The Robin Hood of El Dorado, as one of the most famous books about Murietta’s life describes him, was a Mexican immigrant who fought against unfair racial treatment in California. Born in Sonora, Mexico in 1830, Murietta moved to California to try his hand at prospecting. However, local authorities tried to drive out Mexican-Americans and pass legislation to limit their rights.
Murietta became a champion of the oppressed by robbing stage coaches and holding up gold mines. However, his destructive tendencies caught the attention of the local law enforcement, who demanded his capture — dead or alive. In 1853, Murietta was confronted and killed by a detachment of California Rangers.
But rather than try to figure out how he died, I thought it would be more interesting to see if he really fought for unfair racial treatment of Mexicans. Some say he was a Mexican patriot, others ay he was a viscious desperado! Some historians say he was horsewhipped, while they gang raped his wife, and hung his brother. Maybe he was driven to this lifelong vendetta?
According to most history books, he, his brother, and several others turned to crime after being forced form his rightful claims near Placerville (Hangtown), CA. They were angry and unable to find work. His band of ruffians soon became known as the Five Joaquins, including his right hand man, Manual “Three-Fingered Jack” Garcia.
According to some historians, Murrieta and his gang were generous and kind to his Mexican compatriots, giving much of his ill-gotten gains to the poor. They, in turn, sheltered and fed him, protecting him from law enforcement. His vendetta, however noble, may have also been retribution for many Mexican immigrants who were killed or went missing.
At the very least, he became a symbol of resistance against Anglo-American economic and cultural domination here in California. His legend may have been the inspiration for the fictional character of Zorro.
So, where might the truth be? Maybe he was part Robin Hood, part Billy the Kid. Or maybe, none of this is true. I would rather believe that he was the original desperado!
Back then, it would have been difficult to envision the concept of the Super Bowl, or the greatness ahead for these two players. My Dad would have truly enjoyed being here today. He introduced me to sports. He took me to my first college and professional football games. We started out on a local level, our high school, where the Johnson brothers Rafer and Jimmy) starred in four sports.
I am sure this little story gets repeated over and over across the country. A young boy is introduced to sports by his father, and stays a sports fan for life. Thank you, Dad, you were the best!!!!
Meanwhile, in Nawlins, so far, Niner fans are outnumbered by Ravens fans by ten to one! There are more Saints fans here, in fact, that Niner fans. Was it the expense of travel or the ticket shortage out west? Ravens fans are here, and will outnumber us greatly, unless everyone was hallucinating yesterday.
Speaking of yesterday, I went to the NFL Experience, with my two newest friends from Baltimore, Pat and Mark. Mark has his own accounting firm, and Pat is now an attorney. Pat is a little scruffy, but so interesting. He was a Fulbright Scholar, and has lived all over the world, and is fluent in Mandarin.
Anyway, we met yesterday morning at a nearby coffee joint, gave each other the “Go Niner, Go Ravens” greeting, sat for about an hour together, and decided to spend the day together. Fortunately, Pat had his son, Patrick, aka “Little Sh*tty” with us to keep things on the up and up. In other words, no honky tonks, strip joints, or seedy bars.
If you ever go to a Super Bowl, skip the NFL Experience. It is mostly for kids to do some football skills, like throw and kick. The NFL tries to sell a bunch of goods, like GM cars, Bridgestone Tires, Under Armour sporting goods, and propaganda.
Speaking of, do you know the take on locals (Nawlins people) view of “Bountygate?” They believe that NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell penalized the Saints so they would not have any chance of playing in the Super Bowl here. They say it makes a FIVE fold difference in revenue to the area businesses! I find that hard to believe, but…..
Meanwhile, in the next few days, after we win our Sixth title, I will tell you more about the great folks here in the Crescent City. Meanwhile, Go Niners!!!!
Written in 2009. Have things improved? Do we really celebrate this day the way Dr. King would want us to? Is former President Obama’s idea of a day of service gone forever?
Monday marks a holiday that most of us can live and relive past events, as we were alive to see and hear Dr. King in the news almost every day. We saw him lead non violently, with no fear of white supremacists or military and police barricades. He was an inspiration to all of us. Monday, I am going to spend most of the day volunteering at Medshare, in his honor. I hope you will do whatever you can today to honor him.
When I first saw and read about Dr. King, I wondered. Why would he be named after the famous Martin Luther? Martin Luther was a German monk, known as the Father of Protestantism, and church reformer who ideas influenced the Protestant Reformation, and changed the course of Western Civilization. He also translated the Bible into a vernacular that all of us could understand.
Dr. King served us in a similar fashion. He made the struggle of the disadvantaged understandable for all of us. Martin Luther King, Jr., (January 15, 1929-April 4, 1968) was born Michael Luther King, Jr., but later had his name changed to Martin. His grandfather began the family’s long tenure as pastors of the Ebenezer Baptist Church in Atlanta, serving from 1914 to 1931; his father has served from then until the present, and from 1960 until his death Martin Luther acted as co-pastor. Martin Luther attended segregated public schools in Georgia, graduating from high school at the age of fifteen; he received the B. A. degree in 1948 from Morehouse College, a distinguished Negro institution of Atlanta from which both his father and grandfather had graduated. After three years of theological study at Crozer Theological Seminary in Pennsylvania where he was elected president of a predominantly white senior class, he was awarded the B.D. in 1951. With a fellowship won at Crozer, he enrolled in graduate studies at Boston University, completing his residence for the doctorate in 1953 and receiving the degree in 1955. In Boston he met and married Coretta Scott, a young woman of uncommon intellectual and artistic attainments. Two sons and two daughters were born into the family.
In 1954, Martin Luther King accepted the pastorale of the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. Always a strong worker for civil rights for members of his race, King was, by this time, a member of the executive committee of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, the leading organization of its kind in the nation. He was ready, then, early in December, 1955, to accept the leadership of the first great Negro nonviolent demonstration of contemporary times in the United States, the bus boycott described by Gunnar Jahn in his presentation speech in honor of the laureate. The boycott lasted 382 days. On December 21, 1956, after the Supreme Court of the United States had declared unconstitutional the laws requiring segregation on buses, Negroes and whites rode the buses as equals. During these days of boycott, King was arrested, his home was bombed, he was subjected to personal abuse, but at the same time he emerged as a Negro leader of the first rank.
In 1957 he was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization formed to provide new leadership for the now burgeoning civil rights movement. The ideals for this organization he took from Christianity; its operational techniques from Gandhi. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, King traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and meanwhile he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. In these years, he led a massive protest in Birmingham, Alabama, that caught the attention of the entire world, providing what he called a coalition of conscience. and inspiring his “Letter from a Birmingham Jail”, a manifesto of the Negro revolution; he planned the drives in Alabama for the registration of Negroes as voters; he directed the peaceful march on Washington, D.C., of 250,000 people to whom he delivered his address, “l Have a Dream”, he conferred with President John F. Kennedy and campaigned for President Lyndon B. Johnson; he was arrested upwards of twenty times and assaulted at least four times; he was awarded five honorary degrees; was named Man of the Year by Time magazine in 1963; and became not only the symbolic leader of American blacks but also a world figure.
At the age of thirty-five, Martin Luther King, Jr., was the youngest man to have received the Nobel Peace Prize. When notified of his selection, he announced that he would turn over the prize money of $54,123 to the furtherance of the civil rights movement.
On the evening of April 4, 1968, while standing on the balcony of his motel room in Memphis, Tennessee, where he was to lead a protest march in sympathy with striking garbage workers of that city, he was assassinated.
*borrowed from NobelPrize.org.
Most of us remember where we were when JFK was assassinated. Do you remember where you were when Dr. King was shot? I was completing my second year of Pharmacy School, living in my fraternity house at the University of the Pacific. It was a sad day for all of us, as we sat around our fraternity living room, watching the news, and talking about this great man.
I visited the King Center, and Ebenezer Baptist church last October. I must tell you that it was a visit to remember. Many of us in the church could feel the spirit of this great man. We sat down, just to calm ourselves, as the feeling was overwhelming inside the church. I hope all of you can visit this special place.