1862-Horace Greeley’s “The Prayer of Twenty Millions” is published:

1862-Horace Greeley’s “The Prayer of Twenty Millions” is published:

New York Tribune editor Horace Greeley publishes a passionate editorial calling on President Abraham Lincoln to declare emancipation for all slaves in Union-held territory. Greeley’s blistering words voiced the impatience of many Northern abolitionists; but unbeknownst to Greeley and the public, Lincoln was already moving in the direction of emancipation.

In 1841, Greeley launched the Tribune, a newspaper to promote his reform ideas. He advocated temperance, westward expansion, and the labor movement, and opposed capital punishment and land monopoly. Greeley served a brief stint in the U.S. House of Representatives, and he introduced legislation that eventually became the Homestead Act of 1862.

Greeley was most passionate in his opposition to slavery, and was an important organizer of the Republican Party in 1854. When the war erupted, Greeley, along with many abolitionists, argued vociferously for a war policy constructed on the eradication of slavery. President Lincoln did not outwardly share these sentiments. For the war’s first year and a half, Lincoln was reluctant to alienate the border states of MissouriKentuckyMaryland, and Delaware, which practiced slavery but had not seceded.

In his editorial, “The Prayer of Twenty Millions,” Greeley focused on Lincoln’s reluctance to enforce the Confiscation Acts of 1861 and 1862. Congress had approved the appropriation of Confederate property, including slaves, as a war measure, but many generals were reluctant to enforce the acts, as was the Lincoln administration. Greeley argued that it was “preposterous and futile” to try to put down the rebellion without destroying slavery. The “Union cause,” he wrote, “has suffered from a mistaken deference to Rebel slavery.”

Although he did not admit it publicly at that time, Lincoln was planning to emancipate slaves. He did so a month later with his preliminary Emancipation Proclamation.

Record-setting tow-truck parade held in Washington State:

Record-setting tow-truck parade held in Washington State:

On August 20, 2004, 83 tow trucks roll through the streets of Wenatchee, Washington, in an event arranged by the Washington Tow Truck Association (WTTA). “The Guinness Book of World Records” dubbed it the world’s largest parade of tow trucks.

According to the International Towing and Recovery Hall of Fame and Museum in Chattanooga, Tennessee, the first tow truck was the invention of a Chattanooga native named Ernest Holmes, who helped his friend retrieve his Model T Ford after the car slid into a creek. Holmes had previously assembled a system consisting of three poles, a pulley and a chain, all connected to the frame of a 1913 Cadillac. Holmes soon patented his invention, and began manufacturing the equipment to sell to garages and other interested customers out of a small shop on Chattanooga’s Market Street. The Holmes brand went on to earn an international reputation for quality in the towing industry.

The WTTA organized the August 2004 tow-truck parade as part of its annual Tow Show & Road-E-O event. Wenatchee’s tow-truck world record came under assault from at least two quarters in 2008. In Hampton Beach, New Hampshire, that May 18, more than 250 tow trucks took part in a single-file parade organized by the New Hampshire Towing Association (NHTA). According to an article in The Hampton Union newspaper, all kinds of trucks–“Flatbeds, wheel-hook tow trucks, massive, 72-ton big-rig wreckers”–participated in the parade, which was followed by a driving skills competition and a tow-truck “beauty” contest. Rene Fortin, president of the NHTA, said that his organization had unofficially broken Wenatchee’s record in 2005 with a parade of 235 trucks, but as the parade didn’t fit Guinness’ long list of requirements, it hadn’t been accepted. World records aside, Fortin told The Hampton Union, the central goal of the parade was to revamp the image of the towing industry: “People don’t often like towers, so this is our chance to show our good side.”

On September 20, 2008, the Metropolitan New York Towing Association threw its own hat into the ring. Two hundred and ninety-two tow trucks, including flatbeds, wreckers and 50-ton rotators, left Shea Stadium in Queens (previously the home of the New York Mets, the baseball park has since been demolished to make way for the Mets’ new Citi Field) and traveled along the Van Wyck Expressway and the Belt Parkway before ending up at an abandoned airport tarmac at Floyd Bennett Field in Brooklyn. There, the trucks parked in a formation that spelled out the words “New York.”

First around-the-world telegram sent, 66 years before Voyager II launch:

First around-the-world telegram sent, 66 years before Voyager II launch:

On this day in 1911, a dispatcher in the New York Times office sends the first telegram around the world via commercial service. Exactly 66 years later, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) sends a different kind of message–a phonograph record containing information about Earth for extraterrestrial beings–shooting into space aboard the unmanned spacecraft Voyager II.

The Times decided to send its 1911 telegram in order to determine how fast a commercial message could be sent around the world by telegraph cable. The message, reading simply “This message sent around the world,” left the dispatch room on the 17th floor of the Times building in New York at 7 p.m. on August 20. After it traveled more than 28,000 miles, being relayed by 16 different operators, through San Francisco, the Philippines, Hong Kong, Saigon, Singapore, Bombay, Malta, Lisbon and the Azores–among other locations–the reply was received by the same operator 16.5 minutes later. It was the fastest time achieved by a commercial cablegram since the opening of the Pacific cable in 1900 by the Commercial Cable Company.

On August 20, 1977, a NASA rocket launched Voyager II, an unmanned 1,820-pound spacecraft, from Cape Canaveral, Florida. It was the first of two such crafts to be launched that year on a “Grand Tour” of the outer planets, organized to coincide with a rare alignment of Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus and Neptune. Aboard Voyager II was a 12-inch copper phonograph record called “Sounds of Earth.” Intended as a kind of introductory time capsule, the record included greetings in 60 languages and scientific information about Earth and the human race, along with classical, jazz and rock ‘n’ roll music, nature sounds like thunder and surf, and recorded messages from President Jimmy Carter and other world leaders.

The brainchild of astronomer Carl Sagan, the record was sent with Voyager II and its twin craft, Voyager I–launched just two weeks later–in the faint hope that it might one day be discovered by extraterrestrial creatures. The record was sealed in an aluminum jacket that would keep it intact for 1 billion years, along with instructions on how to play the record, with a cartridge and needle provided.

More importantly, the two Voyager crafts were designed to explore the outer solar system and send information and photographs of the distant planets to Earth. Over the next 12 years, the mission proved a smashing success. After both crafts flew by Jupiter and Saturn, Voyager I went flying off towards the solar system’s edge while Voyager II visited Uranus, Neptune and finally Pluto in 1990 before sailing off to join its twin in the outer solar system.

Thanks to the Voyager program, NASA scientists gained a wealth of information about the outer planets, including close-up photographs of Saturn’s seven rings; evidence of active geysers and volcanoes exploding on some of the four planets’ 22 moons; winds of more than 1,500 mph on Neptune; and measurements of the magnetic fields on Uranus and Neptune. The two crafts are expected to continue sending data until 2020, or until their plutonium-based power sources run out. After that, they will continue to sail on through the galaxy for millions of years to come, barring some unexpected collision.

John Quincy Adams on Efficiency vs. Effectiveness, the Proper Aim of Ambition, and His Daily Routine – Brain Pickings

John Quincy Adams on Efficiency vs. Effectiveness, the Proper Aim of Ambition, and His Daily Routine – Brain Pickings

“The spark from Heaven is given to few — It is not to be obtained by intreaty or by toil.”

Source: John Quincy Adams on Efficiency vs. Effectiveness, the Proper Aim of Ambition, and His Daily Routine – Brain Pickings

When undocumented immigrants get hurt on the job, some insurers choose turning them over treating them:

When undocumented immigrants get hurt on the job, some insurers choose turning them over treating them:

When undocumented immigrants get hurt on the job, some insurers choose turning them over treating them Juvenal Dominguez Quino has lived in the U.S. for 19 years, working as a construction worker. When he sprained his knee in a trench collapse, he sought treatment through workers comp — something even those in the country illegally are entitled to in Florida. But the insurer insisted that Quino needed a Social Security number to receive care. The fake one the insurer knew he provided was used to deny his claim and to try to have Quino kicked out of the country.

It saved the insurer $19,000.