Wanda Young of Motown's The Marvelettes, dead at 78

She was best known for the hit 'Please Mr. Postman' alongside Georgeanna Tillman, Gladys Horton, Katherine Anderson and Juanita Cowart

By Tyler McCarthy | Fox News

Wanda Young, best known as a member of Motown's popular and chart-topping The Marvelettes, has died at age 78.

Meta Ventress, Young's daughter, told the New York Times that her mother died on Dec. 15 in Garden City, Mich.

She told the outlet that the cause of death had to do with complications due to chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.

The artist and her fellow Marvelettes were teenagers when they recorded their enduring hit "Please Mr. Postman" for Motown Records boss Berry Gordy Jr. in 1961, marking the label's first definitive No. 1 pop hit.

The all-female group was signed by Motown to its Tamla label earlier that year and included Georgeanna Tillman, Gladys Horton, Katherine Anderson and Juanita Cowart, according to the Motown Museum.

The teens were students at Inkster High School outside Detroit, and along with Georgia Dobbins, a graduate, were members of a singing group called The Casinyets. Young replaced Dobbins when Gordy signed the group.

ongs like "Twistin’ Postman," "Playboy" and "Too Many Fish In The Sea" followed "Please Mr. Postman." The group would later record such hits as "Don’t Mess With Bill," "The Hunter Gets Captured By The Game" and "My Baby Must Be A Magician."

Young sang the lead on "Don't Mess With Bill."

"I told her constantly, ‘All these people love you,’" Ventress told the Times. "And she’d say, ‘Wow.’"

"She didn’t wake up every day thinking of the Marvelettes, but she never lost that glamour," Ventress added.

The Motown Museum posted on its Facebook page that Young "helped The Marvelettes become one of the many success stories at Motown Records."

After The Marvelettes disbanded in the early 1970s, Young recorded under another label.

Young and Horton sang on the 1990 album "The Marvelettes: Now!" according to the Times.

In addition to Ventress, Young is survived by children Robert Rogers III and Bobbae Rogers; seven grandchildren; a great-grandson; four sisters and four brothers.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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The Burning Monk

 From  peashooter85

On June 11th, 1963 a Buddhist monk named Thich Quang Duc entered a busy square in Saigon accompanied 350 of his fellow monks and nuns. The monks and nuns formed a circle around Duc as he was saturated with gasoline, and to the shock of foreign corresponds and journalists, was lit on fire.  As the flames consumed Duc, he sat serenely in lotus position, completely oblivious to pain as he was consumed by fire.  When the flames died down, what remained was a blackened, charred corpse.

The self immolation of Thich Quang Duc resulted in one of the most iconic photographs of Vietnam in the 1960′s. As news of the self immolation traveled around the world, the question arose, why did he do it?

At the time South Vietnam was primarily governed by a Vietnamese politician named Ngo Dinh Diem. Diem had been made President of South Vietnam in 1955 after winning a heavily rigged election.  Although he was officially the president of a representative government, in reality he had the powers of a dictator. Diem was a Catholic, and throughout his rule he enacted pro Catholic policies that heavily discriminated against non-Catholics. Around 70-90% of South Vietnamese citizens were Buddhist, but despite being the overwhelming majority Buddhists found themselves second class citizens in their own country. Catholics were favored for high ranking military and civil positions, while Buddhists were likewise barred from such positions while Buddhists serving in the military were turned down for promotions. Catholics also were granted several privileges such as special tax breaks and exemption from corvee labor (labor performed in lieu of taxes).  The government distributed firearms to local defense militias, but only to those in Catholic villages. The Catholic Church was the largest land owner in the country, and was granted special exemptions in land acquisitions. Catholic priests and bishops often had private armies, which would loot or demolish Buddhist temples, or conduct forced conversion of villages. The Vatican Flag was flown at official government and public events, yet the Buddhist flag was often banned during Buddhist holidays. In order to publicly celebrate Buddhists holidays, special government permission was needed.  In 1959, Diem officially dedicated South Vietnam to the Virgin Mary. Yeah Diem was a man of incredible chutzpah as well as excessive stupidity. 

 Diem’s Pro-Catholic policies led to severe distrust between the South Vietnamese people and the Diem regime. In May, the Diem government decreed that the Buddhist flag could not be flown in Hue during the Buddhist holiday called Vesak, which celebrates the Buddha’s birthday. In response, people protested by taking to the streets and marching with Buddhist flags. Government forces responded by firing on the crowd, killing nine. Protests erupted across the country.  In one incident, when monks occupied a square in protest, soldiers and police poured liquid tear gas chemicals on the monk’s heads, severely wounding 69.  Martial law was also declared, and the military undertook a campaign or raiding Buddhist temples, shrines, and pagodas. As the protests grew, the Diem regime responded with increasingly heavy handed tactics. When students in Saigon protested, Diem order 1,000 of them arrested and sent to re-education camps, some of them being as young as 5.

After Duc’s self immolation many other monks would repeat the act in protest. It is often erroneously stated that Duc burned himself to protest the Vietnam War, however this is not true.  It should be noted though that throughout the Vietnam War, 5 American anti-war protesters repeated the act between 1965 and 1970. Many people in Eastern Europe would do the same in the late 1960′s and 1970′s in protest against Communism and the Soviet Union.  Under pressure from the American Government, South Vietnam’s prime backer, Diem agreed to a list of demands by the Buddhists.  However, Diem never followed through with the agreement. In October of 1963, a US backed coup erupted and toppled Diem’s regime.  Diem was captured while trying to escape on November 1st, and was executed by bayonet.