Friday Historical Fiction Giving the Facts – I Want My MTV

historical-fiction Each Friday as an alternative way of posting about a historical event that occurred on this day in history, I will weave the event into a fictional story while still providing all the necessary facts.

 

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It was the end of July and the temperature all day had been smoldering like many of the days in the summer of 1981.  Debbie climbed out of bed and went to the window.  She could see that the light was on in her best friend, Kim’s bedroom.  Kim must have sensed her friend as she appeared at the window too.  Reaching over, she picked up the handset of her bedside telephone and call Debbie.

“You can’t sleep?” asked Kim.

“No.  It is too hot.  We only have air conditioning in the living room.”

“Why don’t you ask your mother if you can sleep over my house.  We have central air conditioning and as a bonus, my parents are out of town at a wedding.  We can make popcorn and watch television all night.”

“That’s right.  Your parents didn’t think it was a waste of money to get cable television.  Let me see what my mom says.  I’ll call you back.”

Debbie left her room and found her mom in the living room knitting a sweater.  She didn’t even want to think about sweaters with this heat.

“Mom.  Kim just called.  We should have thought about it earlier but her parents are out of town at a wedding and she doesn’t like being alone.  Can I sleep over Kim’s house tonight?”

“I don’t see why not.  Be back home by 10:00 am because you have a dentist appointment.”

Back in her room, Debbie telephoned Kim and filled an overnight bag.  She raced next door for a night of cool comfort and all night television.

~~~~~~~~~~~

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“It’s after midnight.  What should we watch now that the movie is over?”

“Let’s flip through the channels.  I’m in television heaven since I don’t have cable.”

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Kim began pressing buttons on the cable box stopping a few seconds on each channel.

“Stay on this channel.  I wonder what this is?”

“That was “Video Killed The Radio Star” by the little-known English electronic new wave duo, the Buggles.  Awesome,” said Debbie.

“Oh my brother read something in the New York Times earlier in the summer.  Since he’s at Wharton, he is always reading the business section.  I’ll get the old papers during the commercial.

Kim read, “If advertisers make the video disco channel a success, the implications for cable television and the recording industry could be far reaching,” wrote a New York Times business columnist in the summer of 1981 about the upcoming premiere of a new cable television network dedicated exclusively to popular music.”

“Let’s see what they show next, ” said Debbie.

 

“I love Pat Benatar.”  Kim and Debbie continued to watch for the next few hours.

In fact soon many people like Kim and Debbie became obsessed with MTV.  It started on just one northern New Jersey cable network in the wee hours of August 1, 1981 and then spread to cable systems nationwide.  Next it began to exert the cultural influence that has since been credited (or blamed) for everything from Flashdance and Miami Vice to Rick Astley and Attention Deficit Disorder.

MTV's Original VJs then and now.

MTV’s Original VJs then and now.

 

What Happened on July 31st – To the Pillory Daniel Defoe

Daniel Defoe was nearly 60 when he began writing literature such as his fictional account of a shipwrecked sailor, The Life and Strange Adventures of Robinson Crusoe, which was published in 1719.  Other works, Moll Flanders (1722) and Roxana (1724) followed.

On this day, July 31, 1703 many years before he delved into fiction, Daniel Defoe was put in the pillory as punishment for seditious libel, brought about by the publication of a politically satirical pamphlet.

Daniel Defoe in the pillory. Illustration by Ron Embleton

Daniel Defoe in the pillory. Illustration by Ron Embleton

Defoe’s middle-class father had hoped Defoe would enter the ministry, but Defoe decided to become a merchant instead. After he went bankrupt in 1692, he turned to political pamphleteering to support himself. A deft writer, Defoe’s pamphlets were highly effective in moving readers. His pamphlet The Shortest Way with Dissenters was an attack on High Churchman, satirically written as if from the High Church point of view but extending their arguments to the point of foolishness.

The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters: or Proposals for the Establishment of the Church. London, 1702.

The Shortest-Way with the Dissenters: or Proposals for the Establishment of the Church. London, 1702.

Both sides of the dispute, Dissenters and High Church alike, took the pamphlet seriously, and both sides were outraged to learn it was a hoax. Defoe was arrested for seditious libel in May 1703. While awaiting his punishment, he wrote the spirited “Hymn to the Pillory.” The public sympathized with Defoe and threw flowers, instead of the customary rocks, at him while he stood in the pillory.

Hymn to the Pillory

Hymn to the Pillory

He was sent back to Newgate Prison, from which Robert Harley, the future Earl of Oxford, obtained his release. Harley hired Defoe as a political writer and spy.

 

To this end, Defoe set up the Review, which he edited and wrote from 1704 to 1713.  He died in London in 1731.

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My post from one year ago today: Hitler’s Final Solution

What Happened on July 30th – The House of Burgesses

On July 30, 1619, in Jamestown, Virginia, the first elected legislative assembly in the New World–the House of Burgesses–convenes in the choir of the town’s church.

Earlier that year, the London Company, which had established the Jamestown settlement 12 years before, directed Virginia Governor Sir George Yeardley to summon a “General Assembly” elected by the settlers, with every free adult male voting.  Twenty-two representatives from the 11 Jamestown boroughs were chosen, and Master John Pory was appointed the assembly’s speaker. On July 30, the House of Burgesses (an English word for “citizens”) convened for the first time. Its first law, which, like all of its laws, would have to be approved by the London Company, required tobacco to be sold for at least three shillings per pound. Other laws passed during its first six-day session included prohibitions against gambling, drunkenness, and idleness, and a measure that made Sabbath observance mandatory.

he House of Burgesses chose John Pory as their secretary. He recorded: “But, for as much as men's affairs do little prosper when God's service is neglected

he House of Burgesses chose John Pory as their secretary. He recorded: “But, for as much as men’s affairs do little prosper when God’s service is neglected

The creation of the House of Burgesses, along with other progressive measures, made Sir George Yeardley exceptionally popular among the colonists, and he served two terms as Virginia governor.

What Happened on July 29th – The Son of Sam Begins His Terror of New York

It’s July 29, 1976 and the so-called “Son of Sam” pulls a gun from a paper bag and fires five shots at Donna Lauria and Jody Valenti of the Bronx while they are sitting in a car, talking. Lauria died and Valenti was seriously wounded in the first in a series of shootings by the serial killer, who terrorized New York City over the course of the next year.

Donna Lauria and Jody Valenti, first victims of the Son of Sam

Donna Lauria and Jody Valenti, first victims of the Son of Sam

Once dubbed the “.44 Caliber Killer,” the Son of Sam eventually got his name from letters he sent to both the police and famed newspaper writer Jimmy Breslin that said,

“…I am a monster. I am the Son of Sam. I love to hunt, prowling the streets looking for fair game. The weman are prettyist of all [sic]…”

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The second attack came on October 23, 1976, when a couple was shot as they sat in a car in Queens. A month later, two girls were talking on a stoop outside a home when the serial killer approached, asked for directions, and then suddenly pulled a gun out and fired several shots. Joanne Lomino was paralyzed from a bullet that struck her spine, but her friend was not seriously injured.

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The Son of Sam attacked again in January and March of 1977. In the latter attack, witnesses provided a description of the killer: an unattractive white man with black hair. After yet another shooting in the Bronx in April, the publicity hit a fever pitch. Women, particularly those with dark hair, were discouraged from traveling at night in the city.

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When the Son of Sam missed his intended victims in another murder attempt in June, vigilante groups formed across New York City looking for the killer. His last two victims were shot on July 31, 1977, in Brooklyn; one died. Then, police following up on a parking ticket that had been given out that night discovered a machine gun in a car belonging to David Berkowitz of Yonkers, New York.

David Berkowitz, AKA Son of Sam

David Berkowitz, AKA Son of Sam

The following video is interviews with citizens about the fears everyone felt during the the time of the murders.

http://www.investigationdiscovery.com/tv-shows/deranged/videos/deranged-david-berkowitz-fear-in-nyc.htm

When questioned, Berkowitz explained that “Sam” was his neighbor Sam Carr–an agent of the devil. Sam transmitted his orders through his pet black Labrador. Years earlier, Berkowitz had shot the dog, complaining that its barking was keeping him from sleeping. After the dog recovered, Berkowitz claimed that it began speaking to him and demanding that he kill people.

The following video is about Berkowitz in the courtroom.

http://www.investigationdiscovery.com/tv-shows/deranged/videos/deranged-son-of-sam-inside-the-courtroom.htm

In an unusual sequence of events, Berkowitz was allowed to plead guilty before claiming insanity and was sentenced to over 300 years in prison. In prison, he later claimed to be a born-again Christian.

David Berkowitz Photo: Andres Serrano)

David Berkowitz
(Photo: Andres Serrano)

 

My post from a year ago today: NASA Established

What Happened on July 28th – A Plane Crashed into Empire State Building

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A United States military plane crashes into the Empire State Building on this day in 1945, killing 14 people. The freak accident was caused by heavy fog.

The B-25 Mitchell bomber, with two pilots and one passenger aboard, was flying from New Bedford, Massachusetts, to LaGuardia Airport in New York City. As it came into the metropolitan area on that Saturday morning, the fog was particularly thick. Air-traffic controllers instructed the plane to fly to Newark Airport instead.

On a Saturday morning in July of 1945, Army Air Corps bomber pilot Lt. Colonel William Smith was trying to fly his B-25 bomber through a steadily increasing fog.

On a Saturday morning in July of 1945, Army Air Corps bomber pilot Lt. Colonel William Smith was trying to fly his B-25 bomber through a steadily increasing fog.

This new flight plan took the plane over Manhattan; the crew was specifically warned that the Empire State Building, the tallest building in the city at the time, was not visible. The bomber was flying relatively slowly and quite low, seeking better visibility, when it came upon the Chrysler Building in midtown. It swerved to avoid the building but the move sent it straight into the north side of the Empire State Building, near the 79th floor.

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Upon impact, the plane’s jet fuel exploded, filling the interior of the building with flames all the way down to the 75th floor and sending flames out of the hole the plane had ripped open in the building’s side. One engine from the plane went straight through the building and landed in a penthouse apartment across the street. Other plane parts ended up embedded in and on top of nearby buildings. The other engine snapped an elevator cable while at least one woman was riding in the elevator car. The emergency auto brake saved the woman from crashing to the bottom, but the engine fell down the shaft and landed on top of it. Quick-thinking rescuers pulled the woman from the elevator, saving her life.

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Since it was a Saturday, fewer workers than normal were in the building. Only 11 people in the building were killed, some suffering burns from the fiery jet fuel and others after being thrown out of the building. All 11 victims were workers from War Relief Services department of the National Catholic Welfare Conference, into the offices of which the plane had crashed. The three people on the plane were also killed.

An 18 foot by 20 foot hole was left in the side of the Empire State Building. Though its structural integrity was not affected, the crash did cause nearly $1 million in damages, about $10.5 million in today’s money.

My post from a year ago today: 14th Amendment Ratified

Sunday Photo Fiction Challenge – The Diaries (Part 13)

Submitted for Sunday Photo Fiction

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The Assignment: The idea of Photo Fiction is write a story of around 100-200 words (which is also called Flash Fiction) based on a photo as a prompt. In this particular photo fiction, the story must be based on the photo below. With the link tool below, you can add your story as well as read all the amazing stories written by others.

This is a multiple part story.  To follow the story from the beginning, click hereAnd now, The Diaries, Part 13. (Sorry that I went over the 200 this week.  I couldn’t seem to cut the extra and still tell this part of the story.)

 

Credit: Al Forbes

Credit: Al Forbes

 

“Not surprising the secrets underneath Bletchley. George would you mind reading for a while?”

“Pass me the diary.”

As Karla passed him the diary, a small envelop fluttered to the floor. George picked it up and said, “It’s addressed to your grandma and the postmark is Buenos Aires, Argentina.”

 July 27, 1945

 My Dearest Caroline,

 If you are reading this letter, then my dear friend Carlotta, at great risk, sent it to you when I didn’t survive. Since the war in Europe ended in May, I don’t think it is a risk to tell you about my life since we were last together.   I’ve been involved in intelligence for our beloved England. The morning after our walk along the lake, I received orders to travel by ship to South America and I was not able to tell you about my mission. Argentinean President Juan Peron(1) was orchestrating asylum to Nazis and my job has been to document and track their location. In particular, a Nazi officer who I know had been at Auschwitz is living the high life here in Buenos Aires. It is my highest hope that my reports have made it through and Dr. Franz Lucas (2), a colleague of Josef Mengele (2), pays for his crimes. In my report, I described the mountainous region where there is a secret underground domicile hidden among ancient low stonewalls.

 I love you Caroline and I wanted to spend the rest of my life with you. I hope you find someone special to love and have a good life.

 Love,

 Samuel

“I think we know what those thugs were after?”

 

Story Notes:

My story is fiction; however aspects are routed in truth. (1) Here is an interesting article from 2012 about the Nazis in South America  (2) These two Nazi names are real Nazis and were connected with the concentration camps; however for my story, they are just names to use.

 

 

 

What Happened on July 27th – Nixon Charged with Articles of Impeachment

On July 27, 1974, the House of Representatives charges President Richard M. Nixon with the first of three articles of impeachment for obstruction of justice after he refused to release White House tape recordings that contained crucial information regarding the Watergate scandal.

President Richard M. Nixon

President Richard M. Nixon

In my post, What Happened on June 17th, I wrote about the Watergate Scandal.  On June 17, 1972, five men connected with Nixon’s reelection committee, the Committee to Re-elect the President (CREEP) (Don’t you just love this acronym?), had been caught breaking into the Democratic National Committee headquarters in the Watergate Hotel in Washington D.C.

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A subsequent investigation exposed illegal activities perpetrated by CREEP and authorized by senior members of Nixon’s administration. It also raised questions about what the president knew about those activities. In May 1973, the Senate convened an investigation into the Watergate scandal amid public cries for Nixon’s impeachment. Nixon vigorously denied involvement in the burglary cover-up, most famously in November 1973 when he declared, “I am not a crook.”

Although Nixon released some of the tapes requested by the Senate in April 1974, he withheld the most damning of them, claiming executive privilege. On July 24, 1974, the Supreme Court rejected Nixon’s claim of executive privilege and ordered him to turn over the remaining tapes.

Senator Sam Ervin (D-NC) (center right) held hearings that formed the basis for impeachment charges against Pres. Richard Nixon. Will Senator Charles Schumer’s (D-NY) intense interrogations play a similar role?

Senator Sam Ervin (D-NC) (center right) held hearings that formed the basis for impeachment charges against Pres. Richard Nixon. Will Senator Charles Schumer’s (D-NY) intense interrogations play a similar role?

When he refused to do so, the House of Representatives passed the first article of impeachment against Nixon for obstruction of justice. On August 5, with the impeachment process already underway, Nixon reluctantly released the remaining tapes.   On August 8, 1974, Nixon avoided a Senate trial and likely conviction by becoming the first president to resign.

My post from a year ago today: Conscientous Objectors

The World’s Outstanding Women (WOW): J.K. Rowling

WOMENS-symbolThroughout history women have made their mark in a wide variety of ways.  Each Saturday I plan to highlight one of these remarkable women.  There will be no limit to the areas of history that I may include; however as a guide I will look to the month of their birth, the month of their death or the month associated with their mark in history when I select them.  Is there an outstanding women in history you would like me to include?  I welcome your suggestions.  Would you like to guest blog one of the world’s outstanding women?  Let me hear from you.

Today an outstanding woman from literature.  Meet J.K. Rowling.

Joanne Kathleen Rowling (A.K.A.  J.K. Rowling)

Joanne Kathleen Rowling
(A.K.A. J.K. Rowling)

Joanne Kathleen Rowling is known under her pen name, J.K. Rowling.  The British novelist is the author of the best selling book series in history.  In the Lifetime movie, Magic Beyond Word: The J.J. Rowling Story, we learn about an ordinary woman with life’s everyday struggles writes a series of books that makes her life extraordinary.

Childhood and education

Rowling was born to Peter James Rowling, a Rolls-Royce aircraft engineer, and Anne Rowling (née Volant), a science technician, on 31 July 1965 in Yate, Gloucestershire, England.   Rowling’s sister Dianne was born at their home when Rowling was 23 months old. The family moved to the nearby village Winterbourne when Rowling was four.   She attended St Michael’s Primary School, a school founded by abolitionist William Wilberforce and education reformer Hannah More. Her headmaster at St Michael’s, Alfred Dunn, has been suggested as the inspiration for the Harry Potter headmaster Albus Dumbledore.

As a child, Rowling often wrote fantasy stories which she frequently read to her sister.   At age nine, the Rowling family moved to Church Cottage in the Gloucestershire village of Tutshill, close to Chepstow, Wales. She attended secondary school at Wyedean School and College, where her mother worked in the science department.

Rowling has said that her teenage years were unhappy. Her home life was complicated by her mother’s illness and a strained relationship with her father who she is still not on speaking terms with. Rowling later said that she based the character of Hermione Granger on herself when she was eleven. Steve Eddy, who taught Rowling English when she first arrived, remembers her as “not exceptional” but “one of a group of girls who were bright, and quite good at English”.  Sean Harris, her best friend in the Upper Sixth, owned a turquoise Ford Anglia which she says inspired a flying version that appeared in Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.   At this time, she listened to the Smiths and the Clash.  Rowling studied A-levels in English, French and German, achieving two As and a B and was Head Girl.

In 1982, Rowling took the entrance exams for Oxford University but was not accepted and read for a BA in French and Classics at the University of Exeter. Martin Sorrell, a French professor at Exeter, remembers “a quietly competent student, with a denim jacket and dark hair, who, in academic terms, gave the appearance of doing what was necessary”. Rowling recalls doing little work, preferring to listen to the Smiths and read Dickens and Tolkien. After a year of study in Paris, Rowling graduated from Exeter in 1986 and moved to London to work as a researcher and bilingual secretary for Amnesty International. In 1988, Rowling wrote a short essay about her time studying Classics entitled “What was the Name of that Nymph Again? or Greek and Roman Studies Recalled”; it was published by the University of Exeter’s journal Pegasus.

What Was the Name of That Nymph Again?, or Greek and Roman Studies Recalled. Contained within Pegasus Magazine. The Journal of University of Exeter Dept. of Classics and Ancient History, Issue 41: 1998.  http://www.harringtonbooks.co.uk/pages/books/33221/j-k-rowling-born-1965/what-was-the-name-of-that-nymph-again-or-greek-and-roman-studies-recalled-contained-within-pegasus#sthash.b7yzqenG.dpuf

What Was the Name of That Nymph Again?, or Greek and Roman Studies Recalled. Contained within Pegasus Magazine. The Journal of University of Exeter Dept. of Classics and Ancient History, Issue 41: 1998. http://www.harringtonbooks.co.uk/pages/books/33221/j-k-rowling-born-1965/what-was-the-name-of-that-nymph-again-or-greek-and-roman-studies-recalled-contained-within-pegasus#sthash.b7yzqenG.dpuf

 

Marriage, divorce and single parenthood

After working at Amnesty International in London, Rowling and her then boyfriend decided to move to Manchester where she worked at the Chamber of Commerce. In 1990, while she was on a four-hour-delayed train trip from Manchester to London, the idea for a story of a young boy attending a school of wizardry “came fully formed” into her mind.  When she had reached her Clapham Junction flat, she began to write immediately. In December of that year, Rowling’s mother Anne died after ten years suffering from multiple sclerosis. 

From an advertisement in the newspaper, Rowling to move to Porto in Portugal to teach English as a foreign language. She taught at night, and began writing in the day.  After eighteen months in Porto, she met Portuguese television journalist Jorge Arantes in a barThey married on October 16, 1992 and their child, Jessica Isabel Rowling Arantes (named after author, Jessica Mitford), was born on July 27, 1993 in Portugal. The couple separated on November 17, 1993. In December 1993, Rowling and her daughter moved to be near Rowling’s sister in Edinburgh, Scotland, with three chapters of Harry Potter in her suitcase.

Even with graduating from university, Rowling saw herself as a failure. Her marriage had failed, and she was jobless with a dependent child, but she described her failure as liberating and allowing her to focus on writing. During this period Rowling was diagnosed with clinical depression and contemplated suicide. Her illness inspired the characters known as Dementors, soul-sucking creatures introduced in the third book. Rowling signed up for welfare benefits, describing her economic status as being “poor as it is possible to be in modern Britain, without being homeless”.

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Rowling was left in despair after her estranged husband arrived in Scotland, seeking both her and her daughter. She obtained an order of restraint and Arantes returned to Portugal, with Rowling filing for divorce in August 1994. She began a teacher training course in August 1995 at the Moray House School of Education, at Edinburgh University, after completing her first novel while living on state benefits. She wrote in many cafés, especially Nicolson’s Café, and The Elephant House,(the former owned by her brother-in-law Roger Moore) wherever she could get Jessica to fall asleep.

In 1995, J.K. Rowling finished her first novel, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.  Twelve publishers rejected the manuscript but finally Bloomsbury London gave the green light.  In June 1997, Bloomsbury published Philosopher’s Stone with an initial print run of 1,000 copies, 500 of which were distributed to libraries. Today, such copies are valued between £16,000 and £25,000. Five months later, the book won its first award, a Nestlé Smarties Book Prize. In February, the novel won the British Book Award for Children’s Book of the Year, and later, the Children’s Book Award. In early 1998, an auction was held in the United States for the rights to publish the novel, and was won by Scholastic Inc., for US$105,000. Rowling said that she “nearly died” when she heard the news. In October 1998, Scholastic published Philosopher’s Stone in the US under the title of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, a change Rowling claims she now regrets and would have fought if she had been in a better position at the time. Rowling moved from her flat with the money from the Scholastic sale, into 19 Hazelbank Terrace in Edinburgh. Her neighbors were initially unaware that she was the author of the Harry Potter series, but treated her with respect.

The rest is history.  J.K. Rowling authored seven books in the Harry Potter series and the books spawned eight movies and a themepark in Orlando Florida.  As stated earlier, J.K. Rowling’s series about a boy wizard became the best selling book series in history.

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To learn more about J.K. Rowling, visit these website:

http://www.jkrowling.com/en_US/#/

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/J._K._Rowling

What Happened on July 25th – Mata Hari Sentenced to Die

In Paris, France, on July 25, 1917, the exotic dancer Mata Hari is sentenced to death by a French court for spying on Germany’s behalf during World War I.

Margaretha Geertruida "Margreet" Zelle MacLeod (a.k.a. Mata Hari)

Margaretha Geertruida “Margreet” Zelle MacLeod (a.k.a. Mata Hari)

Since 1903, Margueretha Gertruida Zelle, born in a small town in northern Holland and formerly married to a captain in the Dutch army, had performed in Paris as a dancer.

Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod-Zelle, the later Mata-Hari, (utmost left) and behind her captain Rudolph John MacLeod, her husband, on board the Prinses Amalia from the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland on their way to the Dutch East Indies, probably at Southampton. Source: Wikimedia Commons

Margaretha Geertruida MacLeod-Zelle, the later Mata-Hari, (utmost left) and behind her captain Rudolph John MacLeod, her husband, on board the Prinses Amalia from the Stoomvaart Maatschappij Nederland on their way to the Dutch East Indies, probably at Southampton. Source: Wikimedia Commons

She adopted the stage persona of Mata Hari, claiming she was born in a sacred Indian temple and taught ancient Indian dances by a priestess who gave her the name, which meant “eye of the dawn.” Her exotic dances soon earned her fans all over Europe, where she packed dance halls from Moscow to Berlin to Madrid, largely because of her willingness to dance almost entirely naked in public.

Mata Hari

Mata Hari

Mata Hari also became a celebrated courtesan, and by the outbreak of World War I, her catalog of lovers included high-ranking military officers and political figures from both France and Germany. The circumstances of her alleged spying activities during the war were and remain unclear: it was said that, while in the Netherlands in 1916, she was offered cash by a German consul to report back information obtained on her next visit to France. It appears that British intelligence discovered details of this arrangement and passed them on to their counterparts in France. In any case, Mata Hari was arrested in Paris in February 1917.

Mata Hari on the day of her arrest

Mata Hari on the day of her arrest

Under interrogation by French military intelligence, Mata Hari herself admitted that she had passed outdated information to a German intelligence officer, yet she claimed that she had also been paid to act as a French spy in Belgium (then occupied by the Germans), though she had not informed the French of her prior dealings with the German consul. She was apparently acting as a double agent, though the Germans had apparently written her off as an ineffective agent whose activities had produced little intelligence of value.

Mata Hari was tried in a military court and sentenced, on July 25, 1917, to execution by firing squad. As the Times of London reported on October 15, 1917, the day of her execution, “She was in the habit of meeting notorious German spy-masters outside French territory, and she was proved to have communicated important information to them, in return for which she had received several large sums of money since May 1916.” Her trial was riddled with bias and circumstantial evidence, however, and many believed the French authorities, as well as the press, trumped her up as “the greatest woman spy of the century” as a distraction for the huge losses the French army was suffering on the Western Front. Viewed by many as a victim due to her career as a dancer and courtesan and the French need to find a scapegoat, Mata Hari remains one of the most glamorous figures to come out of the shadowy world of espionage, and the archetype of the female spy.

The execution of Mata Hari by a firing squad, October 15, 1917

The execution of Mata Hari by a firing squad, October 15, 1917

 

My post from a year ago today: The First Test Tube Baby

What Happened on July 24th – 26th – The Rochester Race Riots of 1964

On July 2, 1964 President Lyndon Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits discrimination of all kinds based on race, color, religion or national origin. The Act also provides the federal government with the powers to enforce desegregation.

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964

President Lyndon B. Johnson signs the Civil Rights Act of 1964

 

Within the month, several race riots occurred throughout the United States.  Of particular significance were the riots occurring in Rochester New York between July 24th and 26th 1964.

On Friday, July 24, 1964 at 10:00 PM,  Police arrest a 19-year old male for public intoxication at a block party.  About 200 people were gathered on Nassau Street near Joseph Avenue in the Seventh Ward in Rochester, New York.  There were rumors spreading that lead to the crowd becoming violent.  These rumors were that a child had been attacked by a police dog and a pregnant woman had been slapped by a police officer.

Police hold man spread-eagled over car hood Photo: University of Rochester Rare Books and Special Collections; and the Democrat & Chronicle

Police hold man spread-eagled over car hood
Photo: University of Rochester Rare Books and Special Collections;
and the Democrat & Chronicle

By 11:30 PM, about 400 people riot on Joseph Avenue; all available police officers are called to the scene. Bricks are thrown at police cars.

On July 25, 1964 at 12:30 AM, Police Chief William Lombard urges crowd to disperse. Rioters throw stones, spit on Lombard and overturn his car.   By 2:00 am, Police Chief William Lombard instructs officers on use of riot weapons.

Officer stands next to overturned car Photo: University of Rochester Rare Books and Special Collections; and the Democrat & Chronicle

Officer stands next to overturned car
Photo: University of Rochester Rare Books and Special Collections;
and the Democrat & Chronicle

 

By 3:30 AM, the crowd swells to more than 2,000; looting spreads down Joseph and Clinton Avenues; city police, state troopers and sheriff’s deputies are called in.  At 4:24 AM, a state of emergency is declared.

The crowd swells

The crowd swells

Police use fire hoses to break up riot Photo: City of Rochester, New York

Police use fire hoses to break up riot
Photo: City of Rochester, New York

A cash register on the ground in front of a looted grocery store on Bronson Avenue on July 25, 1964. (Photo: Staff photo / July, 1964)

A cash register on the ground in front of a looted grocery store on Bronson Avenue on July 25, 1964. (Photo: Staff photo / July, 1964)

State police on the streets of Rochester. (Photo: Staff photo / July, 1964)

State police on the streets of Rochester. (Photo: Staff photo / July, 1964)

 

When the sun came up, City Manager Porter Homer orders 8:00 PM curfew in the city of Rochester; closes the downtown and all liquor stores in Rochester and adjoining towns.  African American leaders go to the Public Safety Building, and volunteer to help quell disturbances planned in the Third Ward.

Main Street in the heart of Rochester is deserted at 9:10 p.m. just 40 minutes after curfew started in the embattled city. The curfew was one of several measures to keep peace in the community, scene of riots over the weekend. (AP photo, 7/28/1964

Main Street in the heart of Rochester is deserted at 9:10 p.m. just 40 minutes after curfew started in the embattled city. The curfew was one of several measures to keep peace in the community, scene of riots over the weekend. (AP photo, 7/28/1964

When night falls on July 25, 1964, violence breaks out in the Third Ward; angry mobs swarm the streets; rioters toss Molotov cocktails, rocks and bottles from rooftops and store windows.  At 10:00 PM, a white man is attacked and killed on Clarissa and Atkinson Streets.

On Sunday, July 26, 1964, at 3:00 PM, a helicopter surveying riot damage crashes into a Clarissa Street home, killing three.  At this link, Roberta Abbott Buckle talks about her perspective of the 1964 riots that started with racial resentment. Her father, Robert Abbott, director of Monroe County Civil Defense, was in a helicopter that crashed during the chaos. Video by Carlos Ortiz  http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/news/2014/07/19/roberta-abbott-buckle-rochester-riots/12855941/

The National Guard called in to help “weary local and state police” control riot, marking the first time the National Guard is called out in a northern city.  By evening, the Rochester riots end. Nearly 1,000 people are arrested; the majority, between 20 and 40 years old, employed, with no prior record. Fifteen percent are white.

Rochester sidewalks get cleaned up following a night of window smashing, looting and general disorder in Rochester, New York, July 26, 1964. It was the second night in a row that the city was the scene of rioting. (AP Photo/Dozier Mobley)

Rochester sidewalks get cleaned up following a night of window smashing, looting and general disorder in Rochester, New York, July 26, 1964. It was the second night in a row that the city was the scene of rioting. (AP Photo/Dozier Mobley)

Race riots were nothing new in the United States and African Americans were not always the parties involved.  At the following link, you can find links to the riots throughout United States History.  They are grouped into periods:

Nativist Period 1700s-1860

Civil War Period 1861-1865

Post-Civil War and Reconstruction Period: 1865 – 1889

Jim Crow Period: 1890 – 1914

War and Inter-War Period: 1914 – 1945

Civil Rights Movement and Black Power Period: 1955 – 1977

Later