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Photo Of The Day: Stone Mountain Park, The Mount Rushmore Of The South, Sparks Controversy

Confederate Stone Mountain

Image Source: Wikipedia

Georgia’s Stone Mountain Park was once the site of the founding of the second Ku Klux Klan (in 1915) and is now home to the controversial rock relief depicting three Confederate leaders: Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee, and Thomas “Stonewall” Jackson. The massive Mount Rushmore-style tribute is known to have attracted white supremacists across the nation, while sparking rage among many who believe the park should be a memorial to the Civil War, not just the Confederacy.

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The Strange Life (And Even Stranger Death) Of Edgar Allan Poe

January 19th marks the 207th birthday of one of the most recognized names in the history of American literature. His name is synonymous with dark poetry and tales of murder and suspense, but many elements of his own life contain their fair share of mystery and surprise, as these intriguing Edgar Allan Poe facts show:

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Edgar Allan Poe Facts King Lear

It is quite possible that Edgar Allan Poe is named for the character Edgar in William Shakespeare’s "King Lear" (depicted above). Poe’s parents were both actors and were in a production of "King Lear" shortly before his birth. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Portrait

Poe’s middle name, Allan, was not given to him by his biological parents, but instead came from John and Frances Allan – who took him in at the age of two after his father abandoned him and his mother died. Image Source: Wikipedia


Poe joined the United States army in 1827 under the false identity of Edgar A. Perry. He claimed to be 22, even though he was just 18 at the time. He did this in order to prevent his foster father from locating him; they never got along with each other, and Poe was looking to escape their troubled relationship. He ended up disclosing the identity lie, and was honorably discharged. Above is an excerpt from the court proceedings which led to Poe's honorable discharge. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Virginia

In 1836, Edgar Allan Poe married his 13 year-old first cousin Virginia, depicted above. The marriage certificate falsely lists her age as 21. Image Source: Wikipedia

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Tamerlane

One of only 12 existing copies of Poe’s first published work, 1827’s "Tamerlane and Other Poems" (above) sold at a 2009 auction for $662,500 — a record for a piece of American Literature. Image Source: Wikipedia

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Raven

"Tamerlane and Other Poems" doesn’t even carry Poe’s name; instead it is credited to “A Bostonian,” which was another attempt to prevent his foster father from ascertaining Poe's whereabouts. Image Source: Wikipedia

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Original Ultima Thule Copy

Edgar Allan Poe’s most famous work, "The Raven," was not quite the money-maker you might expect. The magazine American Review paid the author $9 for the rights to print what would become one of the most recognized poems of all time. Image Source: Wikipedia

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Rue Morgue

His 1841 story depicted above, "Murders in the Rue Morgue," is credited with creating the modern detective story. The lead character Mr. Dupin was the inspiration for many literary detectives to follow, including Sherlock Holmes and Hercule Poirot. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Polling

In the days before his death, Poe was found at a tavern, Ryan’s Fourth Ward Polls, on the day of a Baltimore city election. The writer was incoherent, “in great distress” and wearing the clothes of another man. These facts lead many to believe Poe had been a victim of cooping (depicted above), a common practice of the time where unwilling people were taken from the streets, intoxicated or drugged, then taken from one polling location to another to manipulate the vote for a certain candidate. The writer was taken to Washington Medical College where he would die four days later. Image Source: Wikipedia

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Plaque

There are many theories as to the true cause of Edgar Allan Poe’s death, but no one really knows the circumstances of the poet’s demise. All medical records and even Poe's death certificate have been lost to time. Image Source: Wikipedia

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Griswold

Edgar Allan Poe’s obituary was written by his professional and personal rival, Rufus Wilmot Griswold (above). Griswold wrote a scathing and libelous account of the deceased poet’s life, signing it with the name “Ludwig” in an attempt to conceal his identity. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Original Headstone

Poe’s body was moved 26 years after his death. Originally buried in an unmarked grave at his grandfather’s family plot, his body was then moved to a coveted spot at the Westminster Burying Grounds in Baltimore. The first burial plot now contains a marker to identify where the author once rested. Image Source: Wikimedia Commons

Edgar Allan Poe Facts Grave

While moving his body to its new resting place, Poe’s coffin broke apart, exposing the writer’s remains to those in attendance. Pieces of the coffin became prized collector’s items. Image Source: Wikipedia


Nearly 40 years after his death, the remains of Edgar Allan Poe’s wife Virginia (above) finally made their way to be interned beside her husband. It was a strange journey: one of the writer’s biographers, William Gill, had acquired her bones and kept them under his bed in a box for a number of years before eventually sending them to Baltimore to be buried next to her husband. Image Source: Wikipedia

The Ravens

Established in 1996, the Baltimore Ravens of the National Football League took their name as a tribute to Edgar Allan Poe — who lived and died in Baltimore in 1849.

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Photo Of The Day: MLK Greets Fans After Receiving His 1964 Nobel Peace Prize

MLK Peace Prize

MLK greets fans upon receiving his Nobel Peace Prize in 1964. Image Source: Twitter/Smithsonian

52 years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his way to Oslo, Norway, where he would receive a Nobel Peace Prize. At this point in his career, King — whose legacy we celebrate today — had already led the 1955 Montgomery Bus Boycott, helped found the Southern Christian Leadership Conference to fight against segregation, and helped organize the 1963 nonviolent protests in Birmingham, Alabama and the “March on Washington,” where King delivered his timeless “I Have a Dream” speech.

While comparatively lesser known, King’s words in Oslo bear repeating. Some of the troubling themes King recounts — threats to voting rights, terror in houses of worship, interminable war and limits to economic opportunity — persist today. Many of his words, such as the fact that “Sooner or later all the people of the world will have to discover a way to live together in peace…[and] the foundation of such a method is love,” still go unheeded.

You can read the entirety of King’s Nobel acceptance speech here.

Your World This Week, Jan. 17 – 23

This week in tech: Apple stays white, Netflix disappoints millions, Silicon Valley is exacerbating income inequality, and the tech industry is starting to see the red.

Apple Board Rejects Racial Diversity Hiring Proposal

Apple Executives

Apple’s current senior executive team. Image Source: Apple

Fifteen of the 18 people that make up Apple’s executive team are white men. The same goes for five of the eight people that make up the company’s board of directors. Sadly, this is not at all unusual among America’s corporate giants today. However, what is more unusual is that Apple has now gone on the record as suggesting that they have no problem with this lack of diversity and will make no conscious efforts to change it.

A recent Apple shareholder proposal called for a new recruitment policy to increase the presence of women and minorities among Apple’s white male-dominated upper echelon. And the board of directors rejected it. Their response called the proposal “unduly burdensome” and “not necessary.”

Granted, when Apple released its last diversity report in August (which showed very minimal change in female and minority hiring from 2014 to 2015), CEO Tim Cook wrote, about diversity at Apple, “we know there is a lot more work to be done.” We’ll see if the backlash the company is receiving over this recent proposal’s rejecection inspires any such work. Read more at the Independent.

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