This is the first time I've ever heard of Marcus Kellogg.June 12, 1876 Marcus Kellogg, a journalist traveling with Custer’s 7th Cavalry, files one of his last dispatches before being killed at the Battle of the Little Big Horn. A native of Ontario, Canada, Kellogg migrated with his family to New York in 1835. As a young man he mastered the art of the telegraph & went to work for the Pacific Telegraphy Company in Wisconsin. Sometime during the Civil War, he abandoned his career in telegraphy in favor of becoming a newspaperman &, in 1873, west to the frontier town of Bismarck in Dakota Territory where he became the asst. editor of the Bismarck Tribune. While returning from a trip to the East, Kellogg was on the same train as George Custer & his wife. Custer was on his way to Fort Abraham Lincoln, near Bismarck, where he was going to lead the 7th Cavalry in a planned assault on several bands of Indians who had refused to be confined to reservations. After an unusually heavy winter storm, the train became snowbound. Kellogg improvised a crude telegraph key, connected it to the wires running alongside the track, & sent a message ahead to the fort asking for help. Custer’s brother, Tom, arrived soon after with a sleigh to rescue them. Ever since his days as a Civil War hero, Custer had enjoyed being lionized in the nation’s newspapers. Now, as he prepared for what he hoped would be his greatest victory ever, Custer wanted to make sure his glorious deeds would be adequately covered in the press. Initially, Custer had planned to take his old friend Clement Lounsberry, who was Kellogg’s employer at the Tribune, with him into the field with the 7th Cavalry. At the last minute, Kellogg was picked to go instead-perhaps because Custer had been impressed by his resourcefulness with a telegraph key. When Custer led his soldiers out of Fort Abraham Lincoln and headed west for Montana on May 31, Kellogg rode with him. During the next few weeks, Kellogg filed 3 dispatches from the field to the Bismarck Tribune, which in turn passed the stories on to the New York Herald. Kellogg’s 1st dispatches, dated May 31 & June 12, recorded the progress of the expedition westward. His final report, dated June 21, came from the army’s camp along the Rosebud River in southern Montana, not far from the Little Big Horn River. “We leave the Rosebud tomorrow,” Kellogg wrote, “and by the time this reaches you we will have met & fought the red devils, with what result remains to be seen.” The results, of course, were disastrous. 4 days later, Sioux & Cheyenne warriors wiped out Custer & his men along the Little Big Horn River. Unfortunately, Kellogg did not live to tell the tale & died alongside Custer’s soldiers. On July 6, the Bismarck Tribune printed a special extra edition with a top headline reading: “Massacred: Gen. Custer & 261 Men the Victims.” Further down in the column, in substantially smaller type, a sub-headline reported: “The Bismarck Tribune’s Special Correspondent Slain.” The article went on to report, “The body of Kellogg alone remained unstripped of its clothing, and was not mutilated.” The reporter speculated that this might have been a result of the Indian’s “respect [for] this humble shover of the lead pencil.” (Doubtful, IMHO) The New York Herald later erected a monument to the fallen journalist over the supposed site of his grave on the Little Big Horn battlefield.
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June 12, 1963 In the driveway outside his home in Jackson, Mississippi, African American civil rights leader Medgar Evers is shot to death by white supremacist Byron De La Beckwith. During World War II, Evers volunteered for the U.S. Army and participated in the Normandy invasion. In 1952, he joined the NAACP. As a field worker for the NAACP, Evers traveled through his home state encouraging poor African Americans to register to vote & recruiting them into the civil rights movement. He was instrumental in getting witnesses & evidence for the Emmett Till murder case, which brought national attention to the plight of African Americans in the South. On June 12, 1963, Medgar Evers was killed. After a funeral in Jackson, he was buried with full military honors at Arlington National Cemetery. In 1964, the 1st trial of chief suspect Byron De La Beckwith ended with a deadlock by an all-white jury, sparking numerous protests. When a 2nd all-white jury also failed to reach a decision, De La Beckwith was set free. 3 decades later, the state of Mississippi reopened the case under pressure from civil rights leaders & Evers’ family. In February 1994, a racially mixed jury in Jackson found Beckwith guilty of murder. The unrepentant white supremacist, aged 73, was sentenced to life imprisonment. He died in prison in 2001.
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June 12, 1987 In one of his most famous Cold War speeches, President Ronald Reagan challenges Soviet Leader Mikhail Gorbachev to “tear down” the Berlin Wall, a symbol of the repressive Communist era in a divided Germany. In 1945, following Germany’s defeat in World War II, the nation’s capital, Berlin, was divided into 4 sections, with the Americans, British & French controlling the western region & the Soviets gaining power in the eastern region. In May 1949, the 3 western sections came together as the Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany), with the German Democratic Republic (East Germany) being established in October of that same year. In 1952, the border between the 2 countries was closed & by the following year East Germans were prosecuted if they left their country without permission. In August 1961, the Berlin Wall was erected by the East German government to prevent its citizens from escaping to the West. Between 1949 & the wall’s inception, it’s estimated that over 2.5 million East Germans fled to the West in search of a less repressive life. With the wall as a backdrop, President Reagan declared to a West Berlin crowd in 1987, “There is one sign the Soviets can make that would be unmistakable, that would advance dramatically the cause of freedom & peace.” He then called upon his Soviet counterpart: “Secretary General Gorbachev, if you seek peace–if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union & Eastern Europe–if you seek liberalization: come here, to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall.” Reagan then went on to ask Gorbachev to undertake serious arms reduction talks with the US. Most listeners at the time viewed Reagan’s speech as a dramatic appeal to Gorbachev to renew negotiations on nuclear arms reductions. It was also a reminder that despite the Soviet leader’s public statements about a new relationship with the West, the U.S. wanted to see action taken to lessen Cold War tensions. Happily for Berliners, though, the speech also foreshadowed events to come: 2 years later, on Nov. 9, 1989, joyful East & West Germans did break down the infamous barrier between East & West Berlin. Germany was officially reunited on Oct. 3, 1990.
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A sincere thank you for keeping this thread going. I seriously learn something daily.I probably never would have either if I hadn't ridden most of the West on a motorcycle. One of the things I did when I moved out there was ride to as many historical sites as I could.
Thanks for the kind words. I enjoy doing it and appreciate you guys indulging an old man's hobby. I learn a lot doing this as well. Often I start looking to corroborate something I planned to write on a given day and stumble across something much more interesting.A sincere thank you for keeping this thread going. I seriously learn something daily.