Ezra Update: Dawn Seymour ’39 took to the skies during WWII July 20, 2017

Ezra Update: Dawn Seymour ’39 took to the skies during WWII
Weeks after her 100th birthday, WASP Dawn Seymour has taken her final flight. Official posting and information forthcoming. Meantime, please read the lovely tribute from her beloved Cornell University’s magazine. The article is from 2014. Classy, gracious, kind…so grateful to call her friend. Our prayers for her family and all the hearts she touched. So many hearts.

FYI July 20, 2017

1807 – Nicéphore Niépce is awarded a patent by Napoleon for the Pyréolophore, the world’s first internal combustion engine, after it successfully powered a boat upstream on the river Saône in France.
Nicéphore Niépce (born Joseph Niépce; 7 March 1765 – 5 July 1833)[1] was a French inventor, now usually credited as the inventor of photography and a pioneer in that field.[2] Niépce developed heliography, a technique he used to create the world’s oldest surviving product of a photographic process: a print made from a photoengraved printing plate in 1825.[3] In 1826 or 1827, he used a primitive camera to produce the oldest surviving photograph of a real-world scene. Among Niépce’s other inventions was the Pyréolophore, the world’s first internal combustion engine, which he conceived, created, and developed with his older brother Claude.[4]

Early life

Niépce was born in Chalon-sur-Saône, Saône-et-Loire, where his father was a wealthy lawyer; this caused the whole family to flee the French Revolution. His older brother Claude (1763–1828) was also his collaborator in research and invention, but died half-mad and destitute in England, having squandered the family wealth in pursuit of non-opportunities for the Pyréolophore. Niepce also had a sister and a younger brother, Bernard.[5][6][7][8][9]

Nicéphore was baptized Joseph but adopted the name Nicéphore, in honour of Saint Nicephorus the ninth-century Patriarch of Constantinople, while studying at the Oratorian college in Angers.[citation needed] At the college he learned science and the experimental method, rapidly achieving success and graduating to work as a professor of the college.

Military career
Niépce served as a staff officer in the French army under Napoleon, spending a number of years in Italy and on the island of Sardinia, but ill health forced him to resign, whereupon he married Agnes Romero and became the Administrator of the district of Nice in post-revolutionary France. In 1795, Niepce resigned as administrator of Nice to pursue scientific research with his brother Claude. One source reports his resignation to have been forced due to his unpopularity.[5][6][7][8][9]

Scientific research
In 1801 the brothers returned to the family’s estates in Chalon to continue their scientific research, and where they were united with their mother, their sister and their younger brother Bernard. Here they managed the family estate as independently wealthy gentlemen-farmers, raising beets and producing sugar.[5][6][7][8][9]

Claude Niépce
In 1827 Niépce journeyed to England to visit his seriously ill elder brother Claude, who was now living in Kew, near London. Claude had descended into delirium and squandered much of the family fortune chasing inappropriate business opportunities for the Pyréolophore.[5][6]

Nicéphore Niépce died of a stroke on 5 July 1833, financially ruined by the semi-delirious spending of Claude such that his grave in the cemetery of Saint-Loup de Varennes was financed by the municipality. The cemetery is near the family house where he had experimented and had made the world’s first photographic image.[7]

His son Isidore (1805–68) formed a partnership with Daguerre after his father’s death and was granted a government pension in 1839 in return for disclosing the technical details of Nicéphore’s heliogravure process.[6][7]

A cousin, Claude Félix Abel Niépce de Saint-Victor (1805–70), was a chemist and was the first to use albumen in photography. He also produced photographic engravings on steel.[9] During 1857–1861, he discovered that uranium salts emit a form of radiation that is invisible to the human eye.[10]

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1848 – The first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, New York, a two-day event, concludes.
The Seneca Falls Convention was the first women’s rights convention.[1] It advertised itself as “a convention to discuss the social, civil, and religious condition and rights of woman”.[2] Held in Seneca Falls, New York, it spanned two days over July 19–20, 1848. Attracting widespread attention, it was soon followed by other women’s rights conventions, including the Rochester Women’s Rights Convention in Rochester, New York, two weeks later. In 1850 the first in a series of annual National Women’s Rights Conventions met in Worcester, Massachusetts.

Female Quakers local to the area organized the meeting along with Elizabeth Cady Stanton, who was not a Quaker. They planned the event during a visit to the area by Philadelphia-based Lucretia Mott. Mott, a Quaker, was famous for her oratorical ability, which was rare for non-Quaker women during an era in which women were often not allowed to speak in public.

The meeting comprised six sessions including a lecture on law, a humorous presentation, and multiple discussions about the role of women in society. Stanton and the Quaker women presented two prepared documents, the Declaration of Sentiments and an accompanying list of resolutions, to be debated and modified before being put forward for signatures. A heated debate sprang up regarding women’s right to vote, with many – including Mott – urging the removal of this concept, but Frederick Douglass, who was the convention’s sole African American attendee, argued eloquently for its inclusion, and the suffrage resolution was retained. Exactly 100 of approximately 300 attendees signed the document, mostly women.

The convention was seen by some of its contemporaries, including featured speaker Mott, as one important step among many others in the continuing effort by women to gain for themselves a greater proportion of social, civil and moral rights,[3] while it was viewed by others as a revolutionary beginning to the struggle by women for complete equality with men. Stanton considered the Seneca Falls Convention to be the beginning of the women’s rights movement, an opinion that was echoed in the History of Woman Suffrage, which Stanton co-wrote.[3]

The convention’s Declaration of Sentiments became “the single most important factor in spreading news of the women’s rights movement around the country in 1848 and into the future”, according to Judith Wellman, a historian of the convention.[4] By the time of the National Women’s Rights Convention of 1851, the issue of women’s right to vote had become a central tenet of the United States women’s rights movement.[5] These conventions became annual events until the outbreak of the American Civil War in 1861.

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1890 – Julie Vinter Hansen, Danish-Swiss astronomer and academic (d. 1960)
Julie Marie Vinter Hansen (20 July 1890 – 27 July 1960) was a Danish astronomer.

Early life

Vinter Hansen was born in Copenhagen, Denmark.


While studying at the University of Copenhagen, she was appointed a computer at the University’s observatory in 1915. In the pre-electronic era, computers were humans that worked doing hand calculations at the direction of astronomers. She was the first woman to hold an appointment at the University. She was later appointed observatory assistant and, in 1922, observer.

Editor of Nordic Astronomy Review

She was a very energetic worker, who, along with her normal work of observing and performing mathematical reductions of observations took on the task of editing the Nordisk Astronomisk Tidsskrift (Nordic Astronomy Review).
International Astronomical Union

She later became Director of the International Astronomical Union’s telegram bureau and Editor of its Circulars.

Work as Astronomer at University of Copenhagen
By 1939, Vinter Hansen was the First Astronomer at the Observatory of the University of Copenhagen, widely known for her accurate computation of orbits of minor planets and comets.

Tagea Brandt Rejselegat Award
In that 1939 she received the Tagea Brandt Rejselegat (travel award), given to women that have made big contributions on arts or science. With the award money (DKK 10.000 or 160,000 of actual US $) undertook a tour through the United States to Japan and back. On her return trip in 1940, the outbreak of World War II restricted her homeward journey.

Work in University of California
She was awarded a Martin Kellogg Fellowship at the University of California which allowed her to work for a time in the United States. Also in 1940 she was awarded the Annie J. Cannon Award in Astronomy.

Return to Denmark

Vinter Hansen was appointed to a knight in the Order of the Dannebrog in 1956[1] and continued her career at the University of Copenhagen until 1960.

Julie Vinter Hansen died in 1960, from a heart-failure just days before her retirement, in her beloved vacation destination, the Swiss mountain village of Mürren, and was buried in Copenhagen. The minor planet 1544 Vinterhansenia, discovered by Finnish astronomer Liisi Oterma in the 1940s, was named in her honour.

Tagea Brandt Rejselegat Award.
Martin Kellogg Fellowship
Knight in the Order of the Dannebrog


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FYI July 19, 2017

1545 – The Tudor warship Mary Rose sinks off Portsmouth; in 1982 the wreck is salvaged in one of the most complex and expensive projects in the history of maritime archaeology.
The Mary Rose is a carrack-type warship of the English Tudor navy of King Henry VIII. After serving for 33 years in several wars against France, Scotland, and Brittany and after being substantially rebuilt in 1536, she saw her last action on 19 July 1545. While leading the attack on the galleys of a French invasion fleet, she sank in the Solent, the straits north of the Isle of Wight.

The wreck of the Mary Rose was rediscovered in 1971. It was raised in 1982 by the Mary Rose Trust, in one of the most complex and expensive projects in the history of maritime archaeology. The surviving section of the ship and thousands of recovered artefacts are of immeasurable value as a Tudor-era time capsule. The excavation and raising of the Mary Rose was a milestone in the field of maritime archaeology, comparable in complexity and cost only to the raising of the Swedish 17th-century warship Vasa in 1961.

The finds include weapons, sailing equipment, naval supplies and a wide array of objects used by the crew. Many of the artefacts are unique to the Mary Rose and have provided insights into topics ranging from naval warfare to the history of musical instruments. Since the mid-1980s, while undergoing conservation, the remains of the hull have been on display at the Portsmouth Historic Dockyard. An extensive collection of well-preserved artefacts is on display at the nearby Mary Rose Museum, built to display the reconstructed ship and its artefacts.

The Mary Rose was one of the largest ships in the English navy through more than three decades of intermittent war and was one of the earliest examples of a purpose-built sailing warship. She was armed with new types of heavy guns that could fire through the recently invented gun-ports. After being substantially rebuilt in 1536, she was also one of the earliest ships that could fire a broadside, although the line of battle tactics that employed it had not yet been developed. Several theories have sought to explain the demise of the Mary Rose, based on historical records, knowledge of 16th-century shipbuilding, and modern experiments. The precise cause of her sinking is still unclear, because of conflicting testimonies and a lack of conclusive physical evidence.

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1921 – Rosalyn Sussman Yalow, American physicist and academic, Nobel Prize laureate (d. 2011)
Rosalyn Sussman Yalow (July 19, 1921 – May 30, 2011) was an American medical physicist, and a co-winner of the 1977 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (together with Roger Guillemin and Andrew Schally) for development of the radioimmunoassay (RIA) technique. She was the second American woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize Physiology or Medicine after Gerty Cori.[3]

“I was excited about achieving a career in physics. My family, being more practical, thought the most desirable position for me would be as an elementary school teacher.”
Rosalyn Yalow[4]

She was born in bronx new York, the daughter of Clara (née Zipper) and Simon Sussman. She attended Walton High School.
I was excited about achieving a career in physics. My family, being more practical, thought the most desirable position for me would be as an elementary school teacher.
Rosalyn Yalow[4]

Knowing how to type, she won a part-time position as secretary to Dr. Rudolf Schoenheimer, a leading biochemist at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons. Not believing that any good graduate school would admit and provide financial support to a woman, she took a job as a secretary to Michael Heidelberger, another biochemist at Columbia, who hired her on the condition that she studied stenography. She graduated from Hunter College in January 1941.[4]

In mid-February of that aforementioned year she received an offer of a teaching assistantship in physics at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with the primary reason being that World War II commenced and many men went off to war and the university decided to offer scholarships for women rather than shut down. That summer she took two tuition-free physics courses under government auspices at New York University. At the University of Illinois, she was the only woman among the department’s 400 members, and the first since 1917. She married fellow student Aaron Yalow, the son of a rabbi, in June 1943. They had two children and kept a kosher home.[5] Yalow earned her Ph.D in 1945.[5]

After graduating, Yalow joined the Bronx Veterans Administration Medical Center to help set up its radioisotope service. There she collaborated with Solomon Berson to develop radioimmunoassay (RIA). RIA is a radioisotope tracing technique that allows the measurement of tiny quantities of various biological substances in human blood as well as a multitude of other aqueous fluids.

RIA testing relies on the creation of two reagents. One reagent is a radioactive molecule that is the product of covalently bonding a radioactive isotope atom with a molecule of the target substance (e.g. insulin). The second reagent is an antibody which specifically chemically attaches itself to the target substance when the two are in contact. The initial radioactivity of a mixture of the two reagents is then measured. This radioactive mixture is then added to a measured quantity of fluid (e.g. blood) containing an unknown but usually very low concentration of the target substance. Because the antibodies preferentially attach to non-radioactive molecules, the proportion of radioactive target-antibody links is reduced by an amount proportional to the concentration of the target substance in the fluid. When the final radioactivity of the isolated target-antibody material is measured, the concentration of the target substance (i.e. the amount of insulin in the blood) can be calculated.

Originally used to study insulin levels in diabetes mellitus,[6] the technique has since been applied to hundreds of other substances – including hormones, vitamins and enzymes – all too small to detect previously. Despite its huge commercial potential, Yalow and Berson refused to patent the method.

In 1968, Yalow was appointed Research Professor in the Department of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, where she later became the Solomon Berson Distinguished Professor at Large.[7] Yalow became a distinguished professor at large at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine at Yeshiva University in 1979. In 1981, Yalow became a founding member of the World Cultural Council.[8]

Until the time of her death she continued to reside in the same house in Riverdale that she and her husband purchased after she began working at the Bronx Veterans Administration Medical Center in the 1940s.[9] Her husband, Dr. Aaron Yalow, died in 1992.[10] Rosalyn Yalow died on May 30, 2011, aged 89, in The Bronx from undisclosed causes.[11][12]

Yalow was awarded a Fulbright fellowship to Portugal.[13]

In 1972, Yalow was awarded the William S. Middleton Award for Excellence in Research, the highest honor of the VA Medical Center.[14]

In 1975 Yalow and Berson (who had died in 1972) were awarded the AMA Scientific Achievement Award.[15] The following year she became the first female recipient of the Albert Lasker Award for Basic Medical Research.[16]

In 1977 she received the Nobel Prize, together with Roger Guillemin and Andrew V. Schally for her role in devising the radioimmunoassay (RIA) technique that by measuring substances in the human body, that made possible the screening the blood of donors for such diseases as hepatitis among other uses.[17] In 1977 Yalow received the Nobel prize for the invention she and Berson created. Radioimmunoassay (RIA) can be used to measure a multitude of substances found in tiny quantities in fluids within and outside of organisms (such as viruses, drugs and hormones). The list of current possible uses is endless, but specifically, RIA allows blood-donations to be screened for various types of hepatitis. The technique can also be used to identify hormone-related health problems. Further, RIA can be used to detect in the blood many foreign substances including some cancers. Finally, the technique can be used to measure the effectiveness of dose levels of antibiotics and drugs.[18]

She was elected a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 1978.[19][20] Yalow received the National Medal of Science in 1988.


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FYI July 18, 2017

1290 – King Edward I of England issues the Edict of Expulsion, banishing all Jews (numbering about 16,000) from England; this was Tisha B’Av on the Hebrew calendar, a day that commemorates many Jewish calamities.
The Edict of Expulsion was a royal decree issued by King Edward I of England on 18 July 1290, expelling all Jews from the Kingdom of England. The expulsion edict remained in force for the rest of the Middle Ages. The edict was not an isolated incident, but the culmination of over 200 years of increased persecution. The edict was overturned during the Protectorate more than three centuries later, when Oliver Cromwell permitted Jews to return to England in 1657.

The first Jewish communities of significant size came to England with William the Conqueror in 1066.[1] On the conquest of England, William instituted a feudal system in the country, whereby all estates formally belonged to the Crown; the king then appointed lords over these vast estates, but they were subject to duties and obligations (financial and military) to the king. Under the lords were further subjects such as serfs, who were bound and obliged to their lords, and their lords’ obligations. Merchants had a special status in the system, as did Jews. Jews were declared to be direct subjects of the king,[2] unlike the rest of the population. That was an ambivalent legal position for the Jewish population, in that they were not tied to any particular lord but were subject to the whims of the king. That could be either advantageous or disadvantageous. Every successive king formally reviewed a royal charter, granting Jews the right to remain in England. Jews did not enjoy any of the guarantees of the Magna Carta[3] of 1215.

Economically, Jews played a key role in the country. The Church then strictly forbade the lending of money for profit. That created a vacuum in the economy of Europe that Jews filled because of extreme discrimination in every other economic area. Canon law was not considered applicable to Jews, and Judaism does not forbid loans with interest between Jews and non-Jews.[4] In consequence, some Jews made large amounts of money. Taking advantage of their unique status as his direct subjects, the King could appropriate Jewish assets in the form of taxation. He levied heavy taxes on Jews at will, without having to summon Parliament.[5]

Jews acquired a reputation as extortionate moneylenders, which made them extremely unpopular with both the Church and the general public. While an anti-Jewish attitude was widespread in Europe, medieval England was particularly anti-Jewish.[3] An image of the Jew as a diabolical figure who hated Christ started to become widespread, and myths such as the tale of the Wandering Jew and allegations of ritual murders originated and spread throughout England as well as in Scotland and Wales.[6]

In frequent cases of blood libel, Jews were said to hunt for children to murder before Passover so that they could use their blood to make the unleavened matzah.[7] Anti-Jewish attitudes sparked numerous riots in which many Jews were murdered, most notably in 1190, when over 100 Jews were massacred in York.[7]

The situation only got worse for Jews as the 13th century progressed. In 1218, Henry III of England proclaimed the Edict of the Badge requiring Jews to wear a marking badge.[8] Taxation grew increasingly intense. Between 1219-72, 49 levies were imposed on Jews for a total of 200,000 marks, a vast sum of money.[5] The first major step towards expulsion took place in 1275, with the Statute of the Jewry. The statute outlawed all lending at interest and gave Jews fifteen years to readjust.[9]

In the duchy of Gascony in 1287, King Edward ordered the local Jews expelled.[10] All their property was seized by the crown and all outstanding debts payable to Jews were transferred to the King’s name.[11] By the time he returned to England in 1289, King Edward was deeply in debt.[12] The next summer he summoned his knights to impose a steep tax. To make the tax more palatable, Edward, in exchange, essentially offered to expel all Jews.[13] The heavy tax was passed, and three days later, on 18 July,[14] the Edict of Expulsion was issued. One official reason for the expulsion was that Jews had declined to follow the Statute of Jewry. The edict of expulsion was widely popular and met with little resistance, and the expulsion was quickly carried out.[citation needed]

The Jewish population in England at the time was relatively small, perhaps 2,000 people, although estimates vary.[15] The expulsion process appears to have been relatively non-violent, although there were some accounts to the contrary. One perhaps apocryphal story told of a captain taking a ship full of Jews to the Thames, en route to France, while the tide was low, and convincing them to go out for a walk with him. He then lost them and made it back to his ship quickly before the tide came back in, leaving them all to drown.[11]

Many Jews emigrated, to Scotland, France and the Netherlands, and as far as Poland, which, at that time, protected them (see Statute of Kalisz).

Intermediate period
Between the expulsion of Jews in 1290 and their formal return in 1655, there is no official trace of Jews as such on English soil except in connection with the Domus Conversorum, which kept a number of them within its precincts up to 1551 and even later. An attempt was made to obtain a revocation of the edict of expulsion as early as 1310, but in vain. Notwithstanding, a certain number of Jews appeared to have returned; for complaints were made to the king in 1376 that some of those trading as Lombards were actually Jews (“Rot. Parl.” ii. 332a).

Occasionally permits were given to individuals to visit England, as in the case of Dr Elias Sabot (an eminent physician from Bologna summoned to attend Henry IV) in 1410, but it was not until the expulsion of the Jews from Spain in 1492 and Portugal in 1497 that any considerable number of Sephardic Jews found refuge in England. One of these as early as 1493 attempted to recover no less a sum than 428,000 maravedis which the refugees from Spain had entrusted to Diego de Soria.[citation needed] In 1542 many were arrested on the suspicion of being Jews, and throughout the sixteenth century a number of persons named Lopez, possibly all of the same family, took refuge in England, the best known of them being Rodrigo López, physician to Queen Elizabeth I, and who is said to have been the origin of Shylock.[16]

Aside from certain distinguished converts like Immanuel Tremellius and Philip Ferdinand, the most remarkable visitor was Joachim Gaunse, who introduced new methods of mining into England. Occasional visitors, like Alonzo de Herrera and Simon Palache in 1614, are recorded. The writings of John Weemes provided a positive view of the resettlement of Jews in England.[17]

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1895 – Olga Spessivtseva, Russian-American ballerina (d. 1991)
Olga Alexandrovna Spessivtseva[1] (Russian: Ольга Алекса́ндровна Спеси́вцева (18 July [O.S. 6 July] 1895 – 16 September 1991) was a Russian ballerina whose stage career spanned from 1913-39.

One of the maxims prima ballerinas of the twentieth century. Excellent classical technique, immaculate style and scenic spirituality is considered the embodiment of the romantic ballerina.

Olga Spessivtseva was born in Rostov-on-Don, the daughter of an opera singer and his wife. After her father’s death, she was sent to an orphanage with theatrical connections in St. Petersburg, a center of culture . She entered St. Petersburg’s Imperial Ballet Academy in 1906, where she was a student of Klavdia Kulichevskaya and later of Yevgenia Sokolova and Agrippina Vaganova.

After graduating in 1913, she joined the Mariinsky Theatre company, where she was promoted to soloist in 1916. An exquisite romantic dancer with perfect technique, ideally suited for roles such as Giselle and Odette-Odile in Swan Lake, she quickly became one of the most admired dancers in the company.

In 1916, Sergei Diaghilev invited her to tour with the Ballets Russes in the United States, where she danced with Vaslav Nijinsky in Le Spectre de la Rose, Les Sylphides and the “Bluebird pas de deux” from The Sleeping Beauty. In 1918 she returned to the Mariinsky, renamed the Petrograd Opera and Ballet Theater after the Russian Revolution of 1917. She was promoted to the rank of ballerina. At this time she was almost unknown in the West.

She continued to perform with the Ballets Russes abroad, dancing “Aurora” in Diaghilev’s renowned The Sleeping Princess in London in 1921, and at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires in 1923. With the aid of her ex-husband Boris Kaplun, a Bolshevik functionary and lover of the arts, she left Russia for the last time in 1924. She had accepted an invitation to dance as an étoile (prima ballerina) at the Paris Opera Ballet, where she remained until 1932. During that time, she maintained her relationship with the Ballets Russes. In 1932 she made another historic guest appearance in London, dancing Giselle with Anton Dolin of the Royal Ballet. From 1932 to 1937, she toured with a number of companies throughout the world, performing roles from both the classical repertoire and contemporary ballets by choreographers such as Michel Fokine and Bronislava Nijinska. When dancing abroad, she was frequently inaccurately billed as Olga Spessiva.[citation needed]

Spessivtseva had experienced periods of clinical depression as early as 1934, when she showed signs of mental illness in Sydney and needed hospitalisation. In 1937 she left the stage due to a nervous breakdown. She did some teaching, then briefly returned to performing, making her farewell appearance at the Teatro Colón in 1939. That same year, she moved to the United States, where she taught and served as an advisor to the Ballet Theatre Foundation in New York City. She suffered another nervous breakdown in 1943, for which she was hospitalized.[2]

The BBC produced a short programme about her life in 1964, and two years later Anton Dolin wrote a book about her. Both works are titled The Sleeping Ballerina. Expert dance writers have described her as “the greatest of Russian ballerine at this period”,[3] and “The supreme classical ballerina of the century”.[4]

In 1998, Russian choreographer Boris Eifman made her the heroine of his ballet, Red Giselle.[5]


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Get a connex!
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FYI July 17, 2017

1771 – Bloody Falls massacre: Chipewyan chief Matonabbee, traveling as the guide to Samuel Hearne on his Arctic overland journey, massacres a group of unsuspecting Inuit.
The Massacre at Bloody Falls was an incident that took place during Samuel Hearne’s exploration of the Coppermine River on the 17 July 1771. Chipewyan and “Copper Indian”[1] Dene men led by Hearne’s guide and companion Matonabbee attacked a group of Copper Inuit[2] camped by rapids approximately 15 km (9.3 mi) upstream from the mouth of the Coppermine River. Just after midnight on 17 July, the Dene set upon the Inuit camp and killed approximately 20 men, women, and children. Hearne was traumatized by the massacre, saying “…and I am confident that my features must have feelingly expressed how sincerely I was affected at the barbarous scene I then witnessed; even at this hour I cannot reflect on the transactions of that horrid day without shedding tears.”[3] He named the waterfall Bloody Falls.[4]

The site of the massacre, which was the traditional home of the Kogluktogmiut, is now located in Kugluk/Bloody Falls Territorial Park near Kugluktuk, Nunavut. It was designated a National Historic Site in 1978.

In 1996, Dene and Inuit representatives participated in a healing ceremony to reconcile the centuries-old grievance.[5]

The incident is referred to in the John Newlove poem Samuel Hearne in Wintertime.

Genesis of the massacre
Towards the end of May 1771, Samuel Hearne began to notice that the Chipewyan Indians accompanying him on his expedition had motives other than his planned survey of the Coppermine River.[6]

On the party’s arrival at Peshew Lake, Matonabbee and a number of the men accompanying Hearne began to make arrangements for their wives and children to be left behind. Later on, when the party arrived at Clowey, each of the Chipewyan men crafted shields from thin boards, 60 cm (2 ft) wide and 90 cm (3 ft) long.

Hearne noted that his party was joined by a number of Indians who were solely interested in propagating a war against the Inuit.[6]

In the travel narrative describing his journey, he claimed that as the group advanced north into Inuit territories, it became evident that his companions were gradually plotting an act of “savage”, “shocking”, and “brutish” violence.[7]

Hearne began to remonstrate with the Indians, but failed in his attempt. In his account of the events that transpired, he states that “I endeavored as much as possible to persuade them from putting their inhuman design into execution; but so far were my intreaties from having the wished-for effect, that it was concluded that I was actuated by cowardice.”[6]

On 1 June 1771, the few remaining women and children, as well as the dogs and the heavy luggage, were left behind by the party and a group of about 60 men advanced north, heading towards the Coppermine River.[6]

Four weeks later, on 2 July 1771, the party came across a group of Copper Indians, who on learning the purpose of the exploration party’s journey, supplied the party with canoes and other necessities. However, 17 men abandoned the exploration party in the coming days, claiming that the difficulty of the trek outweighed the pleasure that was to be derived from killing the Inuit.[6]

The remaining members of the exploration party arrived at the Coppermine River on 14 July 1771. Immediately on arrival, as Hearne commenced his survey, three scouts were sent to locate any Inuit who may have been camping near the river. The scouts returned on 16 July 1771, and reported that five Inuit tents had been found on the west side of the river. This news brought the survey work to a complete halt, and the men began to prepare for war.[6]

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1898 – Berenice Abbott, American photographer (d. 1991)
Berenice Abbott (July 17, 1898 – December 9, 1991),[2] née Bernice Alice Abbott, was an American photographer best known for her portraits of between-the-wars 20th-century cultural figures, New York City photographs of architecture and urban design of the 1930s, and science interpretation in the 1940s-1960s.

Early years
Abbott was born in Springfield, Ohio[3] and brought up there by her divorced mother, née Lillian Alice Bunn (m. Charles E. Abbott in Chillicothe OH, 1886). She attended Ohio State University for two semesters, but left in early 1918.[4]
Trip to Europe, photography, and poetry

Her university studies included theater and sculpture.,[5] spending two years studying sculpture in Paris and Berlin.[2] She studied at the Académie de la Grande Chaumiere in Paris and the Prussian Academy of Arts in Berlin.[6] During this time, she adopted the French spelling of her first name, “Berenice,” at the suggestion of Djuna Barnes.[7] In addition to her work in the visual arts, Abbott published poetry in the experimental literary journal transition.[8] Abbott first became involved with photography in 1923, when Man Ray hired her as a darkroom assistant at his portrait studio in Montparnasse. Later she wrote: “I took to photography like a duck to water. I never wanted to do anything else.” Ray was impressed by her darkroom work and allowed her to use his studio to take her own photographs.[9] In 1926, she exhibited her work in the gallery “Au Sacre du Printemps” and started her own studio on the rue du Bac. After a short time studying photography in Berlin, she returned to Paris in 1927 and started a second studio, on the rue Servandoni.[10]

Abbott’s subjects were people in the artistic and literary worlds, including French nationals (Jean Cocteau), expatriates (James Joyce), and others just passing through the city. According to Sylvia Beach, “To be ‘done’ by Man Ray or Berenice Abbott meant you rated as somebody”.[11] Abbott’s work was exhibited with that of Man Ray, André Kertész, and others in Paris, in the “Salon de l’Escalier” (more formally, the Premier Salon Indépendant de la Photographie), and on the staircase of the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées. Her portraiture was unusual within exhibitions of modernist photography held in 1928–9 in Brussels and Germany.[12]

In 1925, Man Ray introduced her to Eugène Atget’s photographs. She became interested in Atget’s work,[13] and managed to persuade him to sit for a portrait in 1927. He died shortly thereafter. While the government acquired much of Atget’s archive — Atget had sold 2,621 negatives in 1920, and his friend and executor André Calmettes sold 2,000 more immediately after his death[14] — Abbott was able to buy the remainder in June 1928, and quickly started work on its promotion. An early tangible result was the 1930 book Atget, photographe de Paris, in which she is described as photo editor. Abbott’s work on Atget’s behalf would continue until her sale of the archive to the Museum of Modern Art in 1968. In addition to her book The World of Atget (1964), she provided the photographs for A Vision of Paris (1963), published a portfolio, Twenty Photographs, and wrote essays.[15] Her sustained efforts helped Atget gain international recognition.

Changing New York
In early 1929, Abbott visited New York City, ostensibly to find an American publisher for Atget’s photographs. Upon seeing the city again, however, Abbott immediately saw its photographic potential. Accordingly, she went back to Paris, closed up her studio, and returned to New York in September. Her first photographs of the city were taken with a hand-held Kurt-Bentzin camera, but soon she acquired a Century Universal camera which produced 8 x 10 inch negatives.[16] Using this large format camera, Abbott photographed New York City with the diligence and attention to detail she had so admired in Eugène Atget. Her work has provided a historical chronicle of many now-destroyed buildings and neighborhoods of Manhattan.

Abbott worked on her New York project independently for six years, unable to get financial support from organizations (such as the Museum of the City of New York), foundations (such as the Guggenheim Foundation), or individuals. She supported herself with commercial work and teaching at the New School of Social Research beginning in 1933.[17] In 1935, however, Abbott was hired by the Federal Art Project (FAP)[2] as a project supervisor for her “Changing New York” project. She continued to take the photographs of the city, but she had assistants to help her both in the field and in the office. This arrangement allowed Abbott to devote all her time to producing, printing, and exhibiting her photographs. By the time she resigned from the FAP in 1939, she had produced 305 photographs that were then deposited at the Museum of the City of New York.[16] Abbott’s project was primarily a sociological study embedded within modernist aesthetic practices. She sought to create a broadly inclusive collection of photographs that together suggest a vital interaction between three aspects of urban life: the diverse people of the city; the places they live, work and play; and their daily activities. It was intended to empower people by making them realize that their environment was a consequence of their collective behavior (and vice versa). Moreover, she avoided the merely pretty in favor of what she described as “fantastic” contrasts between the old and the new, and chose her camera angles and lenses to create compositions that either stabilized a subject (if she approved of it), or destabilized it (if she scorned it).[18]

Abbott’s ideas about New York were highly influenced by Lewis Mumford’s historical writings from the early 1930s, which divided American history into a series of technological eras. Abbott, like Mumford, was particularly critical of America’s “paleotechnic era,” which, as he described it, emerged at end of the American Civil War, a development called by other historians the Second Industrial Revolution. Like Mumford, Abbott was hopeful that, through urban planning efforts (aided by her photographs), Americans would be able to wrest control of their cities from paleotechnic forces, and bring about what Mumford described as a more humane and human-scaled, “neotechnic era”. Abbott’s agreement with Mumford can be seen especially in the ways that she photographed buildings that had been constructed in the paleotechnic era—before the advent of urban planning. Most often, buildings from this era appear in Abbott’s photographs in compositions that made them look downright menacing.[18]

In 1935, Abbott moved into a Greenwich Village loft with the art critic Elizabeth McCausland, with whom she lived until McCausland’s death in 1965. McCausland was an ardent supporter of Abbott, writing several articles for the Springfield Daily Republican, as well as for Trend and New Masses (the latter under the pseudonym Elizabeth Noble). In addition, McCausland contributed the captions for the book of Abbott’s photographs entitled Changing New York which was published in 1939. In 1949, her photography book Greenwich Village Today and Yesterday was published by Harper & Brothers.

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Gallery: Changing New York


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FYI July 16, 2017

1915 – Henry James becomes a British citizen to highlight his commitment to Britain during the first World War.
Henry James, OM (15 April 1843 – 28 February 1916) was an American-born British writer. He is regarded as one of the key figures of 19th-century literary realism. He was the son of Henry James, Sr. and the brother of philosopher and psychologist William James and diarist Alice James.

He is best known for a number of novels showing Americans encountering Europe and Europeans. His method of writing from a character’s point of view allowed him to explore issues related to consciousness and perception, and his style in later works has been compared to impressionist painting. His imaginative use of point of view, interior monologue and unreliable narrators brought a new depth to narrative fiction.

James contributed significantly to literary criticism, particularly in his insistence that writers be allowed the greatest possible freedom in presenting their view of the world. James claimed that a text must first and foremost be realistic and contain a representation of life that is recognisable to its readers. Good novels, to James, show life in action and are, most importantly, interesting.

In addition to his voluminous works of fiction he published articles and books of travel, biography, autobiography, and criticism, and wrote plays. James alternated between America and Europe for the first twenty years of his life; eventually he settled in England, becoming a British subject in 1915, one year before his death. James was nominated for the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1911, 1912, and 1916.[1]

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1862 – Ida B. Wells, American journalist and activist (d. 1931)
Ida Bell Wells-Barnett (July 16, 1862 – March 25, 1931), more commonly known as Ida B. Wells, was an African-American journalist, newspaper editor, suffragist, sociologist, feminist,[1] Georgist,[2] and an early leader in the Civil Rights Movement. She was one of the founders of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in 1909.[3]

Wells was born in Holly Springs, Mississippi. She lost her parents and a sibling in the 1878 yellow fever epidemic at a young age. She went to work and kept the rest of the family intact with the help of her grandmother. She moved with some of her siblings to Memphis, Tennessee where she found pay better for teachers.

In the 1890’s, Wells documented lynching in the United States. She showed that lynching was often used in the South as a way to control or punish Black people who competed with whites, rather than being based on criminal acts by black people, as was usually claimed by whites.[4] She was active in women’s rights and the women’s suffrage movement, establishing several notable women’s organizations. Wells was a skilled and persuasive rhetorician and traveled internationally on lecture tours.[5]

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FYI July 15, 2017

1741 – Aleksei Chirikov sights land in Southeast Alaska. He sends men ashore in a longboat, making them the first Europeans to visit Alaska.
Aleksei Ilyich Chirikov (Russian: Алексей Ильич Чириков) (1703 – November 1748) was a Russian navigator and captain who along with Bering was the first Russian to reach North-West coast of North America. He discovered and charted some of the Aleutian Islands while he was deputy to Vitus Bering during the Great Northern Expedition.

Life and work
In 1721, Chirikov graduated from the Naval Academy. In 1725–1730 and 1733–1743, he was Vitus Bering’s deputy during the First and the Second Kamchatka expeditions.

In May 1741 Chirikov in the St Paul and Vitus Bering in the St Peter left Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky and headed east. Some time after 20 June they were separated by a storm and never saw each other again. On 15 July 1741 Chirikov saw land at Baker Island off Prince of Wales Island at the south end of the Alaska Panhandle. This is about 450 miles southeast of Bering’s landfall near Mount St. Elias at the north end of the panhandle. Unable to find a harbor he sailed north along Baranov Island past the later Russian base at Sitka. He sent out a longboat to find an anchorage. When it did not return after a week he sent out his second longboat which also failed to return. Now without any small boats Chirikov had no way of searching for the two longboats or landing on the coast to explore or replenish his supply of fresh water. After waiting as long as possible, he abandoned the longboats to their fate and on 27 July sailed west. He sighted the Kenai Peninsula, Kodiak Island and Adak Island near the western end of the Aleutians. With water critically low he reached Petropavlovsk on 12 October 1741.

In 1742, Chirikov was in charge of a search party for Bering’s ship St. Peter. During this trip, he located Attu Island. Chirikov took part in creating the final map of the Russian discoveries in the Pacific Ocean (1746). Chirikov’s name is given to Capes of the Kyūshū Island, Attu Island, Anadyr Bay, Tauyskaya Bay, an underwater mountain in the Pacific Ocean, Chirikof Island and Cape Chirikof at the westernmost point of Baker Island.

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History of Alaska
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
“Alaska history” redirects here. For the academic journal, see Alaska History (journal).
For a topical guide to this subject, see Historical outline of Alaska.
Alaska in 1895 (Rand McNally). The boundary of southeastern Alaska shown is that claimed by the United States prior to the conclusion of the Alaska boundary dispute.

The history of Alaska dates back to the Upper Paleolithic period (around 14,000 BC), when wanderer groups crossed the Bering land bridge into what is now western Alaska. At the time of European contact by the Russian explorers, the area was populated by Alaska Native groups. The name “Alaska” derives from the Aleut word Alaxsxaq (also spelled Alyeska), meaning “mainland” (literally, “the object toward which the action of the sea is directed”).[1]

In the 1890s, gold rushes in Alaska and the nearby Yukon Territory brought thousands of miners and settlers to Alaska. Alaska was granted territorial status in 1912 by the United States of America.

In 1942, two of the outer Aleutian Islands—Attu and Kiska—were occupied by the Japanese and their recovery for the U.S. became a matter of national pride. The construction of military bases contributed to the population growth of some Alaskan cities.

Alaska was granted U.S. statehood on January 3, 1959.

In 1964, the massive “Good Friday earthquake” killed 131 people and leveled several villages.

The 1968 discovery of oil at Prudhoe Bay and the 1977 completion of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline led to an oil boom. In 1989, the Exxon Valdez hit a reef in Prince William Sound, spilling between 11 and 34 million US gallons (42,000 and 130,000 m³) of crude oil over 1,100 miles (1,600 km) of coastline. Today, the battle between philosophies of development and conservation is seen in the contentious debate over oil drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.

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1353 – Vladimir the Bold, Russian prince (d. 1410)
Vladimir Andreyevich the Bold (Russian: Владимир Андреевич Храбрый) (July 15, 1353 – 1410) was the most famous prince of Serpukhov. His moniker alludes to his many military exploits committed in the wars waged by his cousin, Dmitri Donskoi of Moscow.

A grandson of Ivan Kalita, Vladimir inherited Serpukhov, Borovsk, and a third part of Moscow from his brother at the age of 5. As his cousin Dmitry of Moscow was also a child, both princes had to be tutored by the Metropolitan Alexis who arranged a treaty stipulating Vladimir’s loyalty to his Muscovite cousin.

Pursuant to the treaty, Vladimir helped Dmitry to fight Tver (1375), Ryazan (1385), the Livonian Knights (1379), and the Republic of Novgorod (1392). Although he married a daughter of Algirdas of Lithuania in 1371, Vladimir still loyally supported Dmitry in his struggle against the Lithuanians.

In 1374, anxious to defend his capital, Vladimir built the first oaken kremlin in Serpukhov. In 1377, Vladimir sacked the Severian towns of Trubchevsk and Starodub. In the great Battle of Kulikovo (1380) Vladimir commanded cavalry which decided the Russian victory. When Tokhtamysh invaded Russia two years later, Vladimir defeated his force near Volokolamsk.

It is not clear why Vladimir quarrelled with his cousin in 1388. Although they made peace the same year, Vladimir was forced to leave Serpukhov for Torzhok following Dmitry’s death and enthronment of his son Vasily I. A year later, he returned to Serpukhov and concluded a treaty with Vasily, whereby he obtained the appanage towns of Volokolamsk and Rzhev. Later, he exchanged these towns for Gorodets[disambiguation needed], Uglich, and Kozelsk, while forfeiting his claims to Murom and Tarusa.

Vladimir’s last military campaign was to defend Moscow against the horde of Edigu in 1408. He died two years later and was interred in the Archangel Cathedral. His seven sons continued the lineage of Serpukhov princes until 1456. His granddaughter Maria of Borovsk married Vasily II and gave birth to Ivan the Great, who expelled the last princes of Serpukhov to Lithuania. The last of Vladimir’s male-line descendants died in 1521.


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FYI July 14, 2017

1789 – Alexander Mackenzie finally completes his journey to the mouth of the great river he hoped would take him to the Pacific, but which turns out to flow into the Arctic Ocean. Later named after him, the Mackenzie is the second-longest river system in North America.Sir Alexander Mackenzie (or MacKenzie, Scottish Gaelic: Alasdair MacCoinnich, 1764 – 12 March 1820) was a Scottish explorer. He is known for his overland crossing of what is now Canada to reach the Pacific Ocean in 1793. This was the first east to west crossing of North America north of Mexico and preceded the Lewis and Clark Expedition by 12 years.

Early life
In 1764, Mackenzie was born at Luskentyre House in Stornoway on the Isle of Lewis.[1][2] He was the third of the four children born to Kenneth ‘Corc’ Mackenzie (1731–1780) and his wife Isabella MacIver, from another prominent mercantile family in Stornoway.[3] When only fourteen years old, Mackenzie’s father served as an ensign to protect Stornoway during the Jacobite rising of 1745. He later became a merchant and held the tack of Melbost; his grandfather being a younger brother of Murdoch Mackenzie, 6th Laird of Fairburn.[4][5]

Educated at the same school as Colin Mackenzie, he sailed to New York City with his father to join an uncle, John Mackenzie, in 1774, after his mother died in Scotland.[6] In 1776, during the American War of Independence, his father and uncle resumed their military duties and joined the King’s Royal Regiment of New York as lieutenants. By 1778, for his safety as a son of loyalists, young Mackenzie was either sent, or accompanied by two aunts, to Montreal.[4] By 1779 (a year before his father’s death at Carleton Island[3]), Mackenzie had a secured apprenticeship with Finlay, Gregory & Co., one of the most influential fur trading companies at Montreal, which was later administered by Archibald Norman McLeod. In 1787, the company merged with the North West Company.

1789 Mackenzie River expedition to the Arctic Ocean
On behalf of the North West Company Mackenzie travelled to Lake Athabasca where, in 1788, he was one of the founders of Fort Chipewyan. He had been sent to replace Peter Pond, a partner in the North West Company. From Pond, he learned that the First Nations people understood that the local rivers flowed to the northwest. Acting on this information, he set out by canoe on the river known to the local Dene First Nations people as the Dehcho, (Mackenzie River) on 10 July 1789 following it to its mouth in the hope of finding the Northwest Passage to the Pacific Ocean. As he ended up reaching the Arctic Ocean on 14 July,[7][8] it is conjectured that he named the river “Disappointment River” as it did not lead to Cook Inlet in Alaska as he had expected.[3] The river was later renamed the Mackenzie River in his honour.

1792–93 Peace River expedition to the Pacific Ocean
In 1791, Mackenzie returned to Great Britain to study the new advance in the measurement of longitude. Upon his return in 1792, he set out once again to find a route to the Pacific. Accompanied by two native guides (one named Cancre), his cousin Alexander MacKay, six Canadian voyageurs (Joseph Landry, Charles Ducette, Francois Beaulieux, Baptiste Bisson, Francois Courtois, Jacques Beauchamp) and a dog simply called “Our Dog”, Mackenzie left Fort Chipewyan on 10 October 1792 and travelled via the Pine River to the Peace River.[10] From there he travelled to a fork on the Peace River arriving 1 November where he and his cohorts built a fortification that they resided in over the winter. This later became known as Fort Fork.[11]

Mackenzie left Fort Fork on 9 May 1793 following the route of the Peace River.[11] He crossed the Great Divide and found the upper reaches of the Fraser River but was warned by the local natives that the Fraser Canyon to the south was unnavigable and populated by belligerent tribes.[12] He was instead directed to follow a grease trail by ascending the West Road River, crossing over the Coast Mountains and descending the Bella Coola River to the sea. He followed this advice and reached the Pacific coast on 20 July 1793 at Bella Coola, British Columbia, on North Bentinck Arm, an inlet of the Pacific Ocean.[13] Thus, he completed the first recorded transcontinental crossing of North America north of Mexico, beating Lewis and Clark by 12 years. He had unknowingly missed meeting George Vancouver at Bella Coola by 48 days.

He had wanted to continue westward out of a desire to reach the open ocean, but was stopped by the hostility of the Heiltsuk people.[14] Hemmed in by Heiltsuk war canoes, he wrote a message on a rock near the water’s edge of Dean Channel, using a reddish paint made of vermilion and bear grease, and turned back east. The inscription read: “Alex MacKenzie / from Canada / by land / 22d July 1793” (at the time the name Canada was an informal term for the former French territory in what is now southern Quebec).[15]:418 The words were later inscribed permanently by surveyors. The site is now Sir Alexander Mackenzie Provincial Park and is designated a First Crossing of North America National Historic Site.[16] In 2016, Mackenzie was named a National Historic Person.[17]

In his journal Mackenzie recorded the Carrier language for the first time.[18]

Later life and family
In 1801 the journals of his exploratory journeys were published.[10][19] He was knighted for his efforts in the following year and served in the Legislature of Lower Canada from 1804 to 1808.

In 1812, Mackenzie returned to Scotland where he married the fourteen-year-old Geddes Mackenzie, heiress of Avoch. They had two sons and a daughter. Her grandfather, Captain John Mackenzie of Castle Leod (great-grandson of George Mackenzie, 2nd Earl of Seaforth) purchased the estate of Avoch with money left to him by his first cousin and brother-in-law, Admiral George Geddes Mackenzie. Lady Mackenzie’s father was a first cousin of the father of Sir George Simpson, Governor of the Hudson’s Bay Company. Alexander and Geddes lived between Avoch and London. He died in 1820 of Bright’s disease, at an age of 56 (his exact date of birth unknown). He is buried near Avoch on the Black Isle.

The Alexander Mackenzie rose (explorer series), developed by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, was named in his honour.[20]

The Mackenzie River is named for him, as is the municipality of Mackenzie, British Columbia, and the Mackenzie Mountains, a mountain range in northern Canada.

There are schools in Saint Albert, Alberta, and Toronto, Ontario, named after him.[21]

He is referenced in the 1981 folk song “Northwest Passage” by Stan Rogers.



1861 – Kate M. Gordon, American activist (d. 1931)
Kate M. Gordon (July 14, 1861 – August 24, 1932) was an American suffragist, civic leader, and organizer of the Southern States Woman Suffrage Conference.[1]

Born in New Orleans, Louisiana, she was a daughter of George Hume Gordon, schoolmaster, and Margaret (Galiece) Gordon. There were two sisters, Jean and Fanny, as well as two brothers, George M. and W. A. Gordon.[2]

Gordon was a co-founder of the Era (Equal Rights Association) Club in New Orleans, and served as President of the Women’s League for Sewerage and Drainage.[3] She was also a racist.[4] In 1900, she addressed the annual convention of the National American Woman Suffrage Association. She served as the organization’s corresponding secretary from 1901 until 1909. During the period of 1904-13, Gordon led the Louisiana State Suffrage Association. She helped organize and subsequently became president of the Southern States Woman Suffrage Conference; she also edited its periodical, the New Southern Citizen. Gordon assisted in establishing the New Orleans Anti-Tuberculosis League and the New Orleans Anti-Tuberculosis Hospital, serving as the latter’s vice president. Gordon died in New Orleans in 1932 of a cerebral hemorrhage and is buried in the Metairie Cemetery.[3]


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