You know how important it is to be safe, right? With so many U. S. states enacting laws to permit guns on college campuses, folks might consider body armor…and why not body armor with a little school spirit? “Protect your student body!” Body armor emblazoned with the names of state universities of states promoting campus carry laws. What could be cooler? StudentBodyArmor.com.
Category Archives: Education
Happy birthday, Mr. Jefferson!
At the University of Virginia (U.Va.), today is called “Founder’s Day.”
At the same time that I temper my admiration for him with the knowledge that he kept people in bondage, bought and sold them, and abided their maltreatment, I also want to remember that Mr. Jefferson was among the principal architects—if not the lead author—of many socio-cultural, governmental, and philosophical constructs that I hold dear:
- Writing “A Bill For establishing religious freedom,” Bill number 82 of 1779, adopted in 1785 by the Virginia General Assembly and now commonly referred to as the Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom.
- Drafting the Declaration of Independence.
- Founding of U.Va.
- Commissioning the Corps of Volunteers for North West Discovery, led by M. Lewis and W. Clark.
- Designing U.Va., Monticello, and many other buildings, as well as special features in them.
The list could continue….And I very much appreciate these contributions to the commonweal. So, it’s a b’day worthy of celebration.
On this date in 1939, Samuel Wilbert Tucker and six collaborators staged what has got to be one of the cleverest civil rights sit-ins of all time. One by one, William Evans, Otto L. Tucker, Edward Gaddis, Morris Murray, and Clarence Strange went to the circulation desk at the Alexandria (VA, US) Public Library and requested library cards. As each was refused a card to use the library his taxes supported, he quietly went to the stacks, selected a book, sat at a table, and began to read it. Then the next followed with the same request, result, and action.
S. J. Ackerman’s 2000 account, published as “Samuel Wilbert Tucker: The Unsung Hero of the School Desegregation Movement” in Journal of Blacks in Higher Education, begins with the priceless description of these events shown at the right. Eventually, of course, library managers and city officials summoned the police. Meanwhile, according to story, Robert Strange (the sixth collaborator) raced to Mr. Tucker’s nearby law office and alterted him about how the events were occuring.
Inside the library, the police arrested the miscreant readers and led them outside. When they emerged from the library, the officers and five collaborators found 300 spectators, according to Mr. Ackerman. Mr. Tucker’s ploy had worked spectactularly on the ground, though it didn’t generate as much press as one might have hoped. According to Mr. Ackerman’s account, “The media paid scant attention to the episode. Preoccupied with the Hitler-Stalin pact, disclosed that same day, the Washington Star missed the story. The Post reported that ‘five colored youths’ had staged a ‘sit-down strike.’ The Times Herald and the African-American Washington Tribune used similar terminology.”
Even if it didn’t make a big splash, the 1939 sit-down strike in a public library sounds like an early incident in something pretty important. Civil rights. Non-violence. Rule of law. Access to public services. The list could go on and on….
There are sequels to this story: Mr. Tucker was later offered a library card for a “colored library,” and he refused it. He later co-founded an eminent law firm in Richmond (VA, US) and argued important civil rights cases, many before the US Supreme Court (including Green v. County School Board of New Kent County). He served for many years as the representative of Virginia’s NAACP. And very much more.
Vi Hart, who is probably my favorite mathematician not named Robert Berry, released another wonderful video on 15 September 2015. Vi Hart muses about using a tree diagram to represent digits recursively in infinite progression (regression?). As usual, it’s smart, informative, amusing, and highly recommended. Snag a view from the Web page, Infinite Binary Trees, or from the YouTube page.
I may be a bit late to the dance, but I still want to admire the provo-like action of Kansas University student Chloe Hough. According to a story by Rochelle Valverde in the Lawrence (KS, US) Journal-World, while working as a waitron in a local restaurant, Ms. Hough served Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback on 2 May 2015; Gov. Brownback has been leading an effort to make substantial reductions in Kansas state spending, including on education, on the argument that lowering government costs and reducing taxes will spur substantial growth in business, industry, and jobs. When Ms. Hough presented the governor with the check, she annotated the check with a personalized message. You can see an image of the check and get the full story in the LJ-W‘s version of Ms. Valverde’s story.