Pearl Louella Kendrick was an American bacteriologist. Kendrick is known for co-developing the first vaccine with Grace Eldering and Loney Gordon for whooping cough, she contributed to the promotion of international vaccine standards. Pearl Louella was born on August 24, 1890 in Wheaton, Illinois, US, her father was a preacher. When she was just three years old, she had developed the whooping cough at an early age, she graduated from high school in 1908 and attended Greenville College for a year before transferring to Syracuse University. In 1914, she received her B. S. from Syracuse. Kendrick graduated from Johns Hopkins University in 1934. After graduation, Kendrick was inspired to research whooping cough based on the statistical data of the time: the disease killed an average of 6,000 people in the United States, with the majority being children, she moved back to Grand Rapids and worked at the Western Michigan Branch Laboratory of the Michigan Department of Health. It was there. Eldering was worked at the State Department of Health.
Kendrick and Eldering headed the vaccine project through program development and the eventual inoculation of children with the pertussis vaccine. The vaccine was a success. Michigan started distributing the vaccines in 1940 and deaths from whooping cough declined, their work contributed to the development of cough plate diagnostics. The collaborative nature of their work within the bacteriological research community and their partnerships with the Grand Rapids public health community are recognized as an important contribution to vaccine research and public health; when the pertussis vaccine was in the primary phase of development, the American-made vaccine was effective, while the locally-made vaccine in England seemed to have no protection effect. At that time Kendrick, along with others, was invited to be a member of Whooping Cough Immunization Committee of the Medical Research Council of Great Britain to help them with vaccine development method. In 1951, Kendrick retired from the Michigan Department of Public Health.
After retiring, she became a faculty member at the University of Michigan's Department of Epidemiology. She retired, from the University, in 1960. Kendrick served as president of the Michigan American Society for Microbiology, she died on October 1980, in Grand Rapids. Kendrick was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 1983. O'Hern, Elizabeth Moot. Profiles of Pioneer Women Scientists. Washington, D. C.: Acropolis Books. ISBN 978-0-87491-811-3
Rosa Louise McCauley Parks was an American activist in the civil rights movement best known for her pivotal role in the Montgomery bus boycott. The United States Congress has called her "the first lady of civil rights" and "the mother of the freedom movement". On December 1, 1955, in Montgomery, Parks rejected bus driver James F. Blake's order to relinquish her seat in the "colored section" to a white passenger, after the whites-only section was filled. Parks was not the first person to resist bus segregation, but the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People believed that she was the best candidate for seeing through a court challenge after her arrest for civil disobedience in violating Alabama segregation laws. Parks' prominence in the community and her willingness to become a controversial figure inspired the black community to boycott the Montgomery buses for over a year, the first major direct action campaign of the post-war civil rights movement, her case became bogged down in the state courts, but the federal Montgomery bus lawsuit Browder v. Gayle succeeded in November 1956.
Parks' act of defiance and the Montgomery bus boycott became important symbols of the movement. She became an international icon of resistance to racial segregation, she organized and collaborated with civil rights leaders, including Edgar Nixon, president of the local chapter of the NAACP. At the time, Parks was secretary of the Montgomery chapter of the NAACP, she had attended the Highlander Folk School, a Tennessee center for training activists for workers' rights and racial equality. She acted as a private citizen "tired of giving in". Although honored in years, she suffered for her act. Shortly after the boycott, she moved to Detroit, where she found similar work. From 1965 to 1988 she served as secretary and receptionist to John Conyers, an African-American US Representative, she was active in the Black Power movement and the support of political prisoners in the US. After retirement, Parks wrote her autobiography and continued to insist that the struggle for justice was not over and there was more work to be done.
In her final years, she suffered from dementia. Parks received national recognition, including the NAACP's 1979 Spingarn Medal, the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the Congressional Gold Medal, a posthumous statue in the United States Capitol's National Statuary Hall. Upon her death in 2005, she was the first woman to lie in honor in the Capitol Rotunda, becoming the third of only four Americans to receive this honor. California and Missouri commemorate Rosa Parks Day on her birthday February 4, while Ohio and Oregon commemorate the occasion on the anniversary of the day she was arrested, December 1. Rosa Parks was born Rosa Louise McCauley in Tuskegee, Alabama, on February 4, 1913, to Leona, a teacher, James McCauley, a carpenter, she was of Cherokee-Creek descent with one of her great-grandmothers having been a documented Native American slave. Additionally, she had a Scots-Irish great-grandfather, she suffered poor health with chronic tonsillitis. When her parents separated, she moved with her mother to Pine Level, just outside the state capital, Montgomery.
She grew up on a farm with her maternal grandparents and younger brother Sylvester. They all were members of the African Methodist Episcopal Church, a century-old independent black denomination founded by free blacks in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, in the early nineteenth century. McCauley attended rural schools until the age of eleven; as a student at the Industrial School for Girls in Montgomery, she took academic and vocational courses. Parks went on to a laboratory school set up by the Alabama State Teachers College for Negroes for secondary education, but dropped out in order to care for her grandmother and her mother, after they became ill. Around the turn of the 20th century, the former Confederate states had adopted new constitutions and electoral laws that disenfranchised black voters and, in Alabama, many poor white voters as well. Under the white-established Jim Crow laws, passed after Democrats regained control of southern legislatures, racial segregation was imposed in public facilities and retail stores in the South, including public transportation.
Bus and train companies enforced seating policies with separate sections for whites. School bus transportation was unavailable in any form for black schoolchildren in the South, black education was always underfunded. Parks recalled going to elementary school in Pine Level, where school buses took white students to their new school and black students had to walk to theirs: I'd see the bus pass every day... But to me, a way of life; the bus was among the first ways I realized there was a white world. Although Parks' autobiography recounts early memories of the kindness of white strangers, she could not ignore the racism of her society; when the Ku Klux Klan marched down the street in front of their house, Parks recalls her grandfather guarding the front door with a shotgun. The Montgomery Industrial School and staffed by white northerners for black children, was burned twice by arsonists, its faculty was ostracized by the white community. Bullied by white children in her neighborhood, Parks fought back physically.
She said: "As far back as I remember, I could never think in terms of accept
Hollywood Walk of Fame
The Hollywood Walk of Fame comprises more than 2,600 five-pointed terrazzo and brass stars embedded in the sidewalks along 15 blocks of Hollywood Boulevard and three blocks of Vine Street in Hollywood, California. The stars are permanent public monuments to achievement in the entertainment industry, bearing the names of a mix of musicians, directors, producers and theatrical groups, fictional characters, others; the Walk of Fame is administered by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce and maintained by the self-financing Hollywood Historic Trust. It is a popular tourist destination, with a reported 10 million visitors in 2003; the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce holds trademark rights to the Hollywood Walk of Fame. The Walk of Fame runs 1.3 miles east to west on Hollywood Boulevard from Gower Street to La Brea Avenue, plus a short segment of Marshfield Way that runs diagonally between Hollywood and La Brea. According to a 2003 report by the market research firm NPO Plog Research, the Walk attracts about 10 million visitors annually—more than Sunset Strip, TCL Chinese Theatre, the Queen Mary, the Los Angeles County Museum of Art—and has played an important role in making tourism the largest industry in Los Angeles County.
As of 2018, the Walk of Fame comprises over 2,600 stars, spaced at 6-foot intervals. The monuments are coral-pink terrazzo five-point stars rimmed with brass inlaid into a charcoal-colored terrazzo background. In the upper portion of each star field the name of the honoree is inlaid in brass block letters. Below the inscription, in the lower half of the star field, a round inlaid brass emblem indicates the category of the honoree's contributions; the emblems symbolize five categories within the entertainment industry: Of all the stars on the Walk to date, 47% have been awarded in the motion pictures category, 24% in television, 17% in audio recording, 10% in radio, fewer than 2% in the live performance category. 20 new stars are added to the Walk each year. Special category stars recognize various contributions by corporate entities, service organizations, special honorees, display emblems unique to those honorees. For example, former Los Angeles mayor Tom Bradley's star displays the Seal of the City of Los Angeles.
The "Friends of the Walk of Fame" monuments are charcoal terrazzo squares rimmed by miniature pink terrazzo stars displaying the five standard category emblems, along with the sponsor's corporate logo, with the sponsor's name and contribution in inlaid brass block lettering. Special stars and Friends monuments are granted by the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce or the Hollywood Historic Trust, but are not part of the Walk of Fame proper and are located nearby on private property; the monuments for the Apollo 11 mission to the Moon are uniquely shaped: Four identical circular moons, each bearing the names of the three astronauts the date of the first Moon landing, the words "Apollo XI", are set on each of the four corners of the intersection of Hollywood and Vine. The moons are silver and grey terrazzo circles rimmed in brass on a square pink terrazzo background, with the television emblem inlaid at the top of each circle; the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce credits E. M. Stuart, its volunteer president in 1953, with the original idea for creating a Walk of Fame.
Stuart proposed the Walk as a means to "maintain the glory of a community whose name means glamour and excitement in the four corners of the world." Harry Sugarman, another Chamber member and president of the Hollywood Improvement Association, receives credit in an independent account. A committee was formed to flesh out the idea, an architectural firm was retained to develop specific proposals. By 1955 the basic concept and general design had been agreed upon, plans were submitted to the Los Angeles City Council. Multiple accounts exist for the origin of the star concept. According to one, the historic Hollywood Hotel—which stood for more than 50 years on Hollywood Boulevard at the site now occupied by the Hollywood and Highland complex and the Dolby Theatre—displayed stars on its dining room ceiling above the tables favored by its most famous celebrity patrons, that may have served as an early inspiration. By another account, the stars were "inspired... by Sugarman's drinks menu, which featured celebrity photos framed in gold stars."In February 1956, a prototype was unveiled featuring a caricature of an example honoree inside a blue star on a brown background.
However, caricatures proved too expensive and difficult to execute in brass with the technology available at the time. By March 1956, the final design and coral-and-charcoal color scheme had been approved, between the spring of 1956 and the fall of 1957, 1,558 honorees were selected by committees representing the four major branches of the entertainment industry at that time: motion pictures, audio recording, radio; the committees met at the Brown Derby restaurant, included such prominent names as Cecil B. DeMille, Samuel Goldwyn, Jesse L. Lasky, Walt Disney, Hal Roach, Mack Sennett, Walter Lantz. A requirem
Stevland Hardaway Morris, better known by his stage name Stevie Wonder, is an American singer, musician, record producer, multi-instrumentalist. A child prodigy, Wonder is considered to be one of the most critically and commercially successful musical performers of the late 20th century, he signed with Motown's Tamla label at the age of 11, continued performing and recording for Motown into the 2010s. He has been blind since shortly after his birth. Among Wonder's works are singles such as "Signed, Delivered I'm Yours", "Superstition", "Sir Duke", "You Are the Sunshine of My Life", "I Just Called to Say I Love You", he has recorded more than 30 U. S. top-ten hits and received 25 Grammy Awards, one of the most-awarded male solo artists, has sold more than 100 million records worldwide, making him one of the top 60 best-selling music artists. Wonder is noted for his work as an activist for political causes, including his 1980 campaign to make Martin Luther King Jr.'s birthday a holiday in the United States.
In 2009, Wonder was named a United Nations Messenger of Peace. In 2013, Billboard magazine released a list of the Billboard Hot 100 All-Time Top Artists to celebrate the US singles chart's 55th anniversary, with Wonder at number six. Wonder was born Stevland Hardaway Judkins in Saginaw, Michigan, on May 13, 1950, the third of six children born to Calvin Judkins and songwriter Lula Mae Hardaway, he was born six weeks premature which, along with the oxygen-rich atmosphere in the hospital incubator, resulted in retinopathy of prematurity, a condition in which the growth of the eyes is aborted and causes the retinas to detach, so he became blind. When Wonder was four, his mother divorced his father and moved with her children to Detroit, where Wonder sang as a child in a choir at the Whitestone Baptist Church, she changed her name back to Lula Hardaway and changed her son's surname to Morris because of relatives. Wonder has retained Morris as his legal surname, he began playing instruments at an early age, including piano and drums.
He formed a singing partnership with a friend. In 1961, when aged 11, Wonder sang his own composition, "Lonely Boy", to Ronnie White of the Miracles. Before signing, producer Clarence Paul gave him the name Little Stevie Wonder; because of Wonder's age, the label drew up a rolling five-year contract in which royalties would be held in trust until Wonder was 21. He and his mother would be paid a weekly stipend to cover their expenses: Wonder received $2.50 per week, a private tutor was provided for when Wonder was on tour. Wonder was put in the care of producer and songwriter Clarence Paul, for a year they worked together on two albums. Tribute to Uncle Ray was recorded first. Covers of Ray Charles's songs, the album included a Wonder and Paul composition, "Sunset"; the Jazz Soul of Little Stevie was recorded next, an instrumental album consisting of Paul's compositions, two of which, "Wondering" and "Session Number 112", were co-written with Wonder. Feeling Wonder was now ready, a song, "Mother Thank You", was recorded for release as a single, but pulled and replaced by the Berry Gordy song "I Call It Pretty Music, But the Old People Call It the Blues" as his début single.
Two follow-up singles, "Little Water Boy" and "Contract on Love", both had no success, the two albums, released in reverse order of recording—The Jazz Soul of Little Stevie in September 1962 and Tribute to Uncle Ray in October 1962—also met with little success. At the end of 1962, when Wonder was 12 years old, he joined the Motortown Revue, touring the "chitlin' circuit" of theatres across America that accepted black artists. At the Regal Theater, his 20-minute performance was recorded and released in May 1963 as the album Recorded Live: The 12 Year Old Genius. A single, "Fingertips", from the album was released in May, became a major hit; the song, featuring a confident and enthusiastic Wonder returning for a spontaneous encore that catches out the replacement bass player, heard to call out "What key? What key?", was a No. 1 hit on the Billboard Hot 100 when Wonder was aged 13, making him the youngest artist to top the chart. The single was No. 1 on the R&B chart, the first time that had occurred.
His next few recordings, were not successful. During 1964, Wonder appeared in two films as himself, Muscle Beach Party and Bikini Beach, but these were not successful either. Sylvia Moy persuaded label owner Berry Gordy to give Wonder another chance. Dropping the "Little" from his name and Wonder worked together to create the hit "Uptight", Wonder went on to have a number of other hits during the mid-1960s, including "With a Child's Heart", "Blowin' in the Wind", a Bob Dylan cover, co-sung by his mentor, producer Clarence Paul, he began to work in the Motown songwriting department, composing songs both for himself and his label mates, including "The Tears of a Clown", a No. 1 hit for Smokey Robinson and the Miracles (it was first released in 1967 unnoticed as the last track of their Make It Happen LP, but became a majo
Joseph Louis Barrow, best known as Joe Louis was an American professional boxer who competed from 1934 to 1951. He reigned as the world heavyweight champion from 1937 to 1949, is considered to be one of the greatest heavyweight boxers of all time. Nicknamed the "Brown Bomber", Louis' championship reign lasted 140 consecutive months, during which he participated in 26 championship fights; the 27th fight, against Ezzard Charles in 1950, was a challenge for Charles' heavyweight title and so is not included in Louis' reign. He was victorious in 25 title defenses, second only to Julio César Chávez with 27. In 2005, Louis was ranked as the best heavyweight of all time by the International Boxing Research Organization, was ranked number one on The Ring magazine's list of the "100 greatest punchers of all time". Louis' cultural impact was felt well outside the ring, he is regarded as the first person of African American descent to achieve the status of a nationwide hero within the United States, was a focal point of anti-Nazi sentiment leading up to and during World War II.
He was instrumental in integrating the game of golf, breaking the sport's color barrier in America by appearing under a sponsor's exemption in a PGA event in 1952. Detroit's Joe Louis Arena, former home of the Detroit Red Wings of the National Hockey League, the Forest Preserve District of Cook County's Joe Louis "The Champ" Golf Course, situated south of Chicago in Riverdale, are named in his honor. Born in rural Chambers County, Louis was the seventh of eight children of Munroe Barrow and Lillie Barrow, he weighed 11 pounds at birth. Both of his parents were children of former slaves, alternating between sharecropping and rental farming. Munroe was predominantly African American, with some white ancestry. Louis spent 12 years growing up in rural Alabama, he suffered from a speech impediment and spoke little until about the age of six. Munroe Barrow was committed to a mental institution in 1916 and, as a result, Joe knew little of his biological father. Around 1920, Louis's mother married Pat Brooks, a local construction contractor, having received word that Munroe Barrow had died while institutionalized.
In 1926, shaken by a gang of white men in the Ku Klux Klan, Louis's family moved to Detroit, forming part of the post-World War I Great Migration. Joe's brother worked for Ford Motor Company and the family settled into a home at 2700 Catherine Street in Detroit's Black Bottom neighborhood. Louis attended Bronson Vocational School for a time to learn cabinet-making; the Great Depression hit the Barrow family hard, but as an alternative to gang activity, Joe began to spend time at a local youth recreation center at 637 Brewster Street in Detroit. His mother attempted to get him interested in playing the violin. Legend has it that he tried to hide his pugilistic ambitions from his mother by carrying his boxing gloves inside his violin case. Louis made his debut in early 1932 at the age of 17. Legend has it that before the fight, the literate Louis wrote his name so large that there was no room for his last name, thus became known as "Joe Louis" for the remainder of his boxing career. More Louis omitted his last name to keep his boxing a secret from his mother.
After this debut—a loss to future Olympian Johnny Miler—Louis compiled numerous amateur victories winning the club championship of his Brewster Street recreation centre, the home of many aspiring Golden Gloves fighters. In 1933, Louis won the Detroit-area Golden Gloves Novice Division championship against Joe Biskey for the light heavyweight classification, he lost in the Chicago Golden Gloves Tournament of Champions. The next year, competing in the Golden Gloves' Open Division, he won the light heavyweight classification, this time winning the Chicago Tournament of Champions. However, a hand injury forced Louis to miss the New York/Chicago Champions' cross-town bout for the ultimate Golden Gloves championship. In April 1934, he followed up his Chicago performance by winning the United States Amateur Champion National AAU tournament in St. Louis, Missouri. By the end of his amateur career, Louis's record was 50–3, with 43 knockouts. Joe Louis had 69 professional fights with only three losses.
He tallied 52 knockouts and held the championship from 1937 to 1949, the longest span of any heavyweight titleholder. After returning from retirement, Louis failed to regain the championship in 1950, his career ended after he was knocked out by Rocky Marciano in 1951; the man, called the Brown Bomber was finished. Louis's amateur performances attracted the interest of professional promoters, he was soon represented by a black Detroit-area bookmaker named John Roxborough; as Louis explained in his autobiography, Roxborough convinced the young fighter that white managers would have no real interest in seeing a black boxer work his way up to title contention: told me about the fate of most black fighters, ones with white managers, who wound up burned-out and broke before they reached their prime. The white managers were not interested in the men they were handling but in the money they could make from them, they didn't take the proper time to see that their fighters had a proper training, that they lived comfortably, or ate well, or had some pocket change.
Mr. Roxborough was talking about Black Power. Roxborough knew a C
William Earnest "Ernie" Harwell was an American sportscaster, known for his long career calling play-by-play of Major League Baseball games. For 55 seasons, 42 of them with the Detroit Tigers, Harwell called the action on radio and/or television. In January 2009, the American Sportscasters Association ranked Harwell 16th on its list of Top 50 Sportscasters of All Time. Ernie Harwell grew up in Atlanta, working in his youth as a paperboy for the Atlanta Georgian. An avid baseball fan from an early age, Harwell became visiting batboy for the Atlanta Crackers of the Southern Association at the age of five, never had to buy a ticket to get into a baseball game again. At sixteen he began working as a regional correspondent for The Sporting News. Harwell attended Emory University, where he was a member of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity and helped edit The Emory Wheel. After graduating, Harwell worked as sportswriter for the Atlanta Constitution. In 1943, he began announcing games for the Crackers on WSB radio, after which he served four years in the United States Marine Corps.
In 1948, Harwell became the only announcer in baseball history to be traded for a player when the Brooklyn Dodgers' general manager, Branch Rickey, traded catcher Cliff Dapper to the Crackers in exchange for breaking Harwell's broadcasting contract. Harwell broadcast for the Dodgers through 1949, the New York Giants from 1950-53, the Baltimore Orioles from 1954-59. Early in his career, he broadcast The Masters golf tournament, as well as pro and college football. Harwell joined the Tigers' broadcast crew in 1960. George Kell, who had begun calling Tigers games with Patrick in 1959, was instrumental in bringing Harwell to Detroit. "George called and said,'I recommended you and the Tigers asked me to get in touch with you.'" Harwell said. "I came and, it." Harwell shared TV and radio duties with Kell through 1963 with Bob Scheffing in 1964. He began working radio in 1965, teaming with Gene Osborn for two seasons and with Ray Lane from 1967-72. In 1973, Paul Carey replaced Lane and joined Harwell to form the Tigers' best-known and longest-lasting radio team, which lasted until the end of the 1991 season.
On December 19, 1990, the Tigers and radio station WJR announced that the station wanted to go in a "new direction" and that the 1991 season would be Harwell's last, as his contract was "non-renewed". Fans across Michigan and throughout the baseball world were outraged, but the ballclub and the radio station stood firm: " not going to change no matter how much clamor is made over it," said team president Bo Schembechler; the situation caused outrage so much. Some, such as Mitch Albom, blamed the situation causing as much negative feeling as it did on WJR executive Jim Long, the one who pushed the quick, no severance pay removal of Harwell; the movement in favor of keeping Harwell was so strong that billboards in favor of his remaining were put up. Rick Rizzs was hired away from the Seattle Mariners to replace Harwell in 1992, teaming with Bob Rathbun. Harwell worked a part-time schedule for the California Angels in 1992; the following year, the Tigers were purchased by Mike Ilitch, who made it one of his first priorities to bring Harwell back.
In 1993 Harwell teamed with Rizzs and Rathbun on the WJR broadcasts, calling play-by-play of the middle innings in each game. From 1994-98, Harwell called television broadcasts for the Tigers on PASS Sports and WKBD-TV. In 1999, he resumed full-time radio duties with the team, swapping roles with Frank Beckmann, teaming with analyst Jim Price, continuing in that role as the team's radio rights changed from WJR to WXYT in 2001. During spring training in 2002, Harwell announced. Dan Dickerson, who had joined Harwell and Price in 2000, took over as the Tigers' lead radio voice. Harwell's broadcast for the Giants of the third and final game of the 1951 National League tie-breaker series against the Dodgers, which ended with the pennant-clinching "Shot Heard'Round the World" home run by the Giants' Bobby Thompson, was carried nationally on NBC television. Harwell helped broadcast two All-Star Games and two World Series for NBC Radio, numerous ALCS and ALDS for CBS Radio and ESPN Radio, the CBS Radio Game of the Week from 1992 to 1997.
He called the 1984 World Series locally for the Tigers and WJR. Following his retirement, Harwell came back in 2003 to call a Wednesday Night Baseball telecast on ESPN, as part of that network's "Living Legends" series of guest announcers. In 2005, Harwell guested for an inning on the Fox network's coverage of the All-Star Game, as well as an inning on the ESPN Radio broadcast. For Game 3 of the 2006 American League Division Series between the Tigers and New York Yankees, he provided guest commentary on ESPN's telecast for two innings, called an inning of play-by-play on the Tigers' radio flagship WXYT, guested for an inning on ESPN Radio. Harwell called one inning of Game 1 of the 2006 World Series for WXYT. Harwell served as a guest color commentator for two Tiger games on FSN D
Walter Philip Reuther was an American leader of organized labor and civil rights activist who built the United Automobile Workers into one of the most progressive labor unions in American history. He saw labor movements not as narrow special interest groups but as instruments to advance social justice and human rights in democratic societies, he leveraged the UAW's resources and influence to advocate for workers' rights, civil rights, women's rights, universal health care, public education, affordable housing, environmental stewardship, nuclear nonproliferation, democratic trade unionism around the world. He survived two attempted assassinations, including one at home where he was struck by a 12-gauge shotgun blast fired through his kitchen window, he was the fourth president of the UAW, serving from 1946 until his untimely death in 1970. A household name during his life, Reuther's legacy is all but forgotten to history. A powerful ally of Martin Luther King, Jr. and the civil rights movement, Reuther marched with King in Selma, Birmingham and Jackson.
When King and others including children were jailed in Birmingham and King authored his famous Letter from Birmingham Jail, Reuther arranged $160,000 for the protestors' release. He helped organize and finance the March on Washington on August 28, 1963, delivering remarks from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial shortly before King gave his historic "I Have a Dream" speech on the National Mall, he served on the board of directors for the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People and was one of the founders of Americans for Democratic Action. An early supporter of Cesar Chavez and the United Farm Workers, he asked Robert F. Kennedy to visit and support Chavez. A lifetime environmentalist, Reuther played a critical role in funding and organizing the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970. According to Denis Hayes, the principal national organizer of the first Earth Day, "Without the UAW, the first Earth Day would have flopped!"As the leader of five million autoworkers including retirees and their families, Reuther was influential inside the Democratic Party.
During World War II, President Franklin D. Roosevelt consulted Reuther, referring to him as "my young red-headed engineer." He was considered by John F. Kennedy for Vice President in 1960, he was instrumental in spearheading the creation of the Peace Corps and in marshaling support for the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Medicare and Medicaid, the Fair Housing Act. He met weekly in 1964 and 1965 with President Lyndon B. Johnson at the White House to discuss policies and legislation for the Great Society and War on Poverty; the Republican Party was wary of Reuther, leading presidential candidate Richard Nixon to say about John F. Kennedy during the 1960 election, "I can think of nothing so detrimental to this nation than for any President to owe his election to, therefore be a captive of, a political boss like Walter Reuther." Conservative politician Barry Goldwater declared that " was more dangerous to our country than Sputnik or anything Soviet Russia might do."Reuther was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom and recognized by Time Magazine as one of the 100 most influential people of the 20th century.
Murray Kempton, a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist, wrote, "Walter Reuther was one man who could reminisce about the future." A. H. Raskin, labor editor of The New York Times, wrote, "If the speed of a man's mind could be measured in the same way as the speed of his legs, Walter Reuther would be an Olympic champion." George Romney, Governor of Michigan, once said, "Walter Reuther is the most dangerous man in Detroit because no one is more skillful in bringing about the revolution without seeming to disrupt the existing forms of society." Reuther was born on September 1907, in Wheeling, West Virginia, to Anna and Valentine Reuther. His father Valentine was a horse-drawn beer wagon driver and Socialist union organizer who at age 11 had emigrated from Germany. Walter was one of five children, oldest to youngest: Ted, Roy, Christine. Valentine would facilitate debates every Sunday for his sons, training them to think on their feet about social issues of the day such as yellow journalism, child labor, women's suffrage, civil rights.
Reuther recalled, "At my father's knee we learned the philosophy of trade unionism. We got the struggles, the hopes and the aspirations of working people every day." As a child, he and Victor accompanied their father on a visit to a jail to meet Eugene V. Debs, being incarcerated for his pacifism during World War I; the Reuthers learned not to waste. To save money, Walter's mother Anna would make underwear for her sons out of used flour sacks; when Valentine was blinded by an exploding bottle, Walter began doing odd jobs to bring in family income at the age of nine. He dropped out of high school during his junior year and worked in a local factory to help support the family, he learned firsthand about inadequate worker safety when a 400 pound die that he and three other men were lifting fell and severed his big toe. From an early age, the Reuther boys received lessons on racism. One day they saw local boys throwing rocks at Negros being transported north through their hometown in open railways cars.
Their father gave them a stern warning to never treat another human being like that. The Reuther boys never forgot that lesson, spending the rest of their lives fighting for racial and economic equality for all people. In 1927, at the age of 19, Reuther left Wheeling for Detroit and argued himself into an expert tool and die maker job at Ford Motor Company that required 25 years experience; the foreman was baffled that at h