February 15, 1861: Henry David Thoreau Plays with his Kitten

A little thunder and lightning late in the afternoon. I see two flashes and hear two claps.cats2

A kitten is so flexible that she is almost double; the hind parts are equivalent to another kitten with which the fore part plays. She does not discover that her tail belongs to her till you tread upon it.

How eloquent she can be with her tail! Its sudden swellings and vibrations! She jumps into a chair and then stands on her hind legs to look out the window; looks steadily at objects far and near, first turning her gaze to this side then to that, for she loves to look out a window as much as any gossip. Ever and anon she bends back her ears to hear what is going on within the room, and all the while her eloquent tail is reporting the progress and success of her survey by speaking gestures which betray her interest in what she sees.

Then what a delicate hint she can give with her tail! passing perhaps underneath, as you sit at table, and letting the tip of her tail just touch your legs, as much as to say, I am here and ready for that milk or meat, though she may not be so forward as to look round at you when she emerges.

Only skin-deep lies the feral nature of the cat, unchanged still. I just had the misfortune to rock on to our cat’s leg, as she was lying playfully spread out under my chair. Imagine the sound that arose, and which was excusable; but what will you say to the fierce growls and flashing eyes with which she met me for a quarter of an hour thereafter?

No tiger in its jungle could have been savager.

February 12, 1879: New York celebrates its first Artificial Ice Rink at Madison Square Garden

Never was such a skating scene presented before, as was seen in the Hippodrome last Saturday night.

Just imagine a sheet of artificial ice covering a space of 16,000 square feet with hundreds of merry skaters gliding over Madison Square garden Iceits glassy surface, dressed in the fantastic costumes of King Carnival and as happy as larks in spring time, while the seats from which the thousands used to watch the sports of the arena provided by Barnum are well filled with a merry throng of ladies and gentlemen who appear to enjoy the antics of the masked skaters on the ice almost as much as they do themselves.

Add to this the light of thousands of gas jets, hundreds of colored lights, and the flashes of numerous calcium lights of different colors, and the strains of music from Gilmore’s serenade band and you have a skating scene the equal of which was never seen in this country or any other.

And it will be long remembered by all who participated in or witnessed it, and in the years to come when there are artificial skating rinks all over the country, the young ladies and gentlemen that were present will tell their children how they skated at the carnival at Gilmore’s garden on the first large sheet of ice made by mortal man.

During the evening Mr. Robert Gibson, who is well known by many skaters of this city and country, made a neat little speech in which he complimented Mr. Rankin upon the success of his process of making artificial ice, after which he read and then presented to Mr. Rankin the following testimonial which was richly deserved:

“We the undersigned take pleasure in testifying to the splendid success of your process of making artificial ice for skating rinks and we feel that you have successfully surmounted all difficulties in bringing into use a new application never before perfected. While many doubted the feasibility of making and maintaining so large a body of artificial ice in a temperature above freezing, we who have been in almost daily attendance for the past four weeks are now convinced of your ability to maintain indefinitely this large sheet of ice of 16,000 square feet in the finest possible manner and condition for skating, and in a temperature above freezing as has been demonstrated daily by your reproduction of a glassy surface since your opening at Gilmore’s garden, and we who have enjoyed the privilege of skating upon the first artificial ice rink ever produced in America and of standing upon the largest cake of ice ever made by man and extend to you our heartiest congratulations on the magnificent success you have achieved

Very truly yours etc “

Signed by over 100 members of the Empire and New York skating clubs

The sport was kept up until midnight when the lights were turned down and the carnival and the skating season were over at Gilmore’s garden.

February 11, 1753: The Pennsylvania Hospital admits its First Patients

In 1750 Philadelphia was the fastest growing city in the colonies, and would soon become the second largest English-speaking city in the world. The docks and wharves along the Delaware River teemed with activity as ships loaded up flour, meat and lumber while other vessels brought in European-manufactured goods and wines.Pennsylvania Hospital

Although the majority of the population was neither extremely wealthy nor extremely poor, the number of immigrant settlers who were “aged, impotent or diseased” was growing rapidly. Philadelphia was becoming “a melting pot for diseases, where Europeans, Africans and Indians engaged in free exchange of their respective infections.”

Dr. Thomas Bond had studied medicine in London and Paris (at the famous hospital, the Hotel-Dieu). When Bond returned to Philadelphia he as appointed Port Inspector for Contagious Diseases. Dr. Bond and Benjamin Franklin were long-standing friends. Bond was a member of Franklin’s Library Company and helped establish the American Philosophical Society and the Academy of Philadelphia, which evolved into the University of Pennsylvania.

Around 1750, Bond “conceived the idea of establishing a hospital in Philadelphia for the reception and cure of poor sick persons.” When Bond approached Philadelphians for support they asked him what Franklin thought of the idea.

Bond hadn’t approached his friend because he thought it was out of Franklin’s line of interest, but he soon turned to Franklin. After hearing the plan, Franklin became a subscriber and strong supporter.

Franklin organized a petition and brought it to the Pennsylvania Assembly. The petition stated that although the Pennsylvania Assembly had made many compassionate and charitable provisions for the relief of the poor, a small provincial hospital was necessary. After a second reading on January 28, the petitioners were directed to present the Assembly with a bill to create a hospital. Presented a week later, the bill encouraged the Assembly to establish a hospital “to care for the sick poor of the Province and for the reception and care of lunaticks.”

On February 11, 1753 the first patients were admitted to Pennsylvania Hospital. The motto “Take care of him and I will repay thee” was chosen and the image of the Good Samaritan adorned the hospital seal.

Benjamin Franklin was pleased: “I do not remember any of my political manoeuvres, the success of which gave me at the time more pleasure…”

February 10, 1899: Lou Henry marries Herbert Hoover

Lou Henry’s father couldn’t wait to sire a son he could take out hunting and fishing and camping all over Iowa …

As it turned out the baby was a girl – a girl name Lou – but she was a girl that loved to hunt and fish and camping. In the winter she would sled and skate on the Cedar River – her father taught her how to identify rocks and plants, and how to trap rabbits in the woods.

Lou Hoover wedding-dayIn the summer she organized baseball games in the street, climbed trees in her yard, and raced around with blonde pigtails flying. She learned to ride bareback on a big old plow horse at her uncle’s farm and developed a curiosity about all the wonders of the earth and nature.

About the time that Lou turned 11, the family moved to California where Mr. Henry was going to help open a bank. The sunshine of California would do wonders for Lou’s mother’s health. The family packed up and headed west.

Lou enrolled at the Los Angeles Normal School. She joined the Agassiz Club which collected items for the museum at the school, including live animals – Lou kept a horned toad for her pet. She transferred to San Jose Normal School, and received her teaching degree.

One afternoon, Lou attended a geology lecture by Professor J. C. Branner at the new Stanford University in Palo Alto. After the speech, Lou approached Dr. Branner, and told him of her love of the outdoors and she inquired about the study of geology for a woman. With Dr. Branner’s encouragement, and that of her parents, Lou enrolled as the first woman geology major at Stanford.

herbert hooverDr. Branner had an assistant named Herbert Hoover. At a dinner at the Branners, Lou and “Bert” discovered that they had both been born in eastern Iowa, she in Waterloo and he just east of Iowa City. They also both loved to fish. Their friendship blossomed.
Bert graduated and took a job with a mining company in the middle of Australia but he never forgot Lou.

After graduating from Stanford, Lou returned to her family home in Monterey. One day she received a telegram – a cabled proposal of marriage.

“Bert” Hoover was to come to California from Australia via London to marry Lou, and right after the wedding they were to board a ship that was sailing to China!

The whirlwind wedding was planned around the sailing of the ship on February 11, 1899, so Lou and Bert were married on February 10th. They wore identical brown traveling suits which neither knew that the other had purchased.

With neither a Quaker nor Episcopalian minister available, the Hoovers were married in a civil ceremony by a Roman Catholic priest from the Monterey Mission whom Lou knew from her substitute teaching job in a schoolhouse next to the Mission.
After a wedding luncheon of broth, a meat course with plenty of vegetables, and a chicken salad, Lou and Bert caught the 2:00 train to San Francisco.

The next morning, they set sail for on a honeymoon cruise to China, where Hoover had accepted a position as mining consultant to the Chinese emperor.

February 9, 1932: United States Wins the Two Man Bobsleigh

The track was one and one-half mile long, carved out of Mt. Van Hoevenberg and surrounded by the Adirondack wilderness. Built specifically for the 1932 Winter Olympic Games held in Lake Placid, the course was radically different from its European counterparts – it was longer, steeper, and featured a more pronounced drop in curves. This track ran 2366 meters long with 26 curves, a vertical drop of 228 meters, and an average grade of 9.6%.bobsled

Much competition was expected from the German World Champions, Hanns Kilian and Sebastian Huber. However, the first heat went to the Swiss bob, which gained nearly six seconds in a single run. With much of the snow on the track gone, the second run was much faster. When the local favorites, Hubert and Curtis Stevens, two brothers from Lake Placid who had won the North American and AAU championships at the same track, launched their sled, they needed a great run. The Stevens brothers didn’t disappoint – they broke the track record to trail by 3 seconds after the first day.

Overnight warming caused the track to become even faster, and the Swiss leaders broke the record again in the third run. However, the Stevens brothers, cheered on by a crowd of 10,000, topped that by nearly 4 seconds.

The difference with just one run left was now 0.45 seconds. The Americans went first in the last descent, improving on their previous record once more and lowering it by two full seconds. Capadrutt and Geier went all out, and recorded their best time of the competition, but remained two seconds slower than the Stevens brothers.

Behind them, the second U.S. bob, steered by 1928 skeleton silver medallist Jack Heaton placed third.

After the American team’s medals, bobsledding captivated the country’s interest, and U.S. teams dominated the sport until 1956.

February 8, 1690: Symon Schermerhoorn’s ride

ON a winter’s night of long ago,
The snow lay deep, the wind did blow Symon
In fitful gusts that wildly shrieked,
The roof tiles rattl’d — timbers creaked,
The shutters tugged at latch and hinge,
The whole house shook, it seem’d to cringe
‘Neath the savage blasts that winter’s night,
As wild beasts do when sore affright.
‘As nodding he sat ‘fore the chimney brest’
A blast more fierce than those before
Wrench’d the windows and sprung the door:
The noise outside and wild wind screams
Startled the Burgher from peaceful dreams,
As nodding he sat ‘fore the chimney brest
With eyes half clos’d and chin on chest,
Glanced at th’ clock that stately stands,
Marking the time with tireless hands,
“The hour is late,” he softly said,
“Vrouw, go put the children to bed.
” Quick return, and ere we retire
We’ll chat awhile by open fire.”
Up rose the Burgher, pipe in hand,
Walked to the window, took a stand
Where he could scan the village street,
He thought he caught the sound of feet;
He seem’d to see, through frosted pane,
A horse’s shape, its tangled mane,
Foaming nostrils, blood-matted hair,
And steaming breath on th’ cold night air,
The face of rider, pinched and drawn ;
Another blast — the phantom’s gone.
Hand to brow in a troubled way,
With nod and wink that seem’d to say
He didn’t believe in ghosts and such,
Phlegmatic, indeed, the hardy Dutch.
With shuffling gait and puzzled air,
He wanders back to his easy chair
And to vrouw, return’d to fireside,
He tells the story of Symon’s ride.
“Mingled with many an anguished cry’
Said he : ” Not many have heard the tale
Of Symon’s ride o’er the River Trail,
On that fatal night, so long ago,
When Corlaer Town was all aglow,
And wanton flames roared to the sky,
Mingled with many an anguished cry
From grey-haired men, and women who
Strove to hide their babes from view ;
Mothers heavy drew no quarter,
Blood in streams flow’d there like water.
” Brave indeed are men who fight
Helpless women in the night.
‘Twas sixteen ninety — that’s the date,
Oft I’ve heard old men relate
How Symon, wounded deep in thigh,
Rode through snow, piled mountain high,
In scanty garb on crippled steed,
None could do a braver deed ;
Six long hours of untold strain,
Six long hours of fearful pain,
” As fierce cold bit the gaping wound,
Ever onward — then he swooned
At old North Gate by riverside,
Where jaded horse lay down and died,

And Symon’s lips, op’d as in death,
Releas’d the words, with falt’ring breath,
That warned the Burghers dwelling here,
Causing the brave to shrink with fear
As he told the fate of Corlaer Town ;
How French and Indian burn’d it down,
” Slew sixty odd, both young and old, —
He swooned away, his tale half told.
Those were the days when Dutchmen fought,
With Fate for foothold, dearly bought,
And beaver pelts served as gold,
For goods the Dutch to Maquaas sold ;
When beacon’s flash, from mountain height,
Bore ghastly message, through the night,
That tomahawk and scalping knife
Again did menace limb and life.
“A savage pack, from the North they came,
They’d have come in vain, — mores the shame,
If stockade gates had been bolt’d tight
When Schenectady slept that winter’s night:
But men will quarrel, though wrong or right,
So gates swung wide — a factional fight.
What saith the Bible on yon shelf,
Of house divided ‘gainst itself,
‘ Shall surely fall,’ and great the pity,
What’s true of house is true of city.
“By stealth they came, through River Gate —
Twould almost seem that hand of Fate
Made easy road for the frozen horde,
It’s not recorded they thank’d the Lord, —
With wild warwhoop they fiercely slew,
E’en babes and children, and mothers, too;

Left was but one alive and free,
Of all that old Dutch companie,
Save Sander Glen and a widow that
Bore the ancient name of Bradt.
The one that stood alive and free,
Brave remnant of Schinnectady,
Who won his life, his spurs as well,
Fought o’er his dead wife where she fell,
And dying child that by her side,
Called to its mother, gasp’d and died —
Was Adam Vrooman — forgot of fame,
Who fought to end, through smoke and flame,
To find at last that he stood alone,
For naught remained but stricken home,
“And glory, the brave man ever wins,
Who fights his fight — bears on and grins.
The legend tells how a drunken crew-
Drank deep that night of Douw Aukes’ brew,
In The Tavern on State and old Mill Lane,
How the Indians slaughtered the very same;
Like sheep in a shamble kill’d them there,
And lifted each gory scalp and hair, —
Ah ! ’twas a terrible massacre.”

– Harry Roy Sweny

February 5th, 1843: PT Barnum Connives with Moses Kimball

I never was more happily disappointed Your letter today about the giant booby. I had made up my mind that it would be a failure, and that I should pay their expenses and wages and send them back without exhibiting – a thousand thanks saving me the trouble and expense – the fact is, a half and half giant or anything else is good for nothing… PT_Barnum_Commercial_Image4

Tom Thumb left for Philadelphia today – yesterday was his adieu Farewell “Benefit”. I took $280! Did you ever hear the like? The day previous took $90 – odd. I have the Rocky Mountain wild Indians- this week. Give them one half after deducting $400!.- That is a leetle better than to give them two thirds a la Peales.

By the way Peale wrote me the other day to ask if I could not send him a Tom Thumb – or a two-headed man or something to create an excitement. I replied that I could furnish him with a “beast with 7 heads and 10 horns” at short notice, or any other that he ordered – that Tom Thumb was made to my order six months ago and being now nearly new and without a rival, he was very valuable – that I thought he could take $1200 per. week in Baltimore Museum and that he might engage him if he gave me. . .
I shall let him chew upon that a few days – He certainly never shall have him for less than half. I went to Philadelphia last night could not get into the Museum anyway – a superintendent said that he would not have the dwarf for any kind of performances or living curiosity exhibited there. I tried to point out his folly when he replied that he knew all about it – that performances could serve to keep up the excitement more than one year that he once made $40,000 in one year with that Museum and the next year lost half that amount. I told him he was a liar in saying that; and a fool in expecting to make me believe it and left him in a rage…

This is a rich life! Having got the Indians I will now not die from want of attractions for sometime – still I think I had better get that other fat boy and use him and send him on, as soon as possible, for if God should happen to bless us with Portuguese trip we shall soon have something as that boy will be a baby. I have sent to London for a pony there for sale 30 inches high. Do you know of one not over three feet? I want it for Tom Thumb, to ride about the room on.

February 4, 1861: Cochise is Arrested on Apache Pass

One day in October, 1860, Apache Indians raided John Ward’s ranch south of Tucson, plundered his house, kidnapped his son Mickey Free, and ran off with all of his livestock. Cochise

It wasn’t until the end of January that Second Lieutenant George Bascom was ordered to attempt to retake the boy and the stolen stock.  54 men mounted on mules arrived at Apache Pass on February 3rd and camped in Siphon Canyon; the Apache Chief Cochise’s camp was set in Goodwin Canyon, a short distance away.

Cochise, who had seen the soldiers pass through, proceeded to their camp accompanied by a half-brother, two nephews, two squaws and a boy, to greet the visitors.

Lt. Bascom invited Cochise and his party into his tent.  Once inside, Bascom demanded the return of the boy and the stock.  Cochise replied that he didn’t have them. Bascom again demanded the return, Cochise again replied that he did not have them – given time, he could perhaps find out who had taken them and return them, but Bascom replied no – Cochise would be held as hostage.

Bascom’s soldiers had surrounded the tent with bayonets fixed.  Cochise suddenly unsheathed a knife, slashed the tent and ran up the hill amid a hail of rifle fire. Cochise escaped, but the rest of his party was captured.

The next day, Bascom broke camp and rode to the Overland Mail Station. When he arrived Cochise appeared on a hill above the station, wanting to talk about the captive Indians. Three men went up the hill to talk to Cochise.  After a few minutes, a fight broke out. Cochise attempted to capture the three – two escaped, but one was shot from behind, and another mistakenly shot in the head by a soldier. The third was taken captive.

Just then a wagon train entered Apache Pass at the west end, and was ambushed.  The wagons were burned – two more white men were taken captive, and eight Mexicans were chained to the wagon wheels, turned head down, and a fire built under their heads.

Now Cochise had three white captives.

About dark the East-bound stage entered Apache Pass and was fired upon – the first volley hit the lead mule – the driver was wounded in the leg, a passenger was wounded in the chest – The conductor jumped from the coach and cut out the dead animal; They all climbed back aboard and drove full speed downhill to the station. The Indians had pulled the planking from a small bridge over a gully; when the coach reached it, the mules jumped the gap and the coach somehow slid over the remaining planks and made it into the station.

On the evening of the 8th, one of the captives was brought into sight of the station and a stick was planted in the ground with a message attached.  When the Indians departed a soldier was sent up the hill and retrieved the message.  The soldiers sent messengers to Tucson and to Fort Buchanan to send for help.

In the meantime, Lt. Bascom, needing water, divided his herd of mules and sent one half to the spring for watering.  The Apaches ambushed this party. Moses Lyon was killed, two men were wounded and Bascom lost half of his animals.

A rescue column set out from Fort Breckenridge with Surgeon Irwin in command and marched the 65 miles to Dragoon Spring in 24 hours. Arriving at Apache Pass they encountered Apaches with a herd of horses and cattle, and after a chase of about seven miles and a short fight captured the animals.

On February 17th, Cochise’s rancheria was found and set afire.  About a mile west of the station a short distance from the road, the bodies of the four captive Americans were discovered, littered with lance holes, badly mutilated and unrecognizable.

After finding the bodies, the soldiers wanted revenge. On February 19th, they marched their Apache hostages to the graves of Cochise’s victims, and found some oak trees close by the graves.

Travellers passing by noted the bodies of the six hostages still hanging from the trees the following July.

February 2, 1948: Secretary of State George Marshall negotiates with the Chinese

When Mrs. Marshall and I returned from China just about a year ago we brought with us a nurse and maid for her, a Chinese woman named Anna [Wong]. She spoke very little English, she knew nothing of America, but out of her Chinese heritage she had a very definite belief in two things—one was the dominance of the male in the household—and the other was the fact that food is the greatest motivating force in our lives.Marshall

I was perfectly willing to agree with her if it had got me anywhere on the first concept and I think that we all agree as to the second, the tremendous motivating force of food in the life of every people in the world. About the second day that I was Secretary of State I managed to get away for a few hours and motor down to Leesburg and was jubilantly greeted by Mrs. Marshall with the fact that she had at last, after two or three years of effort, obtained a truck load of, putting it politely, fertilizer and I was immediately put to work to distribute this great condiment for the soil with a shovel and wheelbarrow. Anna, her second day there, her second day in any settled spot in America, spied me.

I might explain to you that in China probably the lowest form of human life is the man with the wheelbarrow. Considerably lower than the “ricksha” man. So when she saw me with the wheelbarrow she was profoundly shocked and rushed out of the house and we were involved in a genuine struggle over the possession of the wheelbarrow.

There then took place one of the most remarkable negotiations that I have participated in. She said what I was doing was utterly repugnant to her and it was her belief that it lowered and humiliated the position of the Secretary of State, if it did not affect the general Government. My reaction was that I would enjoy doing it. In fact, the wheelbarrow cannot argue at all nor can the shovel. I not only got the exercise, but I could do it without any cross questions. We were not able to reach any agreement. I settled that by virtue of the fact that I possessed greater physical strength, but she remained fixed in that feeling.

We all, I think, agree with her concept as to the relation-ship of food to the people of the world, but there was a slight difference in the manner of implementation.

I have said or pointed out on a number of occasions since I became Secretary of State a year ago the tremendous importance of food. Because when hunger and illness invade the home men will accept almost any cure that is proposed at the moment. Anything is better than the existing circumstance and you have the ripest possible field for demagogic, audacious or calculated propaganda and planning and scheming. Therefore, food has great importance.

You, through your various organizations, made a great contribution during the war in the Victory gardens, a very important contribution. But food today is just as vital, probably a little more so, a factor as it was during the war years. As a matter of fact, I don’t think at any time in our history has food, the production and the conservation of food been so important as it is at the present time.

Therefore, anything that can be done to stimulate on the part of the individual the growing of food in local gardens should be done and it will be tremendously helpful to meet the great problem that is now before us. It has a direct relationship, a very direct relationship, to the European recovery program. There is a great deal said about what will happen to us “here” if we do something “there”.

Well, of course, we have to consider our own economy, our own resources, our own lives, our own strength, our own prosperity. But at the same time it is equally important that we realize just what the influence of these American products of food are to the general world situation—and just what we can do ourselves, individually, or in family life to better or strengthen the situation.
The point I endeavor to make is—I don’t think at any time in our history has it been more important that we raise all possible food during this coming season, than at the present time. And that, I think, is the purpose of your gathering to see what can be done to bring about such a result. I don’t speak entirely theoretically from a desk in the State Department or from the difficulties of negotiations. I ordered my seeds and settings about ten days ago.

Now my problem is—do I negotiate or do I hoe, plant and weed? Now I propose doing all.

Thank you.

February 1, 1902: Birth of Langston Hughes

Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plainLangston Hughes
Seeking a home where he himself is free.

(America never was America to me.)

Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.

(It never was America to me.)

O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.

(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this “homeland of the free.”)

Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?

I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.

I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!

I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.

Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a “homeland of the free.”

The free?

Who said the free?  Not me?
Surely not me?  The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.

O, let America be America again—
The land that never has been yet—
And yet must be—the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME—
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.

Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
America!

O, yes,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!

Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!

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