“A multiracial nation united in justice”

Dan Weiner, [Martin Luther King, Jr., Montgomery, Alabama], 1956 (1984.2)

Marvin Koner, Martin Luther King and Family, 1961 (3584.1992)

Paul Schutzer, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. with Freedom Riders at bus terminal, probably in Jackson, MS, May 1961 (1855.2005)

Days after the offensive and derogatory comments expressed by the President of the United States about Haiti, El Salvador and African countries, Coretta Scott King’s powerful words in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day resonate even more strongly:

On this day we commemorate Dr. King’s great dream of a vibrant, multiracial nation united in justice, peace and reconciliation; a nation that has a place at the table for children of every race and room at the inn for every needy child. We are called on this holiday, not merely to honor, but to celebrate the values of equality, tolerance and interracial sister and brotherhood he so compellingly expressed in his great dream for America.

It is a day of interracial and intercultural cooperation and sharing. No other day of the year brings so many peoples from different cultural backgrounds together in such a vibrant spirit of brother and sisterhood. Whether you are African-American, Hispanic or Native American, whether you are Caucasian or Asian-American, you are part of the great dream Martin Luther King, Jr. had for America. This is not a black holiday; it is a peoples’ holiday. And it is the young people of all races and religions who hold the keys to the fulfillment of his dream.

Dr. King would have turned 89 years today.

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“Careful planning could save lives.”

Loomis Dean (1917-2005), [Scorched male mannequin clad in dark business suit standing in desert 7,000 ft. from the 44th nuclear test explosion, a day after the blast, indicating that humans could be burnt but still alive, Yucca Flat, Nevada], May, 1955 (1995.2005)

Loomis Dean (1917-2005), [Unburned female mannequin with wig askew is wearing light-colored dress that absorbs less heat from atomic bomb blast, Yucca Flat, Nevada], May, 1955 (1994.2005)

Loomis Dean (1917-2005), [Burned up except for face, this mannequin, was 7,000 feet from atomic bomb blast, Yucca Flat, Nevada], May, 1955 (1996.2005)

Loomis Dean (1917-2005), [Fallen mannequin in house 5,500 feet from bomb is presumed dead, Yucca Flat, Nevada], May, 1955 (1993.2005)

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), in Atlanta, Georgia, are offering a presentation on January 16th called: “Public Health Response to a Nuclear Detonation.” The CDC writes on their website: “While a nuclear detonation is unlikely, it would have devastating results and there would be limited time to take critical protection steps. Despite the fear surrounding such an event, planning and preparation can lessen deaths and illness. For instance, most people don’t realize that sheltering in place for at least 24 hours is crucial to saving lives and reducing exposure to radiation. While federal, state, and local agencies will lead the immediate response efforts, public health will play a key role in responding.” Nuclear war is being normalized. The horrors of a nuclear bomb detonation are unimaginable. On August 6, 1945, the United States detonated an atomic bomb over Hiroshima. The blast destroyed about 70 percent of the city and caused the deaths of more than 140,000 people.

Yoshito Matsushige, [Dazed survivors huddle together in the street ten minutes after the atomic bomb was dropped on their city, Hiroshima], August 6, 1945 (1464.2005)

Between 1945 and 1992 the United States conducted approximately 1,054 nuclear tests, many in Nevada. Loomis Dean’s photos were made in May, 1955, in what was called Yucca Flat, Nevada, also known as Area 1, in the Nevada National Security Site. (The Nevada National Security Site website.) Dean’s photos document Operation Teapot. Mannequins, wearing different fabrics and colors were situated at various distances from (and facing) the bomb blast. On May 5, 1955, the explosion, named Apple-2, “was intended to test various building construction types in a nuclear blast. An assortment of buildings, including residential houses and electrical substations, were constructed at the site nicknamed ‘Survival Town.’ The buildings were populated with mannequins, and stocked with different types of canned and packaged foods. Not all of the buildings were destroyed in the blast, and some of them still stand at Area 1, Nevada Test Site. A short film about the blast, referred to as ‘Operation Cue,’ was distributed by the Federal Civil Defense Administration.” (Operation Teapot). The mannequins, representing “Mr. and Mrs. America,” in Loomis Dean’s photos appear in “Operation Cue,” at both the 7:47 and 13:30 marks. (“Do you remember this young lady? This tattoo mark was left beneath the dark pattern. And this young man. This is how the blast charred and faded the outer layer of his new dark suit…” That’s Life:

Life, May 16, 1955, p. 58

Mannequins show varied effects of atomic blast

A day after the 44th nuclear test explosion in the U.S. rent the still Nevada air last week, observers cautiously inspected department store mannequins which were poised disheveled but still haughty on the sands and in the homes of Yucca Flat. The figures were residents of an entire million-dollar village built to test the effects of an atomic blast on everything from houses to clothes to canned soup.
The condition of the figures – one charred, another only scorched, another almost untouched – showed that the blast, equivalent to 35,000 tons of TNT, was discriminating in its effects. As one phase of the atomic test, the village and figures help guide civil defense planning – and make clear that even amid atomic holocaust careful planning could save lives.

Operation Cue (1955), by United States Federal Civil Defense Administration, from archive.org.


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For the birds

Richard Tepe (1873-1952), Two young brown chicks in their nest, ca. 1910-40 (323.2001)

Richard Tepe (1873-1952), Female aquatic warbler in her nest with young, June 25, 1935 (305.2001)

Richard Tepe (1873-1952), A bullfinch with its young at the nest in a birch, ca. 1910-40, (319.2001)

Richard Tepe (1873-1952), [Mother Feeding Her Children in Her Nest], ca. 1910-40 (312.2001)

Richard Tepe (1873-1952), [Tall bird standing on big open field], ca. 1910-40 (325.2001)

More about Richard Tepe: Richard Tepe: An Early Look into Nature. Of local interest, The Wild Bird Fund is doing great work by providing “medical care and rehabilitation to native and passing migrant wildlife so that they can be released back into the wild.” January 5th is National Bird Day.

Louise Dahl-Wolfe (1895-1989), My birds, in memory of Hazel Kingsbury and Paul Strand, 1974 (87.1982)

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Six Snow People

VU, December 5, 1934 (2009.61.93)

Unidentified Photographer, [20-Foot Snow Sculpture of Amelia Earhart], February 28, 1938 (2007.9.2)

Unidentified Photographer, 20-Foot Snow Sculpture of Amelia Earhart, February 1938 (2006.18.4)

Robert Capa, [Betty and John Marsh watching ice skating show during the filming of Cinerama Holiday, St. Moritz, Switzerland], 1954 (2013.92.83)

Weegee, Snow man in front of Unisphere, ca. 1965 (13050.1993)

John Coffer, [Snowman], 2008 (2008.80.1)

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Happy New Year: Hot and Free

Weegee, “Tavern of ground floor of burning building at 80 Greenwich St. is shelter for firemen overcome by smoke, New Year’s Eve. Customers also had a hot time,” January 2, 1945 (15175.1993)

Weegee, “Hot,” January 1, 1940 (15010.1993)

Hot. Coney Island had a nice New Year’s spectacle in a three-alarm fire. Here are firemen celebrating holiday by putting out (not starting) a blaze. New York Daily News, January 1, 1940, p. 23

Weegee, [Shorty, the Bowery Cherub, New Year’s Eve at Sammy’s Bar, New York], January 1, 1943, (2017.1993)

Weegee, “New Year’s at 5 in the morning in a night club, I found this 3 year old with his parents welcoming the New Year with milk,” January 1, 1943 (14227.1993)

Weegee, [“New Year’s at 5 in the morning in a night club, I found this 3 year old with his parents welcoming the New Year with milk.” Being carried by a woman with a camera], January 1, 1943 (14228.1993)

Weegee, New Years, Stuyvesant Casino, ca. 1945 (16093.1993)

Weegee, “Mrs. Anna Sheehan… Accused as Murderess”, January 8, 1937 (14036.1993)

Mother arrested for Killing her husband during Party. She was freed at Trial. Written by Weegee on verso

Mrs. Anna Sheehan, a 27 year old mother of three, was held for stabbing her husband, Joseph Sheehan. On the way to friend’s party, couple argued over $2 taken out of the family budget for a New Year’s Eve celebration. The argument continued at the kitchen of the friend’s house. Joseph Sheehan threatened his wife with a broken bottle and Anna Sheehan picked up a knife and her husband accidentally fell against it. (Summary of New York Times articles.)

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Make a New Year’s Revolution

VU, “Nous Vous La Souhaitons Bonne et Heureuse,” [“We Wish It To You Good and Happy”], January 1, 1930, (2009.52.75)

Hiram Dotson, Friend’s New Year Eve Party, ca. 1970-1995 (DA.1C2.15)

Sharon Avery, Make a New Year’s Revolution, Kids!, ca. 1970 (875.2002)

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New Year’s Eve, Times Square, New York: The New Year Brings Hope

Dan Weiner, New Years Eve, Times Square, New York, 1951 (143.1992)

Dan Weiner, New Years Eve, Times Square, New York, 1951 (969.1974)

Weegee, New Year’s Eve, Times Square, New York, ca. 1945 (15654.1993)

Weegee, For a Happier 1945… To Her and to Millions… the New Year Brings Hope, January 1, 1945 (16279.1993)

Leon Levinstein, [New Year’s Eve, Times Square, New York], 1970 (2012.114.32)

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