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22

Sep

Although the name Elijah McCoy may be unknown to most people,the enormity of his ingenuity and the quality of his inventions have created a level of distinction which bears his name.

Elijah McCoy was born in Colchester, Ontario, Canada on May 2, 1844. His parents were George and Emillia McCoy, former slaves from Kentucky who escaped through the Underground Railroad. George joined the Canadian Army, fighting in the Rebel War and then raised his family as free Canadian citizens on a 160 acre homestead.

At an early age, Elijah showed a mechanical interest, often taking items apart and putting them back together again. Recognizing his keen abilities, George and Emillia saved enough money to send Elijah to Edinburgh, Scotland, where he could study mechanical engineering. After finishing his studies as a “master mechanic and engineer” he returned to the United States which had just seen the end of the Civil War – and the emergence of the “Emancipation Proclamation.”

Elijah moved to Ypsilanti, Michigan but was unable to find work as an engineer. He was thus forced to take on a position as a fireman\oilman on the Michigan Central Railroad. As a fireman, McCoy was responsible for shoveling coal onto fires which would help to produce steam that powered the locomotive. As an oilman, Elijah was responsible for ensuring that the train was well lubricated. After a few miles, the train would be forced to stop and he would have to walk alongside the train applying oil to the axles and bearings.
In an effort to improve efficiency and eliminate the frequent stopping necessary for lubrication of the train, McCoy set out to create a method of automating the task. In 1872 he developed a “lubricating cup” that could automatically drip oil when and where needed. He received a patent for the device later that year. The “lubricating cup” met with enormous success and orders for it came in from railroad companies all over the country. Other inventors attempted to sell their own versions of the device but most companies wanted the authentic device, requesting “the Real McCoy.”

In 1868, Elijah married Ann Elizabeth Stewart. Sadly, Elizabeth passed away just four years later. In 1873, McCoy married again, this time his bride was Mary Eleanor Delaney and the couple would eventually settle into Detroit, Michigan together for the next 50 years.

McCoy remained interested in continuing to perfect his invention and to create more. He thus sold some percentages of rights to his patent to finance building a workshop. He made continued improvements to the “lubricating cup.” The patent application described the it as a device which “provides for the continuous flow of oil on the gears and other moving parts of a machine in order to keep it lubricated properly and continuous and thereby do away with the necessity of shutting down the machine periodically.” The device would be adjusted and modified in order to apply it to different types of machinery. Versions of the cup would soon be used in steam engines, naval vessels, oil-drilling rigs, mining equipment, in factories and construction sites.

Black History - September 21, 1989

General Colin Powell became the first African-American named as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  He remains the only African American to have been named to the position.  

The Joint Chiefs of Staff is composed of the highest-ranking member of each branch of the military. It consists of the chairman, the vice chairman, the chief of staff of the army, the chief of naval operations, the chief of staff of the air force, and the commandant of the Marine Corps.  This body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President of the United States on military matters.  Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff  is the most important military post in the country. 

As the nation’s top military leader, Powell was praised by some Blacks as a role model while he was criticized for supporting what critics considered the government’s war-mongering policies. His generally positive reputation was damaged by his speaking to the United Nations and providing misinformation in support of the Bush administration’s war in Iraq.  He spoke on what
 information he was given.  

~E. Walker

Black History - September 21, 1989

General Colin Powell became the first African-American named as chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.  He remains the only African American to have been named to the position.  

The Joint Chiefs of Staff is composed of the highest-ranking member of each branch of the military. It consists of the chairman, the vice chairman, the chief of staff of the army, the chief of naval operations, the chief of staff of the air force, and the commandant of the Marine Corps.  This body of senior uniformed leaders in the United States Department of Defense advise the Secretary of Defense, the Homeland Security Council, the National Security Council and the President of the United States on military matters.  Chairman of the United States Joint Chiefs of Staff  is the most important military post in the country. 

As the nation’s top military leader, Powell was praised by some Blacks as a role model while he was criticized for supporting what critics considered the government’s war-mongering policies. His generally positive reputation was damaged by his speaking to the United Nations and providing misinformation in support of the Bush administration’s war in Iraq.  He spoke on what
information he was given.  

~E. Walker

21

Sep

Today in Black History - September 22, 1990

Andre Dawson steals his 300th base.  This makes him the only player other than Willie Mays to have 300 home runs, 300 steals and 2,000 hits.  He played in the MLB for 21 seasons, 10 of which were for the Montreal Expos.  He won the Most Valuable Player Award in 1987.

Today in Black History - September 22, 1990

Andre Dawson steals his 300th base.  This makes him the only player other than Willie Mays to have 300 home runs, 300 steals and 2,000 hits.  He played in the MLB for 21 seasons, 10 of which were for the Montreal Expos.  He won the Most Valuable Player Award in 1987.

Yesterday in History - September 19, 1941

Part of an event that lives with me everyday less I forget occurred.  Germany orders all Jews six and older to wear the Star of David.  Slavery is the greatest teacher of oppression, how it is implemented, allowed to continue and never really ends.  The Holocaust is another teacher of  workings of oppression.  It is an event taught to me in the 1950’s.  It’s lessons along with those of being a descendant of slaves stays with me everyday.

I live/lived in the Northeastern Untied States.  During my elementary, high school and college education, I had only three Black educators of the fifty plus or so in total.  Fortunately I was to have several Jewish educators.  As my family, extended and immediate, along with my community, they too were astute when it came to the workings of oppression.  

Why would a people agree to something that was to lead to their demise?  Understanding of oppression, the German plan, and oppression provides the answer.  

One of the main tools of any oppression is its propaganda.  A justification is the first element that is created.  That is done through propaganda.  Thus the extermination of the Jews was planned before its implementation and the use of its tools.  In order for the extermination to be successful, the target had to be identified.  Then how do you identify them and get them to display the identification?

The star of David represents the connection between God and humans. The triangle that points up represents God, and the triangle pointing down represents humans and earth. The Star of David, which is actually called ‘The Shield of David’ in Hebrew, is a national non-religious symbol for Jews. It’s true origin is unknown but Jewish tradition says that King David’s shield had this shape.  Why wouldn’t the Jewish people be proud and feel safe not to wear this shield?  What a powerful oppressive act to  tie this symbol  of pride and safety, the Star of David to their massacre.

Yesterday in history, the Germans presented a lesson in oppression, its propaganda, its implementation and how it works by making one of the members in of our family of humans to wear the Star of David.  It only served to make the Star of David a more powerful shield.  

Additional history for the day, September 19, 1941
Nazi decree forbids gentile woman to work in Jewish homes.
~ E.Walker

Yesterday in History - September 19, 1941

Part of an event that lives with me everyday less I forget occurred.  Germany orders all Jews six and older to wear the Star of David.  Slavery is the greatest teacher of oppression, how it is implemented, allowed to continue and never really ends.  The Holocaust is another teacher of  workings of oppression.  It is an event taught to me in the 1950’s.  It’s lessons along with those of being a descendant of slaves stays with me everyday.

I live/lived in the Northeastern Untied States.  During my elementary, high school and college education, I had only three Black educators of the fifty plus or so in total.  Fortunately I was to have several Jewish educators.  As my family, extended and immediate, along with my community, they too were astute when it came to the workings of oppression.  

Why would a people agree to something that was to lead to their demise?  Understanding of oppression, the German plan, and oppression provides the answer.  

One of the main tools of any oppression is its propaganda.  A justification is the first element that is created.  That is done through propaganda.  Thus the extermination of the Jews was planned before its implementation and the use of its tools.  In order for the extermination to be successful, the target had to be identified.  Then how do you identify them and get them to display the identification?

The star of David represents the connection between God and humans. The triangle that points up represents God, and the triangle pointing down represents humans and earth. The Star of David, which is actually called ‘The Shield of David’ in Hebrew, is a national non-religious symbol for Jews. It’s true origin is unknown but Jewish tradition says that King David’s shield had this shape.  Why wouldn’t the Jewish people be proud and feel safe not to wear this shield?  What a powerful oppressive act to  tie this symbol  of pride and safety, the Star of David to their massacre.

Yesterday in history, the Germans presented a lesson in oppression, its propaganda, its implementation and how it works by making one of the members in of our family of humans to wear the Star of David.  It only served to make the Star of David a more powerful shield.  

Additional history for the day, September 19, 1941
Nazi decree forbids gentile woman to work in Jewish homes.
~ E.Walker