Saturday Morning Links

1. It’s still morning, right? It’s been great having a place to stay, but not so good not being at home. I love my home and I don’t know if a lot of people feel that way. The good thing is that I get to see my parents every day as we completely crash their pad. I feel like we are imposing, but we really aren’t. Also, when renovations are done at your house, the construction is messy, but the painting. The painting is what causes you to move out.

2. Via Conde Nast Traveler, how African-Americans helped shape the first U.S. National Parks.

“African American soldiers in 1899, 1903, and 1904 were some of the first park rangers in the world, not just in the United States,” says Shelton Johnson, a Yosemite park ranger who has committed himself to preserving and sharing the history of African American stewardship within the national parks through decades of work.

Between 1891 and 1913, the U.S. Army was the designated administrator of both Yosemite National Park and Sequoia National Park, with two troops of up to 60 men assigned to each park. Buffalo Soldiers—African American soldiers supposedly given that name because of their association to the western frontier—of both the Ninth Cavalry and 24th Infantry were included in these numbers. Racism, discrimination, bigotry, and the threat of violence were a large part of the experience of African American soldiers within the U.S. Army at this time. But for the bulk of the Buffalo Soldiers, who were veterans of either the Philippine-American or Spanish-American wars, joining these companies was a ticket toward financial security and thus became a gateway to being a guardian of the western wilderness.

“It makes sense why African Americans would join the army—because that was a path up and path out,” says Johnson. And no one took advantage of that path more than the ever industrious Charles Young. The third Black graduate of West Point University, Young became the military superintendent of Sequoia National Park in the summer of 1903.

3. Via Pocket, the story of Simo Hayha, the Finnish marksman who had 500 kils by sniper rifle.

4. John Prine via Open Culture:

I remember everything
Things I can’t forget
The way you turned and smiled on me
On the night that we first met
And I remember every night
Your ocean eyes of blue
How I miss you in the morning light
Like roses miss the dew

I’ve been down this road before
Alone as I can be
Careful not to let my past
Go sneaking up on me
Got no future in my happiness
Though regrets are very few
Sometimes a little tenderness
Was the best that I could do

5. It is Independence Day and I haven’t said a thing about it thus far. ESPN’s Katie Barnes on WNBA Maya Moore and he quest to free Jonathan Irons who was serving time for a crime he didn’t commit. Moore spent an entire year, literally quit her job, in order to see this through. Imagine that type of sacrifice for someone else’s freedom. Real freedom.

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