Old Sailors' Almanac


Week 39, 2015

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Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862

Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation on September 22, 1862

Lincoln issues Emancipation Proclamation: On this day in 1862, President Abraham Lincoln issues a preliminary Emancipation Proclamation, which sets a date for the freedom of more than 3 million black slaves in the United States and recasts the Civil War as a fight against slavery.

When the Civil War broke out in 1861, shortly after Lincoln’s inauguration as America’s 16th president, he maintained that the war was about restoring the Union and not about slavery. He avoided issuing an anti-slavery proclamation immediately, despite the urgings of abolitionists and radical Republicans, as well as his personal belief that slavery was morally repugnant. Instead, Lincoln chose to move cautiously until he could gain wide support from the public for such a measure.

In July 1862, Lincoln informed his cabinet that he would issue an emancipation proclamation but that it would exempt the so-called border states, which had slaveholders but remained loyal to the Union. His cabinet persuaded him not to make the announcement until after a Union victory. Lincoln’s opportunity came following the Union win at the Battle of Antietam in September 1862. On September 22, the president announced that slaves in areas still in rebellion within 100 days would be free.

On January 1, 1863, Lincoln issued the final Emancipation Proclamation, which declared “that all persons held as slaves” within the rebel states “are, and henceforward shall be free.” The proclamation also called for the recruitment and establishment of black military units among the Union forces. An estimated 180,000 African Americans went on to serve in the army, while another 18,000 served in the navy.

After the Emancipation Proclamation, backing the Confederacy was seen as favoring slavery. It became impossible for anti-slavery nations such as Great Britain and France, who had been friendly to the Confederacy, to get involved on behalf of the South. The proclamation also unified and strengthened Lincoln’s party, the Republicans, helping them stay in power for the next two decades.

The proclamation was a presidential order and not a law passed by Congress, so Lincoln then pushed for an antislavery amendment to the U.S. Constitution to ensure its permanence. With the passage of the 13th Amendment in 1865, slavery was eliminated throughout America (although blacks would face another century of struggle before they truly began to gain equal rights).

Lincoln’s handwritten draft of the final Emancipation Proclamation was destroyed in the Chicago Fire of 1871. Today, the original official version of the document is housed in the National Archives in Washington, D.C. History Channel / Wikipedia / Encyclopedia Britannica / National Archives.gov

Image: First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln: Shown from left to right are: Edwin M. Stanton, secretary of war (seated); Salmon P. Chase, secretary of the treasury (standing); Abraham Lincoln; Gideon Welles, secretary of the navy (seated); Caleb Blood Smith, secretary of the interior (standing); William H. Seward, secretary of state (seated); Montgomery Blair, postmaster general (standing); Edward Bates, attorney general (seated). Also shown are: Andrew Jackson, former president (painting centre); Simon Cameron, former secretary of war (painting left).

Image II: First Reading of the Emancipation Proclamation of President Lincoln: Reproduction of the Emancipation Proclamation; Winslow Homer's “A Visit from the Old Mistress”, 1876; Henry Louis Stephens, untitled watercolor of a black man reading a newspaper with headline “Presidential Proclamation/Slavery”, 1863; Eastman Johnson, “A Ride for Liberty - The Fugitive Slaves”, 1862.

“I’m Just Sayin’”

“I’m Just Sayin’”

After eating, do amphibians have to wait one hour before getting out of the water?

“Thought for the Day”

“Thought for the Day”

“Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.”

~ Anonymous

“What I Have Learned”

“What I Have Learned”

“You’ll never get what you truly deserve if you remain attached to what you’re supposed to let go of.”

~ Anonymous

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

Bizarre News (we couldn’t make up stuff this good – real news story)

University New Hampshire (UNH) president offended by bias-free language guide

University New Hampshire (UNH) president offended by “bias-free language guide”

The president of the University of New Hampshire publicly complained in July about the “bias-free language guide” posted on the school’s website--since, he said, it denounces use of such words as “Americans” (as insensitive to South Americans), “seniors” (better, “people of advanced age”), “rich” (should be, “person of material wealth”), and “poor” (change to, “person who lacks advantages that others have”).

(One state senator mockingly suggested changing the state’s “Live Free or Die” motto to “Live Free But Upset No One.”)

WMUR (Manchester, NH) (07/29/2015)

Related Articles: Recognizing Microaggressions: University of California - Faculty Training: Saying “America Is the Land of Opportunity” Is a MicroaggressionTool: Recognizing Microaggressions and the Messages They Send National Review (05/10/2015)

Microaggressions in Everyday LifePsychology Today

Where Did The Idea Of “Red States” and “Blue States” Come From?

Mr. Answer Man Please Tell Us: Where Did The Idea Of “Red States” and “Blue States” Come From?

These days, red means Republican and blue means Democrat, but it wasn't always so. The first color-coded electoral map, which appeared on NBC as part of the 1976 election, showed states that went to Democratic challenger Jimmy Carter red, while states that supported incumbent Gerald Ford were blue. Individual news outlets could decide what colors to assign the candidates—in 1976, ABC's map used yellow for Ford, blue for Carter, and red for states where votes weren't yet tallied—and the colors often flip-flopped from election to election.

Until the 2000 election between George W. Bush and Al Gore. According to the Washington Post, the first use of “red states” and “blue states” occurred about a week before the election on the Today Show. Matt Lauer and Tim Russert were discussing what states would go to which candidate with a map and the color scheme that MSNBC had used a few days earlier—red for Republican, blue for Democrat—when Russert asked, “How does [Bush] get those remaining 61 electoral red states, so to speak?” In the days following the highly contested election, everything seemed to align: Both the New York Times and USA Today released maps with Gore's states in blue and Bush's in red, and then David Letterman suggested that a compromise would “make George W. Bush president of the red states and Al Gore head of the blue ones.” But it was probably the sheer length of the election—which lasted into mid-December as votes were recounted and the Supreme Court weighed in—and the ubiquity of the maps that caused the colors to stick to their current parties.

So why red and why blue? There are some wacky theories: one party always called the other red, or it's because of the Communist connotation. But Roy Wetzel, the general manager of NBC's election unit in 1976, told Smithsonian recently that NBC used those colors—and associated them with those parties from 1976 until 2000—because that's how things are done in England. “Without giving it a second thought, we said blue for conservatives, because that's what the parliamentary system in London is, red for the more liberal party”, he said. Stephen Hess, a professor of media and public affairs at George Washington University, pointed out to the Washington Post in 2004 that red and blue are flag colors that happen to look good on the TV. Other colors that we might use, like gray and blue, are too reminiscent of the Civil War, and yet others might be too subtle. But whatever the reason red and blue colors were chosen, one thing is for sure: We're stuck with them—and all their associations

Heritage Foundation.orgMental FlossNPRRedditWikipedia

Where Did That Saying Come From? “Barge in”

Where Did That Saying Come From?

Barge in:” Heavy freight was moved along the Mississippi in large barges pushed by steamboats. These were hard to control and would sometimes swing into piers or other boats. People would say they “barged in”. Telegraph UK

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang - U.S. Navy America's Navy - A Global Force For Good

NAVSPEAK aka U.S. Navy Slang

Ensign Upper Half: Alternative designation for those who fail to live up to the standards of O-2.

Even Numbered Chief: Pejorative for an E-8 who, through his own ineptitude, is unable to advance to E-9 and who refuses to let E-7's be.

Evolution: Navy preferred term for exercise.

F.A.W.C.U.: (pronounced F**k you) (Submarine Service): Focused After Watch Clean Up: usually between 1 to 2 hours of “Field Day” after every watch rotation.

Just for MARINES - U.S. Marines Marines - The Few. The Proud.

Just for you MARINE

Gitmo: Guantanimo Bay, Cuba.

GMT: See Zulu Time.

Go Juice: Fuel, gasoline, diesel, JP, etc.

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

Naval Aviation Squadron Nicknames

VFA-103 - Strike Fighter Squadron 103: “Jolly Rogers”
NAS Oceana, Virginia

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

The Strange, Mysterious or Downright Weird

Radium was used in many early 20th-century items such as beauty creams and condoms

Radium was used in many early 20th-century items such as beauty creams and condoms

Radium was quite the rage in early 20th-century products, with it being an integral part of several products. Radium compound was believed to possess qualities that promised better health and better looks – something that had customers flocking to buy anything that contained radium.

There were several things you could buy that had radium in them, including radium shoe polish, radium hand creams (“Takes off everything but the skin!”), radium pills, and the likes.

One also had access to natural radioactive mineral water, which sparkled and foamed “like champagne”, and was touted as being able to cure rheumatism, sciatica, paralysis, diabetes, and a whole bunch of other ailments. Other radium-loaded products included radium pads, belts and, however strange it may seem, radium condoms. BBCUnbelievable FactsReddit

© CEASAR CHOPPY by cartoonist Marty Gavin - archives Ceasar Choppy's Navy! “© CEASAR CHOPPY” by Marty Gavin


“Johnny B. Goode” - Chuck Berry 1958

“Johnny B. Goode” - Chuck Berry
Album: Chuck Berry Is On Top
Released 1958 video

“Johnny B. Goode” is based on Berry's life. It tells the tale of a boy with humble beginnings with a talent for guitar. Some details were changed: Berry was from St. Louis, not Louisiana, and he knew how to read and write very well. He graduated from beauty school with a degree in hairdressing and cosmetology.

The line, “That little country boy could play” was originally, “That little colored boy can play.” Berry knew he had to change it if he wanted the song played on the radio.

Berry got the name “Johnny” from Johnnie Johnson, a piano player who collaborated with Berry on many songs, including “Maybellenevideo, “Roll Over Beethovenvideo and “Sweet Little 16video. Johnson often wrote the songs on piano, and then Berry converted them to guitar and wrote lyrics. Berry joined Johnson's group, The Sir John Trio, in 1953, and quickly became the lead singer and centerpiece of the band.

Johnson was very well-respected among many musicians. He played with Keith Richards, Eric Clapton, John Lee Hooker and many others before his death at age 80 in 2005.

Berry lifted some guitar licks for this song: the intro came from the Louis Jordan song “Ain't That Just Like A Womanvideo, and the guitar break came from a 1950 T-Bone Walker song called “Strollin' With Bonesvideo. Jordan was a very influential R&B singer and a huge influence on Berry; Walker was a famous guitarist in the '40s and early '50s who came up with an electric guitar sound and raucous stage act that Berry incorporated.

Berry got the word “Goode” from the street in St. Louis where he grew up. He lived at 2520 Goode Avenue, which in 1986 was renamed Annie Malone Drive after the woman who financed a children's home on the street.

In 2000, Johnnie Johnson sued Berry, claiming that he never got credit for helping write many of Berry's hits, including this. The case was dismissed in 2002, with the judge ruling that too much time passed between the writing of the songs and the lawsuit.

This song is a great example of the care and precision Berry used when writing and delivering his lyrics. He wanted the words to his songs to tell a story and stand on their own, and took care to clearly enunciate so listeners could understand them. Many of the Country and Blues singers who preceded Berry weren't so clear with the words.

In 1981, Keith Richards went backstage at a Chuck Berry show in New York. Not knowing who he was and thinking he was an annoying fan, Berry punched him, which wasn't out of character for the sometimes-prickly Berry. Richards later said: “I love his work, but I couldn't warm to him even if I was cremated next to him.”

Berry recorded a sequel to this song called “Bye Bye Johnnyvideo, which tells the story of Johnny as a grown man.

Johnny Winter played this at the Woodstock festival in 1969.

At the Summer Jam in Watkins Glen, NY in 1973, The Band, The Allman Brothers and The Grateful Dead played this as an encore. It was the largest rock concert ever, with about 600,000 people attending.

This was featured in the 1985 movie Back To The Future. Michael J. Fox' character goes back in time and plays it to a stunned crowd as Marvin Berry looks on. Marvin rings his cousin, Chuck, saying that he thinks he has found the new style he is looking for, then points the telephone so that it catches most of the music coming from Marty McFly. This scene produced a classic line when McFly comes on stage and tells the band, “It's a Blues riff in B, watch me for the changes, and try to keep up.”

A musician named Mark Campbell sang Fox's vocals, but was credited as “Marty McFly”.

This has been covered by Peter Tosh, Jimi Hendrix, and The Beatles

The Sex Pistols covered this in a medley with “Roadrunner”.

In 2004, John Kerry used this as his theme song at most of his campaign events when he was running for president of the U.S. In 2008, John McCain used the song in his successful run for the Republican nomination, but phased it out and began using ABBA's “Take A Chance On Mevideo. Chuck Berry made it clear that he supported McCain's opponent, Barack Obama.

When AC/DC opened for Cheap Trick at a show in Sioux Falls, South Dakota on July 7, 1979 the bands joined together to play this song, a recording of which was circulated as a bootleg single. It was officially released in 2007.

Chuck Berry official site / Rock & Roll Hall of Fame / All Music / Song Facts / Wikipedia

Image: “Chuck Berry Is On Top (album)” by Chuck Berry



● The Margherita pizza was named for Margherita of Savoy, Queen consort of Italy from 1878-1900, during the reign of her husband, King Umberto I.

● The Iron Man edition of Mr. Potato Head is named Tony Starch.

● Ringworm is not caused by a worm but by a parasitic fungus.

People Who Know Everything

A Test for People Who Know Everything

At age 35, this now famous actor was fitting a door for Francis Ford Coppola when a studio executive asked the handyman to take a break and read lines with actresses who were testing for a new film. Who was the actor and what was the film?

Answer for People Who Do Not Know Everything, or Want to Verify Their AnswerWikipedia

Answer to Last Week's Test

Comic book publishing giants Marvel and DC can both churn out whiz-bang serialized adventures, but they disagree on one very important aspect of a super hero’s origin. What is the difference?

Answer: Marvel sets all its characters in real cities (New York, Los Angeles, etc.). DC Comics, however, chooses to keep the fantasy alive with places like Batman’s Gotham City and Superman’s Metropolis. Mental Floss

Joke of the Day

Joke of the Day

Two men are driving through London when they get pulled over by a cop.

The cop walks up and taps on the window with his stick.

The driver rolls down the window and WHACK, the officer smacks him in the head with the stick.

The driver asks, “What the hell was that for?”

The officer answers, “You're in London son. When we pull you over, you better have your license ready when we get to your car.”

The driver says, “I'm sorry, Officer, I'm not from around here.”

The officer does a check on the driver's license, and he's O.K.

He gives the man his license back, walks around to the passenger side and taps on the window. The passenger rolls down the window and WHACK, the officer smacks him on the head with the stick. The passenger asks, “What'd you do that for?”

The officer says, “Just making your wish come true.”

The passenger asks, “Making what wish come true?”

The officer says, “I know that two miles down the road you're gonna say to your friend here, I wish that a*shole would've tried that sh*t with me!”