On this day:
Ohio and Erie Canal
On February 4, 1825, the Ohio Legislature passed “An Act to provide for the Internal Improvement of the State of Ohio by Navigable Canals”. The Canal Commission was authorized to borrow $400,000 in 1825, and not more than $600,000 per year thereafter. The notes issued were to be redeemable between 1850 and 1875.
On July 4, 1825, ground was broken on the canal at Licking Summit near Newark, Ohio.
The canals were specified to have a minimum width of 40 feet (12 m) at the top, 26 feet (8 m) at the bottom, and a depth of 4 feet (1.2 m) feet minimum. These limits were often exceeded, and indeed it was cheaper to do so in most cases. For example, it might be cheaper to build one embankment and then let the water fill all the way to the adjacent foothills, perhaps hundreds of feet away, rather than build two embankments. By damming the rivers, long stretches of slackwater could be created which, with the addition of towpaths, could serve as portions of the canal. Where it made economic sense to do so, such as lock widths or portions of the canal through narrow rock or across aqueducts, the minimum widths were adhered to.
Contracts were let for the following tasks:
Grubbing and clearing
Mucking and ditching
Embankment and excavation
Locks and culverts
Initially, contractors in general proved to be inexperienced and unreliable. It was common for one job to receive 50 bids, many of them local to where the work was being performed. The chosen contractor, having underbid the contract, often would vanish in the night leaving his labor force unpaid and his contract unfulfilled. This problem was so bad that laborers refused to perform canal work for fear of not being paid. As the bidding process was improved, and more reliable contractors engaged, the situation improved.
Workers were initially paid $0.30 per day and offered a jigger of whiskey. As work progressed, and where labor was in shortage, workers could make as much as $15 per month. At that time, cash money was hard to come by in Ohio forcing much bartering. Working on the canal was appealing and attracted many farmers from their land.
On July 3, 1827 the first canal boat on the Ohio and Erie Canal left Akron, traveled through 41 locks and over 3 aqueducts along 37 miles (60 km) of canal, to arrive at Cleveland on July 4. While the average speed of 3 mph (4.8 km/h) may seem slow, canal boats could carry 10 tons of goods and were much more efficient than wagons over rutted trails.
Graph showing the annual expenditures and revenues accrued to the State of Ohio by the Ohio and Erie Canal from 1827 to 1903.
Over the next five years, more and more portions of the canal opened, with it finally being completed in 1832:
1828 opens from Akron to Massillon, Ohio. The canal is 65 miles (105 km) long.
1829 opens from Massillon to Dover, Ohio. The canal is 93 miles (150 km) long.
1830 opens from Dover to Newark, Ohio. The canal is 177 miles (285 km) long.
1831 opens from Newark to Chillicothe, Ohio. The canal is 258 miles (415 km) long.
In 1832, the Ohio and Erie Canal was completed. The entire canal system was 308 miles (496 km) long with 146 lift locks and a rise of 1,206 feet (368 m). In addition, there were five feeder canals that added 24.8 miles (39.9 km) and 6 additional locks to the system consisting of:
Tuscarawas Feeder (3.2 miles)
Walhonding Feeder (1.3 miles)
Granville Feeder (6.1 miles)
Muskinghum Side Cut (2.6 miles)
Columbus Feeder (11.6 miles)
The canal’s lock numbering system was oriented from the Lower Basin, near the southwest corner of the current Exchange and Main streets in Akron. North of the basin is Lock 1 North, and south of the basin is Lock 1 South. At this basin was the joining of the Pennsylvania and Ohio Canal.
Miami and Erie Canal
The Miami and Erie Canal was a canal in Ohio that ran about 274 miles (441 km); it was constructed from Cincinnati to Toledo  to create a water route from the Ohio River to Lake Erie. Construction on the canal began in 1825 and was completed in 1845 at a cost to the state government of $8,062,680.07. At its peak, it included 19 aqueducts, three guard locks, 103 canal locks, multiple feeder canals, and a few man-made water reservoirs. The canal climbed 395 feet (120 m) above Lake Erie and 513 feet (156 m) above the Ohio River to reach a topographical peak called the Loramie Summit, which extended 19 miles (31 km) between New Bremen, Ohio to lock 1-S in Lockington, north of Piqua, Ohio. Boats up to 80 feet long were towed along the canal by mules, horses, or oxen walking on a prepared towpath along the bank, at a rate of four to five miles per hour.
Due to competition from railroads, which began to be built in the area in the 1850s, the commercial use of the canal gradually declined during the late 19th century. It was permanently abandoned for commercial use in 1913 after a historic flood in Ohio severely damaged it. Only a small fraction of the canal survives today, along with its towpath and locks.
Because Ohio is not entirely flat, the system of locks had to be designed to act as a staircase so boats could navigate the difference in elevation. To supply water for the canal, manmade reservoirs such as Grand Lake St. Marys and Lake Loramie in Shelby County were constructed, along with several feeder canals. Indian Lake in Logan County was greatly enlarged to provide a steadier supply of water for the Sidney feeder canal.
Branch canals were built to serve as extensions from the main canal. The Warren County Canal, was a branch canal constructed from the Miami and Erie Canal at Middletown to Lebanon. This branch was opened in 1840, but remained in operation less than 15 years before being abandoned. A short branch, the Sidney or Port Jefferson feeder canal ran up the Miami Valley from Lockington through Sidney to a dam just upstream from Port Jefferson.
The following list includes measurement standards for the canal, although these varied by region of the state.
4 ft (1.2 m) water depth.
40 ft (12 m) wide at water level.
10 ft (3.0 m) wide towpath in addition to mandated outer slopes.
All slopes are 4.5 ft (1.4 m) horizontal to 4 ft (1.2 m). perpendicular.
The canal could accommodate boats up to 90 ft (27 m) long and 14 ft (4.3 m) wide. <
Born on this day:
1872 – Gotse Delchev, Bulgarian and Macedonian revolutionary activist (d. 1903)
Georgi Nikolov Delchev (Bulgarian/Macedonian: Георги/Ѓорѓи Николов Делчев, known as Gotse Delchev, also spelled Goce Delčev, Cyrillic: Гоце Делчев, originally spelled in older Bulgarian orthography: Гоце Дѣлчевъ; (February 4, 1872 – May 4, 1903) was an important revolutionary figure in Ottoman-ruled Macedonia and Thrace at the turn of the 20th century. He was one of the leaders of what is known today as Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organization (IMRO), a paramilitary organization active in Ottoman territories in the Balkans, at the end of the 19th and the beginning of the 20th century.
Born in Kukush, then in the Salonica Vilayet of the Ottoman Empire, in his youth he was inspired by the ideals of revolutionaries such as Vasil Levski and Hristo Botev, who envisioned the creation of a Bulgarian republic of ethnic and religious equality, as part of an imagined Balkan Federation. Delchev completed his secondary education in the Bulgarian Men’s High School of Thessaloniki and entered the Military School of His Princely Highness in Sofia, but he was dismissed from there, because of his leftist political persuasions. Then he returned to Ottoman Macedonia as a Bulgarian teacher, and immediately became an activist of the newly-found revolutionary movement in 1894.
Although considering himself to be an inheritor of the Bulgarian revolutionary traditions, as a committed republican Delchev was disillusioned by the reality in the post-liberation Bulgarian monarchy. Also by him, as by many Macedonian Bulgarians, originating from an area with mixed population, the idea of being ‘Macedonian’ acquired the importance of a certain native loyalty, that constructed a specific spirit of “local patriotism” and “multi-ethnic regionalism”. He maintained the slogan promoted by William Ewart Gladstone, “Macedonia for the Macedonians”, including different nationalities inhabiting the area. In this way, his outlook included a wide range of such disparate ideas as Bulgarian patriotism, Macedonian regionalism, anti-nationalism and incipient socialism.
As a result, his political agenda became the establishment through revolution of an autonomous Macedono-Adrianopolitan supranational state into the framework of the Ottoman Empire, as a prelude to its incorporation within a future Balkan Federation. He revised the Organization’s program, emphasizing the importance of cooperation among all ethnic groups in the territories concerned in order to obtain political autonomy. Delchev also launched the establishment of a secret revolutionary network, that would prepare the population for an armed uprising against the Ottoman rule. However, he opposed the IMRO Central Committee’s plan for a mass uprising in the summer of 1903, favoring terrorist and guerilla tactics. Nevertheless, he was killed by an Ottoman unit in May. Thus the liberation movement lost its most important organizer, at the eve of the Ilinden–Preobrazhenie Uprising.
Today Gotse Delchev is considered as a national hero in Bulgaria, as well as in the Republic of Macedonia, where it is claimed that he was among the founders of the Macedonian national movement. Despite such Macedonian historical interpretations, Delchev had Bulgarian national identity and viewed his compatriots as Bulgarians. The designation Macedonian according to the then used ethnic terminology included Albanians, Bulgarians, Greeks, Turks, Vlachs, and Serbs, and when applied to the local Slavs, it meant a regional Bulgarian identity. However, contrary to Bulgarian assertions, his autonomist ideas of a separate Macedonian (and Adrianopolitan) political entity, have stimulated the development of contemporary Macedonian nationalism.
1903 – Alexander Imich, Polish-American chemist, parapsychologist, and academic (d. 2014)
Alexander Herbert Imich (February 4, 1903 – June 8, 2014) was a Polish Jewish-born American chemist, parapsychologist, and writer, who was the president of the Anomalous Phenomena Research Center in New York City. He was born in 1903 in Częstochowa, Poland (then a part of Russian Empire) to a Jewish family.
Imich, a supercentenarian, became the oldest living man after the death of Arturo Licata, of Italy, on April 24, 2014. Until his own death a little more than a month later, at the age of 111 years, 124 days, Imich was certified by Guinness World Records as the world’s oldest living man.
Imich was also the last surviving veteran of the Polish-Soviet War.
Early war service
Imich stated that, at age 15, he and the rest of his class joined the Polish forces to fight the Bolsheviks in 1918. His older brother served as instructor in the automobile division, so Imich learned to drive trucks for the army until the Bolshevik forces were pushed back and Imich returned to school.
He earned a Ph.D in zoology at the Jagiellonian University in Kraków in 1929, but as he could not find an academic position in zoology, he switched to chemistry. During the 1920s and 1930s he did some research on a medium, Matylda, for the Polish Society for Psychical Research. He published a report in 1932 in a German journal, Zeitschrift für Parapsychologie, but all of the unpublished notes and photos from the research were lost during World War II.
World War II
During World War II, Imich and his wife Wela (pronounced Vela) fled to Soviet-occupied Białystok, where he was employed as a chemist. The couple were later interned in a labor camp for the duration of the war due to their refusal to accept Soviet citizenship. They were eventually freed and chose to emigrate to the U.S. in 1951, as almost all of their Polish relatives and friends had died in the Holocaust.
Life in the United States
In 1952, Imich and his wife Wela (died 1986) emigrated to the United States, first to Pennsylvania and then to New York, dividing their time between both places. To make a living, Imich initially took up chemistry, but once Wela made a career for herself as a psychologist in 1965, he turned to parapsychology. After becoming a widower in 1986, he continued his lifelong interest in parapsychology, giving out the Imich prize for parapsychology research for several years until he began experiencing financial problems.
Imich wrote numerous papers for journals in the field and edited a book, Incredible Tales of the Paranormal which was published by Bramble Books in 1995. He formed the Anomalous Phenomena Research Center in 1999, trying to find a way to produce “The Crucial Demonstration”, the goal of which is to demonstrate the reality of paranormal phenomena to mainstream scientists and the general public. In 2012, he began to transfer the records of his research into the paranormal to the University of Manitoba Department of Archives and Special Collections. He practiced calorie restriction and attributed his longevity to this.
Imich died on June 8, 2014 at 9:03 AM from natural causes at the age of 111. He was succeeded as the world’s oldest man by Sakari Momoi of Japan (born February 5, 1903, one day after Imich).
1929 – Paul Burlison, American rockabilly guitarist (d. 2003)
Paul Burlison (February 4, 1929 – September 27, 2003) was an American pioneer rockabilly guitarist and a founding member of The Rock and Roll Trio. Burlison was born in Brownsville, Tennessee, where he was exposed to music at an early age. After a stint in the United States Military, Burlison teamed up with Johnny and Dorsey Burnette to form The Rock and Roll Trio. The band released several singles, but failed to attain chart success. Paul is sometimes credited with being the first guitarist to intentionally record with a distorted electric guitar on the 1956 recordings, “Lonesome Train on a Lonesome Track” and “Honey Hush.” The Trio disbanded in the fall of 1957 and Burlison moved back to Tennessee to start a family. There he started his own electrical subcontracting business which he ran faithfully for twenty years, taking a break when the Trio reunited in the early 1980s. He released his only solo album in 1997, which received positive reviews. Burlison remained active in the music scene until his death in 2003.
Burlison and his family lived in Brownsville until 1937. During the floods of that year, miserable economic conditions prompted the Burlison family to move to Memphis, Tennessee. In 1938, his brother-in-law, Earl Brooks began to teach him to play the guitar. As well as learning Brooks’ Country influenced techniques, he also drew inspiration from watching Jesse Lee and Juanita Denson perform. Later, he would frequent the Blues joints along Beale Street. While he was still in high school, he would travel to the outskirts of West Memphis, Arkansas, to watch Chester Burnett (“Howlin’ Wolf”) play.
Burlison also developed an interest in boxing and began training at the Dave Wells Community Center under the instruction of trainer, Jim Denson. He was to win the local welterweight championship, and was runner-up in the All-Navy Tournament 1947-48. Whilst competing in the 1949 Golden Gloves tournament, Denson introduced him to another young boxer, Dorsey Burnette.
Dorsey Burnette would become a Golden Gloves welterweight champion. He had a younger brother, Johnny Burnette, who was a Golden Gloves lightweight champion fighter. Both brothers had a deep interest in music and it was through their mutual interest in both music and boxing that the three were to become close friends.
Toward the end of the World War II Paul Burlison enlisted in the United States Navy (1946) He was only 17 years of age at the time and received an honorable discharge in 1949.
After a brief trip to California to join the Burnette Brothers, Burlison returned to Memphis and retired from the music business to start a family. In 1960, he also started his own electrical subcontracting company, “Safety Electrical” devoting his time and energy to his business and to his family for the next twenty years. His company was successful and in subsequent years, he also operated a mail-order business specializing in rare recordings.
The Burnette brothers moved to California and continued to have sporadic success in the music industry until the end of the decade. In 1960, Johnny Burnette had two major hits as a solo artist with “Dreamin'” and “You’re Sixteen,” and Dorsey Burnette had Top 30 and Top 50 hits, again as a solo artist, with “Tall Oak Tree” and “Hey Little One”.
After “Dreamin’” had become a hit, Johnny Burnette offered Burlison a spot in his road band, but Burlison refused. By 1963, Johnny’s career was in decline and in an effort to revive it he wanted to reprise some of the old material. Burlison joined Johnny on a short swing through the Mid South after his regular guitarist broke two of his fingers. They even planned to go to England together, but Burlison fell ill and he went back to Memphis and his contracting business.
Rock and roll revival
Paul Burlison returned to the music scene in the 1980s, first with Johnny Black and Tony Austin in a recreation of the “Trio”. He also launched his own Rock-A-Billy record label to release Johnny Burnette’s Rock and Roll Trio and Their Rockin’ Friends from Memphis, an all-star tribute to the memories of Johnny and Dorsey Burnette featuring local legends like Eddie Bond, Jim Dickinson and Charlie Feathers.
In 1986, Burlison joined the Sun Rhythm Section, an oldies group, which included amongst others D J Fontana, Elvis’s former drummer. In 1990, he signed on with Rocky Burnette’s rockabilly revival band.
In 1997, Burlison cut his first ever solo LP Train Kept A-Rollin’ on Sweetfish Records as a tribute to The Rock and Roll Trio. The LP contained eleven tracks, three of which, “Train Kept A-Rollin'”, “Lonesome Tears in My Eyes” and “Lonesome Train (on a Lonesome Track)”, had been featured on The Rock and Roll Trio’s original 1956 album. The album featured such guest artists as Rocky Burnette (Johnny’s son), Billy Burnette (Dorsey’s son) of Fleetwood Mac, Rick Danko and Levon Helm of The Band, David Hidalgo, Cesar Rosas, and Conrad Lozano of Los Lobos, Mavis Staples and Kim Wilson of The Fabulous Thunderbirds.
Death and legacy
Paul Burlison died on September 27, 2003 in Horn Lake, Mississippi after a long battle with colon cancer. He was interred in Hinds Chapel Cemetery, Lake Cormorant, Mississippi. Rocky and Billy Burnette helped eulogize their fathers’ band mate at the funeral.
Many guitarists have claimed to have been influenced by Paul Burlison. These include Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck and Eric Clapton. Additionally, The Beatles, The Yardbirds, Led Zeppelin and Aerosmith have played cover versions of The Rock and Roll Trio’s hits, often with special emphasis on Burlison’s guitar riffs.
Paul Burlison was also a mentor to the Rockabilly band The Dempseys (Brad Birkedahl, “Slick” Joe Fick and Ron Perrone Jr). The Dempseys have had modest success around the world for their rockabilly style, honed around Memphis and alongside a willing mentor in Burlison. They also played Elvis Presley’s band in the Oscar-winning film Walk the Line. Burlison played on their first album, a cassette album recorded at Sam Phillips’ Studios in Memphis, TN. He also was pictured on their first CD album, Drinking Songs for Your Grandparents and provided an introductory track, playing on a few more. That cover also pictured Cordell Jackson.
Paul Burlison’s pioneering contribution to rock-and-roll has been recognized by the Rockabilly Hall of Fame.
Caterina Kostoula How Stand-up Comedy Taught Me That Approval Is Overrated
Isn’t the pursuit of approval a basic human need, you might ask? The answer is yes. When we’re children, we learn to seek our parents’ approval as a means of survival. That’s why, as adults, negative feedback can trigger us into fight-or-flight mode.