World War II was the most destructive conflict in human history. Millions of people lost their lives fighting for or defending against tyranny, some for the right reasons, and others for the wrong ones (Hastings 2012). The bandages in the above photo were made by a German company called Hartmann Group. They were just one of the many companies from all around the world that were required by their government to begin producing materials for war in both the 1910s and the 1930-40s. In short, there were no facets of ordinary life, nor anyone in the world who was not affected in some way by the greatest military conflict of all-time.
On March 3, 1865, the War Department of the United States established the Bureau of Refugees, Freedmen, and Abandoned Lands; it has since come to be known as the Freedmen’s Bureau (National Archives 2021). Facing the aftermath of the Civil War and the havoc it wreaked on the American economic system, President Andrew Johnson worked alongside Congress to create the Freedmen’s Bureau, which was a federal agency that was established for the purpose of promoting the social welfare of the recently freed population of enslaved African Americans (Hatfield 2020).
In the not-so-distant past, racial segregation was not only acceptable but was required, and efforts to dismantle it finally began in 1954 with the Supreme Court ruling of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka (Rodgers and Bullock 1972). While some cities peacefully desegregated their facilities, the southern states continued their archaic aggressions towards social progress through creating school legislation to slow the process (1972).
Over the next 10 years, the various congresses and presidents showed little to no action towards advancing desegregation, and it wasn’t until congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which forced government departments to report the status of desegregation to congress and the president, that there was some movement towards equality (Wise 1974). While a Supreme Court ruling and a congressional act should be enough to force progress, the Civil Rights Act of 1969 had to be passed a few years later to make it so people could not be discriminated against for any individual reason (Wise 1974). However, both the 1964 and 1969 acts took too long to be officially enforced laws and were still met with local government resistance (Wise 1974).
On September 9, 1891, Cass Hite killed Adolf F. Kohler in the Green River Valley of the Utah Territory in self-defense. Despite this, he was sentenced to 12 years in prison. What followed were petitions, letters, and people asking one question: why?
The answer was complicated. Prosecutors in court claimed Hite killed Kohler out of anger after being called a coward (The People of the Territory of Utah vs. Cass Hite, n.d.). For Hite’s defense, Kohler shot first after Hite went to him to settle their differences without violence (Salt Lake Tribune 1892, 3). The court split when the first trial proceeded in February 1892. With no solid proof of either sides’ story besides bullet holes and a dead man, a he-said she-said predicament ensued. Witnesses contradicted each other on key points depending on which side they supported. “Ultimately,” says Knipmeyer, author of Hite’s biography, “[it] came down to which witnesses each member of the…jury believed” (Knipmeyer 2016, 147-148).
On May 14, 1954, the Supreme Court ruled in the court case Brown v. Board of Education that segregation within schools was unconstitutional according to the 14th amendment (United States Courts, n.d.).
After much discussion with all the United States Attorney Generals, it was determined by the Supreme court that school desegregation was to be administered by federal state district courts and that it was to begin immediately following the court’s ruling in the Brown v. Board of Education Topeka court case (Tomberlin 1974 ; United States Courts, n.d., under “Brown v. Board of Education (1954-1955).
World War II veterans are an ever-shrinking population. While most living veterans are well into their 90s, many of their stories have not been told. Salvatore J. Indiviglia was 99 when he passed on May 28, 2018. According to an article from the Pew Research Center, “The [Department of Veteran’s Affairs] projections show that between Sept. 30, 2019 and Sept. 30, 2020, 245 WWII veterans are expected to be lost each day” (Schaeffer 2020). Thus, it is more crucial than ever to record as many of their stories and experiences as possible before they are lost for good. However, sometimes their stories live on through the work they have done throughout their lives. I was able to find his story through the paintings he has left behind and the organizations he was a part of. Salvatore J. Indiviglia was a resident of Franklin Square, New York for 68 years, a veteran of World War II, and a prolific artist whose work is displayed in numerous places, most notably, in the Franklin Square Public Library (Newsday 2018).
Young Life began as a ministry to teens in Texas in the 1930s (Young Life, n.d.). It went on to become a multinational organization in the effort to “go where kids are, win the right to be heard and share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with them” (Young Life, n.d.). Through fun club meetings and summer camps that in 2007 totaled 24 and reached over 100,000 teens a year (Lanker 2007, 15), Young Life strove to reach the many teens who were not part of a church.
Class. D for Difference. R for Race. An ABC of Equality is a children’s
book addressing social justice concepts via the alphabet. Increasingly,
grownups are exploring subjects related to equality with their children. Why?
Because our world is changing. By 2060, no single racial majority will exist (Kotler,
Haider, and Levine 2019, 6). Talking about race is thus imperative, and the
earlier the better.
In 1915, the United States had 7,598 National Banks and
18,227 State Banks (FDIC.Gov 2014). One of the banks that opened that year was
the Citizens Bank of Monroe located in Monroe NY. Though the building is no
longer in use the bank is still talked about and remembered for its great
customer service, it’s giant vault, and the ability to survive the run on banks
in the 1930s. Many banks did not survive the banking panics that began in
October of 1930 and lasted until Roosevelts national banking holiday in 1933
(Bordo and Landon-Lane 2010, 487). During this time over 8,000 commercial banks
were part of the Federal Reserve System, but nearly 16,000 were not members, including
the Citizens Bank of Monroe (Richardson 2013).