Oklahoma City

It was 19 years ago today that the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City was bombed by domestic terrorists, killing 168 people and injuring 500. NewMexiKen has been to the Memorial several times and recommends you visit both it and the museum.

These photos were taken in 2006. Click any image for larger versions.

This was taken in 2008.

OKC Memorial at Night 2008

The Shot Heard ‘Round the World

April 19, 1775.

At Lexington Green, the British were met by 77 American Minute Men led by John Parker. At the North Bridge in Concord, the British were confronted again, this time by 300 to 400 armed colonists, and were forced to march back to Boston with the Americans firing on them all the way. By the end of the day, the colonists were singing “Yankee Doodle” and the American Revolution had begun.

The Library of Congress

If actions spoke louder than words, today would be Independence Day.

The Midnight Riders of April 18th

Late on the night of April 18, 1775, Boston patriot Joseph Warren learned of a British military operation planned for the next day. To warn John Hancock and Samuel Adams, who were across the Charles River in Lexington, Warren dispatched two riders, Paul Revere and William Dawes. Revere took the shorter route “by sea,” while Dawes went “by land” over the isthmus from Boston to Roxbury, then crossing the Charles River over a bridge in Cambridge. Revere’s ride has been celebrated in poems and textbooks, but Dawes’ role was at least as important.

One By Land
William Dawes rode by land past the guard at the gate of the strip of land that connected Boston to Roxbury. Dawes had befriended a number of guards in the preceding weeks, and was lucky to find a friendly face on duty that night. He slipped through the gate after some Redcoats. Continuing west to Brookline, over the Charles at a bridge in Cambridge, he sped his horse through Menotomy (today called Arlington) to Lexington.

One By Sea
Paul Revere took the more direct sea route. After he was rowed quietly across the Charles, within sight of the British warships, Revere obtained a horse at Lechmere and rode through Cambridge toward Adams and Hancock in Lexington. Stopped by British officers en route, Revere made a quick escape and chose an indirect path to Lexington, through Medford.

The Alarm is Sounded
Both riders arrived in Lexington just after midnight and delivered their news of the British plans. The two messengers also decided to warn the militia in Concord that their military supplies would be targeted. They were joined on this leg by Dr. Samuel Prescott, a Concord resident who had been visiting a Lexington friend. Prescott proved invaluable when the riders were surprised by more British soldiers. Revere was captured and Dawes lost his horse, but Prescott took the back trails he knew to reach Concord and sound the alarm.

Excerpted from American Experience | Patriots Day

Jackie Robinson

… appeared in his first major league game 67 years ago today. He went hitless but scored the winning run.

The front page of the Pittsburgh Courier, once the country’s most widely circulated African-American newspaper, conveys the significance of that day.

Robinson Pittsburgh Courier

Income Tax

An income tax was first collected during the Civil War from 1862 to 1872. During the administration of President Grover Cleveland, the federal government again levied an income tax, enacted by Congress in 1894. However, the Supreme Court ruled it unconstitutional the following year. As a result, supporters of an income tax embarked on the lengthy process of amending the Constitution. Not until the Sixteenth Amendment was ratified in 1913 was Congress given the power “to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census of enumeration.”

Library of Congress

Arguing that the income tax is unconstitutional, as some do, is simply ignorance. It’s in an amendment, just like freedom of speech, right to bear arms and women’s suffrage.