Charles Curtis, America’s first mixed-race Veep

Kamala Harris is breaking barriers with her election to the Vice Presidency, however, she was not the first person of color to achieve that office.

Obscured along the decades, Charles Curtis, a United States Senator who was a one-eighth Native American member of the Kaw Nation of Kansas, was elected to serve as Vice President with President Herbert Hoover 92 years ago. They had been political rivals for the Republican nomination for the top spot, and when Hoover won the nomination, political fortunes moved Curtis to the second spot, even though they did not get on with each other and represented different wings of the party. They were elected in 1928.

Using the slogan “from Kaw tepee to Capitol,”  Curtis celebrated his rise from a childhood Kaw reservation, speaking Kansa before speaking English, to the center of white America’s political establishment. Beginning in the 1880s, Curtis worked his way up the political ladder, always emphasizing and celebrating his heritage. Continue reading “Charles Curtis, America’s first mixed-race Veep”

#BookBingoNW2020: History or alternate history

“Those who fail to learn from history are condemned to repeat it.” – Winston Churchill

One of the squares for adult bingo this year is History or Alternate History.   History is just one great big story told from different perspectives.  Also, since it’s so diverse the chances are high that you will find a story that you will enjoy. Here are a few that are available via ebook!

Chief Seattle and the Town That Took His Name: The Change of Worlds for the Native People and Settlers on Puget Sound  by David M.Buerge

An in-depth historical account of Chief Seattle, an advocate for peace and Native American rights, from the late 18th to mid-19th centuries.

The Queen: The Forgotten Life Behind An American Myth  by Josh Levin

Levin exposes the racist myth of the “welfare queen” through the life of Linda Taylor. “THE QUEEN tells, for the first time, the fascinating story of what was done to Linda Taylor, what she did to others, and what was done in her name.” (Little, Brown & Co) Continue reading “#BookBingoNW2020: History or alternate history”

Throwback Thursday: March 31, 2008

Seattle Reads, the arts, and gentrification was the topic in our Throwback Thursday post on March 31, 2008.

Image result for the beautiful things that heaven bears

If you have picked up this year’s Seattle Reads novel, The Beautiful Things that Heaven Bears by Dinaw Mengestu you’ve had a chance to get one novelist’s take on some of the issues and pressures that can fracture a community changing in the face of gentrification and immigration.

Facing similar issues, particularly those of gentrification pressures, local Capitol Hill artists, arts activists, neighbors and interested citizens are gathering at Seattle City Hall in April to discuss community concerns about rapidly diminishing affordable space for arts uses in the City’s core neighborhoods. Get details at:

Make Room for Art: Cultural Overlay Districts for Seattle
April 2, 5pm-6:30pm, Seattle City Hall

City Councilmembers will hear from Seattle residents, arts and entertainment venues and organizations, property owners, developers, and officials on how the Council might go about establishing an overlay district to offer incentives and controls in a specific area to encourage or preserve particular kinds of activities, spaces, and/or design. How can the city grow in a healthy balanced way that benefits all? This could be an exciting opportunity to add your voice as “A City Makes Herself.” Continue reading “Throwback Thursday: March 31, 2008”

The Apollo 11 Anniversary 1969-2019

What began as one small step for [a] man, is now one giant leap through half a century of the calendar of human history, as we commemorate the first landing on the moon, July 20, 1969.

With the anniversary comes books and other resources highlighting the landing, the astronauts, and the space race—which was an echo of the Cold War with the Soviet Union. After some early experiments in space, President Kennedy in 1961 set the mission for the nation, to land a person on the moon by the end of the sixties. This story had it all, great characters, drama, heroes and villains, pathos and tragedy, and finally triumph. Also, microwaves, Teflon, and the never ending development of technology that came about as offshoots of the space missions during that half century.

Some of the newer titles out for the anniversary year include the books American Moonshot: John F. Kennedy and the Great Space Race by Douglas Brinkley, Apollo’s Legacy: Perspectives on the Moon Landings by Roger Launius, and One Giant Leap: The Impossible Mission That Flew Us to the Moon by Charles Fishman.

DVDs include First Man (based on the book by James Hansen), and from director Todd Douglas Miller, Apollo 11. Continue reading “The Apollo 11 Anniversary 1969-2019”