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The Sixteenth Street Baptist Church Bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, 1963

Posted by Laurie Frost on July 4, 2013

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama

Carol Highsmith’s photo of the Wales window at the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church.
Credit: The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. [LC-DIG-highsm-05063]

I have a new blog: Long Time Coming at  http://longtimecoming1963.wordpress.com/.

I’ve been neglecting my other blogs lately because I have been helping a friend by putting his mother’s book up as a blog. This is the fiftieth anniversary of the turning point in the Civil Rights Era in the US, and his mother, Elizabeth H. Cobbs, risked her life in 1977 to testify against her uncle by marriage, Robert Chambliss, who largely through her testimony was the first bomber of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church to be convicted. She cooperated fully with the FBI in 1963, and had this become known, the Ku Klux Klan would have killed her, but her efforts then were futile because FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover decided to shelve the case indefinitely.

If you are unfamiliar with this event, briefly, on September 15, 1963, a bomb exploded in the basement of a black Baptist church in Birmingham, Alabama, killing four young girls, and seriously injuring a fifth. You may have heard of Spike Lee’s film, 4 Little Girls

This is what I wrote on the home page of Long Time Coming

This website presents in full the original text of Long Time Coming: An Insider’s Story of the Birmingham Church Bombing That Rocked The World written by Elizabeth H. Cobbs/Petric J. Smith and published by Crane Hill Publishers in 1994.

The author died in 1998.

Crane Hill Publishers is no longer operating, and Long Time Coming is out-of-print. The Estate of Petric J. Smith is making this digital edition available so that the story of the long journey to the conviction of Robert Chambliss for the death of Denise McNair in the bombing of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, is accessible to a wider audience.  . . .

This digital edition takes advantage of its formatting by adding hyperlinks to the text. New pictures, which unless otherwise noted are in the public domain and available at the Library of Congress’s website, have also been included.

As I worked on the blog, I added public domain pictures to illustrate the story.

And as always with images of contemporary America, my best source was the The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division.

Carol Highsmith has placed over 100,000 images in the public domain through her archive at the Library of Congress. She is now going state by state, capturing even more images of contemporary America.

For my purposes, I was fortunate that the first state she was able to cover was Alabama. You can read about that here.

I used a number of her photographs of the Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, the Civil Rights Institute, and Kelly Ingram Park in Birmingham in Long Time Coming. Here are just a few examples: 

 

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama

Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, Birmingham, Alabama. The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division, LC-DIG-highsm-05091

 

Sculpture dedicated to the Foot Soldiers of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, Alabama

Sculpture dedicated to the Foot Soldiers of the Birmingham Civil Rights Movement. Kelly Ingram Park, Birmingham, Alabama. The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division. LC-DIG-highsm-05100

Ku Klux Klan exhibit, Birmingham Civil Rights Institute, Birmingham, Alabama. Credit: The George F. Landegger Collection of Alabama Photographs in Carol M. Highsmith’s America, Library of Congress, Prints and Photographs Division [LC-DIG-highsm-05074]

 

For historical photos, the Library of Congress was also my best source. Examples:

2.  GENERAL PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF SOUTHEAST (FRONT) AND NORTHEAST SIDE FROM KELLY-INGRAM PARK - Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, 1530 Sixth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL

GENERAL PERSPECTIVE VIEW OF SOUTHEAST (FRONT) AND NORTHEAST SIDE FROM KELLY-INGRAM PARK – Sixteenth Street Baptist Church, 1530 Sixth Avenue North, Birmingham, Jefferson County, AL. Library of Congress, HABS ALA,37-BIRM,33–2.

Ku Klux Klan, between 1921 and 1922. Library of Congress. LC-DIG-npcc-30454

[Group of African Americans viewing the

Bomb-damaged home of Arthur Shores, NAACP attorney, Birmingham, Alabama. Photo by Marion Trikoskco, 1963 Sept. 5. LC-DIG-ppmsca-03194

[Federalized National Guard troops on the campus of the University of Alabama, June 11, 1963 when African Americans Vivian Malone and James Hood registered for classes]

Federalized National Guard troops on the campus of the University of Alabama, June 11, 1963 when African Americans Vivian Malone and James Hood registered for classes. Photo by Warren Leffler. LC-DIG-ds-01108

Mugshots are in the public domain:

Mugshot of Sixteenth Street Baptist Church bomber Robert Chambliss, arrested September 26, 1977 for murder.

Frankly, were it not for Carol Highsmith’s incredible generosity in placing her work in the public domain, and the U.S. News & World Report magazine photograph collection at the Library of Congress [Rights Advisory: No known restrictions on work taken by staff photographers. Other material may be restricted by copyright. For more inforamtion, see U.S. News … (http://www.loc.gov/rr/print/res/078_usnw.html)], photographs for which permission need not be asked or licensing fees paid were hard to find.

—–

Note: On the Long Time Coming blog, you will also see photos with the note: Property of the Birmingham Public Library.  These are not in the public domain. I included these in that blog, but not in this one, because they also appear in the print version of Long Time Coming, meaning Elizabeth Cobbs/Petric J. Smith or Crane Hill Publishers secured permission for their use in 1994, and I am waiting to hear if that permission extends to digital editions. Meanwhile, I have included them there under Fair Use provisions, since the blog is not-for-profit but for educational purposes.

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Flickr Commons: Southern Methodist University’s Photostream

Posted by Laurie Frost on May 19, 2013

I’m back, finally, with a new post. Here are some examples of the close to 2300 photos Southern Methodist University (SMU) has placed in their Flickr Commons photostream and labeled as having “no known copyright restrictions.” All that is asked is that you “Please cite Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library when using this image file.” Some of the photos also include collection notes and photographer’s names, so it would be best to include those too.

SMU is located in Dallas, TX, and so unsurprisingly a number of their albums feature topics related to Texas and the Southwest. There are lots covering the oil industry, which is probably the most unique feature of this photostream. But there are some albums that go further afield, Alaska in the early 20th century and German trains, for example.

SMU includes this note to accompany its images: “A high-quality version of this file may be obtained for a fee by contacting degolyer@smu.edu.”

Bibliographic material is cut and pasted from the photostream.

One of the oddest things that caught my eye was a series of postcards — postcards! — depicting firing squads, executed bodies, and disposal of the dead from the Mexican Revolution. Who would choose to send such a thing — and to whom? And what would you write: “Wish you were here, right here, right in the line of fire?”

Here’s a mild example.

Triple execution in Mexico

Creator: Horne, Walter H., 1883-1921             Date: January 15, 1916           Place: Juarez, Chihuahua, Mexico
Part Of: Collection of Walter H. Horne photographs, Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library

I’m not including the worst. I have some taste. But I will tell you where to find them.

This one — a postcard, remember — of a man killed in battle Nov 2, 1915 1/2 mile south of Agua Prieta, Mexico is really horrid, and this of the dead on the battlefield isn’t much better.

Here’s another view of Mexico altogether.

The Observatory, Chichen Itza

Creator: Medellin, Octavio    Date: 1959    Place: Yucatan, Mexico
Cite: Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library

The oil industry has long been interested in Mexico, or so it appears from many of the shots here, including this dramatic one of a oil well fire.

 

Potrero del Llano No. 4  burning

Date: ca. 1914-1915   Place: Tuxpan, Veracruz, Mexico
Part Of: Manning Texas and Mexico Collection,  Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library

Meanwhile, back in the US:

Climax-Molybdenum Co., Iowa Colony, Texas, rough neck and fish tail bit on drill collar

Creator: Robert Yarnall Richie          Date: November 2, 1938        Place: Iowa Colony, Texas
Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie photograph collection, Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library

Gulf Oil Corp., #1 F. C. C. Unit

Creator: Richie, Robert Yarnall         Date: July 15, 1956            Place: Port Arthur, Texas
Part Of: Robert Yarnall Richie Photograph Collection, Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library

Did you know that before Texas was a state it was a nation, the Republic of Texas? Here’s an example of its currency. I’m amused by the Venus figure in the upper left corner. Somehow, I doubt in Texas’s 21st century political climate that its lawmakers would suffer the presence of a nude woman on any document, let alone money.

Republic of Texas $50.00 (fifty dollars) ”redback” note

County of Origin: Travis County    Town of Issue: Austin
Currency Type: “Redback”        Denomination: $50.00
Bank Issuer: Republic of Texas
Imprint: Rawdon, Wright, Hatch & Edson. New Orleans.; Rawdon, Wright & Hatch New-York.; Engraved by Geo. [W.] Hatch.
Date Issued: May 22, 1839
Vignette: (L) Nude Venus standing. (C) Steamship (three-mast side-wheeler) and sailing ship (brig). (R) Bust of Stephen F. Austin. Lower center: Lone Star seal.
Notes: This ”redback” note was issued in Austin by the Republic of Texas. Redbacks were issued from late 1839 until 1842.
Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library

A True Girl of the West.

Creator: Cornish, George Bancroft               Date: 1906
Part Of: 101 Ranch and Burroum Ranch, Del Rio, Texas, Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library

Did you ever see The Life and Times of Judge Roy Bean, a 1972 feature starring Paul Newman and introducing Victoria Principal (later of Dallas fame) and a cast including Ned Beatty, Anthony Perkins, John Huston, Roddy McDowell, Ava Gardner and so on and on? You ought to. It was based on a real Texan.

Judge Roy Bean, Justice of the Peace, Law West of the Pecos Building

Creator: Studer Photo

Part Of: Lawrence T. Jones III Texas photography collection, Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library

Finally, we have this guy, who, it seems, for reasons best known to himself, thought it a fine idea to ride a  longhorn steer from Brownsville, TX to New York City.

Ralph Sanders and ”Jerry.” May 12, 1930.

 Place: Brownsville, Cameron County, Texas
Part Of: Collection of real photographic postcards of Texas, Southern Methodist University, Central University Libraries, DeGolyer Library

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Early Modern Dance: From the New York Public Library on Flickr

Posted by Laurie Frost on November 17, 2012

Early Modern Dance: The Denishawn Collection   These are from the 68 images in the Denishawn Collection on the Flickr Commons. Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn established the Denishawn School in 1915.

Ruth St. Denis in Radha.
Digital ID: DEN_0032V. ca. 1906

Ruth St. Denis in Radha.
Digital ID: DEN_0074V. Sarony, Otto — Photographer. 1908.

Ruth St. Denis in Radha at the housewarming of Frank Haven.
Digital ID: DEN_0090V. ca. 1910

Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn in Egyptian Ballet.
Digital ID: DEN_0183

Digital ID: DEN_0370V. Ruth St. Denis and Ted Shawn in an out-of-doors photo, in costume, for National Geographic Magazine, April 1916, reprinted May 1951.. 1915.

Digital ID: DEN_0664V. Ted Shawn in Cosmic Dance of Siva during Ziegfield Follies Tour.. 1928

Posted in Flickr Commons, Historical, People | 1 Comment »

Flickr Commons: Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands

Posted by Laurie Frost on October 20, 2012

Here are a few items from the Nationaal Archief of the Netherlands collections in the Flickr Commons.

Can’t get enough of zeppelins and balloons, one of the collections from this source.

Santos-Dumont vaart met een zeppelin langs de Eiffeltoren / Zeppelin passing the Eiffel Tower
SFA003000116

 

‘Allo Spaceboy!

“Ruimtepak” voor stratosfeerballon / Space suit for stratospheric balloon, 1935

 

Zeppelin bij Empire State Building in aanbouw / Zeppelin near the Empire State Building under construction. The American airship ZR 3 Los Angeles flying near the Empire State Building under construction. The Zeppelin, built as LZ 126, is accompanied by some blimps. New York, the United States of America, 29 October 1930.

Another collection deals with tobacco:

Smokkelen van sigaretten in een boek /Smuggling cigarettes in a book. Germany, 1932.

Automaat voor brandende sigaretten / Cigarette machine delivering burning cigarettes for a penny. England, 1931.

Another, called Allerzielen, Allerheiligen / All Souls’ Day, All Saints’ Day, features graves.

Graven van Vincent en Theo van Gogh. The graves of the famous Dutch painter Vincent van Gogh (1853-1890) and his brother Theo [Theodore] van Gogh (1857-1891) at the churchyard in Auvers-sur-Oise, France. Photo out of 1927.

Another focuses on “new life”:

Uit ei gebroken kuiken/Chick facing daylight for the first time, 1936.

Inventions, some stranger than others:

Houten badpakken /Wooden bathing suits, supposed to make swimming a lot easier. Haquian, Washington, USA, 1929

 

Eénwielige motorfiets / One wheel motor cycle. Invented by Italian M. Goventosa de Udine. Maximum speed: 150 kilometers per hour ( 93 Mph).

Gasaanvalbestendige kinderwagen / Gas war resistant pram, England, Hextable, 1938.

 

 

 

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Flickr Commons: National Archives, UK. Famous People.

Posted by Laurie Frost on July 9, 2012

I’ve been neglecting the blog because I moved house, to a new state: a major change. But I’m picking up where I left off.

Here are some shots of famous folks from the 20th Century Photographs set in the  National Archives, United Kingdom on the Flickr Commons.

Miss Hepburn on set
“Miss Katherine [sic] Hepburn & Mr. Mike Owen, Manager, taken during the filming of the T.V. Film of ‘The Corn is Green’ “. Bersham Colliery, Wrexham.
http://flic.kr/p/97rxRy

Photographs of Eric Blair (George Orwell) from his Metropolitan Police file. c.1940 http://flic.kr/p/5A2uxN

 

Princess Elizabeth at a Trooping of the Colour ceremony for her father George VI. c.1950. http://flic.kr/p/5CZRaw

 

Chamberlain and Il Duce. British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain receives the red carpet treatment in Rome from Italian dictator Benito Mussolini. January 1939. http://flic.kr/p/5zMp9B

 

“Lord Baden-Powell, the Chief Scout, at his home, Pax Hill, Bentley, Hants. Close up at ‘personal’ desk in study”. Photograph taken by John Dixon Scott. c. 1926-39. http://flic.kr/p/8t3C1k

 

Actress and socialite Lillie Langtry photographed by William Downey (1829-1915). August 1885. http://flic.kr/p/8t3C1k

 

Future Prime Minister Anthony Eden painted while Foreign Secretary by William Little. WWII. http://flic.kr/p/6CwGmS

 

Signed photograph of General Charles de Gaulle, future president of the French Republic, extracted from a file on the Czech assault on Dunkirk. 1945. http://flic.kr/p/6CwGn1

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Dr. Alice S. Kandell Collection of Sikkim Photographs, Library of Congress: 2. The Land.

Posted by Laurie Frost on August 6, 2011

These images are from the Dr. Alice S. Kandell Collection of Sikkim Photographs at the Library of Congress, described in my last post.

Rainbow in the mountains of Lachung, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30228

Sikkim, dry season, rice terraces. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30789

Rice terraces during dry season, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30792 (

Building in the mountains of Lachung, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30809

Tsongmo Lake, along the Nathu La Pass, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30136

Primula flowers at Pemayangtse in western Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30105

Bridge, North Sikkim near Tibet. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30892

Mount Kānchenjunga, third highest mountain in the world. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30100

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Dr. Alice S. Kandell Collection of Sikkim Photographs, Library of Congress: 1. Religious Practices.

Posted by Laurie Frost on August 3, 2011

These images are from a special collection at the Library of Congress:

[The] Dr. Alice S. Kandell Collection of Sikkim Photographs portrays the people and landscape of a kingdom high in the Himalaya Mountains. Sikkim, now part of India, borders on Tibet, Nepal, and Bhutan. Dr. Kandell captured these vivid scenes in order to document a vanishing culture. During visits between 1965 and 1979 (primarily 1965-1971), Dr. Kandell received special permission to photograph Buddhist monks and lamas, ceremonial dances, and monasteries; people working on farms, in canning factories, and at special crafts; and the royal palace and chapel at Gangtok, including the last king, Chogyal Palden Thondup Namgyal, his American wife Queen Hope Cooke (Dr. Kandell’s college friend), and their family.

Also depicted are the villages and people of Singhik and Lachung, the mountains of Kānchenjunga, the Ralang Hot Springs, and the Gangtok bazaar as well as different ethnic groups including the Kirati (Kiranti), Lepcha, Nepalese, and Bhutia people. Other photographs show the material culture, including religious paintings, ceremonial masks, jewelry and carpets. Special events feature the coronation in 1965 and the wedding of Princess Yanchen Dolma and Simon Abraham in 1979.

Dr. Alice S. Kandell dedicated her rights to the public domain when making this generous gift to the Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, in 2010. The entire collection includes approximately 15,000 photographs available for research use at the Library.

About 300 have been digitized.

Credit lines should read as follows:

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division. Dr. Alice S. Kandell Collection of Sikkim Photographs, [reproduction number, e.g., LC-USZ62-123456]

Lamas spinning prayer wheels at old Rumtek Monastery, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30144

Monk fixing clock above painting, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30150

Boys blowing gyalings in front of palace temple, Gangtok, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30187

Blue Mahakala dancer initiating the New Year's ceremony, Gangtok, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30195

Black Hat Lama in a procession down the mountain to sacrifice objects, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30211

Guruda bird dancer performing at the New Year's dance, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30773

Hex, symbolizing person’s spirit, thrown in the road for devil to be decoyed. Used in Bon practices, Sikkim. LC-DIG-ppmsca-30870
Woman turns prayer wheel in front of the Do-Drul Chorten stupa. LC-DIG-ppmsca-31643

Lama turning prayer wheel activating prayers. LC-DIG-ppmsca-31642

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Weddings of the Rich and Famous

Posted by Laurie Frost on June 9, 2011

Looking for “brides” in the Library of Congress’s Prints & Photographs Online Catalog, I found a number of public domain images of weddings of famous people. Here is a selection:

Bouvier-Kennedy wedding portrait, Sept. 12, 1953. Photographer: Toni Frissell. LC-USZC4-4892

Pres. Richard Nixon escorts his daughter Tricia at her White House Rose Garden wedding. Photographer: Warren K. Leffler. June 12, 1971. LC-DIG-ppmsca-03410

 

Vanderbilt-Szechenyi wedding - Official portrait of Count Szechenyi, made just before he married Gladys Vanderbilt, 1907. LC-USZ62-69601

 

Princess Mary's wedding coach. 1922. LC-B2- 5711-3

 

Tenor Enrico Caruso- Dorothy Park Benjamin Wedding Party, 1918. LC-DIG-ggbain-27427

 

President Roosevelt, with Alice Roosevelt-Longworth and Hon. Nicholas Longworth in bridal array. March 22, 1906. LC-DIG-stereo-1s01932

 

 

 

 

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Ladies’ Hats

Posted by Laurie Frost on May 10, 2011

If it seems there have been a lot of photographs of strange hats on ladies’ heads these past few weeks, first at the royal wedding and then the Kentucky derby, consider that such sights are anything but new. Have a look at these absurdities, all from the Library of Congress’s online image collection.

At least Fergie’s daughters’ silly hats didn’t contribute to the extinction of any species. The same cannot be said of these. By 1900,  egrets and herons had been hunted almost to the point of extinction, and the decimation in the United States was only stopped by the passage of the Lacey Act.  Worldwide, the slaughter continued, and a 1913 source states that:

In 1911, the feathers of 129,000 egrets; 13,598 herons; 20,698 birds of paradise; 41,090 hummingbirds; 9,464 eagles, condors and other birds of prey; and 9,472 other birds were sold at auction in London for the millinery trade.

You can read more about that here.

LC-USZ62-61248

LC-USZ62-74338

Los Angeles airplane hat, ca. 1910. LC-USZ62-97163

I’m not sure whether real feathers were used to construct the artificial birds for this get-up, but I expect so.

Christie MacDonald wearing artificial birds on a hat and on the bodice of her dress.LC-USZ62-117332

At least no birds died for this oddity:

LC-USZ62-76012

And then there is this. The woman is identified as Marie Dressler, and she also appears in a caricature from a book called Stage Folk. At least she may be remembered in some context other than simply as a lady who wore a silly hat in 1909.

LC-USZ62-126186

LC-USZ62-126183

Posted in Historical, Library of Congress, People | 2 Comments »

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Posted by Laurie Frost on January 16, 2011

Today’s images are in honor of Martin Luther King Day. The first two are from the Library of Congress. Those with ARC Identifiers are from the National Archives.

Martin Luther King, Jr. photographed by Marion S. Trikosko, 1964. LC-DIG-ppmsc-01269

 

Martin Luther King Jr. Birth Home, 501 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta, Fulton, GA. HABS GA,61-ATLA,48-

Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Historical, Library of Congress, National Archives, People, Places | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »