September 5, 1957 – I was just eleven years old when the evening news came on our black and white television. US paratroopers in Little Rock Arkansas held back an unruly crowd of angry white adults who were trying to prevent nine Black students from attending an all-white high school. Under President Eisenhower’s orders, the military enforced a Supreme Court ruling to desegregate federally regulated public schools.
Back then, this kind of violence was not unusual to see on television for a little kid like me. The networks covered state police wielding dogs, firehoses and night sticks against civil rights demonstrators.
In this same period, Russians were the first to launch a satellite into orbit around the earth. With America’s early lead in rocket science, we always assumed we would be first.
One TV newscaster commented: “This means that men are really going to the moon.”
“Yes,” said the second newscaster. “And here we are, still fighting the Civil War again.”
Unbearable Florida heat and humidity, wives off on their own adventures, more than a slight danger of boredom—how are a couple of golden agers to spend their summer vacation?
Tim McMurrich and I have been friends for 45 years (although we lost contact with each other for 30 of those) ever since we were part of a stellar softball outfield in the ‘70s. We hatched our plan to tour Civil War Battlefields over cocktails during the Christmas holidays (not surprisingly our spouses began planning alternate summer plans the same evening). So, began an 8-day Odyssey (More…)
In the late 1970s, I started researching my family tree. My paternal grandmother’s grandfathers were Union soldiers in the Civil War, so I obtained their military records through the National Archives.
Charles G. Dixon married his sweetheart two days before he enlisted in October, 1864, in Company E, 8th Regiment, Illinois Cavalry. Private Dixon served only 9 months before his discharge in July 1865. A year later, he and Emma Gleason became parents of my great-grandfather, William H. Dixon.
Sanford C. H. Smith was a married father of four children when he enlisted in September, 1862, in Company H, 7th Regiment, Ohio Cavalry. Corporal Smith was captured during the Battle of (More…)