Daily Bread for 2.19.13

Good morning.

It’s a snowy election day in Whitewater. We’ll have light snow and flurries in the morning, with a high of eighteen. There will be 10h 45m of sunlight, and 11h 43m of daylight. Tomorrow will have two more minutes of light.

Polls are open today from 7 AM to 8 PM, with a Wisconsin Supreme Court race the leading contest on the ballot. Of the three candidates (Patience Roggensack, Ed Fallone, and Vince Megna) voters will choose two who’ll be on the April ballot.

On this day in 1847, a famous rescue, of a deeply troubled expedition:

….the first rescuers reach surviving members of the Donner Party, a group of California-bound emigrants stranded by snow in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

In the summer of 1846, in the midst of a Western-bound fever sweeping the United States, 89 people–including 31 members of the Donner and Reed families–set out in a wagon train from Springfield, Illinois….After electing George Donner as their captain, the party departed Fort Bridger in mid-July. The shortcut was nothing of the sort: It set the Donner Party back nearly three weeks and cost them much-needed supplies. After suffering great hardships in the Wasatch Mountains, the Great Salt Lake Desert and along the Humboldt River, they finally reached the Sierra Nevada Mountains in early October….

Most of the group stayed near the lake–now known as Donner Lake–while the Donner family and others made camp six miles away at Alder Creek. Building makeshift tents out of their wagons and killing their oxen for food, they hoped for a thaw that never came. Fifteen of the stronger emigrants, later known as the Forlorn Hope, set out west on snowshoes for Sutter’s Fort near San Francisco on December 16. Three weeks later, after harsh weather and lack of supplies killed several of the expedition and forced the others to resort to cannibalism, seven survivors reached a Native American village….

Of the 89 original members of the Donner Party, only 45 reached California.

On 2.19.1868, a famous photographer is born near Whitewater:

Photographer Edward S. Curtis Born
On this date Edward Sheriff Curtis was born near Whitewater. As a young boy, he taught himself photography. His family eventually moved to the Puget Sound area of Washington state. He settled in Seattle and opened a photography studio in 1897.

A chance meeting on Mount Rainier resulted in Curtis being appointed official photographer on railroad magnate E.H. Harriman’s expedition to Alaska. Curtis also accompanied George Bird Grinnell, editor of Field and Stream magazine, to Montana in 1900 to observe the Blackfoot Sun Dance.

After this, Curtis strove to comprehensively document American Indians through photography, a project that continued for over 30 years. Working primarily with 6 x 8-inch reflex camera, he created over 40,000 sepia-toned images.

His work attracted national attention, most notably from Theodore Roosevelt and J. Pierpont Morgan, whose family contributed generously to his project. His monumental work, The North American Indian, was eventually printed in 20 volumes with associated portfolios. Curtis’ work included portraits, scenes of daily life, ceremonies, architecture and artifacts, and landscapes. His photographs have recently been put online by the Library of Congress.[Source: Dictionary of Wisconsin Biography, SHSW 1960, pg. 892]

Google-a-Day asks a question of logic and science: “Which form of logic did George Boole introduce in the 19th century?”

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