Thursday, January 15, 2009

I Have A Dream Speech

Source YouTube

I Have A Dream is the popular name given to the public speech by Martin Luther King, Jr. when he spoke of his desire for a future where blacks and whites among others would coexist harmoniously as equals. King's delivery of the speech on August 28, 1963 from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement. Delivered to over 250,000 civil rights supporters, the speech is often considered to be one of the greatest and most notable speeches in history and was ranked the top American speech of the 20th century by a 1999 poll of scholars of public address. According to U.S. Representative John Lewis, who also spoke that day as the President of the Student Non-Violent Coordinating Committee, "Dr. King had the power, the ability and the capacity to transform those steps on the Lincoln Memorial into a modern day pulpit. By speaking the way he did, he educated, he inspired, he informed not just the people there, but people throughout America and unborn generations."

At the end of the speech, King departed from his prepared text for a partly improvised peroration on the theme of "I have a dream", possibly prompted by Mahalia Jackson's cry, "Tell them about the dream, Martin!". He had delivered a speech incorporating some of the same sections in Detroit in June 1963, when he marched on Woodward Avenue with Walter Reuther and the Reverend C.L. Franklin, and had rehearsed other parts.

- wikipedia


In the Library:

  • McElrath, Jessica [2008]. The Everything Martin Luther King Jr. Book : The Struggle, The Dream, The Legacy. Avon, Mass. : Adams Media. [WorldCat]
  • Clayborne, Carson [2008]. The Martin Luther King, Jr., Encyclopedia. Westport, Conn. [u.a.] Greenwood Press. [WorldCat]
  • Houck, Davis W [2006]. Rhetoric, religion and the civil rights movement, 1954-1965. Waco, Tex. : Baylor University Press. [NetLibrary]
  • Ellis, Kate [2005]. Say it plain : a century of great African American speeches . New York : New Press : Distributed by W.W. Norton & Co. [WorldCat]
  • Sunnemark, Fredrik [2004]. Ring out freedom!: The Voice of Martin Luther King, Jr. and The Making of the Civil Rights Movement. Bloomington : Indiana University Press. [WorldCat]
  • Hansen, Drew D. [2003] The dream : Martin Luther King, Jr., and The Speech That Inspired a Nation. New York : Ecco. [WorldCat]
  • Ling, Peter J. [2002] Martin Luther King, Jr. London ; New York : Routledge. [WorldCat]
On The Web:
  • Biography of Martin Luther King, Jr. Nobel Peace Price Recipient [link]
  • MLK Research and Education Institute at Stanford University [link]
  • The King Center [link]
  • The National Civil Rights Museum [link]

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lake Peigneur Disaster

Source: YouTube

This History Channel segment details the events surrounding the 1980 Lake Peigneur Disaster. From Wikipedia:

In 1980, when the disaster took place, the Diamond Crystal Salt Company operated the Jefferson Island salt mine under [Lake Peigneur], while a Texaco oil rig drilled down from the surface of the lake searching for petroleum. Due to a miscalculation, the 14-inch (360 mm) drill bit entered the mine, starting a remarkable chain of events which at the time turned an almost 10-foot (3.0 m) deep freshwater lake into a salt water lake with a deep hole.

It is difficult to determine exactly what occurred, as all of the evidence was destroyed or washed away in the ensuing maelstrom. The now generally accepted explanation is that a miscalculation by Texaco regarding their location resulted in the drill puncturing the roof of the third level of the mine. This created an opening in the bottom of the lake, similar to removing the drain plug from a bathtub. The lake then drained into the hole, expanding the size of that hole as the soil and salt were washed into the mine by the rushing water, filling the enormous caverns left by the removal of salt over the years. The resultant whirlpool sucked in the drilling platform, eleven barges, many trees and 65 acres (260,000 m2) of the surrounding terrain. Leonce Viator, Jr., a local fisherman, was able to drive his small boat to the shore and tie it up to a tree, and get out, to later watch it and the tree get sucked down. So much water drained into those caverns that the flow of the Delcambre Canal that usually empties the lake into Vermilion Bay was reversed, making the canal a temporary inlet. This backflow created, for a few days, the tallest waterfall ever in the state of Louisiana, at 164 feet (50 m), as the lake refilled with salt water from the Delcambre Canal and Vermilion Bay. The water downflowing into the mine caverns displaced air which erupted as compressed air and then later as 400-foot (120 m) geysers up through the mineshafts.

Remarkably, there were no injuries and no human lives lost in this dramatic event. All 55 employees in the mine at the time of the accident were able to escape thanks to well-planned and rehearsed evacuation drills, or through heroic efforts by co-workers. The staff of the drilling rig fled the platform before it was sucked down into the new depths of the lake. Three dogs were reported killed, however. Days after the disaster, once the water pressure equalized, nine of the eleven sunken barges popped out of the whirlpool and refloated on the lake's surface.


In the Library:
  • Autin, Whitney J. “The Sinking of Lake Peigneur.” Attakapas Gazette. 25.3 (Fall 1980), p. 142-143. [Serials, 2nd Floor]

On the Web: