won a reputation for upholding the rights of the individual as guaranteed by the Constitution. Marshall was a graduate of Howard University Law School after the University of Maryland turned him away because of its segregation policy.
AMERICAN PATRIOT 15
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