Come with Me Down the Novel Research Hole

Come with me down the novel research hole. Learn about the U.S. Coast Guard(USCG). It is busier than you know. On an average day, the Coast Guard: Conducts 45 search and rescue cases; s Saves 10 lives; Saves over $1.2 M in property; Seizes 874 pounds of cocaine and 214 pounds of marijuana; Conducts 57 waterborne patrols; Interdicts 17 illegal migrants; Escorts 5 high-capacity passenger vessels; Conducts 24 security boardings Screens 360 merchant vessels for potential security threats; Conducts 14 fisheries conservation boardings; Services 82 boys and fixed aids to navigation; Investigates 35 pollution incidents; Completes 26 safety examinations of foreign vessels; Conducts 105 marine inspections; Investigates 14 marine casualties involving commercial vessels; Facilitates movement of $8.7B worth of goods and commodities through the Nation’s Maritime Transportation System. Origins President George Washington signed the Tariff Act on August 4, 1790. The act authorized the construction of ten vessels referred to as “cutters.” The Revenue Cutter Service (RCS) was to enforce federal tariff and trade laws and to prevent smuggling. The Service grew in size and responsibilities as the United States grew. New Responsibilities In 1915, the RCS merged with the Life-Saving Service and was renamed the Coast Guard.  Eventually, Congress […]

The Mad Mothers Refuse to be Silent

In 1977, fourteen mothers held a peaceful protest. The military junta called them las locas, the mad women. But they couldn’t be silent. It cost some of the women their lives. The mad mothers refuse to be silent to this day.  The Dirty War From 1976 to 1983, Argentina experienced the Dirty War. The military government abducted, tortured, and killed any one they identified as subversive. Anyone thought to be Peronists or part of the Montoneros movement “disappeared.” The United States supplied financial and military support for the Dirty War.  (more information) Disappeared  The junta imprisoned many people they identified as subversive.  Young people, less than 35 years of age to as young as high school students, disappeared. Disappeared meant kidnapped, tortured, and killed. Pregnant prisoners had their babies stolen and adopted. The military obliterated all records. Mothers didn’t know if their adult or high school children were dead or alive. They didn’t know they had grandchildren. The Mothers In 1977, fourteen mothers, or Madres, met to protest the disappearances.  People were scared,” recalls Haydée Gastelú, now 88. “If I talked about my kidnapped son at the hairdresser or supermarket they would run away. Even listening was dangerous.” “But I couldn’t keep quiet. […]

With Words, She Made a Difference

This week’s woman of peace is author Lydia Maria Child (1802-1880). One of the most influential American women writers from the 1820s through the 1860s she was a prolific author, a literary pioneer, and a tireless crusader and champion for America’s excluded groups. With words, she made a difference.  Early Life Born on February 11, 1802 in Medford, Massachusetts, she was the youngest of six children. Her father, Convers Francis, was stern and religiously orthodox. Susannah (Rand) Francis, her mother, was ill and distant. Her mother died when Lydia was twelve.  After her mother’s death, they sent Lydia to live with a married sister in Maine. Norridgewock, a frontier society, exposed Lydia to a small community of impoverished Abenaki and Penobscot Indians.  Lydia moved back to Massachusetts at nineteen. She lived with her brother Convers, a scholarly Unitarian minister. Her brother guided her education in literary masters such as Homer and Milton. She reportedly hated the name Lydia. So when she converted to Unitarism and was re-baptised, she gave herself the name of Maria. She chose to go by Maria  (Ma-RYE-a) from then on. Early Career Lydia read an article in the North American Review discussing the field offered to the novelist by early New England history. That […]