With 2,000 soldiers in pursuit, Chief Joseph led a band of about 700 Nez Percé Indians—fewer than 200 of whom were warriors, towards freedom—nearly reaching the Canadian border. For over three months, the Nez Percé had outmaneuvered and battled their pursuers traveling some 1,000 miles across Oregon, Washington, Idaho, and Montana.
By the time Chief Joseph surrendered, more than 200 of his followers had died. Although he had negotiated a safe return home for his people, the Nez Percé instead were taken to eastern Kansas and then to a reservation in Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). In 1879, Chief Joseph went to Washington, D.C., to meet with President Rutherford Hayes and plead the case of his people. Finally, in 1885, nine years before his death, Chief Joseph and his followers were allowed to return to a reservation in the Pacific Northwest—still far from their homeland in the Wallowa Valley.
Surrendering to Gen. Nelson Miles 138 years ago today, Joseph reportedly said:
I am tired of fighting. Our chiefs are killed; Looking-glass is dead. Too-hul-hul-suit is dead. The old men are all dead. It is the young men, now, who say ’yes’ or ’no’. He who led on the young men [Joseph’s brother, Ollicut] is dead. It is cold, and we have no blankets. The little children are freezing to death. My people–some of them–have run away to the hills, and have no blankets, no food. No one knows where they are—perhaps freezing to death. I want to have time to look for my children, and see how many of them I can find;maybe I shall find them among the dead. Hear me, my chiefs; my heart is sick and sad. From where the sun now stands, I will fight no more forever
Driving through its Georgia O’Keeffe mountains or under its aurora-clear skies, it’s easy to forget that New Mexico regularly tops the list in various poverty rankings. Americans willing to live side by side with UFO museums, the Very Large Array and the weapon to end all wars also claim the distinction of being number one in child hunger, poverty and school dropout rates.
Truth or Consequences, population 6,000 and home to the Spaceport America Visitor Center, is one of the poorest places in the state. It is a skin-of-its-teeth tourist town, and now a portal to another world.
The Guardian in a report “Space travel for the 1%: Virgin Galactic’s $250,000 tickets haunt New Mexico town.”
It’s the birthday of Susan Abigail Sarandon, born in Jackson Heights, Queens, New York, 69 years ago today.
And, as if that’s not enough for a holiday, it’s also the birthdate of John Charles Carter, born October 4, 1923. As Charlton Heston he won the best actor Oscar for Ben-Hur (1959), his only nomination.
And, as if those aren’t enough, it’s also the birthdate of Rutherford Birchard Hayes, 19th President of the United States. Hayes was born in Delaware, Ohio, on this date in 1822.
Rutherford B. Hayes became the nineteenth U.S. president in 1877 after a bitterly contested election that pitted him against Democrat Samuel J. Tilden of New York. Tilden won the popular vote, but disputed electoral ballots from four states prompted Congress to create a special electoral commission to decide the election’s result. The fifteen-man commission of congressmen, senators, and Supreme Court justices, eight of whom were Republicans, voted along party lines to decide the election in Hayes’s favor. The electoral dispute has come to be known as the Tilden-Hayes Affair. Because of the tension surrounding this partisan decision, Hayes secretly took the oath of office in the White House Red Room. He was the first president to be sworn in at the residence.
The wonderful Joseph Frank Keaton was born 120 years ago today. Roger Ebert wrote about “Buster” Keaton in 2002. It’s worth reading; a brief excerpt:
He said he learned to “take a fall” as a child, when he toured in vaudeville with his parents, Joe and Myra. By the time he was 3, he was being thrown around the stage and into the orchestra pit, and his little suits even had a handle concealed at the waist, so Joe could sling him like luggage. Today this would be child abuse; then it was showbiz.
Buster Keaton is considered one of the greatest comic actors of all time. His influence on physical comedy is rivaled only by Charlie Chaplin. Like many of the great actors of the silent era, Keaton’s work was cast into near obscurity for many years. Only toward the end of his life was there a renewed interest in his films. An acrobatically skillful and psychologically insightful actor, Keaton made dozens of short films and fourteen major silent features, attesting to one of the most talented and innovative artists of his time.
Born in 1895 to Joe and Myra Keaton, Joseph Francis Keaton got his name when, at six months, he fell down a flight of stairs. Reaching the bottom unhurt and relatively undisturbed, he was picked up by Harry Houdini who said the kid could really take a “buster,” or fall. From then on, his parents and the world knew him as Buster Keaton. By the age of three, Keaton joined the family’s vaudeville act, which was renamed The Three Keatons. For years he was knocked over, thrown through windows, dropped down stairs, and essentially used as a living prop. It was this training in vaudeville that prepared him for the fast-paced slapstick comedy of the silent movies.
This is a gif loop from 10 stills taken of the bear in my backyard June 27, 2013.
I love watching the bear problem solve — how do I get over that wall? She (he?) eventually jumped onto the berm, a leap of about 5 vertical and 5 horizontal feet. She visited again, once or twice, but I didn’t see her, only her sign. Bears have been much more scarce since the horrible winnowing of 2013, a bad drought year.
My cat, taken April 21, 2015. He also has been around from time-to-time, but this was my one sighting.
One of many bunnies through the years.
These photos were taken through windows. I didn’t want to frighten the wildlife away by opening the door or screen — and I didn’t really want to let them in.