Showing category "History" (Show all posts)

THE TRAGEDY HAUNTS US STILL...

Posted by John Allen Small on Friday, November 22, 2013, In : History 

I was all of five months, 21 days and a handful of hours old on that dark day in November of 1963 when a man was murdered in broad daylight on the streets of Dallas, Texas... and history was changed irrevocably.


Our lifetimes intersected for a period, but I remember nothing about him. Or of that period in the early 1960s Kennedy’s name still evokes in the hearts and minds of so many who do remember him – a time of hope and optimism in America, when we were first looking towards the moon ...


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THE NIGHT THAT PANICKED AMERICA

Posted by John Allen Small on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, In : History 

Seventy-five years ago today America got its first taste of the true power of electronic media, courtesy of what is still considered by many to be the single most famous radio broadcast in the history of the medium. 


The date was Oct. 30, 1938. Fans of the pulp hero Doc Savage were thrilling to his latest adventure in the novel Fortress of Solitude. My father was just a month old. And by the end of the night millions of Americans would be tricked into believing that it was the end of the wor...


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TIME FOR A HISTORY LESSON: OUR FAMILY'S BEST KNOWN BLACK SHEEP

Posted by John Allen Small on Tuesday, July 30, 2013, In : History 
(Above: Illinois Gov. Len Small and the newspaper page announcing his 1921 indictment)


Every family has its "black sheep." Sometimes while researching family history on various occasions over the years, I've often wondered in perhaps my family hasn't had more than it's share. 


But none of them can hold a candle to the man who served as Illinois' Republican governor during the same period that saw Al Capone establish himself as the King of Chicago. Indeed, I often wonder if my familial kinship...


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About Me


John Allen Small John A. Small is an award-winning newspaper journalist, columnist and broadcaster whose work has been honored by the Oklahoma Press Association, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Associated Press, the National Newspaper Association, and the Oklahoma Education Association. He and his wife Melissa were married in 1986; they have two sons, Joshua Orrin (born 1991) and William Ian (born 1996). Mr. Small is the News Editor and columnist for the Johnston County Capital-Democrat, a weekly newspaper headquartered in Tishomingo, OK. He obtained his nickname, "Bard of the Lesser Boulevards," from a journalism colleague - the late Phil Byrum - in recognition of the success of his popular newspaper column, "Small Talk." (In addition to the many awards the column itself has received over the years, a radio version of "Small Talk" earned an award for "Best Small Market Commentary" from the Society of Professional Journalists in 1998.) John was born in Oklahoma City in 1963; lived in the Bradley-Bourbonnais-Kankakee area of Illinois for most of the next 28 years (with brief sojourns in Texas and Athens, Greece, thrown in to break up the monotony); then returned to his native state in 1991, where he currently resides in the Tishomingo/Ravia area. He graduated from Bradley-Bourbonnais Community High School in 1981, and received his bachelor's degree in journalism from Olivet Nazarene University in Bourbonnais in 1991. The years between high school and college were a period frought with numerous exploits and misadventures, some of which have become the stuff of legend; nobody was hurt along the way, however, which should count for something. In addition to his professional career as a journalist he has published two short story collections: "Days Gone By: Legends And Tales Of Sipokni West" (2007), a collection of western stories; and "Something In The Air" (2011), a more eclectic collection. He was also a contributor to the 2005 Locus Award-nominated science fiction anthology "Myths For The Modern Age: Philip Jose Farmer's Wold Newton Universe," edited by Win Scott Eckert. In additon he has written a stage play and a self-published cookbook; served as project editor for a book about the JFK assassination entitled "The Men On The Sixth Floor"; and has either published or posted on the Internet a number of essays, stories and poems. He has also won writing awards from the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the National Library of Poetry. He is a past president of the Johnston County Chamber of Commerce in Tishomingo; was a charter member and past president of the Johnston County Reading Council, the local literacy advocacy and "friends of the library" organization; served as Johnston County's first-ever Americans with Disabilities Act coordinator in 1994-95; served two terms as chairman of the Johnston County (OK) Democratic Party; and has taught journalism classes for local Boy Scout Merit Badge Fairs. He is a member of the New Wold Newton Meteorics Society.
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