Witch Delusion in America 1600’s

“It was not to be expected of the colonists of New England that they should be the first to see through a delusion which befooled the whole civilized world, and the gravest and most knowing persons in it. The colonists in Connecticut and New Haven, as well as in Massachusetts, like all other Christian people at that time–at least with extremely rare individual exceptions–believed in the reality of a hideous crime called witchcraft.” PALFREY’S “New England” (Vol. IV, pp. 96-127).

“The truth is that it [witchcraft] pervaded the whole Christian Church. The law makers and the ministers of New England were under its influences as–and no more than–were the law makers and ministers of Old England.” “Blue Laws–True and False” (p. 23), TRUMBULL.

“One —- of Windsor Arraigned and Executed at Hartford for a Witch.” WINTHROP’S “Journal” (2: 374, Savage Ed., 1853).

Here beginneth the first chapter of the story of the delusion in Connecticut. It is an entry made by John Winthrop, Governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, in his famous journal, without specific date, but probably in the spring of 1647.

It is of little consequence save as much has been made of it by some writers as fixing the relative date of the earliest execution for witchcraft in New England, and locating it in one of the three original Connecticut towns.

What matters it at this day whether Mary Johnson as tradition runs, or Alse Youngs as truth has it, was put to death for witchcraft in Windsor, Connecticut, in 1647, or Martha Jones of Charlestown, Massachusetts, was hung for the same crime at Boston in 1648, as also set down in Winthrop’s Journal?

“It may possibly be thought a great neglect, or matter of partiality, that no account is given of witchcraft in Connecticut. The only reason is, that after the most careful researches, no indictment of any person for that crime, nor any process relative to that affair can be found.” (“History of Connecticut”, 1799, Preface, BENJAMIN TRUMBULL, D.D.)

“A few words should be said regarding the author’s mention of the subject of witchcraft in Connecticut…. It is, I believe, strictly true, as he says ‘that no indictment of any person for that crime nor any process relative to that affair can be found.’

“It must be confessed, however, that a careful study of the official colonial records of Connecticut and New Haven leaves no doubt that Goodwife Bassett was convicted and hung at Stratford for witchcraft in 1651, and Goodwife Knapp at Fairfield in 1653. It is also recorded in Winthrop’s “Journal” that ‘One —- of Windsor was arraigned and executed at Hartford for a witch’ in March, 1646-47, which if it actually occurred, forms the first instance of an execution for witchcraft in New England. The quotation here given is the only known authority for the statement, and opens the question whether something probably recorded as hearsay in a journal, may be taken as authoritative evidence of an occurrence…. The fact however remains, that the official records are as our author says, silent regarding the actual proceedings, and it is only by inference that it may be found from these records that the executions took place.” (Introduction to Reprint of “Trumbull’s History of Connecticut”, 1898, JONATHAN TRUMBULL.)

The searcher for inerrant information about witchcraft in Connecticut may easily be led into a maze of contradictions, and the statement last above quoted is an apt illustration, with record evidence to the contrary on every hand. Tradition, hearsay, rumor, misstatements, errors, all colored by ignorance or half knowledge, or a local jealousy or pride, have been woven into a woof of precedent and acceptance, and called history.

As has been already stated, the general writers from Trumbull to Johnston have nothing of value to say on the subject; the open official records and the latest history–”Connecticut as a Colony and a State”–cover only certain cases, and nowhere from the beginning to this day has the story of witchcraft been fully told.

Connecticut can lose nothing in name or fame or honor, if, more than two centuries after the last witch was executed within her borders, the facts as to her share in the strange superstition be certified from the current records of the events.

How may this story best be told? Clearly, so far as may be, in the very words of the actors in those tragic scenes, in the words of the minister and magistrate, the justice and the juryman, the accuser and the accused, and the searcher. Into this court of inquiry come all these personalities to witness the sorrowful march of the victims to the scaffold or to exile, or to acquittal and deliverance with the after life of suspicion and social ostracism.

The spectres of terror did not sit alone at the firesides of the poor and lowly: they stalked in high places, and were known of men and women of the first rank in education and the social virtues, and of greatest influence in church and state.

Of this fact there is complete demonstration in a glance at the dignitaries who presided at one of the earliest witchcraft trials—men of notable ancestry, of learning, of achievements, leaders in colonial affairs, whose memories are honored to this day.

These were the magistrates at a session entitled “A particular courte in Hartford upon the tryall of John Carrington and his wife 20th Feb., 1662” (See “Rec. P.C.”, 2: 17): Edw. Hopkins Esqr., Gournor John Haynes Esqr. Deputy, Mr. Wells, Mr. Woolcott, Mr. Webster, Mr. Cullick, Mr. Clarke.

This court had jurisdiction over misdemeanors, and was “aided by a jury,” as a close student of colonial history, the late Sherman W. Adams, quaintly says in one of his historical papers. These were the jurymen:

Mr. Phelps           John White           John More

Mr. Tailecoat       Will Leawis           Edw. Griswold

Mr. Hollister       Sam. Smith           Steph. Harte

Daniel Milton       John Pratt           Theo. Judd

Before this tribunal–representative of the others doing like service later–made up of the foremost citizens, and of men in the ordinary walks of life, endowed with hard common sense and presumably inspired with a spirit of justice and fair play, came John Carrington and his wife Joan of Wethersfield, against whom the jury brought in a verdict of guilty.

It must be clearly borne in mind that all these men, in this as in all the other witchcraft trials in Connecticut, illustrious or commonplace–as are many of their descendants whose names are written on the rolls of the patriotic societies in these days of ancestral discovery and exploitation–were absolute believers in the powers of Satan and his machinations through witchcraft and the evidence then adduced to prove them, and trained to such credulity by their education and experience, by their theological doctrines, and by the law of the land in Old England, but still clothed upon with that righteousness which as it proved in the end made them skeptical as to certain alleged evidences of guilt, and swift to respond to the calls of reason and of mercy when the appeals were made to their calm judgment and second thought as to the sins of their fellowmen.

In no way can the truth be so clearly set forth, the real character of the evidence be so justly appreciated upon which the convictions were had, as from the depositions and the oral testimony of the witnesses themselves. They are lasting memorials to the credulity and superstition, and the religious insanity which clouded the senses of the wisest men for a time, and to the malevolence and satanic ingenuity of the people who, possessed of the devil accused their friends and neighbors of a crime punishable by death.

Nor is this dark chapter in colonial history without its flashes of humor and ridiculousness, as one follows the absurd and unbridled testimonies which have been chosen as completely illustrative of the whole series in the years of the witchcraft nightmare. They are in part cited here, for the sake of authenticity and exactness, as written out in the various court records and depositions, published and unpublished, in the ancient style of spelling, and are worthy the closest study for many reasons.

It will, however, clear the way to a better understanding of the unique testimonies of the witch witnesses, if there be first presented the authoritative reasons for the examination of a witch, coupled with a summary of the lawful tests of innocence or guilt. They are in the handwriting of William Jones, a Deputy Governor of Connecticut and a member of the court at some of the trials.

 

GROUNDS FOR EXAMINATION OF A WITCH

“1. Notorious defamacon by ye common report of the people a ground of suspicion.

“2. Second ground for strict examinacon is if a fellow witch gave testimony on his examinacon or death yt such a pson is a witch, but this is not sufficient for conviccon or condemnacon.

“3. If after cursing, there follow death or at least mischiefe to ye party.

“4. If after quarrelling or threatening a prsent mischiefe doth follow for ptye’s devilishly disposed after cursing doe use threatnings, & yt alsoe is a grt prsumcon agt y.

“5. If ye pty suspected be ye son or daughter, the serv’t or familiar friend, neer neighbors or old companion of a knowne or convicted witch this alsoe is a prsumcon, for witchcraft is an art yt may be larned & covayd from man to man & oft it falleth out yt a witch dying leaveth som of ye aforesd heires of her witchcraft.

“6. If ye pty suspected have ye devills mark for t’is thought wn ye devill maketh his covent with y he alwayess leaves his mark behind him to know y for his owne yt is, if noe evident reason in can be given for such mark.

“7. Lastly if ye pty examined be unconstant & contrary to himselfe in his answers. “Thus much for examinacon wch usually is by Q. & some tymes by torture upon strong & grt presumcon.

“For conviccon it must be grounded on just and sufficient proofes. The proofes for conviccon of 2 sorts, 1, Some be less sufficient, some more sufficient.

“Less sufficient used in formr ages by red hot iron and scalding water. ye pty to put in his hand in one or take up ye othr, if not hurt ye pty cleered, if hurt convicted for a witch, but this was utterly condemned. In som countryes anothr proofe justified by some of ye learned by casting ye pty bound into water, if she sanck counted inocent, if she sunk not yn guilty, but all those tryalls the author counts supstitious and unwarrantable and worse. Although casting into ye water is by some justified for ye witch having made a ct wth ye devill she hath renounced her baptm & hence ye antipathy between her & water, but this he makes nothing off. Anothr insufficient testimoy of a witch is ye testimony of a wizard, who prtends to show ye face of ye witch to ye party afflicted in a glass, but this he counts diabolicall & dangerous, ye devill may reprsent a pson inocent. Nay if after curses & threats mischiefe follow or if a sick pson like to dy take it on his death such a one has bewitched him, there are strong grounds of suspicon for strict examinacon but not sufficient for conviccon.

“But ye truer proofes sufficient for conviccon are ye voluntary confession of ye pty suspected adjudged sufficient proofe by both divines & lawyers. Or 2 the testimony of 2 witnesses of good and honest report avouching things in theire knowledge before ye magistrat 1 wither yt ye party accused hath made a league wth ye devill or 2d or hath ben some knowne practices of witchcraft. Argumts to prove either must be as 1 if they can pve ye pty hath invocated ye devill for his help this pt of yt ye devill binds withes to.

“Or 2 if ye pty hath entertained a familiar spt in any forme mouse cat or othr visible creature.

“Or 3 if they affirm upon oath ye pty hath done any accon or work wch inferreth a ct wth ye devill, as to shew ye face of a man in a glass, or used inchantmts or such feates, divineing of things to come, raising tempests, or causing ye forme of a dead man to appeare or ye like it sufficiently pves a witch.

“But altho those are difficult things to prove yet yr are wayes to come to ye knowledg of y, for tis usuall wth Satan to pmise anything till ye league be ratified, & then he     nothing     ye discovery of y, for wtever witches intend the devill intends nothing but theire utter confusion, therefore in ye just judgmt of God it soe oft falls out yt some witches shall by confession discour ys, or by true testimonies be convicted.

“And ye reasons why ye devill would discover y is 1 his malice towards all men 2 his insatiable desire to have ye witches not sure enough of y till yn.

“And ye authors warne jurors, &c not to condemne suspected psons on bare prsumtions wthout good & sufficient proofes.

“But if convicted of yt horrid crime to be put to death, for God hath said thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.”

The accuser and the prosecutor were aided in their work in a peculiar way. It was the theory and belief that every witch was marked—very privately marked–by the Devil, and the marks could only be discovered by a personal examination. And thus there came into the service of the courts a servant known as a “searcher,” usually a woman, as most of the unfortunates who were accused were women.

The location and identification of the witch marks involved revolting details, some of the reports being unprintable. It is, however, indispensable to a right understanding of the delusion and the popular opinions which made it possible, that these incidents, abhorrent and nauseating as they are, be given within proper limitations to meet inquiry–not curiosity–and because they may be noted in various records.

A standard authority in legal procedure in England, recognized in witchcraft prosecutions in the New England colonies, was “Dalton’s Country Justice”, first published in 1619 in England, and in its last edition in 1746.

In its chapter on Witchcraft are these directions as to the witch marks: “These witches have ordinarily a familiar, or spirit which appeareth to them, sometimes in one shape and sometimes in another; as in the shape of a man, woman, boy, dog, cat, foal, hare, rat, toad, etc. And to these their spirits, they give names, and they meet together to christen them (as they speak)…. And besides their sucking the Devil leaveth other marks upon their body, sometimes like a blue or red spot, like a flea-biting, sometimes the flesh sunk in and hollow. And these Devil’s marks be insensible, and being pricked will not bleed, and be often in their secretest parts, and therefore require diligent and careful search. These first two are main points to discover and convict thosewitches.”

These methods were adopted in the proceedings against witches in Connecticut, and it will suffice to cite one of the reports of a committee–Sarah Burr, Abigail Burr, Abigail Howard, Sarah Wakeman, and Hannah Wilson,–“apointed (by the court) to make sarch upon ye bodis of Marcy Disbrough and Goodwif Clauson,” at Fairfield, in September and October 1692, sworn to before Jonathan Bell, Commissioner, and John Allyn, Secretary.

“Wee Sarah bur and abigall bur and Abigail howard and Sarah wakman all of fayrfeild with hanna wilson being by order of authority apointed to make sarch upon ye bodis of marcy disbrough and goodwif Clauson to see what they Could find on ye bodies of ether & both of them; and wee retor as followeth and doe testify as to goodwif Clauson forementioned wee found on her secret parts Just within ye lips of ye same growing within sid sumewhat as broad and reach without ye lips of ye same about on Inch and half long lik in shape to a dogs eare which wee apprehend to be vnvsuall to women.

“and as to marcy wee find on marcy foresayd on her secret parts growing within ye lep of ye same a los pees of skin and when puld it is near an Inch long somewhat in form of ye fingar of a glove flatted “that lose skin wee Judge more than common to women.” “Octob. 29 1692 The above sworn by the above-named as attests

“JOHN ALLYN Secry”

SOURCE: The Witchcraft Delusion In Colonial Connecticut 1647-1697: By John M. Taylor

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The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Feb. 8: OLD-FASHIONED HAIR CARE TIPS AND TREATMENTS

 

OLD-FASHIONED HAIR CARE TIPS AND TREATMENTS

5 TRIED-AND-TRUE HAIR TREATMENTS
By Susan Peery
To care for your hair, forget those so-called miracle salon products. Here are 10 common-sense hair care tips plus five “old-fashioned” hair care treatments, proven through generations. Many ingredients are right in your pantry!

HAIR CARE ACROSS THE AGES

Most men and women today just want healthy, natural hair. Interestingly, this contrasts greatly with powerful and ancient customs that have to do with hair as a status symbol, sexual lure, and more.

  • The ancient Assyrians, for example, wore masses of curls on their shoulders and sprinkled real gold dust on their heads to enhance their hair color. Not everyone in ancient Assyria had naturally curly hair, but the nobility used curling tongs, and men set their beards with tree gum.
  • Egyptians of about 1200 B.C. shaved their heads and wore wigs for special occasions, stewed the leaves of the henna bush to get a red dye, or colored their hair with indigo.
  • Many Indian women, known for their lustrous hair, still use natural hair products like herbal shampoos, soak their hair in olive or coconut oil, and avoid chemicals and dryers.

Can a person create beautiful hair? Consider the following do’s, don’ts, and old-fashioned hair treatments.

10 COMMON-SENSE HAIR CARE TIPS

Let’s start with the million-dollar answer on hair is: Eat well. Wash and brush hair often. Inherit the right genes.

  1. A well balanced diet is necessary to healthy hair. Poor nutrition, especially protein deficiencies, can lead to thinning, dull, dry hair.
  2. Ask your hairdresser what they recommend, and then dilute it 50/50 with water. When you shampoo, avoid very hot water.
  3. Brush hair twice a day, and massage your scalp to help circulation.
  4. Be careful not to brush excessively, as this can irritate the scalp and break off hairs.
  5. Get a good haircut. The best haircut makes the most of your hair’s natural attributes.
  6. Avoid styling aids, heat, and all chemical processes if possible. Permed hair is 30 percent weaker than untreated hair.
  7. Teasing or back-combing hair tears the cuticles and can damage hair severely.
  8. Rough treatment of hair (hot dryers and harsh shampoos) also damage the cuticles and can cause split ends, which can only be cut off.
  9. Infrequent shampooing, insufficient rinsing, improper diet, and poor scalp circulation are thought to cause dandruff. Treatments include scalp massages, mild shampoos, and daily use of an antiseptic scalp lotion if needed.
  10. Don’t brush wet hair. Comb it out gently with a wide-tooth comb (especially for long hair), and let it dry before brushing.

5 OLD-FASHIONED HAIR TREATMENTS

Here are five hair treatments that are tried and true. Sometimes simple remedies from simpler times are best.

  1. Egg Shampoo: Steep 1 ounce fresh rosemary in 1 pint hot water for 20 minutes. Cool. Beat in 1 egg. Massage into wet hair and then rinse.
  2. Herbal Rinses for Oily Hair: Steep a handful of lemon grass, nettle, peach leaves, rosemary, southernwood, or yarrow flowers in a quart of hot water. Cool and pour over wet hair after shampooing.
  3. Shiny Hair: Blend 2 Tablespoons castor oil, 2 Tablespoons lard, and a few drops of rosemary oil. Or add several drops of rosemary oil or lemon oil to ¼ cup almond or olive oil. Yes, mayonnaise really works, too. It contains soybean soil which has fatty acids that make hair shiny and smooth. Leave it on for an hour under Saran Wrap, and then wash it out.
  4. Weekly Hair Treatment. This may sound simple, but use apple cider vinegar once a week after washing to give you hair a good . cleaning and clear hair of greasy built-up.
  5. To Enliven Hair Color: If you have blond hair, add lemon juice, chamomile tea, or white vinegar to the final rinse water to enhance color. If you have dark hair, use cider vinegar, rosemary, or sage in the rinse water. To add reddish highlights to blond or light-brown hair, use green pekoe tea as a rinse.

SOURCE:

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Feb. 8: NATURAL REMEDIES FOR DRY HAIR, ITCHY SKIN, AND MORE

 

NATURAL REMEDIES FOR DRY HAIR, ITCHY SKIN, AND MORE

BEAT THESE COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NATURAL REMEDIES
By Margaret Boyles & Margaret Ross
If you suffer from frizzy hair, itchy skin, chapped lips, or one of many other common cosmetic issues, try these easy and time-tested natural remedies!

GENERAL ADVICE

  • First, forget the idea that drinking plenty of water will keep your skin (eyes, nasal passages, nails) moist and your hair well behaved. Dermatologists say that while drinking water is important for overall health, as far as moisturizing skin, hair, and nails are concerned, you need to add moisture from the outside and prevent it from escaping into the drier surrounding air.
  • Humidifying dry indoor air helps to provide that indoor moisture. It’s especially important if you suffer bloody noses and lots of respiratory infections. You could run an electric humidifier, but passive solutions may do the trick for you. We maintain a lot of well-watered houseplants that transpire water into the indoor air. We keep steamers going on each of our stoves that pump moisture into the air whenever the stove is running.
  • Hanging your laundry on bars indoors is another great strategy. It doesn’t take much longer to dry near the woodstove than it would in an electric dryer, and while it dries, your laundry humidifies the air around it.

NATURAL REMEDIES

Dull, Frizzy, Dry Hair

  • Use lemon juice as a rinse over freshly washed hair to induce natural highlights, especially if you’re a blond. It’s instant sunshine for your hair, in a fruit.
  • Beer has long been used—even by professionals—as a setting lotion and conditioner. Pour straight from the can or bottle, comb through and rinse.
  • Mayonnaise, straight from the jar, will make hair soft and shiny. The egg nourishes brittle hair with protein, while the vinegar gives it body and bounce.
  • Try this mixture to regain supple hair: Mix one teaspoon powdered brewers’ yeast with four ounces of apple cider vinegar to create an after wash rinse. Pour it over wet hair and let stand at least a minute before rinsing.
  • To tame flyaway hair, try a weekly deep-conditioning. For a rich conditioning treatment that you’d pay $30 to $100 for at a salon, mix a couple of tablespoons of olive, coconut, or castor oil with ½ cup of full-fat mayonnaise (alternatively: a ripe, mashed avocado), and massage into your hair and scalp. Then wrap your hair in a large plastic grocery bag and top it off with a warm, dry towel for about 30 minutes. Wash and rinse as usual (but sometimes twice is needed, to remove the oil).
  • To make a light and moisturizing leave-in conditioner, mix two parts water, one part witch hazel, two parts vegetable glycerin (a natural moisturizer available online or in health/natural food stores), and a tablespoon of olive or other cooking oil per cup of liquid in a spray bottle. If you have aloe vera gel on hand, add one part of that to the mixture. A few drops of essential oil will give you a scented product. Spritz on wet or dry hair before styling.

Oily Hair and Skin

  • Add one teaspoon baking soda to two ounces of your shampoo. This works as an alkali to absorb excess oil.
  • Baking soda works the same way with skin, it will absorb oil and also neutralize excess acid in your skin. Make a paste with baking soda and water.
  • Try lemon juice as an astringent facial cleanser.

Dry, Itchy Skin

  • You could use a commercial moisturizer or simply apply a thin coat of olive oil immediately after showering or bathing.
  • Dermatologists also suggest taking shorter baths or showers in warm (not hot) water. Use a mild, glycerin-based soap. And stay away from hair or skin-care products that contain any forms of alcohol, which are drying agents.
  • If you have itchy skin, try a soothing oatmeal bath.
  • For a homemade scrub, mix ground oats and honey. Rub all over your face—especially your nose. The abrasive will remove dry, scaly skin while the honey seeps in as a moisturizer. Rinse completely off and pat dry, and your skin will be glowing and baby soft. Only use this remedy once a week.
  • For superdry skin, use olive oil. Rub it in prior to a bath or shower. You may substitute peanut, sesame or sunflower oil.
  • A quart of milk in a hot bath is a luxury as well as a skin toner. It’s a trick nearly as old as time.

Puffy, Tired-Looking, Dry Eyes

  • Used teabags make excellent eye cosmetics. After being dunked (and allowed to cool slightly), drain the tea bag and place it over your closed eye (one for each) and hold it there for a few minutes. Redness, soreness, swelling and irritation will disappear like magic.
  • If you suffer from dry, scratchy, itchy, eyes, try laying a warm, moist washcloth over your closed lids for a few minutes each day.
    • This simple, effective treatment helps to liquefy the lubricating oil in glands located along the eyelids. It may take a few days, but if you use the compresses faithfully, you should experience relief.

Dry, Chapped Lips

  • To prevent cracked or chapped lips, use a lip balm and apply it often. It’s inexpensive and easy to make your own. If you make a big batch that’s a bit heavier on the olive oil, you can use your homemade balm for hands, fingernails, facial moisturizer, and (just a dab) hair conditioner, too.
  • Plain honey is an excellent remedy for chapped lips. Leave on overnight—it makes for sweet dreams!

Brittle Nails and Ragged Cuticles

  • To prevent brittle nails and ragged cuticles, use your homemade balm or a commercial conditioning agent after bathing or doing dishes. Some dermatologists suggest coating hands and nails with Vaseline or another moisturizing product and wearing cotton gloves overnight to treat dry nails and cuticles.
  • If you polish your nails, find an acetone-free polish remover, as acetone is a serious drying agent.
  • Also make sure to wear gloves or mittens when you go outside to prevent the dry winter air from drawing moisture from your hands and nails.

 

–The Old Farmer’s Almanac

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for Feb. 8: HOME REMEDIES FOR DRY SKIN

 

HOME REMEDIES FOR DRY SKIN

HOW TO GET RID OF DRY, ITCHY SKIN
Are you plagued by dry, itchy skin? Here are some helpful dry skin remedies.

Winter’s low humidity and harsh conditions can do a number on your skin, leaving it flaky, itchy, and dry as an old bone. If you don’t want to look like a desert tortoise, take a few precautionary measures.

DRY SKIN REMEDIES

  • As soon as you get out of the shower or tub, while your skin is still damp, slather on the moisturizing lotion.
  • Choose a lotion brand that has petroleum jelly or lanolin high on the ingredients list.
  • Don’t go outside in any season without using SPF of at least 15 on your face and hands.
  • Try adding lemon juice or vinegar to your bathwater. Soap, being highly alkaline, may make your skin feel itchy.
  • To soften dry skin, add 1 cup powdered milk to your bath. (It worked for Cleopatra, supposedly.)
  • Avoid steaming hot water or lengthy immersions, which will strip your skin of its natural oils.
  • Wash gently. Vigorous scrubbing can further irritate sensitive skin.
  • Forgo skin products that contain alcohol, which can exacerbate drying.

Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. –Samuel Ullman

 

The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Holidays Around The World for Feb. 8th: Firecracker Festival

Firecracker Festival

January-February

Firecrackers are a traditional element of Tet, the Vietnamese New Year celebration, and one town really takes its firecrackers seriously. Each year 16 families are selected to compete in producing the most spectacular display for the town of Dong Ky in Vietnam’s Ha Bac Province. These are no ordinary firecrackers, but huge, elaborately decorated affairs that may require two dozen men to carry and up to $500—more than an average family’s annual earnings—to create. Each firecracker is paraded through town and set up on a special tripod for firing. After all the firecrackers have been set off, a panel of judges determines the winning family.

CONTACTS:
Vietnam National Administration of Tourism
80 Quan Su Rd.
Hanoi, Vietnam
84-4-942-1061; fax: 84-4-826-3956
http://www.vietnamtourism.com/e_pages/news/index.a
SOURCES:
FestWrld: Viet-1997, p. 12

This Day in History, Feb. 8: The Orangeburg Massacre (1968)

The Orangeburg Massacre (1968)

The Orangeburg massacre refers to the shooting of protesters by South Carolina Highway Patrol officers in Orangeburg, South Carolina, on the South Carolina State University campus on the evening of February 8, 1968.[1] The approximately 200 protesters had previously demonstrated against racial segregation at a local bowling alley. Three of the protestors, African-American males, were killed and twenty-seven other protesters were injured.[2]

The event pre-dated the 1970 Kent State shootings and Jackson State killings, in which the National Guard at Kent State, and police and state highway patrol at Jackson State, killed student protesters demonstrating against the United States invasion of Cambodia during the Vietnam War.

Background
There were several incidents centering on the segregation of the local bowling alley, All Star Bowling Lane, that led up to the Orangeburg Massacre on February 8, 1968. In the fall of 1967, some of the black leaders within the community tried to convince Harry K. Floyd, the owner of the bowling alley, to allow African Americans. Floyd was unwilling to desegregate; as a result protests began in early February 1968.

On February 5, 1968, a group of around forty students from South Carolina State University entered the bowling alley and left peacefully after they were asked to leave by Floyd.[3] The next night more students led by John Stroman returned and entered the bowling alley. This time there were police waiting for them and several students were arrested, including Stroman. After the arrests, more students began showing up, angry that protesters were being arrested. Next the crowd broke a window of the bowling alley and chaos ensued. Police began beating student protesters (both men and women) with billy clubs. That night, eight students were sent to the hospital.[4]

Over the next couple of days the tension in Orangeburg escalated. Student protesters submitted a list of demands that consisted of integration and the elimination of discrimination within the community. The Governor of South Carolina at the time, Robert E. McNair, responded by calling in the National Guard after commenting that black power advocates were running amok in the community.[5] Over the next two days, about 200 mostly student protesters gathered on the campus of South Carolina State University, a historically black college in Orangeburg, to demonstrate against the continued segregation at the bowling alley.

Conflict
On the night of February 8, 1968, students started a bonfire at the front of SC State’s campus. As police and firefighters attempted to put out the fire, officer David Shealy was injured by a heavy wooden bannister taken from a nearby unoccupied house and thrown in his direction.[6] Shortly thereafter (around 10:30 p.m.) South Carolina Highway Patrol officers began firing into the crowd of around 200 protesters. Eight Patrol officers fired carbines, shotguns, and revolvers at the protesters, firing for around 10 to 15 seconds. Twenty-seven people were injured in the shooting, most of whom were shot in the back as they were running away, and three African-American men were killed.[7] The three men killed were Samuel Hammond, Henry Smith (both SCSU students), and Delano Middleton, a student at the local Wilkinson High School. Middleton was shot while simply sitting on the steps of the freshman dormitory awaiting the end of his mother’s work shift.

The police later said that they believed they were under attack by small arms fire. A newspaper reported: “About 200 Negros [sic] gathered and began sniping with what sounded like ‘at least one automatic, a shotgun and other small caliber weapons’ and throwing bricks and bottles at the patrolmen.”[8] Similarly, a North Carolina newspaper reported that week that students threw firebombs at buildings and that the sound of apparent sniper fire was heard.[9]

Protesters insisted that they did not fire at police officers, but threw objects and insulted the men. Evidence that police were being fired upon at the time of the incident was inconclusive, and no evidence was presented in court, as a result of investigations, that protesters were armed or had fired on officers.

Aftermath
At a press conference the following day, Governor Robert E. McNair said the event was “…one of the saddest days in the history of South Carolina”.[10] McNair blamed the deaths on Black Power outside agitators and said the incident took place off campus, contrary to the evidence.[11]

The federal government brought charges against the state patrolmen in the first federal trial of police officers for using excessive force at a campus protest. The state patrol officers’ defense was that they felt they were in danger and protesters had shot at the officers first. All nine defendants were acquitted although thirty-six witnesses stated that they did not hear gunfire coming from the protesters on the campus before the shooting and no students were found to be carrying guns.[12]

In a state trial in 1970, the activist Cleveland Sellers was convicted of a charge of riot related to the events on February 6 at the bowling alley. He served seven months in state prison, getting time off for good behavior. He was the national program director of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC). In 1973 he wrote The River of No Return: The Autobiography of a Black Militant and the Life and Death of SNCC. Twenty-five years later, Sellers was officially pardoned by the governor of South Carolina.

The Smith–Hammond–Middleton Memorial Center, South Carolina State’s on-campus arena, was renamed in honor of the three victims, opening the same year as the massacre.  Read More….

Inspiration for the Day for Feb. 8: Our Inner Stock Market

 

 

 

Our Inner Stock Market

BY MADISYN TAYLOR

We must make sure our beliefs are actually our own and not a story that’s put on us by somebody else.

Just as the stock market rises and falls in response to what people are willing to put their money behind, we have inside ourselves an inner economy that rises and falls in response to our beliefs about what is possible. Sometimes the degree to which we are willing to challenge our belief systems determines the success of our inner economy. For example, imagine that your family of origin had a belief that musical talent was not something they possessed. As a member of that group, you would likely inherit that same belief about yourself. As a result, even if you had a great desire to create music, you might be hesitant to really get behind yourself, fearing that your investment would not pay off. Even if you had the courage to follow your passion, your inner belief that you are not inherently talented would probably be a major obstacle to investing your energy in your dream.

On the other hand, if you found a way to release that negative belief, a great flood of energy would pour forth, greatly increasing the likelihood of your success. How much energy we are willing to invest in the various ideas, dreams, and visions we carry within is like the money people are, or are not, willing to invest in the various commodities available for trade on the stock market. And in both cases, belief plays a key role in determining how willing we are to get behind something. One way to open up the possibility for greater success in our inner economies is to understand that belief is not the reliable guide we sometimes think. There are other more reliable indicators of success that we can put our faith in, such as passion, gut instinct, and intuition. Some of the most successful investors in the stock market are the ones that go against the grain, trusting their instincts over the prevailing opinion about what will work.

In the same way, we can learn to trust our heart’s desires and our instincts to guide us, questioning any beliefs that stand in the way of our ability to fully invest in ourselves. As we withdraw energy from limiting ideas about what is possible, we free up the resources that have the power to make our inner economy thrive.

–Daily OM

Get A Jump on Tomorrow, Your Horoscopes for Saturday, February 9th

Get A Jump on Tomorrow….

Your Horoscopes for Saturday, February 9th

By Kelli Fox

Aries

March 21- April 19

You’re a natural leader, and that’s especially apparent today. Your intensity at work or among friends is infectious. You can get everyone revved up and ready to go! Of course, that quick-burn energy of yours could burn out fast. That’s why it’s important to strike while the iron is hot. When an idea occurs to you, jump in and make it happen. Your impulsive streak is your friend right now.

Taurus

April 20-May 20

You’re extra passionate today. This could be enjoyable, if you have a positive outlet for this fervent energy. But watch yourself in situations when your stubborn streak is aroused. It’s easy to become combative without realising how you’re coming across. You think you’re just taking a stand on something you believe in. But to everyone else, it looks as if you’re being aggressive for no good reason!

Gemini

May 21-June 21

Be spontaneous today. Impulsive acts carry a kind of kinetic magic. Sometimes acting without thinking is pure recklessness, but now it’s different. This is about grabbing opportunities as they arise. Your timing has to be perfectly on point! And if anyone can perfect their quick draw, it’s you. You have a good sense of what makes a sure bet. And you can dance away from danger pretty easily, too.

Cancer

June 22-July 22

Tempers could flare today. That includes your own. It’s hard to stay calm under the current energy. Especially since it seems as if people aren’t being nearly as kind or tactful as they should! That may be true, but it’s also possible that you’re overreacting. That’s easy to do right now. Your mind jumps to conclusions and then your mouth takes over. Maybe this is a good opportunity to develop a thicker skin!

Leo

July 23-August 22

Courage has always been your strong point. Today, a boost from the cosmos makes you extra bold and inventive. Do you have a big project ahead of you, or a complex problem to solve? No problem! Just dive right in. The results are sure to be fantastic. Aside from a healthy sense of daring, you’re also even more creative than usual. Ideas come quickly, and you’re savvy enough to act on them.

Virgo

August 23-September 22

Your spirits are high now. You’re feeling downright spunky! You’re in the mood for something fun, interesting and adventurous to happen. Odds are good that it will. Today is all about unexpected moves that keep you on your toes. Of course, this could wear you out by the end of the day! You’re used to a steady flow of energy. Today brings more fits and starts. Try not to burn out too early!

Libra

September 23-October 22

The world is full of  hot heads today. That’s the current influence at work. Folks are making rash decisions and jumping to conclusions. Don’t be surprised if you witness an argument, or worse, get involved in one yourself. And this is despite the fact that you do whatever you can to avoid conflict! Sometimes, it’s inevitable. At least you’re the type to fight fair. You can keep a disagreement from getting out of hand.

Scorpio

October 23 – November 22

Your passion is right at the surface of your being today. You know exactly what you want. It’s so real to you, you can almost taste it! Pursue your heart’s desire now, but do keep a sense of perspective. The current influence strengthens that part of you that won’t take no for an answer. In some situations, that’s a real benefit. In others, it just isn’t appropriate.

Sagittarius

November 23-December 20

Today, off-the-cuff moves could have surprisingly positive outcomes. Sure, sometimes you can be too impulsive. But now, your best luck comes from your faith in the future. You aren’t worried things won’t work out. You trust that they will. And so they probably will! Your thinking is quick and your energy is high. This makes it easy to think on your feet. You may come up with something truly inspired.

Capricorn

December 21-January 19

It’s great to have passion, and yours certainly receives a boost today. But watch your temper. It’s easy to get all heated up about something and forget the importance of choosing your battles. Suddenly, everything seems like a big deal. You feel duty-bound to respond to every perceived challenge or slight! Remember that many people are feeling spunky right now. What seems like someone’s insolence could be just their high spirits.

Aquarius

January 20-February 18

You aren’t a combative person by nature. But today you have a competitive edge that can help you meet any challenge. In fact, in high-pressure situations, you shine. It’s as if the higher stakes make you think more clearly. Suddenly you’re making good, quick decisions. And you aren’t second-guessing yourself! This certainty and self-confidence helps you act decisively, which is a real bonus under the current cosmic influence.

Pisces

February 19-March 20

Like a lot of people, you’re full of energy and courage today. You’re filled with the brash power of the universe. You want to use it to its greatest advantage! And there’s nothing wrong with that. The trouble comes when you make hasty decisions that lead to careless acts. It’s easier than usual to make mistakes. It’s that whole leaping-without-looking thing. At least this is a good opportunity to build your independence.

 

–The Sydney Morning Herald

 

Born on February 8, Happy Birthday Aquarius!

Happy Birthday liebe Susi

Happy Birthday Aquarius!

Kick up your heels with the worldly Water-bearer


There are people who think you’re kind of impersonal, but they fail to see that you’re just rising above your emotions to be the best human being you can be.

If you were born on February 8, you have an intuitive sense about what other people are thinking and feeling. In fact, you can often sense what’s going to happen next. You take your insights seriously, and sometimes feel so much that you become overly involved with others’ needs and problems. Be very careful when choosing friends and mates because their influence can make or break your spirit. Use your talents for good and when the moment is right!

At your best: Sensitive, understanding, insightful
At your worst: Nosy, worrisome, unstable

 

More About Aquarius

Although you’re a social sign, Aquarius, you’re not the type who enjoys being the center of attention. As a result, on your birthday you might celebrate casually with a group of friends, but you’d feel just as comfortable working the night at your favorite soup kitchen or on your latest humanitarian cause. You are definitely the altruistic type! As long as your personal space is respected, you’ll go out of your way to help mankind.

The Most Unique Party In Town

While it’s true that you have your pulse on the most visionary of concepts, you also have the reputation for being offbeat — even weird — in your approach to life. The good news is that you’re an incredibly strong-willed individual. But at the same time, you might be uncompromising and rebellious — especially when you sense any threat to your personal freedom. When you need breathing room and ask someone to give you space, you tend to mean it … even if it’s on your birthday!

Some may accuse you of being cold or detached … and at times this might be the case. If this happens, however, it’s usually because you prefer not to reveal yourself until you’ve decided someone is worthy of something more than a superficial alliance. Once you’ve made that judgment, you’ll be a loyal friend through thick and thin. If your pals or relatives are planning a special birthday surprise for you, you may not get all gushy and sentimental about it, but that doesn’t mean their gesture hasn’t affected you. You may not wear your heart on your sleeve, but you certainly have feelings that run deep. True, you might be a little strange sometimes, but you’re also always authentic.

 

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