FYI April 13, 2018


Widget not in any sidebars


On This Day

1919 – Eugene V. Debs is imprisoned at the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary in Atlanta, Georgia, for speaking out against the draft during World War I.

Eugene Victor Debs (November 5, 1855 – October 20, 1926) was an American union leader, one of the founding members of the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW or the Wobblies), and five times the candidate of the Socialist Party of America for President of the United States.[3] Through his presidential candidacies, as well as his work with labor movements, Debs eventually became one of the best-known socialists living in the United States.

Early in his political career, Debs was a member of the Democratic Party. He was elected as a Democrat to the Indiana General Assembly in 1884. After working with several smaller unions, including the Brotherhood of Locomotive Firemen, Debs was instrumental in the founding of the American Railway Union (ARU), one of the nation’s first industrial unions. After workers at the Pullman Palace Car Company organized a wildcat strike over pay cuts in the summer of 1894, Debs signed many into the ARU. He called a boycott of the ARU against handling trains with Pullman cars, in what became the nationwide Pullman Strike, affecting most lines west of Detroit, and more than 250,000 workers in 27 states. Purportedly to keep the mail running, President Grover Cleveland used the United States Army to break the strike. As a leader of the ARU, Debs was convicted of federal charges for defying a court injunction against the strike and served six months in prison.

In jail, Debs read various works of socialist theory and emerged six months later as a committed adherent of the international socialist movement. Debs was a founding member of the Social Democracy of America (1897), the Social Democratic Party of America (1898), and the Socialist Party of America (1901).

Debs ran as a Socialist candidate for President of the United States five times, including 1900 (earning 0.6% of the popular vote), 1904 (3.0%), 1908 (2.8%), 1912 (6.0%), and 1920 (3.4%), the last time from a prison cell. He was also a candidate for United States Congress from his native state Indiana in 1916.

Debs was noted for his oratory, and his speech denouncing American participation in World War I led to his second arrest in 1918. He was convicted under the Sedition Act of 1918 and sentenced to a term of 10 years. President Warren G. Harding commuted his sentence in December 1921. Debs died in 1926, not long after being admitted to a sanatorium due to cardiovascular problems that developed during his time in prison. He has since been cited as the inspiration for numerous politicians.


Born On This Day

1891 – Nella Larsen, Danish/African-American nurse, librarian, and author (d. 1964)

Nellallitea “Nella” Larsen, born Nellie Walker (April 13, 1891 – March 30, 1964), was an American novelist of the Harlem Renaissance. Working as a nurse and a librarian, she published two novels, Quicksand (1928) and Passing (1929), and a few short stories. Though her literary output was scant, she earned recognition by her contemporaries.

A revival of interest in her writing has occurred since the late 20th century, when issues of racial and sexual identity have been studied. Her works have been the subjects of numerous academic studies, and she is now widely lauded as “not only the premier novelist of the Harlem Renaissance, but also an important figure in American modernism.”[1]

Early life
Nella Larsen was born Nellie Walker in a poor district of Chicago known as the Levee, on April 13, 1891, the daughter of Peter Walker, believed to be a mulatto Afro-Caribbean immigrant from the Danish West Indies, and Marie Walker, née Hansen, a Danish immigrant. Her mother was a seamstress and domestic worker.[2] Her father was likely a mixed-race descendant of Henry or George Walker, white men from Albany, New York, who settled in the Danish West Indies about 1840.[3] In that Danish colonial society, racial lines were more fluid and Walker may never have identified as “Negro.”[3] He soon disappeared from the lives of Nella and her mother; she said he had died when she was very young. At this time, Chicago was filled with immigrants, but the Great Migration had not begun from the South. The black population of the city was 1.3% in 1890 and 2% in 1910, near the end of Walker’s childhood on the South Side.[4]

Marie married Peter Larsen, a fellow Danish immigrant, by whom she had another daughter, Anna.[2] Nellie took her stepfather’s surname, sometimes using versions spelled Nellye Larson and Nellie Larsen, before settling finally on Nella Larsen.[5] The mixed family moved west to a mostly white neighborhood of German and Scandinavian immigrants, but encountered discrimination because of Nella. When Nella was eight, they moved a few blocks back east. The author and critic Darryl Pinckney wrote of her anomalous situation:

“as a member of a white immigrant family, she [Larsen] had no entrée into the world of the blues or of the black church. If she could never be white like her mother and sister, neither could she ever be black in quite the same way that Langston Hughes and his characters were black. Hers was a netherworld, unrecognizable historically and too painful to dredge up.”[2]

Most American blacks were from the South, and Larsen had no connection with them.

As a child, Larsen lived for a few years with relatives in Denmark, possibly in Jutland.[6] While she was unusual in being of mixed race, she had some good memories of that time. After returning to Chicago, she attended a large public school. As migration of blacks increased to the city, so had European immigration, and racial segregation and tensions had increased in the immigrant neighborhoods. Her mother believed that education could give Larsen an opportunity and supported her in attending Fisk University, a historically black university in Nashville, Tennessee. In 1907-08, for the first time Larsen was living within an African-American community; but she was still separated by her own background and life experiences from most of the students, who were primarily from the South, with many descended from former slaves. Biographer George B. Hutchinson found that Larsen was expelled for some violation of Fisk’s strict dress or conduct codes.[7] Larsen went to Denmark for four years and then returned to the US, but continued to struggle to find a place where she could belong.[2]




By Anne Easton: The Stats About Untested Rape Kits Revealed in HBO’s ‘I Am Evidence’ Are Appalling
By Dell Cameron: Congressional Office Stored Sexual Harassment Complaints on an Unsecured Private Server
By George Dvorsky: Canadian Scientists Discover Freakishly Salty Lakes Hidden Under Giant Glacier
By Colin Marshall: Watch Ancient Ruins Get Restored to their Glorious Original State with Animated GIFs: The Temple of Jupiter, Luxor Temple & More
Messy Nessy: Through the Lens of Egypt’s Early Bird Tourists, Rooftops of Paris at Twilight (and other Fairytales), The Mountain Wizard of Woodstock, Long-lost Erotica of a Pre-Freudian Sexologist and more ->
Atlas Obscura: Glowing Birds A lot of avian species—from parrots and penguins to owls and nightjars—glow in ways we can’t see. They do so using at least two mysterious methods, Feminist Lunch In 1868, a dozen women filed into the famous NYC restaurant Delmonico’s for a groundbreaking meal, ISOLA SAN GIULIO, ITALY Floating Enchantment This fairytale island sits in the middle of Italy’s little-known Lake Orta and more ->
The Spaces: Inside an artist’s sprawling 3,000 sq ft Manhattan loft It could be yours for $4m, An architect’s Brutalist London home hits the market for the first time ever See the softer side of concrete and more ->
The Spaces: Inside the world’s most spectacular sculpture gardens, A converted warehouse with a hidden courtyard is heading for auction and more ->
The Spaces: An artist spins a ghostly yarn inside a former chapel, 5 spectacular properties in Uruguay, A meticulously restored Georgian townhouse lists for £1.65m in London and more ->
Archives Aware Anna Trammell, Archival Operations and Reference Specialist: There’s an Archivist for That! Interview with Colleen McFarland Rademaker of the Corning Museum of Glass

By Gary Price: Reshelving Ceremony: New Jewish Studies Books Replace Ones Damaged by Vandals at Western Washington University
By Gary Price: All Done! GPO Completes Digitizing All Issues of the Federal Register



Widget not in any sidebars





Widget not in any sidebars


Widget not in any sidebars


Widget not in any sidebars