Submitted by Brian on May 31st, 2010 at 11:12 AM

It's Memorial Day. This here blog is CANCELED for today. Enjoy yourselves, America.




May 31st, 2010 at 4:32 PM ^

...our soliders, sailors, airmen, and Marines:

Project Valour-IT, in memory of SFC William V. Ziegenfuss, helps provide voice-controlled/adaptive laptop computers and other technology to support Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines recovering from hand wounds and other severe injuries.  Technology supplied includes:

  • Voice-controlled Laptops - Operated by speaking into a microphone or using other adaptive technologies, they allow the wounded to maintain connections with the rest of the world during recovery.

  • Wii Video Game Systems - Whole-body game systems increase motivation and speed recovery when used under the guidance of physical therapists in therapy sessions (donated only to medical facilities).

  • Personal GPS - Handheld GPS devices build self-confidence and independence by compensating for short-term memory loss and organizational challenges related to severe TBI and severe PTSD.


May 31st, 2010 at 12:05 PM ^

I moved to Toronto from Wisconsin a couple of years ago. Holidays in Ontario largely correspond to what you have in the US, although some of the names are different and the dates are usually slightly off.

For instance, last weekend we had Victoria Day, which is celebrated on the last Monday before or on May 24. On July 1st, there's Canada Day, which is roughly sort of analogous to the 4th of July.

The biggest difference is Thanksgiving, which is only one day and is celebrated in October.

Oh, and some holidays aren't celebrated in all provinces. Don't ask me which.


May 31st, 2010 at 4:10 PM ^ The Wolverine Blog remembers two Michigan football greats who also served their country well.   

Tom Harmon was a Heisman Trophy winner and budding Hollywood star when he enlisted in the U.S. Army Air Corps as a pilot in 1941, while Bob Chappuis interrupted what would become a brilliant collegiate career to serve in the Air Force as a radio operator and aerial gunner from 1943-1945.

He links to two great stories about the men: a 2008 piece in Michigan Today on Harmon, and a 1947 piece in Time on the 1947 national championship team which inlcudes details on Chappuis’ time spent behind enemy lines in Italy after his B-25 was shot down.

Section 1

May 31st, 2010 at 10:35 PM ^

Yost Stadium or a War Memorial?

At its August 1945 meeting, the U-M Board of Regents received a petition presented by a group of Detroit alumni to rename Michigan Stadium as Yost Stadium in honor former coach and stadium builder Fielding H. Yost. The petitioners also submitted a file of supporting letters from alumni and students from across the country, including a number of former players, heads of alumni clubs and prominent graduates such as U.S. Supreme Court Justice Frank Murphy and New York Governor Thomas Dewey. Action on the petition was deferred until a later meeting.

The Regents took up the matter at their September meeting and voted to refer the proposal to the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics (BICA). They added a proviso that if the Board in Control reported in favor of the proposal and if the university lawyer's found nothing to prevent a change, the regents would vote by mail on the proposal before their next meeting.

Yost himself discouraged the effort to rename the stadium in his honor. In a letter to the Detroit alumni, he instead suggested that a War Memorial be erected at the stadium honoring either all the university's men and women or the varsity athletes who had sacrificed their lives in World War II. The alumni petitioners adopted Yost's suggestion and withdrew their request to rename the stadium.

The BICA did not report back to the Regents until November. Its recommendation closely followed Yost's suggestion. A BICA committee including Athletic Director Crisler was appointed to consider "the nature of the proposed memorial, its location, its cost, the proper method of financing the memorial, whether it should be dedicated to all Michigan men and women or only to athletes, and the time and nature of suitable dedicatory exercises after the proposed memorial shall be completed."

Over the next six months the BICA committee considered a number of memorial proposals before narrowing its choices to two options. The first proposal was for a memorial inside the stadium, a stone inset in the brick wall near the flag pole. It would be a block of pink granite on which would be carved an eagle and a suitable inscription noting "that it was a memorial to Michigan men and women who lost their lives in the late war." (The decision had apparently been made that the memorial would honor all university men and women, not just athletes.)

The second option was a proposal from Birmingham, Michigan sculptor Marshall Fredericks. It called for a bronze sculpture on a granite base to be located on the lawn of the south slope of the stadium. The sculpture would depict an "eagle with a twelve foot wingspan depositing on the stone a wreath to the Michigan dead. " The stone would be carved with the University of Michigan seal and an appropriate inscription.

The cost of the stone memorial was estimated to be $6000 while the eagle sculpture was priced at $10,000.

At its June 3rd meeting the BICA adopted Frederick's proposal unanimously. It recommended that the dedication ceremony be set for the Michigan State game on November 6, 1946. The Board of Regents adopted the BICA recommendation at its June meeting.

BICA Stadium Dedication and War Memorial committee member John Tracy reported to the October BICA meeting the "it would be unwise to plan on dedication ceremonies" at the November 6 Michigan State game as the sculpture would not be completed "due to the inability to procure the necessary materials." The committee therefore recommended that the dedication be deferred "until such time as the sculpture is completed and appropriate dedicatory ceremonies can be arranged."

"Such time" turned out to be over four years. It was not until June 3, 1950 that the memorial was finally dedicated. Athletic Director Herbert Crisler unveiled the statue, presenting it to University President Alexander Ruthven as a gift from the Board in Control of Intercollegiate Athletics. Law School professor and BICA member John Tracy and Mrs. Fielding H. Yost also participated in the ceremonies.

The sculpture had changed somewhat from Fredericks' original proposal. The wingspan measured 24 feet and the university seal disappeared from the base. The simple inscription read "In memory of the men and women of the University of Michigan who gave their lives for their country." The Michigan Daily's coverage of the ceremony included Fredericks' comment on the two ideas he tried to convey in the design; "first, the monumental American eagle grasping in its talons the laurel wreath symbolizing the eternal protection of the honored memory of the war dead; and secondly, through powerful dynamic forms and outlines represent the strength, courage and vitality of the young men and women to whom the memorial is dedicated."

Marshall Fredericks went on to become one of Michigan's best known artists. He was an assistant to Carl Milles at Cranbrook and taught there for a number of years as well. He also also created the bas-reliefs Dream of the Young Girl and Dream of the Young Man that for years hung on the facade of the LS&A building and are now on the north wall of the Bentley Library. Fredericks is perhaps best known for his work The Spirit of Detroit.


May 31st, 2010 at 1:01 PM ^

and thanks from here for all my friends, family members and everyone else who have served this great country, keeping me free to spend the day away from work, throw some steaks on the grill and swill my beer of choice.


May 31st, 2010 at 1:06 PM ^

times we take for granted these lights, rights, and freedoms we have.    Today and at every chance we get.  All that enjoy our liberty should honor the men and women who gave the ultimate sacrifice.  To the true heroes of our freedom  Thank you, Thank you, Thank you.

Musket Rebellion

May 31st, 2010 at 2:56 PM ^

At what point shall we expect the approach of danger? By what means shall we fortify against it?-- Shall we expect some transatlantic military giant, to step the Ocean, and crush us at a blow? Never!--All the armies of Europe, Asia and Africa combined, with all the treasure of the earth (our own excepted) in their military chest; with a Buonaparte for a commander, could not by force, take a drink from the Ohio, or make a track on the Blue Ridge, in a trial of a thousand years.

At what point then is the approach of danger to be expected? I answer, if it ever reach us, it must spring up amongst us. It cannot come from abroad. If destruction be our lot, we must ourselves be its author and finisher. As a nation of freemen, we must live through all time, or die by suicide.

-Abraham Lincoln 1838