Tuesday, 20 September 2016

Rosie Williams announces she’s running for Mayor

From the Mayor's Desk - September 20, 2016

News Release

September 20, 2016

 From the Mayor's Desk
Today officially started election season for the April 2017 consolidated elections. As I look back it’s hard to believe that there is only seven more months before the next Mayoral election and the end of our first four years.

Tonight, I’m informing the residents of Sauk Village that I will not be seeking re-election as your Mayor and will be retiring from politics at the end of my term in 2017. Let me ensure you that no one is pushing me out of office nor am I running from anyone. This was a difficult decision because politics is in my blood, I’ve always been a fighter and I would really enjoy facing the mayoral candidates in the next election but I’ve served the residents of Sauk Village well and as the Apostle Paul stated in II Timothy I hope to be able to say at the end of my term “I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith:” 

I’m reminded to a little less than four years ago when a group of residents asked me to run for Mayor. I asked why and explained that I was thinking about retiring from politics. At that time, I was Acting Mayor filling the vacancy when former Mayor Lewis Towers abruptly resigned. At the end of that term I would have served as Trustee for approximately 13 ½ years and Acting Mayor for 6 months for a total of 14 years as an elected official.

However, in the end they convinced me that it was in the best interest for Sauk Village and its residents to run and it was bigger than my retiring from politics….so I did.

I reminded a group that I met with last night what I said when we met just under four years ago. At that time, I told the small group prior to saying yes that if I ran and was elected I would run one term and I would also make the hard/tough decisions which, some they may agree with and some they may disagree. 
If you look back this administration has made decisions that no other past or future administration could/would have made.
To name a few:
  • Joint Police Dispatching
  • Retain and recruit new business to Sauk Village
    • Winpak
    • Advance Auto
    • Title Max
    • Day Care Center
    • Bella’s
    • US Post Office
    • Dry Cleaners
  • Tax Incentives for local businesses
    • Dunkin Donuts
    • Winpak
    • Bear Paint
    • Jacobs
    • Advance Auto
  • Infrastructure repairs
    • New Water treatment plants
    • Roads
    • Fire Hydrants
    •  Water mains
  • Bring businesses up to code
  • Enforcing village bill payments
    • Water billing
    • Ticket enforcement
    • Leans on properties
    • Debit recovery
  • Reducing Crime
    • Hiring a qualified Police Chief
    • Hiring additional officers
    • Providing officers with needed resources
    • Working with local, county and state agencies

I have always felt that Sauk Village is the greatest place to live and raise a family. Even prior residents that left Sauk Village thinking the grass was greener on the other side know I’m right. Think about it, that explains why bitter prior residents posts on social media and try to make Sauk Village look bad. If their new place in life was so much better why worry about and complain about a community you left….?  You'd think they would be telling everyone about the better choice they made (leaving Sauk Village)….or was it?

We still have eight months and I will do everything possible to make sure Sauk Village is in better shape than it was when I was elected.
This administration will continue to fight crime, work on making Sauk Village a better place to live, making the needed repairs in our infrastructure and recruiting and retaining businesses.

In closing, while we do have eight months I would like to take a moment to thank my wife Linda and children for stick by my side all these years. Attending village events, doing without me at family events because something was happening in the village and I couldn’t attend and waiting up for me after all those late meetings.

Thank you to the residents that didn’t agree with me on every decision but still remembered that it’s ok to disagree but not be disagreeable.

Thank you and God Bless Sauk Village,

Mayor David A. Hanks

Sunday, 18 September 2016

This Day In History - September 18th


Clemens Strikes Out 20, Again

On this day in 1996, Boston Red Sox pitcher Roger Clemens strikes out 20 Detroit Tigers, tying his own major league record for most strikeouts in a game.

Ten years earlier, on April 20, 1986, Clemens, then just 23 years old, had broken Steve Carlton’s modern (post-1900) record of 19 strikeouts in a single game during an outing against the Seattle Mariners at Fenway Park. On that day, “The Rocket” was at the beginning of an MVP and Cy Young Award-winning season and eventually led the Red Sox to the American League pennant. The1996 season was a much different story for both Clemens and the Red Sox. The Sox finished the year a disappointing third in the American League East behind the New York Yankees, the team’s archrival, and the Baltimore Orioles. Though Clemens finished the year first in the AL in strikeouts, he posted 10 wins and 13 losses, the second losing record of his career. The 1996 season was also the last year of Clemens’ contract with Boston, and many in the Red Sox organization and among the team’s faithful suspected that he might not return.

Clemens started the game out strong on September 18 striking out fifteen players in the first six inniClemens played on the aggressiveness of the Detroit batters, throwing seemingly hittable fastballs by their bats and fooling them with hard sliders in the dirt. Going into the ninth inning, Clemens was unaware that he had already racked up19 strikeouts and was just one away from tying his own record. The first Detroit batter, Alan Trammell, hit an easy pop fly for the first out. The second, Ruben Sierra, singled before Tony Clark, who had already struck out three times, hit another fly ball for the second out. Travis Fryman then struck out swinging to become Clemens’ 20th victim.

With the 4-0 win, Clemens also tied his team’s record for most shutouts by a pitcher (38) and most wins (192), both of which were set by legendary Sox pitcher Cy Young in 1911.

Amidst rumors of tension between Clemens and Boston’s general manager, Dan Duquette, Clemens left the Red Sox after the 1996 season and signed with the Toronto Blue Jays. He dominated in Toronto from the start, winning the Cy Young Award in 1997 and 1998. He was then traded to the Yankees, where he helped pitch them into the World Series four times in five years. After a three-season stint with the Houston Astros (2004-06), Clemens rejoined the Yankees in 2007 at age 44.

Mayor David Hanks 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament & Free-throw Competition

Congrats to the 3-on-3 Basketball Tournament winners and Free-throw Champion

First place - Team HTP

Second place - Team Ballers

Third place - Team Money

Free-throw Champion - Derrick

Sauk Village Finance Department Report - September 13, 2016

Sauk Village Finance Department Report

by: Mohan Rao
September 13, 2016

Mayor Hanks and Board of Trustees

Village of Sauk Village

21801 Torrence Avenue

Sauk Village, IL  60411

The Finance department has hired a Part-Time Accountant.  The Part-Time Accountant is Mr. Trey Jackson, who is a resident of Village of Sauk Village.  He has a BS degree in Accountancy from Urbana-Champaign UOI.  He is already on board and started on September 6, 2016 with Finance department.  Please join me in welcoming him to Sauk Village staff.

The DECO grant report for B-Boxes and Fire Hydrants will be completed before the end of September, 2016.

Financial/Collector’s report for May and June, 2016 is ready and soon July, 2016 report will be completed. 

MFT Audit staff from State of Illinois-IDOT/Audit Company-Baker Tilly will be here on September 15, 2016 at 10.30am will be here all day that day.  Mr. Kevin Weller will assist me in responding to Auditor’s questions if any.  They are conducting audit of Fiscal year 2013/2014.

I’ll be attending Enterprise Zone meeting/conference in October 5-7,2016 which is going to be held in Rock Island.

This ends my report.


Mohan Rao

Sauk Village Administrator/Public Safety Director Report - September 13, 2016

Sauk Village Administrator/Public Safety Director Report

by JW Fairman
September 13, 2016

I am in the final stages of completing the personnel manual and employee hand book. Dr. Straughter, has put the final review on this matter and it is being reviewed by Attorney Felicia Frazer. When completed the manual and hand book will be presented to mayor hanks for his review and approval and actions as appropriate.
We will continue to work with the Owens group on other personnel matters.

Our management team, should be congratulated for their continuing to do great work for the village. As an example, during the month of august, we collected $30,000 plus dollars in water revenue over the same month in years 2015.  This increase in revenue will allow the village’s infrastructure to be improved. I have a document for the board members which is a simple snapshot of four months for year 2015 and 2016 covering months of May through August of those years.

The retention pond fence three costs Have/will be presented to the finance committee to review and present to the board for review and or approval to go forward with this project.

JW Fairman, Jr
Village Administrator/Director of Public Safety

Sauk Village Fire Department Report - September 13, 2016

Sauk Village Fire Department Report

By: Fire Chief Al Stoffregen

September 13, 2016

Over the past 2 weeks, the fire department responded to 56 calls.

The fire department responded to: 

  • 4 gas leak
  • 1 Structure Fire
  • 4 Ambulance Assist
  • 2 Carbon Monoxide Alarms
  • 12 Car Accidents
  • 9 Fire Alarms
  • 2 Car Fire
  • 1 Mutual Aid
  • 1 Grease Fire
  • 1 Utility Pole Spark
  • 12 Lift Assist
  • 1 Illegal Burn
  • 1 Smoke Alarm
  • 2 Medical Assist
  • 1 Odor Investigation
  • 1 Stove Fire
  • 1 Playground Equipment
  • 1 Police Assist  

Nothing further at this time.

Sauk Village Administrative Services Report - September 13, 2016

Sauk Village Administrative Services Report

by: Director Sherry Jasinski
September 13, 2016

Code Enforcement Court call for September:
  • 153 Tickets on the court docket
    • 4 were found not guilty
    • 7 were found guilty
    • 142 were found guilty for failing to appear in court and fines were doubled
    • 16 new liens have been turned over to the Law Firm for liens to be filed equaling $24,238.29
There is a new Owner taking over the Sauk Village Café. The new owner came in today for the application for a new business license.

New cell phone business opening soon and will be located at 1715 Sauk Trail. They just recently completed the fire inspection and only needed to pay for the business license.

This concludes my report.

Wednesday, 14 September 2016

This Day In History - September 14th


An Adoptive Westerner Becomes President of the United States

On this day in 1901, the 42-year-old Theodore Roosevelt is suddenly elevated to the White House when President McKinley dies from an assassin’s bullet. But while McKinley’s untimely death brought Roosevelt the presidency, 17 years earlier two other deaths had sent the young Roosevelt fleeing to the far West where his political ambitions were almost forgotten.

In February 1884, Roosevelt’s young wife died after giving birth to their daughter; a mere 12 hours later his much-beloved mother also died. Devastated by this cruel double blow, Roosevelt sought solace in the wide open spaces of the West, establishing himself on two ranches in the Badlands of Dakota Territory and writing to friends that he had given up politics and planned to make ranching “my regular business.” Despite this, three years later he returned to New York City and resumed the political career that would eventually take him to the White House. Even after he had returned to the civilized East, Roosevelt always credited his western interlude with restoring his mental and physical vitality.

From an early age, Roosevelt had been convinced of the benefits of living the “strenuous life,” arguing that too many American males had succumbed to the ease and safety of modern industrialized society and become soft and effeminate. Roosevelt thought more men should follow his example and embrace the hard, virile, pioneer life of the West, a place where “the qualities of hardihood, self-reliance, and resolution” were essential for survival.

Roosevelt’s own western experience was hardly as harsh and challenging as he liked to claim, yet the eastern tenderfoot did adapt quickly to the rougher ways of ranch life. He earned the respect of Dakotans by tracking down a gang of bandits who had stolen a riverboat and once knocked out a barroom bully who had taunted him. Though he spent the vast majority of his life in the East, Roosevelt thereafter always thought of himself as a westerner at heart, and he did more than any president before him to conserve the wild western lands he loved.

Sauk Village Public Works Report - September 13, 2016

Sauk Village Public Works Report

by Director Kevin Weller
September 13, 2016

: PUBLIC GROUNDS & BUILDINGS – Cutting on going all village locations. Staff still cutting vacant homes moving through the list, checked 338 homes 96 that needed cutting.  The possible mold at P.D will be reviewed by TRF Environmental for recommendations. Replacement of tile started at P.D. and the center will follow.

:  STREET LIGHTS – Staff is working with vender to evaluate 20 individual locations were lights are going on/off possible wire issue village side, vender has sent replacement parts to try and resolve the issues.      

: WATER - Day to day schedules & EME CALLS. Completing all tests required by IEPA per month. Staff went through the squatter list and rechecked the status, to make sure there still off, 3 off 3 back on and 3 digs. Staff also dug 3 b boxes for high bills.

: GARBAGE – Day to day cleanup. IF YOU SEE ILLIGAL DUMPING PLEASE CALL POLICE, HELP KEEP OUR TOWN CLEAN. All regular trash pickup will be completed as regular mowing and summer upkeep resumes. I will as code to ticket resident who dump garbage or grass debris from there parkway into the street. This is the main cause of storm sewer backup and flooded streets.

: HYDRANT & VALVE REPAIRS/REPLACED - Staff is prepping to replace the hydrant at 22426 Strassburg.

: VEHICELS/ EQU-   Public works staff is doing their best to keep all vehicles within the department running safe. We are also trying to help each department with their repairs to keep moving forward.  

: SANITARY SEWER COMPLAINTS – P.W. received 2 sewer complaints, both were homeowners and all were notified that they would  have to call a plumber. All after hour calls must go through the P.D non eme # 758-1331they will call P.W.

: STORM SEWER REPAIRS – Staff has been out cleaning storm sewers due to heavy rain. We have 3 locations we are working on 1904 219pl, SW corner of Oakbrook &Southbrook and 914 Mary Byrne.  219pl is almost completed and Oakbrook will be next and so on.

: TREE BRANCHES – Second and final branch pick up is almost complete all branches had to be out by 9/11 to be  picked up. Tickets will be issued if piles are placed out after completion.

: PARKS – Public Works will be working with Robinson Eng on final design of the ballfields and Arrowhead park.

:  LANDSCAPE WORK   Staff also started landscaping last year’s digs from b box, main breaks, and any other digs, slow going. Residents will have to wait for concrete work to complete final dirt work. Funding is slow going.    


Thank you Sauk VIllage Housing Commission

Monday, 12 September 2016

This Day In History - September 12th


Sugar Ray Robinson Wins Back Belt

On September 12, 1951, former middleweight champion Sugar Ray Robinson defeats Randy Turpin to win back the belt in front of 61,370 spectators at the Polo Grounds in New York City. Robinson, a New York City native, had lost the belt to Turpin two months prior in Turpin’s native London.

By 1951, Sugar Ray Robinson was considered the best pound-for-pound fighter in boxing history. That summer, Robinson traveled to Great Britain for a vacation and publicity tour before his scheduled July 10 bout with Turpin, in which Sugar Ray was heavily favored. To the surprise of his fans around the world, however, the surprisingly strong Turpin battered Robinson and won the match in a 15-round decision. Afterward, Robinson requested and was granted a rematch.

Two months later on September 12, the Polo Grounds set a middleweight fight attendance record for the rematch. The crowd was filled with well-known personalities from U.S. Army General Douglas MacArthur to stars of film and stage. Robinson, intent on avenging his loss, trained intensely for the rematch, refusing to once again take his opponent too lightly. From the first ring of the bell, the 31-year-old Robinson dictated the pace of the fight to his 23-year-old opponent, and won each of the first seven rounds decisively. In the eighth round, however, Robinson appeared to tire, and Turpin fought with a new intensity, hitting and hurting Robinson for the first time in the fight. In the ninth round, Turpin delivered numerous right hands to Robinson’s head, opening a cut over his left eye. Still, Robinson was able to wrest back control of the fight in the 10th, when he knocked Turpin down with a right to the jaw. When Turpin was ready to continue, Robinson, re-energized, unleashed an onslaught to his head and body. Two minutes and 52 seconds into the 10th round, referee Rudy Goldstein stopped the fight, and Robinson was showered with adulation from the adoring hometown crowd.

Robinson retired from boxing in 1965 with 110 knockouts to his credit. He was inducted into the International Boxing Hall of Fame in 1967.

This Day In History - Septemebr 11th


Attack on America

At 8:45 a.m. on a clear Tuesday morning, an American Airlines Boeing 767 loaded with 20,000 gallons of jet fuel crashes into the north tower of the World Trade Center in New York City. The impact left a gaping, burning hole near the 80th floor of the 110-story skyscraper, instantly killing hundreds of people and trapping hundreds more in higher floors. As the evacuation of the tower and its twin got underway, television cameras broadcasted live images of what initially appeared to be a freak accident. Then, 18 minutes after the first plane hit, a second Boeing 767–United Airlines Flight 175–appeared out of the sky, turned sharply toward the World Trade Center, and sliced into the south tower at about the 60th floor. The collision caused a massive explosion that showered burning debris over surrounding buildings and the streets below. America was under attack.

The attackers were Islamic terrorists from Saudi Arabia and several other Arab nations. Reportedly financed by Saudi fugitive Osama bin Laden’s al Qaeda terrorist organization, they were allegedly acting in retaliation for America’s support of Israel, its involvement in the Persian Gulf War, and its continued military presence in the Middle East. Some of the terrorists had lived in the United States for more than a year and had taken flying lessons at American commercial flight schools. Others had slipped into the U.S. in the months before September 11 and acted as the “muscle” in the operation.

The 19 terrorists easily smuggled box-cutters and knives through security at three East Coast airports and boarded four flights bound for California, chosen because the planes were loaded with fuel for the long transcontinental journey. Soon after takeoff, the terrorists commandeered the four planes and took the controls, transforming the ordinary commuter jets into guided missiles.

As millions watched in horror the events unfolding in New York, American Airlines Flight 77 circled over downtown Washington and slammed into the west side of the Pentagon military headquarters at 9:45 a.m. Jet fuel from the Boeing 757 caused a devastating inferno that led to a structural collapse of a portion of the giant concrete building. All told, 125 military personnel and civilians were killed in the Pentagon along with all 64 people aboard the airliner.

Less than 15 minutes after the terrorists struck the nerve center of the U.S. military, the horror in New York took a catastrophic turn for the worse when the south tower of the World Trade Center collapsed in a massive cloud of dust and smoke. The structural steel of the skyscraper, built to withstand winds in excess of 200 mph and a large conventional fire, could not withstand the tremendous heat generated by the burning jet fuel. At 10:30 a.m., the other Trade Center tower collapsed. Close to 3,000 people died in the World Trade Center and its vicinity, including a staggering 343 firefighters and paramedics, 23 New York City police officers, and 37 Port Authority police officers who were struggling to complete an evacuation of the buildings and save the office workers trapped on higher floors. Only six people in the World Trade Center towers at the time of their collapse survived. Almost 10,000 other people were treated for injuries, many severe.

Meanwhile, a fourth California-bound plane–United Flight 93–was hijacked about 40 minutes after leaving Newark International Airport in New Jersey. Because the plane had been delayed in taking off, passengers on board learned of events in New York and Washington via cell phone and Airfone calls to the ground. Knowing that the aircraft was not returning to an airport as the hijackers claimed, a group of passengers and flight attendants planned an insurrection. One of the passengers, Thomas Burnett, Jr., told his wife over the phone that “I know we’re all going to die. There’s three of us who are going to do something about it. I love you, honey.” Another passenger–Todd Beamer–was heard saying “Are you guys ready? Let’s roll” over an open line. Sandy Bradshaw, a flight attendant, called her husband and explained that she had slipped into a galley and was filling pitchers with boiling water. Her last words to him were “Everyone’s running to first class. I’ve got to go. Bye.”

The passengers fought the four hijackers and are suspected to have attacked the cockpit with a fire extinguisher. The plane then flipped over and sped toward the ground at upwards of 500 miles per hour, crashing in a rural field in western Pennsylvania at 10:10 a.m. All 45 people aboard were killed. Its intended target is not known, but theories include the White House, the U.S. Capitol, the Camp David presidential retreat in Maryland, or one of several nuclear power plants along the eastern seaboard.

At 7 p.m., President George W. Bush, who had spent the day being shuttled around the country because of security concerns, returned to the White House. At 9 p.m., he delivered a televised address from the Oval Office, declaring “Terrorist attacks can shake the foundations of our biggest buildings, but they cannot touch the foundation of America. These acts shatter steel, but they cannot dent the steel of American resolve.” In a reference to the eventual U.S. military response he declared: “We will make no distinction between the terrorists who committed these acts and those who harbor them.”

Operation Enduring Freedom, the U.S.-led international effort to oust the Taliban regime in Afghanistan and destroy Osama bin Laden’s terrorist network based there, began on October 7, 2001.

Bin Laden was killed during a raid of his compound in Pakistan by U.S. forces on May 2, 2011.

Sunday, 11 September 2016

Sauk Village Fire Department Accepting Applications

Sauk Village Fire Department is now accepting applications for volunteer fire fighters. Applicants interested can pick up applications at 1804 222nd Street or call 708 758-2225.

Saturday, 10 September 2016

Resources & Programs Available for Sauk Village Residents

From the Desk of Sauk Village Clerk Debbie Williams

The Village of Sauk Village continues to partner with organizations like the Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago and others to bring valuable resources and program information to our residents.
Past programs include Foreclosure Prevention, Renter's Rights in Foreclosure, NACA, First Time Homebuyer's, Property after Death Workshop, Utility Bill Assistance, Resource and Job Fairs, etc...

There is a workshop on Wednesday, September 14th at the Neighborhood Housing Services office located at1920 West 174th Street in Hazel Crest, Illinois from 10 am - 7pm. Many programs offer No-cost help in attaining mortgage relief through December 2016.

The NLS Home Improvement Summer Special is providing up to $20,000.00 @ 3% with no appraisal and no application fee now through September 30, 2016. Call 773/329-4111.
MORTGAGE RELIEF IS STILL AVAILABLE- Are you paying too much for your mortgage? Are you behind/ need help paying your mortgage? Do you need to refinance or do you need home repairs? Is your home underwater? Money saving programs are available. Learn more by contacting Neighborhood Housing Services 708/794-6660.
Sauk Village is hosting the 4th Annual Resource Fair on November 10th in the Community Center Gym. These programs and more including employment resources will be available.
Residents are encouraged to contact Village Clerk Debbie Williams to discuss what programs are needed for our residents. Programs and flyers are available in both ENGLISH AND SPANISH. Please reach out to our Latino community to encourage them to call 708/753-5121. Fall Bi-Lingual programs are being considered for Housing, Employment Property After Death and Bill Payment Assistance if residents are interested. Please share with your South Suburban friends and family.
Village Clerk Debbie Williams

Senior Annual Spaghetti Dinner

 *** Mark Your Calendars***

The Sauk Village Annual Senior Spaghetti Dinner is scheduled for Saturday, October 29, 2016


2017 Consolidated Election - Candidate Information

From the Sauk Village Clerk's Desk

Candidate information can be found at  www.elections.il.gov for the upcoming April 4, 2017 election.

Municipal seats that are up for election are:
Mayor (1)
Village Clerk (1)
Trustee (3)

The first day to begin circulating nominating petitions is September 20, 2016.

You must be registered to vote in Sauk Village in order to sign a nominating petition.
Signing a nominating petition for a candidate is required in order for the candidate's name to appear on the ballot. Signing a petition does not obligate the resident to vote for that candidate in the April 4, 2017 Consolidated Election.

Residents can sign one (1) nominating petition for Mayor, one (1) for Village Clerk and up to three (3) for Trustee.

November 2016 election information will be included in the November Sauk Talk due to be released September 13th and will be posted on the OFFICIAL email alerts and www.saukvillage.com.

Election information is also available at www.cookcounty.com.

Village Clerk Debbie Williams

What's Happening In Sauk Village


Bloom Township Center
425 S. Halsted Avenue
Chicago Heights, IL
Monday 3pm – 7pm   and    Wednesday 10am-2pm
1st time registration- Government issued ID and current utility bill with your name on it is required. Open to all Bloom Township residents. Residents may visit the food pantry once a month.
Emmanuel Christian Reformed Church
22515 Torrence Avenue
Sauk Village, IL
Every Saturday  10 am – noon
Open to all Sauk Village and Lynwood residents – ID required
Every 2nd Wednesday 3:30 pm
Open to everyone
Respond Now in Sauk Village
Paesel Community Center
2700 Kalvelage Drive (Behind the Police Station)
Every Tuesday  10am -2pm
Open to all Sauk Village and Lynwood residents. ID required

Take Time to Stop & Smell the Roses

We've all probably heard "Slow down and smell the roses". Well seems like this has never been something that I've enjoyed doing. I've turned into my father running all the time and never slowing down even when I'm not feeling well.

After about a month of feeling bad and only getting worse Linda finally made me go see a doctor on Tuesday afternoon. Of course the doctor requested more tests (which I hated) at the clinic.

Then came the worst part.... I had to listen to Linda tell me...."I told you so" and only like a wife can after the doctor told me what was wrong however, in the end, I'm glad I went.

Found out the wheezing, coughing, shortness of breath and pressure in my chest was not normal. Chest x-rays showed that I had pneumonia and it didn't help that I've been out of my asthma medications.

I've only been on the meds for three days but I can already start to feel a difference. Thank you to all those who care enough to force me stop every now and then to smell the roses.

1st Annual Lincoln Meadows Community-Wide Garage Sale

Monday, 5 September 2016

Happy Labor Day - September 5, 2016

The first Monday of every September is dedicated to the men and women who have labored to build this country.  Through a time-honored tradition that has its roots in the coordinated efforts of the labor movement of the 1800s, we salute the American worker force.

With an added day to the weekend and the school year starting, Labor Day also signals the official end of summer.  Families take one last summer trip and cities hold one last festival for the season.

Labor Day was celebrated for the first time in New York City in 1882.  It was originally celebrated on September 5th, but was moved to the first Monday in September in 1884.  Labor Day started out as a state holiday, getting voted in by individual states.

As the day gained popularity, Congress declared Labor Day 1894. 

This Day In History - September 5th

First Continental Congress Convenes

In response to the British Parliament’s enactment of the Coercive Acts in the American colonies, the first session of the Continental Congress convenes at Carpenter’s Hall in Philadelphia. Fifty-six delegates from all the colonies except Georgia drafted a declaration of rights and grievances and elected Virginian Peyton Randolph as the first president of Congress. Patrick Henry, George Washington, John Adams, and John Jay were among the delegates.

The first major American opposition to British policy came in 1765 after Parliament passed the Stamp Act, a taxation measure designed to raise revenues for a standing British army in America. Under the argument of “no taxation without representation,” colonists convened the Stamp Act Congress in October 1765 to vocalize their opposition to the tax. With its enactment in November, most colonists called for a boycott of British goods, and some organized attacks on the customhouses and homes of tax collectors. After months of protest in the colonies, Parliament voted to repeal the Stamp Act in March 1766.

Most colonists continued to quietly accept British rule until Parliament’s enactment of the Tea Act in 1773, a bill designed to save the faltering East India Company by greatly lowering its tea tax and granting it a monopoly on the American tea trade. The low tax allowed the East India Company to undercut even tea smuggled into America by Dutch traders, and many colonists viewed the act as another example of taxation tyranny. In response, militant Patriots in Massachusetts organized the “Boston Tea Party,” which saw British tea valued at some Ý18,000 dumped into Boston harbor.

Parliament, outraged by the Boston Tea Party and other blatant acts of destruction of British property, enacted the Coercive Acts, also known as the Intolerable Acts, in 1774. The Coercive Acts closed Boston to merchant shipping, established formal British military rule in Massachusetts, made British officials immune to criminal prosecution in America, and required colonists to quarter British troops. The colonists subsequently called the first Continental Congress to consider a united American resistance to the British.

With the other colonies watching intently, Massachusetts led the resistance to the British, forming a shadow revolutionary government and establishing militias to resist the increasing British military presence across the colony. In April 1775, Thomas Gage, the British governor of Massachusetts, ordered British troops to march to Concord, Massachusetts, where a Patriot arsenal was known to be located. On April 19, 1775, the British regulars encountered a group of American militiamen at Lexington, and the first shots of the American Revolution were fired.

More than a year later, on July 4, 1776, the Second Continental Congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence. Five years later, in October 1781, British General Charles Lord Cornwallis surrendered to American and French forces at Yorktown, Virginia, bringing to an end the last major battle of the Revolution. With the signing of the Treaty of Paris with Britain in 1783, the United States formally became a free and independent nation.

This Day In History - September 4th

Google Incorporated

On this day in 1998, search engine firm Google, co-founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin, who met at Stanford University, files for incorporation in California. Google went on to become the planet’s most-used search engine, and the word “google” entered the lexicon as a verb meaning to search the World Wide Web for information about a person or topic. Google eventually expanded its products and services to include advertising programs, statistical tools, email, maps, a web browser and a mobile operating system. It has become one of the world’s largest tech companies.

In 1996, Page and Brin, then in their early 20s and graduate students in computer science at Stanford, started working on a search engine for the burgeoning web and called it BackRub. In September of the following year, they registered the domain name Google.com. The name is play on “googol,” a term for the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros; the co-founders thought the moniker was a good way to symbolize their mission of organizing the vast amount of data on the web. In August 1998, Page and Brin received $100,000 from an investor. That same month, prior to leaving for the Burning Man festival in Nevada, the pair added a small drawing to the Google logo to let people know they’d be out of the office; thus launching the Google doodle. (Since then, a wide variety of doodles have appeared on Google homepages to celebrate holidays and other events.) After Google filed for incorporation in September 1998, its first office was in a garage in Menlo Park, California. In February 1999, the startup, which by then had eight employees, relocated to an office in the neighboring city of Palo Alto.

Google opened is first international office, in Tokyo, in 2001. Three years later, more than 800 Google employees moved to a new corporate headquarters, dubbed the Googleplex, in Mountain View, California. Soon after, the company launched an email service, Gmail. Also in 2004, Google held an initial public offering that raised $1.67 billion and valued the company at $23 billion (a decade later, in 2014, Google’s market capitalization was $390 billion). A long string of product roll-outs followed, such as Google Maps and Google Analytics (a service to measure website performance) in 2005; Google Calendar and translation service Google Translate in 2006; a mobile operating system, Android, was announced in 2007 (the first phone built on the system was released a year later); and a web browser, Google Chrome, in 2008. Google also acquired a number of businesses, including YouTube, the video-sharing site, which it snapped up in 2006.

Around 2010, the tech giant established Google X, a secretive lab dedicated to developing groundbreaking, “moonshot” products such as self-driving cars and delivery drones. In 2015, Google restructured its operations—which by then also included a biotech business focused on extending human lifespan; a maker of Internet-connected devices for the home; and a high-speed Internet service, among other ventures—into a conglomerate called Alphabet. At the time, the web search engine that started it all in 1998 continued to dominate the competition, handling more than 3 billion searches a day.

This Day In History - September 3rd

The Stars and Stripes flies

The American flag is flown in battle for the first time, during a Revolutionary War skirmish at Cooch’s Bridge, Maryland. Patriot General William Maxwell ordered the stars and strips banner raised as a detachment of his infantry and cavalry met an advance guard of British and Hessian troops. The rebels were defeated and forced to retreat to General George Washington’s main force near Brandywine Creek in Pennsylvania.

Three months before, on June 14, the Continental Congress adopted a resolution stating that “the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white” and that “the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation.” The national flag, which became known as the “Stars and Stripes,” was based on the “Grand Union” flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove this legend.

With the entrance of new states into the United States after independence, new stripes and stars were added to represent new additions to the Union. In 1818, however, Congress enacted a law stipulating that the 13 original stripes be restored and that only stars be added to represent new states.

On June 14, 1877, the first Flag Day observance was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes. As instructed by Congress, the U.S. flag was flown from all public buildings across the country. In the years after the first Flag Day, several states continued to observe the anniversary, and in 1949 Congress officially designated June 14 as Flag Day, a national day of observance.

Friday, 2 September 2016

This Day In History - September 2nd

First ATM Opens for Business

On this day in 1969, America’s first automatic teller machine (ATM) makes its public debut, dispensing cash to customers at Chemical Bank in Rockville Center, New York. ATMs went on to revolutionize the banking industry, eliminating the need to visit a bank to conduct basic financial transactions. By the 1980s, these money machines had become widely popular and handled many of the functions previously performed by human tellers, such as check deposits and money transfers between accounts. Today, ATMs are as indispensable to most people as cell phones and e-mail.

Several inventors worked on early versions of a cash-dispensing machine, but Don Wetzel, an executive at Docutel, a Dallas company that developed automated baggage-handling equipment, is generally credited as coming up with the idea for the modern ATM. Wetzel reportedly conceived of the concept while waiting on line at a bank. The ATM that debuted in New York in 1969 was only able to give out cash, but in 1971, an ATM that could handle multiple functions, including providing customers’ account balances, was introduced.

ATMs eventually expanded beyond the confines of banks and today can be found everywhere from gas stations to convenience stores to cruise ships. There is even an ATM at McMurdo Station in Antarctica. Non-banks lease the machines (so-called “off premise” ATMs) or own them outright.

Today there are well over 1 million ATMs around the world, with a new one added approximately every five minutes. It’s estimated that more than 170 Americans over the age of 18 had an ATM card in 2005 and used it six to eight times a month. Not surprisingly, ATMs get their busiest workouts on Fridays.

In the 1990s, banks began charging fees to use ATMs, a profitable move for them and an annoying one for consumers. Consumers were also faced with an increase in ATM crimes and scams. Robbers preyed on people using money machines in poorly lit or otherwise unsafe locations, and criminals also devised ways to steal customers’ PINs (personal identification numbers), even setting up fake money machines to capture the information. In response, city and state governments passed legislation such as New York’s ATM Safety Act in 1996, which required banks to install such things as surveillance cameras, reflective mirrors and locked entryways for their ATMs.

Thursday, 1 September 2016

This Day In History - September 1st

Wreck of the Titanic found

Seventy-three years after it sunk to the North Atlantic ocean floor, a joint U.S.-French expedition locates the wreck of the RMS Titanic. The sunken liner was about 400 miles east of Newfoundland in the North Atlantic.

American Robert D. Ballard headed the expedition, which used an experimental, unmanned submersible developed by the U.S. Navy to search for the ocean liner. The Argo traveled just above the ocean floor, sending photographs up to the research vessel Knorr. In the early morning of September 1, Argo was investigating debris on the ocean floor when it suddenly passed over one of the Titanic‘s massive boilers, lying at a depth of about 13,000 feet. The wreck was subsequently explored by manned and unmanned submersibles, which shed new light on the details of its 1912 sinking.