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Ben Franklin's bifocals Wednesday, February 12, 2014

slavery sale notice
[1793 - Congress enacts the first fugitive slave law]

Young Charles Darwin    Natualist Charles Darwin    Charles Darwin
[1809 - Charles William Darwin, naturalist, born in Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England]

Abe Lincoln - First Brady Photo   16th President Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln Memorial
[1809 - Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. President, born on Nolin Creek in Kentucky]

Painter Thomas Moran
[1837 - Thomas Moran, painter, conservationist,
born in Bolton, England]

Labor Leader John L. Lewis    UMW President John L. Lewis    UMW President John L. Lewis
[1880 - John Llewellyn Lewis, labor leader, United Mine Workers of America President, born in Lucas, Iowa]

Prima Ballerina Anna Pavlova    Ballerina Anna Pavlova    Ballerina Anna Pavlova    Prima Ballerina Anna Pavlova
[1881 - Anna (Pavlovna) Pavlova, prima ballerina, born in St. Petersburg, Russia]

Pres. Truman & General Bradley    5 Star General Omar Bradley
[1893 - Omar Nelson Bradley, U.S. Army General, first Chairman Joint Chiefs of Staff, born in Clark, Missouri]

Actor Lorne Greene    Actor Lorne Greene
[1915 - Lorne Greene (Lyon Chaim Green), actor, born in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada]

Actor Forrest Tucker    Actor Forrest Tucker
[1919 - Forrest Tucker, actor, born in Plainfield, Indiana]

Soviet Activist Anatoly Scharansky Soviet Activist Anatoly Scharansky
[1986 - Anatoly Scharansky, human rights activist, released after 8 years in Soviet
prisons & labor camps]

Life Goes On

The time span of this little almanac is not large. A few centuries, on average, separate the oldest entry from the most recent event listed on any given day. Although several hundred years may seem a long time, not much really changes in terms of the human condition in such a time. In today's example we see our own fledgling government taking steps to institutionalize slavery in the late 18th Century. The concept that one man could own another and benefit from his labors was widespread in that era.

In today's last entry we again find late 20th Century government in a foreign land exacting forced labor from dissidents as the price of speaking out against the state. Tyranny may have gone out of fashion in our own country, but it appears to be alive and well in too many places on this planet.

William's Whimsical Words:

No matter how repressive laws may be and how brutally they may be enforced by those in power, freedom eventually does break out.

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Last updated on February 12, 2014

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