Saturday, August 29, 2015

Saturday Snippets


KKK emblem

The Ku Klux Klan was founded on 24 December 1865 in Tennessee by 6 veterans of the Confederate Army. Former Confederate General Nathan Bedford Forrest, after whom Forrest Gump was named, was the KKK’s first grand wizard; in 1869, he unsuccessfully tried to disband it after he grew critical of the Klan’s excessive violence. 

General Nathan Bedford Forrest

The name Ku Klux Klan is derived from the Greek word kyklos, meaning “circle,” and the Scottish-Gaelic word “clan,” which was chosen for the sake of alliteration.

There have been 3 Klan movements:

Founded the Klan sought to overthrow the Republican state governments in the South during the Reconstruction Era, especially by violence against African American leaders. 

The second Klan movement was founded in 1915 and was more structured, better organised and more widespread. It had a peak membership of 4-5 million men and had a platform of strong opposition to Catholicism. This period saw the adoption of the burning cross symbol. Internal divisions, criminal behaviour by leaders, and external opposition brought about a collapse in membership, with a fading away in the 1940’s.

1950’s, 1960’s -
The Ku Klux Klan name was used by a numerous independent local groups opposing the Civil Rights Movement and desegregation, especially in the 1950s and 1960s. During this period, they often forged alliances with Southern police departments, as in Birmingham, Alabama; or with governor's offices, as with George Wallace of Alabama. Several members of KKK groups were convicted of murder in the deaths of civil rights workers and children in the bombing of the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham. Today, researchers estimate that there may be 150 Klan chapters with upwards of 5,000 members nationwide.

Ku Klux Klan Parade on Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C.
Sep, 1926

Pink Floyd’s Another Brick In the Wall Trefers to the "walls" people put up to protect themselves. Any time something bad happens, we withdraw further, putting up "another brick in the wall."

As the song ends, the sounds of a school yard are heard, along with a Scottish teacher who continues to lord it over the children's lives by shouting "Wrong! Do it again!", and "If you don't eat yer meat, you can't have any pudding! How can you have any pudding if you don't eat yer meat?!", and "You! Yes! You behind the bikesheds! Stand still, laddie!", all of it dissolving into the dull drone of a phone ringing and ending with a deep sigh.  (Meaning: you can't have the second course, dessert, often called "pudding" in England, if you don'rt finish the first course, ie meat, vegies etc).

When Pink Floyd first recorded this song, it was one verse and one chorus, and lasted 1:20. Producer Bob Ezrin wanted it longer, but the band refused. While they were gone, Ezrin made it longer by inserting the kids as the second verse, adding some drum fills, and copying the first chorus to the end.

The name Pink Floyd is derived from the given names of two blues musicians, Pink Anderson and Floyd Council.

The expression “Curiosity killed the cat” was originally expressed as “care killed the cat”, with “care” in this context meaning “worry” or “sorrow”. That form of the expression is first recorded in the English playwright Ben Jonson's play Every Man in His Humour, 1598:

"Helter skelter, hang sorrow, care'll kill a Cat, up-tails all, and a Louse for the Hangman."

Shakespeare used it a year later in Much Ado About Nothing:

"What, courage man! what though care killed a cat, thou hast mettle enough in thee to kill care."

The transformation to cats being killed by curiosity is probably due to the inquisitive nature of cats and that curiosity was looked down on as a negative trait. The earliest recording of the phrase in this sense 

is from The Galveston Daily News, 1898:

It is said that once "curiosity killed a Thomas cat." 

A Thomas cat is a male cat, btw.

Two Nazi submarines declined to surrender when Berlin fell and instead remained submerged for two months before landing in Argentina. One of the submarines, U-530, is said to have offloaded a Nazi officer and a civilian before being detected. There was speculation at the time that the officer and civilian were Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun in disguise.

Submarine U-530 after surrender.

When the Nazi Party held its first bookburnings, one of the works destroyed was an 1821 play by Heinrich Heine containing the famous line: “Where they burn books, they will in the end also burn people.”

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