Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Huey Long, Parade Marshall

As part of his campaign to increase educational opportunities in Louisiana, Governor Huey Long wanted to increase the size and stature of Louisiana State University. One of the first steps of his marketing strategy was to quadruple the size of the university marching band.

Source: "Louisiana State University," Huey Long: The Man, His Mission and Legacy,

Friday, October 12, 2007

Michael Moore, The Next Newt Gingrich?

In an interview with the CPUSA-affiliated People's Weekly World, Michael Moore makes a sarcastic quip as an imaginary media executive, saying he's doing "his little Newt Gingrich thing."

Source: Sheldon, Ron. "Exclusive Interview with Michael Moore of TV Nation," People's Weekly World, September 23, 1995.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Shirin Ebadi, Outside the System

Iranian feminist and Nobel Peace Prize laureate Shirin Ebadi believes that it is not possible to be a human rights activist and serve in government. She says, "A human rights activist must always work among the people, and must campaign and defend people who cannot defend themselves, because it is governments and rulers that abuse human rights. How is it possible to be a government member and be effectively critical of the system you're in?" Before the revolution in 1979, Ebadi was a judge in the Tehran court system.

Sources: "Interview With Nobel Laureate Shirin Ebadi," Women's International League for Peace and Freedom,

Ebadi, Shirin. "Autobiography: The Nobel Peace Prize 2003," from Les Prix Nobel. The Nobel Prizes 2003, Editor Tore Frängsmyr, [Nobel Foundation], Stockholm, 2004.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Barbara Jordan, Texas Governor

American politician, educator, and activist Barbara Jordan, was Texas Governor for a day in June, 1972. She was President pro tempore of the Texas Legislature at the time.

Source: "Women of the CBC, Barbara C. Jordan Biography," AVoice, African American Voices in Congress.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Janis Ian Has No Use For an A&R* Man, Either

At least until 2005, Janis Ian, famous for the songs "At Seventeen" and "Society's Child," had never recorded a song she didn't either write or co-write.

Source: Owen Keehnen, "At 42: Lesbian Legend Janis Ian Comes Out," 24 March 2005.

* Artist and Repertory, the brokers at record labels who set up performing artists with material from songwriters.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

June Callwood, St. June of the Pen

Canadian author, social activist, ex-mayor of Toronto, and humanitarian June Callwood ghost-wrote books about several prominent Americans, including Charles Mayo and Barbara Walters.

Source: "June Callwood," Collections Canada.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Fiorello LaGuardia: Nu, Vus Titzuch, Paisan?

In 1922, the Democratic Tammany Hall political machine ran a Jewish candidate against Fiorello LaGuardia, and distributed flyers claiming that LaGuardia was anti-Semitic. LaGuardia, who had a Jewish mother and his Italian father's last name, responded by challenging his opponent to a debate in Yiddish. He spoke Yiddish fluently and his opponent did not.

Source: "Fiorello LaGuardia," Jewish Virtual Library.