Good evening, everyone!
(This morning was completely unmanageable…)
1. This day in history..April 14 belongs with December 7, November 22 and September 11 as the four evil dates in American history, for Abraham Lincoln was assassinated on this day in 1865, yanking the course of events into a new riverbed. Who knows where we might be today if Booth had been foiled?
2. Oh, yeah, them…The New York Times is suddenly including more obituaries of women in its pages, the result of a ridiculously late realization last month that the paper’s stories of death warranting special note had been overwhelmingly male from the paper’s birth. In March, the paper confessed,
Since 1851, The New York Times has published thousands of obituaries: of heads of state, opera singers, the inventor of Stove Top stuffing and the namer of the Slinky. The vast majority chronicled the lives of men, mostly white ones.
Charlotte Brontë wrote “Jane Eyre”; Emily Warren Roebling oversaw construction of the Brooklyn Bridge when her husband fell ill; Madhubala transfixed Bollywood; Ida B. Wells campaigned against lynching. Yet all of their deaths went unremarked in our pages, until now.
It is a welcome reform. The Times is also looking back over history to remedy the past bias and injustice, launching a special project to publish, a bit late, many of those obituaries that it had failed to write when remarkable women died. You can find the latest additions here.
3. What’s going on here? Wall Street billionaire Stephen A. Schwarzman agreed to give $25 million to the Abington, Pennsylvania high school he attended in the 1960s. The money would finance a massive upgrade in the facility. The school, in return, agreed to name the school in his honor, hang a portrait of him in the building, honor his twin brothers elsewhere in the school, and give him the right to review the project’s contractors and approve a new school logo.
Then the deal was announced. Local residents appeared at a standing-room-only, five-hour school board meeting last week to protest. There was an online petition (naturally), and calls for school officials to resign. And what was it about the quid pro quo that the people objected to? The quote from Robert Durham, who works at the local Chevrolet dealership and sent two sons through Abington Senior High School is explanatory as any:
“I just think there’s too much influence about big money, Wall Street money, in our society,” he told reporters.
Oh. Continue reading