We must honestly face the fact that the movement

“We must honestly face the fact that the movement must address itself to the question of restructuring the whole of American society. There are forty million poor people here, and one day we must ask the question, “Why are there forty million poor people in America?” And when you begin to ask that question, you are raising a question about the economic system, about a broader distribution of wealth. When you ask that question, you begin to question the capitalistic economy. And I’m simply saying that more and more, we’ve got to begin to ask questions about the whole society. We are called upon to help the discouraged beggars in life’s marketplace. But one day we must come to see that an edifice which produces beggars needs restructuring. It means that questions must be raised. And you see, my friends, when you deal with this you begin to ask the question, “Who owns the oil?” You begin to ask the question, “Who owns the iron ore?” You begin to ask the question, “Why is it that people have to pay water bills in a world that’s two-thirds water?” These are questions that must be asked.”     Martin Luther King, Jr., Address to the tenth-anniversary convention of the SCLC (1967)

Ralph Taeger, Star of the 1960s TV series 'Hondo,' Dies at 78

by Mike Barnes

Ralph Taeger, a rugged 1960s TV actor who starred alongside James Coburn in two adventure shows and played Hondo Lane in a series based on the John Wayne film, has died. He was 78.
Taeger died March 11 after a long illness at Marshall Medical Center in Placerville, Calif., where he owned a firewood business, his family announced.
Taeger played Mike Halliday alongside Coburn in NBC's Klondike, which was set during the Alaskan gold rush of the 1890s and debuted in October 1960. When the series ended after 18 episodes in February 1961, the two transitioned to another NBC show that same month, playing Korean War veterans turned beachcombers in Acapulco. (That one was gone after just eight installments.)
More than a decade after Wayne starred as a cavalry officer who helps a young mother fend off Apaches in the popular Warner Bros. Western Hondo (1953), Taeger reprised the role for an ABC series. Bowing in September 1967, it was canceled after 18 episodes.
In The Twilight Zone episode “From Agnes — With Love,” which aired on Valentine’s Day 1964, the hunky Taeger gets the girl that another computer technician (Wally Cox) had been trying to date. (The computer had given Cox's nebbishy character some bad advice.)
The episode was directed by Richard Donner, who earlier had cast Taeger as a test pilot in X-15 (1961).
Taeger also starred in such films as Stage to Thunder Rock (1964), A House Is Not a Home (1964), The Carpetbaggers (1964) and The Delta Factor (1970), and he appeared in the TV series Highway Patrol, Bat Masterson, Sea Hunt, The Six Million Dollar Man and Father Murphy.
Born in New York City as the son of German immigrants, Taeger played minor-league baseball for the Dodgers before a leg injury ended his hopes for an athletic career.
Survivors include his wife of 47 years, Linda, and son Richard.

Twitter: @mikebarnes4

The Swinging Sixties’ Grooviest Art Dealer: In London, Remembering Robert Fraser

by Edward M. Gómez

LONDON — Looking back at history, one encounters certain individuals who reflect the changing attitudes, social values, or cultural trends of their times, while certain others seem to define and embody them; they’re the ones who become the symbols of the spirit of an age.
The art dealer Robert Fraser (1937–1986) became one such emblem of a particular place at a memorably effervescent moment; his was “Swinging London” of the 1960s, with its explosion of sexy-goofy fashion, its soundtrack of the Beatles and Rolling Stones, and its unabashedly open expressions of sexuality. Swinging, grooving, and fueled by pot and pills, London in the sixties was a post-imperial pop-culture hub whose tradition-busting, style-setting forces Fraser played a large role in setting in motion.
Known as Britain’s main purveyor of Pop Art in both its home-grown and imported, American varieties, his Robert Fraser Gallery became London’s — and Europe’s — unrivaled, hip-art emporium. Around Fraser and his exhibitions orbited a vast cast of friends, admirers and associates, including, among others, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Marianne Faithfull, and Paul and Linda McCartney; Francis Bacon, Jim Dine, Claes Oldenburg, Andy Warhol, Keith Haring, and Jean-Michel Basquiat; the British Pop artists Peter Blake, Jann Haworth, Clive Barker, Richard Hamilton, and Eduardo Paolozzi; and many forward-looking collectors. A master at assembling exhibitions, Fraser was irresponsible when it came to running his gallery and routinely neglected to pay his artists. Often he was drunk or drugged-up, but still he managed to function. As Dine once observed, “Robert knew everyone in the world at one point.”
Now, Pace London, a branch of New York’s Pace Gallery, is presenting A Strong, Sweet Smell of Incense (through April 1), an exhibition that pays homage to Fraser and the spirit of the gallery that bore his name during two separate periods. The first lasted from 1962 to 1969, when it was located at 69 Duke Street, near Grosvenor Square. Its second incarnation lasted from 1983 to 1985 at 21 Cork Street, near the Royal Academy of Arts. It closed after Fraser’s AIDS-related death at a time when the disease was still new.
The exhibition has been curated by Harriet Vyner, a younger friend of Fraser’s, who wrote his biography, Groovy Bob (London: Faber and Faber, 1999), and by the British artist Brian Clarke, who showed his work at Fraser’s gallery and was the dealer’s close friend. Clarke, whose works have included abstract paintings affixed or embedded with neatly cut wooden squares or crosses, might be best known in the US for the reproduction of one of his tableaux that appeared on the cover of Paul McCartney’s 1982 solo album, Tug of War. (An exhibition of Clarke’s works from 1977 through 1985 is being shown concurrently at Pace London; nearby, at its annex, his new paintings and stained-glass works are on view.)
A Strong, Sweet Smell of Incense takes its title from a newspaper headline about a famous drug bust at Keith Richards’s house in February 1967, during which the police reportedly found the Rolling Stones guitarist and his guests, including Fraser, Jagger, and others, indulging in illicit substances — and a naked Marianne Faithfull rolled up in a rug. They arrested Fraser for possession of 24 heroin pills. Later, after being convicted, he would spend several months in prison.
In an interview at Pace London, Vyner explained that she had been a close friend of Fraser’s goddaughter. She first met Fraser in the late 1970s, when he took the two young women and Malcolm McLaren to an Adam Ant concert. Through her interaction with the art dealer during the last years of his life, along with the many interviews with his friends and associates she did for her book (which takes the form of an oral-history collection of reminiscences), she acquired a deep knowledge of his personal history. “Believe it or not, since his death, not a lot has been written about the influence of Robert’s gallery or its legacy,” Vyner told me. “When he died, there wasn’t even an obituary in any of the major British newspapers.”
Robert Fraser was the son of Lionel Fraser, a wealthy banker whose father had worked as a butler for Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of Selfridges, the London department store. A self-made man, Lionel Fraser was highly respected and, in 1945, King George VI bestowed upon him a distinguished civilian honor. Robert, his older brother Nicholas, and their older sister, Janet, who died in young adulthood, grew up in a privileged setting. Their mother, Cynthia, was a devout follower of Christian Science, that 19th century strain of religious-philosophical kookiness that holds that illness is merely an illusion (to be cured by prayer, not doctors). In the years before World War II, Robert’s parents traveled to Paris, where they gallery-hopped and enjoyed seeing works by such modern artists as Paul Cézanne, Georges Rouault, Chaim Soutine, Pablo Picasso, and Paul Klee.
As youngsters, Nicholas and Robert attended a Christian Science school. Both went on to Eton, the legendary prep school whose graduates regularly became captains of British industry and government grandees. In Vyner’s book, the American industrialist and art collector J. Paul Getty, who became one of Robert’s friends and gallery customers, observes, “Robert transcended class, very much in a Sixties way. But somehow he got sent to Eton, which is what formed him to a great extent. […] It’s still one of the best places to learn arrogance.”
Nicholas Fraser explained to Vyner that it was his parents’ “strong Puritan ethic” and “strict humorless attitude to life” that shaped his younger brother more than their belief in Christian Science and “gave him something to kick against.” But as many of the speakers in Groovy Bob point out, Robert both embraced tradition and rejected it. At Eton, he hated sports and loved learning about art. He also became fully aware of his homosexuality.
After graduating from Eton, Robert headed off to Uganda, where, in the waning days of empire, he served in the King’s African Rifles. There, he made time for partying with colonial administrators and even, it was later rumored, a brief fling with his sergeant major, a skilled boxer named Idi Amin. After his Africa stint, Fraser made his way to the United States, where he spent a few years in New York and Los Angeles meeting artists and other key art world figures. He became friends with such artists as Dine, Dennis Hopper, Ellsworth Kelly, and Jack Youngerman. In Groovy Bob, the art historian John Richardson, who also became Fraser’s friend, remembers meeting him around 1960 and says, “My impression of him was [of someone] bright, attractive, rather glamorous, not totally to be trusted, on the make, very elegant, fun to be with, a bit secretive.”
Returning to England in 1962, at the age of 25, he opened his gallery with a show of drawings by the French modernist Jean Dubuffet, whose graffiti-inspired images shook up London’s staid art scene. During a roller coaster ride of parties, exhibitions, sexcapades and drugfests that unfolded throughout that decade, Fraser presented the work of such artists as Richard Lindner, Henri Michaux, Bacon, Blake, Hamilton, Robert Rauschenberg, Cy Twombly, Paolozzi, Patrick Caulfield, Bruce Conner, Hans Bellmer, Bridget Riley, Haworth, Warhol, Dine, and many others.
In a dialog with Vyner that appears in the current exhibition’s catalog, Clarke says the show tries to capture “the buzz that Robert had.” He notes, “To many people he was grand, to others groovy. Certainly, he had one foot in the 1960s, but also one foot very much back in the 1950s.” Clarke adds that, “[d]espite all his wildness,” Fraser “was drawn to that more formal era,” even if he played a big part in ushering in a subsequent decade whose attitudes and aspirations seemed to obliterate those that had come before them.
In late 1966, on the occasion of a show of Dine’s works, Fraser’s gallery was served a summons under an antiquated vagrancy law that prohibited the public display of “obscene” material. As a statement issued by the gallery at that time indicated, 21 of Dine’s drawings, “some of them showing various parts of the human body, were seized by the police,” along with copies of the exhibition’s catalog. A court later ruled the exhibition, but not the confiscated artworks, to have been indecent and charged Fraser a fine. Referring to the British government’s heavy-handedness, he sent a telegram to Dine in the U.S. It stated, “REGINA VERSUS VAGINA. LOVE, ROBERT.”
Referring to Fraser’s lifestyle at his home in London’s Mayfair district, the former Whitechapel Art Gallery curator Bryan Robertson, who died in 2002, told Vyner in Groovy Bob, “[T]hey were after Robert for drugs, quite simply.” Robertson called the Dine indecency affair “one of those silly little vendettas that went on in the Sixties.”
In early 1967 came the drug bust at Richards’s home, but before Fraser was convicted and sent to prison, he art directed the famous cover of the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, whose unusual, three-dimensional collage concept had been devised by the then husband-and-wife team of Hamilton and Haworth. The album’s cover image was shot by the photographer Michael Cooper. Later that year, when the art dealer was in jail, Cooper sent him an encouraging telegram. It said, in part, “MY DEAR ROBERT ALL IS NOT BLACK […] REMEMBER THEY NAILED JESUS TO THE CROSS….”
A Strong, Sweet Smell of Incense features a recreation of Fraser’s workspace in his original gallery, complete with his modern, steel-and-glass desk, which is surrounded by artworks. Among others, they include Haworth’s “Cowboy” (1964), a life-size figure made of kapok and unbleached calico; Derek Boshier’s oil-on-canvas abstraction, “Sam Spade” (1966); Barker’s “Art Box 1” (1966), made of chrome-plated steel, chrome-plated bronze and Vitrolite; and Blake’s “Drum Majorette” (1959), a tailor’s dummy decorated with military medals. Other works on view in the gallery include Blake’s hand-painted drum from the Sgt. Pepper’s album cover; a selection of Oldenburg’s large-scale electric plugs and outlets, made of cardboard; Paolozzi’s abstract-bronze sculptures from the late 1950s and mid-1960s; Bacon’s oil-on-canvas “Portrait of John Edwards” (1988); and Basquiat’s oil-on-canvas portrait, “ROB’T FRAZER” (1984).
Also on view are Hamilton’s lithograph made from a collage of newspaper articles describing the 1967 drug bust at Richards’ house (“Swingeing London ’67,” 1967–68) along with two paintings in different media that the artist produced using a photo from one of those press reports. That photo shows Fraser and Jagger in the back of a car, handcuffed together at the wrists and holding up their hands to shield their faces from reporters’ cameras. Hamilton’s common title for these works is both a pun on “Swinging London” and a reference to a remark Fraser’s sentencing judge made when he noted that the punishment he was meting out was notably “swingeing,” meaning severe, daunting or extreme.
The exhibition also features a large vitrine packed with photographs, documents and printed items. Among them are letters and telegrams from artists pleading for overdue payments. Others show how chummy Fraser was with many of his art-buying customers.
After going into a short period of receivership, since Fraser had not paid many of his creditors, his Duke Street gallery plowed ahead, presenting exhibitions by such artists as Barker, Caulfield, Blake, Haworth, and John Lennon and Yoko Ono. In mid-1969, though, it mounted its last show, a selection of works by a group of American Pop artists. Fraser’s consumption of booze and drugs was still going strong, and he had become interested in Tantric art. He left England and spent the early 1970s in India, then returned several years later to operate as a private art dealer and to visit New York and savor its gritty charms. In 1983, he again opened a London gallery, which became an overseas showcase for the work of such young New Yorkers as Haring and Basquiat
At the time of his first gallery’s closing, Fraser had told one art critic, “There has never been any desire on the part of the English people for new things.” In Groovy Bob, the artist Jann Haworth says, “[W]hen he did open the second gallery, where was everybody? He was still putting on very interesting shows, but it was almost a non-event.” Haworth partly blames “the mood of the times,” which were then dominated by Margaret Thatcher’s conservatism. Nevertheless, Fraser’s cutting edge sensibility was still at work, as when, for example, he persuaded London’s Victoria and Albert Museum to acquire works by Jamie Reid, the punk-graphics creator who had designed the Sex Pistols’ Never Mind the Bollocks record-album cover, but the ailing art dealer’s involvement in his gallery declined along with his health.
For McLaren, who is quoted in Vyner’s book, Fraser had always been “right in the center of it, always wearing those ubiquitous sunglasses” and looking “spookily cool.” Perhaps, as the lost aura the artworks, letters and documents on display in A Strong, Sweet Smell of Incense try to evoke, and as, overall, the exhibition suggests, McLaren was right when he added that the decade of the 1960s “was not a pragmatic era” but rather “the exact opposite — it was a romantic era.” The Robert Fraser he knew, he noted, had been “part of a moment in pop culture, part of a time which could afford to have such romantic figures….” After all, by the time McLaren, who died four years ago, made those comments, the international art world had long since become a totally corporatized behemoth, one whose swingeing hype had decisively doused the flames of insouciance and replaced grooviness with greed.

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Hampton Hawes - The jazz pianist that John F. Kennedy saved.

Fifty years ago, John F. Kennedy granted a presidential pardon to jazz pianist Hampton Hawes and helped make him a legend.
Millions of Americans found inspiration in John F. Kennedy’s 1961 inaugural address, but few responded more enthusiastically than jazz pianist Hampton Hawes. Hawes watched the speech from a federal prison hospital in Fort Worth, Texas, where he was serving a 10-year sentence on drug charges. “That’s the right cat,” he later described his reaction to the new president. “Looks like he got some soul and might listen.”
The following day, Hawes told a prison official that he wanted to apply for a presidential pardon and against all odds, President Kennedy responded.
Over fifty years ago, on August 16, 1963, JFK granted executive clemency to the pianist, and thus allowed one of the most talented jazz artists of the era to resume his career. 
The Hawes pardon would be one of Kennedy’s last executive acts. Only 98 days later, JFK was shot in Dallas. Kennedy granted clemency to 43 people during his last year in office. Hawes received pardon No. 42.

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Noted in passing

Brian Carman (69) one of five guys from Santa Ana High School—the Chantays—who in the early '60s thought they could maybe play for dances at the community center. Carman and bandmate Bob Spickard wrote “Pipeline,” an instrumental anthem to riding the waves and living the surfing life that became one of southern California’s most recognizable musical exports. Carman suffered from Crohn’s disease and an ulcerated colon; he died in Santa Ana, California on March 1, 2015.

June Fairchild (68) former Manhattan Beach prom queen, go-go dancer, and actress who appeared in more than a dozen films, and, for a time, was an addict and alcoholic who slept in a cardboard box on skid row in Los Angeles. Fairchild made a memorable appearance as a druggie who snorted Ajax soap powder in Cheech & Chong’s Up in Smoke (1978); she also had parts in Drive, He Said, a 1971 basketball film directed by Jack Nicholson, and Thunderbolt & Lightfoot (1974) with Clint Eastwood and Jeff Bridges. She died of liver cancer in Los Angeles, California on February 17, 2015.

Lesley Gore (68) singer-songwriter who topped the charts in 1963 at age 16 with her epic song of teenage angst, “It’s My Party,” and followed it up with the hits “Judy’s Turn to Cry” and the feminist anthem “You Don’t Own Me.” Gore was discovered by Quincy Jones as a teenager and signed to Mercury Records; she cowrote with her brother, Michael, the Oscar-nominated “Out Here on My Own” from the film Fame (1980). Although a nonsmoker, she died of lung cancer in New York City on February 16, 2015.

Sam Andrew (73) cofounder of the band Big Brother & the Holding Company, a mainstay of the San Francisco rock scene of the ‘60s, who played a key role in singer Janis Joplin’s (d. 1970) early career. The band was among the first and most successful exponents of the so-called San Francisco sound, a mix of folk, blues, and rock influences fueled by psychedelic drugs. Andrew had a heart attack 10 weeks ago and underwent open-heart surgery. He died in San Rafael, California on February 12, 2015.

Gary Owens (80) mellifluous-voiced announcer on Rowan & Martin’s Laugh-In (1968–73) and a familiar part of radio, TV, and movies for more than 60 years. Owens hosted thousands of radio programs in his long career and appeared in more than a dozen movies and on scores of TV shows, including Lucille Ball and Bob Hope specials. He also voiced hundreds of animated characters, was part of dozens of comedy albums, and wrote books. He died in Los Angeles, California on February 12, 2015.

Dallas Taylor (66) rock drummer who liked to say that he made his first million—and his last—by the time he was 21. Taylor was a key sideman for Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young; he played at Woodstock, appeared on seven top-selling albums, and bought three Ferraris. He also stabbed himself in the stomach with a butcher knife and drank so heavily that he required a liver transplant in 1990, five years after becoming sober. He later became an addiction counselor specializing in interventions and in reuniting alcoholics and addicts with their families. He died in Los Angeles, California on January 18, 2015.

Darren Hugh Winfield (85) one of the last of the Marlboro Men, a macho cowboy whose image in advertising from the ‘50s to the late ‘90s made filtered cigarettes more appealing to men. Previously Marlboros were marketed to women. Winfield’s rugged good looks made him the face of Marlboro cigarettes in magazine and TV ads from the late ‘60s to the late ‘80s. A real-life cowboy, he was discovered in 1968 while working on the Quarter Circle 5 Ranch in western Wyoming. He died in Riverton, Wyoming on January 12, 2015.

Ervin Drake (95) songwriter and lyricist whose hit songs were recorded by such stellar performers as Frank Sinatra, Billie Holiday, and Frankie Laine. Drake wrote the words and music for the wistful “It Was a Very Good Year” in 1961 for Bob Shane of the Kingston Trio. Sinatra heard it on his car radio, and his recording of it on a comeback album in 1966 hit the Top 10. The Sinatra version has remained a staple on radio and sometimes on TV; as the soundtrack to an extended film montage, it opened the second season of the HBO series The Sopranos in 2000. Drake died of bladder cancer in Great Neck, New York on January 15, 2015.

Anita Ekberg (83) Swedish-born actress and sex symbol of the ‘50s and ‘60s who was immortalized bathing in Rome's Trevi fountain in Federico Fellini's La Dolce Vita (1960). The scene where the blonde bombshell, clad in a black dress, her arms wide open, calls out “Marcello,” remains one of the most famous images in film history. Ekberg never starred in a Swedish film and was often at odds with Swedish journalists, who criticized her for leaving the country and ridiculed her for adopting an American accent. She remained in Italy for years, appearing in scores of movies, many forgettable. She was hospitalized after Christmas and died in Rome, Italy on January 11, 2015.

Don Harron (90) Canadian comedian who entertained TV audiences in Canada and the US with his comic alter ego Charlie Farquharson, a regular feature during the first 13 years (1969–82) of the long-running rural comedy series Hee Haw. Harron started his career as an actor, appearing regularly on US TV shows in the ‘60s, including The FBI, Mission: Impossible, 12 O’Clock High, The Outer Limits, and Dr. Kildare. He died in Toronto, Canada after choosing not to seek treatment for cancer, on January 17, 2015.

Lew Soloff (71) trumpet player, an early member of Blood, Sweat & Tears whose later jazz career included performances with his own ensembles and with Gil Evans, Ornette Coleman, Chuck Mangione, Maynard Ferguson, and other giants of the genre. Soloff joined Blood, Sweat & Tears in 1968, about a year after the megagroup formed, and played trumpet and flugelhorn on numerous recordings, being featured on the group’s eponymous album that in 1970 won a best-album Grammy. He traveled the world with the jazz/rock band until leaving in 1973. He died a day after suffering a heart attack while walking on a New York City street, on March 8, 2015.

Al Delugach (89) newspaper “rewrite man” and investigator who defied his own publisher to help expose corruption in a St. Louis labor union in the ‘60s. Delugach and fellow reporter Denny Walsh of the St. Louis Globe-Democrat spent three years investigating the Steamfitters union, Local 562. In more than 300 stories they revealed a pattern of labor racketeering that led to multiple federal indictments for a kickback scheme related to the sale of insurance to the union’s pension fund. The two reporters shared a 1969 Pulitzer Prize for local investigative reporting. Delugach died of mesothelioma in Los Feliz, California on January 4, 2015.

Rod Taylor (84) ruggedly handsome Australian-born actor who helped actress Tippi Hedren to battle swarms of vicious birds in Alfred Hitchcock’s 1963 film The Birds. Taylor’s first leading role was in the 1960 film version of the H. G. Wells classic The Time Machine, but he was best known for costarring in the Hitchcock film about a massive bird attack on a small northern California coastal town (Bodega Bay). He also appeared in The Train Robbers and, most recently, in an almost unrecognizable cameo role as the late British wartime prime minister Winston Churchill in Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds (2009). Taylor, who would have turned 85 on Jan. 11, died in Los Angeles, California two weeks after suffering a fall, on January 7, 2015.

Donna Douglas (81) actress who played the buxom tomboy Elly May Clampett on the hit ‘60s sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies, the CBS comedy about a backwoods Ozark family who moved to Beverly Hills after striking it rich from oil discovered on their land. The series, which ran from 1962–71, also starred the late Buddy Ebsen and Irene Ryan, and Max Baer Jr., who turned 77 on Jan. 4. Douglas died of pancreatic cancer in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on January 1, 2015.

Rev. Willie Barrow (90) longtime civil rights activist. For decades Barrow was on the front lines of the civil rights movement, working for Rev. Martin Luther King, participating in the 1963 March on Washington, and in later years working to stem Chicago’s gun violence. She died at a Chicago, Illinois hospital where she was being treated for a blood clot in her lung, on March 12, 2015.

Frankie Randall (76) singer and pianist, a Rat Pack favorite in the swinging ‘60s and a staple of TV variety shows of that era. Besides his TV appearances with Dean Martin and others, Randall recorded several songs, bringing his jazz-inflected, supper-club approach not only to standards like “It Had to Be You,” but also to the TV theme from Flipper and The Who’s rock anthem, “I Can See for Miles.” Randall, who was closely identified professionally and socially with Frank Sinatra (d. 1998), died of lung cancer in Indio, California on December 28, 2014.

Space rocks from 1960 Bruderheim Meteorite help usher in new age of geology

EDMONTON — In the quiet town of Bruderheim, Alberta a curling bonspiel was supposed to be the highlight of the night on March 4, 1960.
Stew Hennig is a city councillor in Fort Saskatchewan, and grew up near the town northeast of Edmonton.
 “I was about nine years old, laying in my bed and all of a sudden we heard this tremendous roar. At that time in 1960, with all that was going on in the world, [my father and I] thought it was maybe a rocket or missile or something.”
Once everyone realized it was not a Cold War attack, the only battle happening on Alberta soil was the scramble to collect a souvenir from the Bruderheim Meteorite.
Dr. Chris Herd, with the department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Alberta, still studies the space rocks collected from that event.
“There was a bright flash in the sky at about one in the morning over Edmonton and the area, and it resulted in the fall of the Bruderheim Meteorite,” he began. “The rock that came into the atmosphere might have been about the size of a desk, several metric tonnes in weight going about 60,000 kilometres per hour.”
Having the ability to study such asteroid fragments was a very big deal in 1960, especially when the race to space was a point of national pride.
“It has essentially put us on the map internationally in terms of having credibility to working on meteorites,” explained Herd.
Hundreds of specimens were collected from the Bruderheim area which allowed the U of A to trade meteorites with other institutions. Currently, its meteorite collection is the third largest in Canada, and the largest for a Canadian University.
The collection is now being used to launch us into a new age of geology.
“Here are samples that are coming from asteroids, and now we are at the stage where there are companies wanting to go mine asteroids. So we are looking at it from the perspective of, ‘Alright, what is in there that might be of interest to miners in space in the future?'”

Certainly, work done by the university generations ago, that will benefit researchers for many more.

Leonard Nimoy sent a telegram to JFK urging him to rethink nuclear space tests

By Megan SpeciaFeb 27, 2015

Before Leonard Nimoy played the iconic role of Spock on Star Trek, he was already an advocate for the preservation of outer space, as well as life on Earth.
In July 1962, the United States was preparing to test a hydrogen bomb by detonating it in outer space, 250 miles above the Pacific Ocean, as part of the Starfish Prime nuclear test. Nimoy, it seems, believed this was a bad idea, and that then-President John F. Kennedy should think twice about it.
See also: Leonard Nimoy dies at 83
Among the artifacts at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum in Boston is a small pink telegram with a simple message of peace from Nimoy and his wife Sandra to Kennedy, urging the president to cancel the bomb's detonation.
In it, Nimoy calls on Kennedy "in the name of decency" to avoid polluting the environment with a bomb, and to preserve children's right to "breathe clean air."
Controversially, on July 9, 1962, the detonation of the hydrogen bomb went ahead despite international opposition. The explosion illuminated the sky over Hawaii, resulting in blackouts and strange electrical malfunctions, and causing radioactive particles to settle in the Earth's atmosphere.
Interestingly, Nimoy first encountered Kennedy years before either had become a household name, when the actor picked up the then-Massachusetts senator in a cab at the Hotel Bel-Air in Los Angeles.
“I felt this sense of having touched him somewhere along the line,” Nimoy said in an interview about the encounter. “Kennedy became nationally known at that convention, and I felt a great sense of being in touch with destiny then. It seemed that the man just had to go where he was going.”
Nimoy died on Friday at the age of 83.

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Charles Manson is getting married; US prisoner obtains marriage license

Christina Williams

Charles Manson has applied for a marriage license and was approved, according to AP on Nov. 17. That’s right folks; Charles Manson will soon be hitched. Her reasons for marrying him are almost as confusing as to why someone would marry someone serving a life sentence with no possibility for parole anytime soon.
Afton Elaine Burton- who calls herself Star- is a 26-year-old woman that regularly visits him. She relocated from her Midwestern home to California nine years ago for the sole reason to be close to him. If you do the math, that means she moved to California when she was only 17 years-old. The reason she is marrying him is simple; she believes he is innocent. The couple must tie the knot so Burton can obtain key evidence, that she believes could set him free. She said with a smile on her face, "I love him."
She said they have 90 days to get married. According to Burton, they would have been married last month, but Manson was punished for his behavior and not eligible. He had three counts of possessing a weapon and threatening the prison staff. She expects the wedding day to be within a month. The prison holds marriages the first Saturday of each month. Charles Manson will not be eligible for parole until the year 2027. He has been in prison for most of his life. Do you think she will be able to get a new trial for him? Is it possible he could be innocent?

March 8, 1965: First US combat troops arrive in Vietnam

It's 50 years since two battalions of US Marines landed on beaches near Danang, heralding the direct involvement of American combat units in the Vietnam War.

By Chas Early 

America finally signalled its intention to become fully committed to war in Vietnam with the arrival of 3,500 combat troops just north of Da Nang, on this day in 1965.
Men of the 9th Marine Expeditionary Brigade were met by South Vietnamese officers, girls carrying leis, sight-seers and four US soldiers holding a sign saying ‘Welcome, Gallant Marines’.
It was all much to the dismay of General William Westmoreland, the senior US officer in the country at that time.
Both Westmoreland and General Nguyen Van Thieu, chief of the South Vietnamese Armed Forces Council, had asked for the troops to be "brought ashore in the most inconspicuous way feasible".
 Under the previous US president, John F. Kennedy, the number of American military ‘advisors’ in the country had risen to 16,000.
The day after Kennedy’s assassination, new president Lyndon Johnson stated that "the battle against communism... must be joined... with strength and determination".
Throughout 1964 Johnson faced pressure from domestic and foreign sources to negotiate a peaceful solution, but after attacks on US ships off Vietnam in the ‘Gulf of Tonkin incident' in August, Congress gave him the powers to take any action he deemed necessary to protect South Vietnam.
By the following year it was clear that South Vietnam, riven by internal dissent and unfocused leadership, was losing its war with the communist North. And, with US air bases in the country regularly being targeted for attacks, Johnson sent in the 3,500 marines initially as a defensive security force.
The deployment was met with anger from many quarters, with China and the Soviet Union threatening intervention. Some 2,000 demonstrators including Vietnamese and Chinese students attacked the US Embassy in Moscow, while a car bomb outside its Saigon embassy killed 22 people.
Do you remember the US combat troops arriving in Vietnam? Do you think anything could have been done to prevent the war's escalation? Let us know in the comments section below.
Vietnam War escalation - Did you know?
President Kennedy had wanted to draw ‘a line in the sand’ over the spread of communism, and the aim of US involvement in the country was to keep South Vietnam ‘free’ from the communist North.
Kennedy had been keen to ensure that US military personnel be deployed only to help train the South Vietnamese Army; he had advocated a slow withdrawal of the advisors until 1965.
By early 1964, American diplomats in Saigon and most of President Johnson’s advisors were advocating an escalation of US military involvement in the conflict as the only way to secure South Vietnamese neutrality.
Johnson was keen to avoid any sign that he was committing to a war before the presidential election in November 1964. Nevertheless, he stepped up bombing raids and covert operations in the wake of the Tonkin Gulf incident in August.
There had been an engagement with North Vietnamese torpedo boats in the Tonkin Gulf on August 2, but a reported second engagement on August 4 (which prompted the Congressional resolution) was later revealed to be false.
In September, UN Secretary General U Thant secured agreement from North Vietnam to engage in talks with the US. Though Secretary of State Dean Rusk was informed, there is no evidence that President Johnson ever learned of the offer.

There were 23,000 US military personnel in Vietnam at the end of 1964. By the end of 1965 that figure had risen to nearly 185,000.

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