US State Mount Rushmore: Part 10 – Virginia to Wyoming

Well, we’ve come to the last post in our series. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I have compiling it. I tried to do the best I could even though I might’ve copied and pasted from Wikipedia on some occasions. Well, on a lot of occasions. Well, anyway, in this final selection, I give you the Mount Rushmores I’ve arranged from Virginia to Wyoming. From Virginia we’ll meet 4 Founding Fathers consisting of 3 presidents and a Chief Justice of the Supreme Court. In Washington State we’ll meet a guy known for “Purple Haze,” an Indian you’d mistake for a major city, a famed stripper with a mom from hell, and a Japanese civil rights activist who tried and failed. From West Virginia we have a major early civil rights leader who was quite the manipulative bastard, an eccentric Confederate general, a lady who founded a major holiday, and a decorated lady war hero who’d put Audie Murphy to shame. In Wisconsin we’ll meet a witch hunting senator with a drinking problem, your great-grandpa’s Bernie Sanders, a guitarist whose influence is still felt in the music industry, and a controversial suffragette. Last but not least we come to Wyoming where we’ll get to know a famed artist who paints like a kindergartner, the first woman summoned for jury duty, a lady justice of the peace, and the first white guy to visit Yellowstone National Park.

 

46. Virginia

Who knew that a young man who started a major world war by bungling a diplomatic mission would eventually be seen as a father to his country? While it's said that George Washington couldn't tell a lie, in reality he had established his own spy ring during the American Revolution who used double agents during the Battle of Trenton and was an expert in misinformation.

Who knew that a young man who started a major world war by bungling a diplomatic mission would eventually be seen as a father to his country? While it’s said that George Washington couldn’t tell a lie, in reality he had established his own spy ring during the American Revolution who used double agents during the Battle of Trenton and was an expert in misinformation.

Figure 1: George Washington– First President of the United States from 1789-1797, Founding Father, Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, and presided over the convention that drafted the current US Constitution that during his lifetime was called the “father of his country.” Widely admired for his strong leadership qualities, he was unanimously elected president in the first two national elections. His administration oversaw the creation of a strong, well-financed national government that maintained neutrality in the French Revolutionary Wars, suppressed the Whiskey Rebellion, and won acceptance among Americans of all types. And his presidency established many precedents, still in use today, such as the cabinet system, the inaugural address, and the title Mr. President. His retirement after 2 terms also established a tradition that lasted until 1940 when FDR won an unprecedented 3rd term and later inspired the 22nd Amendment that now limits the president to 2 elected terms. Gained prominence at 22 as a senior officer in the Virginia militia when he bungled up a diplomatic mission on the banks of the Ohio that was way above his expertise (as well as possibly doomed from the start since it mostly consisted of him telling the French to get out) and accidentally started the French and Indian War, a major global conflict between the British and French over colonial possessions that lasted for 9 years. In 1775, he was commissioned as commander-in-chief of the Continental Army of the American Revolution. In that command, he forced the British out of Boston in 1776, but was defeated and nearly captured later that year when he lost New York City. After crossing the Delaware River in the middle of winter, he defeated the British in two battles (Trenton and Princeton), retook New Jersey and restored momentum to the Patriot cause. His strategy enabled Continental forces to capture two major British armies at Saratoga in 1777 and Yorktown in 1781. While lauded for his selection and supervision of his generals, preservation and command of the army, coordination with the Congress, with state governors and their militia, and attention to supplies, logistics, and training, he was repeatedly outmaneuvered by British generals with large armies. Resigned as commander-in-chief after victory was finalized in 1783. Presided over the Constitutional Convention in 1787 which devised a new form of federal government for the US. As president, he worked to unify rival factions in the fledgling nation. Supported Hamilton’s programs to satisfy all debts, federal and state, established a permanent seat of government, implemented an effective tax system, and created a national bank. Avoided war with Great Britain by securing the Jay Treaty in 1795 despite intense Jeffersonian opposition. Though supported Federalist policies, he remained nonpartisan. His Farewell Address was an influential primer on civic virtue, warning against partisanship, sectionalism, and involvement in foreign wars. His use of national authority pursued many ends, especially the preservation of liberty, reduction of regional tensions, and promotion of a spirit of American nationalism. Upon his death, he was eulogized by Henry Lee as “first in war, first in peace, and first in the hearts of his countrymen.” Revered in life as in death he is almost always consistently ranked among the top 3 presidents in American history.

"We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable Rights; that among these, are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness." - from the Declaration of Independence (1776)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with inherent and inalienable Rights; that among these, are Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness; that to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed; that whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the people to alter or abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles, and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness.” – from the Declaration of Independence (1776)

Figure 2: Thomas Jefferson– president from 1801-1809 who was a Founding Father known as the principal author of the Declaration of Independence as well as a proponent of democracy, republicanism, and individual rights, motivating American colonists to break from Great Britain and form a new nation. Produced formative documents and decisions at both the state and national level. Besides drafting the Declaration of Independence during the American Revolution, he drafted the law for religious freedom as a Virginia legislator and served as a wartime governor. Was US Minister to France in 1785 and served as the country’s first Secretary of State under George Washington. With Madison, he organized the Democratic-Republican Party to oppose the Federalist Party during the formation of the First Party System and anonymously wrote the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions in 1798–1799, which sought to embolden states’ rights in opposition to the national government by nullifying the Alien and Sedition Acts. As president, he pursued the nation’s shipping and trade interests against Barbary pirates and aggressive British trade policies. But the highlight of his administration was organizing the Louisiana Purchase which doubled the size of the US. Yet, he reduced the size of the military and began a controversial Indian removal process in the newly organized Louisiana Territory. Second term was beset with difficulties at home such as Aaron Burr’s trial and American trade being diminished with the Embargo Act as a response to British threats to US shipping. Yet, is ranked by historians as among the greatest US presidents. Was a renaissance man who mastered many disciplines which ranged from surveying and mathematics to horticulture and inventions. Proven architect in the classical tradition and designed his dream house Monticello. Besides English, was well versed in Latin, Greek, French, Italian, and Spanish. After his presidency, he founded the University of Virginia. Was a skilled writer and correspondent with his only full length book Notes on the State of Virginia being considered the most important American book before 1800 and more than 18,000 wrote letters of political and philosophical substance during his life.

Though only standing at 5'4" weighing around 100 pounds as well as being exceedingly shy and wearing black all the time, James Madison played such a pivotal role in drafting and promoting the U.S. Constitution that he's often credited as its primary author. As president, he also led the US through a major war without suspending civil liberties, attacking minorities, or expanding presidential powers. Considering how other wartime presidents handled conflicts, this is very impressive.

Though only standing at 5’4″ weighing around 100 lbs as well as being exceedingly shy and wearing black all the time, James Madison played such a pivotal role in drafting and promoting the U.S. Constitution that he’s often credited as its primary author. As president, he also led the US through a major war without suspending civil liberties, attacking minorities, or expanding presidential powers. Considering how other wartime presidents handled conflicts, this is very impressive.

Figure 3: James Madison– president from 1809-1817 who was a political theorist and statesman hailed as the “Father of the Constitution” and “Father of the Bill of Rights” for his pivotal roles in drafting and promoting the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights. Was one of the most active participants during the Constitutional Convention who spoke numerous times, convinced George Washington to attend and preside, kept a diary of the convention’s proceedings as well as came up with the Virginia Plan that included representation based on population and is seen as the US Constitution’s first draft. His role in drafting the US Constitution was so important, that he’s often credited as its primary author. After the Constitutional Convention, he became one of the leaders in the movement to ratify the Constitution both nationally and in Virginia. Collaboration with John Jay and Alexander Hamilton produced The Federalist Papers among the most important treatises in support of the Constitution. While he initially favored a strong national government during constitution deliberations, he later preferred stronger state governments, before settling between the two extremes late in his life. In 1789, he became a leader in the new House of Representatives, working closely with Washington, drafting many basic laws and is noted for drafting the first ten amendments to the Constitution thus, earning him the nickname “Father of the Bill of Rights.” Broke with the Federalist Party in 1791 to organize the Democratic-Republican Party with Jefferson as well as later drafted the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions arguing that states can nullify unconstitutional laws. As Jefferson’s Secretary of State, he supervised with the Louisiana Purchase and was a party in the Supreme Court case Marbury v. Madison. As president, he presided over renewed prosperity for several years. After failures of diplomatic protests and a trade embargo against Britain, he led the US into the War of 1812 which was an administrative morass, as the US had neither a strong army nor financial system. At one point, he and his wife Dolley had to flee the White House because the British torched the place along with the rest of Washington D. C. He afterward supported a stronger national government and a strong military, as well as the national bank, which he had long opposed. And his chief accomplishment after his presidency was preserving the Constitution and holding the nation together through the nation’s first major war without suspending civil liberties, attacking minorities, or expanding presidential powers, which is very impressive.  After his presidency and Jefferson’s death, he was appointed head of the University of Virginia, a position he held for 10 years until his death.

John Marshall may not have been the first Chief Supreme Court Justice but he's very much responsible for shaping the US Supreme Court and the judicial branch as it is today. His ruling on Marbury v. Madison established the process of judicial review. Why we don't talk about him more in schools I have no idea.

John Marshall may not have been the first Chief Supreme Court Justice but he’s very much responsible for shaping the US Supreme Court and the judicial branch as it is today. His ruling on Marbury v. Madison established the process of judicial review. Why we don’t talk about him more in schools I have no idea.

Figure 4: John Marshall– Chief Justice of the Supreme Court from 1801-1835 whose court opinions helped lay the basis for United States constitutional law and possibly the Supreme Court of the United States a coequal branch of government along with the legislative and executive branches. As longest-serving Chief Justice and the 4th longest-serving justice in U.S. Supreme Court history, he dominated the Court for over three decades and played a significant role in the development of the American legal system. Most notably, he reinforced the principle that federal courts are obligated to exercise judicial review in, by disregarding purported laws if they violate the constitution in Marbury v. Madison. Thus, he cemented the position of the American judiciary as an independent and influential branch of government. His court would go on to make several important decisions relating to federalism, affecting the balance of power between the federal government and the states during the early years of the republic, particularly repeatedly confirming the supremacy of federal law over state law, and supporting an expansive reading of the enumerated powers. Of course, some of his decisions were unpopular but he built up the third branch of the federal government, and augmented federal power in the name of the Constitution, and the rule of law. Through his actions he gave the US Supreme Court the energy, weight, and dignity of what many would say is a third co-equal branch of the U.S. government and brought to life the constitutional standards of the new nation. His influential rulings reshaped American government and made the Supreme Court the final arbiter of constitutional interpretation. Wrote a 5 volume biography of George Washington and defended the legal rights of corporations by tying them to individual rights of stockholders on property, which might’ve set some negative precedents down the line.

 

47. Washington

"Purple haze, all in my brain/Lately things just don't seem the same,/Acting funny, but I don't know why,/'Scuse me while I kiss the sky." - from "Purple Haze" (1967)

“Purple haze, all in my brain/Lately things just don’t seem the same,/Acting funny, but I don’t know why,/’Scuse me while I kiss the sky.” – from “Purple Haze” (1967)

Figure 1: Jimi Hendrix– rock guitarist, singer, and songwriter who, although his mainstream career only spanned 4 years, is widely recognized as one of the most influential electric guitarists in the history of popular music and one of the most celebrated musicians of the 20th century. Began playing guitar at 15, and served as a US Army paratrooper with an honorable discharge, he began playing gigs on the chitlin’ circuit which earned him a place in the the Isley Brothers’ backing band and later with Little Richard, with whom he continued to work through mid-1965. Was discovered by Linda Keith when he moved to London in late 1966. Within months, he achieved 3 top ten hits in the UK with the Jimi Hendrix Experience: “Hey Joe,” “Purple Haze,” and “The Wind Cries Mary.” Achieved fame in the US after his performance at the Monterey Pop Festival in 1967. As the world’s highest paid performer, he headlined the Woodstock Festival and the Isle of Wight Festival before his accidental death from barbiturate-related asphyxia at the age of 27. Inspired musically by American rock and roll and electric blues, he favored overdriven amplifiers with high volume and gain, and was instrumental in utilizing the previously undesirable sounds caused by guitar amplifier feedback. Helped popularizing the use of a wah-wah pedal in mainstream rock, and was the first artist to use stereophonic phasing effects in music recordings. Despite his hectic touring schedule and notorious perfectionism, was a prolific recording artist who left behind numerous unreleased recordings. Influence is evident in a variety of popular music formats, and has contributed significantly to the development of hard rock, heavy metal, funk, post-punk, and hip hop music.

Okay, maybe calling Gypsy Rose Lee a stripper is like calling Frank Sinatra a saloon singer, but her striptease routine made her one of the most theatrical entertainers of her time. Today, she's better known for the musical about her legendary stage mother from hell.

Okay, maybe calling Gypsy Rose Lee a stripper is like calling Frank Sinatra a saloon singer, but her striptease routine made her one of the most theatrical entertainers of her time. Today, she’s better known for the musical about her legendary stage mother from hell.

Figure 2: Gypsy Rose Lee– burlesque entertainer famous for her striptease act who was also an actress, author, and playwright whose 1957 memoir was made into the stage musical and film Gypsy. After a childhood of living with a definitive stage mother from hell and her better talented sister June Havoc, she soon discovered that she could make money in burlesque. Initially it’s said that her act was propelled forward when a shoulder strap on one of her gowns gave way which caused her dress to fall to her feet despite her efforts to cover herself. Encouraged by the audience’s response, she went on to make the trick the focus of her performance. Her innovations were an almost casual strip style compared to the herky-jerky styles of most burlesque strippers (she emphasized the “tease” in “striptease”), and brought a sharp sense of humor into her act as well. Became as famous for her onstage wit as for her strip style and was one of the biggest stars of Minsky’s Burlesque where she performed for 4 years and was frequently arrested in raids. During the Great Depression, she spoke at various union meetings in support of New York laborers and it’s said that her talks were among those that attracted the largest audiences. Made 5 films in Hollywood as Louise Hovick but her acting was generally panned so she returned to New York City. Viewed herself as a “high-class” stripper, and approved of H. L. Mencken’s term “ecdysiast”, which he coined as a more “dignified” way of referring to the profession. Authored a mystery thriller in 1941 called The G-String Murders and Mother Finds a Body in 1942. Supported of the Popular Front movement in the Spanish Civil War and raised money for charity to alleviate the suffering of Spanish children during the conflict.

Chief Seattle was a prominent figure among his people who pursued a path of accommodation to white settlers. However, we're not really sure what he said in that highly publicized speech.

Chief Seattle was a prominent figure among his people who pursued a path of accommodation to white settlers. However, we’re not really sure what he said in that highly publicized speech.

Figure 3: Chief Seattle– Duwamish chief who was a prominent figure among his people known for pursuing a path of accommodation to white settlers, forming a personal relationship with “Doc” Maynard. Has a widely publicized speech arguing in favor of ecological responsibility and respect of Native Americans’ land rights attributed to him but what he actually said has been lost through translation and rewriting. Earned his reputation as a leader and a warrior at a young age, ambushing and defeating groups of tribal enemy raiders coming up the Green River from the Cascade foothills, and attacking the Chimakum and the S’Klallam tribes living on the Olympic Peninsula. When his people were driven from their traditional clamming grounds, he met with “Doc” Maynard in Olympia where they formed a friendly relationship useful to them both. By persuading the settlers at the white settlement of Duwamps to rename their town Seattle, Maynard established their support for his people and negotiated relatively peaceful relations with the tribes.

Takuji Yamashita may not have been very successful in challenging unjust laws against Asians regarding citizenship, joining a profession, or owning land. But his arguments in front of the Washington State Supreme Court were certainly solid. It was only due to the judges' racism that he wasn't able to practice law or own property.

Takuji Yamashita may not have been very successful in challenging unjust laws against Asians regarding citizenship, joining a profession, or owning land. But his arguments in front of the Washington State Supreme Court were certainly solid. It was only due to the judges’ racism that he wasn’t able to practice law or own property.

Figure 4: Takuji Yamashita– civil rights campaigner who in spite of social and legal barriers, directly challenged three major barriers against Asians in the United States: citizenship, joining a profession, and owning land. Immigrated from Japan to the US as a child where though he graduated from Tacoma High School in 2 years, received a law degree at the University of Washington, and passed the state bar exam with distinction, couldn’t practice law due to his country of national origin. He appealed, but the State Supreme Court unanimously ruled him ineligible to be an American and unable to practice law. Entered legal waters again when he appealed an alien land law prohibiting Asians from owning property only for Washington’s attorney general maintaining that in order for Japanese people to fit in, their “marked physical characteristics” would have to be destroyed, that “the Negro, the Indian and the Chinaman” had already demonstrated assimilation was not possible for them. Though the US Supreme Court heard the case, it was denied. Later managed restaurants and hotels in Seattle and Bremerton and an oyster business in Silverdale until WWII where he and his wife were interned and lost everything they had. Returned to Japan in 1957 where he died less than 2 years later.

 

48. West Virginia

"In any country, regardless of what its laws say, wherever people act upon the idea that the disadvantage of one man is the good of another, there slavery exists. Wherever, in any country the whole people feel that the happiness of all is dependent upon the happiness of the weakest, there freedom exists."

“In any country, regardless of what its laws say, wherever people act upon the idea that the disadvantage of one man is the good of another, there slavery exists. Wherever, in any country the whole people feel that the happiness of all is dependent upon the happiness of the weakest, there freedom exists.”

Figure 1: Booker T. Washington– educator, author, orator, and advisor to presidents of the United States who was the dominant leader in the African-American community between 1890 and 1915. Was from the last generation of black American leaders born into slavery and became the leading voice of the former slaves and their descendants who were newly oppressed in the South by disenfranchisement and the Jim Crow discriminatory laws enacted in the post-Reconstruction Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Based was the Tuskegee Institute, he gave a speech, known as the “Atlanta compromise,” which brought him national fame. Called for black progress through education and entrepreneurship, rather than trying to challenge directly the Jim Crow segregation and the disenfranchisement of black voters in the South. Mobilized a nationwide coalition of middle-class blacks, church leaders, and white philanthropists and politicians, with a long-term goal of building the community’s economic strength and pride by a focus on self-help and schooling. Was challenged by black militants in the North, led by W. E. B. Du Bois who set up the NAACP in 1909 to work for political change as well as tried with limited success to challenge Washington’s political machine for leadership in the black community but also built wider networks among white allies in the North. Yet, he also secretly supported court challenges to segregation and passed on funds raised for this purpose. Mastered the nuances of the political arena in the late 19th century, which enabled him to manipulate the media, raise money, strategize, network, pressure, reward friends and distribute funds while punishing those who opposed his plans for uplifting blacks which earned him the nickname the “Wizard of Tuskegee.” His long-term goal was to end the disenfranchisement of the vast majority of African Americans, who still lived in the South. Historians are divided on whether to call him a visionary civil rights leader or a political boss.

Though Stonewall Jackson was kind of eccentric, he was nevertheless among the most formidable Confederate generals during the American Civil War. Shortly before his death due to friendly fire, Robert E. Lee once said of him, "You are better off than I am, for while you have lost your left, I have lost my right arm."

Though Stonewall Jackson was kind of eccentric, he was nevertheless among the most formidable Confederate generals during the American Civil War. Shortly before his death due to friendly fire, Robert E. Lee once said of him, “You are better off than I am, for while you have lost your left, I have lost my right arm.”

Figure 2: Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson– Confederate general during the American Civil War and the best-know Confederate commander after Robert E. Lee. Military career includes the Valley Campaign of 1862 and his service as a corps commander in the Army of Northern Virginia under Lee. His Valley Campaign and his envelopment of the Union Army’s right wing at Chancellorsville are studied worldwide, even today as examples of bold and innovative leadership. Excelled as well in other battles such as in the First Battle of Bull Run where he received his famous nickname “Stonewall,” the Second Battle of Bull Run, and the battles of Antietam and Fredericksburg. But he wasn’t a universally successful commander, however, as displayed by his late arrival and confused efforts during the Seven Days Battles around Richmond, in 1862. Was rather eccentric as well as a religious fanatic who disliked fighting on a Sunday but that didn’t stop him from doing so who also wrote tender letters to his wife. But that doesn’t stop military historians considering him to be one of the most gifted tactical commanders in US history. Unfortunately, during the Battle of Chancellorsville in 1863, Confederate pickets accidentally shot him which resulted in his arm being amputated and dying of pneumonia 8 days later. His loss was a severe setback for the Confederacy, not only affecting it’s military prospects but also the morale of its army and the general public. In death, he became of Southern heroism and commitment, and later a mainstay in the pantheon of the “Lost Cause.”

Though she never married or had children of her own, Anna Jarvis is widely seen as the founder of Mother's Day. Unfortunately for her, she didn't take commercialism into consideration.

Though she never married or had children of her own, Anna Jarvis is widely seen as the founder of Mother’s Day. Unfortunately for her, she didn’t take commercialism into consideration.

Figure 3: Anna Marie Jarvis– founder of Mother’s Day in the US. Inspired by her community organizer mother’s Sunday school prayer: “I hope and pray that someone, sometime, will found a memorial mothers day commemorating her for the matchless service she renders to humanity in every field of life. She is entitled to it.” 3 years after her mom died, she held a memorial ceremony to honor her mother and all mothers at her church which is today the International Mother’s Day Shrine marking the first Mother’s Day observance. In the ensuing years, she embarked upon a campaign to make “Mother’s Day” a recognized holiday, spending significant amount of time writing to countless business executives, church groups, and politicians at the state and national level to promote the commemorative day. She was so involved in the process that she quit her job to incorporate the Mother’s Day International Association (MDIA) in 1912 to encourage national and international recognition of the day. The soon holiday spread throughout every U.S. state and numerous foreign countries, including Canada, Mexico, China, Japan, and throughout South America and Africa. In 1914, her persistent efforts would pay off when President Wilson proclaimed Mother’s Day a national holiday. However, she wasn’t happy with how the day she saw as a sentimental holiday ended up falling to the excesses of commercialism which she should’ve foreseen.

In her nearly 30 year career as a US Army nurse, Colonel Ruby Bradley served in both WWII and Korea with great distinction whether it be surviving a Japanese prison camp or almost getting blown up. She is said to be the most decorated woman in military history.

In her nearly 30 year career as a US Army nurse, Colonel Ruby Bradley served in both WWII and Korea with great distinction whether it be surviving a Japanese prison camp or almost getting blown up. She is said to be the most decorated woman in military history.

Figure 4: Ruby Bradley– one of the most decorated women in US military history who entered the US Army Nurse Corps as a surgical nurse in 1934 and was serving at Camp John Hay in the Philippines when she was captured by the Japanese army 3 weeks after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Was moved to Santo Tomas Internment Camp in Manila in 1943 where she and several other imprisoned nurses earned the title “Angel of Fatigues” from fellow captives. For the next several months, she provided medical help to the prisoners and sought to feed starving children by shoving food into her pockets, often going hungry herself. As she lost weight, she used the room in her uniform for smuggling surgical equipment into the prisoner-of-war camp where she assisted in 230 operations and delivered 13 babies. Only weighed 86 lbs when Americans liberated her camp in 1945. Also served in the Korean War as Chief Nurse for the 171st Evacuation Hospital. During a 1950 Chinese counteroffensive, she refused to leave until she had loaded the sick and wounded onto a plane in Pyongyang while surrounded by 100,000 advancing Chinese soldiers and was able to jump aboard the plane just as her ambulance exploded from an enemy shell. The next year, she was named Chief Nurse for the 8th Army where she supervised over 500 Army nurses throughout Korea. Was promoted to colonel in 1958 and retired in 1963.

 

49. Wisconsin

Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy is perhaps one of the most insidious figures during the Cold War who ruined countless lives and careers through his accusations of Communism. When a a lawyer named Fred Fisher was among his targets, his employer Joseph N. Welch responded, "Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness… Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You've done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?"

Wisconsin Senator Joseph McCarthy is perhaps one of the most insidious figures during the Cold War who ruined countless lives and careers through his accusations of Communism. When a a lawyer named Fred Fisher was among his targets, his employer Joseph N. Welch responded, “Until this moment, Senator, I think I never really gauged your cruelty or your recklessness… Let us not assassinate this lad further, senator. You’ve done enough. Have you no sense of decency, sir? At long last, have you left no sense of decency?”

Figure 1: Joseph McCarthy– US Senator from Wisconsin who, in 1950 became the most visible public face of a period in which Cold War tensions fueled fears of widespread Communist subversion. Noted for making claims that there were large numbers of Communists and Soviet spies and sympathizers inside the United States federal government and elsewhere. However, his tactics and inability to substantiate his claims led him to be censured by the United States Senate. Name coined the term, “McCarthyism” in 1950 in reference to his practices, which was applied to similar anti-communism and witch hunt activities which ruined so many people’s lives. Today it’s more generally referred to demagogic, reckless, and unsubstantiated accusations, as well as public attacks on the character or patriotism of political opponents. But the term also works in his case since he used various charges of communism, communist sympathies, disloyalty, or homosexuality to attack a number of politicians and other individuals inside and outside of government. Fortunately, by 1954 with the highly publicized Army-McCarthy hearings, US Senator’s suicide, and Murrow making an ass out of him, his support and popularity faded and was censured by the US Senate, making him one of the few to be disciplined in this fashion. Remains a very controversial figure with his share of defenders. However, while most historians agree that while there was some degree of Soviet espionage in the US at the time, they believe that his actions ultimately harmed Anti-Communist efforts more than helped. Is always depicted in a negative light and deservedly so.

Though a Wisconsin politician, Robert La Follette had a national impact on the US political process by introducing the direct primary. Before he came along with his Wisconsin Idea, political candidates were usually selected by party bosses who usually ran the elections.

Though a Wisconsin politician, Robert La Follette had a national impact on the US political process by introducing the direct primary. Before he came along with his Wisconsin Idea, political candidates were usually selected by party bosses who usually ran the elections.

Figure 2: Robert LaFollette Sr.– politician who served as governor and US Senator Wisconsin as well as ran for president carrying his own state and winning 17% of the vote. But he’s best known for being the Bernie Sanders of his day who’s been called “arguably the most important and recognized leader of the opposition to the growing dominance of corporations over the Government” and is seen as one of the greatest politicians in US history. Was a proponent of progressivism and a vocal opponent of railroad trusts, bossism, WWI, and the League of Nations. Championed numerous progressive reforms, including the first workers’ compensation system, railroad rate reform, direct legislation, municipal home rule, open government, the minimum wage, non-partisan elections, the open primary system, direct election of U.S. Senators, women’s suffrage, child labor laws, social security, consumers’ rights, and progressive taxation. As governor, he created an atmosphere of close cooperation between the state government and the University of Wisconsin in the development of progressive policy, which became known as the Wisconsin Idea with policy goals including the recall, referendum, direct primary, and initiative which were aimed at giving citizens a more direct role in government. As US Senator, he opposed the prosecution of Eugene Debs and played a key role initiating the investigation of the Teapot Dome Scandal during the Harding administration. While a brilliant orator given to periodic bouts of “nerves, he made many enemies, particularly for his opposition to WWI and defense of free speech during war time. And a lot of his ideas were met with considerable opposition to some of his ideas, even within his Republican party. Published the ten-volume The Making of America.

Les Paul musical innovations have had a profound influence on the recording industry. Though more popularly known as creating an electric guitar and his career with then wife Mary Ford, he also experimented considerably with multitrack recording.

Les Paul musical innovations have had a profound influence on the recording industry. Though more popularly known as creating an electric guitar and his career with then wife Mary Ford, he also experimented considerably with multitrack recording.

Figure 3: Les Paul– jazz, country, and blues guitarists, songwriter, luthier, and inventor who’s best known as one of the pioneers of the solid-body electric guitar, which made the sound of rock and roll possible. Also credited with many recording innovations as his early experiments with overdubbing (also known as sound on sound), delay effects such as tape delay, phasing effects and multitrack recording were among the first to attract widespread attention. Innovative talents also extended to his playing style including licks, trills, chording sequences, fretting techniques and timing, which set him apart from his contemporaries and inspired many guitarists of the present day. In the 1950s, he recorded with his wife Mary Ford, selling millions of records. Is one of a handful of artists with a permanent, stand-alone exhibit in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame where he’s prominently named on its website as an “architect” and a “key inductee” along with Sam Phillips and Alan Freed. Only person inducted in both the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the National Inventors Hall of Fame.

"Everybody counts in applying democracy. And there will never be a true democracy until every responsible and law-abiding adult in it, without regard to race, sex, color or creed has his or her own inalienable and unpurchasable voice in government."

“Everybody counts in applying democracy. And there will never be a true democracy until every responsible and law-abiding adult in it, without regard to race, sex, color or creed has his or her own inalienable and unpurchasable voice in government.”

Figure 4: Carrie Chapman Catt– teacher, superintendent, and women’s suffrage leader who campaigned for the 19th Amendment as president of the National American Woman Suffrage Association where she increased the size of the organization and fundraised many dollars as well directed NAWSA to support the war effort during American entry in WWI which shifted the public’s perception of the suffragettes in their favor. Nevertheless, her tactics in order to achieve women’s suffrage weren’t without controversy since she sometimes appealed to the prejudices of the time. But some historians consider her stance on women’s rights to be representative to white women only as well find some of her arguments and remarks to be racist. Also founded the League of Women Voters and the International Alliance of Women. In 1933, she organized a protest committee of 9,000 non-Jewish women who sent a letter of protest to Adolf Hitler decrying acts of violence and restrictive laws against German Jews as well as pressured the US government to ease immigration restrictions to benefit more Jewish refugees. In 1940, she organized the Women’s Centennial Congress to celebrate the feminist movement in the US.

 

50. Wyoming

With his style of drip painting, Jackson Pollock one of the best known artists in the abstract expressionist movement. However, whether you'd call what he did art is entirely up to you.

With his style of drip painting, Jackson Pollock one of the best known artists in the abstract expressionist movement. However, whether you’d call what he did art is entirely up to you.

Figure 1: Jackson Pollock– influential American painter and a major figure in the abstract expressionist movement well known for his style of drip painting. A major artist of his generation, he enjoyed considerable fame and notoriety who was regarded as a recluse, had a volatile personality, and struggled with alcoholism for most of his life. His work has been subject of important critical debates on whether it should be considered art or something created by an adult man that could be easily copied by a 5-year-old.

Eliza Stewart Boyd was the first woman in the US to serve on a jury in 1870 Laramie, Wyoming. Nevertheless, I think this photo is unflattering but it's the only one of her I could find.

Eliza Stewart Boyd was the first woman in the US to serve on a jury in 1870 Laramie, Wyoming. Nevertheless, I think this photo is unflattering but it’s the only one of her I could find.

Figure 2: Eliza Stewart Boyd– teacher who became the first woman in America ever selected to serve on a jury when her name was drawn from a March 1870 voters’ roll to serve on a grand jury which was convened later that month in Laramie. After the grand jury was convened, 5 other women made history becoming the first women in the world to serve on a trial jury. This was made possible since Wyoming’s first territorial legislature granted women full equal political rights even though they still couldn’t vote for president when the territory achieved statehood. Would also be the first woman in Wyoming to be nominated to run for the Territorial legislature but she declined for unknown reasons.

Though she only served a term of 9 months in Wyoming's South Pass City, Esther Hobart Morris achieved distinction as the first American woman to be appointed justice of the peace. She would later have a role in the women's suffrage movement.

Though she only served a term of 9 months in Wyoming’s South Pass City, Esther Hobart Morris achieved distinction as the first American woman to be appointed justice of the peace. She would later have a role in the women’s suffrage movement.

Figure 3: Esther Hobart Morris– first US woman justice of the peace in 1870 in South Pass City, Wyoming where she was appointed to fill after the last guy resigned in protest over the then territory’s passage of the women’s suffrage amendment the previous December. Served a term of less than 9 months where she ruled on 27 cases during her more than eight months in office, including 9 criminal cases. And she held court over a place where men outnumbered women 4 to 1 as well as over a camp of miners, gamblers, speculators, business owners, prostitutes, and rounders. Is even said to have her own husband arrested. Though pointed as a leader of Wyoming’s suffrage amendment, her role in the legislation is disputed. However, it is clear she had strongly encouraged and influenced her town’s saloon owner and representative to Wyoming’s Constitutional Convention to introduce a women’s suffrage clause to its constitution. Nevertheless, in 1869, Wyoming became the first jurisdiction in the US to grant women the right to vote, which wasn’t granted to women nationally until 1920. After her term as justice of the peace, she’d be active in the women’s suffrage movement for the rest of her life and was seen as a Wyoming legend.

During the winter of 1807-1808, John Colter became the first known white person to step foot in what is now Yellowstone National Park. His escape from the Blackfeet Indians is said to make him a legend.

During the winter of 1807-1808, John Colter became the first known white person to step foot in what is now Yellowstone National Park. His escape from the Blackfeet Indians is said to make him a legend.

Figure 4: John Colter– member of the Louis and Clark Expedition who’s best remembered for explorations during the winter of 1807-08 where he became the first known white person to enter the region that became Yellowstone National Park and to see the Teton Mountain Range. Because he spent months alone in the wilderness, he’s widely considered to be the first mountain man and his escape from the Blackfeet Indians made him a legend. In 1810, he visited William Clark and provided details of his explorations since they last met. From this information, Clark would create a map which was the most comprehensive map produced of the exploration’s region for the next 75 years.

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