July 27th: The 60th Anniversary of the Korean War Armistice

Truman's Memo at the Shapell Manuscript Foundation
Truman’s Memo at the Shapell Manuscript Foundation

Today, July 27th, is the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice. The Shapell Manuscript Foundation’s Between the Lines features a handwritten letter from President Harry Truman to his Secretary of State. The Between the Lines piece, entitled An Historic Memo: Truman Salutes Secretary of State Acheson’s Crucial Role in Going to War With Korea, explains how Truman’s memo to Dean Acheson reflects the very beginning of the Cold War conflict.

Regarding June 24 and 25 – Your initiative in immediately calling the Security Council of the UN on Saturday night and notifying me was the key to what developed afterwards,”  Truman wrote. “Had you not acted promptly in that direction, we would have had to go into Korea alone. The meeting Sunday night at the Blair House was the result of your action Saturday and the results obtained show that you are a great Secretary of State and a diplomat. Your handling of the situation since has been superb.”

The Foundation explains: “But the victory hoped for, prayed for, so seemingly at hand, did not take place. Taejon, after two days of ferocious fighting, was a cruel defeat. The American commander was captured; the shattered remnants of the Twenty-Fourth were forced to retreat. Truman later said that sending troops to fight in Korea was the most difficult decision of his presidency: Acheson, this handwritten memo attests, was the person who made that decision possible.”

traducción español

Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum Prepares New Exhibit

Later this month, the Liberty Hyde Bailey Museum of South Haven, Michigan will launch its new photo exhibit of the works of ‘America’s Father of Modern Horticulture.’

Liberty Hyde Bailey, Jr. was born in South Haven in 1858. After graduating from the Michigan Agricultural College, now Michigan State University, Bailey became the assistant of Asa Gray, the famous botanist. He later moved to Ithaca with his wife and two daughters, where he founded the College of Agriculture and was elected an Associate Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. President Theodore Roosevelt later appointed Bailey chairman of the National Commission on Country Life.

According to Wikipedia, Bailey “represented an agrarianism that stood in the tradition of Thomas Jefferson, he had a vision of suffusing all higher education, including horticulture, with a spirit of public work and integrating ‘expert knowledge’ into a broader context of democratic community action.”

“Most people don’t know, but should know, the name Liberty Hyde Bailey,” said museum director Mr. John Stempien. “He was an environmentalist, author, teacher, poet and photographer. This exhibit gives us a window into the true American whose vision is timeless.”

The LHBM exhibit will feature more than twenty works by the cofounder of the American Society for Horticultural Science, including studies on plant life, family portraits, the Bailey estate and much more, all from the museum’s assortment of 100 glass-plate negatives. The exhibition will also feature archival materials such as documents, artifacts and books from the family’s library.

The museum is part of the Blue Star Museums project, allowing active-duty military and their families free admission to the exhibits.


‘Living Wax Museum’ Teaches Third-Graders History

A few days ago, third graders from the Coronado Village Elementary School participated in an annual ‘living wax museum’ in their school cafeteria.

The event aims to introduce children to important historical figures in a fun, creative, and personal way. The children learn about Martin Luther King Jr., Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci and many others by dressing up and presenting their characters to an audience.

“The wax museum project has been going on for longer than I’ve been teaching here,” explained third-grade teacher Heather Schumacher. “The kids pick a historical figure that they want to learn more about and they spend several weeks researching the, creating a speech, and they pretend to be that person.”

In other words, the children are the ‘wax’ exhibit, dressed up and standing next to a detailed timeline and table display. Students and visiting parents walk through the stands, where they press fake buttons to prompt the ‘wax figures’ to begin their speeches.

Some of the participating students include Jazlynn Puga, 9, Steven Stein, Deja Rascoe and Stephonn Blue. Puga chose to portray Mother Teresa.

“I want to be like my mom. She helps kids that don’t have a home or they don’t have their family,” Puga explained. Her mother added that she works to instill appreciation and support amongst Jazlynn and her two sisters, Jazmine and Jackelyn.

Steven Stein chose Leonardo da Vinci.

“I chose him because I’ve seen him in many video games, and I thought it would be interesting to see what he was like in real life,” he said. He worked hard on his costume, and even delivered his speech in a heavy Italian accent.

Would-be 200th Birthday for Bunsen Burner Creator

Had he still have been alive today, Bunsen Burner creator Robert Bunsen, would have been celebrating his 200th birthday today. This event was marked by a particularly cool Google doodle, beautifully incorporating the creation. But the problem is, if you look at the real details of the Bunsen Burner and Mr. Bunsen’s life, you could be somewhat disappointed since it appears that it wasn’t actually Robert Wilhelm Bunsen who invented the piece of equipment! He did improve on the original creation which is said to have been developed by his assistant Peter Desaga who was asked by Mr. Bunsen to develop a prototype. It was the assistant who was the mechanic.

Some time later the two together designed a hot, soot-less, non-luminous flame by mixing the gas with air in a “controlled fashion.” Still, at the end of the day it is Robert Bunsen who will be remembered for designing the Bunsen burner, whether he did technically or not. And perhaps even more significantly, Mr. Bunsen made far great contributions to the chemistry field that he won’t be remembered for (including arsenic compounds, elemental spectroscopy, galvanic battery and organic chemistry).

NOAA Exploration at the Bottom of Lake Huron

Summer makes me think of water. Water makes me think of the ocean, and the ocean is just begging to be explored. So what is new these days in deep sea exploration? Well for one thing, not all of it is taking place in the sea. From August 16-27 2010 a team from NOAA, (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration) conducted a hunt for shipwrecks in Lake Huron, one of the Great Lakes in the Northern Midwestern section of the United States. Joining NOAA was the Applied Research lab at the University of Texas at Austin.  They will be using an advanced sonar device which will be fitted onto a REMUS 600 autonomous underwater vehicle.

The exploration took place at Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, which was created in 2000 in order to protect what is considered to be one of America’s most significant collections of shipwrecks. Because of the cold, fresh water of the lake, the wrecks are in a particularly excellent state of preservation, making them a true treasure for archeologists and historians. Visit the website and explore the bottom of the lake with the NOAA.