Kaine Email Project @ LVA: Tim Butcher’s Hurricane Katrina Story
This is the eleventh in a series of posts spotlighting recently released email from Governor Tim Kaine’s administration. These posts are not meant to be comprehensive but to encourage further exploration in the Kaine administration records (electronic and paper).
Last week’s post focused on Bill Leighty’s first-hand account of the earliest days of the government’s response to Hurricane Katrina. This post will focus on the experience of Thomas “Tim” Patrick Butcher as shared in an email forwarded to Leighty. Butcher, a registered nurse, was the University Hospital Emergency Preparedness Director for the Medical Center of Louisiana in New Orleans (MCLNO) during Katrina. Flooding stranded Butcher and his staff at University Hospital for five days without power and low supplies.
In a 19 September 2005 email to Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) Director of Emergency Preparedness Erin Downey, Butcher thanked Downey for her assistance. “There were some glitches in how things played out after landfall (to put it MILDLY),” Butcher wrote, “but all of our staff got out along with patients on [F]riday after the storm. I hope to be at as many of the after action meetings (assuming they will let me in, ha ha….for at a number of higher levels, those charged with making decisions failed miserably in their responsibilities to do so).”… read more »
This is the tenth in a series of posts spotlighting recently released email from Governor Tim Kaine’s administration. These posts are not meant to be comprehensive but to encourage further exploration in the Kaine administration records (electronic and paper).
This week marks the tenth anniversary of Hurricane Katrina making landfall in Louisiana. The costliest natural disaster in the history of the United States, Katrina caused widespread damage from Texas to Florida. The storm surge breached the levee system surrounding New Orleans, flooding most of the city and the surrounding parishes. The Kaine email collection would be the last place one would expect to find records related to the aftermath of the destruction in Louisiana, given that Tim Kaine was not governor in 2005. However, the Kaine email collection includes the email of William H. Leighty, who served as chief of staff to Governor Mark Warner (2002-2006) and held the same position under Governor Kaine (2006-2007). On 1 September 2005, Governor Warner dispatched Leighty and Policy Aide Ryan Childress to Louisiana for two weeks to coordinate state-to-state assistance and supplementing the relief operations of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Leighty’s email dispatches document their travel to Louisiana, Leighty’s responsibilities, clashes with the federal government, and their work assisting fire fighters.
Leighty traveled to Baton Rouge at the suggestion of Governor Warner and at … read more »
Editor’s Note: This article first appeared in the July 2015 Library of Virginia Newsletter.
One of the Library of Virginia’s newest online collections was recently hacked, and we could not be more excited. The Kaine Email Project has caught the attention of a group of civic hackers called Code for Hampton Roads. As the local chapter of the Code for America Brigade, Code for Hampton Roads provides opportunities for people to marry technological skills with a desire to foster open government and improve communities through open-source web solutions. The group’s recent projects include web apps for finding local restaurants’ health inspection results and for searching all of Virginia’s civil court records from a single search page.
In the case of the Kaine Email Project, on 6 June 2015, hackers got a chance to tackle this massive data set (currently composed of more than 130,000 processed records) as part of the third annual National Day of Civic Hacking. The hackers’ goal was to devise new entry points for researching the collection, such as visualizations of topic frequency in Kaine administration email discussions or maps showing which correspondents interacted with each other the most. An immediate output of the hack-a-thon was a “word cloud” of the most common terms used in the set of emails currently available for public viewing. A word-cloud generator … read more »
This is the ninth in a series of posts spotlighting recently released email from Governor Tim Kaine’s administration. These posts are not meant to be comprehensive but to encourage further exploration in the Kaine administration records (electronic and paper).
On Tuesday, 23 June, a portrait on loan from the University of Richmond of civil rights activist and attorney Oliver Hill (1907-2007) will be unveiled at the Virginia Executive Mansion. Larissa Smith Ferguson wrote in the Encyclopedia Virginia that as the lead attorney for the Virginia State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) “Hill and his colleagues filed more legal challenges to segregation than any other lawyers in the South and successfully undermined segregation and discrimination in all walks of southern life.” The mansion was also the location of a more somber event during Governor Tim Kaine’s administration (2006-2010): Hill’s viewing was held there on 11 August 2007. His funeral took place the next day at the Greater Richmond Convention Center. The Kaine email collection tells the story of these events.
Oliver Hill was a hero and inspiration to Tim Kaine. He first learned about Hill while attending the University of Missouri where he read Richard Kluger’s Simple Justice, a history of desegregation. “The example of Mr. Hill and the other courageous lawyers of the era,” Kaine wrote … read more »
Twenty years ago, a small group of businessmen and former diplomats conceived a plan to build an authentic replica of the French frigate Hermione, the ship that carried Marie Joseph Paul Yves Roche Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette, to America in 1780 with the news of French support for the American Revolution. The group hoped that this project would rekindle close ties between France and the United States, create a lasting educational legacy, and bring life to both Lafayette’s memory and the spirit of liberty that he embodied. The reconstructed Hermione is now a reality and the tall ship is currently en route to the United States, where it will visit twelve ports along the Eastern Seaboard over the course of the summer. Hermione will be docked at Yorktown from 5-7 June, and Alexandria from 10-12 June, and the public are invited to the festivities. A schedule of tours and events can be found at http://hermione2015.com/voyage2015/.
Lafayette played a crucial role in American and Virginia history. Without his dedication to the cause of independence and his ability to persuade others to provide much needed financial and military resources, the outcome of the American Revolution might have been very different. “The moment I heard of America, I lov’d her,” Lafayette recalled in 1778, a year after he set sail from France to … read more »
Tags: Auditor of Public Accounts, Governor Thomas Nelson, Hermione, Hermione 2015, Marquis de Lafayette, private papers, Revolutionary War, Revolutionary War soldiers, state records, Thomas Jefferson, Yorktown
In keeping with Out of the Box’s recent anniversary theme, today’s post spotlights Lynchburg native Desmond T. Doss (1919-2006), the first conscientious objector to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for his bravery on Okinawa in May 1945. Doss, a Seventh Day Adventist, objected to killing and refused to carry a weapon. He served as an Army medical corpsman, 1st Battalion, 307th Infantry Medical Detachment, 77th Infantry Division. Doss is credited with saving the lives of at least 75 wounded soldiers. His Medal of Honor Citation states:
[Doss] was a company aid man when the 1st Battalion assaulted a jagged escarpment 400 feet high. As our troops gained the summit, a heavy concentration of artillery, mortar and machinegun [sic] fire crashed into them, inflicting approximately 75 casualties and driving the others back. Pfc. Doss refused to seek cover and remained in the fire-swept area with the many stricken, carrying them 1 by 1 to the edge of the escarpment and there lowering them on a rope-supported litter down the face of a cliff to friendly hands. On 2 May, he exposed himself to heavy rifle and mortar fire in rescuing a wounded man 200 yards forward of the lines on the same escarpment; and 2 days later he treated 4 men who had been cut down while assaulting a strongly
… read more »
Today is the 70th anniversary of the V-E Day (Victory in Europe Day), marking the end of World War II in Europe. To mark the anniversary, the Library would like to spotlight the Artists for Victory war stamps found in the records of Virginia’s World War II History Commission.
Formed during World War II, Artists for Victory, Inc. was a non-profit organization of more than ten thousand artists, united to serve the United States to the full extent of their various talents. In the fall of 1942, Artists for Victory, Council for Democracy and the Museum of Modern Art sponsored the National War Poster Competition. Over 2,000 poster entries were submitted focusing on eight war themes: Production, War Bonds, The Nature of the Enemy, Loose Talk, Slave World or Free World?, The People are on the March, and Deliver Us From Evil. Artists for Victory selected 50 of the most stimulating and had them reproduced as “war poster labels to carry their vital messages to every person throughout” the country. Below are some examples of these stamps.
The Virginia World War II History Commission Records, 1941-1950, Accession 27544, are open to researchers.
-Roger Christman, Senior State Records Archivists
… read more »
Today is the 40th anniversary of the end of the Vietnam War. On 30 April 1975, Saigon, the capitol of South Vietnam, fell to the North Vietnamese Army. The few U.S. Marines stationed at the American Embassy were evacuated by helicopter. Between 1961 and 1975 over 58,000 U.S. service members died in Vietnam. According to the Library’s Virginia Military Dead Database 1,490 Virginians were killed in the Vietnam conflict. To mark the anniversary, the Library would like to highlight items from the state records collection related to Virginia’s role in the war.
The records of the Virginia War Memorial Commission (Accession 33938) contain items related to the construction and dedication of the Vietnam wing. Included are blueprints, construction records, photographs of the dedication ceremony, program from the 20 November 1981 dedication, Vietnamese money, and a South Vietnamese flag.
The Department of Treasury’s Division of Unclaimed Property records contain two very personal collections. The Papers of Carol A.S. Amos (Accession 43250, Lot 1192872) include correspondence notifying her of the death of her husband, Bernard Allen Sowder, in Vietnam on 4 January 1970. Sowder was born on 4 October 1947 in Longbranch, West Virginia. He married Carol Ann Cassell on 9 April 1969 in Amarillo, Texas. He started his tour in Vietnam on 24 November 1969 and served in the 167th Signal … read more »
This is the eighth in a series of posts spotlighting recently released email from Governor Tim Kaine’s administration. These posts are not meant to be comprehensive but to encourage further exploration in the Kaine administration records (electronic and paper).
Who is Rusty Shackleford? This was a question that I asked myself when I conducted an inventory of the email files the Kaine administration transferred to the Library in January 2010. Rusty’s email box was unusual. It contained 553 messages from the summer of 2008. None of the messages had been opened and none were addressed to him personally. I made a note of this in my spreadsheet and moved on to the next email box. I had forgotten about Rusty until I processed the email of Paul Brockwell, conflict of interest director in the secretary of the commonwealth’s office, two years later. I discovered that Kaine administration staffers were also curious about the identity of the mysterious Rusty Shackleford.
The following August 2008 email exchange between Brockwell; David Allen, Northrup Grumman; Amber Amato, director of constituent services; Kate Paris, executive assistant to the chief of staff and counselor to the governor; and Bernard Henderson, deputy secretary of the commonwealth, documents the administration’s search for Rusty.
The Kaine administration never did discover the identity of Rusty Shackleford but the crack staff at the Library of … read more »
Welcome to Mug Shot Monday! This is the latest entry in a series of posts highlighting inmate photographs in the records of the Virginia Penitentiary. The genesis of this post came from reading Paul Lombardo’s 2009 book, Three Generations, No Imbeciles: Eugenics, the Supreme Court and Buck v. Bell. My curiosity about Virginia’s eugenics program (1924-1979) was sparked by legislation in the Virginia General Assembly to compensate victims of this policy, and the Library of Virginia’s collections of archival records from Central Virginia Training Center and Western State Hospital, both including sterilization records.
While reading Lombardo’s book, I was surprised to learn that Dr. Charles Carrington, surgeon to the Virginia State Penitentiary from 1900 to 1911, involuntarily sterilized 12 inmates between 1902 and 1910. Carrington revealed his “work” in a series of articles in the Virginia Medical Semi-Monthly in 1908, 1909, and 1910. Carrington’s actions occurred over a decade prior to the passage of the Virginia Eugenical Sterilization Act of 1924. While Carrington’s articles did not include the names of the prisoners he sterilized, I was able to identify 10 of the 12 using the penitentiary medical records. Nine of the 10 were black; seven of 10 were admitted to mental hospital while incarcerated. In 1910 Dr. Carrington asserted that ten of the twelve were “insane, consistent … read more »
Also posted in Mug Shot Monday
Tags: Chris Hayes, Dr. Charles Carrington, eugenics, Frank Baylor, Hiram Steele, Inmate photographs, Joe White, Marshall Robinson, Morris Scott, Moscow Savage, Richard Mills, sterilization, Virginia State Penitentiary, William Bonner, William Carter