Monday, February 21, 2011

Washington Monument

February 21, 1885


The tallest structure in the world was dedicated today here in the Nation's Capital.

The ceremony, which began at 11 a.m., had 800 people in attendance enduring very cold temperatures & a brisk wind.

The 555' monument, designed by Robert Mills, was begun on July 4, 1848.

Made of marble, granite & sandstone, the Washington Monument was completed at a cost of $1,817,710.

   Photo by John White, 2007

The proceedings were called to order by Senator Sherman and concluded with the acceptance of the monument "on behalf of the people of the United States" by President Chester A. Arthur.

Following is an excerpt from President Arthur's remarks:

"I do now, as President of the United States in behalf of the people, receive this monument from the hands of its builder & declare it dedicated from this time forth to the immortal name & memory of George Washington."*

*from "Marking a People's Love", The New York Times, February 22, 1885.

February 21, 1965


Malcolm X, born as Malcolm Little & founder of the Organization of American Unity, was giving a speech to the group when he was shot & killed.

Malcolm X grew up in Omaha, Nebraska the son of a Baptist preacher who supported the ideas of Marcus Garvey.

After being found guilty of burglary, he served 6 years in prison.  After his release, he became a minister of the Nation of Islam in Harlem.

Malcolm X was suspended from his ministry by the group's leader, Elijah Muhammad, when Malcolm X said that JFK's assassination was a case of the "chickens coming home to roost".

February 21, 1981


Country music singer & songwriter, Dolly Parton, achieved a career boost today as her crossover hit, "Nine to Five", made it to the top of the popular music charts.

Miss Parton, born in Sevierville, Tennessee, wrote and sang the song that is also the theme of the motion picture by the same name.

Dolly Parton left the Smoky Mountains for Music City USA, Nashville, Tennessee, on the day of her graduation from high school.*

*Dolly won both Oscar & Grammy nominations for "9 to 5".

Dolly & Tennessee Senator Bob Corker
at the re-dedication of the Great Smoky Mountain National Park
September 2, 2009

February 21, 1948


The National Association for Stock Car Racing has been officially incorporated today.  

NASCAR was organized by mechanic & auto shop owner, William France, Sr.*

*The 1st NASCAR track will open at Darlington Raceway in South Carolina.  Daytona International Raceway opens in 1959 & Lee Petty wins the 1st "Daytona 500".

Yesterday's Daytona 500 race was won by Knoxville, Tennessee native, Trevor Bayne. 

He is just 20 years old & was driving a Ford Fusion for the Wood Brothers, the oldest NASCAR team.

He is the youngest driver to win the race which was also his 1st in a Daytona 500.

*Note from JFK+50's author

I want to thank each & every visitor to my JFK+50 blog over the past few months.  It has been most gratifying to me to have had such a great response.

I would like to know what you like or dislike about the blog & what you would like to see more or less of in future postings.

Feel free to post a comment at the end of each posting or if you prefer your comments not be public then click on my profile on the left side of the page & you will be taken to a page where you can send me a private email.

I promise to respond to each email & keep your comments confidential.

Again, thanks for your continued interest in JFK+50.

John White
Knoxville, Tennessee USA