Virginian Luxuries, unknown artist, circa 1810 – 1825.

“As if to mimic the tendency of most Americans, including the Founding Fathers, to say as little as possible about slavery, and either to deny or avoid discussing its brutality, the painting, Virginian Luxuries appears anonymously (undated and unsigned) on the back or unseen side of another painting.] This two-part picture is hidden on the back of another painting. Written in fairly large letters at the bottom of the painting is its title, Virginian Luxuries, suggesting the scene’s location as well as a critical perspective on slavery.”

Excerpted from Seeing Slavery: How Paintings Make Words Look Different, by Alex Bontemps.

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Published: February 13, 2011

Charles E. Silberman, a journalist whose books addressed vast, turbulent social subjects including race, education, crime and the state of American Jewry, died on Feb. 5 in Sarasota, Fla. He was 86 and had lived in Sarasota in recent years.

February 14, 2011

Neal Boenzi/The New York Times

Charles E. Silberman in 1985.

The cause was a heart attack, his family said.

A former writer and editor at Fortune magazine, Mr. Silberman was known in particular for three books that took on some of the most highly charged issues of the day: “Crisis in Black and White” (1964), “Crisis in the Classroom: The Remaking of American Education” (1970) and “Criminal Violence, Criminal Justice” (1978).

In “Crisis in Black and White,” he explored the nation’s long history of racial oppression and its dire effects on the economic, social and educational prospects of 20th-century blacks. The book spent nine weeks on the New York Times best-seller list. Reviewing it, Time magazine wrote that Mr. Silberman “marches in no-nonsense fashion to a number of hard truths that are not meant to comfort or console.”

In “Crisis in the Classroom,” the product of a study underwritten by the Carnegie Foundation, Mr. Silberman turned his attention to the state of American public education, which he indicted as bleak, oppressive and generally in disarray.

“Criminal Violence, Criminal Justice” examined American crime and punishment through the lens of racism.

Reviewing the book in The New York Times, Roger Wilkins said, “In a field as beset by emotion, mythology and fear as crime is, honest reporting, earnest analysis and honorable speculation can surely serve the republic well, and that is what this book does — and more.”

Charles Eliot Silberman was born on Jan. 31, 1925, in Des Moines and grew up in New York City. After Navy service aboard a minesweeper in the Pacific in World War II, he earned a bachelor’s degree in economics from Columbia University in 1946 and did graduate work in economics there.

Mr. Silberman taught economics at Columbia and the City College of New York. He joined Fortune in 1953 and was on staff there until the early 1970s.

Mr. Silberman’s wife, the former Arlene Propper, whom he married in 1948, died last year. He is survived by four sons, David, Rick, Jeff and Steve, and six grandchildren.

His other books include “The Myths of Automation” (1966), written with other Fortune editors, and “A Certain People: American Jews and Their Lives Today,” which he described in interviews as his most personal book.

Published in 1985, “A Certain People” drew wide attention for its hopeful assertion — contrary to the hand-wringing by many prominent Jewish writers over intermarriage and assimilation — that American Jewry was undergoing a renaissance.

Jews could now enjoy success without fear of anti-Semitic reprisals, Mr. Silberman argued, and there was renewed interest among young Jews in keeping the faith.

To critics who took the book to task for naïve optimism, Mr. Silberman’s response was simple. As he told Newsweek in 1985, “It takes guts to bring good news to the Jewish community.”




Courtesy of Laura Siegel Larson Joanne Siegel in the 1940s, left, and in a drawing by Joe Shuster, who with Ms. Siegel’s husband, Jerry, created Superman.
Courtesy of Laura Siegel Larson, left; Joe Shuster, right

Joanne Siegel in the 1940s, left, and in a drawing by Joe Shuster, who with Ms. Siegel’s husband, Jerry, created Superman.


Published: February 15, 2011

Joanne Siegel, who as a Cleveland teenager during the Depression hired herself out as a model to an aspiring comic book artist, Joe Shuster, and thus became the first physical incarnation of Lois Lane, Superman’s love interest, died on Saturday in Santa Monica, Calif. She was 93.

February 16, 2011

DC Comics

Lois Lane and Clark Kent on a Superman comic book cover.

February 16, 2011

Everett Collection

Noel Neill and George Reeves in the 1950s television show “The Adventures of Superman.”

February 16, 2011

TMS & DC Comics Inc., via Associated Press

Margot Kidder and Christopher Reeve in the 1978 movie.

Ms. Siegel was married to Shuster’s partner and Superman co-creator, the writer Jerry Siegel. Their daughter, Laura Siegel Larson, confirmed her death.

A high school girl with an ambitious nature and stars in her eyes, young Joanne, like teenagers everywhere, was seeking a way to earn some money when she posed for the first time as Lois Lane. It was probably 1935, her daughter said, and “somebody had told her modeling was easy,” so she placed a brief ad in the classified section of The Plain Dealer, declaring herself available for modeling work and confessing that she had no experience. Most of the responses to the ad were requests for dates, but one at least seemed serious, and she presented herself to Shuster and Siegel, who were then developing Superman. (The first Superman comic was published in 1938.)

By that point the character was well along in Siegel’s mind; he knew he wanted her to be a journalist, and his model was a film character, a clever reporter named Torchy Blane who had been featured in a series of B movies, played by Glenda Farrell. (In the 1938 film “Torchy Blane in Panama,” the title character was played by Lola Lane, a singer and actress who some sources — including Ms. Larson — say influenced the name of Superman’s leading lady.)

In any case, during the modeling session Joanne struck various poses — draping herself over the arms of a chair, for example, to show how she might look being carried by Superman in flight — and she and the two men, who were barely in their 20s, became friends. Shuster’s drawings reproduced her hairstyle and her facial features, though in the most famous of the original drawings, Lois is considerably more voluptuous than her model was.

“Joe might have taken a few liberties,” Ms. Larson said with a laugh. She added that her mother’s irrepressibility, ambition and spunk informed her father’s development of the character: “My dad always said he wrote Lois with my mom’s personality in mind.”

The daughter of Hungarian immigrants, she was born Jolan Kovacs in Cleveland on Dec. 1, 1917; classmates and teachers who couldn’t or wouldn’t pronounce her name properly — YO-lan — called her Joan or Joanne, and the second name is the one that eventually stuck.

After her Lois Lane debut, she was an artist’s model in Boston and elsewhere. (For a time she used the name Joanne Carter.) During World War II she worked for a California ship builder, supporting the war effort. Returning to New York, she re-established a connection with Siegel at a fund-raising ball for cartoonists at which, according to family lore, the costumes were judged by Marlon Brando, then in the middle of his Broadway run in “A Streetcar Named Desire.”

Both had been married; she was divorced and he was soon to be. They married in 1948 and lived in Connecticut and on Long Island before moving to California in the 1960s. In addition to her daughter, who lives in the Los Angeles area, she is survived by a sister, Sophie Halko of Cleveland, and two grandsons.

Ms. Siegel worked at a number of jobs during her marriage — as one of California’s early car saleswomen, she sold new and used Chevys from a lot in Santa Monica — but much of her life was taken up trying to reclaim the original Superman copyright that Shuster and her husband sold to Detective Comics in 1937 for $130.

Of course, since then Superman as a character had become the central figure in comic books, television shows and blockbuster movies, not to mention the progenitor of legions of other superheroes. Ms. Siegel was the first in a long line of Lois Lanes, who have included Phyllis Coates, Noel Neill, Teri Hatcher, and Erica Durance on television and Margot Kidder in the movies.

The story of the plight of Shuster and Siegel, whose lives were marked by privation, is one of the cautionary tales in the annals of intellectual property. In a series of legal and public relations battles that began in 1947, the families eventually won some compensation from DC Comics (the successor to Detective Comics), and in 2008 a federal judge restored Siegel’s co-authorship share of the original Superman copyrights, though how much money the Siegel family is entitled to is still being adjudicated.

“All her life she carried the torch for Jerry and Joe — and other artists,” said Marc Toberoff, the lawyer for both the Siegel and Shuster families. “There was a lot of Lois Lane in Joanne Siegel.”




Obit Monroe

Andrew J. Choon/Associated Press SOURCE

Former Presidents Jimmy Carter and Gerald Ford at Tulane University in 1985 with Bill Monroe, center.


Published: February 17, 2011

Bill Monroe, a television journalist whose long career with NBC included stints as the network’s Washington bureau chief and moderator of its Sunday interview program, “Meet the Press,” died on Thursday at a nursing home in Potomac, Md. He was 90.

The cause was complications of hypertension, his daughter Lee Monroe said. He moved to the nursing home after taking a fall in December.

From 1975 to 1984, Mr. Monroe was the producer and moderator of “Meet the Press,” the long-running Sunday morning news program built around interviews with national and international figures. He was its fourth producer and moderator, succeeding Lawrence E. Spivak, after serving as a panelist himself.

On camera Mr. Monroe was serious and direct. In 1976, soon after becoming the permanent moderator, he grilled Gov. George C. Wallace of Alabama, who had once championed segregation and was running for president. “Have you personally changed your views about segregation?” Mr. Monroe asked.

When Mr. Wallace did not respond directly, Mr. Monroe interrupted him and repeated the question twice more. Mr. Wallace went on to say that race relations were better in the South than in other parts of the country.

In 1980, President Jimmy Carter used a “Meet the Press” interview with Mr. Monroe to announce that the United States would boycott the Olympics in Moscow that year to protest the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.

Mr. Monroe was previously Washington editor of the “Today” show; before that he was NBC’s Washington bureau chief. He was succeeded on “Meet the Press” by the co-hosts Marvin Kalb and Roger Mudd and later returned to “Today” to present a broadcast equivalent of newspapers’ letters-to-the-editor columns. People who wrote compelling letters were interviewed in their homes or places of work.

After retiring from NBC in 1986, Mr. Monroe was editor of The Washington Journalism Review and worked for the Defense Department as ombudsman for Stars and Stripes, the military newspaper. His last job was editing The Early Bird, a compendium of newspaper stories the Pentagon sent to bases around the world.

William Blanc Monroe Jr. was born in New Orleans on July 17, 1920, and graduated from Tulane University with a degree in philosophy and a Phi Beta Kappa key in 1942. He worked for United Press while in college and served in the Army Air Forces in the Mediterranean during World War II.

After the war he worked as a newsman on local radio and a local newspaper in New Orleans before becoming news director of WDSU’s AM, FM and television stations in New Orleans.

As part of the job he began writing editorials and delivering them himself, many of which called for calm during the early days of the civil rights movement. Some editorials provoked death threats.

In 1959, WDSU-TV won a George Foster Peabody Award for work done under Mr. Monroe’s direction. He also won a Peabody in 1973 for his news reporting on the “Today” show.

Early in his career, Mr. Monroe fought for greater press access to courtrooms and legislative chambers. In 1972, he testified before Congress to criticize the fairness doctrine of the Federal Communications Commission. Saying he was speaking for himself and not NBC, he argued that instead of being licensed and regulated by the F.C.C., broadcasters should be accorded the same unfettered First Amendment rights as newspapers.

He testified that the regulatory system led broadcasters to fear that Congress or the F.C.C. would discipline them for political reasons. The result, he said, was that they felt “boldness equals trouble with the government, blandness equals peace.”

In addition to his daughter Lee, Mr. Monroe is survived by three other daughters, Arthe Monroe Phillips, Catherine Monroe and Maria Monroe Poole; five grandchildren; and five great-grandchildren.





Published: February 17, 2011

There’s a holdup in the Bronx,

February 18, 2011

John Strauss

Brooklyn’s broken out in fights.

There’s a traffic jam in Harlem

That’s backed up to Jackson Heights.

There’s a scout troop short a child,

Khrushchev’s due at Idlewild.

Car 54, where are you?

Ask almost anyone over 50, and the song pours buoyantly forth, evoking one of television’s best-loved comedies.

The lyrics, by Nat Hiken, the show’s creator, capture New York in all its frenzied geography. But they would never have been as singable — or as enduringly etched in public memory — had they not been set to John Strauss’s jaunty march-time tune.

Mr. Strauss, an Emmy-winning composer and music editor who wrote the theme music for “Car 54, Where Are You?” and “The Phil Silvers Show” (familiarly known as “Sergeant Bilko”), died on Monday in Los Angeles. He was 90 and a longtime Los Angeles resident.

The cause was complications of Parkinson’s disease, his son, Larry, said.

Mr. Strauss received an Emmy for sound editing in 1978 for his work on the TV movie “The Amazing Howard Hughes,” and a Grammy in 1984 for producing the soundtrack album of the film “Amadeus.”

But it was for “Car 54” that he remained best known. Broadcast on NBC from 1961 to 1963, the show opens with its stars, Fred Gwynne and Joe E. Ross, blithely cruising the city in their squad car (they can be seen playing checkers on the dashboard as they drive), oblivious of the catastrophes erupting throughout the city.

Melodically, the opening bars of Mr. Strauss’s theme song recall the start of the second movement of Mozart’s G major Piano Trio (K. 564). As the song ends, the title question hangs in the air in plaintive treble.

John Leonard Strauss was born in New York on April 28, 1920, and began piano lessons as a boy. After Army service in France and North Africa in World War II, he studied composition with Paul Hindemith at Yale.

“The Accused,” a one-woman opera by Mr. Strauss with a libretto by Sheppard Kerman, was broadcast in 1961 on “Camera Three” on CBS. Centering on the Salem witch trials, the opera was conducted by Julius Rudel and sung by the soprano Patricia Neway.

Mr. Strauss’s marriage to the actress Charlotte Rae ended in divorce. His partner afterward, Lionel Friedman, died in 2003. (Mr. Hiken died in 1968.)

Besides his son, Larry, Mr. Strauss is survived by three grandchildren.

His film credits, as music editor, include “Take the Money and Run,” “Bananas,” “Hair,” “The Blues Brothers,” “Zoot Suit” and “Ragtime.”

Mr. Strauss was the music coordinator on “Amadeus,” in which he also appeared briefly on screen as a conductor, complete with powdered wig.


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Stardust's flyby of Comet Tempel 1
NASA / JPL / Cornell Univ.


Stardust’s Date With Comet Tempel 1

February 15, 2011 | Low on fuel but right on the money, NASA‘s Stardust spacecraft visited its second comet earlier today. Scientists are eager to see the crater supposedly punched in the icy nucleus 5½ years ago. One small problem: there’s not much of a crater to see. > read more 

Sky & Telescope April 2011

February 12, 2011 | Sky & Telescope‘s April 2011 issue is now available to digital subscribers. > read more 



X2 solar flare Feb. 15, 2011


Biggest Solar Blast in 4 Years

February 15, 2011 | Solar activity is indeed ramping up: the strongest solar flare in four years erupted on February 15th, dealing a glancing blow on the 18th. > read more 

Tour February’s Sky by Eye and Ear!

January 28, 2011 | February brings into view Orion and his faithful hunting dogs, a set of constellations that sparkle with bright, colorful stars. > read more 

Saturn’s New Bright Storm

December 27, 2010 | A massive new storm in the ringed planet’s northern hemisphere is bright enough to see in small telescopes. > read more 

This Week’s Sky at a Glance


Midnight view


This Week’s Sky at a Glance

February 18, 2011 | Orion stands highest after dark, four constellation carnivores are marching in parallel, and the Moon triangulates with Saturn and Spica. > read more 



Inside Boston's Hayden Planetarium
Museum of Science / Michael Malyszko


Boston’s Hayden Planetarium Gets a Makeover

February 18, 2011 | Looking spiffy after a year-long, $9 million renovation, New England’s largest sky theater can now transport audiences to the edge of the universe in style. > read more 

Measuring Skyglow with Digital Cameras

February 14, 2011 | Digital cameras are great for measuring skyglow, but more work needs to be done to automate the process. > read more



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February 17, 2011 Direct | Published by the Applied Research Center

America’s Food Sweatshops and the Workers of Color Who Feed Us

A new study from’s publisher, the Applied Research Center, reveals deep inequity in the food system.

Also: A Food Crisis Is Coming, But Urban America Already Has It Solved

Crucial College Grants Survive Obama’s Budget Knife, Barely

Julianne Hing explains Obama’s 2012 education budget proposals.
Also: Congressional Black Caucus “Cannot Accept” Obama Budget Cuts

Our Most Popular Love Posts

On Valentine’s Day we highlighted our most popular stories celebrating love.

Another Fashion Week, Another Colored Model Fad
But still no sign of questioning the Euro-supremacy at the root of what’s hot and what’s not.

Minuteman Vigilante Shawna Forde Convicted for Brisenia Flores’ Murder  
Forde reportedly planned elaborate heists in order to fund her anti-immigration activism.

Shirley Sherrod Finally Sues Andrew Breitbart Over Shady Video
Meanwhile, he attacks the former Agriculture Department employee for what he calls a “reparations” pay out.

Report: Blacks and Latinos Make Up 86 Percent of Pot Arrests in NYC
If ever a person needed more salient proof of systemic inequities in the criminal justice system, these numbers seem to provide it.

DREAM Act Supporters Send John Boehner Valentine’s Day Love
Maybe you’ve got a honey this year. Maybe you don’t. For supporters of the DREAM Act, either’s okay.

Editors Blog
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Gender Matters
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CELEBRATE LOVE on Facebook and Twitter
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Grand Jury Convenes To Investigate 1964 Cold Case

February 15, 2011

Frank Morris (in the apron and visor) is seen standing in front of his shoe shop in the 1950s. He was killed when his shoe shop burned down in Ferriday, La., in 1964.

Courtesy of the Concordia Sentinel and William BrownFrank Morris (in the apron and visor) is seen standing in front of his shoe shop in Ferriday, La., in the 1950s. He was killed when the shop burned down in 1964. Until now, the case has gone unsolved.

February 15, 2011

In Concordia Parish, La., a grand jury has begun hearing testimony about an unsolved murder from the civil rights era. That comes less than one month after Stanley Nelson, the editor of the weekly Concordia Sentinel, first named a suspect in the death of Frank Morris, a respected shoe repair owner. And it was Nelson who first reported the grand jury had begun calling witnesses in the 46-year-old case.

Stanley Nelson, the editor of the Concordia Sentinel, has been investigating the Frank Morris case for four years. After he named a potential suspect, a local grand jury began hearing testimony in the case.
Enlarge Joseph Shaprio/NPRStanley Nelson, the editor of the Concordia Sentinel, has been investigating the Frank Morris case for four years. After he named a potential suspect, a local grand jury began hearing testimony in the case.

Stanley Nelson, the editor of the Concordia Sentinel, has been investigating the Frank Morris case for four years. After he named a potential suspect, a local grand jury began hearing testimony in the case.

Joseph Shaprio/NPRStanley Nelson, the editor of the Concordia Sentinel, has been investigating the Frank Morris case for four years. After he named a potential suspect, a local grand jury began hearing testimony in the case.

Nelson grew up near Morris’ shop, on the main street in Ferriday, La., a town just several miles across the Mississippi River from Natchez, Miss. He was 9 years old in December 1964, when Morris’ store was set on fire with Morris trapped inside.

But Nelson only learned about Morris four years ago, along with the brutal Ku Klux Klan violence in his own community. That’s when the FBI released a list of unsolved murders from the civil rights era.

The shoe store owned by Frank Morris after it was set ablaze in December 1964.
Photo courtesy of the Concorida Sentinel and August ThompsonThe shoe store owned by Frank Morris after it was set ablaze in December 1964.

“I like Frank Morris. I respect him. He was a good man,” says Nelson. “I wish that I had known him. Every person that worked for Frank remembers him in such a good way. But Concordia Parish has not lifted a finger for Frank Morris. [It] has not done anything for Frank Morris. But we can now. Justice is important for everybody.”

Last month, the newspaper editor wrote the most important story of his career. On the front page, he named a suspect: Leonard Spencer, a former Ku Klux Klansman, who’s now 72 and lives in a nearby parish. The sources were Spencer’s own family members. They say Spencer and another Klansman, who’s now dead, talked about setting the fire that night.

Spencer insists he wasn’t involved.

Morris Unified A Community

For years, all that was known about that night came from Morris’ own cryptic words on his deathbed. In the hospital, his body covered with burns, he said two men came late at night. One had a gas can. The other had a rifle. They forced him back inside his shop and then set it on fire.

Frank Morris (in the apron and visor) is seen standing in front of his shoe shop in the 1950s. He was killed when his shoe shop burned down in Ferriday, La., in 1964.

Solving A 1964 Cold Case: Mystery Of Frank Morris

Journalist Stanley Nelson details the involvement of the Ku Klux Klan in a deadly fire.

It was unclear whether the men were strangers — or if he knew them but was simply too afraid to say so.

Nelson says Morris was rare for a black business owner in Ferriday.

“He had a business that had both a black and white clientele,” says Nelson. “People depended on Frank. It was important back in those days. Most people only had one pair of shoes per family member. And so it was important to be able to make those shoes last as long as possible. So Frank could put a sole on that shoe, he could stitch it. He could keep that family in those shoes. And he took great pride in what he did.”

But it was 1964. Congress had just passed the Civil Rights Act. Many whites in that part of the South were angry — and scared — that the federal government was changing their way of racial segregation. In Ferriday, blacks at least had numbers on their side: They outnumbered whites nearly 2 to 1. In Concordia Parish, the numbers were almost even, with the white population just slightly outnumbering the blacks.

The Ku Klux Klan saw Morris as a threat — representing feared integration — because he was respected by some whites.

From left to right: Willis, Robert and James Lee. The three brothers are the sons of the Rev. Robert Lee Jr., who was  one of the few to visit Frank Morris in the hospital after the shoe store was set on fire.
Joseph Shapiro/NPRFrom left to right: Willis, Robert and James Lee. The three brothers are the sons of the Rev. Robert Lee Jr., who was one of the few to visit Frank Morris in the hospital after the shoe store was set on fire.

Black kids like Robert Lee III grew up respecting Morris, too. His father, the Rev. Robert Lee Jr., was a friend of Morris’ and one of the few allowed to visit him in the hospital after the fire.

The younger Lee was in the Navy when his mother wrote that Morris had died.

“It was heartbreaking. … We were overseas, serving in the military for this country and then at home … this black man who we looked up to was being burned out by whites. Then we’re saying, now why in the world am I over here, you know, sworn to the oath of office to die for this country for somebody else and here it is, here’s this prominent man, this great man was being burned to death by a bunch of Ku Kluxers who probably couldn’t, couldn’t even pass the test to go into the military. It pissed a lot of us off, I’m using the word pissed off, because it wasn’t right,” Lee says.

In Ferriday, on the local radio station among all the white DJs, Morris also had a show. Every Sunday morning, he played gospel music.

When Lee and his brother Willis were in the military and then in Vietnam, Morris would dedicate a song, every Sunday, to their mother. The song, “Waiting For My Child,” is about a mother who longs to be reunited for her son who is far away.

Spotlight On A Small Town

A lot of white people also listened to Morris on the radio while growing up, including Glen McGlothin.

Today, McGlothin, who has his own rock ‘n’ roll cover band, is the mayor of Ferriday — a town known as the birthplace of Jerry Lee Lewis, Mickey Gilley and the Rev. Jimmy Swaggart. There are fewer than 4,000 people who live there, and 3 out of 4 residents are African-American. The broader Concordia Parish, which lies along the Mississippi River, is nearly 59 percent white.

Glen McGlothin, the mayor of Ferriday, La., says he doesn’t fear the attention his 4,000-person town is receiving as a result of the Frank Morris case.
Glen McGlothin, the mayor of Ferriday, La., says he doesn't fear the attention his 4,000-person town is receiving as a result of the Frank Morris case.

Joseph Shapiro/NPRGlen McGlothin, the mayor of Ferriday, La., says he doesn’t fear the attention his 4,000-person town is receiving as a result of the Frank Morris case.

From his office filled with music memorabilia, McGlothin says he doesn’t fear the attention Ferriday is getting right now as the national media, and even some media around the world, report the new revelations regardng the Frank Morris case. “Anybody around here knows we had a problem then,” he says. “It’s part of history. It is history. I mean, do we want to rewrite it and act like none of it happened? I can’t see that.”

The mayor defends Nelson’s efforts when people complain that the editor shouldn’t be digging up the town’s violent past. “My point is this,” McGlothin says. “Somebody was murdered. I can’t see the problem with finding out who did it. I don’t care how long it took. If it was my father, or my brother, I wouldn’t care if it took a hundred years, I’d want to find him. So what is the difference, and Mr. Frank’s friends and family want to find out who killed him.”

Nelson also hears these complaints.

Web Resources On The Frank Morris Case

This is just one of many civil rights era cold cases that journalists like Stanley Nelson are investigating as part of The Civil Rights Cold Case Project, an unprecedented collaboration of journalists. Continue reading more about the investigation here:

But for the most part, the reaction to his reporting is neutral or positive. The paper hasn’t lost any advertising. It’s even gained a small number of subscribers. The Morris story is the best detective mystery in town. And people want to know how it turns out.

They’ve followed the more than 150 stories Nelson has written over the past four years about the Morris case and other Ku Klux Klan violence. Nelson has conducted more than 300 interviews. He says he lost count of the exact number a couple of years ago. He’s tracked down witnesses, ex-cops and other law enforcement and family and friends who knew Morris. He’s read thousands and thousands of pages of police reports and FBI documents.

But he worries that time is running out. Suspects and witnesses are dying. Nelson notes that last week, on the day the grand jury started hearing testimony, E.L. McDaniel died. McDaniel was a Klansman turned FBI informant who, in the 1960s, pointed federal law enforcement officials to other suspects in the Morris case.

To Nelson, holding Morris’ killers accountable is not just about justice for Morris. It’s about racial healing — for Concordia Parish and for the nation.

Now the grand jury must decide whether Nelson is right — and if there’s enough evidence to indict the man he named as a suspect in Morris’ death a little more than 46 years ago.


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Scottish Deerhound Hickory Wins the 2011 Westminster Dog Show

by Joe Jackson
Feb 15th 2011 @ 10:45PM

scottish deerhound dog pictureTimothy A. Clary, AFP / Getty Images

Hickory lapped up the limelight after winning Best in Show at the 2011 Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show Tuesday night in New York City.

The 5-year-old female Scottish deerhound — full name Gch. Foxcliffe Hickory Wind — has been the No. 1 Scottish deerhound for the last three years. But this was her first Best in Show appearance at Westminster.

After entering the ring at Madison Square Garden under a spotlight to rapturous applause, handler Angela Lloyd — a junior handler winner at Westminster in 1998 — led her to a swift and popular victory.

Judge Paolo Dondina, who paid tribute to all the seven finalists as “the best he could remember,” did not take long to select Hickory as his choice for Best in Show. He watched their initial entrance lap and took a closer look at each dog before quickly deciding on Hickory.

“I think she was beautiful,” he told reporters after the award. “This one feels perfect — very well balanced and beautiful. She did a marvelous job.”

The victorious dog and handler drew the adulation of a large crowd as she basked in the victory. Some attendees paid as much as $155 to attend Best in Show, which was also broadcast live on the USA Network.

Lloyd, who has been living with Hickory at her home in Virginia, heaped praise on the deerhound. “She went in there tonight and showed like she’s never shown before,” said the 31-year-old handler. “She was solid and steady despite all the flashbulbs and cameras. She came right through it.”

The Competition
The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show is considered the most prestigious in the nation, with more than 2,500 dogs each year vying for the top title of Best in Show. It is the second-oldest continuous sporting event in the country, trailing the Kentucky Derby by a year.

Tuesday night’s seven finalists had all emerged victorious from several tough rounds, which began Monday at 8 a.m. ET. They had each advanced from their Best of Breed heats and then each went on to win their respective group categories — Terrier, Herding, Sporting, Non-sporting, Toy, Hound and Working.

The contest was a little tougher this year because Westminster introduced six new breeds that had been officially recognized by the American Kennel Club. In total, 2,597 dogs representing 179 breeds from 49 states, Washington, D.C., and Canada competed in this year’s show.

scottish deerhound westminster dog pictureFrank Franklin II, AP

The Big Win
Best in Show judge Paolo Dondina, of Monterchi, Italy — the first Italian ever and the first person from outside North America to preside over Westminster’s Best in Show since 1930 — admitted he is a “hound person.”

“So this is my dream,” he added. “Like Walter Scott said, this dog should be in heaven with him, and I feel the same.”

In 2010 the hot favorite, Sadie, a Scottish terrier whose full name is Roundtown Mercedes of Maryscot, walked away with the prized crown. Sadie was a Best of Breed winner in 2009 at Crufts in England — the largest dog show in the world. She is now pregnant and expecting four puppies, according to the Scottish terrier website.

A terrier has won Best in Show at Westminster 45 times — more than any other group. Ahead of this year’s competition pundits were expecting more of the same. Bookmaker Johnny Avello — who has correctly picked the winning breed for the past five years — predicted a smooth fox terrier would take the top title, according to NBC Sports.

But the night belonged to Hickory. Lloyd said the champion will now retire and return to the 50-acre farm in Virginia she grew up on.

“She’s a wonderful dog to live with. I’ll miss those nose-nudges in the middle of the night,” added Lloyd.

scottish deerhound dog pictureMary Altaffer, AP

Hickory’s competition for the title were Pekingese Malachy from the Toy group, Chinese shar-pei Jayne from the Non-sporting group, the bearded collie Mr. Baggins of the Herding group, black cocker spaniel Beckham of the Sporting group, Portuguese water dog Ladybug from the Working group and Terrier Best of Group, Adam, a smooth fox terrier.

The Best in Show competition drew its usual mix of seasoned dog show watchers and those attending for the first time. Lauren Clark, 27, of Brooklyn, N.Y., bought dog-loving boyfriend Tim Cooper, 26, the Best in Show tickets as a Valentine’s Day present.

“I loved it,” he said. “The best part of it is you can actually go down and meet the stars of the show. At what other sporting event can you do that?”

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From, here is an article about how to leave comments. The post offers some excellent tips on how to comment, stay on topic, not to leave links to your blog in the comment, being polite in discussing the post, as well as discussing opinions on the post, whether pro or con.


Are You Well-Versed in Comment Etiquette?

by Erica Johnson

Which comment would you rather receive?

“Great post! Check out my blog at”


“Well said! I know exactly what you mean about X, and I’m glad that I’m not the only one who thinks so. I would even say that A, B, C! Your candor is greatly appreciated.”

The second one, of course. Why? For one thing, it follows the etiquette guidelines below. But even more importantly, it was written with the intent to forge a relationship, not to self promote.

Relationship building is a much more effective and rewarding strategy for attracting new visitors to your site than spamming, so if you’re interested in boosting your readership, keep the following tips in mind when you leave comments on others’ posts:

1. Be specific. Personalized comments show authors that you’re genuinely interested in what they have to say, and that you actually took the time to read what they wrote. This doesn’t mean you need to write a long comment, just be sure to articulate why you felt compelled to say something in the first place. Did you learn something new? Did you have a similar experience? Do you want to voice a different perspective? Quote the author directly if you need to clarify what specific sentences you’re responding to.

Even if you simply want to compliment someone’s work, explain what you liked about it. Avoid vague comments like “Awesome! Thanks for sharing.” If you’re not sure what to say, consider using the Like button to show your support.

2. Don’t leave a link to your blog. When you leave a comment on a blog post, your name will automatically link to your blog, so there’s no need to include it twice. (This setting can be found under Users → Personal Settings in your dashboard, in the Account Details section.) Blatant self-promotion is generally frowned upon and is likely to be ignored, so be careful not to tarnish your reputation by creating the perception that you’re a spammer.

On a related note, when you mention another author’s post on your own blog, do include a link, instead of just mentioning the post title or blog name. This will generate a pingback and inform the author that you mentioned their post.

3. Stay on topic. Take care not to diverge too far from the subject of the original post. If you end up in an off-topic exchange with other commenters, message them directly to avoid distracting from the comments left for the post author.

It’s perfectly acceptable to share relevant links, just be sure to explain how they relate to the original post.

Bonus trick: Turn text into links with HTML by using the following code:

1 <a href="link">text</a>

For example,

1 <a href="">My favorite blogging platform</a>

creates My favorite blogging platform when published as a comment.

4. Be nice. Even if you disagree with someone, it’s never appropriate to use insults or other offensive language. Rude comments don’t add any value to a discussion, and only divert attention away from the author’s work. It’s perfectly fine to offer constructive criticism, just be polite. If you see others writing disrespectful or incendiary comments, or you receive such comments on your own blog, ignore/delete them. Acknowledging them will only encourage the aggressor, so don’t waste your time.

5. Keep it brief. The more concise your comment, the easier it will be for others to read and respond to. In most cases, a few sentences is plenty.

But what if you feel strongly about a topic and have a lot to say — is it appropriate to leave a long-winded comment? Or should you write a response on your own blog, then leave a comment that summarizes your post?

It depends. Some bloggers feel that long comments are overwhelming and disruptive. Others prefer to keep the conversation all in one place. What do you think?

Speaking of building relationships with other bloggers, it’s not too late to join the Post a Day/Post a Week challenge if you’re interested in interacting more with other members of the community. Check out The Daily Post for details.

Have questions about comment settings and management? Find the answers you need in our extensive support documentation on comments.


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