On this day…

This is the 21st September edition of New York’s Sunday News from 1958, announcing that US civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. had been stabbed in the chest the day before, at Blumstein’s Department Store in Harlem.

The attacker was a woman named Izola Curry, and the crime surprised many as she was African American.


Izola Curry http___a_amz_mshcdn_com_wp-content_uploads_2016_01_mlkstabbing-3On Sept. 20, 1958, 29-year-old Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in Blumstein_s Department Store in Harlem SUn

Surgery was required to removed the knife, and King stayed in hospital for almost two weeks.

http___a_amz_mshcdn_com_wp-content_uploads_2016_01_mlkstabbing-1The attacker was a woman named Izola Curry, and crime surprised many as she was African American.

On this day: Martin Luther King is Stabbed

http___a_amz_mshcdn_com_wp-content_uploads_2016_01_mlkstabbing-7Izola Curry under arrest after stabbing Martin Luther King in the chest 20th September 1958.

Izola Curry under arrest.

On the 20th of September, 1958 a woman by the name of Izola Curry approached US civil rights activist Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in Blumstein’s Department Store in Harlem, New York. After confirming the man she was speaking to was King, she stabbed him in the chest with an ivory handled letter opener. It was also discovered Curry had a gun hidden in her bra.

The crime was considered especially unusual as Curry was African American.

Izola Curry http___a_amz_mshcdn_com_wp-content_uploads_2016_01_mlkstabbing-3On Sept. 20, 1958, 29-year-old Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was in Blumstein_s Department Store in Harlem.

Being treated with the blade still in his chest.

The blade was so close to King’s aorta that it was feared he’d die if he moved suddenly. The weapon was removed via surgery.

Izola Curry http___a_amz_mshcdn_com_wp-content_uploads_2016_01_mlkstabbing-3On Sept. 20, 1958, 29-year-old Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in hospital with wife Coretta 30th September 1958

With his wife Coretta in hospital on the 30th of September.

Curry was committed to a mental institution, and continued to live in various facilities until her death at the age of ninety-eight in 2015.

More information can be found HERE and HERE.

Sixty Years Ago: British Ballet in Australia

10th September 1958: New Zealand-born ballerina Rowena Jackson stars in a (British) Royal Ballet performance of Swan Lake at the Empire Theatre in Sydney, Australia.

On this day: Spinsters Are Wonderful People

On the 10th of May, 1958, the Australian Catholic Truth Society released a pamphlet titled: Spinsters Are Wonderful People: In Praise of Unmarried Women.

Spinsters Are Wonderful People In Praise of Unmarried Women. The Australian Catholic Truth Society. 10th May 1958 Daniel A. Lord, S.J..

It seems this pamphlet may have been produced a number of times, as a version dated 1950 can be read HERE.

An excerpt:


Whatever literature may say about spinsters, and however much history may ignore them – except for outstanding spinsters like Elizabeth of England – the Church’s attitude toward unmarried women has been, from the first, one of reverence. This I came to know when my faith emerged from mere youthful practice to intelligent study and appreciation. Among the Jews a spinster was merely an unfortunate girl not lucky enough to have won a husband for herself. Among the pagans she was usually the slave or bondmaiden, the grudgingly tolerated hanger-on in the house of her parents or her luckier married sisters.

With St. Paul all that was changed. He loved virginity, and he turned to the ministrations and loyalty – as many a parish has done since – of the splendid young and older unmarried women of his time. The legends of St. Paul and St. Tecla – whose name was the Greek word for pearl – are many and beautiful. Phoebe, to whom Paul sends affectionate messages, seems to have been one of the first consecrated Catholic virgins.


On this day: the Munich Air Disaster in 1958

Munich Air Disaster

The aftermath of the crash.

On the 6th of February, 1958, a British European Airways aeroplane crashed at Munich Airport on its third attempt at take-off.

On board flight 609 were forty-four people. Twenty were killed at the scene of the crash, while three more later died in hospital.

Airspeed Ambassador G-ALZU At Munich Before Accident

Shortly before take-off.

The crash is famous because eight of the people killed were Manchester United players, but I have to say it doesn’t thrill me that playing football apparently makes your life worth more than somebody else’s.

Airspeed Ambassador G-ALZU Burning At Munich 1958

The plane burning on the runway.

The cause of the crash was eventually blamed on slush on the runway. It was not until ten years after the crash that the Captain was cleared of playing a part in the disaster.

Whipping prisoners in Delaware 1907

Prisoners at a whipping post in a Delaware prison, c. 1907.

Is it just me, or does it seem very, very odd for the man administering the punishment to be so poshly dressed while doing something so nasty?

This picture surprised me. It shows how little I know about the prison system in developed Western countries, because I thought whipping was long gone by this point in time. (Yes, I’m an idiot, considering capital punishment was still around then in many, many countries – and still is in America.)

Prisoners at a whipping post in a Delaware prison, c. 1907.

I then Googled “Flogging in America” and came up with another picture:

A public flogging in Delaware in the early 1900s

A public flogging in Delaware in the early 1900s

Why is it always Delaware they photographed?!

Naturally, I then looked up the history of flogging in Australia, as that’s where I am. Floggings here were essentially stopped in 1943, but then two final floggings were performed in Victoria 1958, on two – I have to say – total idiots. Their names were John Henry Taylor and William John O’Meally. O’Meally had the dubious honour of being the final man to be flogged in Australia.

I find these dates disturbingly recent.

I’m still trying to get some definitive facts about flogging in the United States, but I find the differences between states (and the extremely different attitudes of people from different areas) make it all very confusing! I’m also not enjoying the research all that much.

However, I did come up with this.

More pictures if you feel like seeing them!

Cyanamid in your milk?

1958; photo by Jon Abbot. Cynamid.

American Cyanamid, 1958. Photo by Jon Abbot.

American Cyanamid was a major US company. They produced everything from organic chemicals to animal feed additives to shampoos to antibiotics.

Then they became even bigger, and at one point owned more US golf courses than any other American company. They were everywhere, doing everything, basically.

My eyes started to glaze over as I was reading about chemicals and additives and bovine growth hormone, so I’m not even going to try and explain what it was this mega corporation was doing to “safeguard” Americans’ milk, but it all seemed a little odd. The name in itself is bizarre!

I only did any research at all because I thought the picture was kind of cute and I wanted to know what it was all about!