News History Gallery, Journalists Memorial at Newseum

news corp. news history gallery newseumThe Newseum on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington DC, right next door to the Smithsonian, heralds the history of news making and media in the U.S. It also looks at the latest technologies for media, and ponders its future.

There is a Journalists Memorial area that pays tribute to reporters, photographers and broadcasters who have died reporting the news. The names of 1,913 individuals from around the world are etched on the glass panels of the soaring, two-story structure. The memorial is rededicated each year to add the names of journalists who lost their lives on the job in the preceding year. Adjoining the memorial are photographs of hundreds of those journalists, and electronic kiosks containing data on every honoree.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, owner of the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fox (Broadcasting, Cable and 20th Century Fox)  maintains one of many galleries, this one about the history of newspapers.

Journalists Memorial rededication 2008

Journalists Memorial rededication 2008

First Black Supermodel, Naomi Sims Died this Weekend

naomi sims Naomi Sims, entrenepreneur, and the first African-American woman to rise to supermodel status, passed away this past weekend from cancer. She was 61.  Read her amazing  success story.

Published in: on August 4, 2009 at 1:46 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Olympic Bomb Today in 1996

On July 27th, 1996, thousands of people who wanted to watch the Olympics were  in Atlanta’s Centennial Olympic Park, the central point of the Summer Olympics, and the location for a late-night rock concert .

Shortly after midnight, Richard Jewell, a security guard who later became a bombing suspect, discovered a suspicious knapsack near the concert sound tower. He told authorities but before anyone could get the park evacuated the pipe bombs in the knapsack went off.  The nails that surrounded the three bombs were as deadly as the bomb. Alice Hawthorne from Georgia was struck in the head with one nail, and was killed instantly. 111 other people injured. One man died from a heart attack.

Eric Robert Rudolph, the real bomber, was implicated after he bombed other areas of Atlanta as well as Birmingham, Alabama.  The survivalist clearly targeted women, as his bombings were of women’s clinics and a lesbian night club. Then he disappeared in the Applachian mountains for five year. He was finally arrested May 31, 2003 in the small mountain town of Murphy North Carolina.  He’s now serving four consecutive life terms at ADX Florence in Colorado. Fellow prison mates include Terry Nichols, the 1995 Oklahoma City bomber, Unabomber Ted Kaczynski,  and al-Qaeda terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui.

Walter Cronkite Remembered

Journalism giant Walter Cronkite passed away Friday, July 17, 2009, at the age of 92. His career began with the Houston (TX) Post, after which he became a radio sportscaster in Oklahoma City. His next move was to TV, working for Edward R. Murrow at CBS.  He covered the Nuremberg trials, the first walk on the moon, the assassination of President Kennedy, the 1968 riots at the Democratic National Convention, VietNam and many other momentous times in our history. Katie Couric tells the story of Cronkite’s life and career in this video.

Published in: on July 19, 2009 at 9:43 am  Leave a Comment  

NYC Speakeasy Serves “The Bronx”

Barney Gallant, 1933, courtesy of City of NY Museum

Barney Gallant, 1933, courtesy of City of NY Museum

The Museum of the City of New York is opening up a rooftop speakeasy, reviving drinks that have passed their heyday, such as a Pink Lady. And while we all know about a Manhattan, did you realize there was a drink called the Bronx? The New York Times has the whole story.

Published in: on July 15, 2009 at 4:11 am  Leave a Comment  
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We Are the World

After many hours of watching CNN about the passing of Michael Jackson, and two hour-long specials about him I guess it hit me this morning as I was watching this We Are the World video that he’s really gone. It’s very sad – not just that he’s dead but that his life got so bizarre and he was so lonely and he got so withdrawn. As I watch this video he’s a handsome young man who is just starting down his weird road. Why did all that have to happen?

When all the child molestation charges began I just didn’t believe it, then the evidence seemed overwhelming to me – especially paying $20 million to settle. Now I wonder. I rewatched his 60 minute interview with Ed Bradley in which Bradley questioned him repeatedly about having small boys in his bed and Michael just seemed like a confused lost soul who genuinely loved children and would never hurt them. Yes, his thinking wasn’t appropriate or the norm and he got himself into trouble. But it does seem like he may have been innocent.  As someone pointed out  – and it was an eye-opener for me –  MJ surrounded himself with other child stories who hadn’t had a chance to have a childhood. He had friends like Brooke Shields, Liz Taylor and Liza Minnelli (whose mother Judy Garland suffered the same child-star traumas as Michael) .

So sad. Such a wonderfully talented man who became so lost. I’ll surely miss him and his extraordinary talent.

Published in: on June 28, 2009 at 7:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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High School Students Learn about Oral History

The Los Angeles Times told this story recently, also presented at the annual conference of the Southwest Oral History Association. Cal State Los Angeles teamed up with student volunteers from Roosevelt High School to film a documentary of personal stories of five influential local women. The photo is courtesy of LA Times as well.

It is our hope and dream that high school and college students in the Phoenix area will take a similar interest in personal stories of the community members of metro Phoenix and help us record and tell their stories on Yore Town for others to see and hear.

Ofelia Esparza, 77, altar-maker and artist

Ofelia Esparza, 77, altar-maker and artist

Wall of Welcome

Wall of Welcome mosaic

Wall of Welcome mosaic


  At Future Perfect, the oral history workshop put on by Baylor University’s Institute of Oral History, Director Stephen Sloan turned the floor over to several attendees.  Susan and Rob Burneson, residents of the Crestview area of Austin Texas, talked about their neighborhood’s one-year-old mosaic wall of local history.

 “Crestview was founded in the 1950’s, but the first residents are leaving or dying,” Susan told us. “New families are moving in who don’t know the area history. So we decided to do a documentary about the Wall of Welcome dedication. We added the personal histories of many residents and the history of the neighborhood.” All the interviews were recorded as videos, with the aid of wireless microphones. 

“We had no idea how long it was going to take us to edit the film,” Rob said. “While many were shorter, one interview was 2.5 hours long. It was really cathartic for that woman to tell her story.”  DVD copies of all the interviews conducted by the Crestview collaborators have been donated to a local history center and library.  The Wall of Welcome has gotten much play locally and around the country.

Meet Dee Dees

Hi,  dee-dees1

I’m the Yore Town advisory council member whose name sounds like a stutter… Dee Dees.  I live in Gilbert, AZ; Hay Capital of the world in the 1920’s, 1975 population of 3,000, and now a town of well over 200,000. Now there’s a story! I’ve been a Personal Historian for the last 12 years, helping others to write their life stories for future generations. I’ve authored two books on the topic of life-writing, so it’s something I believe strongly in.

The Yore Town concept is so exciting to me. I see it as a means to get others enthused about and involved in contributing to local and personal histories.

As a writer and personal historian, I’ve talked to so many people whose reasons for writing their stories are almost always a variation of… “my kids (spouse, grandkids, friends, etc) have been after me to get my life story written. I don’t think it’s all that interesting, but they seem to think it’s fascinating.”

These stories need to be told. It’s history from the perspective of those who lived it, not just the historians who document the experiences of others.  I help people get those stories down on paper, so their children, grandchildren, and generations to come, will have a better understanding of who they are, where they came from, and the struggles, challenges, joys and successes that contributed to their lives.

I hope this venue gets many more people involved and interested in getting these stories down for posterity. If I can help accomplish that, I’m happy and excited to do so.

If you want to learn more about the personal history process, check out my LifeStory Lady site or my blog. 

Published in: on January 15, 2009 at 6:12 pm  Leave a Comment