On This Day
1943 – In Diamond, Missouri, the George Washington Carver National Monument becomes the first United States National Monument in honor of an African American.
George Washington Carver National Monument is a unit of the National Park Service in Newton County, Missouri. The national monument was founded on July 14, 1943, by Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who dedicated $30,000 to the monument. It was the first national monument dedicated to a black American and first to a non-president.
The site preserves of the boyhood home of George Washington Carver, as well as the 1881 Moses Carver house and the Carver cemetery. His boyhood home consists of rolling hills, woodlands, and prairies. The 240-acre (97 ha) park has a 3⁄4-mile (1.2 km) nature trail, film, museum, and an interactive exhibit area for students.
The park is two miles west of Diamond along Missouri Route V and approximately ten miles southeast of Joplin.
It was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1966.
1834 – The Spanish Inquisition is officially disbanded after nearly 356 years.
The Tribunal of the Holy Office of the Inquisition (Spanish: Tribunal del Santo Oficio de la Inquisición), commonly known as the Spanish Inquisition (Inquisición española), was established in 1478 by Catholic Monarchs Ferdinand II of Aragon and Isabella I of Castile. It was intended to maintain Catholic orthodoxy in their kingdoms and to replace the Medieval Inquisition, which was under Papal control. It became the most substantive of the three different manifestations of the wider Catholic Inquisition along with the Roman Inquisition and Portuguese Inquisition. The “Spanish Inquisition” may be defined broadly, operating in Spain and in all Spanish colonies and territories, which included the Canary Islands, the Spanish Netherlands, the Kingdom of Naples, and all Spanish possessions in North, Central, and South America. According to modern estimates, around 150,000 were prosecuted for various offenses during the three-century duration of the Spanish Inquisition, out of which between 3,000 and 5,000 were executed (3% of all cases).
The Inquisition was originally intended primarily to identify heretics among those who converted from Judaism and Islam to Catholicism. The regulation of the faith of newly converted Catholics was intensified after the royal decrees issued in 1492 and 1502 ordering Jews and Muslims to convert to Catholicism or leave Castile. The Inquisition was not definitively abolished until 1834, during the reign of Isabella II, after a period of declining influence in the preceding century.
The Spanish Inquisition is often cited in popular literature and history as an example of religious intolerance and repression. Some historians have come to conclude that many of the charges levied against the Inquisition are exaggerated, and are a result of the Black Legend produced by political and religious enemies of Spain, especially England.
Born On This Day
1920 – Marijohn Wilkin, American country and gospel songwriter (d. 2006)
Marijohn Wilkin (July 14, 1920 – October 28, 2006), née Melson, was an American songwriter, famous in the country music genre for writing a number of hits. Wilkin won numerous awards over the years and was referred to as “The Den Mother of Music Row,” as chronicled in her 1978 biography from Word Books–Lord, Let Me Leave a Song (authored with Darryl E. Hicks), honored as “One of the 100 Most Important Books about Nashville’s Music Industry!”
Wilkin was born in Kemp, Texas and raised in Sanger, north of Dallas. She became a teacher, and was widowed when her husband Bedford Russell was killed in World War II. She remarried in 1946, with one son; her 1950 marriage to Art Wilkin, Jr. was her third.
Her father, a baker, had been a fiddle player. From 1955 she toured with Red Foley, and in 1956 her songs were recorded by Mitchell Torok and Wanda Jackson. In 1958 she moved to Nashville, and had major hits, written with John D. Loudermilk, for Stonewall Jackson (the number one country hit “Waterloo”, which also made the pop top ten) and Jimmy C. Newman.
Wilkin also wrote “The Long Black Veil” for Lefty Frizzell (with Danny Dill), the classic “Cut Across Shorty” for Eddie Cochran (with Wayne P. Walker), and “I Just Don’t Understand” which became a pop hit for Ann-Margret and was covered by The Beatles. Although she was primarily a country songwriter, her songs have been recorded by several pop and rock acts, including Rod Stewart and Mick Jagger. Wilkin herself also recorded occasionally for Columbia Records and Dot Records in the 1960s and at times worked as a background vocalist. She is billed simply as “Marijohn” on a few of her recordings. On DOT records she also recorded under the name “Romi Spain.”
Marijohn Wilkin may be most famous for “One Day at a Time”, often considered the biggest gospel song of the 1970s. Wilkin wrote the song in 1973 with some assistance by her former protégé, Kris Kristofferson. The song won a Dove Award from the Gospel Music Association in 1975 (see also: Dove Award for Song of the Year). The song was a top 20 country single for Marilyn Sellars in 1974 and hit No. 37 on Billboard’s Hot 100 pop chart. It also launched a career as a gospel recording artist for Wilkin, who released several albums on Word Records. A remake became a No. 1 country hit for Cristy Lane in 1980 and has since been recorded more than 200 times. Even though written as a personal worship song, it has also been recognized as “One of the Top 50 Southern Gospel Songs.” 
Johnny Duncan and Ed Bruce were among the many songwriters she helped get a foothold in the music business. Kris Kristofferson was in the Army with one of her distant cousins, so he sent some of his work to her at Buckhorn, her publishing company. She became the first to publish his songs, notably “For the good times”. In 1970 it became a massive pop and country hit for Ray Price, and hundreds have since recorded it. Wilkin is credited for the discovery of Kristofferson and being the first person to give him work as a legitimate songwriter.
Wilkin’s son, John “Bucky” Wilkin, became the frontman of the 1960s surf rock group Ronny & the Daytonas, whose 1964 debut single “G.T.O.” reached No. 4 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart.
In 1975, Marijohn was inducted into the Nashville Songwriters Hall of Fame.
Wilkin formed a new publishing company, 17th Avenue Music. It became profitable when its songs were recorded by LeAnn Rimes. In 2005, Wilkin was honored by the SOURCE organization as a pioneering Music Row businesswoman. This was her last notable public appearance. She died of heart disease in October 2006. Her last marriage was to the record producer Clarence Selman in 1967.
Ballads of the Blue and Gray (Columbia, 1962)
Country and Western Songs (Columbia Harmony, c. 1963)
I Have Returned (Word, 1974)
I Thought Of God
Isn’t it Wonderful (Word, 1975)
Where I’m Going (Word, 1975)
Reach Up and Touch God’s Hand (Word, 1976)
Higher Than High (Word, 1977)
Lord, Leave Me a Song (Word, 1978)
One Day at A Time (Word, 1980)
A Little Bit of Jesus (Word, 1981)
His Kind of Love (Buckhorn Music Publishers, UNK date)
1793 – Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps, American educator, author, editor (d. 1884)
Almira Hart Lincoln Phelps (July 15, 1793 – July 15, 1884) was a 19th-century American educator, author, and editor. Though she primarily wrote regarding nature, she also was a writer of novels, essays, and memoir.
Phelps was a native of Connecticut. Her long and active life was devoted to the education of young women. She published several popular science textbooks in the fields of botany, chemistry, and geology. Some of her works worthy of special commemoration include, The Blue Ribbon Society; The School Girls Rebellion; Christian Households; Familiar Lectures on Botany; Our Country and its Relation to the Present, Past and Future; and The Fireside Friend. Her views on topics ranging from elocution to corsets are contained in Lectures to Young Ladies, Comprising Outlines and Applications of the Different Branches of Female Education for the User of Female Schools, and Private Libraries.
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