Monday, August 30, 2010

NASA, Internet Archive and Flickr Launch Historic Image Collection

/PRNewswire/ -- Three compilations of images from more than half a century of NASA history are available for comment on a section of the photo-sharing site Flickr known as The Commons.

Visitors to NASA on The Commons can help tell the photos' story by adding tags, or keywords, to the images to identify objects and people. In addition, viewers can communicate with other visitors by sharing comments. These contributions will help make the images easier to find online and add insight about NASA's history.

The capability to interact with these already-public photos is the result of a partnership between NASA, Flickr from Yahoo! in Sunnyvale, Calif., and Internet Archive, a non-profit digital library based in San Francisco.

Three sets of photos share a common theme of NASA beginnings. The "Launch and Takeoff" set captures iconic spacecraft and aircraft taking flight. "Building NASA" spotlights ground-breaking events and the construction of some of NASA's one-of-a-kind facilities. The "Center Namesakes" set features photos of the founders and figureheads of NASA's 10 field centers. To view NASA on The Commons images, visit:


http://www.flickr.com/photos/nasacommons

"NASA's long-standing partnership with Internet Archive and this new one with Yahoo!'s Flickr provides an opportunity for the public to participate in the process of discovery," said Debbie Rivera, lead for the NASA Images project at the agency's headquarters in Washington. "In addition, the public can help the agency capture historical knowledge about missions and programs through this new resource and make it available for future generations."

The Commons was launched with the Library of Congress to increase access to publicly-held photography collections and provide a way for the public to contribute information and knowledge.

"NASA on The Commons is bringing literally out-of-these-world images to Flickr," said Douglas Alexander, general manager of Flickr. "We are thrilled to be working with NASA to offer such a rich archive and provide amazing insight into this country's space program and its early beginnings."

As the project leader, the New Media Innovation Team at NASA's Ames Research Center in Moffett Field, Calif., enlisted the help of NASA photography and history experts to compile the three image sets for The Commons. The group will continue to create and release new photo sets that highlight different elements, themes or achievements.

Through a competitive process, NASA selected the Internet Archive in 2007 to organize a comprehensive online compilation of the agency's vast collection of photographs, historic film and video on the NASA Images website. Launched in 2008, NASAimages.org provides hundreds of thousands of images and thousands of hours of video, HD video and audio content available free to the public for download.

"Sharing important assets like NASA photography is the core mission of the Internet Archive. Through this partnership with NASA and Flickr, NASA on The Commons is bringing these images to a vast audience and providing an opportunity for the public to give fresh insight and increase our shared knowledge of NASA in all its varied activities," said Jon Hornstein, director of the NASA Images Project at the Internet Archive in San Francisco.

For more information and to see the image collection, visit:
http://www.nasaimages.org/

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Saturday, August 28, 2010

Theatre in the Square Hosts FREE Panel Discussion about the Great Locomotive Chase

Theatre in the Square will host a free panel discussion that gives more insight into the actual history of the Great Locomotive Chase which is the basis for the current production, Stealing Dixie and about how the play came to be. Panelists will include Playwright, Clayton State Theatre Director Phillip DePoy; Lead Interpreter at The Southern Museum, Harper Harris; CEO/Founder of the Marietta Museum of History, Dan Cox; and President of Georgia Battlefields Association, Charlie Crawford. Moderator for the panel will be Stealing Dixie director and Theatre in the Square Assistant Artistic Director, Jessica Phelps West. This event is free and open to the public. Tickets are not needed for the panel, but tickets are available to purchase to the 2:30 p.m. matinee or the 7 p.m. showing of Stealing Dixie by calling (770) 422-8369 or online at www.theatreinthesquare.com.

DePoy will be available to sign copies of his books following the panel discussion.

Sunday, Aug. 29, at 4:30 p.m. The panel will last approximately one hour.

The panel will take place on the Main Stage at Theatre in the Square. Theatre in the Square is located off of the Historic Marietta Square at 11 Whitlock Ave., Marietta, Ga., 30064.

Details about the show:

Stealing Dixie
By Phillip DePoy
Directed by Jessica Phelps West
Music Direction by Phillip DePoy

Stealing Dixie is a gripping portrayal of the Great Locomotive Chase that centers around James Andrews’ (Zechariah Pierce), plan to end the Civil War with hopes of no more bloodshed. As a part of his plan he meets in what is now known as the Kennesaw House, the location of the Marietta Museum of History, with Knight (Corey Bradberry), a locomotive engineer, Parrott (Rob Lawhon), a private in the Union Army who is armed and ready to kill, Ross (Scott E. DePoy), a Sgt. Major in the Union Army and Campbell (Bryant Smith), a fellow spy. This group of Union soldiers and sympathizers has come to be known as Andrews’ Raiders.

Performances are now through Sept. 12, Tuesdays through Saturdays at 8 p.m., Sundays at 2:30 p.m. and 7 p.m. There is a Wednesday matinee at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 1 only. The play is recommended for ages 16 and up. Tickets are $24 to $33 and are available at the Theatre in the Square Box Office by calling (770) 422-8369 or online at www.theatreinthesquare.com. Discount rates for are available for groups of 10 or more by calling (770) 422-8369, x29.
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Friday, August 27, 2010

Kermit the Frog Comes Home to Washington

The Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History accepted 10 characters from Sam and Friends from Jane Henson, on behalf of the Jim Henson family, in a special donation ceremony.

Sam and Friends debuted on local Washington, D.C., station WRC-TV in 1955 launching what would become a global phenomenon—the Muppets. The show featured a host of unique characters, including the original Kermit the Frog, who was more of a lizard-like creature, constructed with ping pong ball eyes and green felt from a coat discarded by Jim Henson’s mother. This version of Kermit does not have his signature collar, and his feet are rounded.

“Jim Henson embodied the innovation and ingenuity that is inherent in American culture,” said Brent D. Glass, director of the museum. “Beyond the entertainment value Henson’s creations provided, his work helped educate and inform his audiences, an influence that continues today.”

Joining Kermit on display at the museum this fall are other characters from Sam and Friends, including Pierre the French Rat, Henson’s oldest surviving puppet, first drawn in 1954 as part of a comic strip for his high school yearbook; Yorick, a purple skull who was a precursor to hungry monsters like Cookie Monster, made of papier-mâché; Mushmellon, whose wide face and grouchy eyes bear a distinct resemblance to Oscar the Grouch; and Sam, the main character who never spoke but lip-synced to popular music and comedy records of the time.

Henson saw enormous potential for puppets on TV and he came up with the word Muppet in the mid-1950s. Seemingly a combination of puppet and marionette, Henson insisted that he chose the term simply because he liked the way it sounded. Central to the design of a Muppet is the construction of the face—creating a pattern with the eyes, nose and mouth called “the magic triangle”—which establishes a point of focus that helps to bring the puppet to life in the eye of a video camera and to the viewers watching at home.

“It is wonderful that Sam and Friends should find themselves back here in Washington, D.C., where they first appeared,” said Jane Henson, Henson’s wife. “And now they get to greet old friends and meet new ones at the newly renovated and exciting National Museum of American History.”

From the early beginnings of Sam and Friends—of which only a few episodes survive—the Muppets went on to evolve and achieve worldwide popularity. The Muppet Show was introduced in 1976 and reached 235 million viewers in more than 100 countries. The series won three Emmys during its five-year run as well as spawning feature-films like The Muppet Movie, The Great Muppet Caper and The Muppets take Manhattan. Muppets is a registered trademark of The Muppets Studio LLC Ltd.

The Kermit the Frog that is already in the museum’s collection was first loaned in 1979, in celebration of Sesame Street’s 10th anniversary. In 1994, Jim Henson Productions designated Kermit as a gift, making him a permanent fixture in the museum’s performance collections.

The National Museum of American History collects, preserves and displays American heritage in the areas of social, political, cultural, scientific and military history. To learn more about the museum, check http://americanhistory.si.edu. For Smithsonian information, the public may call (202) 633-1000, (202) 633-5285 (TTY).

For more information about the life and work of Jim Henson, visit The Jim Henson Legacy website: www.jimhensonlegacy.org


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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

National Archives Receives Original Nuremberg Laws from Huntington Library

/PRNewswire/ -- In a transfer ceremony at The Huntington Library, Art Collections, and Botanical Gardens today, Archivist of the United States David S. Ferriero accepted on behalf of the U.S. Government the original Nuremberg Laws presented by Steven S. Koblik, Huntington president. Gen. George S. Patton Jr. deposited the documents at the Library for safekeeping at the end of World War II. He died in December of 1945 in an automobile crash before he could discuss their final disposition.

In presenting the Laws to Mr. Ferriero, Dr. Koblik said, "These documents should have been part of the National Archives, had Gen. Patton followed instructions from his commander-in-chief in Europe, Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower. Eisenhower directed that all documents related to the persecution of the Jews should be sent to a common collection point in Germany that was preparing for the Nuremberg War Crime Trials. These materials eventually were deposited at the National Archives. The Huntington felt strongly that it wanted the Nuremberg Laws to be placed with the other original documentation of war crimes against Jews during World War II. We are pleased that we are able to present these documents to the Archivist of the United States today so that the collection is now complete."

"I am pleased and honored to accept these originals of the Nuremberg Laws on behalf of the National Archives and Records Administration and the Government of the United States," said Mr. Ferriero.

"September 15, just a few weeks away, will mark the 75th anniversary of the signing of these laws by Adolf Hitler, which he used as the legal underpinning for the persecution of Jews in Germany, culminating in the Holocaust. We are very grateful that the Huntington Library is now providing these historically important documents to the National Archives, where they will join other original documents relating to horrors of the Third Reich," he continued.

The National Archives also released today a 3:49 minute video short from its series "Inside the Vaults," highlighting the background of the Nuremberg Laws. The video, which includes historic footage and interviews with National Archives expert Greg Bradsher and Huntington president Steven Koblik, is hosted online on the National Archives YouTube Channel, http://www.youtube.com/USNationalArchives/, and the National Archives website, www.archives.gov/. This video is in the public domain and not subject to any copyright restrictions. The National Archives encourages its free distribution.

Background:

The Laws, which were signed by Hitler in 1935, are considered to be the official blueprint of racial policies against Jews in Germany. Individuals were defined as Jews if three or four of their grandparents were Jewish. They were stripped of their German citizenship and prohibited from marrying German citizens.

The Nuremberg Laws will join millions of other documents in the National Archives World War II holdings relating to the Third Reich, the Holocaust, and the trials at Nuremberg. They include transcripts of proceedings, prosecution and defense exhibits, interrogation records, document books and court papers. They also include other items such as the war diaries of Joseph Goebbels and Gen. Alfred Jodl, as well as registers from concentration camps.

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Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Observatory hosting GSU’s CHARA Array named important site in astronomical history

The Mount Wilson Observatory, a historic observatory operated from Georgia State University and which hosts GSU’s Center for High Angular Resolution Astronomy (CHARA), has been listed by the International Astronomical Union and the International Council on Monuments and Sites as a potential “heritage site of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy.”

The Mount Wilson Observatory, founded in 1904, is located in the San Gabriel Mountains near Los Angeles and is where astronomers made revolutionary discoveries about the universe — including the realization that the Earth’s solar system is not at the center of our home galaxy, the Milky Way, and that our galaxy is only one among countless others in a vast and expanding universe.

The observatory was listed in “Heritage Sites of Astronomy and Archaeoastronomy in the Context of the UNESCO World Heritage Convention: A Thematic Study.” The report from the IAU and the ICOMOS was produced as part of the International Year of Astronomy in 2009.

The report was endorsed by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization, the world body which administers the UNESCO World Heritage Convention that protects sites that are important to the cultural heritage of the world.

While this is not a formal nomination of the observatory as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Mount Wilson is the only observatory in the United States presented among many case studies from around the world as potentially meriting such a designation on the basis of its historic scientific accomplishments.

CHARA Director and Regents’ Professor Harold McAlister, who is also CEO of the non-profit Mount Wilson Institute that has offices on the Georgia State campus, said he is delighted with this recognition of Mount Wilson Observatory.

“This is testimony to the unique role Mount Wilson played during the first half of the 20th Century. Its wonderful telescopes and talented scientists reinvented astronomy and awoke humans to the almost unimaginable scale of the Universe in which we live,” McAlister said.

“Astronomers all over the world are still searching for answers to questions first posed from Mount Wilson,” he further explained. “I am proud that Georgia State is playing an important role in preserving this wonderful site.”

The observatory includes two “tower telescopes” for studying the sun and two night-time telescopes, a 60-inch telescope completed in 1908 that is considered the first truly modern telescope, and the famous 100-inch Hooker telescope used by Edwin Hubble in the 1920s to measure the expansion of the universe.

Harlow Shapley used the 60-inch telescope before World War I to prove our location in the “suburbs” of the Milky Way galaxy rather than at its center. The observatory’s founder, George Ellery Hale, used the 60-ft solar tower telescope to discover strong magnetic fields in the sun and to determine the true period of the so-called sunspot cycle.

More modern is Georgia State’s CHARA Array, an array of six telescopes that bring individual beams of light to synthesize a giant telescope hundreds of meters across through a process called interferometry.

The CHARA Array is the most powerful telescope of its kind in the world and has produced for the first time extremely high resolution images of normal-sized stars, stars in binary systems that are exchanging mass with one another and surface features on other stars. More recently, CHARA produced images of the mysterious dark eclipsing companion in the binary star system epsilon Aurigae, whose eclipse happens only every 27 years.

The CHARA Array was built with support from GSU, the National Science Foundation, the W.M. Keck Foundation, and the David and Lucile Packard Foundation. It was dedicated in 2000 and became fully operational in 2004. It is operational funding is provided by the Division of Astronomical Sciences of the National Science Foundation and by the College of Arts and Sciences of Georgia State University.




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Friday, August 20, 2010

Georgia Southern University Archaeology Students Uncover Priceless Civil War Artifacts

Georgia Southern University archaeology students have uncovered numerous priceless and unique Civil War artifacts at the site of a Confederate prison camp in Millen, Ga.

"This is truly a stunning find with historical implications that will be studied for decades," said Georgia Southern University Archaeology Professor Sue Moore, Ph.D. "While we knew we were searching in the immediate vicinity of the site of the Civil War’s largest prison camp, we were amazed by some of the artifacts that were uncovered and at their condition. These pieces tell the story like nothing else can of what life was like for the thousands of prisoners and soldiers who lived here at the close of the war."

The artifacts—including a makeshift smoking pipe, bullets turned into gaming pieces, a tourniquet buckle, jewelry, eating utensils, and coins—were found at Magnolia Springs State Park in Millen, Ga. The area was the site of Camp Lawton, which at the close of the Civil War was believed to be the largest prison camp in the world. The state park was established in the 1930’s, after the exact boundaries of the prison camp were no longer known. The widely accepted view by many archaeologists was that there were no significant or personal Civil War artifacts to be found at the site.

Georgia Southern University archaeology graduate students began conducting research there in the fall of 2009 at the request of Georgia Department of Natural Resources Director Chris Clark. Clark, an alumnus of Georgia Southern University, hoped the team could pinpoint the location of the stockade walls that originally surrounded the prison. If the team was successful, Clark eventually planned to reconstruct the walls to bring additional tourists to the park. However, no one believed the land still contained much else in the way of Civil War artifacts.

"Many Civil War sites have been stripped by a century and a half of farming and development," said Georgia Southern University graduate student Kevin Chapman, who is heading the project and discovered the first artifacts. "Now we have unearthed numerous items that haven’t been touched in 150 years. We never believed that we would find anything of this magnitude."

Camp Lawton was constructed in 1864 by the Confederate Army to replace Georgia’s notorious Andersonville prison. Camp Lawton housed more than ten-thousand Union prisoners, and hundreds of Confederate soldiers. But, the camp was only occupied for six weeks before evacuations began in the middle of the night on November 26, 1864 as the Union army approached during Sherman’s March to the Sea. Chapman believes that hasty exit may be the reason so many artifacts remained on the site.

"What we’ve found were treasures of the prisoners who were kept here," Chapman explained. "They would have hidden these things from the Confederate guards. When they were roused in the middle of the night to begin the move out, there may not have been time to retrieve them. Also, records tell us anywhere from 750 to 1,200 men died at Camp Lawton over the course of six weeks. Some of these items may be things the soldiers hid away and were never found between their death and the time of the evacuation."

Under an agreement with the federal government, the portion of the land in Magnolia Springs State Park where the artifacts were found was recently transferred to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. This area is now enclosed by a fence and is under 24 hour video surveillance and manned security to prevent looting of the site. Anyone caught looting in the area is subject to prosecution, with penalties that could include prison time and hefty fines. Georgia Southern University students will continue their scientific research and excavations in an effort to study the area as thoroughly as possible.

"This is sacred ground," said Moore. "Hundreds of men died here and what they, and the other prisoners, left behind belong to the public and future generations. When these artifacts are excavated and preserved in the correct, scientific way they give us a detailed picture of the people who lived and died at Camp Lawton. We are dedicated to preserving these pieces so everyone can have an up close look at these secrets that have been buried for more than a century."

The artifacts will be on exhibit at the Georgia Southern University Museum beginning October 10, 2010. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is the custodian of the artifacts, which belong to the American people. For more information about Georgia Southern’s discovery at Camp Lawton, please visit www.georgiasouthern.edu/camplawton.



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Thursday, August 19, 2010

United States Mint Launches James Buchanan Presidential $1 Coin at Historic Home of Nation's 15th President

/PRNewswire/ -- Beginning August 19, the Nation will see Presidential $1 coins bearing the image of James Buchanan, the Nation's 15th President. To commemorate the release of the new coin, the United States Mint hosted a launch ceremony on the grounds of Wheatland, Buchanan's beloved home, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

"In a few short weeks, Americans will begin to see James Buchanan Presidential $1 Coins and will be reminded of his place in history," said United States Mint Deputy Director Andy Brunhart.

The ceremony included commentary on Buchanan's legacy from Donald Walters, Emeritus Professor of Educational Administration at Temple University. Following the ceremony, children 18 years old and younger received a James Buchanan Presidential $1 Coin, and adults exchanged their currency for 25-coin rolls of the new coin.

Buchanan, the 15th U.S. President, was born on April 23, 1791, near Mercersburg, Pa. He was the oldest of 11 children. After graduating from college, Buchanan studied law and began a successful law career in 1812. During the War of 1812, he helped defend Baltimore against British attack. Buchanan, a gifted orator, became a state legislator, and later served as a member of the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate, and as U.S. minister to Russia. In 1845, he became President James K. Polk's secretary of state. His later service abroad as U.S. minister to Great Britain helped insulate him from the growing domestic controversy over slavery, which was reaching a crescendo by 1856, helping him secure the Democratic Party's nomination for President. Two days after Buchanan was inaugurated, the U.S. Supreme Court issued the controversial Dred Scott decision, which effectively legalized slavery in all U.S. territories. The decision was another factor that propelled the Nation toward civil war.

Buchanan served one term in office, from 1857 to 1861. He then retired to his Pennsylvania home, Wheatland, where he died on June 1, 1868.

The Presidential $1 Coin Act of 2005 (Public Law 109-145) directs the United States Mint to issue four $1 coins each year to honor our Nation's Presidents in the order they served in office. The James Buchanan Presidential $1 Coin is the 15th release in the Presidential $1 Coin Program.

The United States Mint, created by Congress in 1792, is the Nation's sole manufacturer of legal tender coinage. Its primary mission is to produce an adequate volume of circulating coinage for the Nation to conduct its trade and commerce. The United States Mint also produces proof, uncirculated, and commemorative coins; Congressional Gold Medals; and silver, gold and platinum bullion coins.

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Wednesday, August 18, 2010

200 Million More Historic Records See the Light of Day

As the nation’s genealogical societies gather in Knoxville, Tennessee, at the Federation of Genealogical Societies Conference this week to share tips and tricks for finding one’s elusive ancestors, there will certainly besome clamoring over an unexpected gift from FamilySearch, a world leader in historic records preservation and access. FamilySearch announced the addition of over 200 million new searchable historic records representing 18 countries to its online database. The new records were added to the hundreds of millions FamilySearch published earlier this year at a similar event in Salt Lake City, Utah. The number of records on the pilot site totals 700 million.

The latest deluge of records includes 53 new or updated collections from the United States and over 100 million new records from Europe, Scandinavia and Mexico. The United States collections include the 1910 U.S. Census and states’ birth, marriage and death records. There are 10 million new records from New Jersey and Michigan, 4 million from Tennessee, an amazing 41 million from Massachusetts, and many more from other states.

“Some time ago, FamilySearch committed to creating access to the world’s genealogical records online in a big way. Today’s updates are part of an ongoing effort to make good on those commitments,” said Paul Nauta, FamilySearch public affairs manager. “We have only just begun,” Nauta concluded. In the U.S., FamilySearch is currently focusing on digitizing and publishing online federal and state censuses and state birth, marriage and death records. When complete, the initiative will provide a definitive collection of U.S. genealogical resources for family history researchers.

In addition to the new U.S. collections, over 100 million records were added to FamilySearch’s international collections online — making it most likely the largest international genealogy collection online. The new international databases come from birth, marriage and death records and from municipal records. Go to FamilySearch.org, then click Search Records and then Record Search pilot to see a full list of the free collections. The records will also soon be available at beta.familysearch.org.

“What makes today’s announcement even more impressive is that FamilySearch uses predominantly a growing corps of volunteers to accomplish the task of digitizing and indexing the records for online publication. That’s also in large part how we can do it for free, how it can be done at no cost to the patron,” said Nauta. Currently, 350,000 volunteers worldwide log on to FamilySearchIndexing.org and use FamilySearch’s proprietary software to view digital images of historic documents of personal interest and type in the desired information. FamilySearch then creates a free, searchable index of the historic collections online for the public to use.

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Waitin' for the Clock to Strike 1

It's almost time for the great revealing of the archaelogical artifacts of Camp Lawton!  While we wait for the final few minutes, here's a great site by Georgia Southern University on the dig and the history of Camp Lawton in Jenkins County, GA.

http://www.georgiasouthern.edu/camplawton/index.php/home

If you want to see the artifacts in person, Georgia Southern University in Statesboro has announced they will be on exhibition starting Sunday, October 10, at 2pm at the Georgia Southern University Museum.

We'll be there!!! How 'bout you?

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Camp Lawton Open House August 18

Editor's Note:  Camp Lawton was built in 1864 on 42 acres, thus making it the largest Civil War Confederate Prison.  The goal was to relieve some of the overcrowding of the infamous Andersonville Prison.  Close to the Augusta Railroad some 40 miles south with a good source of water, it was believed the camp could hold up to 40,000 men.  This was not to be as Sherman came through the area in November 1864, and the prisoners were evacuated.  


News of important discoveries made by the Georgia DNR and Georgia Southern University have been swirling around for a number of months.  We can't wait to see and hear the great archaelogical finds and artifacts! 


The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Georgia Southern University will hold a public open house at Group Shelter 2 at Magnolia Springs State Park from 1-5 p.m. Wednesday, August 18.

The community is invited to learn about recent archaeological discoveries connected to Camp Lawton, a Civil War Confederate prison camp, which was once located across the grounds of Bo Ginn National Fish Hatchery and Magnolia Springs State Park.

Representatives of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Georgia Southern University will be on hand to discuss the discoveries and answer questions.

The event is free and open to the public.

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Friday, August 13, 2010

Video: Leake Site in Peril

Editor note:  Fantastic!  The Leake site has such archaeological value to Georgia history and Native American culture.  Wouldn't it be great if this land could be preserved so we don't forget our history?


The Leake site has been listed by the Georgia Trust for Historic Preservation as a top 10 place in Georgia for peril.


Click here to learn more.







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Thursday, August 12, 2010

The National Archives Celebrates the 90th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment

/PRNewswire/ -- The following is a document alert -- part of a program sponsored by the National Archives to notify the media of documents in the holdings of the National Archives that are relevant to national holidays, anniversaries or current events. This program is based on original records from the National Archives, its 13 Presidential libraries and 14 regional facilities, and is designed to offer the media an historical perspective on events that occur periodically and to highlight historical antecedents to current political or diplomatic initiatives.


(The following is based on an article that appeared in the Fall 2003 issue of Prologue magazine, the Quarterly of the National Archives and Records Administration. The text and high resolution images of the 19th Amendment can be found online at: http://www.ourdocuments.gov/doc.php?doc=63). A petition to Congress for the right to vote, signed by Susan B. Anthony is online at: http://www.archives.gov/education/lessons/woman-suffrage/anthony-petition.html

Pieces of History
The 19th Amendment Gives Women the Right to Vote


On a hot August day in 1920, Representative Harry Burn listened as the Tennessee House of Representatives debated an issue that had been simmering since well before the Civil War--woman suffrage.

For generations, long before 24-year-old Burn was born, the woman suffrage movement had as its goal an amendment to the U.S. Constitution allowing women the right to vote.

The movement had begun in 1848 at a women's rights convention in Seneca Falls, New York, but it took 30 years to get the amendment introduced in Congress. Action on Capitol Hill was very slow. Until 1914, the Senate voted only once, turning it down, and the House did not vote at all.

Meanwhile, the suffragists took their fights to the states. Through legislative action or state amendment, the movement had some success. In the 1916 election, women could vote for presidential electors in 11 states. By 1920, even without the referendum, women would have been able to vote for presidential electors in 30 states.

Finally, in the spring of 1919, Congress passed the amendment and sent it to the states for ratification. States acted, quickly, and by August 1920, 35 had approved it. In all but one of the remaining states, the amendment had either been rejected or had no hope of being approved.

With one additional state needed, the push for ratification focused on Tennessee. Supporters and opponents of the amendment, the press, and thousands of spectators flocked to Nashville to witness the proceedings. Carrie Chapman Catt, the latest in the long line of woman suffrage leaders that had included Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, was also there.

Tennessee's Senate had already approved it, but after several votes in the House, the issue was deadlocked, 48 to 48. As the debate continued, Burn opened a letter from his mother.

"Don't forget to be a good boy and help Mrs. Catt put the 'rat' in ratification," mother Burn wrote. Harry had been counted among the opponents, but when the next vote was taken, Harry voted in favor of the amendment, and ratification was approved.

Thus, the 19th Amendment to the Constitution, giving women the right to vote, was ratified on August 18, 1920, in time for women in all states to vote for President later that year.

The next day, Harry Burn explained his vote to angry opponents: "I believe in full suffrage as a right. I believe we had a moral and legal right to ratify. I know that a mother's advice is always safest for her boy to follow, and my mother wanted me to vote for ratification."

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HURRY TEACHERS: FREE Social Studies Resource for Your School or Library

Editor Note:  Be sure to go play the Constitutional Convention Game on the Sunnylands Classroom site.  Naturally, we chose to represent Georgia during the game.  It's a great game and a fantastic look at the making of the Constitution.

/PRNewswire/ -- The following is being issued by the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania:

The Annenberg Foundation Trust at Sunnylands is releasing a 23-minute documentary for Constitution Day. The documentary tells the story of Thaddeus Edmonson, an African American construction worker whose personal injury lawsuit in 1991 became a Supreme Court landmark case on the right to an impartial jury.

As with all Sunnylands Trust videos, this documentary is extremely well-produced and classroom ready. While supplies last, it will be sent free of charge to teachers, schools and libraries that become part of the Sunnylands Classroom community. Please sign-up at http://www.sunnylandsclassroom.org/ConstitutionDay/Registration.aspx. Remember: Constitution Day is September 17th.

Especially at a time when school budgets are being slashed, this social studies documentary will be a most welcome addition to any school or public library.

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Friday, August 6, 2010

Just a Hop, Skip Away to See Georgia's Newest Civil War Battlefield

Editor's Note:  Yes, we know.  There are no new Civil War Battlefields in Georgia or anywhere else in the United States as the Civil War did end some 145 years ago.  What we do have, though, is a new National Park Service Designation for a battlefield in neighboring Henry County.


The Nash Farm Battlefield has long been known to have played a pivotal part in Sherman's efforts to change his strategy in the Atlanta campaign.  The history of the Nash Farm Battlefield has been well documented.  To learn more about the events at Nash's Farm and the surrounding battles before the fall of Jonesboro in Clayton Co, we invite you to read more at: http://www.henrycountybattlefield.com/index.html


Below is the information released by the Henry County Commissioners on the recent designation by the National Park Service for the Nash Farm Battlefield.  Congrats on a job well done!

National Park Service Designates Nash Farm Battlefield as Core Battlefield Site


The National Park Service (NPS) has designated Nash Farm Battlefield as one of 384 core battlefields in the Civil War.  This is the highest validation a battlefield can receive, and the designation was given upon the completion of the comprehensive Update to the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields published in June 2010.

In the report, the American Battlefield Preservation Program (ABPP) completely redrew the 1993 boundaries for the Battle of Lovejoy’s Station to provide a more accurate and complete picture of the Federal approach from the northeast toward Lovejoy’s Station, and the Confederate response along the Macon and Western Railroad.  Based on recent archaeological studies by both the LAMAR Institute and the Georgia DOT/Southeastern Archaeological Services team, the core battlefield area was expanded to the east to include fighting at Nash Farm and the rearguard action at Walnut Creek, both in Henry County.*

Dr. David Evans, renowned historian and author of “Sherman’s Horsemen”, called the battle at Nash Farm on August 20, 1864, during which more than 4,500 Union soldiers drew their sabers and violently broke through Confederate lines, “the most desperate, most dramatic cavalry charge of America’s Civil War,” adding that “the stirring events that culminated on this hotly contested field helped shape the course of history.  The fight at Nash Farm convinced Union General William T. Sherman his cavalry could not or would not work hard enough to disable a railroad properly.”

According to Evans, General Sherman then set his entire army in motion in a last-ditch effort to cut the two railroads that fed and supplied the Confederate army defending Atlanta.  Sherman’s shift in strategy, and a two day battle at Jonesboro, ultimately forced the city to surrender.

“It is no exaggeration to say the fight at Nash Farm changed the way the Atlanta Campaign was fought, and that pivotal struggle helped decide the outcome of a war that redefined America’s destiny,” explained Evans in a written statement.  “Hurrah for Henry County for preserving this historic and hallowed piece of ground!”

The National Park Service conducted its study of Nash Farm Battlefield for this update in March 2008.  NPS officials with the American Battlefield Protection Program visited the site, and met with multiple historical organizations, archaeologists, historians, and others to compile and corroborate the information about what took place there.  As a result of the study, the core battlefield map was expanded to incorporate both the Nash Farm and Walnut Creek battlefields.  Because 204 acres of the core battlefield area has now been preserved by Henry County, the Battle of Lovejoy’s Station was given a Tier 2 designation as one of eight important battlefields in Georgia that are in “relatively good condition” and “present some of the best possibilities for Civil War landscape preservation in Georgia.”   The Nash Farm Battlefield is the only segment of the fractured 1,179.98 acre Lovejoy Station core battlefield area that is preserved.  Additionally, a 75-acre segment across Jonesboro Road from the Nash Farm Battlefield site has been designated  by the National Park Service as one of the top 15 most endangered battlefield sites in the United States.

As part of the study, Ed Bearss, Official Historian of the National Park Service, Andy Phrydas with the National Archives Military Records, Heather Mustone, Georgia DOT Archaeologist, Jim Lightizer with the Civil War Preservation Trust, Steve Longcrier with the Civil War Heritage Trails, John Culpepper with the Georgia Civil War Commission, and many other prominent officials visited Nash Farm and praised the battlefield’s preservation.

“You’ve got a treasure here,” confirmed John Culpepper with the Georgia Civil War Commission.  “Decisions were made and events occurred that shaped the United States as we are today, right here in your own back yard.  With all the battlefields we’re losing today due to development, you’ve done a great job preserving this.  It puts you on the radar screen for the world.”  Created by the Georgia General Assembly in 1993, the Georgia Civil War Commission exists to “coordinate planning, preservation, and promotion of structures, buildings, sites and battlefields associated  with this significant period of our common heritage.”*

As a result of this designation, Nash Farm Battlefield is one of the 27 battlefields in Georgia now eligible for a listing in the National Register of Historic Places.  Such a listing would make the park and battlefield eligible for grant funding to assist with preservation efforts.  The next step is to submit an application, which is already in progress.

For more information about Nash Farm battlefield and the battles and activity that took place there, please visit www.henrycountybattlefield.com.

*Update to the Civil War Sites Advisory Commission Report on the Nation’s Civil War Battlefields:  State of Georgia; U.S. Department of the Interior National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program; June 2010.

Source: http://www.co.henry.ga.us/NewsArticle.aspx?AID=607&utm_source=feedburner&utm_medium=feed&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+HenryCountyGeorgia+(Henry+County%2C+Georgia+-+Government+News)



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Thursday, August 5, 2010

James Buchanan Presidential $1 Coin Goes Into Circulation August 19

/PRNewswire/ -- The 15th coin release in the United States Mint Presidential $1 Coin Program will go into circulation on August 19, 2010. The design on this Presidential $1 Coin honors James Buchanan, our Nation's 15th President. The United States Mint will celebrate the coin's release with a ceremonial launch and coin exchange at Wheatland, the former President's home, in Lancaster, Pennsylvania on August 19. The ceremony will start at 10 a.m. Eastern Time.

The coin's obverse (heads side), by United States Mint Artistic Sculptor-Engraver Phebe Hemphill, features Buchanan's portrait with the inscriptions JAMES BUCHANAN, IN GOD WE TRUST, 15TH PRESIDENT and 1857-1861. The coin's reverse (tails side) features a rendition of the iconic Statue of Liberty, by United States Mint Sculptor-Engraver Don Everhart, with the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. The year of minting or issuance, 2010, E PLURIBUS UNUM and the mint of origin are incused on the coin's edge. To view and download high-resolution images of the circulating James Buchanan Presidential $1 Coin, go to: http://www.usmint.gov/pressroom/index.cfm?action=photo#Pres

Presidential $1 Coins, which are produced for everyday cash transactions, last for decades, are 100 percent recyclable and can save the country hundreds of millions of dollars each year.

The Presidential $1 Coins will be shipped to banks and other financial institutions in rolls, unmixed with other $1 coins. For each new design, banks may order and store the coins up to three weeks prior to the introduction so they will have supplies on hand on the release date. The coins will be available in unmixed rolls for two weeks after the introduction of each design. The special ordering process begins again when each new Presidential $1 Coin is released.

The ordering period for unmixed quantities of the James Buchanan Presidential $1 Coin began July 29. To order boxes of wrapped rolls ($1,000 minimum order) of the James Buchanan Presidential $1 Coin, depository institutions can use FedLine Web® Access Solution. In addition, local Federal Reserve Bank offices can handle special requests for $2,000 bags of unmixed James Buchanan Presidential $1 Coins, $2,000 bags of mixed $1 coins, and orders for James Buchanan Presidential $1 Coins after the special order period ends on September 2 (while supplies last).

Presidential $1 Coins can also be collected. They are educational and fun with four new designs, each featuring an American President, issued each year. The James Buchanan Presidential $1 Coin will be featured in collectible products available for purchase via the United States Mint's Web site at http://www.usmint.gov/catalog or by calling 1-800-USA-MINT (872-6468).

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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

National Archives Launches New 'Inside the Vaults' Video Short

/PRNewswire/ -- The National Archives today launched its fourth "Inside the Vaults" video short featuring a group of eight Army airmen who set out in 1924 to be the first humans to circle the globe by air. On their journey over Arctic mountain passes and vast Indian deserts, they would lose half their planes and set numerous records to become what were dubbed the "Magellans of the Sky" (named for Ferdinand Magellan, who led an expedition to circle the globe by sea in 1519).

Prologue staff writer Rob Crotty describes their journey in the National Archives' 2:24 minute produced "Inside the Vaults" video short: http://tiny.cc/FLY

More information on these daring men can be found in Crotty's "Magellans of the Sky" article in the Summer 2010 issue of Prologue magazine, the award-winning quarterly publication of the National Archives: http://www.archives.gov/publications/prologue/2010/summer/magellans.html


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