CuriShorts
CuriPow on 05/13/2021

Sacheen Littlefeather

In 1973, Native American actress and activist Sacheen Littlefeather (also known as Marie Louise Cruz) refused Marlon Brando's Oscar in front of millions of viewers. On Brando's behalf, she used the opportunity to make a political statement decrying the stereotyping of Native Americans in movies and TV, and to support American Indian Movement activists at Wounded Knee, S.D. Some in the audience booed, but others found it inspiring even years after the event.

CuriPow on 05/12/2021

Sheer Determintion

In 1955, Marian Anderson became the first African American to sing at the Metropolitan Opera House, but she is most remembered for the 1939 incident in which she was denied a recital venue at Constitution Hall in segregated Washington, D.C.

CuriPow on 05/11/2021

First In A Silent Era

Perhaps the first Asian actress to appear in American cinema, lovers of silent cinema have forgotten the name Tsuru Aoki, whereas her husband, Sessue Hayakawa, remains a legend. Aoki’s film career, in fact, preceded her husband’s rise to fame in Cecil B. DeMille’s The Cheat (1915).

CuriPow on 05/10/2021

Timeless Designs

Wenceslao Alfonso Sarmiento, also known as W.A. Sarmiento is a Peruvian-American modernist architect.

CuriPow on 05/09/2021

Men Of Steel

In 1863, construction began on the transcontinental railroad—1,776 miles of tracks that would form a link between America's West and East coasts. While thousands of European immigrants worked on the westbound Pacific Union rail, there was not enough manpower to build the Central Pacific line, which snaked through the rugged Rocky and Sierra Nevada Mountains.

CuriPow on 05/07/2021

Nuclear Physicist And Designer Of The A-Bomb

Ted Taylor was born in 1925 in Mexico City, Mexico. During WWII, from 1943-1946, he served on active duty in the United States Navy. He then received a bachelor's degree from the California Institute of Technology in 1945, pursued a master's degree from the University of California Berkeley, and later received a Ph.D. in theoretical physics from Cornell University in 1954.

CuriPow on 05/06/2021

Asian American Political Alliance

In May 1968, the Asian American Political Alliance (AAPA) was first formed at the University of California at Berkeley. Graduate student Yuji Ichioka and his Emma Gee sought to create the campus’ first pan-Asian American political organization. They were the first group to call itself Asian-American, a term proposed by Ichioka. With its inception in the context of the African American Civil Rights Movement the Black Panther Party and the Vietnam War, AAPA reflected the struggle that Asian Americans faced in coming to terms with their identities as members of the United States.

CuriPow on 05/04/2021

Leading The Way

Dr. Fazele Hasan Abed received his Ph.D. from Stanford University in 1969 and is the Cullen Distinguished Professor and Director of Fluid Dynamics and Turbulence at the University of Houston.

CuriPow on 05/03/2021

Executive Order 9066

In February 1942, President Franklin Roosevelt issued Executive Order 9066, which authorized the Secretary of War to declare certain areas within the United State as military zones and to restrict access to those areas on the grounds of wartime military necessity.

CuriPow on 05/02/2021

The Philippine Independence Act

Tydings-McDuffie Act, also called Philippine Commonwealth and Independence Act, (1934), the U.S. statute that provided for Philippine independence, to take effect on July 4, 1946, after a 10-year transitional period of Commonwealth government. The Philippines was an American colony prior to the signing of the act.

CuriPow on 05/01/2021

The Civil Liberties Act of 1988

On February 19, 1942, 10 weeks after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, President Franklin Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which permitted military commanders to “prescribe military areas . . . from which any or all persons may be excluded.” While the order did not mention any group by name, it profoundly affected the lives of Japanese Americans. In March and April, Gen. John L. DeWitt issued a series of “Exclusion Orders” directed at “all persons of Japanese ancestry” in the Western Defense Command. These orders led to the forced evacuation and incarceration of 120,000 Japanese American permanent residents and Japanese American citizens at 10 major camps and dozens of smaller sites. Held behind barbed wire and watched by armed guards, many Japanese Americans lost their homes and possessions. Congress passed laws enforcing the order with almost no debate, and the Supreme Court affirmed these actions.

CuriPow on 04/30/2021

The Most Accomplished Of Her Time

Ynes Mexia is a Mexican-American social worker, botanical collector, and explorer. Her interest in botany developed in San Francisco, where she moved in 1908 and practiced as a social worker. She joined the Sierra Club and at the age of 51 enrolled as a special undergraduate student at the University of California at Berkeley. In 1925 she participated in a botanical expedition to Mexico sponsored by Stanford University. Once in Mexico, however, she decided she could accomplish more on her own; abandoning the group, she traveled the country for two years and collected more than 1,500 specimens, which she sent to the herbarium at Berkeley. Her success in Mexico assured her reputation.

CuriPow on 04/29/2021

Carving A New Path

In 1943, Selma (Hortense) Burke became the first black sculptor to design a U.S. coin. She won a competition to design the portrait of President Franklin D. Roosevelt on the dime.

CuriPow on 04/28/2021

Black Seminole

Due to the continued mistreatment of the slave populations in the South and the 1807 act to prohibit the importation of slaves to the U.S., starting in the post-Revolutionary era, many slaves began to escape by running to Spanish Florida, near the colony of St. Augustine.

CuriPow on 04/27/2021

The Indianola Affair

In 1891 Minnie M. Geddings Cox was the first black postmistress in the United States. President Benjamin Harris appointed her to the post and President McKinley reappointed her in 1897, and the appointment drew controversy from whites who wanted blacks removed from leadership positions. In 1902 she offered to resign; however, President Roosevelt refused her resignation.

CuriPow on 04/26/2021

Portrait Perfect

Joshua Johnston was the first black portrait painter to win recognition in America. Born a slave, he lived and worked in Baltimore, Maryland.

CuriPow on 04/25/2021

From Fax Machines To Fiber Optics

Dr. Shirley Ann Jackson, a theoretical physicist and famous black inventor, has been credited with making many advances in science. She first developed an interest in science and mathematics during her childhood and conducted experiments and studies, such as those on the eating habits of honeybees. She followed this interest to the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) where she received a bachelor, and doctoral degree, all in the field of physics. In doing so she became the first African-American woman to earn a Ph.D. from MIT.

CuriPow on 04/24/2021

Taking To The Sky

In 1910, Fung Joe Guey, a young Chinese inventor, and aviator built a biplane that he kept aloft over Piedmont, CA for twenty minutes.

CuriPow on 04/23/2021

Escape artist

On May 7, 1878, the fire escape ladder was patented by Joseph Winters. Joseph Winters invented a wagon-mounted fire escape ladder for the city of Chambersburg, Pennsylvania.

CuriPow on 04/22/2021

The First Ph. D in Natural Sciences In The United States

Born in the Corona neighborhood of Queens, New York, Marie Maynard Daly was an avid reader and was fascinated by Paul De Kruif’s popular book The Microbe Hunters. She was further inspired by her father’s love of science. Unfortunately, he had been forced by economic circumstances to drop out of Cornell University, where he had been pursuing a bachelor’s degree in chemistry.

CuriPow on 04/21/2021

Before Maya Angelou

Born around 1753 in Gambia or Senegal, West Africa, Phillis Wheatley was captured by slave traders and brought to America in 1761. Upon arrival, she was sold to the Wheatley family in Boston, Massachusetts. Her first name Phillis was derived from the ship that brought her to America, “the Phillis.” Wheatley not only mastered English but Latin and Greek as well.

CuriPow on 04/20/2021

Queen Of The Delawares

Queen Aliquippa was a leader of the Seneca tribe of Native Americans during the early part of the 18th century. Little is known about her early life. Her date of birth has been estimated anywhere from the early 1670s to the early 1700s, but historians have indicated that she was born in the 1680s, probably in upstate New York.

CuriPow on 04/19/2021

The Chinese Exclusion Act

In 1882, Congress passed the Chinese Exclusion Act—the only United States Iaw to prevent immigration and naturalization on the basis of race—which restricted Chinese immigration for the next sixty years. The "Chinese Must Go" movement was so strong that Chinese immigration to the United States declined from 39,500 in 1882 to only 10 in 1887.