Dec. 11, 2013
CIA's anti-terrorism NOC effort called 'colossal flop'
John Wilkinson, M.D.
: Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Mild leg swelling could be signaling other medical issues
: In Windy City, religion confronts a gust of cold air
Dec. 2, 2013
Rabbi Moshe Grylak: Attack on Chanukah's scholar-warriors an affront to all people of faith
U.S. boxes in Israel, not Iran: Surrender in Geneva
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Vanessa Bayer & Jacob, the Bar Mitzvah Boy; Adam Levine, nickname "the Bear Jew," is People's Sexiest; Eastwoods Need to Say "Kinehora!"
The Kosher Gourmet by Kim Ode:
Fried and gone to heaven: Dense, fried Slovenian doughnut-like rolls, krofi, on Chanukah is a treat you'll want to eat all year long
: Tracking babies' eyes, scientists find signs of autism in 2-month-olds
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Hunger Games: Jewish Connections; A 'Minyan'of Jewish Celebs Recite the Gettysburg Address On-line; Walter Matthau's Reaction to JFK's Death
Nancy A. Youssef :
Christians too afraid to complain as treatment in new 'democracy' worsens
Jewz in the Newz by Nate Bloom
: Jewish MLB managers; Past and Present; Movie News and Dancing W/the Stars Shocker; Paula Abdul's Israeli bat mitzvah and bio facts rarely reported
Jewish World Review
Nov. 5, 2012/ 20 Mar-Cheshvan, 5773
America's first martyr to free speech
WATERVILLE, Me. -- He was born on a pioneer farm 14 miles east of here, graduated first in his class from the tiny Baptist college planted precariously on a barren bank of the Kennebec, set out west to become a river-town schoolteacher, prepared for the ministry, drifted into journalism -- always remaining true to the teachings of his church, his family and the hymns they sang around a crude Maine country hearth: His job on Earth was to cleanse the world of sin.
It was for that reason that, fired by idealism about the divine mission of the young country and full of revulsion over its stain of slavery, he became an outspoken abolitionist. In his reckoning, he was but a sentinel of the Lord. In the reckoning of his enemies in frontier Missouri, a slave state, and abolition opponents in Illinois, a free state, he was a symbol of northern arrogance and ignorance.
On Nov. 7, 1837, Elijah Parish Lovejoy became America's first martyr to the freedom of the press. His story is barely known outside Alton, Ill., where he died, and Waterville, where his alma mater, now known as Colby College, is preparing to celebrate his legacy. But his is an American story of heroism, nobleness of character and enduring moral grandeur, and it bears repeating at this week's 175th anniversary of his death.
Lovejoy's life was uplifting and his death brutal. His abolitionism transformed tucked-away Alton into a fiery center of the slavery debate, and his paper emerged as a booming voice against bondage in a town that devoutly preferred serenity to sermons. Three times his press was destroyed by his opponents. On Nov. 3, 1837, Lovejoy addressed the town:
While I value the good opinion of my fellow-citizens, as highly as any one, I may be permitted to say, that I am governed by higher considerations than either the favor or the fear of man. I am impelled to the course I have taken, because I fear God. As I shall answer it to my God in the great day, I dare not abandon my sentiments, or cease in all proper ways to propagate them.
Like Martin Luther King, whose remarks eerily foreshadowed his death in April 1968, Lovejoy acknowledged the risk he was taking in November 1837:
If the civil authorities refuse to protect me, I must look to G0D, and if I die, I have determined to make my grave in Alton. I have sworn eternal opposition to slavery and by the blessing of God I will never turn back. With God I cheerfully rest my cause. I can die at my post but I cannot desert it.
Four days later, Lovejoy arranged for a fourth press to be transported stealthily by riverboat to Alton, where it was placed in a warehouse. Word leaked out. A mob appeared. Epithets and rocks were hurled. Shots rang out. The mob prepared to set the rooftop afire. Lovejoy ran out to prevent it. He was shot dead two days short of his 35th birthday.
Members of the mob then entered the warehouse, rushing past his body in their zeal to dismantle the object of their fear, the press itself. They dropped its parts from windows. They smashed what remained.
A St. Louis newspaper blamed Lovejoy and his allies for the incident, suggesting that if they had abandoned their press there would have been no violence. The Pittsburgh Gazette, the predecessor to today's Post-Gazette, weighed in on the other side: "We can tell that editor that thousands of men have been hung for highway robbery who most conscien- tiously could say: 'At each time no violence was shown, except to demand the traveler's money.' "
Even in death Lovejoy was not silenced. Today, the names of the shooter and mob members are unknown but the words of the martyr endure, if only to a small band of scholars and journalists. Here are some of those words:
There is no way to escape the mob but to abandon the path of duty, and that, God helping me, I will never do.
Lovejoy did not abandon his duty and Colby did not abandon its onetime star student. Since 1952, the college has presented the Lovejoy Award to a journalist of courage selected by a group of editors. (I have served on this committee for several years, an homage to Lovejoy and to my two brothers who hold Colby degrees.)
The winners have included such press icons as Murray Kempton, John Seigenthaler and Daniel Pearl, along with recent veterans of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan (The New York Times' John F. Burns), upheaval in the Middle East (NPR's Soraya Sarhaddi Nelson) and drug-related violence in Mexico (the Dallas Morning News' Alfredo Corchado). This year's winner is Bob Woodward, one of the principal Washington Post investigators of Watergate.
"Lovejoy's life is a lesson right out of Reporting 101," says Mr. Woodward, who next Sunday will present an address in Colby's stunning white Lorimer Chapel. "The things we revere go back more than a century. There's a straight line between what he did and what we are trying to do today."
Hardly anybody listens to valedictory addresses at college commencements and even fewer remember or quote them. But like almost everything about Lovejoy, his stands out. This is what he told the six other members of the Class of 1826 (no worries about huge lecture halls in those years):
Let us pursue with unwavering aim the course we may determine to pursue. Let it not be said of us that our Alma Mater has sent us forth into the world in vain. Let us cherish those kindred feelings which have so often been awakened over the pages of classic eloquence or under the still purer influence of the Muse -- and when called to give up our account for the talent committed to our case, may it not be found that we have buried it in the dust.
How we might wish that some member of the Class of 2013 at Colby, or at its dreaded rival Bates, or anyplace in this green and pleasant land, might deliver such a valedictory address, and live to serve out its purpose.
It turns out that Lovejoy's death occurred 25 years before the battle of Antietam, the deadliest day in American history. That Union victory gave Lincoln the opening to issue his Emancipation Proclamation.
It also turns out that, though Lovejoy was buried in the dust of Alton, all of us in the profession he ennobled are, as he would put it, called to account. Let us hope that, though battered and beleaguered by the crisis of the contemporary press, we have not been sent forth into the world in vain. And to the cry of "Remember the Maine!" we might add this: Remember this son of Maine!
Comment by clicking here.
David Shribman, a Pulitzer Prize winner in journalism, is executive editor of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.
10/29/12 Making hay in Iowa
10/15/12 When two men confronted each other from afar as civilization hung in the balance
10/08/12 If you look at the election a certain way, things don't seem so terrible
10/01/12 Debating the debates
09/24/12 Pessimists R Us
08/20/12 Obama remains a puzzle even as he asks the American people for a second chance
08/13/12 With Ryan, Romney upends the conversation
08/06/12 The real Romney remains hidden behind other people's opinions
07/30/12 What summer is for: How August can matter, and how Romney might use it
07/23/12 The Independent son of independent Maine promises to shake up Washington
07/16/12 The Rambler American
07/09/12 The Telstar revolution: Fifty years ago, a 3-foot orb was sent aloft and spawned a new era in communications
07/02/12 It's got only four electoral votes, but Romney and Obama will be fighting for them
06/25/12 A little noted rebellion over a lonely stretch of land helps tell the American story
06/18/12 You're nothing special: Luck is what you make of it . . . and what it makes of you
06/11/12 Anybody can talk authoritatively about the presidential election. Here's how
06/04/12 Candidates love to ally themselves with admired presidents, in sometimes unexpected ways
05/29/12 Americans aren't in a new burst of patriotism but they are in a new burst of appreciation for the military
05/21/12 Inside out: Almost nothing about this year's presidential election conforms to conventional analysis
05/14/12 Lugar grew into an elder statesman, which is why he'll be leaving the Senate
05/07/12 50 years later, MacArthur's farewell to arms continues to inspire
04/30/12 The likability factor: We're going to find out how important it is in these troubled times
04/23/12 Romney's four battles: With the nomination essentially in hand, he must turn to new challenges
04/16/12 For GOPers, expect the frustration to build, not abate
04/09/12 The political battles you cannot see
04/02/12 Romney's roadmap: Doing better in Democratic states may complicate his fall campaign
03/26/12 Romney struggles with same GOP forces his father faced long ago
03/19/12 The writer and the president
03/12/12 Romney could learn from his rivals after Super Tuesday
03/05/12 The GOP race continues, and Republicans continue to grouse about their choices
02/27/12 The turnout threat: when voters vamoose
02/20/12 The Winter's Tale: Republicans are engaged in a 'problem play,' full of psychological, and real, drama
02/13/12 Which Ike to like?
02/08/12 A tale of two elections: Voters today are making their most profound choice since 1912
01/30/12 Whither the GOP establishment?
01/23/12 The Democratic coalition is breaking up
01/09/12 The verdict that wasn't
01/02/12 These are the keys to who will persist
12/19/11 Another Gingrich rebellion
12/12/11 A defining fight for the GOP
12/05/11 A distinct lack of enthusiasm
11/28/11 For GOPers, the winds are beginning to pick up, the horizon is darkening
11/21/11 Today's polarized politics . . . blame FDR and the political scientists
11/11/11The sporting life
11/07/11 Ron Paul, true believer
10/31/11 Why Cain isn't able
10/10/11 GOP starting over
10/03/11 The Forgotten War of 1812
09/26/11 The way we live now
09/19/11 The crisis this time
09/11/11 But what will it mean?
09/05/11 A horse race column: Who might win the GOP nomination and how it might unfold
08/29/11 The vacuum calls
08/22/11 Passion and politics: How Barack Obama and Mitt Romney got crowded into the same dangerous corner
08/15/11 Eleanor's little village
08/08/11 The agony of August
08/01/11 The politics of the impossible: What a country this might be if the political class served the broad interests of the majority
07/25/11 Pennant fever grips 'Burgh
07/18/11 Exemplar of an era
07/11/11 On summer
07/04/11 The soul of the party
06/27/11 What the Secretary said
06/20/11 Romney has big advantages over his rivals, but they will be coming after him
06/06/11 One question each
05/30/11 The 14-week challenge
05/23/11 Delay tactics
05/16/11 Republicans are waiting
05/09/11 Bin Laden is dead. What does it mean?
05/02/11 From nobodies to nominees
04/25/11 The founders left slavery for future generations to settle, and we still haven't fully come to terms with it
04/18/11 From audacious to cautious
04/11/11 Dreaming of space
12/12/10 The GOP takes control
12/06/10 DECEMBER 7
11/29/10 GOP presidential hopefuls already are lining up local supporters in what is now a red state
11/22/10 Burning down the House
11/15/10 Institutions of higher learning are finally beginning to teach important lifeskills
11/04/10 The war has just begun
11/01/10 Echoes of a speech 40 years ago this week still resonate today
10/25/10 50 years ago America chose between two men who were dramatically different --- and eerily similar
© 2011, The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Distributed by Universal Uclick, as agent for UFS.
Richard Z. Chesnoff
Frank J. Gaffney
Victor Davis Hanson
A. Barton Hinkle
Judge A. Napolitano
Debra J. Saunders
J. D. Crowe
David Ray Skinner
Ask Doctor K