Monday, January 19, 2009

Remembering MLK Day

I remember working for the NSA at Ft. Holabird in 1966. That was when the fed'l gov't actually had summer jobs for students. Later, this job kept me out of the Peace Corps. It seems that foreign countries might think that I was a spy or something. As there was a recession when I graduated from college in 1970 and NO JOBS ( sound familiar?), I was not a happy camper, although my parents likely were. I worked in a dept. which handled security reports & came across various records on MLK- like Army Intelligence, FBI, etc. They were following him & bugging his rooms. But then, they were keeping a lot of records on Americans at that point-in-time. I could tell you more but then, as they say, I'd have to kill you.

I recall the riots in Baltimore shortly after his death. I woke up one morning with the Nat'l Guard in the streets in jeeps with machine guns. There was a curfew which we needed to ignore in order to return to college on the Eastern short. I'll never forget smelling the smoke, seeing the glow of the flames, & our driver explaining to the police why he was out & where we were going. When I ret'd to Washington College, we held a memorial rally. Those were crazy times. Student strikes, riots, raids, and blockbusting. Interesting and dangerous times.

My husband recalls his aunt & uncle, Hannah & Michael Harrington (Irish immigrants & a former IRA member), marching in an improptu parade down Broadway with the local NAACP. They knew what discrimination was all about. I recall the race labels on drinking fountains, bathrooms, and waiting rooms in the South. Interesting times is being generous, I think.
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