Washita Battlefield National Historic Site (Oklahoma)

. . . was authorized on this date in 1996. It is one of three National Park Service sites in Oklahoma.

Washita

The site protects and interprets the setting along the Washita River where Lt. Col. George A. Custer led the 7th U.S. Cavalry on a surprise dawn attack against the Southern Cheyenne village of Peace Chief Black Kettle on November 27, 1868. The attack was an important event in the tragic clash of cultures of the Indian Wars era.

Washita Battlefield National Historic Site


Korean War Veterans Memorial (Washington, D.C.)

… was authorized 28 years ago today (October 28, 1986).

Korean War Veterans Memorial

“Freedom is not free.” Here, one finds the expression of American gratitude to those who restored freedom to South Korea. Nineteen stainless steel sculptures stand silently under the watchful eye of a sea of faces upon a granite wall—reminders of the human cost of defending freedom. These elements all bear witness to the patriotism, devotion to duty, and courage of Korean War veterans.

Korean War Veterans Memorial


Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument (New Mexico)

… began as Gran Quivara National Monument in 1909, but evolved over the years and was renamed Salinas Pueblo Missions 26 years ago today (October 28, 1988).

Salina Pueblo Missions

Tucked away in the middle of New Mexico you’ll find Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument. The three sites offer a glimpse into a unique time in history. A time entrenched with cultural borrowing, conflict, and struggles. The now abandoned sites stand as reminders of the Spanish and Pueblo People’s early encounters.


Salinas Pueblo Missions is a curious park in that it is a collection of three discontinuous units, each with distinct Spanish Missions, Native American Pueblos, and a variety of other historic buildings and ruins. The park started on November 1, 1909 with the preservation of the Gran Quivira unit. This first park, Gran Quivira National Monument was joined in 1980 by the Abo and Quarai Units which were transferred to the National Park Service from New Mexico State Monuments. The two new units were combined with Gran Quivira to create Salinas National Monument, which was renamed Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument in 1988.

Each of the three units would easily make an incredible National Monument on their own. For this reason it is difficult to briefly summarize the individual locations, staggering architecture, and historical significance of the three units. In light of this fact, in the following pages each unit is divided into its own section with additional pages for highlighted features, buildings, and structures.

Source: National Park Service


October 22nd Really Should Be a Holiday

Curly Howard (Jerome Lester Horwitz) was born on this date in 1903. The most popular of the Three Stooges, Curly had no formal training and was often improvising. According to older brother Moe Howard, “If we were going through a scene and he’d forget his words for a moment, you know. Rather than stand, get pale and stop, you never knew what he was going to do. On one occasion he’d get down to the floor and spin around like a top until he remembered what he had to say.” It’s said Curly squandered all his money on wine, food, women, homes, cars, and especially dogs. Sounds like good choices, but they took their toll. Curly Howard died at age 48 in 1952 after a series of strokes.

“N’yuk, n’yuk, n’yuk.”


The Scariest October Ever

It was on this date in 1962, that President Kennedy told the nation about the Soviet missiles in Cuba. From The New York Times report on the speech:

President Kennedy imposed a naval and air “quarantine” tonight on the shipment of offensive military equipment to Cuba.

In a speech of extraordinary gravity, he told the American people that the Soviet Union, contrary to promises, was building offensive missiles and bomber bases in Cuba. He said the bases could handle missiles carrying nuclear warheads up to 2,000 miles.

Thus a critical moment in the cold war was at hand tonight. The President had decided on a direct confrontation with–and challenge to–the power of the Soviet Union.

*****

All this the President recited in an 18-minute radio and television address of a grimness unparalleled in recent times. He read the words rapidly, with little emotion, until he came to the peroration–a warning to Americans of the dangers ahead.

“Let no one doubt that this is a difficult and dangerous effort on which we have set out,” the President said. “No one can foresee precisely what course it will take or what costs or casualties will be incurred.”

“The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are–but it is the one most consistent with our character and courage as a nation and our commitments around the world,” he added.

It was as close as we’ve ever come to nuclear war.


Thinking About Columbus Day

I am well aware of the feelings among many American Indians about Columbus Day. One Lakota woman who worked for me used to ask if she could come in and work on Columbus Day, a federal holiday.

My feeling though is that we can’t have enough holidays and so I choose to think of Columbus Day as the Italian-American holiday. Nothing wrong with that. We have an African-American holiday on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. We have the Irish-American celebration that is St. Patrick’s Day. And Cinco de Mayo is surely the Mexican-American holiday, a much larger celebration here than in most of Mexico.

So, instead of protesting Columbus Day, perhaps American Indians should organize and bring about a holiday of their very own. Given the great diversity among Indian nations (and, lets face it, a proclivity for endless debate), the tribes might never reach agreement, though, so I will suggest a date.

The day before Columbus Day.