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Archive for the month “August, 2012”

ROBERT A. TAFT II

August 29, 2012

ROBERT A. TAFT II

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report on Senator John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Profiles In Courage.”  


JFK’s book highlights the stories of eight United States Senators who risked their political careers to pursue justice.


In the introduction to the Memorial Edition, Robert Kennedy writes:


“Courage is the virtue that President Kennedy most admired.  That is why this book so fitted his personality, his beliefs.”

 

JFK Library Image

The title of Chapter IX is Robert A. Taft.

Robert A. Taft was a United States Senator who represented the state of OHIO.

 

Senator Robert A. Taft, Republican (Ohio)


                 


JFK writes that in the fall of 1946, Senator Taft was the chief spokesman for his party as well as the likely nominee for President in 1948.


It would have been the safer course, JFK argues, for Taft to avoid controversial positions at a time when things looked so promising for both he & the Republican party.


But the Senator was disturbed by the WAR CRIMES TRIALS* concluding in Germany & opening in Japan.


*The Nuremberg Trials, held in Germany in 1945-46, were the result of the indictment of 24 Nazi leaders for crimes & atrocities committed during World War II.


A military tribunal handed down the verdicts on September 30, 1946.  12 of the accused were found guilty & sentenced to death, 7 were found guilty & sentenced to prison, & 3 were acquitted.

 

Robert H. Jackson, Chief American prosecutor, Nuremberg, Germany, November 20, 1945, Photo by Raymond D’Addario


JFK tells us that the indictment of the Nazi leaders arose under an ex post facto law which the Constitution of the United States prohibits with no exceptions.

Kennedy writes that Bob Taft “accepted this precept as permanently wise & universally acceptable.”


Senator Taft spoke out on October 6, 1946.  He said:


“The trial of the vanquished by the victors cannot be impartial no matter how it is hedged about with the forms of justice.”


He went on to condemn the trials as a violation of “the fundamental principle of American law.”


Jack Kennedy says that there were many who were outraged at Taft’s remarks.


On top of that, Taft’s rival for the 1948 Republican presidential nomination, Governor Thomas E. Dewey of New York, said the guilty verdicts were justified.


And the Democrats, JFK says, were “jubilant…..although concealing their glee behind a facade of shocked indignation.”


The TOLEDO BLADE editorialized:


“On this issue, as so many others, Senator Taft shows that he has a wonderful mind which knows practically everything & understand practically nothing….”


Despite these criticisms, Bob Taft, JFK writes, had spoken “not in ‘defense of Nazi murderers,’ but in defense of what he regarded to be the traditional American concepts of law & justice.”


JFK tells us that in the end Taft’s position had no effect on his party’s sweep in 1946 nor was it an issue in his own presidential bid of 1948, but what is important today, according to Profiles In Courage, is not whether Taft was right or wrong on the issue but his…


“unhesitating courage in standing against the flow of public opinion for a cause he believed to be right.”

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ROBERT A. TAFT I

August 27, 2012

ROBERT A. TAFT I

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report on Senator John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Profiles In Courage.”  


JFK’s book highlights the stories of eight United States Senators who risked their political careers to pursue justice.


In the introduction to the Memorial Edition, Robert Kennedy writes:


“Courage is the virtue that President Kennedy most admired.  That is why this book so fitted his personality, his beliefs.”

 

JFK Library Image

The title of Chapter IX is Robert A. Taft.

Robert A. Taft was a United States Senator who represented the state of OHIO.

 

Senator Robert A. Taft, Ohio Republican, Portrait by Rudolf Anton Bernatschke

                      

JFK begins by saying the fact that Senator Taft was “never President of the United States” is both the reason for his “personal tragedy (&) national greatness.”


As the son of a former President (William Howard Taft), JFK tells us Bob Taft “pursued” the Presidency “throughout his career in the Senate.”


Taft attempted 3 times to win his party’s nomination, but despite failing to win it was known as “Mr. Republican.”


JFK tells us that Bob Taft was a man of principles who despite his interest in the White House was determined to stick fast to them.


JFK writes:


“He frequently flung to the winds the very restraints his own analysis advised, refusing to bow to any group, refusing to keep silent on any issue.”


Senator Taft “did not win many votes” in his home state when he endorsed restrictions on union activity or in his own party “by his support of education, housing, health & other welfare measures.”


JFK tells us that Senator Taft’s willingness to take on controversial issues earned him the title of “Mr. Integrity.”


*Robert A. Taft (1889-1953), the son of President William Howard Taft, was born in Cincinnati, Ohio.  He was a graduate of Yale (1910) & Harvard Law School (1913),  He served as a U.S. Senator from Ohio from 1939 to 1953.


Senator Taft joined Southern Democrats in opposition to FDR’s New Deal.  He opposed most government involvement in the economy or individual liberties.


Taft co-sponsored the TAFT-HARTLEY ACT of 1947 which banned unfair LABOR practices such as the closed ship.


Despite his conservative record, Senator Taft later supported public housing & social security.


Taft died of cancer at the age of 63. 

A TRIBUTE TO NEIL ARMSTRONG

August 26, 2012

A TRIBUTE TO NEIL ARMSTRONG

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we honor Neil Armstrong* who passed away in Cincinnati, Ohio on August 25th.


Neil Armstrong, the 1st human being to walk on the MOON, died at the age of 82 as a result of complications of coronary heart disease.


*Neil A. Armstrong (1930-2012) was born in Wapakoneta, Ohio & graduated from PURDUE UNIVERSITY in 1955.  He earned his Masters Degree at the University of Southern California in 1970.  His major was aeronautical engineering.

 

Neil Armstrong, Photo by Edwin L. Aldrin, Jr. NASA Image

Armstrong served in the US Navy in the Korean War, flying 20 combat missions.  He was a test pilot after the war & chosen for the USAF Man In Space program in 1960.


In 1968, Neil Armstrong was made Commander of the Apollo 11 moon landing mission which included fellow astronauts Edwin E. Aldrin, Jr. & Michael Collins.


As the Lunar Module “Eagle”, on automatic pilot,  approached an unsafe landing area on the moon’s surface, Armstrong took over control manually & landed safely in the “Sea of Tranquility.”


Shortly thereafter on July 20, 1969, Commander Armstrong made his way down the ladder of the LM & said as he placed his foot on the lunar surface:


“THAT’S ONE SMALL STEP FOR MAN, ONE GIANT LEAP FOR MANKIND!”

 

Man on the Moon, July 20, 1969, NASA image

                        

In a statement released by the White House, President Barrack Obama said:


“Neil Armstrong was a hero not just of his time, but of all time.”


Republican presidential candidate, Mitt Romney, said:


“With courage unmeasured & unbounded love for his country, he walked where man had never walked before.”


And these words come from a statement released by the Armstrong family:


“For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil….honor his example of service, accomplishment & modesty & the next time you….see the moon….think of Neil Armstrong & give him a wink.”

 

Neil Armstrong, Photo by Edwin L. Aldrin, Jr. NASA image

        

In a Knoxville News-Sentinel front page story today, AP writers Lisa Cornwell & Seth Borenstein write:


“The moonwalk marked America’s victory in the COLD WAR space race that began with the launch of the Soviet Union’s Sputnik 1….that sent shock waves around the world.”


The goal to land a man on the moon & return him safely to the earth before the end of the decade was set by President John F. Kennedy in 1961.


Although JFK did not live to see it, Neil Armstrong achieved that goal not only for the UNITED STATES of AMERICA but for the people of the EARTH.


JFK’s words are often included in documentaries when he made reference to an old Irish story about boys attempting to scale a wall that seemed too “doubtful (&) too hard to try”….they would throw their caps over the wall & then they had no choice but to follow them.


JFK said:


“This nation has tossed its cap over the wall of space & we have no choice but to follow it.”

 

JFK Space Center Main Gate, Photo by SlammerIII, 2006

                          

JFK+50 COMMENT


Just as JFK was our hero, Neil Armstrong & all the American astronauts were our heroes.


We, along with millions of people around the world, were watching TV coverage on July 20, 1969 as Neil Armstrong stepped onto the lunar surface.


It was a great moment in history & a proud time to be an American, but as President Nixon said later because of what these 3 American astronauts (Armstrong, Aldrin & Collins) did, all the nations & people of the world “were brought closer together.”

 

Brian Hicks wrote today in his column, “Neil Armstrong, A True American Hero,” published in the Charleston, South Carolina ‘Post & Courier’:


“Neil Armstrong made America & the whole planet proud by landing on the moon & by his actions afterward.  And the Earth is a little smaller without him.  But then, this isn’t the 1st time he’s left it.” 





GEORGE NORRIS III

August 24 & 25, 2012

GEORGE NORRIS III

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report on Senator John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Profiles In Courage.”  


JFK’s book highlights the stories of eight United States Senators who risked their political careers to pursue justice.


In the introduction to the Memorial Edition, Robert Kennedy writes:


“Courage is the virtue that President Kennedy most admired.  That is why this book so fitted his personality, his beliefs.”

 

JFK Library Image

The title of Chapter VIII is George Norris.


JFK writes that in addition to the overthrow of “Czar Cannon,” the other “struggles” that are noteworthy in the political career of George Norris include his support of AL SMITH for President in 1928 & his filibuster against President WOODROW WILSON’s ARMED SHIP BILL in 1917.


Wilson requested the authorization to arm U.S. merchant ships in response to German unrestricted submarine warfare.


Despite the overwhelming vote for the authorization in the House of Representatives (403-13), there was “determined opposition” in the Senate from a small group of senators led by BOB LA FOLLETTE* & GEORGE NORRIS.


*Robert La Follette (1855-1925), born in Primrose, Wisconsin, graduated from the University of Wisconsin in 1879.  He served in the US House of Representatives & US Senate.  He was Governor of Wisconsin 1901-1906.


In 1924, La Follette ran as the Progressive Party’s candidate for President of the United States.  He won 17% of the popular vote & carried Wisconsin’s 13 electoral votes.

 

Robert M. La Follette with family, Library of Congress Photo

          

JFK writes that Norris feared that ‘Big Business’ was ‘driving the nation into a useless, bloody struggle.’


To block authorization, a filibuster would be required.


Although the filibuster was a success & the bill was not passed,  President Wilson announced that he already had the executive power to order the arming of merchant ships WITHOUT congressional approval.


Among the criticisms of the senators who opposed the President was this editorial comment in the NEW YORK TIMES:


“The odium of treasonable purpose will rest upon their names forevermore.”


Despite the criticisms, George Norris’s “fame & political fortune multiplied.”


In 1928, Norris, “a Republican, a Midwesterner, (&) a Protestant,” gave his support to Al Smith, a Democrat, an Easterner & & a Catholic.


This 2nd struggle also ended in failure for Senator Norris as Republican HERBERT HOOVER won in a landslide.


But George Norris didn’t see it totally as a failure.  As he later confided to a friend:


“It happens very often that one tries to do something & fails.  He feels discouraged, & yet he may discover years afterward that the very effort he made was the reason somebody else took it up & succeeded.


I really believe that whatever use I have been to progressive civilization has been accomplished in the things I failed to do than in the things I actually did do.”

GEORGE NORRIS II

August 23, 2012

GEORGE NORRIS II

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report on Senator John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Profiles In Courage.”  


JFK’s book highlights the stories of eight United States Senators who risked their political careers to pursue justice.


In the introduction to the Memorial Edition, Robert Kennedy writes:


“Courage is the virtue that President Kennedy most admired.  That is why this book so fitted his personality, his beliefs.”

 

JFK Library Image

The title of Chapter VIII is George Norris.


JFK describes Senator George Norris of Nebraska as “an idealist, an independent, a fighter–a man of deep conviction,  fearless courage, (&) sincere honesty.”


But he also points out his faults.  “emotional in his deliberations, vituperative in his denunciations & prone to engage in bitter & exaggerated personal attack…”


On balance, however, JFK writes that “nothing could sway (Norris) from what he thought was right, from his determination to help all the people…”


This included his fight to bring low-cost electricity to the TENNESSEE VALLEY whose people, JFK says, “live a thousand miles from….Nebraska.”*


*Senator Kennedy does not go into TVA in this chapter, but since it has had & does have such an impact on my home city, county & state, I will go into TVA a little further.


TENNESSEE VALLEY AUTHORITY


The TVA Act, sponsored by Republican Senator George Norris of Nebraska, was signed into law by Democratic President Franklin D. Roosevelt on May 18, 1933.**

 

Norris Dam, Anderson County, Tennessee, Photo by Brian Stansberry (2008)

TVA was created to provide navigation, flood control, electricity & to promote the economic development of the Tennessee Valley, one of the most blighted areas of the nation.


Prior to TVA, the average income in the area was $639 annually.


Farm income had declined due to flooding & eroded soil & declining crop yields.


Today TVA operates 11 coal-powered plants, 29 hydroelectric dams, 3 nuclear power plants & is the largest public power company in the U.S. serving more than 8.5 million people.

 

TVA Towers, Knoxville, Tennessee, Photo by John White, 2008

                  


**East Tennessee is traditionally a Republican stronghold but Knox County was won by Democrat Franklin D. Roosevelt in the Presidential elections of 1932, 1936 & 1940.

 

LUCIUS QUINTUS CINCINNATUS LAMAR II

August 21, 2012

LUCIUS QUINTUS CINCINNATUS LAMAR II

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report on Senator John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Profiles In Courage.”  


JFK’s book highlights the stories of eight United States Senators who risked their political careers to pursue justice.


In the introduction to the Memorial Edition, Robert Kennedy writes:


“Courage is the virtue that President Kennedy most admired.  That is why this book so fitted his personality, his beliefs.”

 

JFK Library Image

The title of Chapter VII is Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar.


In the period of reconstruction, JFK tells us, Lucius Lamar “came to understand that the sole hope for the South lay….in promoting conciliation….& the withdrawal of military rule.”


His opportunity to deliver the eulogy for Senator Sumner was the 1st, JFK writes, “to demonstrate a new kind of Southern statesmanship. But it would not be his last.”


On January 24, 1878, Senator Lucius Lamar gave his 1st major speech on the floor of the United States Senate rejecting the pleas of his constituents by attacking two SILVER measures.


On February 4, however, the Mississippi legislature instructed Lamar to vote FOR the Bland-Allison Silver Act* & to help secure its passage.


*The Bland-Allison Act required the treasury to buy a specified amount of SILVER & put it into circulation as silver dollars.  The act sought to return the nation to the use of both silver & gold as a monetary standard.  Although vetoed by President Hayes, the act passed over his veto in 1878.


The Senator wrote his wife:


“I cannot do it; I had rather quit politics forever.”


After having the instructions sent to him by the Mississippi legislature read aloud, once again, Senator Lamar arose to address the Senate.


He said:


“Mr. President:  Between these resolutions & my convictions there is a great gulf.  I cannot pass it.Today I must be true or false, honest or cunning, faithful or unfaithful to my people. Even in this hour of their…displeasure….I cannot vote as these resolutions direct.”


JFK goes on to write that despite his vote against the Silver Act, Senator Lamar continued to have the support of the people of Mississippi & was re-elected “by an overwhelming majority.”


JFK concludes this chapter with the following quote from Senator Lucius Lamar:


“The liberty of this country….will never be secure if its public men become mere menials to do the biddings of their constituents instead of being representatives in the true sense of the word, looking to the lasting prosperity & future interests of the whole country.”**


**JFK+50 COMMENT


Our political leaders today would do well, in our opinion, to follow the advice & example of Senator Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar.  To do otherwise would be detrimental to the “prosperity & future interests of the WHOLE country.”

 

Supreme Court nomination of Lucius Lamar by President Grover Cleveland, December 6, 1887, Photo by Daniel Rice, NARA image

                    

                   

LUCIUS QUINTUS CINCINNATUS LAMAR I

August 20, 2012

LUCIUS QUINTUS CINCINNATUS LAMAR I

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report on Senator John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Profiles In Courage.”  


JFK’s book highlights the stories of eight United States Senators who risked their political careers to pursue justice.


In the introduction to the Memorial Edition, Robert Kennedy writes:


“Courage is the virtue that President Kennedy most admired.  That is why this book so fitted his personality, his beliefs.”

 

JFK Library Image

The title of Chapter VII is Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar.*


*Lucius Lamar (1825-1893) was born in Eatonton, Georgia.  He graduated from Emory College & became a professor at the University of Mississippi.  He started a law practice in Oxford & established a cotton plantation near Abbeville.


Lamar served in the House of Representatives but resigned in 1860.  He had a brief service in the Confederate army & returned to the House after the war as the 1st Democrat from Mississippi to serve there since the Civil War.


Lamar later served in the Senate & was appointed to the US Supreme Court by President Grover Cleveland.

 

Lucius Lamar, Photograph by Matthew Brady & Levin Corbin Handy, Library of Congress Image.

               

JFK writes about one of the lesser known United States senators who had been one of the “most rapid ‘fire-eaters’ ever to come out of the deep South.”


Senator Kennedy begins with a speech made by Senator Lucius Lamar of Mississippi on the floor of the Senate in 1874 on the occasion of the death of “the South’s most implacable enemy,” Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts.


In a plea for “amity & justice between North & South,” Senator Lamar said that Charles Sumner, before his death….


“believed that all occasion for strife & distrust between the North & South had passed away. 


Would that the spirit of the illustrious dead whom we lament today could speak from the grave to both parties to this deplorable discord in tones which should reach each & every heart throughout this broad territory:


‘My countrymen! know one another, & you will love one another.'”


JFK says that this speech was one of the few in our history to have “such immediate impact.”


He argues that the speech was a turning point in the relationship between North & South.


While many newspapers wrote editorials in support of the speech, others, particularly in the South were critical. They believed Senator Lamar “had surrendered Southern principle & honor.” 

 

USS CONSTITUTION DEFEATS HMS GUERRIERE

August 19, 1812

USS CONSTITUTION DEFEATS HMS GUERRIERE

Washington, D.C. (JFK+50) The United States Navy Department reported today that the USS Constitution, a frigate with 55 guns, has defeated the British frigate, HMS Guerriere, off the coast of Nova Scotia.

 

USS Constitution versus HMS Guerriere, Painting by Anton Otto Fischer, Department of the Navy, Naval Historical Center


According to the latest reports, as the Constitution pulled up alongside the Guerriere, Captain Issac Hull shouted:


“Now, boys, pour it into them!”


The HMS Guerriere, a frigate with 49 guns, lost sail & debris from her rigging fell into the water.


Men on both ships said that the cannon balls fired from the British ship “bounced off” the sides of the USS Constitution.


As the Guerriere was left a virtual wreck, British Captain James Richard Dacres, who was wounded by a musket ball in the back, struck his flag & surrendered.


Dacres was taken aboard the Constitution where he offered his sword. 

Captain Hull, who knew Dacres personally before the war, graciously declined to accept it.*


*Source:  www.aviationartstore.com, Research by Sir Ernie Hamilton Boyette.

 

USS CONSTITUTION

The plans for the USS Constitution were made in 1794 & the ship was built by Colonel George Claghorn.

 

Paul Revere provided  the spikes & copper sheathing for the ship’s bottom.

 

Live oak for the ship’s sides came from Georgia.  Wood for the masts came from Maine.  South Carolina provided pine for the deck.  Rhode Island supplied canvas for the sails while New Jersey sent the keel & cannon balls.


Massachusetts, in addition to Revere’s contributions, provided sails, gun carriages & anchors.

 

As Johnny Cash put it in a July 4th television program, “it was like the states were ratifying the CONSTITUTION all over again.”

 

The FINAL COST of the frigate was $302,718.00

 

The USS Constitution left Boston harbor on July 22, 1798 to capture a privateer as a part of the quasi war with France.

 

She won her nickname, “OLD IRONSIDES,” in the battle of August 19, 1812 when the cannon balls fired by the British from the HMS Guerriere were described as “bouncing off” her sides.

 

JFK RECEIVES USS CONSTITUTION BOOK ENDS

President John F. Kennedy, a veteran of the United States Navy, has been presented with a pair of wooden bookends with working replica models of the 24 pounders carried by the USS Constitution, better known as “Old Ironsides.”

 

USS Constitution Bookends, JFK Library Image

 

 The bookends, made by Oscar Lee Richardson, were presented to the President by Lt. Commander Rutledge E. Barry.

 

The President will display the bookends on his desk in the Oval Office.

 

JFK’s office, which is decorated in a naval theme, has another tribute to the War of 1812.  A painting by Thomas Birch of the battle between the USS United States versus the HMS Macedonian hangs on the wall.

EDMUND G. ROSS II

August 18, 2012

EDMUND G. ROSS II

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we continue our report on Senator John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Profiles In Courage.”  


JFK’s book highlights the stories of eight United States Senators who risked their political careers to pursue justice.


In the introduction to the Memorial Edition, Robert Kennedy writes:


“Courage is the virtue that President Kennedy most admired.  That is why this book so fitted his personality, his beliefs.”

 

JFK Library Image

The title of Chapter V is Edmund G. Ross.


JFK writes that on February 24, 1868, a new House resolution to impeach President Andrew Johnson was adopted in “a tremendous vote” with a YEA vote by “every single Republican.”


Pennsylvania congressman, Thaddeus Stevens, said:


“Let me see the recreant who would vote to let such a criminal escape.  Point me to the one who will dare do it & I will show you one who will dare the infamy of posterity.”


The Senate trial of Andrew Johnson began on March 5th & was presided over by the Chief Justice.


Of the 11 charges against the President, JFK tells us, the 1st 8 were related to his violation of the TENURE OF OFFICE ACT by dismissing Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton without majority consent of the Senate.


Since the Constitution requires a 2/3 vote of the Senate for conviction, this meant of the 54 Senators, 36 guilty votes would be required.


One Republican senator, however, Ross of Kansas, “would not announce his verdict” in a preliminary poll.


The Radicals were angry with Senator Ross & began a systematic pressure campaign to get him on line.


On the day of the vote, JFK writes, quoting Ross himself:


“The galleries were packed. Tickets…were at an enormous premium.  Every chair on the Senate floor was filled….”


By the time the Chief Justice called the name of Senator Ross, 24 GUILTY votes had been cast.  10 more guilty votes were CERTAIN, with 1 additional almost certain.


JFK writes:


“Only Ross’s vote was needed to obtain the 36 votes necessary to convict…”


The Chief Justice said:


“Mr. Senator Ross, how say you? Is the respondent Andrew Johnson guilty or not guilty of a high misdemeanor as charged….?


Edmund Ross later recalled….


“The Senators….leaned over their desks, many with hand to ear…..I almost literally looked down into my open grave.  Friendships, position, fortune…..were about to be swept away…”


Ross responded, but his answer could not be heard throughout the chamber.  He was asked to repeat his vote.


Senator Edmund Ross of Kansas repeated in a voice “that could not misunderstood….”


“NOT GUILTY!”


Andrew Johnson was thus acquitted by the Senate of the United States.


Ross was lambasted by the press in his own state.  A Kansas newspaper wrote:


“Poor, pitiful, shriveled wretch, with a soul so small that a little pelf would outweigh all things else that dignify….manhood.”


JFK tells us that Edmund Ross was not the only Senator to suffer as a result of his vote:


“Neither Ross nor any other Republican who had voted for the acquittal of Johnson was ever re-elected to the Senate.”*


And when Ross returned home in 1871, he & his family were beset by ostracism, physical attack & poverty.



*The others were William Pitt Fessenden of Maine, John B. Henderson of Missouri, Peter Van Winkle of West Virginia, Lyman Trumbull of Illinois, Joseph Smith Fowler of Tennessee & James W. Grimes of Iowa.

 

Impeachment Trial of Andrew Johnson, Illustration by Theodore R. Davis, Harper’s Weekly, April 11, 1868



SARAH MOORE GREENE DIES AT 102

August 16, 2012

SARAH MOORE GREENE DIES AT AGE 102

Knoxville, Tennessee (JFK+50) Today we interrupt our report on Senator John F. Kennedy’s Pulitzer Prize winning book, “Profiles In Courage” to honor our local civil rights pioneer & educator, Sarah Moore Greene.  


Ms. Greene, described by the News-Sentinel as “one of Knoxville’s most influential civil rights advocates & community leaders,” passed away yesterday at the age of 102.

 

Sarah Moore Greene, http://www.wuot.org, 2008

                  

 Sarah Moore Greene, a former state & local president of the NAACP, was the 1st black member of the Knoxville Board of Education & a delegate to the Republican National Convention.


A local school, Sarah Moore Greene Magnet Technology Academy, honored her every year on her birthday.


Ms. Greene was the daughter of a former slave & railroad cook born in 1910.  Her dad, Ike Moore, came to East Tennessee from Kentucky to help build railroads.


Ms. Greene, who kept her maiden name, Moore, in honor of her father, was a “life-long” Republican, the News-Sentinel tells us,“because her father’s owners were Republican” & because of Abraham Lincoln.


In 2008, Ms. Greene voted for Barack Obama.  She said:


“I didn’t think we’d ever have a black president.  I’d hoped we’ have one, but I didn’t believe.”


Ms. Greene majored in math at Tennessee A&I, now Tennessee State University, & began teaching at a one-room schoolhouse in Monroe County.


She came to Knoxville in the early 1930s & started her own kindergarten in the 1940s.


Sarah Moore Greene worked with city officials & business owners in the civil rights movement of the 1960s.


US Representative John J. Duncan, Jr. said:


“She had the ability to get along with people from all walks of life, both black & white.”


Even after the success of the movement, Ms. Greene said:


“I’d ask the Lord to change things, to change hearts, because even when we got integrated, they (white people) still treated us differently.”

 

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