Saturday, April 1, 2017

March 31

On this day in 1866, Josiah Crenshaw of Tupelo, Mississippi founded The National Aliance of Native American Farm Laborers, a brotherhood of seasonal agricultural workers who were protesting the new wave of freed negroes who were being hired to do farm work at a fraction of the salary white laborers  expected. According to Crenshaw's manifesto, "The Rights of Native American Workers," the new laws requiring that negroes, who he did not consider to be true Native Americans, be paid, had resulted in dire circumstances for the only true Native American workers: white men. 

Word of Crenshaw's manifesto and new organization quickly spread around the country, and emboldened his fellow Americans, including those who had ventured west, in search of opportunity, and were facing unfair competition in seasonal agricultural work from not only freed negroes, but Mexicans and, in some places, even Indians. 

Crenshaw's rally cry for the rights of  true Native Americans, like himself, was not made in vain. That valiant cry was heard, loud and clear. Today, labor conditions and salaries for white men in every sectorof the workforce are better than ever, and a white man in America has every reason to believe that, when pitted against a black man, a Mexican, or an Indian (the kind from here, not the kind from Inia. Actually, um, them, too.) for the same job, it will be he who prevails. 

Thursday, March 30, 2017

March 30

On this day, in 1933,  Conrad Fullerton of Raleigh, South Carolina became irate upon reading an editorial in The New York Financial Herald, which he subscribed to for the financial news. The editorial addressed the situation in Europe. According to the author, Germany's new Chancellor harbored dangerous ideas about the rights of certain German citizens, especially those of the Jewish persuasion - ideas which the author of the editorial described as "abhorrent" and "a danger to international relations and safety." Fullerton, who had met Mr. Hitler briefly, during a recent trip to Berlin, found him to be a charming man, with a brilliant plan for his nation's future. True, his opinions about the Jewish question were a bit extreme, but talk was cheap and, honestly, he didn't exactly disagree with what Mr. Hitler had to say on the issue. In Fullerton's opinion, the writer of the editorial had made much ado about nothing.  Frankly, Fullerton wished that Americans would elect such a patriotic leader, whose national and ethnic pride was at the forefront. 

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

March 29

Today in 1961, as a direct result of the tragedy of the prior evening, Student Activities Supervisor Walt Machlin, of The College of William and Mary, announced that, until a safer alternative to shoe polish could be found, all blackface performances would be banned on campus. He was quoted by the William and Mary Campus Gazette as saying, "It's all fun and games, until someone gets hurt. This time, unfortunately, two very creative, talented young men did get hurt. The administration cannot, in good conscience, allow such performances to go on, when the risk of personal injury is so high."

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

March 28

On this day in 1961, Edward "Teddy" Thorpe and Robert McNamara, freshmen at The College of William and Mary, who had both pledged Alpha Tau Omega with legacy status, had to be rushed to Williamsburg General Hospital, where they were treated for severe burns. The two well-liked young men had entered the Spring Fling Talent Spectacular on campus. Their act - a song, dance, and slapstick routine that called to mind Old Dixie - was made all the more amusing by the fact that the two rapscallions had applied black shoe polish to their faces and hands, and donned curly wigs. The energetic crowd loved the act, and all went well, until the high content of nitrobenzene in the shoe polish started to cause both young men discomfort and, eventually, pain. They were rushed to the E.R., where Burn Unit staff were able to flush away and neutralize the offending chemical, and treat Teddy and Robert's legions with a soothing balm. Spring Fling judges voted unanimously to award the young men the grand prize and, considering what they'd endured, none of the other acts balked. 

Monday, March 27, 2017

March 27

On this day in 2013,  Jordan and Sally Miles, of Bellows Falls, VT travelled to New York City to see Hands on a Hardbody, the Broadway show with music by Trey Anastasio of Phish fame. Staunch supporters of the sharing economy, the young couple had arranged to stay at an Air BnB in the East New York section of Brooklyn. When their Amtrak train arrived at Grand Central Station on the night of the 27th, they used the Uber app to arrange for a ride to their lodgings. The first car assigned to them cancelled almost immediately, so they tried again. Again, the Uber driver opted to reject the trip. They were tired, and it was getting late, so they gave in and decided to stand in line at Grand Central's Yellow Taxi queue, and take a traditional cab to their destination. When their turn came, the driver of their taxi stopped as soon as he heard their destination, and informed them he could not possibly go to East New York, because it was too far, and he would never get another fare from that particular neighborhood back into the City. He offered to drop them off by one of the 8th Avenue subway stations, where they could catch the A train to East New York. Anxious to get to their Air BnB and get some sleep, they agreed. A little over an hour later, they emerged from the Liberty Avenue subway station, and looked around: a Jamaican beef patty and coco bread bakery on one corner, a beauty salon specializing in braiding and weaves on another, a bodega catty corner to that, and directly across the street? A Baptist church. Sally and Jordan looked at one another and came to the same, scary conclusion, but Sally gave voice to it first, "Honey," she said, "the real reason that driver wouldn't take us all the way here is that....this is a slum!"

The young couple slept in shifts that night, making sure one of them was always awake to ward off any intruders. The next morning, they left Air BnB duplex apartment, and checked into The Crosby Street Hotel, in SOHO. 

Sunday, March 26, 2017

March 26

On this day in 1846, The Boston Evening Star ran a front page story about a 13 year old, negro shoeshine boy, Nathan Miller, having been killed during an altercation with seven university students, in the Jamaica Plain area. The story focused not on the seven students - all full-grown men in their 20s, and all from fine New England families - but on allegations, made by unnamed sources, that Miller had been less than reputable in his business practices, had overcharged for his services, and was known to argue with patrons who had expressed their dissatisfaction in his shoeshines. In the weeks to come, the university students told their story to the press several times - about having been attacked by Miller when they refused to pay for what they considered to be poor shine jobs, and having accidentally beaten him to death while defending themselves from what they perceived to be a serious threat from the 13 year old. Thanks to public outcry from those who'd read the facts about the night in question, and about Nathan Miller's record as a street urchin, a scoundrel and an unsavory character who was prone to violent outbursts, local authorities decided that charging the young men with a crime would only serve as an unpleasant reminder of the harrowing experience they would surely carry with them forever.

Saturday, March 25, 2017

March 25

On this day in 2015  Russell Bradford, Jr., of Nantucket, MA filed a complaint with The Better Business Bureau against GeneSurf. According to Murphy, the personal genealogy testing company was providing customers with wildly inaccurate data. Having received a  genetic testing kit as a birthday gift, Mr. Murphy had supplied GeneSurf with a saliva sample, carefully following the directions. Five weeks later he received the results of his test, which included 2.3% Ashkenazi Jew and 1.7% North African. Having come from Mayflower families on both sides, and being able to trace his roots in New England as far back as the 1760s, there was no way Bradford could overlook such a grave error, let alone allow GeneSurf to continue duping consumers. After filing the complaint, he signed in to Yelp and left a negative review.

Friday, March 24, 2017

March 24

On this day in 1978, Margot Grimstead-Harris of Atlanta, Georgia found out that the cost of the double surgery for which she'd prepared herself for well over a year would not be covered by Blue Cross.  Her health insurance, which she accessed through her husband's job, as an executive for Dixie Bev, a subsidiary of the Coca Cola Company, had previously covered the costs of an emergency appendectomy, gall bladder removal, and a hospital stay, as well as extensive physical rehabilitation,  when Margot had been involved in a minor automobile accident on the Outer Banks of North Carolina. This time, however, Blue Cross informed her that the costs associated with a procedure which they deemed elective were not covered by her otherwise comprehensive policy. Furious that she was facing such a barrier to her continued good health, despite the fact that her husband was having $45 deducted from his pay every month for health insurance, Margot sat down to write a strong letter explaining that there was nothing "elective" about a woman of her social standing undergoing painful, invasive surgery, complete with anesthesia, to reduce the size of her chin and smooth out the lines around her eyes. 

Thursday, March 23, 2017

March 23

On this day in 2001, David Gruber, star of the reality tv series, "Junk Finders!" discovered an old general store in Causeyville, Mississippi, which was a treasure trove of collectables. The store, which first opened its doors in 1887, and was the first negro-owned business in the county, had fallen on hard times, as the town's population had dwindled to just a few families. Fifth generation store owner, Clevon Wattell, was being forced into bankruptcy, and liquidating the store's contents, including a collection of vintage tobacco advertisements in pristine condition. Gruber offered Mr. Wattell $50 for the entire lot, but was annoyed to have his offer refused. Tobacco-related items were highly collectable, and Gruber was determined to secure the collection of rare pieces, which he intended to sell at auction, so he raised his offer to $75. To Gruber's growing frustration, Wattell again refused, citing that his grandson's internet research had valued each of the 20 or so pieces of advertising art at no less than $350 a piece. Gruber conceded that, of course their would be a mark-up when he placed the pieces up for auction, but that his time and effort had a significant dollar value attached to them and that, at the end of the day, by paying his final offer of $300 for the lot, he would be left with barely a profit. It was clear to him that Wattell did not have an understanding of buying and selling, let alone market-driven pricing. To Gruber's consternation, Mr. Wattell refused the offer, and Gruber's TV crew was forced to scrap the footage, as it would be of no use to their show. 

Interestingly enough, while Clevon Wattell did not appear on Junk Finders!, he did appear, a few months later, on an episode of Antiques Road Show in which his collection of rare, vintage tobacco advertising art, in mint condition, was appraised at a value of $10,000. 

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

March 22

On this day in 1874, Doctor and Mrs. Cecil Tunbridge, Anglican missionaries who had recently landed in what is today known as The Niassa Province of  Mozambique - the most sparsely populated region of the land, and the most in need of spiritual guidance - experienced a crisis, when they discovered that the supply of tea they'd carried with them had been waterlogged during transport and was beyond salvation. Fortunately for the devout couple, they were in a region that had been colonized and used as a slave-trading outpost by the Portuguese since the early 16th century. The Portuguese, of course, had introduced tea and other European products and traditions to the savage lands of Africa, and Dr. Tunbridge was able to source a supply of the finest quality Munnar tea leaves in less than a day. The next day, upon drinking their first morning tea on the African continent, Dr. and Mrs. Tunbridge gave thanks for the gifts of the civilized world.

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

March 21

On this day in 1962, George Gilmartin wrote a scathing letter to the Philadelphia Inquirer, complaining about their skewed sports journalism, and calling them out for pandering to "certain factions." Once a die-hard fan of professional basketball, Gilmartin had recently turned his back on the sport in complete disgust at the preferential treatment  Philadelphia Warriors' Center Wilt Chamberlain was receiving from the press. In his angry letter, Gilmartin noted that, given his height, Chamberlain's achievements were far from remarkable, and that more attention should be paid by the press to young, up-and-coming players with real talent, such as Ted Luckenbill, who would surely surpass Chamberlain in every way. 

Monday, March 20, 2017

March 20

On this day in 1798, Zebulon Brooks, owner of Oak Bend Plantation in Jamestown, North Carolina, took to his bed, and did not emerge from his room for 15 days. Doctors diagnosed Brooks as suffering from a severe case of melancholia, and ordered household members to make sure the house was kept very quiet, and that Zebulon be given only the simplest foods to eat. The sudden illness had been brought on by a spate of catastrophes which had impacted him personally, including an infestation of cutworms, a long drought, and a wild fire that had destroyed 75% of his tobacco crop. Three of his most valuable slaves were killed by the fire, as they fought valiantly to put out the flames, and save what remained of the tobacco crop. On the 16 day, Zebulon rose from his bed after experiencing a revelation. He went directly to his desk, picked up a quill, and wrote the words that changed his life, forever.  The entry in his diary - which can be viewed by the public, today, as Oak Bend Plantation has been preserved as a museum and has been awarded landmark status on the North Carolina Registry of Historic Places - reads, "It has been revealed to me that these many plagues were a sign from The Almighty that I have chosen a sinful path.  I have engaged in a practice which offends The Lord, but no more. As God is my witness, I vow to change my ways and follow the path of righteousness. Never again shall I profit from the cultivation of such a mean and morally corrupt crop as tobacco. Hereafter, the slaves of Oak Bend will plant, grow, and pick cotton, and only cotton."

Zebulon Brooks went on to amass a fortune in the cotton trade, and lived to be 89 years old. He never suffered from melancholia, again.

Sunday, March 19, 2017

March 19

On this day, in 1925, a group of Columbia University students took their Barnard sweethearts to the opening of Smalls Paradise, Harlem's newest nightclub, to hear Charlie "Fess" Johnson and his jazz band. As the enthusiastic young people were drinking and enjoying the music,  Jeff "Jelly Bean" Parker nudged his roommate, Elwood Fontaine, and pointed at the next table. To Elwood's dismay, a colored couple was seated, drinking champagne. He looked around the ballroom, and was mortified to note two other tables where colored couples were seated. Jelly Bean and Elwood summoned their waiter over, asked for their girlfriend's coats, and explained that they were leaving and had no intention of paying their tab. After all,  they'd brought their dates out to hear Charlie Johnson's band, not to spend the evening mingling with colored people. 

Saturday, March 18, 2017

March 18

On this day, in 2002,  at a meeting of the Birmingham, Alabama chapter of The Sons of The Confederacy, Beau Wilkins asked that he be allowed to address an issue not on the formal agenda. Wilkins took to the podium and, to the outrage of his fellow SotC members, described in detail a website he had recently discovered, which was called "White Whining." The site, he explained, seemed have its basis in the racist stereotype that people of pure, white extraction were entitled, overly sensitive, spoiled, and prone to dramatic outbursts over the smallest mishap, inconvenience, failure or criticism.Wilkins made motions that a petition to have the owner of the site - Happy Fun Satire Media, Inc. - be officially branded a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center, and that a class action suit be filed against Happy Fun Satire Media for emotional damages suffered by white people who had read their anti-white propaganda. The Birmingham chapter of SotC voted unanimously in favor of both motions, and gave Wilkins a standing ovation for his commitment to freedom and justice, no matter what the cost. 

Friday, March 17, 2017

March 17

On this day in 2009, Mr. Warren Babcock of Nashville, TN travelled to Detroit, Michigan, at the request of officials at Wayne State University, where his son, Phillip, was a sophomore. After several on and off-campus incidents involving Phillip's IV drug use, campus security, social workers, and administration agreed that an intervention was necessary, for the young man's own good, and had asked Mr. Babcock to make the trip to Detroit, without alerting his son. Mr. Babcock arrived and met with the crisis intervention team, who took him on a tour of the posh Bloomfield Hills residential rehabilitation facility they had chosen for Phillip. The staff at Wellspring Manor, where Phillip would be expected to complete a 28 day program, explained that, in addition to on-site group counseling, one-on-one therapy, stress-relieving massage and acupuncture, and no less than two hours a day at the rehab's may arts and fitness workshops, Phillip would also be enrolled in a methadone program, to gently ease him out of his heroin dependency. Staff explained that methadone was not offered on-site, but that clients requiring this particular treatment were taken to the Orangelawn Street Methadone Clinic, in Metropolitan Detroit, by SUV. When Mr. Babcock asked to be given a tour of the Orangelawn Street Methadone Clinic, rehab staff reluctantly drove him to the urban setting, where he was horrified to see no less than 40 men and women in a queue, waiting for their daily dose of methadone. "Have you all taken leave of your senses?!?!" he demanded of his tour guides, "You expect my son to come to this place, in this neighborhood, among these people? These are junkies! My son is just sowing his wild oats, and having a good time, as young college men are wont to do. He'll come home with me, enjoy some of his mama's good cooking, forget about the rigors of university for a spell, and be as good as new." 

Thursday, March 16, 2017

March 16

On this day, in 2014, Barbara Cunningham, of Boyle Heights, Los Angeles accepted an invitation to a Purim celebration at the home of her next door neighbors. The Schiffmans, a couple with three children, had been the first on the block to welcome Barbara, when she'd moved in six months before, and she found them to be very pleasant neighbors. As her hosts had indicated that it would be a kosher menu, Barbara decided to steer clear of bringing a tray of pigs-in-a-blanket and chose, instead, to make a batch of fresh doughnuts, using her grandmother's recipe. There were several other neighbors at the celebration, which was a lively affair. After an amazing dinner of brisket, roasted vegetables, and a lentil salad, and several joyous toasts, Myra Shiffman made a pot of coffee, and brought out the tray of doughnuts, over which everyone oohed and ahhed. Gabe Shiffman took a bite of a doughnut and remarked on how wonderfully light and flaky it was. Barbara remarked that the lightness was due to the fact they'd been fried in lard, just like in the old days. Gabe immediately dropped the doughnut he'd been eating, and Myra quickly took the sweets away from her children's dessert plates. Lard, Gabe explained, came from porcine tissue, and thus was in violation of kosher dietary law. Barbara laughed, said she hadn't even thought of that, noted that it wasn't actual pork, and suggested that he should "lighten up" and "consider giving regular, American foods a chance." The other guests remained silent, and Myra Schiffman declared she'd suddenly been stricken by a migraine, and that they ought to call it a night. Later, when Barbara was back in her own living room, she thought about the Schiffman's reaction to her generous offering. "It's no wonder they have so much trouble fitting in, anywhere," she said to herself, "if that's the way they treat a neighbor!"  

(Shout out to Robert Sanchez, who inspired this.)

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

March 15

On this day, in 1975, Baltimore police officer Gavin Mitchell pulled a gun on a man he spotted who fit the description of suspect in a Park Avenue/Chinatown mugging.  Dr. Jin Wah Fu, a world-renowned oncologist who had given the key note address at an international medical conference at Johns Hopkins Medical Center, was taking an after-dinner walk, when he found himself being pushed against a wall and a gun jabbed into his back, as handcuffs were placed on him. Dr. Fu made an effort to turn around and show his conference badge to identify himself and clear up the case of mistaken identity. Not about to fall prey to the obvious attempt at using martial arts to avoid arrest, the ever-alert Officer Mitchell immediately cold-cocked the unruly suspect with the butt of his revolver. Mitchell called for an ambulance, and rode along with the unconscious suspect, who he had handcuffed to the gurney. Upon arriving at the Johns Hopkins E.R., Dr. Fu's conference badge was discovered by a nurse, who recognized his name as that of the key note speaker at the event, and alerted Officer Mitchell that a grave mistake had been made. The cuffs were taken off of Dr. Fu, and he was wheeled down the hall for a complete neurological exam. Mitchell cursed his luck, as he realized he would have to file a lengthy incident report, and would almost certainly get home too late to see that week's episode of SWAT. 

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

March 14

On this day in 1973, Brenda Milstein of Staten Island, NY's 19th birthday party was ruined when a SWAT team busted down her front door and raided the event. The party's comic theme had been "Black is Beautiful," with guests required to come in costume. Unfortunately, neighbors were unaware of the innocent fun and, on seeing more than two dozen people with dashikis and afro wigs descend on their quiet, peaceful street, and hearing the sounds of Marvin Gaye from within the Milstein home, several of them alerted the authorities of the violent radicals in their midst. Upon discovering they had raided not a Black Panthers meeting, but a group of young, white people enjoying a wholesome evening of mirth, SWAT officers apologized, and the Milstein family was reimbursed for the cost of repairs to their property. 

Monday, March 13, 2017

March 13

On this day, in 2016, The 3-K Brotherhood - a faith-based not-for-profit whose mission statement is, "To achieve and maintain Physical Fitness, Pride, and American Values, by way of the 3-K principles: Keeping fit, Keeping proud, Keeping American." - held a sit-in at Om's Aksaha Yoga Studio and Meditation Sanctuary, in San Francisco's Haight District. The protestors, who had flown in from Orange County to take part in this call-to-action, staged the sit-in to call attention to one of their main political initiatives: that English be adopted as the official language of the American fitness community. A 3-K Brotherhood spokesperson granted an interview to KTVU news, wherein he remarked, "We love and support any activity that helps achieve physical perfection. It's not yoga, as a practice, that we have an objection to. What we want to know is how come it's nearly impossible to walk into a yoga studio outside of Huntington Beach or Fullerton, without hearing, "Namaste"? Yoga has been widely practiced in America for nearly 3 decades, and is as American as apple pie. I don't know what "Namaste" means, and I don't want to. I don't have to, because this is America, damn it."

Sunday, March 12, 2017

March 12

On this date in 2011, Bryce Reynolds of Savannah, GA began construction on the tiny house he'd designed, with the intent of going completely off the grid. Reynolds, who identified as an anarchist, did not get building permits, let alone make an effort to purchase the land on which he decided the build, which was listed in the registry of public lands. Two days into his tiny house project, a county marshall visited the site and informed Reynolds that he had no legal right to build. Reynolds ignored the visit and continued to build. Considering the fact that Reynolds seemed like a harmless young man from a decent family, law enforcement officials decided they had carried out their duty by informing Reynolds of the questionable legality of his project, and chose to turn a blind eye as construction continued. Within a week, the Savannah chapter of the African American Heritage Society held a press conference in which they revealed that the land on which Reynolds was building was the site of a burial plot for 19th century slaves. Activists mobilized and the illegal construction project was immediately surrounded by a steady stream protestors and members of the media. Public pressure on the District Attorney to take action resulted in Reynolds' arrest and the shutting down of construction by county marshalls. Barraged by the media as his client was taken into custody, the high-powered Atlanta attorney retained by the Reynolds family voiced his outrage at the protestors from The African American Heritage Society, and the political sway they had exercised, which had resulted in a man being forcibly removed from his home and taken away in shackles. The case is still under review by the Savannah County Court. 

Saturday, March 11, 2017

March 11

On this day in 1953, Mrs. Charlotte Dunlop, a 50 year old school teacher from Santa Barbara, CA, left her job early, when school was closed due to a power outage. Stopping at the drug store on her way home to refill her prescription for diet pills, she was horrified to spy her 19 year old son, Doug, sharing a banana split with Rosa, the 17 year old daughter of the Dunlop's Mexican-American gardener. Mrs. Dunlop let out a shriek before falling faint to the floor. Upon witnessing his mother losing consciousness, Doug was quick to run to her aid. As the druggist administered smelling salts, Rosa quietly slipped out the front door. When Mrs. Dunlop came to and babbled on about what she'd seen, Doug convincingly laughed it off, assured his mother that the idea of him socializing with a wetback was ludicrous, and suggested that she was hallucinating due not having eaten all day. Crisis averted.

Friday, March 10, 2017

March 10

On this day in 1609, King Phillip II of Spain called a meeting with the leading academics fromThe University of Salamanca, demanding an explanation for the steady decline in the institution's academic quality and reputation. He had been sure his decree banning the use of the Arabic language in Spain, mass burnings of most of the Arabic books in the Iberian Peninsula, and the recent expulsion of all Muslims from the country should have given decent, Christian Europeans the sorely needed opportunity to excel, which the machinations of the godless Moors had prevented for centuries. When Diego Santoro-Lopez, a humble mathematics scholar, suggested that perhaps the destruction of thousands of academic texts, the banning of the language in which so many academic subjects had their origins, and the expulsion of the world's foremost experts in mathematics, science and engineering had not been in the best interest of scholarly progress, he was arrested and tried for heresy. 

Thursday, March 9, 2017

March 9

On this day, in 1990, actor Mel Gibson overturned a table and stormed out of a meeting at MGM, when studio heads refused to cast the superstar in the lead role in an upcoming project about which there was serious industry buzz. The project in question, a biopic of Marcus Garvey, carried with it a screenplay by August Wilson, and a commitment from Spike Lee to direct. Gibson was incensed at Wilson and Lee's vehement refusal to make the minor changes needed to accommodate him as the lead actor, and to what he referred to as the studio's "racist pandering" to the African American creative team behind the project, that he threatened to opt out of any future Lethal Weapon or Mad Max sequels unless he was given the role. The studio relented, but the project was scrapped due to Spike Lee dropping out, and August Wilson publicly stating that he would not allow his name to be attached to a revised version of his screenplay. When asked by a writer from Variety about the sudden cancelation of a project which had elicited such excitement, and even talk of Oscars, Gibson stated, "Well, you know these people - they're undependable, and they have absolutely no work ethic. It's unfortunate for the rest of us, but what can you do?" One can only assume he was referring to writers and directors. 

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

March 8

On this day in 1987, Marco and Maria Sanchez were forced to move out of the Fort Greene, Brooklyn apartment - which they had called home since 1960, and where they had raised their three children - when the building's new owner raised the rent by $500 a month. Before they had even moved out, the apartment was rented to Jefferey and Faith Carroway, a young couple who had moved to NYC from Durham, North Carolina. Upon moving in, the Carroways were horrified to discover that their back yard-facing window revealed a series of clothes lines used by neighboring families. Worse, still: when they kept their windows open, the aroma of curried potatoes wafted up from the roti shop on the corner of Carlton and Myrtle avenues. After less than a month, the Carroways decided they could no longer put up with subpar living conditions, sublet the apartment to a group of airline stewardesses, and rented a small house in Westport Connecticut.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

March 7

On this day in 1846, Mr. and Mrs. Charles Eldridge were dismayed to learn that Trinnie, the 55 years old colored wet nurse who had tended to all of their children, was no longer producing milk, and would not be able to nurse the first Eldridge grandchild. A medical exam determined an advanced case of pleurisy, which caused Trinnie extreme chest pain, and made breathing difficult, was to blame for her milk drying up. Doctor Edward Wilding determined that Trinnie needed to breathe fresh air in order to lessen inflammation of lung tissue and relieve her ongoing chest pain. The Eldridges took stock of the situation and, taking into consideration Trinnie's history with their family, they decided it would be only fair to keep her on, despite her inability to tend to their grandchild. As her years serving in the nursery had clearly come to an end, Trinnie was relegated to working in the coal cellar.

Monday, March 6, 2017

March 6

On this day in 1964, Rudolf "Rudy" Carter, a white shopkeeper from Shreveport, LA was participating in a time-honored white pride ceremony, in front of a Baptist church in a predominantly black section of town. His white robe and hood caught a spark from the "bonfire," setting him aflame. On seeing the fire from his window, Pastor Delroy Williams ran outside and directed an open hose at the burning man to put out the flames, while Mrs. Williams called both the police and fire department to report the need for EMTs. Unfortunately, emergency response time to this community was notoriously longer than to other parts of the county, and Rudy sustained fourth degree burns over 75% of his body, disfiguring him for life. Rudy sued Pastor Williams for his intervention. A Louisiana judge ordered the Pastor to pay damages in the amount of $15,000.

Sunday, March 5, 2017

March 5

On this day, in 1991,  Montana Senator Ted Mendenhall, was rushed to Washington D.C.'s Medstar Hospital by Medevac, after having called 911 to say he was experiencing a heart attack. He was given a private room and a team of doctors and nurses were exclusively assigned to him. A series of tests revealed that Mendenhall was in perfect health, and simply experiencing a bout of indigestion after having eaten an especially rich curry at a Georgetown Punjabi restaurant. Mendenhall was kept overnight for observation, and was well enough, two days later, to introduce a bill on the Senate floor. The bill, which was passed by an overwhelming majority, put into motion sweeping cuts to Medicaid coverage for low-income families, eliminating a long list of procedures and treatments which were deemed to be "frivolous." 

Saturday, March 4, 2017

March 4

On this date in 2014 Professor Margery Talbot, PhD, of Bethesda, MD, landed in Havana, Cuba. As a member of a group of American academic scholars that had been granted a special waiver to travel to the embargoed nation, she was to lead a session at an international conference on cultural diversity. The conditions she encountered were shocking, to say the least: American cigarettes available only at super-inflated prices on the black market, no cable television at her hotel, and no Uber. She dealt bravely with the situation at hand, until she discovered there was not a single Starbucks on the island, and that she was expected to start her day by drinking the cafe con leche enjoyed by the locals, instead of her customary non-dairy chai latte with extra hot soy foam, three dollops of agave, and a hint of nutmeg. Upon this discovery, Professor Talbot cancelled her plenary session at the conference and booked passage on the next plane back to the US, via Toronto. 

Friday, March 3, 2017

March 3

On this very morning, in 2017, Lizbeth Miller of Orange County, CA. was incensed to discover that her housekeeper - a young, undocumented woman from Central America who cooks, cleans, runs errands, and looks after the Miller children six days a week, for $6.50 an hour - had machine washed the limited-edition Louis Vouiton Pink Pussy hat she had purchased as a keepsake of the historic women's march on Washington, which she'd read about in the February issue of Sunset Magazine. To her credit, Miller has refrained from reporting her housekeeper to INS, but will dock the young woman's salary until the $350 she paid for the hat is recouped. 

Thursday, March 2, 2017

March 2

On this day in 1997, Guy and Caitlyn Marshall of Seneca, NY set their VCR to record a "very special episode" of their favorite television show, the Nantucket-set Wings. Their intention was to watch together, on the following Friday - their official date night. To their dismay, AOL regular, "TimDalysCoPilot" broke the cardinal rule of chatroom etiquette, and posted spoilers less than 24 hours after the episode aired, thus ruining the "very special episode" and date night, in one fell swoop.  

March 1

On this day in 2017, Marthe Killington-Smith of Racine, Wisconsin attended a matinee screening of Get Out, expecting a light-hearted negro farce, the likes of which she had not experienced since the days of Amos 'n Andy. She had to be removed from the theater by paramedics 15 minutes after the movie started, as she passed out cold from shock, revulsion, fear, and an overwhelming sensation of, "these people make EVERYTHING about race!" Unfortunately for Killington-Smith, the day's trauma was far from over. She regained consciousness in transit, and awoke to find an African American EMT taking her pulse, which caused her to scream bloody murder. Although she was fully dressed, and ParaCam video clearly shows the EMT holding her wrist and measuring her pulse on his watch, Killington-Smith demanded a rape kit and has retained a lawyer, with the intention of filing suit against the city of Racine for reckless endangerment.