history-of-america

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What Did Your Civil War Ancestor Look Like? - Amy Johnson Crow
Even if you didn't inherit a photo of your Civil War ancestor, there are several sources you can use to find his physical description.

1. Compiled Military Service Record

James Malone, 6th West Virginia Infantry, Compiled Military Service Record. Image from Fold3. (Click to enlarge.)

The Compiled Military Service Record recaps the person’s time while they were in the service (Union or Confederate). They are usually several pages long, mostly the person’s entries on the company’s bi-monthly muster rolls. There can also be pages that include a physical description, including something called a Descriptive Roll, which is just like it sounds — a roll of the members of the regiment and their physical descriptions.

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?
Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

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Lima, World Heritage Site
Lima is the capital and the largest city of Peru. It is located in the central coastal part of the country, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Together with the seaport of Callao, it forms a contiguous urban area known as the Lima Metropolitan Area. After Cairo, Lima is the second-driest world capital, and with a population of almost 10 million, Lima is the second largest city in the Americas, behind São Paulo and before Mexico City.
Lima was founded by Spanish conquistador Francisco Pizarro on January 18, 1535. The establishment of the viceroyalty transformed the city into the main political and administrative center of South America. During this period, significant churches, monasteries, mansions and balconies were built. Following the Peruvian War of Independence, it became the capital of the Republic of Peru. Lima is home to one of the oldest higher learning institutions in the New World. The National University of San Marcos, founded on May 12, 1551, during the Spanish colonial regime, is the oldest continuously functioning university in the Americas.  The arrival of modernity didn’t transform the historic center, which was recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
According to early Spanish articles the Lima area was once called Itchyma, after its original inhabitants. However, even before the Inca occupation of the area in the 15th century, a famous oracle in the Rímac valley had come to be known by visitors as Limaq (which means “talker” in the coastal Quechua that was the area’s primary language before the Spanish arrival). This oracle was eventually destroyed by the Spanish and replaced with a church, but the name persisted: the chronicles show “Límac” replacing “Ychma” as the common name for the area.
Modern scholars speculate that the word “Lima” originated as the Spanish pronunciation of the native name Limaq. Linguistic evidence seems to support this theory as spoken Spanish consistently rejects stop consonants in word-final position.
In the pre-Columbian era, what is now Lima was inhabited by Amerindian groups under the Ychsma polity, which was incorporated into the Inca Empire in the 15th century. In 1532, Spanish conquistadors led by Francisco Pizarro took over the Inca Empire. As the Spanish Crown had named Pizarro governor of the lands he conquered, he chose the river’s valley that feeds Lima, called Rímac valley, to found his capital on January 18, 1535 as Ciudad de los Reyes (City of the Kings). Lima was named City of the Kings because its foundation was decided on January 6, date of the feast of the Epiphany. This name quickly fell into disuse and Lima became the city’s name of choice; on the oldest Spanish maps of Peru, both Lima and Ciudad de los Reyes can be seen together.
In August 1536, rebel Inca troops led by Manco Inca besieged the city but were defeated by the Spaniards and their native allies.
Lima gained prestige after being designated capital of the Viceroyalty of Peru and site of a Real Audiencia in 1543. During the next century it flourished as the centre of an extensive trade network that integrated the Viceroyalty with the rest of the Americas, Europe and the Far East.
Lima served as the capital of Spain’s South American empire for 300 years, and it’s safe to say that no other colonial city enjoyed such power and prestige during this period.
However, the city was not free from dangers; the presence of pirates and privateers in the Pacific Ocean lead to the building of the Walls of Lima between 1684 and 1687. Also in this last year a powerful earthquake destroyed most of the city buildings; the earthquake marked a turning point in the city’s history as it coincided with a trade recession and growing economic competition with cities such as Buenos Aires.
In 1746, another powerful earthquake severely damaged Lima and destroyed Callao, forcing a massive rebuilding effort under Viceroy José Antonio Manso de Velasco. In the later half of the 18th century, Enlightenment ideas on public health and social control shaped development. During this period, Lima was adversely affected by the Bourbon Reforms as it lost its monopoly on overseas trade and its control over the mining region of Upper Peru. The city’s economic decline left its elite dependent on royal and ecclesiastical appointment and thus, reluctant to advocate independence.
A combined expedition of Argentine and Chilean patriots under General José de San Martín landed south of Lima in 1820 but did not attack the city. Faced with a naval blockade and the action of guerrillas on land, Viceroy José de la Serna e Hinojosa evacuated its capital in July 1821 to save the Royalist army. Fearing a popular uprising and lacking any means to impose order, the city council invited San Martín to enter Lima and signed a Declaration of Independence at his request. However, the war was not over; in the next two years the city changed hands several times.
After independence, Lima became the capital of the Republic of Peru but economic stagnation and political turmoil brought urban development to a halt. This hiatus ended in the 1850s, when increased public and private revenues from guano exports led to a rapid development of the city. The export-led expansion also widened the gap between rich and poor, fostering social unrest. During the 1879–1883 War of the Pacific, Chilean troops occupied Lima, looting public museums, libraries and educational institutions. The city underwent renewal and expansion from the 1890s to the 1920s. During this period, the urban layout was modified by the construction of broad avenues that crisscrossed the city and connected it with neighboring towns.
On May 24, 1940, an earthquake destroyed most of the city, which at that time was mostly built of adobe. In the 1940s, Lima started a period of rapid growth spurred by migration from the Andean region, as rural people sought opportunities for work and education. The population, estimated at 0.6 million in 1940, reached 1.9 million by 1960 and 4.8 million by 1980. At the start of this period, the urban area was confined to a triangular area bounded by the city’s historic centre, Callao and Chorrillos; in the following decades settlements spread to the north, beyond the Rímac River, to the east, along the Central Highway and to the south.
Lima’s climate is between mild and warm. Despite its location in the tropics and in a desert, Lima’s proximity to the cool waters of the Pacific Ocean leads to temperatures much cooler than those expected for a tropical desert and can be classified as a mild desert climate. It is neither cold nor hot. Temperatures rarely fall below 14 °C (57 °F) or rise above 29 °C (84 °F). Two distinct seasons can be identified: summer, from December through April; and winter from June through October. May and November are generally transition months, with a more dramatic warm-to-cool weather transition.
Summers are warm, humid and relatively sunny. Daily temperatures oscillate between lows of 18 °C (64 °F) to 22 °C (72 °F) and highs of 24 °C (75 °F) to 29 °C (84 °F). Summer sunsets are colorful, labeled by locals as “cielo de brujas” (Spanish for “sky of witches”), since the sky commonly turns shades of orange, pink and red around 7 pm. Winter weather is dramatically different. Grey skies, breezy conditions, high humidity and cool temperatures prevail. Long (1-week or more) stretches of dark overcast skies are not uncommon. Persistent morning drizzle occurs occasionally from June through September, coating the streets with a thin layer of water that generally dries up by early afternoon. Winter temperatures vary little between day and night. They range from lows of 14 °C (57 °F) to 16 °C (61 °F) and highs of 16 °C (61 °F) to 19 °C (66 °F), rarely exceeding 20 °C (68 °F) except in the easternmost districts. While relative humidity is high, rainfall is very low due to strong atmospheric stability. The severely low rainfall impacts on water supply in the city, which originates from wells and from rivers that flow from the Andes. As previously mentioned, winter precipitation occurs in the form of persistent morning drizzle events. These are locally called ‘garúa’, 'llovizna’. Summer rain, on the other hand, is infrequent and occurs in the form of isolated light and brief showers. These generally occur during afternoons and evenings when leftovers from Andean storms arrive from the east. The lack of heavy rainfall arises from high atmospheric stability caused, in turn, by the combination of cool waters from semi-permanent coastal upwelling and the presence of the cold Humboldt Current and warm air aloft associated with the South Pacific anticyclone.
With a municipal population of 8,852,000 and 9,752,000 for the metropolitan area and a population density of 3,008.8 inhabitants per square kilometre (7,793/sq mi) as of 2007. Lima ranks as the 30th most populous 'agglomeration’ in the world, as of 2014. Its population features a complex mix of racial and ethnic groups. Mestizos of mixed Amerindian and European (mostly Spanish and Italians) ancestry are the largest ethnic group. European Peruvians are the second largest group. Many are of Spanish, Italian or German descent; many others are of French, British, or Croatian descent. The minorities in Lima include Amerindians (mostly Aymara and Quechua) and Afro-Peruvians, whose African ancestors were initially brought to the region as slaves. Jews of European descent and Middle Easterners are there. Asians, especially of Chinese (Cantonese) and Japanese descent, came mostly in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Lima has, by far, the largest ethnic Chinese community in Latin America.
The first settlement in what would become Lima was made up of 117 housing blocks. In 1562, another district was built across the Rímac River and in 1610, the first stone bridge was built. Lima then had a population of around 26,000; blacks made up around 40% and whites made up around 38%. By 1748, the white population totaled 16,000–18,000. In 1861, the number of inhabitants surpassed 100,000 and by 1927, had doubled.
During the early 20th century, thousands of immigrants came to the city, including people of German, French, Italian and British descent. They organized social clubs and built their own schools. Examples are The American-Peruvian school, the Alianza Francesa de Lima, the Lycée Franco-Péruvien and the hospital Maison de Sante; Markham College, the British-Peruvian school in Monterrico, Antonio Raymondi District Italian School, the Pestalozzi Swiss School and also, several German-Peruvian schools. Immigrants influenced Peruvian cuisine, with Italians in particular exerting a strong influence in the Miraflores and San Isidro areas with their trattorias.
Chinese and a lesser number of Japanese came to Lima and established themselves in the Barrios Altos neighborhood near downtown Lima. Lima residents refer to their Chinatown as Calle Capon and the city’s ubiquitous Chifa restaurants – small, sit-down, usually Chinese-run restaurants serving the Peruvian spin on Chinese cuisine – can be found by the dozens in this enclave.
In 2014, the National Institute for Statistics and Information reported that the population in Lima’s 49 districts was 9,752,000 people, including the Constitutional Province of Callao. The city and (metropolitan area) represents around 29% of the national population.
Lima is considered a “young” city. According to INEI, by mid 2014 the age distribution in Lima was: 24.3% between 0 and 14, 27.2% between 15 and 29, 22.5% between 30 and 44, 15.4% between 45 and 59 and 10.6% above 60.
Lima is the country’s industrial and financial centre and one of Latin America’s most important financial centers, home to many national companies. It accounts for more than two thirds of Peru’s industrial production and most of its tertiary sector.
The Metropolitan area, with around 7,000 factories, leads industrial development, thanks to the quantity and quality of the available workforce and transport and other infrastructure. Lima has the largest export industry in South America and is a regional hub for the cargo industry.
The Callao seaport is one of the main fishing and commerce ports in South America, covering over 47 hectares (120 acres) and shipping 20.7 million metric tons of cargo a year. Most foreign companies in Peru settled in Lima.
Lima’s architecture offers a mix of styles. Examples of early colonial architecture include the Monastery of San Francisco, the Cathedral and and the Torre Tagle Palace. These constructions are generally influenced by Spanish Baroque, Spanish Neoclassical and Spanish Colonial styles. After independence, preferences gradually shifted toward neoclassical and Art Nouveau styles. Many of these works were influenced by French architectural styles. Many government buildings and major cultural institutions were constructed in this period. During the 1960s, the brutalist style began appearing in Lima due to the military government of Juan Velasco Alvarado. Examples of this architecture include the Museum of the Nation and the Ministry of Defense. The early 21st century added glass skyscrapers, particularly around the financial district.
The largest parks are near the downtown area, including the Park of the Reserve, Park of the Exposition, Campo de Marte and University Park. The Park of the Reserve is home to the largest fountain complex in the world known as the Magical Circuit of Water. Many large parks lie outside the city center, including Reducto Park, Pantanos de Villa Wildlife Refuge, El Golf (San Isidro), Parque de las Leyendas (Lima Zoo), El Malecon de Miraflores and the Golf Los Incas.
The street grid is laid out with a system of plazas that are similar to roundabouts or junctions. In addition to this practical purpose, plazas serve as principal green spaces and contain monuments, statues and water fountains.
Strongly influenced by European, Andean, African and Asian culture, Lima is a melting pot, due to colonization, immigration and indigenous influences. The Historic Centre was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1988.
The city is known as the Gastronomical Capital of the Americas, mixing Spanish, Andean and Asian culinary traditions.
Lima’s beaches, located along the northern and southern ends of the city, are heavily visited during the summer. Restaurants, clubs and hotels serve the beachgoers. Lima has a vibrant and active theater scene, including classic theater, cultural presentations, modern theater, experimental theater, dramas, dance performances and theater for children.
Known as Peruvian Coast Spanish, Lima’s Spanish is characterized by the lack of strong intonations as found in many other Spanish-speaking regions. It is heavily influenced by Castilian Spanish. Throughout the colonial era, most of the Spanish nobility based in Lima were originally from Castile. Limean Castillian is also characterized by the lack of voseo, unlike many other Latin American countries. This is because voseo was primarily used by Spain’s lower socioeconomic classes, a social group that did not begin to appear in Lima until the late colonial era. Limean Spanish is distinguished by its clarity in comparison to other Latin American accents and has been influenced by immigrant groups including Italians, Andalusians, West Africans, Chinese and Japanese. It also has been influenced by anglicisms as a result of globalization, as well as by Andean Spanish and Quechua, due to migration from the Andean highlands. [x]

3

On This Day in History July 22, 1893: While on a trip to Pike’s Peak in Colorado, English professor Katharine Lee Bates was awed by the view of the Rockie Mountains that stood in front of her. Upon returning to her residence, Bates had written most of the poem that would be entitled “America the Beautiful”.

Though the first stanza of the poem is the one that most people are familiar with, the poem in total has eight stanzas. The melody that accompanies the song is from “Materna” by Samuel A. Ward. Here is the first stanza:

O beautiful for spacious skies,
For amber waves of grain,
For purple mountain majesties
Above the fruited plain!
America! America!
God shed his grace on thee
And crown thy good with brotherhood
From sea to shining sea!

For Further Reading:

4

The kkk represent evil and racism against mostly black people. That black people struggle for hundreds of years to be consider equal. Martin Luther King, Marcus Garvey, malcom X didn’t go through the racist struggle all in vain for us. Black people had to struggle and fight to be seen as human and not property! The kkk did despicable things! Black people were burned and hung from trees, had bombed and killed innocent children just cause of the color of skin! She is old enough to know the difference from right and wrong and she knew what she was doing was not nice at all and to think she thought it was funny, a joke then that makes it even more distasteful! 

2

January 28th 1986: Challenger Disaster

On this day in 1986, the US space shuttle Challenger exploded 73 seconds into its 10th flight, resulting in the deaths of all seven crew members. The craft disintegrated over the Atlantic Ocean due to technical malfunction. The crew compartment and various fragments were recovered from the ocean floor, and several of the crew are known to have survived the initial breakup and died upon impact with the ocean surface. The tragedy occurred the same day President Ronald Reagan was due to give his annual State of the Union, but he postponed the speech and instead gave a national address on the Challenger disaster. Reagan quoted the poem ‘High Flight’ by John Gillespie Magee Jr:

“We will never forget them, nor the last time we saw them, this morning, as they prepared for their journey and waved goodbye and 'slipped the surly bonds of Earth’ to 'touch the face of God.’”

5

Tuskegee syphilis experiment

The Tuskegee Study of Untreated Syphilis in the Negro Male, also known as the Tuskegee Syphilis Study or Tuskegee Syphilis Experiment was an infamous clinical study conducted between 1932 and 1972 by the U.S. Public Health Service studying the natural progression of untreated syphilis in rural African-American men in Alabama.

White scientists under the veil of prophylaxis and treatment ingected black people with syphilis and watched (writing down in their notebooks) them lingering. That is definetily not the scientific practice I like.

The change happened overnight. The bombing of Pearl Harbor happened on Dec. 7, 1941, and suddenly Kiyo’s classmates – and basically the entire country – were treating her like a bear rooting around in their picnic. Literally, by 1942: “There was even a Japanese hunting license issued by the military,” says Kiyo. “Can you imagine? I have an original copy of that.” There were actually a lot of those novelty “licenses” issued by all manner of groups, each somehow more racist than the last.

Overnight, Kiyo became an awkward teen in a country full of people who suddenly thought she might be The Enemy. “The only time you felt safe was when you were in your own home, and even then you felt like the FBI could be peeking in through your vines. And they would pop in at any time.”

The FBI found themselves in charge of making sure people like Kiyo and her family – who were farmers – weren’t somehow planning on bringing down democracy from within. “Three of them came into our house. … They just barged in anywhere and ransacked the whole place.” They were looking for radios and any other equipment that might’ve been used to signal the Japanese military.

It’s important to recognize that, right alongside being Nazi-fighting badasses, the Greatest Generation panicked at the thought that a bunch of their fellow citizens might be sleeper agents. 

Why Modern America Scares Me: By An Internment Camp Survivor

“The middle class is disappearing” has been a standard line during this election cycle. As it turns out, it’s not wrong.

Last year was the first recorded year that middle-income families no longer make up the majority in America, according to the Pew Research Center. What this actually means economically is a mixed bag, but “middle class” in the U.S. has historically stood for something less concrete: the American dream.

Between now and the election, All Things Considered will be looking at what it means to be middle class in America today.

A Brief History Of America’s Middle Class

Photo: A father plays with his children outside their house in 1952. George Konig/Keystone Features/Getty Images