5 earliest human settlements in North America

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5 earliest human settlements in North America

When did man first arrive in North America? We know through artifacts, cliff paintings and even written word that many indigenous peoples have walked these lands for centuries before European explorers and settlers began to gaze westward. But you might be surprised to find that even though all the countries in modern day North America can lay a claim to an impressive number of early human settlements, it’s really our neighbors to the south that monopolize the title for the oldest ones. It’s important to note that when discussing this topic, experts and archeologists include Central American countries in this list.

Tlapacoya

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Mexico, 1500 BCE

Tlapacoya is considered the oldest settlement in North America, although there isn’t a true consensus on just how old this archeological find could really be. While much of the pottery and artifacts found in the region date back as far as 1500 BCE, some archeologists have found human remains and artifacts that dated to over 24,000 BCE.

However, whether these remains are related to those of the Olmec, who lived in this region between 1500 to 300 BCE, is still a mystery. Most archeologists date Tlapacoya as a BCE settlement that began around 1500. But you’ll also find lists placing Tlapacoya at the top and with a date of 7500 BCE — even though that date isn’t substantiated with any evidence. More research and artifact dating is necessary to confirm if the older date is accurate.

Tepoztlán, San Jose Mogote, Chalcatzingo, Calixtlahuaca

Credit: Sopotnicki / Shutterstock.com

Mexico, 1500 BCE

Why have we grouped these four settlements together? Tepoztlán, San Jose Mogote, Chalcatzingo, and Calixtlahuaca are listed concurrently because they are all in Mexico and, through artifacts, date back to 1500 BCE. Tepoztlán is said to be the birthplace of the myth that gave rise to the Mesoamerican god Quetzalcoatl. Unlike many of the other settlements on this list, Tepoztlán is still an active town that’s home to a UNESCO World Heritage Site and thriving tourism industry.

San Jose Mogote was an important settlement for the Zapotec people during the Pre-Columbian era (before European influence). The settlement is viewed as the oldest permanent community in the Oaxaca Valley and one of the best examples of an agrarian community. The grounds demonstrate irrigation techniques, hieroglyphic writing, temples, defensive structures, and terracing.

Chalcatzingo is best known for its Olmec style of architecture and ornamentation. However, it was also important because it was a critical junction for trade routes between Guerrero, the Valley of Mexico, and the Gulf Lowlands. Calixtlahuaca served as a very important settlement during its time. The town was located in the fertile Toluca Valley and was best known as a strong corn production region. While it was once home to the Matlatzincas, it eventually became an Aztec stronghold.

Kaminaljuyu

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Guatemala, 1500 BCE

Mexico might be a major focus for pre-Columbian activity, but it’s not the only country that holds archeological importance. Kaminaljuyu is a major find for discovering how the Mayans once lived. While it’s not the most impressive or popular site for tourists, archeologists rank it as one of the most significant.

Sadly, much of the original settlement was demolished or built over by modern real estate developers. Worse still, many of the original structures were built with adobe, a material that doesn’t always hold up against the elements. So today, Kaminaljuyu is mostly a few mounds of raised earth in a protected park in Guatemala City.

Teopantecuanitlan

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Mexico, 1400 BCE

We’re back to Mexico with Teopantecuanitlan, an early settlement that is best remembered by archeologists because of its complex social structures given the date it was founded. The settlement is important because it demonstrates how influential the Olmec culture was outside of its region in present-day Veracruz.

Teopantecuanitlan is classified as a Mezcala culture, yet archeologists found numerous Olmec-style artifacts mixed in with the Mezcala ones. The prevailing theory is that the Teopantecuanitlan community in present-day Guerrero participated in trade that brought them into proximity with the Olmec, who primarily resided on the opposite side of Mexico.

Nakbe

Credit: milosk50 / Shutterstock.com

Guatemala, 1400 BCE

If your focus is the Mayans, Nakbe might be the place you need to visit. While Kaminaljuyu is technically older, Nakbe is better preserved and one of the largest early Mayan settlements. This settlement offers one of the clearest views into Mayan social hierarchy, with skulls found that included early forms of dentistry such as incisors inlaid with jade and even the common practice of head binding. Only the wealthy or better-off members of society would participate in these activities. The site is also an architectural gem, including common cultural designs like causeways, pyramids and limestone quarries to support construction.

It’s important to note that this article is a snapshot of the complex Mesoamerican history represented in the eight significant North American settlements listed. Each settlement could be covered in its own article, but our goal was to give you a quick overview of their significance within Mesoamerican pre-Columbian history and their associated cultures. So, we hope we sparked your curiosity! And you might wonder why the United States didn’t make the cut. It turns out that the earliest official settlement found in the U.S. is significantly younger than those we listed and is Cahokia in Illinois from 650 CE.

3 New York City Islands That You Probably Don’t Know About

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3 NYC Islands You Didn’t Know About

When it comes to islands in the U.S. you are more likely to think of Hawaii and the Florida Keys than New York City. Yet, owing to its location at the mouth of a harbor and being flanked by East and Hudson rivers, the Big Apple is home to dozens of accessible islands. Some, such as Ellis Island and Liberty Island, are deeply ingrained into the city’s tourist scene while others remain off the radar. So once you’ve exhausted the sights and attractions of Brooklyn and Manhattan, consider these three islands for an alternative NYC day out.

Governors Island

Credit: Roman Babakin/Shutterstock

Often overlooked by tourists in favor of Liberty Island, Governors Island is the largest island in New York Harbor and one that presents a treasure trove of activities. The island only opened to the public in 2005, prior to which it lay abandoned after being used for several centuries as a military outpost. Today, numerous places, including Castle Williams, Fort Jay and Perishers Hall, take you on a journey back to the military days while The Hills affords unprecedented views of the Statue of Liberty and the Manhattan skyline. There are children’s playgrounds, sports courts and picnic areas to enjoy. Or perhaps you want to delve into the island’s program of art exhibitions, concerts and outdoor cinema. Whatever you decide upon, the island is only 800 yards from Lower Manhattan and even closer to Brooklyn Heights, so there really is no excuse for not visiting.

Getting to Governor Island is easy visa the daily ferry service from the Battery Maritime Building and the weekend crossings from Pier 6, Brooklyn Bridge Park.

Randall’s Island Park

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Nestled between Astoria, East Harlem and Mott Haven, Randall’s Island Park is a 273-acre outdoor playground that occupies the northern section of Randalls and Wards Islands. There are miles of riverfront pathways, over 90 athletics and sports fields, a miniature golf course and free yoga classes. You can take part in other free events such as art and cooking workshops, fishing clinics and history and wetland tours. Music is key to the island’s heritage and Eric Clapton, Jimi Hendrix and Sly and The Family Stone performed here in 1970. Big-name artists continue to top the bill at June’s Governors Ball, July’s Panorama and September’s Electric Zoo festivals.

Reach Randall’s Island by car from Astoria and Mott Haven via the Robert F. Kennedy Bridge. From East Harlem you can cross the river on foot via the Ward’s Island Bridge.

Roosevelt Island

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Roosevelt Island is the long slither of land squeezed between Queens and the Upper East Side. This was once the site of hospitals, an asylum and prison; both Billie Holiday and Mae West served sentences here. Nowadays the island houses a small, upmarket community and is a true hidden gem without actually being hidden. For history buffs, Renwick Ruin and The Octagon serve as reminders of the island’s past. But if you are just in search of a lazy day hanging out at peaceful riverfront parks, then this is the place to do it. At the northern and southern tip of the island are Lighthouse Park and Franklin D. Roosevelt Four Freedoms Park, both of which boast spectacular views. On Saturdays you can stop at the Roosevelt Island Farmers Market to pick up supplies for a picnic.

Roosevelt Island is accessible by subway, metro and car via the Roosevelt Island Bridge. The best way to arrive, though, is to take the aerial Roosevelt Island Tramway from Tramway Place, in the Upper East Side.

A Decision That Changed My Life

A Decision That Changed My Life

 

I believe that most every human who has ever lived has at some point in their life looked back upon their life and said what if. What if I had taken that other job offer and not the one I did except? What if I hadn’t married the person I did but had married a different person? Or maybe what if I hadn’t decided to drive drunk that one night or maybe what if I hadn’t shot that burglar. I am an old man now and I have had many such conversions within my  own self throughout the years. Personally I know that I have made many mistakes in my life that I wish dearly that I could go back and change yet even those things would have thrown the life I have lived right off the rails. Personally I believe that if there were an Angel up in Heaven with a little clicker like a home plate umpire uses in a baseball game and they clicked it every time I have screwed up, sinned, or made a wrong decision I think that clicker would have broken many years ago. Not something I am proud of, but the truth is still the truth.

 

Today in this letter to you I am going to pick out just one of those decisions to talk with you about, I hope you will think along with me as I talk to you about it.  The year was 1983 and that summer I decided that I would enlist in the U.S Army. I lived in the Dallas Fort Worth area of north Texas and I went to the designated location to take a battery of tests to see what I was best qualified to do once in the Service. Turns out that I scored very high on them and then a Sergeant with the Texas National Guard came over and talked to me. The Guard was looking for someone who scored real high to accept a position of a Lieutenant with the Texas National Guard but I turned down the offer and went into the regular Army instead.

 

I entered the Army on July 18th of 1983. While in Boot Camp at Fort Dix New Jersey while on a training mission I was struck by a bolt of lightning. To say the least that messed me up inside a lot. The results of that event totally and completely changed the course of my life from physical stand points. This messed up my legs, spine and heart and disabled me from any form of a natural life. What if I had taken the job as a member of the Texas National Guard? The Guard Boot Camp would have been in Texas at one of their Army Forts, not New Jersey. I would not have  been hit with that bolt of lightning. Maybe I would have been able to have lived a normal life style and never been injured at all. But, isn’t that really just a guess? Just because I wouldn’t have been at Fort Dix at that particular time, what if that decision of going into the Guard would have put me into a place and time where I would have gotten killed or mangled in some other event? Only the Lord knows all of the couda, wooda, shouldas, I know that as a human the best I can do is to just wonder, what if.

Israel: Liberman: We’ll force gov’t with Likud, Blue and White to block ultra-Orthodox

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF THE TIMES OF ISRAEL)

 

Liberman: We’ll force gov’t with Likud, Blue and White to block ultra-Orthodox

Yisrael Beytenu leader promises ‘liberal-national’ coalition after elections; Likud: Cat is out the bag — Liberman wants leftist government; Blue and White: Better late than never

Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman leaves after a faction meeting at the Knesset, on May 29, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Yisrael Beytenu party leader Avigdor Liberman leaves after a faction meeting at the Knesset, on May 29, 2019. (Noam Revkin Fenton/Flash90)

Yisrael Beytenu head Avigdor Liberman said Saturday that after the upcoming elections he would force an “emergency” coalition with the Likud and Blue and White parties to block ultra-Orthodox parties from entering the government.

“We will impose a government with the Likud and Blue and White parties — it will be an emergency government, a liberal-national government. We will do everything to block the ultra-Orthodox; not to let them enter the government,” he told Channel 13 news.

Liberman, who used his party’s five seats to prevent Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from forming a coalition after the April 9 elections, is aiming to again be kingmaker or king-breaker after September’s elections. His call for an emergency government involving both Likud and Blue and White amounts to a demand for a government without Netanyahu — though he did not spell this out in Saturday’s interview — since Blue and White, under its leader Benny Gantz, has said it will not sit in a coalition with Netanyahu, who is facing indictment, pending a hearing, in three criminal cases.

Asked whether he would again recommend Netanyahu as prime minister, might recommend another candidate, or would seek to become prime minister himself, Liberman was non-committal. But in recommending Netanyahu after April’s elections, he specified, Yisrael Beytenu had been “committing to an agenda” which it then became clear the coalition Netanyahu sought to build would not have followed. Yisrael Beytenu, he said dryly, had not been “crowning” Netanyahu “for life.”

Later Saturday, in a Facebook post, he added that “the representative of the party that wins the most seats will be the candidate to form a government.”

“Netanyahu is trying to focus the campaign on who will be prime minister,” Liberman said in the TV interview. “I think the much more critical question is what kind of government it will be.”

Foreign Minister Avigdor Liberman seen with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) in the assembly session in the plenum hall of the Israeli parliament, as the Israeli parliament vote on the Governance Bill, which among others will raise the electoral threshold. March 11, 2014. (Miriam Alster/FLASH90 )

A Likud, Blue and White, Yisrael Beytenu coalition, without the ultra-Orthodox, Liberman added in his Facebook post later Saturday, would represent the will of “an overwhelming majority of the citizens of Israel.” He also ruled out a coalition in which the far-right Otzma Yehudit leader Itamar Ben-Gvir would be present.

He said he hoped Yisrael Beytenu would win enough seats in September in order to impose such a coalition. He said he’d heard ultra-Orthodox leaders saying they’d refuse to sit in a government with Liberman, and he accepted this completely. “You’ve convinced me,” he said. What was required, he said, was a government without the ultra-Orthodox. He referred to his longtime friend Aryeh Deri, leader of the Shas ultra-Orthodox party, as “my former friend.” And he complained that while Israel was currently facing a budgetary crisis, “the only place they’re not planning to cut is [in funding for ultra-Orthodox] yeshivas.”

The Likud party responded to Liberman, saying: “The cat is out the bag — Liberman says explicitly that he is willing to go with [Blue and White No.2 Yair] Lapid and Gantz, and force the establishment of a leftist government. Anyone who wants a right-wing government must vote only for the Likud party, headed by Netanyahu.”

Gantz’s Blue and White party also issued a statement, saying: “Better late than never. If Liberman had come to this conclusion before he and his party voted for the dispersal of the Knesset, they would have avoided unnecessary elections for the people of Israel.”

Blue and White party leader Benny Gantz at the Knesset, June 3, 2019. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Ben-Gvir slammed Liberman, saying he “once again proves that he is deep on the left, and lacks any ideological backbone.”

The Knesset voted to disband itself and called new elections for September 17, after Netanyahu failed to broker a compromise between right-wing secular Yisrael Beytenu and ultra-Orthodox parties in the wake of the April 9 elections. Netanyahu was thus unable to muster a majority coalition.

Initial polls have suggested Liberman may emerge from the coalition standoff in a stronger position, and increase his party’s five Knesset seats to eight or nine in the September election.

Liberman had repeatedly said he backed Netanyahu for prime minister, but would only join the government if there was a commitment to pass, unaltered, the Defense Ministry version of a bill regulating the draft of the ultra-Orthodox into the military. That version of the bill is opposed by ultra-Orthodox parties, who want to soften its terms.

Liberman said last month that he would not back Blue and White leader Benny Gantz for prime minister, but refused to be drawn on whether he would support Netanyahu.

Last week the Kan public broadcaster reported that during the failed coalition talks a month ago, Netanyahu agreed to an ultra-Orthodox demand to allow for gender segregation in public spaces.

A leaked draft of Likud’s agreement with the Haredi United Torah Judaism party stated that “within 90 days the government will amend the law in such a way that it will be permissible to provide public services, public study sessions and public events in which men and women are separated. This separation will not constitute discrimination according to the law.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is hosted by Minister of Health Yaakov Litzman of the United Torah Judaism party (left), at a meal to celebrate the birth of Litzman’s grandson, June 18, 2017. (Shlomi Cohen/FLASH90)

The draft agreement also barred individuals from filing a civil suit against municipal organizers of such events on the grounds of gender discrimination.

Ultra-Orthodox groups have pressed in the past to have gender segregated events or facilities, like public transport, but the moves have been knocked down by the courts, which ruled it constituted discrimination.

On Saturday, Yisrael Beytenu MK Evgeny Sova condemned the army’s punishment of a soldier who put dairy and milk in the same fridge on a base, warning it could portend further religious strictures on troops.

“Today they forbid putting milk and meat together in the same fridge. Tomorrow they’ll forbid girls from enlisting in the army. In two days we’ll become the army for the defense of Jewish law,” Sova said.

Liberman on Saturday also attacked the Likud party’s recent announcement of the appointment of a new “special adviser” for Israel’s Russian-speaking community.

Ariel Bulshtein (Courtesy of EAJC)

The adviser, attorney Ariel Bulshtein, will help Likud target a demographic that will be vital for its campaign — right-leaning immigrants from the former Soviet Union. The move is meant to help the party’s efforts to siphon votes away Liberman, whose hard-nosed demands stymied Netanyahu’s efforts to build a coalition by the May 29 deadline.

“It’s an insult to the intelligence and an insult to the dignity of the [Russian] immigrants — Netanyahu has no idea what he is talking about,” Liberman said.

Netanyahu has blamed the Yisrael Beytenu party chief for “dragging the country to unnecessary elections.” Notably, it was Netanyahu who decided to call new elections. The more natural course of events would have been to inform President Reuven Rivlin that he had failed to form a coalition, at which point the president could have tasked another member of parliament with trying to do so.

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JUNE 16, 2019
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US envoy Greenblatt backs Friedman on Israel’s ‘right’ to annex some settlements

White House could delay rolling out long-awaited peace plan until November, due to political turmoil in Israel, says special envoy

L-R: US President Donald Trump's envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on July 12, 2017. (Haim Tzach/GPO/File)

L-R: US President Donald Trump’s envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, at the Prime Minister’s Office in Jerusalem on July 12, 2017. (Haim Tzach/GPO/File)

US President Donald Trump’s Special Envoy to the Middle East Jason Greenblatt on Sunday backed comments by US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman, in support of Israel retaining some parts of the West Bank.

Greenblatt participated in the annual Jerusalem Post conference in New York, where he was asked about comments made by Friedman published by the New York Times last weekend.

“I will let David’s comments stand for themselves,” said Greenblatt. “I think he said them elegantly and I support his comments.”

In an interview published by the New York Times last Saturday, Friedman said that some degree of annexation of the West Bank would be legitimate.

“Under certain circumstances, I think Israel has the right to retain some, but unlikely all, of the West Bank,” Friedman said.

US Ambassador to Israel David Friedman speaks during the annual AIPAC conference in Washington, on March 26, 2019. (Jim Watson/AFP)

An anonymous American official later said Israel has not presented a plan for annexation of any of the West Bank, and no such plan is under discussion with the US.

Greenblatt spoke days before the US is set to lay out an economic component of its long-awaited Mideast peace plan on June 25 and 26 in Bahrain, where Gulf Arab states are expected to make pledges to boost the troubled Palestinian economy.

But it is not clear when the political aspects of the plan — which is expected to avoid calling for the creation of a Palestinian state — will be unveiled.

At the conference Sunday, Greenblatt also signaled that the White House might delay the full publication of its long-awaited peace plan until November, due to political turmoil in Israel, though he said no final decision had been made.

He said that the Trump administration would have published a blueprint for its peace plan this summer if Israel had not dissolved its parliament last month and declared another election — the second in a year — for September 2019.

“The new elections have thrown us off,” Greenblatt said.

Trump’s own reelection campaign for US president “should not be an obstacle,” he added.

In his remarks, Greenblatt conceded that there were limits to Arab concessions to the Jewish state.

Jared Kushner alongside a member of the Saudi delegation at a White House meeting between President Donald Trump and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Arabia, March 20, 2018. (Kevin Dietsch/Pool/Getty Images via JTA)

“There is a limit how far the Arabs will go with Israel, they don’t want to sell out the Palestinians,” he said. “We are not going to push any country to go further than they are comfortable.”

However, he warned that “failure will put this in the box for a long time.” Such a development would be “a tragedy for the Palestinian people.”

Greenblatt also stressed that Washington is not seeking to oust the current Palestinian Authority leadership, which has already said it will reject the peace plan, but rather is hoping that the Palestinian people will be able to decide for themselves if they want to accept the peace deal or not.

“We are not looking for regime change in PA,” he said, before adding that “there is no question” the Palestinian people have the right to see what the plan offers before they decide.

During campaigning for the general election in April, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu pledged to gradually annex West Bank Jewish settlements, a move long supported by nearly all lawmakers, in his alliance of right-wing and religious parties, and said he hoped to do so with US support.

Friedman, in the New York Times interview, declined to specify how the US might respond to unilateral Israeli annexation, saying: “We really don’t have a view until we understand how much, on what terms, why does it make sense, why is it good for Israel, why is it good for the region, why does it not create more problems than it solves… These are all things that we’d want to understand, and I don’t want to prejudge.”

Agencies contributed to this report.

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What was named the happiest country in 2019? Hint: It Definitely Not The U.S.

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF TRAVEL TRIVIA)

 

What was named the happiest country in 2019?

Finland

48%

Sweden

33%

United States

2%

New Zealand

16%

Source: CNN | Date Updated: June 11, 2019

Learn More: While it’s obviously not an easy thing to nail down, the world’s happiest country is Finland, according to the World Happiness Report. The Finns must be doing something right, as this is the second year in a row that they’ve claimed the title. In fact, happiness seems to be common in the Nordic countries, as Denmark and Norway placed second and third, respectively. The rankings take into consideration factors such as income, trust, healthy life expectancy, generosity, social support, and freedom.

A brief history of Father’s Day

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A brief history of Father’s Day

Every June the United States collectively goes out shopping for ties, power tools, and other gifts to give to their dad on Father’s Day, the third Sunday of June each year. This simple tradition was not always the norm in America, and Father’s Day just celebrated its 100th birthday a few years ago.

Learn more about Father’s Day and how it came to be an American tradition with this brief history.

A sequel to Mother’s Day

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The establishment of Father’s Day was directly related to the growth of Mother’s Day as an annual tradition. Mother’s Day was first observed during the Civil War era, when Ann Reeves Jarvis celebrated “Mother’s Work Day” in the 1860s. That annual celebration was held intermittently for decades before Ann Reeves Jarvis’ daughter, Anna Jarvis, established it as a national holiday with the help of the advertising wing of the John Wanamaker’s department store in Philadelphia.

Mother’s Day caught on quickly. The first Mother’s Day was held in 1908, was observed by 45 states in 1909, and was officially named a national holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1914.

The first Father’s Day?

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The official first Father’s Day is a point of minor contention. On June 5, 1908, a church in West Virginia held a service honoring fathers after a coal mining collapse killed 362 men in the community and left over 1,000 children fatherless. This is the first-known instance of an official honoring of fathers, but this single event did not start the modern practice of Father’s Day.

The mother of Father’s Day, so to speak, was Sonora Smart Dodd, a resident of Spokane, Washington. Sonora Smart Dodd’s mother had died during childbirth, which left her father to raise six children as a single parent. She wanted to honor both him and fathers across the country by hosting Father’s Day on her father’s birthday, which was, coincidentally, June 5, the same day the West Virginia church had held their Father’s Day service the year prior. Dodd suggested this to the ministry of the Spokane church, but they requested more time to prepare a sermon for the event. June 19, 1909, was chosen as the new date for the first Father’s Day, and in the following year, Washington State held the first statewide Father’s Day celebration.

Spread and pushback

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The event spread throughout the United States at a much slower pace than Mother’s Day had over the same period of years. The first presidential acknowledgement of Father’s Day came in 1916, two years after Mother’s Day had been adopted as a federal holiday, when President Woodrow Wilson pushed a button that sent a telegraphic signal that unfurled an American flag in Spokane on Father’s Day.

President Calvin Coolidge was also a supporter of the holiday and suggested it be adopted by the U.S. in 1924. But the public was less enthusiastic about celebrating Father’s Day than they had been about Mother’s Day, and both were nearly eliminated and combined into one holiday that grew in popularity during the 1920s and 1930s, Parent’s Day.

It was the push to commercialize the holiday that garnered the most distrust from the general population. Department stores had stated a goal of creating a “second Christmas” fueled by gift giving around Father’s Day, which many of the public found distasteful. However, the financial hardship during the Great Depression of the 1930s helped advance the cause of Father’s Day, as the struggling retailers intensified their ad campaign selling the event and gifts with it.

The Second World War was another boon to Father’s Day, as buying gifts for Father’s Day became a way to support the troops who were fighting overseas. By the time World War II had ended, Father’s Day was an institution in the country, even if it was not a federal holiday.

Road to a Federal Holiday

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Father’s Day faced a few more hurdles before it became recognized as a federal holiday. It was recognized by Congress for the first time in 1956. Ten years later, in 1966, President Lyndon Johnson issued a proclamation in favor of having Father’s Day be celebrated as a federal holiday. But it wasn’t until 1972 when President Richard Nixon made it official.

The holiday became an official holiday just a few short years before Sonora Smart Dodd would die in 1978 at age of 96.

The Coldest Places On Earth

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The coldest places on Earth

Temperatures around the world vary from location to location, from high elevations to sea level and below, and it’s easy to forget that the weather in your neighborhood can be drastically different than temperatures and climates half a world away. Extreme temperatures are par for the course when it comes to life on Earth.

That said, you probably wouldn’t want to stay long in some of the coldest places on the planet. Still, some villages, towns, and cities persist despite frigid temperatures. Here are some of the coldest places on the planet, both inhabited and uninhabited.

Antarctica

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On a high ridge within hollows on the East Antarctic Plateau in Antarctica, temperatures have reached a bone-chilling -133.6 degrees Fahrenheit (-92 degrees Celsius). At least that was the case in 2013 according to NASA.

“Scientists made the discovery while analyzing the most detailed global surface temperature maps to date,” the 2013 article says. “Researchers analyzed 32 years’ worth of data from several satellite instruments [and] found temperatures plummeted to record lows dozens of times in clusters of pockets near a high ridge…on the ice sheet known as the East Antarctic Plateau.”

Russia

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Russia has long been notorious for its cold weather and below-freezing temperatures. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that two of the coldest permanently-inhabited places on the planet are located in Russia.

Oymyakon

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A 2010 census reported that approximately 460 people live in the rural locality of Oymyakon, Russia, one of the coldest-yet-still-inhabited villages on Earth. That’s right, people live in Oymyakon. Schools will even stay open unless temperatures dip below a teeth-rattling -52 degrees Fahrenheit (-46.6 degrees Celsius).

In December 2016, Oymyakon’s weather station recorded temperatures of -96 degrees Fahrenheit (-71.1 degrees Celsius).

Verkhoyansk

Credit: Jens_Lambert_Photography / iStock

The more than 1,000 people living in the remote region of Verkhoyansk, Russia, may call it home, but they always seem to be in contention with Oymyakon for being the most miserable place in the world. That’s almost certainly due to the unbelievably cold temperatures year-round.

It’s been a while since the lowest temperature in Verkhoyansk was recorded (-93.6 degrees Fahrenheit/-69.8 degrees Celsius) in 1892. But it can be hot one day and cold the next, as the saying goes. The town of Verkhoyansk holds the Guinness world record for the greatest temperature range on Earth, with temperatures known to range from -90 degrees to 98 degrees Fahrenheit (-67.7 degrees to 72.2 degrees Celsius).

Canada

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Canada is known for its vast expanses and consistently cold weather, so it’s natural that a tiny village in the Yukon territory makes the list of coldest places on Earth. Snag, Yukon, Canada reached a record-setting low temperature of -81 degrees Fahrenheit (-63 degrees Celsius) in the winter of 1947.

United States

Credit: Eart Trotter Photos / iStock

Not all of the coldest places on the planet are in remote winter wonderlands. Here are a handful of the coldest places you’ll find in the U.S.

Prospect Creek, Alaska

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Average low temperatures dip below minus 60 degrees Fahrenheit (-51 degrees Celsius) in Prospect Creek, Alaska, but the coldest place in the United States has gotten colder in the past. The tiny outpost in Alaska began as a hub for mining expeditions and evolved into a camp for construction of the Trans-Alaska Pipeline System. The region is currently uninhabited other than the occasional attendant manning a pump station in the area, and that’s probably a good thing. Lowest recorded temperatures in Prospect Creek, Alaska reached -78.8 degrees Fahrenheit (-61.5 degrees Celsius) in January 1971.

Rogers Pass, Montana

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Rogers Pass, Montana, holds the record for coldest recorded temperature in the United States outside of Alaska. The pass is only around 5,500 feet above sea level, but on January 20, 1954, temperatures dipped to an icy -69.7 degrees Fahrenheit (-56.5 Celsius).

International Falls, Minnesota & Fraser, Colorado

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Both International Falls, Minnesota, and Fraser, Colorado earned their spot on this list even if they aren’t technically the coldest places in the United States year-round (or even consistently). The reason they’re here is that they’re cold enough for long enough. Both towns have claimed—and even trademarked at one point—the term “Icebox of the Nation.” They came to an agreement in favor or International Falls in 1986, then International Falls let the trademark lapse, and a dispute followed.

Internationals Falls currently has a trademark claim for the “Icebox of the Nation”title, but both towns have an average year-round temperature that borders on freezing.

Cold May Get Colder as Time Passes

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Temperatures will continue to fluctuate towards extremes, both hot and cold, if climate change science is any indication. That means the coldest places on Earth are going to get colder, and cold areas of the globe may get a little more frigid during the winter months. Some of your favorite cold weather winter spots may make the list next year or the year after!

 

Phoenix Mayor Apologizes After Video Of Police Drawing Gun On Family Over Stolen Doll

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF NPR NEWS)

 

Phoenix Mayor Apologizes After Video Of Police Drawing Gun On Family Over Stolen Doll

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego pictured here in September 2018. On Saturday, Gallego apologized to the city following an outcry over footage showing police officers pointing a gun and yelling at a family as part of an investigation into a claim that a doll was shoplifted from a Family Dollar store in Phoenix.

Ross D. Franklin/AP

The mayor of Phoenix is apologizing to the city following recently released video showing police officers pointing their guns and threatening to shoot a 22-year-old father who was with his pregnant fiancée and two young daughters. Police say they were investigating allegations that one of the children had shoplifted a doll from a Family Dollar store.

Viral footage of the incident captured by bystanders has already prompted an internal police probe, a $10 million civil rights claim and a chorus of fury on social media. Now, Phoenix Kate Gallego says the police officers’ actions were “completely inappropriate and clearly unprofessional,” calling the recordings “beyond upsetting.”

“I am deeply sorry for what this family went through, and I apologize to our community,” Gallego said on Twitter Saturday evening. “This is not who we are, and I refuse to allow this type of behavior to go unchallenged.”

The episode happened last month when Dravon Ames, 22, his fiancée, Iesha Harper, 24, along with their two young daughters, London Drake, 1, and Island Drake, who is 4, visited a Family Dollar store. Unbeknownst to the parents, one of their daughters had swiped a doll from the store without paying for it.

Police say they were tipped off about the alleged shoplifting by a store employee just as the family’s car was leaving the parking lot, and police followed the car. Police eventually cornered the vehicle in the apartment complex of the family’s babysitter.

A heated standoff ensued.

Cell phone videos taken by witnesses show officers shouting profanities at the family as officers order that they put their hands up. If they did not comply, an officer can be heard saying, “You’re gonna f***ing get shot. Get your f***ing hands up!”

Police wrote in an incident report that they feared the mother was “hiding something,” or was reaching for a gun (No weapons were recovered from the family).

In the parents’ civil rights claim, they say when Harper exited the vehicle, officers injured her 1-year-old daughter by pulling on one of her arms when Harper would not follow an officer’s order to hand over her baby.

The filing from the family alleges that Ames was thrown against a vehicle and kicked so hard that he collapsed before a police officer “kept his knee between the father’s legs. He punched the father very hard in the back for no reason,” the parents’ lawyer, Thomas Horne, wrote in the claim.

Harper passed off her baby to a bystander before police handcuffed her and her fiancé and they were placed in police patrol car.

“I could have shot you in front of your f***ing kids,” an officer said to her, according to the family’s claim.

Horne alleges that the incident violated the family’s civil rights by committing battery, unlawfully imprisoning them and causing the parents and their kids emotional distress. The claim is seeking $10 million in damages.

Since the it happened, the family’s 4-year-old has been experiencing nightmares and wetting the bed out of distress, according to the filing.

Phoenix Police Department Chief Jeri Williams told the public an internal investigation is being conducted over the incident.

“I, like you, am disturbed by the language and the actions of our officer,” Williams said in a video the police department posted to Facebook. “I assure you that this incident is not representative of the majority of Phoenix police officers who serve this city.”

The doll was returned to Family Dollar, officials said. And though nobody faced charges stemming from the alleged shoplifting, authorities issued Ames a traffic ticket for driving on a suspended license and impounded his car.

His lawyer says he is limping from having been roughed up by police, and he now has no way to drive to his job as a warehouse worker.

Gallego, the Phoenix mayor, said in response to the incident, the city will be speeding up its implementation of police body-worn cameras across the entire police department. She has also scheduled a public meeting with the police chief for the community to air its thoughts about the troubling footage of the police interaction.

“We owe it to our residents,” she said. “To give them an open forum to discuss their concerns with us and to propose solutions.”

Russia: Faced with protests, Putin blinks — but don’t expect a Moscow Spring

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

Faced with protests, Putin blinks — but don’t expect a Moscow Spring

Russia police drop charges against reporter after backlash
Russia police drop charges against reporter after backlash 03:11

Moscow (CNN)Russian President Vladimir Putin has been in power for nearly two decades, but he still has the capacity to surprise: This week, he unexpectedly showed that the Kremlin — on rare occasions — has a reverse gear.

To recap: On Tuesday, Russian authorities dropped a criminal case against a top investigative reporter known for exposing local corruption. The journalist, Ivan Golunov, had been arrested on an attempted drug-distribution charge that he and his colleagues insisted evidence had been planted by police.
As it turns out, the charges indeed had been fabricated. The police officers who arrested Golunov were suspended from active duty, and on Thursday Putin sacked two top interior ministry officials — the chief of internal affairs at the western district of Russia, Andrei Puchkov, and head of the Moscow directorate for drug control at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, Yuri Devyatkin — in connection with the case.
It was an unexpected reversal after an outpouring of solidarity from Russian civil society. Journalists rallied to Golunov’s side, staging rotating, one-person vigils outside of the main building of the Moscow branch of the Ministry of Internal Affairs at 38 Petrovka Street. Three leading newspapers on Monday published identical front pages with the slogan, “I/we are Ivan Golunov.” And campaigners organized a march in his support on Wednesday.

In this photo, Russia's three major newspapers use the same headline that reads: "I/we are Ivan Golunov"

But Putin’s grip on power was never seriously in peril.
For starters, there was the response to Wednesday’s march. Organizers had hoped to build on the momentum of previous days, as thousands expressed interest in turning out for the demonstration. But the unexpected decision to release Golunov from house arrest clearly diminished interest. Golunov himself did not take part, and discussion about whether to proceed with protests sparked internal squabbling among Russia’s already fractured opposition.
And the authorities moved quickly and forcefully to shut down the unsanctioned demonstration that went ahead on Wednesday. When marchers turned out at the Chistye Prudy metro station in downtown Moscow, they were ordered to disperse by police. As they moved in the direction of 38 Petrovka Street, they were met by a cordon of police who effectively dispersed the march, with small squads of riot police collaring individual demonstrators and locking them inside police buses.
Demonstrators chanted, “Shame! Shame!” but it was all over within a few hours.
But while the protest in Moscow was far, far smaller than the wave of demonstrations seen in Hong Kong, the events of the week were still an unusual display of discontent with Putin. And the official climbdown in the face of street demonstrations was the most stunning: Russian authorities, for instance, have continued to hold US investor Michael Calvey, despite both domestic lobbying and diplomatic pressure from the US.

"Vladimir Putin's grip on power was never seriously in peril."

Voices from Moscow

What appeared to have mobilized some to take part in the protests was not necessarily Putin Fatigue, but resentment of local police, whom Russians distrust for corruption and arbitrary arrests.
“What is happening in this country is totally wrong, when drugs are being planted on a person who does not use them,” a young man from a city on the Volga River visiting Moscow told CNN. “The cops usually act like that.”
But his criticism did not extend to Putin.
“As for Putin, I can’t state that he is a bad ‘ruler’ or something like that. As far as we know, he is quite a good man. I think he should deal with this situation and find out why the law-enforcement bodies have got to the point of planting drugs on people who do not use them, while they fail to catch those who sell tons of them.”
Another woman, a Muscovite, said she didn’t watch the march in support of Golunov. But when told of the circumstances of his case, she said, “I stand for him.”
Asked if Putin’s reputation had taken a hit over the whole affair, she said, “I think yes, and we will do nothing about it.”
Such candor has its limits: Both individuals when approached by CNN asked that their names not be used.
Still, many outspoken Russians have taken to social media to opine on the meaning of the week’s events. And the Golunov case started a wider discussion about revising Article 228 of the Criminal Code of the Russian Federation, the portion of the criminal code that covers drug crimes.
Writing on Twitter, Yevgeny Roizman, the opposition former mayor of the city of Yekaterinburg, took it further, saying “the entire Criminal Code of the Russian Federation must be revised, since it is an instrument for political persecution.”
That’s a larger discussion that the Kremlin, most likely, is not ready to entertain.

North Carolina boy hacks home intruder with machete, wounded suspect eludes deputies at hospital

(THIS ARTICLE IS COURTESY OF CNN)

 

North Carolina boy hacks home intruder with machete, wounded suspect eludes deputies at hospital

Jataveon Dashawn Hall, 19, faces charges in connection with a thwarted home invasion, authorities said.

(CNN)Hours after a young North Carolina boy thwarted a home invasion with a machete to the back of his head, the 19-year-old suspect walked out of a hospital and got away, Orange County Sheriff Charles Blackwood told CNN affiliate WTVD.

Jataveon Dashawn Hall, who had an arrest warrant in connection with the home invasion, was not being watched by a deputy when he was discharged from UNC Medical Center in Chapel Hill Saturday morning, UNC Health Care said in a statement.
The sheriff’s department has not returned a call from CNN seeking comment.
After showing up in the emergency room hours earlier with a head wound, Hall slipped out in a gown and holding a cup of water, Blackwood told the station.
County law enforcement and US Marshals were looking for him.
“This patient was admitted to the ED, but was in the legal custody of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department which did not place an officer with him,” the hospital statement said.
“In similar situations, hospital staff will often alert law enforcement personnel when a suspect patient is discharged, but they remain the legal responsibility of law enforcement.
“It is the responsibility of law enforcement to closely monitor the status of suspects in their custody while those patients are receiving medical treatment.”
The 11-year-old boy — a baseball player — was home alone Friday morning in Mebane, northwest of Chapel Hill, when the intruders arrived, according to the sheriff’s office, CNN affiliate WRAL reported.
While a woman knocked on the front door of his home, a man was breaking in through a window, the sheriff’s office said. The boy told authorities another man waited by a car outside the house.
The man who entered through the window grabbed a pellet gun in the home and forced the boy into a bedroom closet, the sheriff’s office said.
The child, described by the sheriff’s office as “a star baseball player,” left the closet, grabbed a machete and struck a blow to the intruder’s head, the station reported.
“This is very tough kid who kept his wits about him,” Blackwood said in an earlier statement.
“At the same time, I want to reflect that this youngster, his family and indeed this community, are very lucky this event did not have a tragic ending for the child.”
After being wounded, the intruder kicked the boy in the stomach and the side of the head before grabbing a PlayStation and a television, CNN affiliate WTVD reported.
But bleeding heavily, the man dropped the home electronics and fled with the other suspects, according to the sheriff’s office.
Deputies provided area hospitals with a description of the suspect and his injuries, the affiliates reported.
Hall, who is from Monroe, south of Charlotte, was connected to the case when he arrived at a hospital with a head injury, the sheriff’s office said.
He was facing charges that include breaking and entering, second-degree kidnapping and assault on a child younger than 12 when released from the hospital, according to authorities.
“Not only did this youngster thwart the larceny attempt, he created blood evidence that very well may lead to a conviction in this case,” Blackwood said.
“That is amazing,” Judy Jackson said of her young neighbor’s actions, CNN affiliate WNCN reported.