Joe's Daily U.S. History Lesson
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Daily American show that celebrates the great United States of America! Here, I talk about the good, the bad and the ugly with stories ranging from Ben Franklin to Billy the Kid to the New York Yankees and Hollywood. Give me four minutes and I'll tell you all about it!
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Joe's Daily U.S. History Lesson -- May 28
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MAY 28 1863 – The 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry departs for combat. …It was the first military unit consisting of black soldiers to be raised in the North during the civil War. Prior to 1863, black troops just weren’t accepted in the military. The adoption of the Emancipation Proclamation in December 1863 provided the impetus for the use of free black men as soldiers and, at a time when state governors were responsible for the raising of regiments for federal service, Massachusetts was the first to respond with the formation of the 54th. It was a very controversial move. In those days, it was generally disputed whether or not African Americans were even capable of fighting a white man’s war. What was generally agreed upon, however, was that even if the blacks could fight, they couldn’t lead. As a result, 90% of the officers were white. Recruiting began in February 1863, and in all, about 1000 black men were enlisted. The 54th saw their first action on James Island, losing 45 men. Two days later, after several days with little sleep, food or water, the regiment was instructed to lead the attack against Fort Wagner on Morris Island. It didn’t go well and the 54th suffered heavy damage, losing about half of the men present. However, the unit showed exceptional bravery and honor, never retreating as they waited for the reinforcements which would never arrive. Nonetheless, the use of black soldiers in the 54th was viewed as a success and opened the way for numerous other black units in the Union Army for the remainder of the war. 1892 – John Muir establishes the Sierra Club … in San Francisco, CA. This was one of the first large-scale environmental preservation organizations in the world, and currently engages in lobbying politicians to promote green policies. These days it has hundreds of thousands of members in chapters located throughout the US. It also has its share of scandal, according to Time magazine I doubt John Muir would be proud of, for instance the $26 million in gifts from the natural gas industry, mostly from Aubrey McClendon, CEO or Chesapeake Energy. Then there was the IRS claiming that the Sierra Club and its Foundation were not paying income taxes from sales of solar panels for their partners across the US according to the Energy and Environment Legal Institute. Then there are the continuous accusations for suing for profit, othe