state william

William-Adolphe Bouguereau (1825-1905)
“Le Travail interrompu” (“Work Interrupted”) (1891)
Oil on canvas
Located in the Mead Art Museum, Amherst, Massachusetts, United States

Making a Murderer subject Brendan Dassey’s conviction overturned

A US federal judge has overturned the murder conviction of Brendan Dassey, whose case was examined in Netflix’s popular Making a Murderer documentary.

Following the ruling by the judge in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Dassey, 26, will be released within 90 days, unless the state decides to retry him.
Dassey and his uncle Steven Avery were convicted of murdering young woman Teresa Hallbach in 2005.

Avery and Dassey, who was 16 at the time, were sentenced to life in prison.

On Friday, Judge William Duffin stated in the court ruling that investigators in the 2007 trial made false promises to Dassey by assuring him “he had nothing to worry about”, the Associated Press news agency reports.

“These repeated false promises, when considered in conjunction with all relevant factors, most especially Dassey’s age, intellectual deficits, and the absence of a supportive adult, rendered Dassey’s confession involuntary under the Fifth and 14th Amendments,” the judge said


Pumpkin Path by Frank Grace

It’s World Photo Day!

And National Photography Day.  What better way to celebrate than to share one our amazing photos from our collection!

Photographing in High Places (1872) - W. H. Jackson, photographer.  This is a self-portrait of the photographer sitting near his photography tent and equipment in the Rocky Mountains. Jackson, a well-known Civil War photographer, worked with Dr. Ferdinand V. Hayden on his survey of the Rocky Mountains.

Also celebrating a birthday today is the 42nd President of the United States, William Jefferson Clinton, pictured here with Kevin Spacey at a fund-raiser for Harlem Rep. Charles Rangel’s National Leadership PAC at the Supper Club in New York City. Circa 2000

August 19, 1946


On this day, 13th August 1790, William Charles Wentworth, was born.                                 

W C Wentworth was an Australian  explorer, journalist and politician, and one of the leading figures of early colonial New South Wales. He was born on Norfolk Island to a convict mother but his father was D’Arcy Wentworth, the assistant surgeon in the colony of New South Wales.

In 1813, Wentworth, along with Gregory Blaxland and William Lawson, led the expedition which found a route across the Blue Mountains west of Sydney and opened up the grazing lands of inland New South Wales. The State Library of New South Wales holds Wentworth’s  journal of the journey of exploration.

William’s father D'Arcy Wentworth died in 1827 and William inherited his property, becoming one of the wealthiest men in the colony. He bought land in eastern Sydney and built the mansion, Vaucluse House.  However, because his parents had never married, and his mother had been a convict, and was the daughter of two convicts, he could not become a member of Sydney’s “respectable” class, known as “the exclusives.” Embittered by this rejection, he placed himself at the head of the “emancipist” party, which sought equal rights and status for ex-convicts and their descendants.

A gifted orator and a vitriolic journalist, Wentworth became the colony’s leading political figure of the 1820s and 1830s, calling for representative government, the abolition of transportation, freedom of the press and trial by jury.

Wentworth founded a newspaper, The Australian, the colony’s first privately owned paper, to champion his causes.  In 1853 Wentworth chaired the committee to draft a new constitution for New South Wales, which was to receive full responsible self-government from Britain.  Wentworth was later instrumental in founding the University of Sydney, seen as an important step in the development of the colony of New South Wales. 

He died in England in 1872,  but his body was returned to Australia and a large state funeral was held in Sydney, the first state funeral in New South Wales.