With no Saints to honor this Tuesday, we note that on this date in 1954 the United States Supreme Court handed down a unanimous decision in Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, and that on this date in 1976 (forty-one ago, back when a web site was where the spiders hung out) I graduated from Salmen High School in Slidell, Louisiana (Go Spartans!). Today is also the birthday of my Aunt Diane in Connecticut and of one of my co-workers at the casino, Tracey, who works on the day shift at the casino (1969).
For much of the ninety years preceding the Brown case, race relations in the United States had been dominated by racial segregation. This policy had been endorsed in 1896 by the United States Supreme Court case of Plessy v. Ferguson, which held that as long as the separate facilities for the separate races were “equal,” segregation did not violate the Fourteenth Amendment (“no State shall… deny to any person… the equal protection of the laws.”). The plaintiffs in Brown asserted that this system of racial separation, while masquerading as providing separate but equal treatment of both white and black Americans, instead perpetuated inferior accommodations, services, and treatment for black Americans. The decision of the Supreme Court was that segregation of students in public schools violated the Equal Protection Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment, because separate facilities are inherently unequal, and that the District Court of Kansas decision in the case was thus reversed. It is frequently thought that Brown was the first legal challenge to racially segregated schools in the United States. In fact, it was the eleventh case to challenge the 1879 Kansas law (which permitted (but did not require) districts to maintain separate elementary school facilities for black and white students in twelve communities with populations over 15,000), and the third case from Topeka. While there were high-profile objections to school desegregation (notably by Senator Harry F. Byrd, Sr. in Virginia, and by George F. Wallace in Alabama), there were no disturbances when the public schools were desegregated in Topeka, Kansas. I was quite ignorant when I graduated from high school on this date in 1976 (forty-one ago, in my transition lens glasses and long hair) of any of the details of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas, I only knew that we did indeed have black kids in our class (though we didn’t much associate with them), that our class song was ”Theme to Mahogany” (which we had to sing during the graduation ceremony in the gym; the girls were to sing soprano, which is far beyond my extraordinarily modest vocal skills, then and now), and that the party I went to afterwards consisted mostly of people standing around drinking beer, which was pretty boring. My high school was damaged so heavily by Hurricane Katrina in 2005 that they tore down what the hurricane left and put up a whole new school; I do hope that the school band has a better building now than they did while I was playing clarinet in the band (the Band Building was a portable building out back, and impossible to get into (or out of) during heavy rains). And I have never yet been to one of my high school reunions; I feel I would be out of place, since I don’t smoke, I don’t dream of living in a double-wide, and I am still with my first husband. Today is also the birthday of my Aunt Diane in Connecticut and of my co-worker at the casino, Tracey (1969).
Last night our #6 LSU Tigers in their last home College Baseball game of the regular season beat the Northwestern State Demons by the score of 9 to 3.
I woke up at 9:00 am and started the Weekly Computer Maintenance; I also posted to Facebook that today was the Anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka, Kansas (1954) and the anniversary of my high school graduation (1976). I then did my Book Devotional Reading. I then read the morning paper and ate a cantaloupe (with salt and pepper, of course). I did my Internet Devotional Reading, and I got a call from Lele, which I put on speakerphone so that Richard could talk, that mutual cousins are coming in on Memorial Day weekend. I finished the Weekly Computer Maintenance and started the Weekly Virus Scan.
Richard and I left the house at 12:15 pm, and our first stop was the bank, to deposit to our checking account a check Richard had written off of Butch’s account to reimburse us for the TV and other expenses. We ate dinner at D.C.’s Sports Bar and Steakhouse, then Richard went to Champagne’s and got me a sufficiency of Diet Coke. Our final stop was at the library, so that Richard could get some legal-sized documents copied.
We arrived home at 1:45 pm, and we watched MST3K Episode 103 The Mad Monster (he actually wasn’t mad, just turned into a vicious dog-man by the evil mad scientist) With short: Radar Men from the Moon, Part 2: “Molten Terror”. I then went to the computer and worked on Advance Daily Update Drafts. I took a break to watch Jeopardy!, after which we watched MST3K Episode 104 Women of the Prehistoric Planet (which had to do with people marooned on a planet, and the rescue mission eighteen years later; no prehistoric women). I then returned to the computer to do Advance Daily Update Drafts for this weblog, and Richard went to bed at 8:00 pm. When I finish this Daily Update I will go watch another MST3K episode, then read before going to bed.
Tomorrow is the Optional Memorial of Saint John I, Pope and Martyr (died 526). I will iron my casino pants, apron, and shirts, and get my salad supplies before making my lunch salads for Friday and Sunday. Our #6 LSU Tigers (36-17, 18-9) will play their last Away games as they start a three-game College Baseball series with the #13 Mississippi State Bulldogs (34-19, 17-10).
Our Parting Quote this on this Tuesday evening comes to us from Margaret Dunning, American businesswoman and philanthropist. Born in 1910 in Redford, Michigan, she spent her first thirteen years on a dairy and potato farm owned by her father, located at the corner of Plymouth and Telegraph roads in Redford Township, Michigan, and developed a lifelong interest in tinkering with old cars. The 156-acre farm had been purchased by her grandparents, who were original settlers in the area. When her father died in 1923, Margaret and her mother moved into Redford and later to the village of Plymouth. Her mother purchased property in the village and built the home where they resided. Dunning attended the country school where her father was a student, and was then sent to Dana Hall, a private school in Wellesley, Massachusetts. She returned to Plymouth in 1927 and graduated from the local high school in 1929. She attended the University of Michigan for two years, but had to drop out due to the Depression, and then studied at the Hamilton Business School in Ypsilanti. In the early 1930s Dunning briefly worked making voltage regulators at the Phoenix Mill Ford plant in Plymouth, a Ford Village Industries plant that employed only women. She worked as a bank teller and assistant cashier for the First National Bank of Plymouth between 1935 and 1940. During that time, she was among the victims of a bank robbery. The bank robber, Willard Long, was eventually caught in East St. Louis, Illinois, and extradited back to Michigan. After the First National Bank, she went to work at the Plymouth United Savings Bank for several years. Dunning’s largest impact on the Plymouth community was in her volunteer and charitable endeavors that began in 1942. From 1942 to 1945 Dunning served as a volunteer in the local American Red Cross motor pool, driving a truck. In 1947 Dunning and her mother purchased a property and building to house the Plymouth branch of the Wayne County Library System. Because of their generosity, the city renamed the branch the Dunning Branch. Also in 1947 Dunning purchased Goldstein’s Apparel on Main Street in Plymouth and renamed the store Dunning’s. In 1950 she moved Dunning’s Department Store to Forest Avenue in downtown Plymouth, about two blocks away. She sold Dunning’s in 1968 to Minerva Chaiken, and the store became known as Minerva-Dunning’s. Dunning served on the board of the Community Federal Credit Union in Plymouth from 1962 to 1984 and was president of the board for nineteen of those years. The assets of the credit union increased from $1 million and one office to $40 million and six offices during Dunning’s tenure on the board. She served on other local boards, including the Board of Directors of the Dunning Branch of the Wayne County Library. Dunning was a permanent member of the Plymouth Historical Society’s Board of Directors. In 1971 when the Plymouth Historical Society was looking for money to build a new museum building, Dunning stepped forward and donated in excess of $100,000. That donation allowed for the construction of a 15,000-square-foot building to house the historical artifacts of the community. Dunning was in the first group of 16 individuals inducted into the Plymouth Hall of Fame, sponsored by the Plymouth Kiwanis Club, on August 11th, 1980. In 1985 she donated a restored 1906 Ford Model N to the Gilmore Car Museum at Hickory Corners, Michigan. She also donated a 1930 Cadillac convertible to the museum. Dunning still drove one of her cars in the annual Woodward Dream Cruise in Detroit each August up into her centenarian years. The Community Federal Credit Union in Plymouth established the Margaret Dunning Scholarship Fund in 1989 in her honor for her contributions to the Plymouth community. In 1997 Dunning established the Margaret Dunning Foundation as a private grantmaking foundation, which also gives occasional grants to the Plymouth Historical Museum.In 1998 the Plymouth Historical Society purchased a sizeable collection of Abraham Lincoln memorabilia from Dr. Weldon Petz. By this time the museum was at capacity and had nowhere to store or exhibit the new collection. Again Dunning stepped forward, this time with a $1 million donation to add an additional 9,800 square feet to the museum building on two floors. In 1912, at the age of 102, feeling a need to complete whatever she had begun in life, she applied to the University of Michigan (Ann Arbor) hoping to complete her bachelor’s degree in business. Dunning was accepted, and subsequently was awarded a 100% tuition scholarship, provided to her by the Fram Group (which also provided her with free car care products for the remainder of her life) (died 2015): “There’s a beautiful world, so take advantage of it. Of all the beautiful people and the inventions and things, enjoy them and participate in them.”