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On This Day
1828 – Initial issue of the Cherokee Phoenix is the first periodical to use the Cherokee syllabary invented by Sequoyah.
The Cherokee Phoenix (Cherokee: ᏣᎳᎩ ᏧᎴᎯᏌᏅᎯ, translit. Tsalagi Tsulehisanəhi) was the first newspaper published by Native Americans in the United States and the first published in a Native American language. The first issue was published in English and Cherokee on February 21, 1828, in New Echota, capital of the Cherokee Nation (present-day Georgia). The paper continued until 1834. The Cherokee Phoenix was revived in the 20th century, and today it publishes both print and Internet versions.
In the mid-1820s the Cherokee tribe was being pressured by the government, and by Georgia in particular, to remove to new lands west of the Mississippi River, or to end their tribal government and surrender control of their traditional territory to the United States (US) government. The General Council of the Cherokee Nation established a newspaper, in collaboration with Samuel Worcester, a missionary, who cast the type for the Cherokee syllabary. The Council selected Elias Boudinot as the first editor.
Named Galagina Oowatie (ᎦᎴᎩᎾ ᎤᏩᏘ) in the Cherokee language, Elias Boudinot was born in 1804 at Oothcaloga, Cherokee Nation, near present-day Chatsworth, Georgia. He chose the name of Elias Boudinot after meeting the statesman, while on his way to the Foreign Mission School in Cornwall, Connecticut, where he graduated. There Boudinot married Harriet Ruggles Gold, daughter of a prominent Congregational family. They returned to live at New Echota. Boudinot edited the newspaper for its first four and a half years.
Boudinot named the Cherokee Phoenix as a symbol of renewal, for the mythical bird that rose to new life from ashes of fire. The Nation founded the paper to gather support and to help keep members of the Cherokee Nation united and informed. The newspaper was printed in English and Cherokee, using the Cherokee syllabary developed in 1821 by Sequoyah. According to Langguth, those who could only read Cherokee received the paper free, while those who could read English paid according to a sliding scale:$2.50 a year if they paid in advance and $3.50 a year if they waited a year. It served as the primary vehicle of communication among the many Cherokee townships that constituted the Cherokee Nation. The Nation occupied parts of what are now Virginia, North Carolina, Alabama and Georgia.
The first issue appeared February 21, 1828. It contained five columns on each of its four pages. The editor announced that, because translation between English and Cherokee was slow, initially the paper would print only three columns each week in the Cherokee language. The first issue covered a variety of subjects. Samuel Worcester wrote an article praising Sequoyah’s invention of the syllabary, and Boudinot’s first editorial criticized white settlers wanting Cherokee land. As the issue of removal attracted attention in the United States (US), the newspaper arranged a fund-raising and publicity tour, which attracted new subscribers from almost all areas of the US and Europe. Boudinot gradually published mostly in English, trying to reach that larger audience.
In 1829, Boudinot renamed the Cherokee Phoenix as the Cherokee Phoenix and Indians’ Advocate, reflecting his intention to influence an audience beyond the Cherokee. He addressed issues which Indians across the United States and its territories faced related to assimilation and removal from their traditional homelands. The paper no longer related solely the Cherokee tribe. The paper also offered stories about debates over Indian removal and U.S. Supreme Court cases that affected Indian life.
Boudinot believed removal was inevitable and that the Cherokee should protect their rights by treaty. He was allied with Major Ridge in this view. His views were opposed by the majority of the Cherokee, including Principal Chief John Ross, elected by the constitutional republic in 1828. The Council forced Boudinot to resign in 1832.
Elijah Hicks, an anti-removal Cherokee, replaced Boudinot as editor. When the federal government failed to pay the annuity to the Cherokee in 1834, the paper ceased publication. In August 1835 a contingent of the Georgia Guard took the printing press to prevent any further publication. The real objective was to prevent the newspaper from falling under the influence of John Ross. The state militia was organized to police the Cherokee territory which the state had claimed.
The Cherokee Phoenix published intermittently after Cherokee removal to Indian Territory. Since the late 20th century, it has been revived and is now published by the Cherokee Nation as a monthly broadsheet in Tahlequah, Oklahoma. The newspaper has modernized. It publishes on the Internet and is available on the iPhone, and there is a print version.
A digitized, searchable version of the paper is available through the University of Georgia libraries and the Digital Library of Georgia. Transcriptions of the English-language portions of the 19th-century newspaper can be found at Western Carolina University’s Hunter Library’s Web site.
Artists Jeff Marley and Frank Brannon completed a collaborative project on October 19, 2013, in which they printed using Cherokee syllabary type in the print shop at New Echota. This was the first time syllabary printing type was used at New Echota since 1835.
Born On This Day
1924 – Thelma Estrin, American computer scientist and engineer (d. 2014)
Thelma Estrin (February 21, 1924 – February 15, 2014) was an American computer scientist and engineer who did pioneering work in the fields of expert systems and biomedical engineering. She was one of the first to apply computer technology to healthcare and medical research. She was professor emerita in the Department of Computer Science, University of California at Los Angeles.
Early life and education
Thelma Austern was born in New York City and attended public schools there. Demonstrating an early aptitude for mathematics, she began her higher education at City College of New York, initially planning to become an accountant. At City College she met Gerald Estrin in 1941; they were married when she was seventeen. When Gerald Estrin entered the Army during World War II, Thelma took a three-month engineering assistant course at Stevens Institute of Technology in 1942, and soon after she then began working at Radio Receptor Company building electronic devices where she developed an interest in engineering.
She began to develop an interest in engineering while working at Radio Receptor Company. After the war, Thelma and Gerald Estrin both entered the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where they both earned degrees in electrical engineering. Thelma received her BSc in 1948, her MSc in 1949, and her PhD in 1951.
Princeton and biomedical engineering research 1951-1953
They moved to Princeton, New Jersey, in the early 1950s, where Gerald joined the Institute for Advanced Study at Princeton and became associated with the group that formed around John von Neumann. Thelma obtained a research position in the Electroencephalograph Department of the Neurological Institute of New York at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital in New York City, where she developed an interest in biomedical engineering.
Move to UCLA – 1953
Gerald obtained a teaching position at UCLA in 1953 and they moved to Los Angeles. When Thelma’s husband began working at UCLA, she was not able to work there too because of nepotism, so she started working at a junior college, Los Angeles Valley College in San Fernando Valley, CA, where she taught drafting. Shortly afterwards she and Gerald went to Israel, where they helped to build the first computer there, the Weizmann Automatic Computer, or WEIZAC, in 1954. After their return, Thelma became associated with the Brain Research Institute at UCLA in 1960, and organized the Institute’s Data Processing Laboratory in 1961; she served as director of the Data Processing Laboratory from 1970 to 1980. During her tenure she designed and developed one of the first analog-to-digital conversion systems that could convert analog signals from electroencephalograms (EEG) to digital signals.
Professor of computer science, UCLA – 1980
In 1980, she accepted a position as professor in the Computer Science Department of the School of Engineering and Applied Science. From 1982 to 1984 she held a rotating position at the National Science Foundation as director of the Electrical, Computer, and Systems Research Division. She has served as president of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society, and the first female executive vice president of IEEE.
Women’s studies and computer science
Estrin published a 1996 paper on women’s studies and computer science to discuss the intersections of the two disciplines as they “both evolved as academic disciplines in the 1960s, but they evolved along very different paths.” In this paper, Estrin connects feminist epistemology and its pedagogical values to ways computer science could become “more relevant for minority and low-income students.”  Estrin explains that women’s studies did not broach the science and engineering subfields of computing and biomedical engineering, which she says were “creating tools for exploration of women’s health and reproductive rights,” until 25 years after its founding; instead, women’s studies focused on the “immediate experience of women” through humanities disciplines.”Women’s studies,” Estrin writes, “implies that we expand the world of science and technology from its patriarchal history, which consider these disciplines as inherently masculine.” She writes that women’s studies seeks to “understand the elements of gender in the social and political situations” and it is necessary in order to “widen women’s access to technology.”
Awards and honors
In 1984, she received the IEEE Centennial Medal. In 1989 she was awarded the honorary degree of doctor of science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She was awarded a Fulbright Fellowship at the Weizmann Institute in Israel to study EEG patterns in epileptics in 1963. She received an Outstanding Engineer of the Year Award from the California Institute for the Advancement of Engineering, an Achievement Award from the Society of Women Engineers (1981), the IEEE Haraden Pratt Award (1991), and the Superior Accomplishment Award from the National Science Foundation. She was a Fellow of IEEE, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a Founding Fellow of the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering.
Thelma Estrin had three daughters. Margo Estrin is a medical doctor, Deborah Estrin is a computer scientist, and Judith Estrin is a corporate executive.
William Franklin Graham Jr. KBE (November 7, 1918 – February 21, 2018) was an American Christian Protestant evangelist and an ordained Southern Baptist minister who became well known internationally after 1949. He has been called one of the most influential preachers of the 20th century. He held large indoor and outdoor rallies with sermons which were broadcast on radio and television, some still being re-broadcast into the 21st century. In his six decades of television, Graham hosted annual Billy Graham Crusades, which ran from 1947 until his retirement in 2005. He also hosted the popular radio show Hour of Decision from 1950 to 1954. He repudiated segregation and, in addition to his religious aims, helped shape the worldview of a huge number of people coming from different backgrounds leading them to find a relationship between the Bible and contemporary secular viewpoints. Graham preached to live audiences of nearly 215 million people in more than 185 countries and territories through various meetings, including BMS World Mission and Global Mission. He also reached hundreds of millions more through television, video, film, and webcasts.
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