Martin Luther King, Jr.

"And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true.
So let freedom ring from the prodigious hilltops of New Hampshire.
Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snowcapped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California!
But not only that.
Let freedom ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia!
Let freedom ring from Lookout Mountain of Tennessee!
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi!
From every mountainside, let freedom ring!
And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring, when we let it ring from every village and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God's children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing, in the words of the old Negro spiritual, "Free at last! Free at last! Thank God Almighty! We are free at last!"
— Martin Luther King Jr.

John F. Kennedy

Just months before JFK was assassinated, he was actually in the midst of revising A Nation of Immigrants, a pamphlet he'd first written in 1958 as a junior senator (for the Anti-Defamation League's One Nation Library), into a book. It had in fact just been excerpted in the New York Times Magazine and would be posthumously published in 1964 (and republished in 2008 by the ADL). Ever a champion of fair immigration laws, JFK had not surprisingly been urging Congress to make reforms from the very outset of his presidency. His wish for such change would also be posthumous but would live on in the form of the hugely significant Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965.

Leo Frank

This year marks 102 years since Leo Frank's lynching, and the Klan's chilling, infamous declaration on Stone Mountain. Leo Frank was the Jewish manager of a pencil factory accused of raping and strangling 13 year-old employee Mary Phagan in 1913. Suspicion also fell on a black man, Jim Conley, the factory's janitor, but Frank was sentenced to life in prison and was soon after kidnapped from prison and lynched on August 17, 1915, in Marietta, GA by a mob of 25 prominent citizens calling themselves the Knights of Mary Phagan, including a former governor. Months later they renamed themselves the Knights of the Ku Klux Klan and many of the same men that killed Frank gathered at Stone Mountain on November 25, 1915, to declare it its 20th Century rebirth place by burning a 50-foot cross on top of the mountain while reading from the Bible.Leo Frank Historical Marker Frank was posthumously pardoned by the Georgia State Board of Pardons and Paroles on March 11, 1986, on the grounds he could not appeal his sentence and that the state did not protect him or bring his killers to justice. A witness also came forward in 1982 in a sort of deathbed confession to refute Jim Conley's original trial testimony, introducing reasonable doubt. The enduring mystery surrounding Mary Phagan's death and finding her killer almost reminds me of the Black Dahlia case.

Things I Like

Harriet Tubman The Road to Freedom
Mountains Beyond Mountains
Decatur Book Festival
Sound of Redemption: The Frank Morgan Story
Keeper of the Mountains, The Eliazbeth Hawley Story by Bernadette McDonald
Wild by Chery Strayed
West of the Revolution, An Uncommon History of 1776 by Claudio Saunt
Wanderlust by Rebecca Solnit
Thru: An Appalachian Trail Love Story by Richard Judy
interactive map
Banff Mountain Film and Book Festival
Center for Civil and Human Rights
The Himilayan Database
Bosch, Based on the best selling novels by Michael Connelly
The Waste Makers by Vance Packard
Deep Economy The Wealth of Communities and the Durable Future
The Class of '65: A Student, a Divided Town, and the Long Road to Forgiveness
Klandestine by Pate McMichael
Southern Poverty Law Center
Great White Fathers: The Story of the Obsessive Quest to Create Mount Rushmore
Tambora: The Eruption That Changed the World