Bloody Babs

She may have wanted to live, but on June 3, 1955 Barbara Graham, who was nicknamed “Bloody Babs” by the press, was executed in the California gas chamber. On that same day the accomplices, Jack Santo and Emmett Perkins were also executed. They had been convicted of the murder of Mabel Monohan.

Graham was the third woman in California to die by gas.

Born Barbara Elaine Wood in Oakland, California on June 26, 1923, she had a misspent youth as a poor student and sent to a reform school as a teenager. Part of this may have been due to her being raised by extended family. When she was born Graham’s mother was a teen and sent to the same reform school her daughter would be sent.

She had tried to reform, upon release from reform school in 1939 she had married and enrolled in a business college. The marriage failed. By 1953 when she married Henry Graham, she had been married twice more, worked as a prostitute and involved with drugs and gambling.

Henry Graham was a harden criminal and through him she met Jack Santo and Emmet Perkins, beginning an affair with Perkins. It was Perkins who learned of Mabel Monohan, a 64 year old widow who was thought to be keeping a lot of money in her house. It was during a robbery that Monhan was killed. Barbara reportedly pistol-whipped Monohan, cracking her skull and they then suffocated her with a pillow. They also left the house after finding nothing of value.

In 1958 Susan Hayward played Graham in the movie I Want to Live. Hayward won an Academy Award for her role. The movie strongly suggested that Graham was innocent. This claim was incorrect since evidence would point to her guilt.

It Began as a Combination of Wine and Cocaine

Coca-Cola was first sold on May 8, 1886 at Jacob’s Pharmacy in Atlanta, Georgia. It was sold as a patent medicine for 5 cents. At the time carbonization was thought to good for heath. For the first few months only a few glasses were sold each day.

The formula was created by John Sith Pemberton. It was originally a cocawine, an alcoholic beverage that combined wine and cocaine. In 1886 Georgia introduced Prohibition which forced him to replace the wine with non-alcoholic syrup.

When Pemberton began work on a coca and kola (cola) nut beverage, his intention was to develop a product to stop headaches and calm nervousness. It’s also thought that he was trying to create a pain reliever for himself and other wounded Confederate veterans.

The famous Coca-Cola logo was created in 1885 by Frank Mason Robinson. Robinson at the time was Pemberton’s bookkeeper. Not only did Robinson name the product he was the one who chose the logo’s distinctive cursive script, a typeface known as Spencerian script.

Coca-Cola used the imagine of Santa Claus so well in some of their ads of the early 20th century, some have credited them with the invention of the modern Santa Claus, the Jolly Old Elf in the red suit. That image was common by the time and derives greatly from the 19th century drawings of Santa Claus by Thomas Nast.

In 1971 Coca-Cola started to use an advertising jiggle called, I’d Like to Teach the World to Sings. The song was written by Roger cook, Roger Greenaway, Bill Backer and Billy Davis. The jiggle was so popular that it was recorded by the New Seekers and became a Number 1 hit.

Shots Fired; 4 Dead in Ohio

At 12:22 on Monday May 4, 1970, 29 members of a group of 77 National Guard troops from A Company and Troop G fired shots towards a group of students at Kent State. 13 seconds and about 67 shots later it ended. Some shots were in the air as warnings, others to induce injury and not kill. The outcome was 4 deaths and another 9 receiving injuries.

The National Guard had been called to the campus after a war protest of May 1st got out of hand. They arrived on campus on the morning of May 2nd. At the time of the shooting they were in the process of clearing a scheduled but a campus declared unauthorized protest.

The students who died as a result of the wounds they suffered that day were: (Name, distance from Guard, Injury)
Jeffrey Glen Miller, 265 ft, shot through the mouth – killed instantly
Allison Krause, 343 ft, fatal left chest wound
William Knox Schroeder, 382 ft, fatal chest wound
Sandra Lee Scheuer, 390 ft, fatal neck wound

Joseph Lewis Jr., 71 ft, hit twice in the right abdomen and left lower leg
John R. Cleary, 110 ft, upper left chest wound
Thomas Mark Grace, 225 ft, struck in left ankle
Alan Canfora, 225 ft, hit in his right wrist
Dean Kahler, 300 ft, back wound fracturing the vertebrae – permanently paralyzed from the chest down
Douglas A. Wrentmore, 329 ft, hit in his right knee
James Dennis Russell, 375 ft, hit in his right thigh from a bullet and in the right forehead by birdshot – both wounds minor
Robert F. Stamps, 495 ft, hit in his right buttock
Donald Scott MacKenzie, 750 ft, neck wound

Even now 48 years later the reason for the shooting has not been fully determined. It may have been that the Guardsmen felt in danger. Some students were approaching them throwing objects and one reports has it that a sniper fired upon the guard.

One of the widely read book about the shootings is James Michener Kent State: What Happened and Why published in 1971. The book does contain a number of errors probably because it was produced so quickly and release so soon after the event. The Kent May 4 Center ( does list this as a non-recommended book. They offer a list of recommended and non-recommended books.

Singer/Songwriter Neil Young after seeing pictures of the shooting wrote the song Ohio. Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young recorded the song on May 15, 1970 and released as a single in June. The song became to many an anthem for the times giving a tribute that may last forever to the ‘Four dead in Ohio’.

Columbia Student Protests

The 1960’s was a time for protest. Most of the protests were against the undeclared War that the United States was fighting in Vietnam. Many things came from these protest including political protest songs, the Summer of Love and the first crusade to save the environment.

Many of the protesters were college students with college campuses being one of the places where protests reached a boiling point. One of the largest campus protest began on April 23rd in 1968 at Columbia University in New York.

Tensions in the United States were high. Just a few weeks before Martin Luther King had been assassinated in Memphis. Students had been prevented to protest at Low Library and they moved to the construction site of a new Gym. The construction of the Gym had already touched off negative sentiment on the campus. The Gym was being built in two levels, with the lower level facing Harlem, stated for use by the black neighborhood and the upper for use by Columbia. This separation was interpreted as segregation.

From the construction area, Mark Rudd, the Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) chairman, moved the students to Hamilton Hall. It was at Hamilton Hall that the students began the week long protest by taking over the Hall. Part of the students demands were for the University to end their associated with the construction of the Gym.

In the early hours of April 30, the New York City Police ended the demonstrations. As many as 150 students were injured with over 700 protesters arrested.

This wasn’t the end of the student protests at Columbia during that semester. There was a second round of protest on May 17-18. This ended with 113 people arrested. The protest did achieved two of their goals when Columbia decided to pull out of their association in construction of the Gym with eventually its construction being scrapped.

Queen of the Pin-ups

Bettie Page, who has been described as the girl with hair as dark as midnight and a smile that could melt an iceberg, is perhaps the the best known and most popular pin-up model of all time. Bettie Page embraced sexuality in the 1950s, a time when being a sexual woman was kept behind closed doors. She graced covers of many magazines in many poses. Many of them wearing not much more than a smile.

She was born on April 22, 1923, the second of Walter Roy Page and Edna Mae Pirtle’s six children. Troubles caused her parents to divorce when Bettie was only 10 years old, her mother placed her and her two sisters in an orphanage while she worked and saved money.

Bettie married in February 1943 and after receiving a Bachelor of Arts degree from Peabody College she moved to San Francisco with her husband. It was here that she got her first modeling job and traveled to many places. In 1947 she filed for divorce and moved to New York.

In 1950 she meet Jerry Tibbs, a police officer and amateur photographer. Tibbs took pictures that became her first pin-up portfolio. Soon a photographic modeling career was in full bloom.

In 1955, Bettie was named “Miss Pinup Girl of the World.” and was the centerfold in Playboy’s January issue. The “Girl with the Perfect Figure,” was appearing in everything from record albums to playing cards.

In the years of the 1960’s and 1970’s she lived as a normal everyday person. In the 1980’s she emerged after a countrywide search for Bettie. She died on December 11, 2008 after being hospitalized with pneumonia. She was scheduled to be released, suffered a heart attack from which she never regained consciousness.


One of the terms that many seem to be seeing in personal ads and even sometimes a a text code is 420. Today it is generally used to signify illegal drug use or more specifically the use of marijuana. But where did the term come from.

According to it started to be used by a group of students at San Rafael High School in California. The time, 4:20 in the afternoon, was the time that they would get together to smoke weed. This was way back in the early 1970s.

Also on snopes it is said not to have any relationship to police codes for marijuana use in progress.

The California Bill that legalized the use of medical marijuana is Senate Bill 420, but it was signed in 2004, long after the term was in use. Although I suppose some may have started using the bill number without realizing that the term was already being used by others.

4-20 is also April 20th, with April being the fourth month. And with this some groups have begun using this date as a counterculture holiday. One where people gather to celebrate and consume marijuana

April 20th is also the birthday of what many considered to be the most despised man in History. Adolf Hitler was born on April 20, 1889.

Friday the 13th

A Friday that occurs on the 13th day of any month is considered to be a day of bad luck in many cultures around the globe. Any month that begins on a Sunday will contain a Friday the 13th. Every year has at least one and some may have as many as three Fridays the 13th. There will be 48 occurrences in 28 years cycle of years. This is an average of 1.7 times per year. In 2018 there will be two. April and July. The last time that a year had three was in 2015. 2014 and 2016 had only one.

There has not been a historical date identified as the origin of the superstition. Before the 20th century, there is evidence that the number 13 was considered unlucky, and Friday was considered unlucky there was no link between them.

Friday the 13th doesn’t even merit a mention in E. Cobham Brewer’s voluminous 1898 edition of the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. There is and entry for “Friday, an Unlucky Day” and “Thirteen Unlucky.”

Paraskevidekatriaphobics is the name for people afflicted with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th. The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute estimates that more than 17 million people are affected by a fear of this day.

On May 9, 1980 an independent slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller with the title Friday the 13th was released. The film ‘s budget was less than $ 600,000. While not a critical hit is was a box-office success and spurred 11 more films.

Science says that on Friday April 13, 2029, Asteroid 2004 MN4 will come scarily close to Earth. It will fly past Earth only 18,600 miles above the earth. For reference geosynchronous satellites orbit at 22,300 miles. “At closest approach, the asteroid will shine like a 3rd magnitude star, visible to the unaided eye from Africa, Europe and Asia–even through city lights,” says Jon Giorgini of JPL.

National Public Safety Telecommunications Week is April 8-14, 2018

Each year, the second week of April is dedicated to the men and women who serve as Telecommunications Officers. In October 1991 Congress made a Formal Proclamation to recognize this week as National Telecommunicator’s Week.

Those who perform telecommunications duties serve as an indispensable link between the officers and the public, as well as a vital support services in the Public Safety community. The communications operators who provide radio, telephone and computer services are to be commended for their dedication and professionalism. Too often the importance of telecommunications personnel goes unrecognized and their services are taken for granted.

At times they are treated as glorified office clerks. This is a big mistake and a far cry from the job that they perform. It takes a lot of training to be a Telecommunicator and not something that comes easy. They work hours when others are asleep and during holidays. Many are on a schedule that are far from the usual, including those of their own families.

They are the first point of contact with the public’s plea for assistance. While one call may be just a request with a simple answer, the next call may be the most extreme emergency anyone could face. On every call they have to be prepared for the unexpected and at times the unimaginable.

It takes a special type of person to remain calm when speaking to a screaming mother whose child is hurt, or when a Police Officer or Fire Fighter is calling for assistance or when someone that they know is on the other end of the emergency call.

If you happen to see a Communications Officer let them know that they are appreciated for the job they do for your community. Having worked among them for over 20 years, I understand their unique capabilities. Not everyone can do the job that they do each day.

I offer my thanks and gratitude that they are there to answer the call.\r\n\r\nThey truly are The First Responder.

William Henry Harrison

William Henry Harrison died on the fourth of April in 1841 from pneumonia. With his death he became the first president to die in office. He also served as President for the shortest period of time at only 30 days, 12 hours and 30 minutes.

Beginning with Harrison each President elected in a year that ended with zero would die in office until Ronald Reagan. Abraham Lincoln, elected in 1860, was assassinated during his second term in 1865. James Garfield, elected in 1880, was also assassinated. William McKinley was elected to his second term in 1900, but he too was assassinated. Warren Harding elected in 1920, fell ill and died three years after he took office. Franklin Roosevelt was elected for his third term in 1940 and died shortly after taking the oath of office for his fourth term in 1945. Then in 1963 John F. Kennedy was assassinated in 1963 after being elected in 1960.

1841 would be the first of only two calendar years where the United States had three Presidents. Harrison had won the election in 1840 against the incumbent Martin Van Buren, replacing him in March. When Harrison died his Vice President John Tyler took office. 40 years later in 1881, The only other year with three presidents, Rutherford B. Hayes relinquished the office to James Garfield, who was assassinated, then Chester Arthur was elevated to President.

Harrison’s inaugural address lasting nearly two hours is the longest in American history. He delivered it outside on an extremely cold and wet day. It’s commonly thought that this was the reason for his pneumonia, but he didn’t develop a cold until over three weeks later on March 26.

Shortly after his inauguration Harrison became the first president to have his photograph taken by Justus Moore using the daguerreotype process. Unfortunately the daguerreotype is lost. John Quincy Adams is the earliest President to have had a photograph taken, but that was not until 1847, nearly 20 years after he had left office. Each President since Adams has been photographed and like Adams, Andrew Jackson and Martin Van Buren had theirs taken after they left office.

Harrison’s father Benjamin Harrison, V was a signer of the declaration of the United States and his Grandson Benjamin Harrison became President of the United States in 1889.

Do You Think You Are What They Say You Are?

The story of the last seven days of Jesus was turned into a musical by the team Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice.

The soundtrack, sometimes called a Rock Opera, appeared on an album originally, in part because the producers were afraid to take a chance on producing in on stage due to the subject matter. The album had a rock influence with Ian Gillan, the lead singer of Deep Purple, singing the role of Jesus with Murray Head as Judus.

The album reach the Number 1 spot of the Billboard Album Charts for a total of three weeks. One week in late February with its return more than two months later for two weeks in May.

Later in 1971 on October 12th Jesus Christ Superstar premiered at the Mark Hellinger Theatre in New York with Ben Vereen (Judas), Jeff Fenholt (Jesus), Yvonne Elliman (Mary), Barry Dennen (Pilate), and Paul Ainsley (Herod).

Two years later Director Norman Norman Jewison brought it to the screen, The film had Yvonne Elliman revising her role as Mary along with Barry Dennen as Pilate. Ted Neely took on the role of Jesus with Carl Anderson as Judas. Both Neely and the Anderson had been in the Broadway cast. Neely as the understudy to play Jesus and Anderson took over the role when Vereen fell ill.

Tomorrow, April 1st, NBC will present “Jesus Christ Superstar Live in Concert,” starring John Legend, Alice Cooper and Sara Bareilles.