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Although it's exact date of origin is unknown, April Fools Day may have started as long ago as April 1, 1582, when France changed from the Julian to Gregorian calendar, an action that purportedly led to the "poisson d'avail" -- the ritual of placing fish on another's back as a symbol of gullibility. In the 1700s, the Scots hunted the "gowk" or cuckoo bird, playfully sending people on silly or fake errands or tasks, while ...
On March 25th, 1911 fire broke out in the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory located on the eighth through tenth floors of the Asch building, currently the the landmarked Brown Building of Science, on Washington Place. It was one of the worst industrial fires in our local history -- a tragedy that caused 146 innocent deaths, mostly of women....
Spring EquinoxIn splendours of the forest brightly burningCrouches the tiger of the winter storm.Who made the lamb announced in his returningTerror and beauty in this sculptured form.Forever may the human heart be proudOf the great Architect, nor fear at all.From the tall, ruined columns of the cloudRumours of music down the tree tops fall.In golden light the tiger of the snow
On March 13th, 1928, American artist, writer, and journalist Gwendolyn Bennett spoke briefly before the NAACP in Philadelphia on the importance of appreciation by African Americans for African art, as well of the work of representatives in the field of modern art. Miss Bennett hoped that we'd cultivate "the viewpoint of looking at art from the creative genius exhibited by the producer." She refe...
A remarkable student is often inspired by a remarkable teacher. While Helen Keller was the first deaf-blind person to receive a Bachelor of Arts degree (and one from Radcliffe College in 1904), she maintained a life-long friendship with her first teacher, Anne Sullivan -- a relationship which is described in Keller's autobiography,
Did you know that a few years back Teachers College hosted a curated tour of alumna Alma Woodsey Thomas’ exhibition at Studio Museum in Harlem? Alma Thomas (September 22, 1891 – February 24, 1978) was an African-American Expressionist painter and art educator known for her colorful abstr...
She looks up from the dinner table, starring me straight in the eyes, passionately to remark, "My generation is going to pay for the mistakes made by yours!" Sadly I know that my sixteen-year old daughter not only feels the gravity of the situation, but she is right. With champions like
"Maycomb was an old town, but it was a tired old town when I first knew it. In rainy weather the streets turned to red slop . . . [s]omehow it was hotter then . . . bony mules hitched to Hoover carts flicked flies in the sweltering shade of the live oaks on the square. Men’s stiff collars wilted by nine in the morning. Ladies bathed before noon, after their three-o’clock naps, and by nightfall...
Fittingly dressed as one's biography, it is another day to present to the grammar school classroom. Though this time, it is Albert Einstein, Abraham Lincoln, and Jackie Robinson who file somewhat in a rush through the doors, while Charles Darwin saunters in like a Galapagos tortoise -- worthy, wise, and measured. The...
It is February and as Black History Month commences, we draw attention to the ratification of the Fifteenth Amendment to Constitution of the United States. The third and last of the Reconstruction Amendments, the Fifteenth Amendment prohibits the federal government and each state from denying a citizen the right to vote "on acc...