Time > Past > Remembrance
A page from Ephemera.
Illustration: Briana Loewinsohn
Mostly through images, a
daughter grieves her mother in 'Ephemera'
April 9, 2023
7:00 AM ET
Siu Chong and Elena Lazar
visited the 9/11
to remember Eugene Gabriel Lazar,
who died in the attacks
on the World Trade
Photograph: Damon Winter
The New York Times
On 9/11 Anniversary,
a Small and Somber
Ritual in Lower Manhattan
SEPT. 11, 2015
The memorial for
in the spot where
she was arrested
by State Trooper Brian T. Encinia.
for The New York Times
Is Seen as Prelude to Sandra Bland’s Death
JULY 26, 2015
police misconduct > Sandra Bland 1987-2015
be remembered as
memory problem > face
UK > Remembrance Day
/ Sunday UK
G - 10 November 2019
UK > Remembrance Day
/ Sunday >
The Cenotaph > The glorious dead
at the Cenotaph in Whitehall UK
London > national
service of remembrance at the Cenotaph
wreaths at the Stone of Remembrance in Edinburgh
Armistice Day - 11 November UK
USA > Veterans Day
featured / commemorated (passive)
on a new
commemorative £5 coin UK
Extreme Memory Tournament XMT
1990 > USA > movies >
on N UK
Memories for 100 Years
NYT Sep. 20,
Memories for 100 Years
2015 | 5:00
Kirkland and her family
fled Ellisville, Miss.,
in fear that her
father would be lynched.
She swore she
would never return.
But at age 107,
she made the journey.
Memories for 100 Years
UK / USA
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b07j4jg8 - 5 July 2016
in my memory
be etched in my memory
remain etched in memory
haunted by memories
haunted-by-memories-for-100-years.html - Sep. 20, 2015
Intrusive memories after trauma > PTSD
memories > digital
black hole USA
early memories USA
prayer in memory of
prayer of remembrance
for of N UK
at a memorial for N
makeshift memorial UK
gather at a makeshift memorial to
memorial websites UK
memorial service UK
memento mori UK
forgetfulness / memory loss (amnesia)
Corpus of news articles
Time > Past >
NYC's Unforgettable '77 Summer
July 14, 2007
Filed at 1:42 p.m. ET
The New York Times
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
NEW YORK (AP) -- It was the summer of Reggie, the summer of
Sam, the summer when the lights went dark and the Bronx burned bright.
Thirty years ago, as the temperatures soared and its morale plunged, New York
City endured a scathing summer custom-made for tabloid headlines: A crippling
July blackout, complete with arson and looting (''24 HOURS OF TERROR''); a
media-savvy serial killer dubbed the Son of Sam (''NO ONE IS SAFE''); and a
dysfunctional, sensational New York Yankees team (''THE BRONX ZOO'').
There was more: A bitterly contested mayoral race, the lingering threat of
fiscal disaster, the perception that crime was turning New York City into Dodge
City (albeit with a splashier skyline). The nation's largest city was becoming a
punchline, but those who resisted the urge to flee the five boroughs weren't
''There were three things that were bad for the city: First was the blackout and
the looting,'' recalled Ed Koch, who was running to unseat incumbent Mayor Abe
Beame. ''Second was the fear in the city with the Son of Sam. And third was
Howard Cosell's comment that the Bronx was burning.''
The air of desperation eventually led to inspiration: ESPN is revisiting 1977
with its eight-part serialization of the Jonathan Mahler book ''Ladies and
Gentlemen, The Bronx Is Burning,'' while Spike Lee directed the slice of '77
life ''Summer of Sam'' back in 1999.
But it's not an era that inspires nostalgia.
''You had looting, you had a homicidal maniac, you had the city in dire straits
fiscally,'' said Mitchell Moss, a professor at the New York University Urban
Research Center. ''There was a genuine breakdown in the city's
It was 9:34 p.m. on July 13, 1977, when the lights went out. All of 'em, in all
five boroughs, when a lightning bolt knocked out electricity to about 8 million
When the power returned 25 hours later, it illuminated a city in chaos.
Widespread looting and arson had raged, with Beame lamenting ''a night of
terror.'' The mayor's quote, in large type, became newspaper shorthand for the
destruction: more than 1,700 stores looted, more than $150 million in property
damage, more than 3,000 people arrested.
Daily News columnist Jimmy Breslin remembered walking along Brooklyn's Atlantic
Avenue around 6 a.m. on July 14, watching a woman and a small boy lugging a
dining room table.
''The boy is struggling,'' Breslin said. ''Out of the goodness of my heart, I
hold up the back end of the table. I took four steps, and the thought occurs to
me: I'm a looter. I told the kid, `Sorry, you'll have to do it yourself.'''
For Koch, Beame's failure to maintain order provided a huge campaign boost. Koch
was a law-and-order candidate in a city where anarchy had ruled for a day.
''The blackout probably meant the difference between my winning and losing,''
Koch now says. ''I was then, and am now, for the death penalty.
''Although not for looters.''
Even when the power disappeared, this was the summer when Reggie Jackson owned
The power-hitting right fielder arrived in New York with a huge contract and an
ego to match, announcing -- at the expense of team captain Thurman Munson --
that he was ''the straw that stirs the drink.''
His big bat and bigger mouth kept the Yankees on the back page of the tabloids,
even as the city's bigger stories dominated page one. By season's end, Reggie
would become front-page news, too.
A month before the blackout, Jackson and combative Yankees manager Billy Martin
nearly came to blows in the dugout after Martin pulled the future Hall of Famer
mid-game for a perceived lack of effort in Fenway Park.
''Was this the straw that broke the camel's back?'' asked Daily News
sportswriter Phil Pepe after the June 18, 1977, near-brawl.
The Yankees had recently been bought by George Steinbrenner, rounding out the
troika that transfixed fans into the fall. The once-storied franchise, moribund
for most of the previous decade, was back as the new owner and the old-school
manager struggled to find harmony with their superstar slugger.
It was around 2:30 a.m. on July 31 when the Son of Sam struck for the last time.
His real name was David Berkowitz. He lived north of the city, in Yonkers, and
claimed to take his homicidal marching orders from a neighbor's dog. His weapon
of choice was a Charter Arms Bulldog .44-caliber revolver.
He killed six New Yorkers and wounded seven more. Terrified women across the
city, noting the gunman targeted long-haired brunettes, opted for a shorter,
blonder look. The shootings began in July 1976, shortly after the nation's
bicentennial. The last attack, one year later on a Brooklyn lovers' lane, killed
20-year-old Stacy Moskowitz.
It took eight months after the first murder for police to link the shootings.
Once they did, a sense of dread consumed the city.
''It was all looking for freaking Berkowitz,'' said Breslin. ''I didn't know if
the Yankees were playing baseball or not. The political campaign, I hardly
looked at. ... It was the same, all the time.''
In taunting letters to police and Breslin, the killer proclaimed himself the Son
''I had to go in and talk with the police,'' Breslin remembered. ''This
inspector said, `I'm hoping you're the one that can bring him in.' I said, `What
am I supposed to do? Get killed?'''
Instead, Breslin wrote a column urging Son of Sam to surrender.
''GIVE UP!'' the headline screamed. ''IT'S ONLY WAY OUT.''
It was in October, during the World Series between the Yankees and the Los
Angeles Dodgers, when Howard Cosell told a national television audience,
''Ladies and gentlemen, the Bronx is burning.''
A building near Yankee Stadium was indeed ablaze, although Cosell's crack
created a negative image that lasted long after the flames were extinguished.
Cosell spoke as the mayor's race reached its final weeks. Koch would win and
spend the next 12 years in City Hall.
''The most important thing, aside from balancing the budget, was upgrading the
spirits of New Yorkers, making them feel we could overcome and prevail,'' Koch
Berkowitz was already behind bars, arrested Aug. 10 after a Brooklyn parking
ticket led police to his door. ''How come it took you so long?'' he asked the
The Yankees won their first World Series in 15 years, led by Jackson, who
drilled three homers on three pitches in the deciding game. ''YANKEES ARE
CHAMPS!'' read page one of the Daily News.
Thirty years later, ''Mr. October'' returned to the Bronx for the annual
Yankees' old timers' day festivities. His long-ago season was inevitably brought
up, and Jackson acknowledged that it lingers to this day.
''I can forgive,'' he said of that year's assorted pinstriped contretemps, ''but
I can't forget.''
Few can when it comes to the summer of '77.
AP-Summer-of-77.html - broken link
has disappeared into the ether.
From The Times
We know what
was written in the first telegram, sent by Samuel F. B. Morse in 1844: “What
hath God wrought?” We know the words spoken by Alexander Graham Bell when he
made the first telephone call in 1876, to his assistant, Thomas Watson: “Mr
Watson — come here — I want to see you.” (The “polite telephone manner” had not
yet been invented.) But we have absolutely no idea what was said in the first
e-mail, just 35 years ago.
The digital age brought with it the false promise that everything written,
filmed, photographed or recorded might now be preserved, for ever. The “save”
key would eliminate the need for filing and storage. Since 1945 we have gathered
100 times more information than in the whole of human history up until that
point. Entire libraries could be preserved on disks that fitted into a pocket.
Paper was dead.
It has not quite worked out that way. Digital information may be impossibly
voluminous and convenient, but it is also vulnerable and dangerously disposable.
Already a vast amount of information has been lost. CDs disintegrate in just 20
years, whereas the Domesday Book, written on sheepskin in 1086, will still be
with us in another millennium. Few people still write regular letters, but their
replacement, the ubiquitous e-mail, is so easily deleted and forgotten, to say
nothing of the fleeting text message.
Technology has already left behind the forms of electronic storage once expected
to be eternal: the laser disk, the 5¼in, the 3.5in floppy, the Amstrad
all-in-one word processor have all been flung into obsolescence, often taking
their information with them. Only a small fraction of government bodies and
companies even bother to archive their digital material. Who, save the most
fastidious self-chronicler, takes the trouble to embalm their own e-mails
electronically? Historians of the future may look back on the 1980s and 1990s as
a black hole in the collective memory, a time when the historical record thinned
alarmingly owing to the pace of technological change. Future biographers may be
reduced to trying to extract personality from whatever electronic fragments
survive, cheque stubs and those few ritual moments (birth, death and overdraft)
when a subject still puts pen to paper.
I have recently spent many hours in the National Archives, ferreting through the
wartime records of MI5.
The sheer richness of written material is overwhelming: letters, memos,
telephone transcripts, diaries, scribbled notes in the margins. You can smell
the pipe smoke and personalities wafting off the pages.
When MI5’s current files are released decades hence, historians will have a far
drier time of it. Electronic messages not deemed to be of “archival” value are
routinely deleted by civil servants, simply as an insurance policy — significant
or potentially damaging information is strictly verbal, particularly since Jo
Moore’s attempt to “bury bad news” by e-mail.
Arguably, the most important and reliable real-time histories of places such as
Iraq and Iran are currently being written on weblogs, the online journals and
discussion forums that are, by definition, mutable and impermanent. A historian
50 years hence would probably get the most accurate picture of life in Baghdad
today by collecting and studying the blogs of the moment, but it may already be
too late. The average life expectancy of a website is about 44 days, roughly the
same as the common house fly.
Just as importantly, by committing to erasable electronic memory the things we
once committed to paper, we may be denying future generations the chance to
witness the warp and weft of our lives. Our ancestors were writers and hoarders.
I have a collection of my grandfather’s letters in the attic, describing the
life of a sheep farmer in New South Wales in the 1930s. They are of interest, I
suspect, to no one but me, but to me they are invaluable, a chronicle of where I
come from. What will we bequeath to our grandchildren? At best a bunch of
antiquated disks that they may well be unable to open and read.
Anyone (with a magnifying glass and patience) can read letters, but there is a
real danger that technology will leave much of the electronically written record
marooned and illegible. The BBC’s Doomsday Project of 1986, intended to record
the economic, social and cultural state of Britain for all time, was recorded on
two 12in videodisks. By 2000 it was obsolete, and rescued only thanks to a
specialist team working with a single surviving laser disk player.
When Nasa sent two Viking Lander spacecraft to Mars in 1975, the data was
carefully recorded on magnetic tape. Two decades later, no one could decode it.
The original printouts had be tracked down, and typed out again on paper.
And that, ironic as it seems, may be the answer. The Digital Preservation
Coalition, a group encouraging governments, businesses and individuals to curate
and preserve electronic information, recently published a report stating that
“storage of printed copies of important documents is generally accepted as a
reasonably failsafe method of preservation”.
This, then, is a plea for paper. So long as it is stored properly and acid-free,
paper endures. Leave the ephemera to the electronic ether, but if you value
certain words and images, preserve them on paper. The “print” button is a more
faithful saviour than the “save” button.
Before the Battle of Trafalgar, Nelson sent his message to the fleet by raising
flags using Sir Home Popham’s telegraphic code (a rather newfangled form of
communication, which not everyone approved of) — whereupon the words were
written down for posterity, on paper.
Today the same message would probably be sent by text — instant, easy, and
instantly perishable: “UK xpx dat evry man wll do his duT.”
History 1980-2000 has disappeared into the ether. Sorry,
- broken link
Related > Anglonautes >
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data loss, digital archiving / memories
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Confederate flags, monuments / statues / emblems
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