Monday, January 17, 2011

Where Has He Gone?

     In honor of the man that was born on January 15th and who's life we celebrate today, here is a song that, even though it includes 3 others, they are all linked together with Martin Luther King, Jr.  This is such a beautiful song and Dion did such a terrific job singing it.

Do you have a dream? He did.

Dr. King...thank you for everything that you gave this country and for your bravery and courage to swim against the river's flow.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Historical Reflection Upon a Tragedy

     In the wake of the assassination attempt on Gabrielle Giffords, my wife and I had one of those conversations where one thing leads to another.  She was looking up the most recent mugshots of Jared Loughner, 22, who was the individual that has been charged in the attempted assassination.  Somehow, she began looking up information on John Wilkes Booth, and then the "ball started rolling," so to speak.  We thought of the different individuals that have either attempted or succeeded in assassinating a U.S. President/political leader and one thing jumped out at us.  Each man, with the exception of one (Charles Guiteau was 40 when he assassinated James Garfield), was in their 20's when they committed their crime.

-John Wilkes Booth, 26, assassinated Abraham Lincoln in 1865.
-Leon Czolgosz, 28, assassinated William McKinley in 1901.
-Lee Harvey Oswald, 24, assassinated John F. Kennedy in 1963.
-John Hinckley, Jr., 25, attempted to assassinate Ronald Reagan in 1981. 
-Gavrilo Princip, about to turn 20, assassinated Archduke Francis Ferdinand in 1914.
     I have highlighted the names with their ages to show commonality.  Another commonality is the association/influence by radical politics and secret societies.

-John Wilkes Booth was a member of the Knights of the Golden Circle (secret society).
-Leon Czolgosz was a noted anarchist.
-Lee Harvey Oswald was a reader of Karl Marx and was a member of the Young People's Socialist League.
-John Hinckley, Jr. admired L.H.O. and saw him as a role model.
-Gavrilo Princip was a member of the Black Hand Secret Society.

     As I was pondering these mens' ages and their worldviews, certain principles came to mind.  There is something that I learned in college. "Training is for your 20's."  In physical development, the decison-making part of the brain (frontal lobe) does not fully develop until about age 25.  The combination of a not fully developed frontal lobe mixed with certain ideas about politics and life can be unwise.  I think about how malleable the minds of kids are in school, but I don't really think about how malleable college-age minds are.  Kids tend to begin their search for identity and the answer to the question, "Who am I?" in middle school and on into high school.  Reaching the college age, individuals now search for the answer to the question, "Why am I?"  During this time, a person ends up choosing a particular philosophy or worldview, whether they know it or not.  Once this philosophy/worldview has been chosen, it is less likely to change over the course of a lifetime.
     Now I must add that I do not believe that every anarchist or member of a secret society will resort to assassinating a high ranking official.  However, I do believe that living out extreme beliefs breed extreme actions.  Attitude reflects behavior.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

What Do 1895, 1958, and 1971 Have in Common?

     This post is dedicated to four individuals that have played a part in my musical upbringing.  Happy Birthday to the late Laurens Hammond and Vicki Peterson, Mary J. Blige, and Tom Rowlands!

Laurens Hammond - inventor of the Hammond organ.  A Whiter Shade of Pale courtesy of Procol Harum anyone?

Vicki Peterson - guitar and vocals for The Bangles.  Can you Walk Like an Egyptian?

Mary J. Blige - "Queen of Hip-Hop Soul".  This was during those early '90s years of late elementary school/early middle school for me.

Tom Rowlands - one of "The Chemical Brothers" and reminds me of the days of college.

Source of musical info:

Monday, January 3, 2011

Revolutionary War Hero or Rock Star???

     I have some inspiration for a new series on my blog.  After watching VH1's 100 Greatest of All Time on VH1 Classic and thinking, "hey, this is a history blog," I have decided that there is going to be a little music history and appreciation every Monday.  Without further ado, I give you...Music Monday #1.

     On this day in 1946, John Paul Jones was born.  No, this was not John Paul Jones the Revolutionary War hero, but the rock legend.  He was the bassist for the #3 greatest band of all time...Led Zeppelin.  Happy Birthday John Paul Jones!!!