The thomasminooka.com website header contains some of my favorites from the areas I am involved with. Here is a summary from left to right:
- Poor predictions, a biased newspaper, and the relentless of Harry Truman’s 1948 whistle-stop campaign led to this memorable photo. Truman would win the hearts and minds of the people and hold on to the presidency, beating New York Governor Thomas Dewey. Never count a man like him out.
- He fought the American government’s wish to confine him and his people to land with specific boundaries. Sitting Bull wanted to continue a way of life without boundaries. One of our most important lessons in how to treat land and people.
- She had 22 siblings and weighed only 4.5 pounds at birth. She had to relearn how to walk after polio caused her paralysis. Still, Wilma Rudolph would become one of the fastest sprinters ever. She won three gold medals in the 1960 Rome Olympics.
- These two guys might have done more for national parks in this country than anyone else. When President Teddy Roosevelt asked conservationist John Muir to take him on a tour of Yosemite Valley, a friendship based on the love of the outdoors was formed. Long live the Antiquities Act!
- In 1894, members of the Haller family left Germany for Mt. Olive, Ill., where coal miners were needed. They were just a few of the 3.6 million immigrants to come to America that decade. They would lose an infant son on the journey, but their family would plant roots that would thrive in America. My grandma is sitting in the bottom right.
- Mother Mary Harris Jones, an Irish immigrant, was a teacher and dressmaker in Chicago until yellow fever took her husband and four children. She then became an organizer for coal mine unions. She fought for labor rights for miners and their families for years, at one point being called the “most dangerous woman in America.” She also tirelessly advocated for better enforcement of child labor laws. She is buried in Mt. Olive in the Union Miners Cemetery, as are many members of my family.
- His wisdom, courage, and leadership helped us confront one of our original sins and took us through our country’s most trying times. Thanks, Abe.
- The 54th Massachusetts Regiment was one of the first African-American units in the Civil War. Popularized by the movie Glory, the 54th did not actually contain Morgan Freeman. However, if it did, the war would likely have ended sooner.
- The header began with a newspaper mistake, and ends with one of the best things ever to happen to newspapers. Mike Royko was the voice of a city. He reflected Chicago. A columnist during his career for the Chicago Daily News, Sun-Times, and Tribune, he won the Pulitzer Prize in 1972.