Some cool Citizenship and Freedom images:
Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
Image by dbking
Text of the historic "I Have A Dream" speech delivered by Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. on August. 28, 1963 from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial, Washington DC….
I am happy to join with you today in what will go down in history as the greatest demonstration for freedom in the history of our nation.
Five score years ago, a great American, in whose symbolic shadow we stand today, signed the Emancipation Proclamation. This momentous decree came as a great beacon of hope to millions of Negro slaves, who had been seared in the flames of withering injustice. It came as a joyous daybreak to end the long night of their captivity. But one hundred years later, the Negro is still not free. One hundred years later, the life of the Negro is still sadly crippled by the manacle of segregation and the chains of discrimination.
One hundred years later, the Negro lives on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity. One hundred years later, the Negro is still languishing in the corners of American society and finds himself an exile in his own land. So we have come here today to dramatize a shameful condition.
In a sense we have come to our Nation’s Capital to cash a check. When the architects of our great republic wrote the magnificent words of the Constitution and the Declaration of Independence, they were signing a promissory note to which every American was to fall heir.
This note was a promise that all men, yes, black men as well as white men, would be guaranteed to the inalienable rights of life liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
It is obvious today that America has defaulted on this promissory note insofar as her citizens of color are concerned. Instead of honoring this sacred obligation, America has given the Negro people a bad check, a check that has come back marked "insufficient funds."
But we refuse to believe that the bank of justice is bankrupt. We refuse to believe that there are insufficient funds in the great vaults of opportunity of this nation. So we have come to cash this check, a check that will give us upon demand the riches of freedom and security of justice.
We have also come to this hallowed spot to remind America of the fierce urgency of Now. This is not time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism.
Now is the time to make real the promise of democracy.
Now is the time to rise from the dark and desolate valley of segregation to the sunlit path of racial justice.
Now is the time to lift our nation from the quick sands of racial injustice to the solid rock of brotherhood.
Now is the time to make justice a reality to all of God’s children.
It would be fatal for the nation to overlook the urgency of the moment and to underestimate the determination of it’s colored citizens. This sweltering summer of the Negro’s legitimate discontent will not pass until there is an invigorating autumn of freedom and equality. Nineteen sixty-three is not an end but a beginning. Those who hope that the Negro needed to blow off steam and will now be content will have a rude awakening if the nation returns to business as usual.
There will be neither rest nor tranquility in America until the Negro is granted his citizenship rights. The whirlwinds of revolt will continue to shake the foundations of our nation until the bright day of justice emerges.
But there is something that I must say to my people who stand on the warm threshold which leads into the palace of justice. In the process of gaining our rightful place we must not be guilty of wrongful deeds.
Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must ever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force.
The marvelous new militancy which has engulfed the Negro community must not lead us to a distrust of all white people, for many of our white brothers, as evidenced by their presence here today, have come to realize that their destiny is tied up with our destiny. They have come to realize that their freedom is inextricably bound to our freedom. We cannot walk alone.
And as we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead. We cannot turn back. There are those who are asking the devotees of civil rights, "When will you be satisfied?" We can never be satisfied as long as the Negro is the victim of the unspeakable horrors of police brutality.
We can never be satisfied as long as our bodies, heavy with the fatigue of travel, cannot gain lodging in the motels of the highways and the hotels of the cities.
We cannot be satisfied as long as the Negro’s basic mobility is from a smaller ghetto to a larger one.
We can never be satisfied as long as our children are stripped of their selfhood and robbed of their dignity by signs stating "for white only."
We cannot be satisfied as long as a Negro in Mississippi cannot vote and a Negro in New York believes he has nothing for which to vote.
No, no we are not satisfied and we will not be satisfied until justice rolls down like waters and righteousness like a mighty stream.
I am not unmindful that some of you have come here out of your trials and tribulations. Some of you have come fresh from narrow jail cells. Some of you have come from areas where your quest for freedom left you battered by storms of persecutions and staggered by the winds of police brutality.
You have been the veterans of creative suffering. Continue to work with the faith that unearned suffering is redemptive.
Go back to Mississippi, go back to Alabama, go back to South Carolina go back to Georgia, go back to Louisiana, go back to the slums and ghettos of our modern cities, knowing that somehow this situation can and will be changed.
Let us not wallow in the valley of despair. I say to you today, my friends, that even though we face the difficulties of today and tomorrow. I still have a dream. It is a dream deeply rooted in the American dream.
I have a dream that one day this nation will rise up and live out the true meaning of its creed. We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal.
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood.
I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice.
I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; that one day right down in Alabama little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day every valley shall be exalted, and every hill and every mountain shall be made low, the rough places will be made plains and the crooked places will be made straight and the glory of the Lord shall be revealed and all flesh shall see it together.
This is our hope. This is the faith that I will go back to the South with. With this faith we will be able to hew out of the mountain of despair a stone of hope.
With this faith we will be able to transform the jangling discords of our nation into a beautiful symphony of brotherhood.
With this faith we will be able to work together, to pray together, to struggle together, to go to jail together, to climb up for freedom together, knowing that we will be free one day.
This will be the day when all of God’s children will be able to sing with new meaning "My country ’tis of thee, sweet land of liberty, of thee I sing. Land where my father’s died, land of the Pilgrim’s pride, from every mountainside, let freedom ring!"
And if America is to be a great nation, this must become true. So let freedom ring from the hilltops of New Hampshire. Let freedom ring from the mighty mountains of New York.
Let freedom ring from the heightening Alleghenies of Pennsylvania.
Let freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Colorado.
Let freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of California.
But not only that, let freedom, ring from Stone Mountain of Georgia.
Let freedom ring from every hill and molehill of Mississippi and every mountainside.
And when this happens, when we let freedom ring, when we let it ring from every tenement and every hamlet, from every state and every city, we will be able to speed up that day when all of God’s children, black men and white men, Jews and Gentiles, Protestants and Catholics, will be able to join hands and sing in the words of the old spiritual, "Free at last, free at last. Thank God Almighty, we are free at last."
Martin Luther King, Jr. (January 15, 1929 – April 4, 1968) was a Baptist minister and American political activist who was the most famous leader of the American civil rights movement. King won the Nobel Peace Prize before being assassinated in 1968. In 1977, King was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, by Jimmy Carter. For his promotion of non-violence and racial equality, King is considered a peacemaker and martyr by many people around the world. Martin Luther King Day was established in his honor.
King was born in Atlanta, Georgia (on 501 Auburn Avenue) to the Rev. Martin Luther King, Sr. and Alberta Williams King. (Birth records for Martin Luther King Jr. list his name as Michael.) He graduated from Morehouse College with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology in 1948. At Morehouse, King was mentored by President Benjamin Mays, a civil rights leader. Later he graduated from Crozer Theological Seminary in Chester, Pennsylvania with a Bachelor of Divinity degree in 1951. In 1955, he received a Ph.D. in Systematic theology from Boston University.
Мстисла́в Леопо́льдович Ростропо́вич (Mstislav Rostropovich) dies at age 80
Image by guano
The old conductor, and an infant Mstislav (1927) rests in his fathers cello case.
Мстисла́в Леопо́льдович Ростропо́вич . . .
Mstislav Leopoldovich Rostropovich (Russian: Мстисла́в Леопо́льдович Ростропо́вич, Mstislav Leopol’dovič Rostropo’vič, March 27, 1927 – April 27, 2007), affectionately known as "Slava," was a Russian cellist and conductor considered to be one of the greatest cellists ever. He was well known for his interpretations of Dvořák’s B minor cello concerto and Haydn’s cello concertos in C and D, and for his commissions of new works which have considerably enlarged the cello repertoire (notably by Shostakovich, Prokofiev, Britten, Lutoslawski, Penderecki and Dutilleux).
Rostropovich was born in Baku, Azerbaijan, then part of the Soviet Union. From 1943 to 1948, he studied at the Moscow Conservatory, where he became professor of cello in 1956. He lived for the latter part of his life in self-imposed exile in Paris.
The Chicago Tribune reported that rumors about declining health began to spread in 2006, when he underwent unspecified surgery in Geneva and later that year received treatment for an aggravated ulcer.
Rostropovich had been treated at a Moscow clinic in early 2007 for what was reported to be hepatic cirrhosis, or degeneration of the liver. At the time, rumors flew that he was dying, fed by his having been visited by Russian President Vladimir Putin. It later was discovered that Putin met Rostropovich to discuss details of a celebration the Kremlin was planning for March 27, 2007, Rostropovich’s 80th birthday. The celebration took place and Rostropovich was reportedly in frail health.
The Itar-Tass news agency reported that Rostropovich died on April 27, 2007 in Moscow, after having been hospitalized in February of the same year for intestinal cancer. He was 80.
Born to Russian parents in Baku, Azerbaijan, at age 4, he learned the piano with his mother who was a talented pianist, and started the cello at the age of 10 with his father, who was also a cellist and a student of Pablo Casals.
He entered the Moscow Conservatory in 1943, at the age of 16, where he studied not only the piano and the cello, but also conducting and composition. Among his teachers were Dmitri Shostakovich and Sergei Prokofiev.
Rostropovich gave his first cello concert in 1942. He won first prize at the international Music Awards of Prague and Budapest in 1947, 1949 and 1950. In 1950, at the age of 23 he was awarded what was then considered the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, the Stalin Prize. At that time, Rostropovich was already well known in his country and while actively pursuing his solo career, he taught at the Leningrad Conservatory (now Saint-Petersburg) and the Moscow Conservatory. In 1955, he married Galina Vishnevskaya, soprano at the Bolshoi Theatre.
His international career started in 1964 in what was then West Germany. As of this date, he went on several tours in western Europe and met several composers, including Benjamin Britten. In 1967, he conducted Tchaikovsky’s opera Eugene Onegin at the Bolshoi, thus letting forth his passion for both the role of conductor and the opera.
Rostropovich fought for art without borders, freedom of speech and democratic values, resulting in a reprimand from the Soviet regime. His friendship with Alexander Solzhenitsyn and his support for dissidents led to official disgrace in the early 1970s. He was banned from several musical ensembles and his Soviet citizenship was revoked in 1978 because of his public opposition to the Soviet Union ‘s restriction of cultural freedom. Rostropovich left the Soviet Union in 1974 with his wife and children and settled in the United States.
Mstislav Rostropovich with Julian Lloyd Webber
Mstislav Rostropovich with Julian Lloyd Webber
Rostropovich was a huge influence on the younger generation of cellists. Many have openly acknowledged their debt to his example. Julian Lloyd Webber remarked "no other single person has done as much for the cello as he has", The Independent, London.
His talent inspired compositions from numerous composers such as Shostakovich, Khachaturian, Prokofiev, Britten, Dutilleux, Bernstein and Penderecki. He and fellow Soviet composer Dmitri Kabalevsky completed Prokofiev’s Cello Concertino after the composer’s death. Rostropovich gave the first performances of both Shostakovich’s cello concertos. Rostropovich introduced Shostakovich’s First Concerto to London and began an association with Benjamin Britten. Britten dedicated the Cello Sonata, three Solo Suites and the Cello Symphony to Rostropovich, who gave their first performances.
From 1977 until 1994, he was musical director and conductor of the U.S. National Symphony Orchestra in Washington, DC, while still performing with some of the most famous musicians such as Sviatoslav Richter and Vladimir Horowitz. He was also the director and founder of many music festivals (Aldeburgh, Rostropovitch Festival).
Rostropovich at the Berlin Wall
Rostropovich at the Berlin Wall
His impromptu performance during the Fall of the Berlin Wall as events unfolded earned him international fame and was shown on television throughout the world. His Russian citizenship was restored in 1990, although he and his family had already become American citizens.
Rostropovich received many international awards, including the French Legion of Honor and honorary doctorates from many international universities. He was an activist, fighting for freedom of expression in art and politics. An ambassador for the UNESCO, he supported many educational and cultural projects. Rostropovich performed several times in Madrid and was a close friend of Queen Sofía of Spain.
Rostropovich and his wife, Galina Vishnevskaya, started a foundation to stimulate social projects and activities. The couple funded a vaccination program in Azerbaijan. The Rostropovich Home Museum opened on March 4, 2002, in Baku. The Rostropoviches visited Azerbaijan occasionally. Rostropovich also presented cello master classes at the Azerbaijan State Conservatory.
Rostropovich’s instrument was the 1711 Duport Stradivarius, considered to be one of the greatest instruments ever made.
Rostropovich’s last home was in Paris; however, he maintained residences in Moscow, St. Petersburg, London and Lausanne. According to the New York Times, Rostropovich was admitted to a Paris hospital at the end of January 2007, but then decided to fly to Moscow, where he had been frequently receiving care.On February 6, 2007 the 79-year-old Rostropovich was admitted to a hospital in Moscow. "He is just feeling unwell," Natalya Dolezhale, Rostropovich’s secretary in Moscow, said. Asked if there was serious cause for concern about his health she said: "No, right now there is no cause whatsoever." She refused to specify the nature of his illness. The Kremlin said late on Monday that President Vladimir Putin had visited the musician in hospital, prompting speculation that he was in a serious condition. Dolezhale said the visit was to discuss arrangements for marking Rostropovich’s 80th birthday. Post-mortem obituaries cited sources stating that the cellist suffered from intestinal cancer. On March 6, 2007 the cellist was released from the Moscow hospital; his condition was said to have improved.  However, he re-entered the Blokhim Cancer Institute on April 7, 2007, and died on April 27, 2007, according to BBC reports.
Awards and recognitions
Rostropovich received about 50 awards during his life.
* Grammy Award for Best Chamber Music Performance
* Polar Music Prize, 1995
* Mstislav Rostropovich & Rudolf Serkin for Brahms: Sonata for Cello and Piano in E Minor, Op. 38 and Sonata in F, Op. 99 (1984)
* Honor Award of the Republic of Azerbaijan
* Citizen of honor of Vilnius, Lithuania (2000)
* Order of Service to the Fatherland, First Degree, for his "outstanding contribution to the development of world music and many years of creative activity," presented by Vladimir Putin, 02/26/2007. Galina Vishnevskaya was awarded the Order of Service to the Fatherland, Second Degree.
Antal Doráti Musical Directors, National Symphony Orchestra
1977–1994 Succeeded by
1. ^ a b BBC News. Russian maestro Rostropovich dies. Retrieved 2007.04.27
2. ^ BBC News. Obituary: Mstislav Rostropovich. Retrieved 2007.04.27
3. ^ New York Times April 27, 2007
4. ^ Contactmusic. Russian cellist Rostropovish ‘seriously ill’. Retrieved 2007.04.27
* Kozinn, Alan, "Mstislav Rostropovich, Cellist and Conductor, Dies," New York Times April 27, 2007
NY – Kingston – Stockade Historic District: Henry Sleight House (Wiltwych Chapter, DAR)
Image by wallyg
The Henry Sleight House, at 3 Crown Street, a beautiful example of Dutch Colonial and English Colonial building styles, was built prior to 1695 on a triangular lot within the stockade district. Burned by the British along with the rest of the Stockade, the house was later rebuilt and occupied by Village President Hendricus (Henry) Sleight.
The rear of the house is the older portion and retains a bee hive oven seen in the right exterior wall. The house has a fine Federal style cornice and front entrance was with leaded glass sidelights and transom. The Dutch doors and hardware are original.
Like many of the other buildings within the Stockade District, the Sleight House has been used for many different purposes, but by 1900, the Sleight House had fallen into neglect and was in danger of being demolished. The Wiltwych Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution saved the building from destruction, and paid for the complete restoration of the building’s interior and exterior.
The Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in 1890 and incorporated by an Act of Congress in 1896. The DAR works today to "perpetuate the memory and spirit of the men and women who achieved American Independence" by supporting diverse avenues of knowledge–schools, scholarships and museums–and through far-reaching efforts to promote American freedom, traditions and citizenship. Historic preservation has long been a priority for the DAR and the stewardship of American history continues into the present. Offering tours by appointment and genealogical research resources, the Wiltwych Chapter’s ownership and care of the Sleight House exemplifies how preservation efforts can benefit a community.
Outside the front door is a memorial tablet in honor of the Kingston Fire.
Stockade Historic District National Register #75001231 (1975)