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the work of history

older | 1 | .... | 50 | 51 | (Page 52)

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    June 5, 1981: The CDC Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report identifies strange cases of pneumonia in gay men in Los Angeles, later recognized as the first report of the AIDS crisis.

    First there were five: Each of the men were in their late twenties to thirties, three of them “previously healthy,” and each had come down with what the CDC said was Pneumocystis pneumonia, caused by Pneumocystis carinii. This was odd. “You only got Pneumocystis when something had kicked the bottom out of your natural immunities,” wrote Randy Shilts in And The Band Played On, the definitive chronicle of the public health crisis that unraveled over the next decades.

    Something had been lurking in the gay communities of cities from Los Angeles to San Francisco to New York. Diseases like toxoplasmosis, Kaposi’s sarcoma, and infections via cytomegalovirus and P. carinii, were felling perfectly healthy adults, as if they had suddenly become long-suffering cancer patients. Doctors had observed these seemingly disparate cases for years and, though these men had one thing in common - that is, that they were gay - a few observations of pneumonia or cancer could not be deemed an epidemic. Before the disease was named or its virus identified, it was speculated that this might be something environmental or ‘lifestyle’ related, like tainted poppers.

    Michael S. Gottlieb, a young immunologist at UCLA, and Wayne Shandera, a CDC field investigator based in Los Angeles, had been studying such cases. In April 1981 Gottlieb had phoned Shandera to discuss his patients, these gay men suffering from pneumonia, and they agreed—not on what it was, exactly, but that it was odd.

    These patients “in some fashion… were immunosuppressed,” Shandera observed, but what he observed made him think not of young men in their physical primes but “of cancer patients… children with lymphocytic leukemia,” and even “starvation victims after World War II.”

    The doctors decided that these findings and their explosive potential were too pressing to put through a lengthy academic peer review process. They turned instead to the CDC’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, which was not a formal academic journal but a quick, time-sensitive digest. Later that year Gottlieb would publish an official article in The New England Journal of Medicine; for now, the imperative was to get the word out. 

    The MMWR was widely distributed throughout the American medical community—whatever vital update appeared in the latest issue was immediately discussed across the country by doctors, researchers, hospitals, health departments, public health policymakers. 

    In the June 5, 1981 issue, under “Epidemiological Notes and Reports,” and following a dispatch about Dengue fever in Caribbean tourists, a brief and unsensational bulletin appeared. The title dryly read “Pneumocystis Pneumonia — Los Angeles.”

    Between October 1980 and May 1981, the MMWR reported, “five men aged 29-36 had been “treated for biopsy-confirmed Pneumocystis carinii pneumonia at 3 different hospitals in Los Angeles, California.” Two of the men had died. The report noted briefly that all of the men were “active homosexuals,” but also that none of them knew each other or any of the same people. The report did not speculate on what any of this meant. It was the first official inscription in the timeline of the AIDS crisis.

    The relationship between the medical establishment and a gay community emerging, for the first time, from secrecy and shame, remained complicated. The CDC did not want to report the potential outbreak as a “gay epidemic,” for fear of both alienating the communities and of stoking prejudice and hysteria against them. Shandera insisted that he knew that “the Centers for Disease Control, because it was infecting gay men, put [the report] on the second page of MMWR.”

    This tentative first report alerted the wider medical community to this mysterious outbreak. The CDC quickly assembled a task force, always aware of, accounting for, and constrained by the fact that the new Reagan administration had vowed to dramatically carve up the federal budget. 

    Researchers first called the disease GRID (gay-related immune deficiency), and by 1982 it was, alternatively, AID (acquired immunodeficiency disease). In 1982 a presidential spokesperson responded to a journalist’s inquiry (“…does the President have any reaction to the announcement – the Center for Disease Control in Atlanta, that AIDS is now an epidemic and [has] over 600 cases?”) that, to his knowledge, no one in the White House knew about an AIDS epidemic. Between June 1 and September 1982, the CDC received reports of nearly 600 cases of what, by late 1982, it officially referred to as AIDS.


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    Charles Sheeler
    “Criss-Crossed Conveyors, River Rouge Plant, Ford Motor Company,” 1927
    “Ford Plant, River Rouge, Blast Furnace and Dust Catcher,” 1927
    “Bleeder Stacks, Ford Plant, Detroit,” 1927


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    Kareem Abdul-Jabbar attends his college graduation, UCLA, Los Angeles, 1969


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    Solange Brand
    Datong temple, Shanxi Province, China, 1966


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    From El Malcriado: “The Voice of the Farm Worker” No. 46, October 7, 1966

    UCSD Libraries


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    "Filipino strikers shout 'Mag Labas Cayo, Cabayen' ("Come out of there, countrymen') to imported strikebreakers"


    "Early in the struggle, strike leader Epifanio Camacho leads an informal group of pickets in a lively dialog with scabs"




    "Strikers challenge workers to join them. In this picture, they are shaming scabs by using the Mexican flag, one of many non-violent methods. The girl is Gonzala Zavala of Delano."


    "...Two strikers, members of the Farm Workers Theatre, act out a picket line scene. This is one of the many 'side effects' of the strike... a potent educational weapon."


    "The flags of the U.S., of Mexico, and of the Farm Workers Association converge ion this unusual photo. Most of these pictures were taken by George Ballis ofFresno."







    George Ballis & other photographers

    Images from the first hundred days of the Delano grape strike, 1965-1966

    Scanned from Huelga!: The First Hundred Days of the Great Delano Grape Strike, Eugene Nelson. I came across this copy of the book the other day—a second of six editions that the UFW’s Farm Worker Press printed in 1966-1969. It was one of the first major photojournalistic accounts of the strike, if not the very first. At that time, you could mail-order copies out of El Malcriado, the UFW’s independent paper, for $1.50 each.

    “Other cars pass, then a grower’s truck whose driver seems to peer at us in disbelief. We spot some of our own cars, going out to pre-arranged locations, and exchange greetings: ‘Huelga! Huelga!’ It also means ‘Hello.’ And we feel less alone in the cold darkness.”


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    "Filipino strikers shout 'Mag Labas Cayo, Cabayen' ("Come out of there, countrymen') to imported strikebreakers"


    "Early in the struggle, strike leader Epifanio Camacho leads an informal group of pickets in a lively dialog with scabs"




    "Strikers challenge workers to join them. In this picture, they are shaming scabs by using the Mexican flag, one of many non-violent methods. The girl is Gonzala Zavala of Delano."


    "...Two strikers, members of the Farm Workers Theatre, act out a picket line scene. This is one of the many 'side effects' of the strike... a potent educational weapon."


    "The flags of the U.S., of Mexico, and of the Farm Workers Association converge ion this unusual photo. Most of these pictures were taken by George Ballis ofFresno."







    unhistorical:

    George Ballis & other photographers

    Images from the first hundred days of the Delano grape strike, 1965-1966

    Scanned from Huelga!: The First Hundred Days of the Great Delano Grape Strike, Eugene Nelson. I came across this copy of the book the other day—a second of six editions that the UFW’s Farm Worker Press printed in 1966-1969. It was one of the first major photojournalistic accounts of the strike, if not the very first. At that time, you could mail-order copies out of El Malcriado, the UFW’s independent paper, for $1.50 each.

    “Other cars pass, then a grower’s truck whose driver seems to peer at us in disbelief. We spot some of our own cars, going out to pre-arranged locations, and exchange greetings: ‘Huelga! Huelga!’ It also means ‘Hello.’ And we feel less alone in the cold darkness.”


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    Support for Tree of Life Synagogue:

    tikkunolamorgtfo:

    If you’re able, please donate. 

    *It’s customary in Judaism to make donations in multiples of 18 as to bless the recipient(s) with good health and long life (the numerical value of the Hebrew word “chai” which means “life”), but by all means, just give what you can. 


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    “The events set down here did happen. But on rereading this reportage, my memory becomes alive to the other things, which were not reported. That they were not reported was… largely because there was a huge gassy thing called the War Effort… The rules, some imposed and some self-imposed, are amusing twenty years later. I shall try to remember a few of them. There were no cowards in the American Army, and of all the brave men the private in the infantry was the bravest and noblest. The reason for this in terms of the War Effort is obvious. The infantry private had the dirtiest, weariest, least rewarding job in the whole war. In addition to being dangerous and dirty, a great many of the things he had to do were stupid. He must therefore be reassured that these things he knew to be stupid were actually necessary and wise, and that he was a hero for doing them. Of course no one even casually inspected the fact that the infantry private had no choice. If he exercised a choice, he was either executed immediately or sent to prison for life.”

    - “Introduction,” Once There Was a War, John Steinbeck. Steinbeck is here discussing the de facto‘rules’ of war correspondence during World War II.

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    @ anybody reading this, hi and thanks for following. Especially if you’ve been following this blog since I made it, which was sometime in 2011. I don’t update it as much as I did back then, but I love sharing with you all as much as ever. I was 15 when I started this blog. It’s played such a huge part in my academic & personal & professional development. I’ve since graduated from high school and college, and I was just thinking about how it’s crazy this blog has been up that entire time. It’s even come up in some job interviews. So thank you for your support :) And for helping me get a job lol. 


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    Scanned from The Vietnam Photo Book, Mark Jury, 1971

    Black Americans became increasingly bitter over their role in Vietnam as more and more brothers were drafted and sent to Southeast Asia. The idea of waging war on the Vietnamese people didn’t sit well with them, and they knew that if they did live through their year in ‘Nam, they still had to fight for their own freedom when they returned to the States. The military ignored the resentment until the infamous Long Binh stockade revolt, in which the brothers took over part of the stockade and GIs were killed and wounded in the melee. Then there was an incident at Da Nang’s China Beach that almost resulted in a shoot-out with automatic weapons. 

    Overnight, the military started to get with it. Afros were ‘in’ from then on, as were Black Power bracelets, short-timer sticks with a clenched fist, and more soul music in the clubs. But the brothers still stayed by themselves and were just as bitter about fighting a ‘white man’s war.’

    The most common ‘Black is Beautiful’ display, after the Afro haircut, was the ‘dap’ – an intricate exercise of hand slapping, shaking, and gripping done by two brothers or sympathetic whites when they met. The military said, ‘The dap is O.K.’  and enterprising brothers expanded it to a loud, attention-getting performance. For many of the ‘old Army’ sergeants, black as well as white, watching the black Americans go through their rituals was devastating. 


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    Garry Winogrand
    Las Vegas/Los Angeles, 1957-1969


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    William Henry Jackson
    “Mammoth Hot Springs, Gardiner’s River, Montana,” 1871
    “White Mountain Hot Springs,” 1871
    “Grand Canyon of the Colorado River,” 1883


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    Alfred Lawrence
    African American musicians with violins, banjos, guitars, and mandolins, somewhere in Kansas, c. 1890-1919

    Kansas Historical Society


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    World War I, July 28 1914 – November 11, 1918

    Epitaphs of the Great War

    Also on twitter: @WWInscriptions


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    January 18, 1871: Wilhelm I is proclaimed German Emperor.

    Ten days before the fall of France to German forces and seven months into the Franco-Prussian War, William Frederick Louis of the House of Hohenzollern, then king of Prussia, was proclaimed emperor of the new unified German Empire, which succeeded the kingdoms of Prussia, Bavaria, and Württemberg, the duchies of Baden and Hesse, the North German Confederation, and the annexed (previously French-held) territory of Alsace-Lorraine. The new German Empire was a federation of twenty-seven states, the largest of which was Prussia, and its emperor’s full titles were:

    His Imperial and Royal Majesty William the First, by the Grace of God, German Emperor and King of Prussia; Margrave of Brandenburg, Burgrave of Nuremberg, Count of Hohenzollern; sovereign and supreme Duke ofSilesia and of the County of Glatz; Grand Duke of the Lower Rhine and of Posen; Duke of Saxony, of Westphalia, of Angria, of Pomerania, Lunenburg, Holstein and Schleswig, of Magdeburg, of Bremen, of Guelders,Cleves, Jülich and Berg, Duke of the Wends and the Kassubes, of Crossen, Lauenburg and Mecklenburg; Landgrave of Hesse and Thuringia; Margrave of Upper and Lower Lusatia; Prince of Orange; Prince of Rügen, of East Friesland, of Paderborn and Pyrmont, of Halberstadt, Münster, Minden, Osnabrück, Hildesheim, of Verden, Cammin, Fulda, Nassau and Moers; Princely Count of Henneberg; Count of Mark, of Ravensberg, of Hohenstein, Tecklenburg and Lingen, of Mansfeld, Sigmaringen and Veringen; Lord of Frankfurt.

    His title was notably “German Emperor” and not “Emperor of Germany”, though he preferred the latter.

    The German Empire was officially established in the Hall of Mirrors of the Palace of Versailles, the same location where, nearly half a century later, the Treaty of Versailles would dismantle the empire, to be replaced by the Weimar Republic. 


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    Erich Hartmann/Magnum Photos







    Rachel Carson
    May 27, 1907 – April 14, 1964

    The spiral shells of other snails—these quite minute—left winding tracks on the mud as they moved about in search of food. They were born shells, and when I saw them I had a nostalgic moment when I wished I might see what Audubon saw, a century and more ago. For such little horn shells were the food of the flamingo, once so numerous on this coast, and when I half closed my eyes I could almost imagine a flock of these magnificent flame birds feeding in that cove, filling it with their color. It was a mere yesterday in the life of the earth that they were there; in nature, time and space are relative matters.

    The Edge of the Sea, Rachel Carson.

    With these surface waters, through a series of delicately adjusted, interlocking relationship, the life of all parts of the sea is linked. What happens to a diatom in the upper, sunlit strata of the sea may well determine what happens to a cod lying on a ledge of some rocky canyon a hundred fathoms below, or to a bed of multicolored, gorgeously plumed seaworms carpeting an underlying shoal. or to a prawn creeping over the soft oozes of the sea floor in the blackness of mile-deep water.

    The Sea Around Us, Rachel Carson.

    An experience like that, when one’s thoughts are released to roam through the lonely spaces of the universe, can be shared… even if you don’t know the name of a single star. You can still drink in the beauty, and think and wonder at the meaning of what you see.

    The Sense of Wonder, Rachel Carson.

    The winds, the sea, and the moving tides are what they are. If there is wonder and beauty and majesty in them, science will discover these qualities. If they are not there, science cannot create them. If there is poetry in my book about the sea, it is not because I deliberately put it there, but because no one could write truthfully about the sea and leave out the poetry.

    Under the Sea Wind, Rachel Carson.

    Saint Rachel, “the nun of nature, ” as she is called, is frequently invoked in the name of one environmental cause or another, but few know much about her life and work. “People think she came out of nowhere to deliver this Jeremiad of ‘Silent Spring, ’ but she had three massive best sellers about the sea before that, ” McKibben says. “She was Jacques Cousteau before there was Jacques Cousteau.” …. Carson believed that people would protect only what they loved, so she worked to establish a “sense of wonder” about nature… to articulate sophisticated ideas about the inner workings of largely unseen things. 

    “She wanted us to understand that we were just a blip, ” says Linda Lear, author of Carson’s definitive biography, “Witness for Nature.” “The control of nature was an arrogant idea, and Carson was against human arrogance.”… “Silent Spring” was more than a study of the effects of synthetic pesticides; it was an indictment of the late 1950s. Humans, Carson argued, should not seek to dominate nature through chemistry, in the name of progress.

    “How ‘Silent Spring’ Ignited the Environmental Movement”


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