Sunday, February 28, 2010

Remembering a great Historian after 3 years

This morning I decided to wake up at a good time and fix up my bookshelf with all of my presidential books. At the end of the fixing up, I notice one of the book had an author whom I got to know since I was a kid due to my father introduce him to me cause my dad gave me his copy of his book that he had when he was my age. The author was Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

Arthur Meier Schlesinger Jr. or Arthur Bancroft Schlesinger (October 15, 1917 – February 28, 2007), was a Pulitzer Prize recipient and American historian and social critic whose work explored the liberalism of American political leaders including Franklin D. Roosevelt, John F. Kennedy, and Robert F. Kennedy. I was an avid reader of this individual books and when I got the privilege to buy books on my own behalf lol, I was always looked for this man's books cause this man was an important author and a role model for me to be a future historian. His first Pulitzer prizewinning book, "The Age of Jackson", in 1945 and on which I have a copy of it in my collection of presidential books. From 1946-1954 he was an Associate Professor at Harvard, becoming a full professor in 1954. In 1952, Schlesinger became the primary speechwriter and ardent supporter of Illinois Governor Adlai E. Stevenson for President of the United States. In 1956 he served on Stevenson's campaign staff (along with 26-year-old Robert Kennedy) and supported the nomination of Senator John F. Kennedy (D-Massachusetts) as Stevenson's vice-president, which eventually went to Senator Estes Kefauver. Schlesinger had known John Kennedy since attending Harvard and increasingly socialized with Kennedy and his wife in the 1950s. Kennedy had also protested against Schlesinger being falsely accused as a "Harvard Communist" by reporter John Fox in 1954. During the 1960 campaign Schlesinger supported Kennedy, causing much consternation to Stevenson loyalists. At the time, however, Kennedy was an active candidate while Stevenson refused to run unless he was drafted by the Democratic National Convention. After Kennedy won the nomination, Schlesinger helped the campaign as a (sometime) speechwriter, speaker, and member of the ADA. He also wrote the book Kennedy or Nixon: Does It Make Any Difference? in which he lauded Kennedy's abilities and scorned Vice-President Richard Nixon as having "no ideas, only methods...He cares about winning." As a prominent Democrat and historian, Schlesinger maintained a very active social life. His wide circle of friends and associates included politicians, actors, writers and artists spanning several decades. Among his friends and associates were President John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy, and Edward M. Kennedy, Adlai E. Stevenson, Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, Steve and Jean Kennedy Smith, Ethel Kennedy, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Jr., Alice Roosevelt Longworth, Hubert Humphrey, Henry Kissinger, Kurt Vonnegut, Norman Mailer, and Katherine Graham, Leonard Bernstein, President Lyndon Johnson, Nelson Rockefeller, Lauren Bacall, George McGovern, Robert McNamara, Jack Valenti, William Moyers, Al Gore, President Bill Clinton and Hillary Rodham Clinton. After President Kennedy was assassinated on November 22, 1963, Schlesinger resigned his position in January 1964. He wrote a memoir/history of the Kennedy Administration called A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House, which won him his second Pulitzer in 1965. He continued to be a Kennedy loyalist for the rest of his life, campaigning for Robert Kennedy's tragic presidential campaign in 1968 and for Senator Edward M. Kennedy in 1980. Upon the request of Robert Kennedy's widow, Ethel Kennedy, he wrote the biography Robert Kennedy And His Times. Throughout the 1960s and 1970s, he greatly criticized Richard Nixon as both a candidate and president. His outspoken disdain of Nixon and prominent status as a liberal Democrat led to his placement on the "master list" of Nixon's Enemies List. Ironically, Nixon would become his next-door neighbor in the years following the Watergate scandal. He retired from teaching in 1994 but remained involved in politics for the rest of his life through his books and public speaking tours. On this day in 2007, Mr. Schlesinger died on February 28, 2007, at the age of 89. According to The New York Times he experienced cardiac arrest while dining out with family members in Manhattan. The newspapers have dubbed him a "historian of power." As a future historian, I was a big admirer of this individual and sadden he had to go by that's life as usual. I remember watching something why do people study history and saw this on their website once: Why study history? "History, by putting crisis in perspective, supplies the antidote to every generation's illusion that its own problems are uniquely oppressive." Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. “We study history so that we can understand our own place in the world. We study history so that we can understand the world around us. We study history so that we can deal with this world as wise men and women and not mere pawns of those who do understand the world. We study history so that we will interact with the world as full human beings instead of as animals who merely react or as vegetables who merely are acted upon.The study of history, and all of the social sciences, and philosophy are essential if we are to be a part of society, a citizen of the nation and of the world, a full human being.We study history so that we will be wise and not foolish, so that we will be knowledgeable and not ignorant. We study history so that we can fully understand what it means to be human regardless of time or place.We study “this stuff” because we are human beings and “this stuff” is our story. This is where we determine what we are. The “stuff” that we use to make money (physics, math, biology, law, medicine) are all important but physics, math, biology, law, medicine and money do not define us. History defines us. Why do we have to study history? Because we are human beings – that’s why.” Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr:Sir, it has been a major honor to read your historical books. You were one of my favorite presidential historians, thanks for the wonderful books that you have written and enlighten me to become a presidential historian myself, remembering you 3 years later, may you rest in peace! In conclusion, I thought to give out a list of his published works:1939 Orestes A. Brownson: A Pilgrim's Progress 1945 The Age of Jackson 1949 The Vital Center: The Politics of Freedom 1950 What About Communism? 1951 The General and the President, and the Future of American Foreign Policy 1957 The Crisis of the Old Order: 1919-1933 (The Age of Roosevelt, Vol. I) 1958 The Coming of the New Deal: 1933-1935 (The Age of Roosevelt, Vol. II) 1960 The Politics of Upheaval: 1935-1936 (The Age of Roosevelt, Vol. III) 1960 Kennedy or Nixon: Does It Make Any Difference? 1963 The Politics of Hope 1963 Paths of American Thought (ed. with Morton White) 1965 A Thousand Days: John F. Kennedy in the White House 1965 The MacArthur Controversy and American Foreign Policy 1967 Bitter Heritage: Vietnam and American Democracy, 1941-1966 1967 Congress and the Presidency: Their Role in Modern Times 1968 Violence: America in the Sixties 1969 The Crisis of Confidence: Ideas, Power, and Violence in America 1970 The Origins of the Cold War 1973 The Imperial Presidency — reissued in 1989 (with epilogue) & 2004 1978 Robert Kennedy and His Times 1983 Creativity in Statecraft 1986 Cycles of American History 1988 JFK Remembered 1988 War and the Constitution: Abraham Lincoln and Franklin D. Roosevelt 1990 Is the Cold War Over? 1991 The Disuniting of America: Reflections on a Multicultural Society 2000 A Life in the 20th Century, Innocent Beginnings, 1917-1950 2004 War and the American Presidency 2007 Journals 1952-2000.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Lest We Forget 2/26/1993

SO LEST WE FORGET BOTH FEBRUARY 26, 1993 & SEPTEMBER 11, 2001!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Every year on September 11, people come to Lower Manhattan and pay respect for those who lost their lives on that tragic day in 2001. There is also another day that people should come to Lower Manhattan and pay respect for those who lost their lives also on this day in history.

Here is what it looked like under the WTC after 1993

The 1993 World Trade Center bombing occurred on February 26, 1993, when a car bomb was detonated below the North Tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The 1,500 lb (680 kg) urea nitrate–hydrogen gas enhanced device was intended to knock the North Tower (Tower One) into the South Tower (Tower Two), bringing both towers down and killing thousands of people. It failed to do so, but did kill six people and injured 1,042.
The attack was planned by a group of conspirators.

Twelve minutes later, at 12:17:37 pm, the bomb exploded in the underground garage, generating an estimated pressure of 150,000 psi.

The bomb opened a 30-m (98 ft) wide hole through four sublevels of concrete. The detonation velocity of this bomb was about 15,000 ft/s (4.5 km/s).
The bomb instantly cut off the center's main electrical power line, knocking out the emergency lighting system. The bomb caused smoke to rise up to the 93rd floor of both towers, including through the stairwells which were not pressurized.

With thick smoke filling the stairwells, evacuation was difficult for building occupants and led to many smoke inhalation injuries. Hundreds were trapped in elevators in the towers when the power was cut, including a group of 17 kindergartners, on their way down from the South Tower observation deck, who were trapped between the 35th and 36th floors for five hours.

Also as a result of the loss of electricity most of New York City's radio and television stations lost their over-the-air broadcast signal for almost a week, with television stations only being able to broadcast via cable and satellite via a microwave hookup between the stations and three of the New York area's largest cable companies, Cablevision, Comcast, and Time Warner Cable. Telephone service for much of Lower Manhattan was also disrupted.
Altogether, six people were killed and 1,042 others were injured, most during the evacuation that followed the blast.

The towers did not collapse, according to Yousef's plan, but the explosion did damage the garage badly. Nevertheless, had the van been parked closer to the WTC's poured concrete foundations, Yousef's plan might have succeeded. There was an conspirator later stated that the original plan was to attack the United Nations headquarters earlier in the morning.

12:18 p.m.
The World Trade Center is attacked for the first time when terrorists detonate 1,500 pounds of explosives in a van parked in the underground public lot of the WTC, two levels below the southern wall of the North Tower. The attack kills six people, including a pregnant woman, injures more than a thousand, creates a five-story crater beneath the towers, and results in hundreds of millions of dollars in damage. Less than a month later, the WTC opens again for business and a yearlong, $250 million recovery plan commences.
The first terrorist attack on the World Trade Center took the lives of four Port Authority employees, as well as an employee of Windows on the World and a visitor to the WTC. We remember them now, and always.
Robert Kirkpatrick
Stephen Knapp
William Macko
Monica Rodriguez Smith and her unborn child
Wilfredo Mercado (Windows on the World)
John DiGiovanni. (Visitor to the WTC)
The memorial that commemorated their lives was destroyed on September 11, 2001. During the rescue and recovery effort, Port Authority police discovered a fragment of the original memorial. It will become part of the permanent collection of the new National September 11 Memorial & Museum.

Response to 1993 World Trade Center bombing muted The US had been hit for the first time by Islamist terrorists on February 26, 1993. Six people had been killed and more than 1,000 injured when a truck bomb exploded in the parking garage of the World Trade Center in NYC. Only later did authorities learn that the bombers had intended to level both of the twin towers. Bill’s reaction at the time had been muted, as his administration viewed the incident as a law-enforcement matter rather than an act of war. By spring, 1995, four Arab Islamist conspirators had been convicted, and the FBI had linked the attack to the al-Qaeda terror network. Still, when Mike Wallace noted in the 60 Minutes interview that “it cost the World Trade Center bomber. $4,000 for all of what was involved” and asked what the administration proposed to do about “terror on the cheap,” Bill mentioned only that he would “try to get the legal support we need to move against terrorism.”

President Clinton not only successfully prosecuted this act, he did so without forcing Orwellian laws on the American people. The World Trade Center (WTC) bombing of 1993 has long since been overshadowed by the attack that brought the twin towers down on September 11, 2001. Yet, at the time it occurred, the attack loomed as large on the American landscape as the towers themselves once did on the Manhattan skyline. The attack killed six people and injured more than a thousand, the first casualties from foreign terrorists on U.S. soil. American authorities identified at least eight perpetrators, but questions remain as to the ultimate cause of the attack.The attack and its aftermath. At 12:18 p.m. on Friday, February 26, 1993, an explosion rocked the second level of the parking basement beneath Trade Tower One. The explosive material, as investigators would later determine, was somewhere between 1,200 and 1,500 pounds (544–680 kg) of urea nitrate, a homemade fertilizer-based explosive.The blast ripped open a crater 150 feet (46 m) in diameter and five floors deep, rupturing sewer and water mains and cutting off electricity. Over the hours that followed, more than 50,000 people were evacuated from the Trade Center complex. A stunned nation soon grasped a fact larger than the incident itself: foreign-sponsored terrorism—which had long plagued Western Europe and parts of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia—had come to the United States.

After the 1993 World Trade Center bombing and other terrorist incidents, "The United States government, then President Clinton, did not respond. Bin Laden declared war on us. We didn't hear it.

The former mayor of New York City accused former President Bill Clinton of being weak on terrorism. In a speech at the Pat Robertson founded Regent University Rudy said, “Islamic terrorists killed more than 500 Americans before Sept. 11. Many people think the first attack on America was on Sept. 11, 2001. It was not. It was in 1993.” He then accused Bill Clinton of emboldening al-Qaeda to stage other attacks, because he did not respond militarily. “The United States government, then President Clinton, did not respond,” Giuliani said. “(Osama) bin Laden declared war on us. We didn’t hear it.”

I was 11 years old when this event occurred and I do remember it very well cause that morning changed my life in a minute. I woke up from a cold sweat and I told my parents something is going to happen to lower Manhattan and they didn't believe me but when it happen they were truly surprised on what happen. My mom believed that the Almighty Father gave me a gift like this to have the power to project something that in the future. We will never know again. So people if you remember September 11, 2001, please also remember this day in history also, cause you never know what will happen in the future of this nation!

Thursday, February 25, 2010

One of the best professors of Saint Thomas Aquinas College

Dr. Robert C. Schelin: the man & the legend of Saint Thomas Aquinas College

Myself with Dr. Robert Schelin, this is the man who is my mentor and hero, this man taught me alot of history and I attend his retirement brunch, after 32 years of teaching, Dr Schelin is retiring! He is one of the great professors that I had and it was a honor to be his student!
Maybe it was a grandparent, or a teacher, or a colleague. Someone older, patient and wise, who understood you when you were young and searching, helped you see the world as a more profound place, gave you sound advice to help you make your way through it.
For myself, that person was Dr. Robert C Schelin, he was my college professor who taught a lot of the history classes on which I truly enjoyed like the American Presidency or the Civil War or the History of Russia or American Politics. To me, I took all of his classes cause I felt a major connection between student and professor in the world of college.

In my second semester of freshman year of college at Saint Thomas Aquinas College, I was part of the history club. We decided on going a trip to Hyde Park, New York in Duchess County. I knew it was the home and presidential site and library of President Franklin Delano Roosevelt. One of my favorite presidents and heroes in the Democratic party. When I got to the school van, I know notice this man sitting on the bench waiting near the history department and I said to myself who is this guy waiting for. When I got into the van, I notice he did too, I asked the president of the history who is that man and she told me that is man is a legend here at STAC. She told me that his name is Dr. Robert Schelin.

Dr. Robert C. Schelin joined the Faculty of St. Thomas Aquinas College in 1977 and currently is Professor of Social Sciences. Serving previously as Dean of Student Affairs, Dr. Schelin holds both the B.A. and M.A. degrees from the State University of New York at Oswego and the Ph.D. from the State University of New York at Binghamton.
His teaching and research interests focus on the American Presidency and his expertise is widely known throughout the area where he is an invited lecturer for many civic organizations.

Dr. Schelin was sitting in the back of the van, so I decided to sit near him and introduce myself to him just in case if I have for a class or see him around campus. Well I did, I told him that I was a big fan of American History especially Presidential history. He asked me to tell him some interesting facts about Franklin Delano Roosevelt due to we are going to his home and presidential library. I told Doc about several facts and he told me that he was truly impressed with the knowledge. I believe that small interaction between Doc Schelin and myself became a close bond between professor and student. When we got to the library and were allowed to do anything for while, I decided to take some outside pictures of the place and I was truly impressed with the grounds and historical significance.

When it was time to go inside the library, the guide asked each of us on which part of the library do we want to check out, when it was my turn I asked if I can see some of FDR's own personal hand written letters or speeches especially about the one about December 7, 1941 aka Pearl Harbor Day. The guide told me that I was not the only one who suggested that speech. He told me that President George Walker Bush came just recently to the library like 4 days before ago to look at the same speech to realize the similar situation occurred between December 7, 1941 and September 11, 2001. He also told me that your professor, Dr. Robert Schelin also wanted to look at that speech. Another key bond between us two.

When we went to the archives and I was truly blown away on how much there was in the archives. This area of the library had truly impressed me a lot due to I am in the presence of the man and myth's own handwriting. Sadly though I could not take any pictures in this area due to the archival significance. When the archivist asked who was the one who asked to see the speech about Pearl Harbor, I told her I was the one and she told me to be very calm with it and take good care of it and look at it careful. When I was looking at these simple sheets of paper with the handwriting of Franklin Delano Roosevelt talking that infamy day, it truly amazed me on how similar it was to witness when September 11, 2001 occurred. After our trip ended at FDR's library, Dr. Schelin offered me something and I still treasure to this day, he told me that he wants me in all of his classes. I told I will do that. So for the next 3 semesters in sophmore, junior and senior of college, I always signed up to take one or 2 of his classes.

I truly impressed with his knowledge and he was impressed with mine. I truly learned alot from him and wrote alot of notes in his classes on which I still use today in my tutoring or any other way that is possible. In my senior year of college, during the 2nd semester I was abit sadden that I took all of his classes and there were nomore classes with him but he came to me before the winter recess and told me that he would be honored if I can write a senior thesis about anything with history and he will be the one who will graded it. I told I will do it. My senior thesis was the significance towards the War of 1812 or America's second war of independence. I got an A plus on the paper and also other papers within his classes, I got mostly As cause he was impressed with my knowledge.

On May 13, 2005 I graduated from Saint Thomas Aquinas college , I majored in history with a minor in theology. After the graduation, I met up with my parents and sister to take some pictures with them and tell me how proud they were on this high achievement. Before leaving the campus I asked my parents if we can find some of the professors and friends of mine to take some pictures also, they said sure.

The last professor whom I wanted my parents wanted to met was Dr. Schelin. Dr. Schelin told my parents that I was truly an impressive student and one of the best that he ever had in his classes. My parents were truly thankful for those wonderful and generous words from this one man. After graduation I keep in touch with my mentor but I said I wish I can to see him again, ask the bigger questions that still haunt me, receive wisdom for my busy life today instead of when I was younger.

I was abit worried at first that I will never see him again but a great miracle occurred, in 2008, I got a letter from my college to tell me that Dr. Robert Schelin is retiring from teaching at STAC after 32 years and they are hosting a brunch in his honor. I asked my parents can I please to go and say hello again to my mentor and friend. Dr. Robert Schelin.

I went to it and it was truly a great honor to see him again and we talked again about history and the upcoming presidential election between Senator John McCain(R-Arizona) and Senator Barack Obama (D-Illinois). I told him also that I was working for Obama's campaign and he was impressed that a former student of his doing work like that. He told me that he knew something big like this will happen again with me cause he remembered when I was campaigning for Senator John Forber Kerry (D-Massachusetts) for the presidency in 2004 again the incubment George Walker Bush (R-Texas). Dr. Schelin told me that I always had a passion about the world of politics especially presidential elections. I will never forget what he taught me in his American presidency class and I used those lessons in this current campaign and alot of people asked me what was my secret and I told them it was my mentor and friend and professor, Dr. Robert Schelin of Saint Thomas Aquinas College who taught me those tricks of the trade in the world of presidential elections.

Before I ended this blog, I thought to write down on what Dr. Robert Schelin wrote to me in my college yearbook and I will treasure this message forever. Here it goes:


I want to wish you all the best in your future. It will be a bright and limitless one. It has been a real pleasure to know you in these last 4 years and even in my classes. I have rarely met a student who so truly loves history and all of its interacies. If I can ever be of help to you in the future please call. All the Best, 'Doc' Schelin.

I did asked him for help recently, in 2009, the nation was celebrating the 200th birthday of Abraham Lincoln, the nation's 16th president (1861-1865). I decided on write my own verison of a bio of Lincoln and it was 19 pages long. When I went to see Dr. Schelin at the retirement brunch, I gave him the first actually copy of my paper about Lincoln. I had included my phone number and address to ask him what did he think about it . So after the birthday of Lincoln had passed, about 6 days later on February 20, I got a phone call from Doc and he told again he was truly impressed with my writing and thinks it is great to hear that the Abraham Lincoln library in Springfield, Illinois has a copy of it and they will put it on file for future researchers to use in the distant future. To me, this was truly a blessing and honor to know a great man like Dr. Robert Schelin and hope someday that I will be like him to a student in my history class.

Thank you again Doc!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Remembering President John Quincy Adams after 162 years

On this day in 1848, in my own opinion the nation lost a great individual who was born during the American Revolution and to live to become the nation's 6th president. I am talking about John Quincy Adams. The first son of another United States President to achieve his own right to become the president also.

John Quincy Adams, Sir you are truly an example of American History, you were the first son of another US President to become the 6th president from 1825-1829, considered to be one of the great secretarty of States, the principal author of the Monroe Doctrine, the first Minister to Russia, also the only US President to serve after his term to be a member of the House of Representatives, what a resume, I believe you were a brillant man and thinker, beyond your time, thanks for serving the presidency, you were a near great president in my book, remembering you after 162 years, may you rest in peace!

John Quincy Adams (July 11, 1767 – February 23, 1848) Born in Braintree, Massachusetts, was the sixth President of the United States from March 4, 1825, to March 4, 1829. He was also an American diplomat and served in both the Senate and House of Representatives. He was a member of the Federalist, Democratic-Republican, National Republican, and later Anti-Masonic and Whig parties. Adams was the son of President John Adams and his wife Abigail Adams
As a diplomat, Adams was involved in many international negotiations, and helped formulate the Monroe Doctrine as Secretary of State. Historians agree he was one of the great diplomats in American history.

John Quincy Adams on the Civil War:

In the aftermath of the Missouri Compromise, four full decades before South Carolina seceded from the Union and initiated the great conflagration of the American Civil War, John Quincy Adams penned these prescient words in his diary on November 29, 1820:“If slavery be the destined sword of the hand of the destroying angel which is to sever the ties of this Union, the same sword will cut in sunder the bonds of slavery itself. A dissolution of the Union for the cause of slavery would be followed by a servile war in the slave-holding States, combined with a war between the two severed portions of the Union. It seems to me that its result might be the extirpation of slavery from this whole continent; and, calamitous and desolating as this course of events in its progress must be, so glorious would be its final issue, that, as God shall judge me, I dare not say that it is not to be desired.”What remarkable perspicacity – and how very far we have come.

I believe one of the best portrayal of this near-great president, JQA, was when Steven Spielberg asked legendary actor, Sir Anthony Hopkins to do the role. This was the second film for which Anthony Hopkins received an Academy Award nomination for playing a United States President, having previously been nominated in 1995 for playing Richard Nixon in Nixon. I believe did a wonderful and spectular role as Mr.Adams. At the end of the movie, I believe he did the best in the scene called:John Quincy Adams Addresses the Supreme Court

Adams: Your Honors, I derive much consolation from the fact that my colleague, Mr. Baldwin, here, has argued the case in so able and so complete a manner as to leave me scarcely anything to say.
However, why are we here? How is it that a simple, plain property issue should now find itself so ennobled as to be argued before the Supreme Court of the United States of America? I mean, do we fear the lower courts, which found for us easily, somehow missed the truth? Is that it? Or is it, rather, our great and consuming fear of civil war that has allowed us to heap symbolism upon a simple case that never asked for it and now would have us disregard truth, even as it stands before us, tall and proud as a mountain? The truth, in truth, has been driven from this case like a slave, flogged from court to court, wretched and destitute. And not by any great legal acumen on the part of the opposition, I might add, but through the long, powerful arm of the Executive Office.
Yea, this is no mere property case, gentlemen. I put it to you thus: This is the most important case ever to come before this court. Because what it, in fact, concerns is the very nature of man.
These are transcriptions of letters written between our Secretary of State, John Forsyth, and the Queen of Spain, Isabella the Second. Now, I ask that you accept their perusal as part of your deliberations.
Thank you, sir. [to court officer]
I would not touch on them now except to notice a curious phrase which is much repeated. The queen again and again refers to our incompetent courts. Now what, I wonder, would be more to her liking? Huh? A court that finds against the Africans? Well, I think not. And here is the fine point of it: What her majesty wants is a court that behaves just like her courts, the courts this eleven year-old child plays with in her magical kingdom called Spain, a court that will do what it is told, a court that can be toyed with like a doll, a court -- as it happens -- of which our own President, Martin Van Buren, would be most proud.
Thank you. [takes document from Baldwin]
This is a publication of the Office of the President. It's called the Executive Review, and I'm sure you all read it. At least I'm sure the President hopes you all read it. This is a recent issue, and there's an article in here written by a "keen mind of the South," who is my former Vice President, John Calhoun, perhaps -- Could it be? -- who asserts that:
"There has never existed a civilized society in which one segment did not thrive upon the labor of another. As far back as one chooses to look -- to ancient times, to biblical times -- history bears this out. In Eden, where only two were created, even there one was pronounced subordinate to the other. Slavery has always been with us and is neither sinful nor immoral. Rather, as war and antagonism are the natural states of man, so, too, slavery, as natural as it is inevitable."
Now, gentlemen, I must say I differ with the keen minds of the South, and with our president, who apparently shares their views, offering that the natural state of mankind is instead -- and I know this is a controversial idea -- is freedom. Is freedom. And the proof is the length to which a man, woman, or child will go to regain it, once taken. He will break loose his chains, He will decimate his enemies. He will try and try and try against all odds, against all prejudices, to get home.
Cinque, would you stand up, if you would, so everyone can see you. This man is black. We can all see that. But can we also see as easily that which is equally true -- that he is the only true hero in this room.
Now, if he were white, he wouldn't be standing before this court fighting for his life. If he were white and his enslavers were British, he wouldn't be able to stand, so heavy the weight of the medals and honors we would bestow upon him. Songs would be written about him. The great authors of our times would fill books about him. His story would be told and retold in our classrooms. Our children, because we would make sure of it, would know his name as well as they know Patrick Henry's.
Yet, if the South is right, what are we to do with that embarrassing, annoying document, "The Declaration of Independence?" What of its conceits? "All men...created equal," "inalienable rights," "life," "liberty," and so on and so forth? What on earth are we to do with this?
I have a modest suggestion. [tears up a facsimile of the Declaration]
The other night I was talking with my friend, Cinque. He was over at my place, and we were out in the greenhouse together. And he was explaining to me how when a member of the Mende -- that's his people -- how when a member of the Mende encounters a situation where there appears no hope at all, he invokes his ancestors. It's a tradition. See, the Mende believe that if one can summon the spirits of one's ancestors, then they have never left, and the wisdom and strength they fathered and inspired will come to his aid.
James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, Benjamin Franklin, Thomas Jefferson, George Washington, John Adams: We've long resisted asking you for guidance. Perhaps we have feared in doing so we might acknowledge that our individuality which we so, so revere is not entirely our own. Perhaps we've feared an appeal to you might be taken for weakness. But, we've come to understand, finally, that this is not so. We understand now, we've been made to understand, and to embrace the understanding that who we are is who we were.

We desperately need your strength and wisdom to triumph over our fears, our prejudices, our-selves. Give us the courage to do what is right. And if it means civil war, then let it come. And when it does, may it be, finally, the last battle of the American Revolution.
That's all I have to say.

Death and burial:

On February 21, 1848, the House of Representatives was discussing the matter of honoring US Army officers who served in the Mexican-American War. Adams firmly opposed this idea, so when the rest of the house erupted into 'ayes', he cried out, 'No!' Immediately thereafter, Adams collapsed, having suffered a massive cerebral hemorrhage.

Two days later, on February 23, he died with his wife and son at his side in the Speaker's Room inside the Capitol Building in Washington, D.C. His last words were reported to have been, "This is the last of Earth. I am content." But this quote is debately to all presidential historians for years to debate on!
His original interment was temporary, in the public vault at the Congressional Cemetery in Washington, D.C.. Later, he was interred in the family burial ground in Quincy at the First Unitarian Church, called Hancock Cemetery. After his wife's death, his son, Charles Francis Adams, had him reinterred with his wife in a family crypt in the United First Parish Church across the street. His parents are also buried there, and both tombs are viewable. Adams' original tomb at Hancock Cemetery is still there, marked simply "J.Q. Adams

This 1848 print illustrated the death of Representative John Quincy Adams, who was surrounded by friends and foes alike.

The death of Representative John Quincy Adams of MassachusettsFebruary 21, 1848 On this date, Representative and former President John Quincy Adams of Massachusetts suffered a fatal stroke on the House Floor.
During a debate on whether to refer a resolution to the Committee on Military Affairs, Representative Adams voted in the negative. A short time later he collapsed at his desk. Representative Washington Hunt of New York interrupted the debate to bring attention to the ailing Adams. Members moved the 80 year-old former President to the Rotunda for fresher air and then relocated him to the Speaker's Lobby (the present day Lindy Claiborne Boggs Congressional Women’s Reading Room). Adams mustered the strength to thank the Officers of the House for their service. He then lapsed into a coma and died two days later. A funeral to celebrate the life of the great sage took place on February 26, 1848, in the House Chamber. Attended by political friends and foes, everyone sung the praises of Adams. Until arrangements could be made to move his remains to the family burial grounds in Quincy, Massachusetts, his body was laid to rest in Congressional Cemetery. A cenotaph marker remains in the cemetery to honor the former President.

Monday, February 22, 2010

My 2nd encounter with His Excellency, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan

As you know this will be my first blog and I believe today was a memorable day cause of 2 reasons. The first reason is that today was the feast day of The Cathedra Petri (Latin) or Chair of Saint Peter is a relic conserved in St. Peter's Basilica. This feast day was proclaimed in Gospel according Saint Matthew 16:18–19:Jesus' words to Peter:"You are Peter, and upon this Rock, I will build my Church and the gates of Hell shall not prevail against it. To you have I entrusted the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven and whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven", are inscribed in Latin in the apse, within which is placed Bernini's monument enclosing the wooden chair, both of which are seen as symbolic of the authority of the Bishop of Rome as Vicar of Christ and successor of Saint Peter.

The feasts thus became associated with an abstract understanding of the "Chair of Peter", which by synecdoche signifies the episcopal office of the Pope as Bishop of Rome, an office considered to have been first held by Saint Peter, and thus extended to the diocese, the See of Rome. Though both feasts were originally associated with Saint Peter's stay in Rome, the ninth-century form of the Martyrologium Hieronymianum associated the January 18 feast with his stay in Rome, and the February 22 feast with his stay at Antioch.

The two feasts were included in the Tridentine Calendar with the rank of Double, which Pope Clement VIII raised in 1604 to the newly invented rank of Greater Double. In the year 1960, Blessed Pope John XXIII removed from the General Roman Calendar eight feast days that were second feasts of a single saint or mystery: one of them was the January 18 feast of the Chair of Peter.

The February 22 celebration became a Second-Class Feast. This calendar was incorporated in the 1962 Roman Missal of Blessed Pope John XXIII, whose continued use as an extraordinary form of the Roman Rite is authorized under the conditions indicated in the motu proprio Summorum Pontificum.

In the new classification introduced in 1969 the February 22 celebration appears in the Roman Calendar with the rank of Feast. Traditional Roman Catholics continue to celebrate both feast days: "St Peter's Chair at Rome" on January 18 and the "Chair of St Peter at Antioch" on February 22.

The 2nd reason on why today was a special day is that I got the privilege to listen, greet, meet and attend An Evening With the Archbishop,His Excellency, Archbishop Timothy M. Dolan! This the 2nd time on which I met this Archbishop. The first time was last year on December 12, 2009 on the feast day of Our Lady of Guadalupe.

It was the day of my parish's youth ministry scavenger hunt throughout Mid-town Manhattan! We were in various groups and the parish priest had called me and asked me on where I was and I said I was near Saint Patrick's Catherdal and he told me to come by with the kids in my group to the Archbishop's residence! So I lead the kids in my group to the residence and old be hold, my parish priest knew the personal
secretary of the Archbishop. He invited us into the residence of the Archbishop and showed us around and trust me this was truly a wonderful gift for the kids to experience for the rest of their lives and even my own.

While we were resting peaceful, I heard a huge laugh, and old be hold it was him, His Excellency, Archbishop Timothy Dolan. He was truly a wonderful man to met in person. He greeted all of us with great grace and joyfullness. When he came to me, I told him I was truly impressed with his homily on December 9, 2009 about the 30th anniversary death of Servant of God Bishop Fulton J Sheen.

Archbishop Dolan was truly impressed with my knowledge about Fulton Sheen and he told me that is a gift from the Almighty Father gave to you to remember stuff like that. He asked all of us to gather around the Pope's chair when he came to New York in 2008 and take some pictures. After 2 pictures of the group, I asked him personally is possible to have one personal with him and he told me it would wonderful to do it. So his secretary took that picture also. Now the 2nd time I got the privelege to met the Archbishop Dolan was last night at the event called Theology on Tap on 53rd Street in Manhattan!

He gave a excellent speech about the history of the Papacy and alot to do about Saint Peter himself. I was truly impressed with his speech and I remember alot of what he said in his book, "To Whom Shall We Go?"Its abit ironic also that on June 19, 2001 – the 25th anniversary of his ordination to the priesthood – then Fr. Dolan was named the Auxiliary Bishop of St. Louis by Pope John Paul II. The new Bishop Dolan chose for his Episcopal motto the profession of faith of St. Peter: Ad Quem Ibimus, "Lord to whom shall we go?" (Jn 6:68).

He was pleased to see me again and remember me and my friends who attended the other time on which we met him. FYI you should read that book, I believe it gives great lessons for the future and miracle decisions on life itself. After his speech, he came around to the people and then he came to me and told me he remembered me about our discussion on the legacy of Fulton J Sheen last year, I was blowen away and honor that the Archbishop of New York remembered me. All of my friends were also impressed with his friendlyness and wonderful sermon. For me today was a memorable day and I will never forget it and also it was a great honor to have the Archbishop autograph the book on which he wrote about Saint Peter that I finished it in a day!

What a wondeful day!