18th Street & Vine

In the first half of the twentieth century, the 18th & Vine District was the thriving African-American community in segregated Kansas City. Just east of the main downtown, the area was a self-contained neighborhood of myriad black-owned businesses. The south edge of the area was residential; clubs and theatres clustered on the north. Charlie Parker, […]

Musical Interlude with the Dankworths

Cleo Laine will turn ninety years old this year. She was born to an English mother and Jamaican father. With her multi-octave voice, she and jazz-musician husband John Dankworth became musical royalty, entertaining audiences around the world for decades. Years ago at a show in Portland, Dankworth introduced an instrumental number, telling the audience it […]

Oregon and California and James G. Blaine

James G. Blaine represented the state of Maine in the House of Representatives – where he served as Speaker – and the Senate. He later became Secretary of State and ran for President in 1884, losing narrowly to Grover Cleveland. In that campaign, Blaine visited every state except one, Oregon. Eighty years later, Oregon author […]

Honoring Mothers

Mother’s Day became an official U.S. holiday in 1914, after years of effort by Anna Jarvis. Anna’s mother, Ann Reeves Jarvis,  initiated “Mothers’ Day Work Clubs” in West Virginia to teach women how to care for their children. After the Civil War, she promoted “Mothers’ Friendship Day,” to connect mothers with former Union and Confederate […]

Summer of Love

If you’re going to San Francisco, put some flowers in your hair and head over to the de Young Museum for their “Summer of Love” exhibition. The Summer of Love began on sunny January 14, 1967 in San Francisco. Thirty thousand, mostly young, people gathered in Golden Gate Park for the first “Human Be-In.” With […]