On this day, July 4, 1881 – In Alabama, the Tuskegee Institute opens.

View of three members of the Housewives League of Detroit standing in front of a statue of Booker T. Washington at Tuskegee Institute in Alabama. There are two men in the picture. Printed on back: “Adler & Adler, Photos 4245 Russell, Detroit, Mich.” Handwritten on back: “1. Mr. Boone, 2. Wm E., 3., 4., 5. Nannie Black."  Date:1930-1939

  • Courtesy of the Burton Historical Collection, Detroit Public Library

1619-1968 Timeline of Slavery in the United States of America

1619 Negro slaves shipped on slave ships and sold
1789 Slaves counted as 3/5ths of a person
1830 Law created that made it a crime to teach Negros to read
1831 Nat Turner leads slave revolt
1849 Harriet Tubman escapes from slavery. She becomes a major conductor on the Underground Railroad.
1849 Dred Scott decision
1863 Emancipation Proclamation
1868 Negros made full citizens of the United States
1870 Jim Crow laws passed
1875 Congress passes the first Civil Rights Act, guaranteeing Negros equal rights in transportation, restaurants, theaters & on juries. The law is struck down in 1883.
1881 Booker T. Washington begins to work at the Tuskegee Institute
1890 Literacy test created to keep Negros from voting
1900 Lynching is a part of life
1919 Black communities attacked in riots
1921 Black wall street burned down
1947 Jackie Robinson plays baseball
1954 Brown vs. Board of Education
1955 Emmett Till murdered
1955 Rosa Parks jail for not giving up her seat
1956 Montgomery bus boycott ends in victory
1957 Integration rejected
1960 Lunch counter sit-in’s start
1963 Malcom X speeches
1963 Martin Luther King Jr’s ‘I have a dream speech’
1968 Civil Rights Act

The Grand Old Rag
  • The Grand Old Rag
  • Billy Murray

Song: The Grand Old Rag

Artist: Billy Murray

Record Label: Victor Records 4634

Released: January 1906

Location: 2010 Debut Trailer

Today, of course, is a day of celebration of when the thirteen American colonies declared independence from Great Britain.

A sentiment echoed by Columbia when they seceded from the Union.

This song is perhaps more familiar as “You’re a Grand Old Flag”. The patriotic march can be heard in the BioShock Infinite 2010 Debut Trailer coming from a gramophone as the cuff-linked hands of Booker DeWitt attempts to hold onto the surface of a blimp.

Indeed, the song was originally titled as “The Grand Old Rag” by famed Broadway playwright, George M. Cohan, for his 1906 musical George Washington, Jr.  

As the story goes, Cohan was inspired by a Civil War veteran who carried a carefully folded, but tattered flag. He remarked that “She’s a grand old rag”, giving Cohan the first line of the chorus. However, other individuals objected to called the flag a “rag”, leaving Cohan scrambling for a new rhyme.

The original chorus went:

You’re a grand old rag / You’re a high-flying flag

The revision became:

You’re a grand old flag / Though you’re torn to a rag

Which was eventually dropped in favor for redundant rhyme known today:

You’re a grand old flag / You’re a high-flying flag

Though the entire song has two entire verses referencing lines from “Yankee Doodle”, “Dixie”, “Marching Through Georgia”, “The Yankee Doodle Boy”, “The Star-Spangled Banner”, “Auld Lang Syne”, and mentions the Grand Army of the Republic, usually only the chorus is sung with regularity.

This is a single in the truest sense of the word. Most people were still familiar with cylinder recordings having only one song. The earliest disc records were also one-sided.

Later, technology evolved to press two sides at once on the same record. This would give rise to the A-side and an extra song known as the B-side, giving two songs for the price of one record, though still commonly called a “single”. Though some novelty records were later released as single-sided, it was only until the advent of digital downloads that paying for a “single” again meant buying only one song.

The blank backs of the records often had advertisements and warnings against counterfeiting and commercial broadcasts. Here, the record is advertised as 60 cents; you could buy a dozen eggs for 14 cents or three pounds of beef for 25 cents in 1906. The slip is dated to December 1, 1905 though the record was released the following month.

William Thomas Murray or simply Billy Murray had a prolific career in both vaudeville and as a recording artist. Much like Sam Lanin, he recorded for nearly every record label of the era

Even for this song, he recorded variations of both “You’re a Grand Old Flag” and “The Grand Old Rag” as either a solo or with the American Quartet (featuring John Bieling, Steve Porter, and William F. Hooley).

Though this song did not make the final cut, he did however make it into the soundtrack of the game proper.

Listen to Billy Murray’s and Ada Jones’ duet of “Shine On, Harvest Moon” on a cylinder here.

anonymous asked:

If you could, how would you change Booker? You were talking about how he's kind of a weak father. I can kinda understand why since Bioshock loves their twisty ending reveals. But I guess lets pretend they knew they were related early on in the game. Would you have anything special? The only nice thing I can remember from that game is when Booker plays guitar for a bit. Tbh I was more interested in the 'relationship' between Elizabeth and Songbird.

i probably wouldn’t change booker at all tbh. like the whole reason there even is a game is because he was a shitty father and tried to sell his child to pay off a gambling debt. of course he realizes his mistake and tries to get elizabeth back, but it didn’t work out. now in some reality where booker does get elizabeth back i like to imagine he tries to straighten himself out and becomes a really good father to her—plays guitar for her, reads her stories, works hard so she can have a comfortable life, watches her grow up, and at some point they both go to paris together and nothing bad ever happens to them. the end.

  • elizabeth, in battle:you look hurt!!
  • booker:*puts down his gun wearily amidst enemy fire and sinks to the ground* it all began 20 years ago............... bring us the girl and wipe away th

In honour of BlackOut Day, here’s a gifset of some of my favourite and most dominant Black wrestlers in the WWE.


“Big Brother has yet to have a Black winner.  I’m sorry, it’s time.  …So I’m pulling for her”.

- Danielle Reyes

Dear BB gods,

As a new season of Big Brother begins, bless Da’Vonne Rogers with the attributes of these BBUS queens that have come before her.  May their spirits be with her and help guide her to the end.

In Jocasta’s name we pray,