Most of the gang were captured, and some infamously subsequently escaped. Despite the fact that no firearms were used, the gang were given hefty sentences of 25-30 years.
On 28th August 1963 Martin Luther King delivered his ‘I have a dream’ address in Washington DC as part of the March on Washington. It was here that he established his reputation as one of the greatest orators in American history. Although toned down due to presidential pressure from John F Kennedy, the march made specific demands: an end to racial segregation in public schools; meaningful civil rights legislation, including a law prohibiting racial discrimination in employment; protection of civil rights workers from police brutality and a $2 minimum wage for all workers. Despite tensions, the march was a resounding success. More than 250,000 people of diverse ethnicities attended the event and at the time, it was the largest gathering of protesters in Washington, D.C.'s history.
King delivered a 17-minute speech, and in the speech's most famous passage—in which he departed from his prepared text, King said:
I have a dream that one day on the red hills of Georgia the sons of former slaves and the sons of former slave owners will be able to sit down together at the table of brotherhood. I have a dream that one day even the state of Mississippi, a state sweltering with the heat of injustice, sweltering with the heat of oppression, will be transformed into an oasis of freedom and justice. I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.
I have a dream today.
I have a dream that one day, down in Alabama, with its vicious racists, with its governor having his lips dripping with the words of interposition and nullification; one day right there in Alabama, little black boys and black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers.
I have a dream today.”
I have read and re-read this passage several times, trying to see if I could condense it for this bulletin, but in the end have decided to leave it as is. It is a powerful piece of oratory that 50 years later sounds strange to our ears in its choice of language and yet still resonates in a world where racial problems persist.
The original image of the map, produced by Bell State University can be found on their website.
Map DesignOne of the inevitable results of the ‘democratisation’ of cartography is that anyone can now easily access map making tools, but the lack of any training or instruction in some of the cartographic basics means that the results are often not pleasing on the eye, nor do they get across their intended message.
Beauty is in the eye of the beholder and a recent article in Cartographic Perspectives reminds us that it is not easy to measure good design, or to quote the article,
“It is notoriously difficult to test the quality of a map’s design or beauty with any rigor, let alone establish some concrete, quantitative rules.”
Co-authored by BCS members Alex Kent and Ken Field, along with others, it is a very useful review of the topic and can be found on the Cartographic Perspectives website.
International Cartographic Conference, Dresden
I thoroughly enjoyed the week and found it very educational and entertaining in equal parts. The conference was conducted almost exclusively in English and I never cease to be slightly embarrassed by the fact that we tend to be lazy when it comes to languages, although the variable standard of English at the Conference did lead to the occasional translation glitch. I think my favourite new term is “aggressive crossroads”. I think we’ve all been there!
Dresden is a very nice city, sensitively reconstructed after 1945 and proved to be a great host venue. It is fairly compact as a city making it easy to get around and with a direct flight from London City Airport, I can recommend it for a weekend city break. The local organising committee had done a fantastic job with the programme and the Conference itself ran extremely smoothly. I think the one thing to take away though is the tag line that the ICA President Georg Gartner used to conclude his welcoming speech at the start of the Conference, “It’s okay to be a cartographer”.
The next ICC Conference, in 2015, will be in Rio de Janeiro, sandwiched between the Football World Cup and the Olympics and the team from Rio were doing a great job of marketing it as a venue.
As I sit writing this at 6:30 on a Saturday morning, the BCS Symposium is now only a couple of days away. Numbers attending are well up on previous years and for the first time I can remember we are now ‘full’. The programme looks particularly strong this year, especially with the heads of the five major UK mapping organisations presenting in the keynote session. Add to this the 50th anniversary celebrations, being attended by 11 former BCS Presidents, and the reason for the popularity this year is apparent.
I very much look forward to seeing all the delegates in Leicestershire.
Pete Jones MBE, CGeog, FRGS
31st August 2013