Secretary of State Kyle Ardoin is joining registrars of voters across the state the week of Sept. 21-25, 2020 to host Voter Registration Week activities aimed at registering eligible citizens to vote.
“Registering to vote is the critical first step in making your voice heard at the ballot box,” Ardoin said. “This fall, voters will select leaders at all levels of government and I encourage all unregistered voters to register to vote.
Louisiana was one of the first states in the nation to implement an easy, convenient online voter registration portal. Citizens with a valid Louisiana driver’s license or Louisiana Special ID card can register online 24 hours a day, seven days a week from the convenience of their home or office by visiting https://voterportal.sos.la.gov.
Residents of Louisiana can also register in person at their parish Registrar of Voters Office, when they apply for or renew their driver’s license at any Office of Motor Vehicles or when obtaining services at public assistance agencies and Armed Forces recruitment offices. Citizens wishing to register by mail can download and print the application from our website at GeauxVote.com, or complete an application found at public libraries or through registration drives.
To register and vote in Louisiana individuals must:
· be a U.S. citizen;
· be at least 17 years old (16 years old if registering in person at the Registrar of Voters Office or at the Louisiana Office of Motor Vehicles) to register and 18 years old prior to the next election to vote;
· not be under an order of imprisonment for conviction of a felony or, if under such an order not have been incarcerated pursuant to the order within the last five years and not be under an order of imprisonment related to a felony conviction for election fraud or any other election offense pursuant to La. R.S. 18:1461.2;
· not be under a judgment of full interdiction for mental incompetence or partial interdiction with suspension of voting rights;
· be a resident in the state and parish in which you seek to register and vote;
· apply at least 20 days prior to an election if registering online or 30 days prior to an election if registering in person or by mail.
The deadline to register to vote in person or by mail is Monday, Oct. 5. The deadline to register to vote online is Tuesday, Oct. 13.
For a complete listing of voter registration activities in individual parishes, visit the Secretary of State’s website and social media platforms. For more information about elections and voting, contact the Secretary of State’s Elections Division at 800.883.2805 or email@example.com.
From the moment he came into the world, people were drawn to Skippy. The youngster was put up for adoption immediately after he was born. Whether Skippy was the name his biological parents had given him or just a nickname remains a mystery. Information on his parentage was either sealed or lost. One day, Henry East met two-week-old Skippy by chance. He and his wife, Gale, were not looking to adopt but there was something special about Skippy. The other youngsters of similar age paid no attention to Henry, but all of Skippy’s attention was on Henry. Within a short time, all of the paperwork was arranged. Henry and his wife adopted Skippy.
Luck was on Skippy’s side. The Easts had Hollywood connections. Henry East worked in the special effects department of MGM, and Gale East was a veteran actress. With proper training, Skippy was sure to eventually work in the film industry. Skippy got his first film role in the 1932 film entitled “The Half-Naked Truth.” Reviews for the young actor were positive, which led to a steady stream of small film roles.
His breakthrough role came in the 1934 film “The Thin Man,” a comedy whodunit featuring personable alcoholic crime-solvers Nick and Nora Charles, played by William Powell and Myrna Loy. Skippy almost lost his big break “by a hair.” Henry had submitted a photo of Skippy to his boss at MGM for a small part in the upcoming film. As a personal favor, his boss agreed to give Skippy a screen test. On the day Henry got the call from MGM, Skippy’s barber was just finishing cutting his hair at the East’s home. The Easts had planned to leave their home as soon as the barber finished. Henry learned later that had they missed the call, MGM would have offered the small role to another young actor.
Skippy’s screen test went better than anyone, especially the director, had expected. Skippy got the part and filming soon began. Skippy was athletic, a natural comedian with boundless energy, and his rough and wiry hair stood out on the silver screen. Even during scenes in which he was just supposed to be a fixture in the background, he was so charismatic and charming on screen that the audience’s attention was drawn away from the lead characters and onto him. Skippy quickly earned a reputation as a scene stealer. Actors and actresses usually saw scene stealers as a threat, but not William Powell or Myrna Loy. Powell was so captivated by the young actor that he tried to adopt Skippy from Henry and Gale East. Stranger things have happened in Hollywood.
Although Skippy was not a veteran actor, he took his cues like a true professional and did most of his scenes in a single take. It was usually the other actors and actresses who flubbed their lines or missed their cues that required multiple takes. Most directors cringed at the thought of working with children or pets, but no one complained about working with Skippy. Even though he was not cast in the starring roles, he got his own dressing room and earned a large salary.
In 1937, Skippy reprised his role in “Another Thin Man,” to much success. Newspaper columnist Harriet Parsons of the San Francisco Examiner opined that Skippy “darn near stole the picture from Loy and Powell.” Skippy’s part, which studio executives originally feared they had miscast, “won the hearts of millions of fans.” When fans saw Skippy in public, they no longer referred to him by his real name but by his most popular onscreen name. Skippy soon became typecast, which most actors and actresses desperately try to avoid. But not Skippy. Like Bela Lugosi following his portrayal of Count Dracula in the 1931 classic “Dracula” (Lugosi so loved the character that he was buried dressed as Dracula), Skippy relished his connection to the character.
Skippy worked with some of the top-billed actors of the 1930s and 1940s, and charmed them all. He appeared in a total of 22 films before he retired from acting. During that time, he shared the screen with such notables as Mary Astor, Bette Davis, Spencer Tracy, George Burns, Gracie Allen, Bing Crosby, Jimmy Stewart, Olivia de Havilland, Ian Hunter, Irene Dunne, Cary Grant, Katharine Hepburn, Edward G. Robinson, Barbara O’Neil, and a host of others.
Following the successful 1944 film entitled “The Thin Man Goes Home,” Skippy retired from acting. Little is known about his life after 1944. Even his death remains a mystery. When he died, there were no accolades in newspapers, magazines, radio, or television. No obituary appeared in newspapers and no death certificate exists for the actor whose film career began when he was just one year old. There was no conspiracy to hide the details of his death. You see, Skippy was not human. Skippy was a dog, more particularly a Wire Fox Terrier. His most famous roles were as Asta in the Thin Man film series.
The San Francisco Examiner, January 3, 1937, p.22.
Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minnesota), March 9, 2019, p.E10.
The U.S. presidential election is Tuesday, Nov. 3.
The following dates are important dates for Louisiana residents who wish to vote in the presidential election:
Monday, Oct. 5 – The deadline to register to vote in person or by mail
Tuesday, Oct. 13 – The deadline to register to vote online through the Louisiana Secretary of State’s GeauxVote Online Registration System. Click here to register to vote.
Friday, Oct. 16 through Tuesday, Oct. 27 – Early voting for the presidential election will be held in Louisiana from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m., excluding Sunday, Oct. 18, and Sunday, Oct. 25.
Wednesday, Oct. 30 at 4:30 p.m. – The deadline to request an absentee by mail ballot. You can request an absentee by mail ballot online through our by clicking here or in writing through your Registrar of Voters Office (other than military and overseas voters)
Monday, Nov. 2 at 4:30 p.m. – The deadline for a Registrar of Voters to receive a voted mail ballot (other than military and overseas voters)
For more information on voter registration and voting in Louisiana, click here to visit the Louisiana Secretary of State’s website.
The closer my relationship grows with God, the more I have discovered that he has a sense of humor that would outshine any of our modern day comedians….or, any comedian for that matter. He is a such clever one.
During our recent experience with Hurricane Laura my daughters and I made our way to Longview, Texas for a brief overnight stay. I had hotel points burning a hole in my pocket and I craved visiting a fully stocked Wal-Mart and cable tv. The fully air-conditioned drive over there was also a gigantic plus.
Just as soon as we got checked in I received the phone call that so many citizens had been waiting for. Our electricity had been restored. With the excitement of having power, I was eager to help whoever I could. The very next day I visited Wal-Mart with a new zest for life. I decided to open my home to anyone who needed their laundry done, a place to cool off and a warm meal.
Even though it was warm outside, I imagined everyone was tired of eating hurricane snacks.
My buggy was stocked with the ingredients that would soon become the largest pot of taco soup on this side of Cane River. I also decided to replace my shower curtains and upgrade my wash clothes. Nothing like the potential of having company to realize that your home needs some attention. I also purchased a cooler and ice to bring my groceries back across the state line.
On my way to the check-outs I noticed the isle that housed the beer, wine and other drinks. Right there on the corner was a large bottle of pre-made strawberry lime margarita. At the time it seemed like a bright light was shining down on the bottles as if to intentionally grab my attention.
It worked….In my eyes it was a reminder that mama could use a drink after riding out the Category 2 storm, surviving with no electricity, empty freezer, empty refrigerator, complaining kids and a mountain of office work to be handled after the storm passed. This margarita would also pair well with taco soup and company.
Being a single parent I guard every penny that visits my budget. This expenditure was not in my budget at all but I knew it was needed. And, God always provides. Everything in my buggy was for the welfare and comfort of others. The total on my receipt was $164.00. It was a small price to pay for a warm meal, household items and the margarita to share with the masses.
As my daughters and I rolled back in town we noticed that some people definitely had electricity and some did not. We could also tell that our neighbors had been working in yards helping everyone restore their yards to their natural order, including my own yard.
Our intentions were to unpack the car and get right to work. The priority on our agenda included cooking and cleaning. But first, I had to check the mail because it had been days since we last saw our postal worker. Much to my surprise, along with a load junk mail, I received a random check for $146 from an overpayment on my daughter’s braces.
I immediately felt the favor of God wash over me. I spent $164 out my household budget to help others and he literally reimbursed me a few hours later. How amazing is our God? I was so happy and couldn’t wait to tell my daughters about the great God that we serve. The Biblical lesson was going to include that this is a prime example of what happens when you are a giver who constantly tries to sew seeds.
In the middle of telling my daughters the wonderful news it suddenly crossed my mind to check and see what the cost of the margarita was. Including tax it was roughly $18. The humor was not lost in this moment. God reimbursed all of my expenses except for the price of the margarita.
A Theologian, I am not, this is mostly guess-work from prior spiritual experiences. I am convinced that God can reach us right where we are. I am convinced that he knows that the way to my heart and that way to get my attention is through wittiness and cleverness. Of course he would know this since he knitted me in my mother’s womb.
This is totally the gospel according to Reba….. But, our God is not a basic God. He wants us to find the humor and complete joy in serving him. Serving him does not have to be a mundane experience full of formalities and rules. When we love the Lord with our whole hearts it is so easy to find his loving hand and faithfulness in every situation that comes our way.
“These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you and that your joy may be full.” John 15:11
Virtual Application Process Rolling Out in Phases, Starting September 10th
BATON ROUGE- The Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) received approval on Sept. 8 to begin virtual Disaster Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (DSNAP) operations in sixteen parishes to provide additional food aid to families impacted by Hurricane Laura. The program will run in phases, with the first phase beginning Thursday, Sept. 10.
DSNAP, formerly called Disaster Food Stamps, provides food assistance to eligible households who do not receive regular SNAP benefits and who need help buying groceries due to lost income or damages following a disaster. The state must request that the federal government initiate DSNAP, but can only make the request after the president activates the Stafford Act and approves the parish for Individual Assistance (IA). Each IA-approved parish must also request DSNAP before the benefits can be provided to eligible residents of that parish.
The 16 parishes that have been approved for IA and have requested DSNAP are Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Grant, Jackson, Jefferson Davis, Lincoln, Natchitoches, Ouachita, Rapides, Sabine, Vermilion, Vernon and Winn.
DSNAP will operate in the approved parishes in two phases, with Phase 1 beginning Sept. 10 for nine parishes and Phase 2 beginning Sept. 17 for seven parishes. If additional parishes are approved for IA and request DSNAP, DCFS will add a third phase of DSNAP beginning Sept. 23. For a complete schedule, see below.
SNAP recipients are not eligible for DSNAP and should not apply. Information about SNAP benefits changes related to Hurricane Laura, including replacement benefits for food lost due to power outages, can be found at http://www.dcfs.la.gov/SNAPLaura.
What Applicants Need to Know
Due to concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, DSNAP applications will be handled by phone, and benefits cards will be mailed or sent through FedEx to approved applicants.
Residents in the approved parishes for each phase will be assigned a day, based on the first letter of their last name, to call the LAHelpU Customer Service Center to apply for DSNAP. On their designated day, residents will call 1-888-LA-HELP-U (1-888-524-3578), between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.
Translation services are available for individuals whose primary language is not English.
DCFS is anticipating significant interest in the DSNAP program. Three steps residents can take before calling to apply that will help reduce call wait times are:
Register online first. Step-by-step instructions for this can be found at http://www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP. Download the LA Wallet mobile app for identity and residency verification. Information on the app, including download links, can be found at LAWallet.com. Gather all information needed for the application. A list of what is needed can be found in the FAQs at http://www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP.
When residents call to apply, a worker will verify the applicant’s identity and residency, and obtain information about their income, resources and disaster-related expenses. Applicants will be told on the phone immediately after completing their application whether they have been approved to receive DSNAP and, if so, the amount of benefits they will receive. Applicants also will receive a letter by mail, confirming the eligibility decision made on their application.
Applicants may name an Authorized Representative (AR) to apply for DSNAP benefits on their behalf. The head of household must authorize the person to serve as AR on their behalf, and the worker will need to speak to the head of household to confirm that they agree for the AR to speak on their behalf.
Phase 1: Acadia, Allen, Beauregard, Calcasieu, Cameron, Jefferson Davis, Rapides, Vermilion and Vernon Parishes
(Sept. 15-16) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 1 parishes
Application period opens on Thursday, Sept. 17, with residents calling to apply according to the following schedule:
Day 1 (Sept. 17) – Residents with last names beginning with A-C Day 2 (Sept. 18) – D-G Day 3 (Sept. 19) – H-L Day 4 (Sept. 20) – M-R Day 5 (Sept. 21) – S-Z Days 6 & 7 (Sept. 22-23) – Open for all (letters A-Z) in the Phase 2 parishes
Additional information about DSNAP can be found by texting LADSNAP to 898-211 or at www.dcfs.la.gov/DSNAP.
McManus Timber Co. of Winnfield, La. is the 2020 Timber Harvesting Logging Business of the Year, named by Timber Harvesting magazine in its September-October 2020 issue. McManus Timber Co. is the 23rd logging operation to win this prestigious national award, which began in 1998, and the first logging company from Louisiana. The award honors contractors who operate top-notch logging companies in the woods, make an impact in their communities and work to build a better forest products industry.
Owners Tony and Liz McManus have been leaders in the Winnfield community their entire lives, and McManus Timber has been one of the largest employers in Winn Parish over the years—with 30 currently on the payroll. The McManuses say one of the keys to their success over the years is the combined work ethic among the four family members—Tony and Liz, and their daughter Toni and her husband Josh McAllister. Toni broke it down for Timber Harvesting like this, “For everything to work right with McManus Timber Co., I am more concerned about my families and taking care of them and them being happy on the jobs, being appreciated and respected. Josh is straightforward, this is how the job works; my dad brings another element. It’s a perfect balance. Unlike where it is just one person’s business, it’s a like a family, so we all feel like we’re family.”
The company operates three logging crews and runs 11 log hauling trucks. Many employees have been with the McManuses for years, including a saw man with 37 years on the job and the trucking foreman with 25. Working primarily with Weyerhaeuser, the crews plan ahead for typically wet winter work, and all operations are fully compliant with state and federal environmental regulations.
A big part of the Timber Harvesting Logging Business of the Year Award is loggers who take the time to give back to the industry and work to create better relationships among the industry, landowners and the public. Politically active, the McManus family has long served the logging community in Louisiana: Tony McManus helped start the Louisiana Loggers Self-Insured Fund 25 years ago, and remains active today, serving as Vice Chair; while daughter Toni is the Executive Director of the Louisiana Loggers Association. Josh McAllister is President of the LLA’s PAC, and serves as the Police Jury President for Winn Parish.
For the McManuses, focusing on family first has led to success in the woods, leadership roles in the community and a better working environment for all Louisiana loggers.
Founded in 1952, Timber Harvesting is America’s only national logging magazine. Timber Harvesting is part of Hatton-Brown Publishers, the forest products industry’s leading publishing, media and event company.
COVER STORY – 2020 Timber Harvesting Logging Business of the Year–
WINNFIELD, La. – In 1983, Tony and Liz McManus, alongside Tony’s father, borrowed $35,000 and started a logging job with just their family and one other – a log cutter who ran the chain saw, Robert Nichols, whose son ultimately became one of McManus’ best friends. The families have remained close to this day because that’s the kind of guy McManus, 62, is: He hires you in 1983 and remains your life-long friend. He doesn’t see employees as anything other than family. He says part of that is because when he first started the company, he ran the job himself and really didn’t have any help – it was just Tony and Liz. “We had to depend on each other,” McManus says of the early years. “I’m so thankful to her.” It was just family, so once McManus Timber got big enough to add on, those employees became the McManus Timber family.
Hurricane Laura caused $525.4 million in damage to Louisiana farmers and $1.1 billion to the Louisiana timber industry, according to preliminary estimates by the LSU AgCenter.
Laura devastated 757,538 acres of timber from the southwest to northeast parts of the state, according to a report by AgCenter economist Kurt Guidry and AgCenter forestry specialist Michael Blazier.
In comparison, agricultural losses — including forestry, crops and fisheries — from hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005 totaled $1.5 billion.
Laura’s $1.6 billion total in losses for Louisiana agriculture will likely increase when damage estimates for the fisheries industry are completed by the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries.
The damage in 2005 and this year are different, Guidry said. Laura was more of a wind event, while Katrina and Rita brought flooding along coastal Louisiana. Infrastructure damaged by wind was the big factor this year, and crops were not as affected this year as in 2005.
So was Laura the costliest storm for Louisiana agriculture?
“It’s going to be up there as one of the highest we’ve ever had,” Guidry said. “Based on the amount of infrastructure damage that occurred and the losses associated with timber, the total economic impact to the food and fiber sector from Hurricane Laura will be as large as or larger than any storm that I have developed estimates for since my time with the AgCenter.”
But the storm’s impact on crop production and farm revenues across all commodities has been surpassed by other storms or weather events like droughts that have resulted in more widespread and larger production impacts.
However, from a timber standpoint, Blazier said, Laura appears to be the most devastating storm to hit Louisiana, even more destructive than Katrina and Rita combined. “It’s demoralizing. I checked and checked and rechecked the figures, and if anything, it’s conservative,” he said.
Using data from aerial surveys by the Louisiana Department of Agriculture and Forestry, Vernon Parish was estimated to have the largest economic loss of timber at $360 million on 160,416 acres, followed by Rapides, Beauregard, Grant and Allen parishes, all estimated to have timber damage exceeding $100 million.
Calcasieu Parish had the highest forestry acreage damage total of 188,292 acres, but the lost timber value was estimated at $76.7 million.
The damage estimate includes national forests as well as privately owned land. Many landowners use timber revenue to supplement their retirement income, and this storm will affect people throughout the state, Blazier said. As an example, he said, one landowner with 42 acres of commercial timber estimated that half of their trees were destroyed.
The heaviest damage tracked the path of the storm’s eye as it went almost all the way to Arkansas as a hurricane. Anecdotal evidence suggests the worst damage occurred in forests that had been thinned recently. “There was just more wind that could come through those stands,” Blazier said.
The AgCenter report determined that only 10% of the downed pine trees can be salvaged and that none of the damaged hardwood trees are salvageable. Blazier said market demand for hardwood pulp is low.
Downed trees in Louisiana’s environment must be salvaged quickly because the wood deteriorates rapidly. “We have a very short window, maybe less than a month,” he said.
In addition, the report says Laura will have long-term effects on the timber industry, with increased debris resulting in more disease and insect pressure on surviving timber. Also, the debris will worsen the potential for wildfire outbreaks and increase the costs of establishing new tree growth.
The timber report considered only impacts from forest landowners’ standpoint, but mills and loggers also suffered infrastructure damage.
Most of the agricultural losses involve infrastructure damage, according to an agronomic crops report by Guidry. That report broke down the impacts on farmers into five categories:
Reduced production resulted in losses, $48.4 million.
Stored commodity losses, $6.9 million.
Livestock losses and forced liquidation, $1.4 million.
Increased crop production costs, $6.7 million
Infrastructure damage, $462 million.
The report says most damage was caused by wind. “Unlike other storms that resulted in widespread and prolonged flooding, Hurricane Laura moved quickly through the state with flooding being generally confined to tidal surge along the coast. However, excessive winds throughout Laura’s entire path through the state caused significant infrastructure damage.”
Wind caused row crops to lodge, or be blown over.
The state’s rice crop suffered most, the report says, with 74,000 acres affected for an economic impact of $28.5 million. Yield losses for the first and second crops are estimated at 1.7 million hundredweight, with average losses of 38% for the first crop and 37% for the second crop. Stored rice losses total $6 million. Electricity needed to power drying systems in storage bins was lost throughout southwest Louisiana, and some storage bins were damaged by winds. Increased harvest costs are projected at $1.3 million.
“There were also significant acres of rice that was in the flowering stage of its development,” the report says. “High winds during that time is expected to lead to reduced pollination and reduced overall production.”
A 3.2% yield reduction is projected for the 182,000 affected acres for a total loss of 50 million pounds valued at $8.2 million. Replanting is needed on 1,224 acres, costing almost $700,000 and bringing the total economic impact estimated to $8.8 million.
Yield on 153,000 affected acres is projected to be decreased by 9.6%, or 828,000 bushels, costing more than $8 million. Increased harvest costs from downed soybeans is expected to cost farmers $1.3 million, bringing the total losses to $9.4 million.
The total impact amount of $6.5 million results from an 11.2% yield decrease of 7.8 million pounds on almost 60,000 affected acres for a $5 million loss. The total includes an additional $1.5 million from increased harvest costs.
The estimate concludes that 5,000 acres of crawfish ponds are affected, with an estimated loss of 75%, or 2 million pounds, for a total impact of $2.7 million.
The report says almost 17,000 affected acres will have a 15% yield loss of 526,000 bushels, and an increased harvest cost of $124,155 for a total of $2 million in losses.
The report says 10,750 acres of hay production was affected, with a 32% yield loss and more than $800,000 in storage losses that will cost almost $1.5 million.
The loss of grazing days on 703,400 acres is expected to cost $1.4 million.
Pecan losses totaling $745,240 are figured with a 34% yield reduction on 3,904 acres for a crop reduction of 573,262 pounds.
The storm had minimal impact on sweet potatoes, with losses estimated at about $30,000.
Grain sorghum losses are estimated at almost $43,000.
The total livestock economic impact is estimated at $1.8 million.
Most of that is from the economic impact on cattle producers, estimated at $1.2 million. The report bases that figure on 130 cattle deaths, costing $88,400; 5,775 animals liquidated, costing $785,400; and 36,675 head evacuated, costing $324,000.
In poultry, the estimated loss of 101,000 birds is projected to cost $545,400. Much of that resulted from power outages that shut down cooling systems needed to control temperatures in chicken houses.
A dozen horses died from the storm, and 530 were evacuated, bringing the total impact to $38,575.
Losses for sheep, hogs and goat were less than $1,000.
Buildings and facilities carried the biggest part of Louisiana’s agricultural damage estimate with a value of $403.2 million. The report estimates that the storm damaged a third of the ag-related buildings and other structures across 13 parishes.
Also, the storm damaged 5,100 miles of fencing that will cost $58.8 million to repair or replace, according to the report.
Guidry said several aid programs are available through the Farm Service Agency.
“Also, for those parishes designated as disaster areas, emergency farm loans are typically made available,” he said.
Federal legislative action would be required for additional assistance.“In other storm events, there have been programs that have been made available,” Guidry said.
Tuesday, September 11, 2001. When friends and family have asked me over the years to recount for them that day and week (I was stranded in our nation’s capital because no commercial airlines were allowed to fly after 9-11) I spent in DC, I still struggle to fully describe what I saw and felt that day. It was unlike any other day of my life and I’m certain I’ll always feel that way.
On 9/11, I was in Washington, D.C. with the late Clyde C. Holloway, former U.S. Congressman and Louisiana Public Service Commissioner. We were there to try to build support from members of Congress we knew, and raise funds, for our campaign for Congress. The day began uneventfully. We spent the night at a hotel in Crystal City, Virginia which was only a few hundred yards from the Pentagon. That day we woke, had coffee and Mr. Holloway left for the first meeting of the day while I stayed behind.
Sometime in the next 10-15 minutes or so, I heard a roar. The sound startled me. I walked out to the parking lot of the hotel and looked across the way and saw black smoke billowing from a corner of the Pentagon. Shortly thereafter, there was an exodus of terrified-looking people from the Pentagon into Crystal City. After this panic, D.C. was locked down. (D.C. was so eerily still, so dead, that I have imagined we would have to go back to our nation’s founders and their horse-drawn carriages to find a time the City was so silent and unmoving). All I saw was black military helicopters circling in different places over the City and fighter planes circling high above. There were black suburbans with black-clad men holding serious looking weaponry out of the windows.
I was numb; unnerved and disconcerted. I struggled to comprehend what had happened so near me and across America that day. I had also been stressed and nerve-wracked to know that my older brother, Tom, who worked for U.S. Senator Jon Kyl at the time, worked in the Senate Hart Office Building and, had the Capitol sustained a direct hit as I think was the plan, he would have been in danger.
As the day wore on and the sun began to set I was able to walk some distance closer to the Pentagon. The gaping hole in the building burned brightly and would for days. When night came, and as the emotion of the day weighed heavily on me–and the stench and the smell of the foul night air bombarded my senses and burned my eyes–I was reminded of images from Dante’s Inferno.
9/11 is indelibly imprinted in my memory both because of the evil that is reflected in such an act–and the over 3000 American lives tragically lost–and because of the powerful sense of patriotism and unity that can exist in our great country when we stand together. On this day, and on Veterans Day and Memorial Day, I say a simple prayer in gratitude for those who have suffered and died on our behalf–and remind myself to strive to be worthy of their sacrifice. I include in my prayer the hope that we may find a way—without a tragedy—to be as united as we were then.
The views and opinions expressed in the My Opinion article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Winn Parish Journal. Any content provided by the authors are of their opinion and are not intended to malign any religion, ethnic group, club, organization, company, individual or anyone or anything.
Citizens of the United States have celebrated Independence Day and Presidents’ Day since the 1870s, and in 2005, the nation began to celebrate Constitution Day. Also know as Citizenship Day, Constitution Day is an American holiday honoring the day 39 delegates to the Constitutional Convention signed the United States Constitution. This historic date was September 17, 1787.
“I Am an American Day”
In 1939, the New York City news tycoon William Randolph Hearst suggested the creation of a holiday to celebrate American citizenship. Not only did Hearst have a wide readership of his many daily newspapers, but he had significant political connections, and in 1940, Congress designated the third Sunday in May as “I am an American Day.” President Harry Truman present the resolution, setting aside this date in honor of the American people, especially those who had recently become citizens of the United States.
The holiday quickly gained support and popularity through the efforts of the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service. Additionally, in 1944, Hearst sponsored a 16 minute film titled I Am an American, which was featured in American theaters, and subsequently became a top news story. It was an immediate hit. Within 5 years, the governors of the existing forty-eight states had issued state proclamations in agreement with the national holiday.
One of the most significant individuals in the development of the holiday was a Louisville, Ohio resident named Olga T. Weber. In 1952, she petitioned the leaders of the municipality to change the date of the holiday to correspond with the anniversary of the signing of the United States Constitution. Once they agreed to it, she didn’t stop there, and took her requests to the State, who also approved. In 1953, Olga went to United States Congress, and both the Senate and the House of Representatives approved her requests. The original resolution was overturned and a new law took its place. After Dwight D. Eisenhower signed it, the “I am an American Day” observation became “Citizenship Day” and moved to September 17.
Louisville, Ohio was the first city in the United States to celebrate Citizenship Day on September 17, 1952.
Louise Leigh and Constitution Day
Another important figure in the creation of Constitution Day is Louise Leigh. Leigh, after taking a course in Constitutional History with the National Center for Constitutional Studies, was inspired to spread her newfound love of the Constitution throughout the country. In 1997, she founded a nonprofit organization called Constitution Day, Inc. to help encourage recognition of the importance of this national holiday.
Through her efforts, Constitution Day became an official holiday alongside Citizenship Day in 2004 when, with the help of support from Senator Robert Byrd, the “Constitution Day” amendment to the Omnibus Spending Bill passed. In May 2005, the United States Department of Education backed the law when it announced that it would apply to any school receiving federal funds of any kind.
The two allowances of the law were that the head of every federal agency provide each employee with educational materials concerning the Constitution on 17th of September and that each educational institution which receives Federal funds should hold a program for students every Constitution Day.
Constitution Day, along with Independence Day and Presidents’ Day, is an important part of the cultural heritage of the United States of America, because it recognizes the value of the American experiment, and the success of a nation of free people whose rights and liberties are protected by a written Constitution.
The Founding Fathers:
Baldwin, Abraham, GA Bassett, Richard, DE Bedford, Gunning, Jr., DE Blair, John, VA Blount, William, NC Brearley, David, NJ Broom, Jacob, DE Butler, Pierce, SC Carroll, Daniel, MD Clymer, George, PA Dayton, Jonathan, NJ Dickinson, John, DE Few, William, GA Fitzsimons, Thomas, PA Franklin, Benjamin, PA Gilman, Nicholas, NH Gorham, Nathaniel, MA Hamilton, Alexander, NY Ingersoll, Jared, PA Jefferson, Thomas, VA Jenifer, Daniel St Thomas, MD Johnson, William Samuel, CT King, Rufus, MA Langdon, John, NH Livingston, William, NJ Madison, James, VA McHenry, James, MD Mifflin, Thomas, PA Morris, Gouverneur, PA Morris, Robert, PA Paterson, William, NJ Pinckney, C. Cotesworth, SC Pinckney, Charles, SC Read, George, DE Rutledge, John, SC Sherman, Roger, CT Spaight, Richard Dobbs, NC Washington, George, VA Williamson, Hugh, NC Wilson, James, PA
Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office Name: TILLMAN, JR., CORNELIUS E. Date: 09-01-2020 Age: 39 Address: DODSON, LA Gender: MALE Race: BLACK Charge: BATTERY OF A DATING PARTNER
Name: ZEIDEN, SAHAR Date: 09-05-2020 Age: 35 Address: LAFAYETTE, LA Gender: FEMALE Race: WHITE Charge: AGGRAVATED FLIGHT, SPEEDING, DRIVING ON ROADWAY LANED FOR TRAFFIC, RESISTING OFFICER
Name: MALOY, TIMOTHY BRYCE Date: 09-05-2020 Age: 18 Address: WINNFIELD, LA Gender: MALE Race: WHITE Charge: OPERATING A VEHICLE WHILE INTOXICATED 1ST OFFENSE
Name: SYKES, STANDALE J. Date: 09-08-2020 Age: 30 Gender: BLACK Race: MALE Charge: SPEEDING 15-24 MPH OVER LIMIT, RESISTING AN OFFICER BY FLIGHT, DRIVING UNDER SUSPENSION W/O ACCIDENT, TELEPHONE CALLS, HARRASSMENT
Name: THOMPSON, DUSTIN DRISCOLL Date: 09-09-2020 Age: 38 Address:WINNFIELD, LA Gender: MALE Race: WHITE Charge: DISTURBING THE PEACE, PUBLIC INTOXICATION
Name: BRADFORD, MICHAEL A. Date: 09-10-2020 Age: 33 Gender: MALE Race: BLACK Charge: ARREST WARRANT: DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED-2ND (W/O TEST), NEGLIGENT INJURING-VEHICULAR, CARLESS OPERATION W/ACCIDENT 1ST OFFENSE, DRIVING UNDER SUSPENSION W/ACCIDENT
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WINNFIELD POLICE DEPARTMENT Name: ACEVEDO, MERCHEL Date: 09-10-2020 Age: 27 Address: HARVEY, LA Gender: MALE Race: BLACK Charge:CONTRABAND IN A PENAL INSTITUTION
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Dr. John Pemberton was a successful chemist in Columbus, Georgia. His business of selling tonics, homemade concoctions, and medicines prospered in the 1850s, but events in the Civil War threatened his business. Columbus had become the second largest Confederate supply center in the South, second only to Richmond, Virginia, the capital of the Confederacy. In 1863, 33-year-old Dr. Pemberton enlisted in the Georgia cavalry’s home guard “for local defense.” As part of the home guard, Dr. Pemberton’s unit was responsible for the protection of Columbus’s manufacturing facilities, homes, and businesses, which included Dr. Pemberton’s drug store. For Dr. Pemberton’s nearly two years in the home guard, Columbus had not been directly threatened by Union troops. However, Columbus would not survive the Civil War unscathed.
With the fall of Richmond on April 2, 1865, Columbus became the largest surviving manufacturing and military supply hub in the south. The city’s factories produced a vast array of war supplies. Located on the Chattahoochee River, Columbus also had a naval construction facility. The city’s location enabled the transportation of war supplies by river, rail, and land.
Following the Union victory in the Battle of Nashville on December 16, 1864, Union General George Thomas sent General James Wilson and his men to destroy major confederate supply centers at Selma, Alabama, and Columbus, Georgia. General Wilson marched his 13,000 men some 300 miles south to Selma, a trek which took just over three months. On March 22, 1865, General Wilson’s men clashed at Selma with the Confederate army led by General Nathan Bedford Forrest. General Forrest’s men inflicted heavy casualties, but General Wilson’s men captured and looted Selma, and destroyed the town’s manufacturing facilities. With little time for rest, General Wilson and his men began the 140-mile march east to Columbus, a town on the Alabama-Georgia border.
During General Wilson’s march, several key events took place which should have ended their trip to Columbus. On April 2, 1865, Confederate soldiers could no longer protect Richmond from Union troops, and the Army of Virginia and the Confederate government abandoned the capital of the Confederacy. On April 9, 1865, Confederate General Robert E. Lee surrendered to Union General Ulysses Grant, which officially ended the Civil War. Five days later, a despondent actor, John Wilkes Booth, assassinated President Abraham Lincoln at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. General Wilson and his men were marching from Selma to Columbus, and had not received the news that the war had ended or that Lincoln had been assassinated. They stayed the course.
After three weeks of marching, General Wilson’s men neared Columbus and gathered on the Alabama side of the Chattahoochee River. Two timber bridges spanned the mighty river, the upper bridge and the lower bridge. Confederate General Howell Cobb only had about 3,500 men, most of which were home guard units and civilian volunteers, compared to General Wilson’s 13,000 trained soldiers. Rather than splitting up his men to defend both bridges, General Cobb set a trap. Civilian volunteers coated the bridges’ support beams with turpentine, a highly-flammable liquid, and placed cotton bails around the support posts. They removed some of the planks near the east side of the lower bridge to prevent union soldiers from completing the crossing.
General Wilson weighed his options. He learned that the upper bridge was more heavily guarded than the lower bridge, and ordered his men to cross the lower bridge. Once the bridge was full of union soldiers, a few civilian volunteers lit the cotton bails, which quickly engulfed the turpentine-covered lower bridge. General Wilson’s men had no choice but to retreat.
With the lower bridge out of commission, General Wilson’s only way across the Chattahoochee River was the heavily guarded upper bridge. At about 8 p.m., after the sun had set, General Wilson’s men attacked General Cobb’s men at the entrance of the upper bridge. After a volley of gunfire, the nighttime battle quickly turned into hand-to-hand combat. The soldiers punched, kicked, kneed, bit, and stabbed and sliced with their bayonets and sabers. During the fray, Dr. Pemberton received a severe saber wound to his chest. He fell from his horse and lay among the wounded and dead.
By 10 p.m., General Cobb’s men were no longer able to fend off the Union soldiers. A mixture of retreating Confederates and charging Union soldiers filled the bridge. Confederate soldiers stationed on the east side of the bridge were unable to differentiate between friendly and enemy soldiers in the darkness, and held their fire. Civilian volunteers stationed at the base of the bridge failed to ignite the upper bridge because they feared injuring confederate soldiers. General Wilson’s large army overran General Cobb’s small number of men. Union soldiers completely destroyed all military manufacturing facilities in the area, including the unfinished CSS Muscogee, an ironclad warship, which was docked at the naval construction facility at Columbus. Both sides suffered large numbers of casualties in a battle fought after the war had officially ended. Battlefield doctors treated the wounded by lamp light. They treated Dr. Pemberton’s chest wound and gave him morphine to ease the pain.
A few days after the Battle of Columbus, both sides learned that the war had ended. The survivors of the conflict tried to return to the lives they once lived. Dr. Pemberton’s wound was slow to heal and he continued his steady regimen of morphine. By the time his wound had healed, Dr. Pemberton was addicted to the pain killer. The drug was readily available to him because of his profession as a chemist. Dr. Pemberton tried different concoctions and pain killers which were morphine-free, but he was unable to wean himself off of the drug. When he failed to find a suitable replacement, he began experimenting to create his own.
In 1884, Dr. Pemberton ran an advertisement campaign for a drink he had created called Dr. Pemberton’s Lemon Juice Cordial. “This Cordial,” the advertisement explained, “is made from the pure juice of lemons, oranges, and limes, combined with pure rock candy syrup, and is the most delicious refreshing and cooling of all known beverages, far superior to lemonade, soda water, lager beer, etc.” Dr. Pemberton claimed that his cordial “purifies and cools the blood, prevents and cures biliousness, …has wonderful curative powers in all inflammatory diseases, rheumatism, gout, neuralgia, etc.” Dr. Pemberton advertised his new drink as a great-tasting cure-all, but it failed to cure his addiction to morphine. He continued to search for the right combination of chemicals.
In the following year, Dr. Pemberton invented another new drink which he claimed was a “great and sure remedy for all nervous disorders such as mental and physical depression, neuralgia, loss of memory, sleeplessness,” and a host of other ailments. Pemberton’s French Wine Coca was advertised as “the great restorer of health to body and mind. Millions of our people are in a condition requiring no other remedy.” Like his Lemon Juice Cordial, the French Wine Coca tasted good. The ad boasted that the drink was “a wonderful tonic and invigorant” which “is health and joy in every bottle.”
Dr. Pemberton’s French Wine Coca sold well. He experimented with different chemicals and eventually produced a nonalcoholic version of his tonic. It sold even better. Dr. Pemberton advertised it as a great-tasting patent medicine. Dr. Pemberton never overcame his addiction to morphine, but in searching for a cure, he created a product that is still sold all over the world. You know it as Coca-Cola. Sources:
Chicago Tribune, April 4, 1865, p.1.
Wyoming Democrat, April 12, 1865, p.3.
The Evening Star, April 15, 1865, p.1.
4. The Carroll Free Press, October 28, 1884, p.4.
5. The Atlanta Constitution, May 26, 1885, p.2.
6. The Atlanta Constitution, August 17, 1888, p.4.
Winn Parish Sheriff’s Office Name: SYKES, STANDALE J. Date: 09-08-2020 Age: 30 Gender: BLACK Race: MALE Charge: SPEEDING 15-24 MPH OVER LIMIT, RESISTING AN OFFICER BY FLIGHT, DRIVING UNDER SUSPENSION W/O ACCIDENT, TELEPHONE CALLS, HARRASSMENT
Name: BRADFORD, MICHAEL A. Date: 09-10-2020 Age: 33 Gender: MALE Race: BLACK Charge: ARREST WARRANT: DRIVING WHILE INTOXICATED-2ND (W/O TEST), NEGLIGENT INJURING-VEHICULAR, CARLESS OPERATION W/ACCIDENT 1ST OFFENSE, DRIVING UNDER SUSPENSION W/ACCIDENT