February 25, 1870: America’s First Black Senator Is Sworn In
Hiram Rhodes Revels, the country’s first African American member of U.S. Congress, took his seat on this day in 1870, representing the state of Mississippi. Southern Democrats, who were for the most part supporters of segregation, tried to block his nomination.
From the U.S. House of Representatives Archives:

Just before the Senate agreed to admit a black man to its ranks on February 25, Republican Senator Charles Sumner of Massachusetts sized up the importance of the moment: “All men are created equal, says the great Declaration,” Sumner roared, “and now a great act attests this verity. Today we make the Declaration a reality…. The Declaration was only half established by Independence. The greatest duty remained behind. In assuring the equal rights of all we complete the work.”

Revel’s term lasted little more than a year. Hiram Rhodes Revels impressed many political observers with his oratorical gifts and moderate temperament.Dive deeper into the story behind Revel’s election with Henry Louis Gates, Jr.’s The African Americans: Many Rivers to Cross.

viα valinaraii: Andrea Appiani: Portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte as President of the Italian Republic. 1803.

September 24, 1896: F. Scott Fitzgerald is born.

That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you’re not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.


ca. 1850, [daguerreotype portrait of a gentleman, possibly a medical student or anthropologist, among a collection of skulls]
via the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

all my friends are dead

Antique Cabinet Photo (via)

We apologize for not posting but are on summer vacation and being out of the country makes blogging not a priority but we should be back mid-august! 


21st U.S. President Chester A. Arthur is this week’s featured Mustache Monday. 
Photo: NYPL Digital Gallery
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A Kornilovite by Saida Afonina
Kornilovites (Kornilovtsy in Russian) were the members of a division in one of the White armies, they were named after General Lavr Kornilov (1870-1918), the commander of the White resistance in the south. Kornilov led the famous Ice March from Rostov-on-Don to the Kuban, where he rallied the Volunteer Army. He fell in battle in April 1918 and was replaced by Anton Denikin (1872-1947). The Kornilovtsy were the best White unit, renowned for their bravery and discipline. They wore hats with a red top and a black band.