News Article | May 9, 2017
In September 2012 the Google Street View car drove slowly along a road in Twickenham, London. It had to reverse when the driver found three wooden bollards blocking its way. The road was not a road at all, it was a cycleway. A cycleway built in – wait for it – 1937. Originally surfaced with red concrete, the cycleway has faded to light pink but the granite kerbs are still in situ and, fooling the Street View navigation algorithms, it looks like a narrow road instead of the normal kind of “crap cycle lane” we are so unhappily used to in the UK. The wide, protected cycleway beside the four-lane Chertsey Road is no freak. It’s one of 80 similar cycleways I discovered while researching the 1930s chapter for my forthcoming book, Bike Boom. Between 1934 and 1940, Britain’s Ministry of Transport would only give fat grants to road-building schemes if they included wide, protected cycleways on each side of the road. The MoT was aided in its cycle-friendliness by plans and guidance supplied by the Rijkwaterstaat, the ministry’s Dutch equivalent. Five hundred miles of such cycleways were planned; I’ve discovered that at least 280 miles of them were built. Some are wholly or partially buried, while others are still used as cycleways but not commonly known to be 80 years old. And some – such as examples in Durham, Sunderland, Manchester and elsewhere – are hidden in plain sight, not listed by local authorities as cycleways. Durham Road in Sunderland, for instance, has the sort of protection at a roundabout it is assumed only the Dutch can muster. The road has cycleways each side, but only one side is marked as a cycleway on official maps, and the roundabout side is not the one so marked. Not even the hive-mind has spotted it – this particular cycleway was built in 1938 yet it’s still waiting to be plotted on OpenCycleMap. Postwar Ordnance Survey maps show that the 18-mile Southend Arterial Road from Gallows Corner in Romford to Southend once had cycleways along its full length (they were known as “cycle tracks” at the time) and this cycleway linked to others in the area. That’s right: before the second world war, Britain had an 18-mile kerb-protected intra-urban cycleway. I’ve found these cycleways by digging – not in the ground, but in dusty archives, including poring over Ministry of Transport minutes held in the National Archives. And once I find a period source telling me a cycleway scheme once existed I use the spin-off from an American military mapping project to take a look at the location. Google Street View is an off-shoot from Google Earth, the descendant of EarthViewer, a CIA-funded project that was used by the US military in war zones from the late 1990s onwards. Google acquired EarthViewer in 2004 and rebranded it as Google Earth in 2005. Archeologists often use Google Earth – and other open-access satellite-imagery services – to find hidden hill-forts and even buried treasure, but this is the first time the satellite and street-level imagery has been used to discover 1930s-era cycleways. And now that I have found at least 80 such schemes I’ve partnered with an urban planner to bring at least some of them back to life. When I first told Urban Movement’s John Dales what I was up to he immediately recognised the potential of these forgotten cycleways. As he says in the above video, they are highly relevant today because the space for cycling that many planners and politicians say isn’t there is there. We created a Kickstarter campaign and within three days it had exceeded its £7,000 target. Up to 420 backers have so far pledged £11,680. Reaching the initial target will enable us to research and perhaps revive a number of cycleways, but by no means all of them. We have until 25 May to get as many pledges as possible – the number of pledges could play an important later role when we start seeking the institutional funding required for national-scale cycleway improvements. The sum raised is not a lot when you consider that remodelling one simple junction can sometimes cost £1m or more. The Kickstarter campaign will pay for the research work and the first plans to local authorities. After that our hope is to attract interest from today’s Department for Transport. And helpfully, the DfT now has quite the heartwarming backstory: long before modern cycle advocates were clamouring to “Go Dutch!”, the Ministry of Transport was actually doing it.
News Article | May 11, 2017
As the commemoration of the Centennial of World War I (2014-19) continues, the National World War I Museum and Memorial serves as a fitting place to honor and recognize the men and women who sacrificed their lives while serving their country during Memorial Day weekend. Additionally, the Museum invites the public to “find your World War I connection” and discover how the Great War affected your family through records, photographs and more with a variety of programs throughout the weekend. Admission to the Museum is free for veterans and active duty military personnel, while admission for the public is half-price all weekend (Friday-Monday, May 26-29). The Museum offers several events during the course of the weekend for people of all ages and interests, including a free public ceremony at 10 a.m. on Memorial Day featuring renowned photographer Michael St Maur Sheil. St Maur Sheil’s exhibitions of contemporary photographs of World War I battlefields have been seen by millions of people across the world and are currently featured in the exhibition Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys 1917-1918 at the Museum. Half-price admission on Friday is courtesy of Sports Radio 810 WHB. Additional support for Memorial Day Weekend activities is provided by Armed Forces Insurance and the Neighborhood Tourist Development Fund of Kansas City, Mo. WORLD WAR I RESEARCH STATIONS When: All Day, Friday-Sunday, May 26-29 Where: Outside J.C. Nichols Auditorium Lobby What: Find your connection to World War I during Memorial Day weekend through research stations at the Museum. With access to multiple databases including, Fold3.com, Ancestry.com, the Museum’s online collections database, the American Battlefield Monuments Commission and the National Archives, discover how the Great War affected your family through records, photographs and much more. FREE to the public. VIETNAM ERA BELL UH-1 IROQUOIS “HUEY” HELICOPTER DISPLAY When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; Friday, May 27 – Monday, May 29 Where: Rectangular Drive at the National World War I Museum and Memorial What: The Vietnam Veterans of America Chapter #243 will provide an iconic Bell UH-1 Iroquois “Huey” helicopter for display. FREE to the public. VINTAGE MILITARY VEHICLE DISPLAY When: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday, May 27 Where: Southeast Lawn outside the National World War I Museum and Memorial What: The Military Vehicle Preservation Association (MVPA) will display nearly 20 vintage military vehicles from World War II, Korean War and Operation Desert Storm. MVPA members will be available to answer questions about their collection. Availability subject to weather. FREE to the public. FIELDS OF BATTLE, LANDS OF PEACE TOURS When: 10:30 a.m. & 3:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, May 27-28; 3:30 p.m. Monday, May 29 Where: Tours begin at Guest Services inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial What: Join award-winning photojournalist and curator Michael St Maur Sheil on a brief walking tour of the special centennial outdoor exhibition Fields of Battle, Lands of Peace: The Doughboys 1917-1918. Hear the stories behind the incredible contemporary photographs. Book purchase suggested and reservation required. Limited space available. FREE to the public. 2017 BATTLEFIELD TOUR: THE TRIP OF A LIFETIME When: Noon, Saturday, May 27 Where: R.A. Long Education Center What: What’s it like to experience the battlefields of World War I in person? Find out details of the upcoming commemorative journey to breathtaking places in Europe with the National World War I Museum and Memorial and Battlefield Tour guide/photojournalist Michael St Maur Sheil. Museum staff will be on hand to answer questions. FREE with RSVP. HANDS-ON HISTORY When: 2 p.m., Saturday, May 27 Where: Near Paul Sunderland Glass Bridge inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial What: History is brought to life during this family-friendly program, where kids of all ages are invited to handle Great War artifacts. 35TH INFANTRY DIVISION BAND CONCERT When: 2 p.m., Saturday, May 27 Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial What: The Museum proudly welcomes the 35th Infantry Division Band for a rousing concert to commemorate those who have served and perished in our country’s armed forces. Comprised of professional musicians, educators, and college students, the 35th ID Band performs for more than 100,000 citizens annually, sharing the Army’s story with the public through music. FREE to the public. BANK OF AMERICA CELEBRATION AT THE STATION When: 3 p.m., Sunday, May 28 (concert begins at 8 p.m.) Where: North Lawn outside the National World War I Museum and Memorial What: Kick off your summer with the largest free Memorial Day weekend event in the Midwest. The Kansas City Symphony, led by Music Director Michael Stern, performs patriotic favorites against the backdrop of Kansas City's historic Union Station. Celebration at the Station concludes with a fireworks display over the Liberty Memorial at the National World War I Museum and Memorial. FREE to the public. FINDING YOUR WWI CONNECTION When: 2 p.m., Sunday, May 28 Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial What: Many Americans had family members who served overseas during the Great War. Others had family members who were German or Austrian immigrants affected by U.S. immigration policies during wartime. In this introductory session to WWI research, Dr. Mitch Yockelson will offer some hints and tips on how to go about researching relatives that may have served or been affected during the war. Information on how to request copies of military service files via the National Archives will also be available. Presented in partnership with The National Archives at Kansas City. FREE with RSVP. NATIONAL WORLD WAR I MUSEUM AND MEMORIAL BENEFIT PANCAKE BREAKFAST When: 9-11 a.m., Monday, May 29 Where: Over There Café, inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial What: Enjoy some flapjacks (with hashbrowns and sausage/bacon) in a unique setting during a pancake feed with proceeds benefiting the National World War I Museum and Memorial. The meals are $9 for adults and $5 for children (12 and under) and include a beverage. MEMORIAL DAY CEREMONY When: 10-11 a.m., Monday, May 29 Where: Memorial Courtyard outside the National World War I Museum and Memorial What: A formal public program to include remarks from dignitaries, including U.S. Missouri Fifth District Representative Emanuel Cleaver, II, Kansas City and Missouri Mayor Sylvester “Sly” James (a former U.S. Marine), a keynote address Michael St Maur Sheil, musical performances from the Heartland Men’s Chorus and the 1st Infantry Division Wood Wind Quintet and an Honor Guard presentation from Ft. Leavenworth. FREE to the public. WALK OF HONOR DEDICATION CEREMONY When: 2 p.m., Monday, May 29 Where: J.C. Nichols Auditorium inside the National World War I Museum and Memorial What: More than 100 new Walk of Honor granite bricks will be dedicated during a special ceremony. Entertainment includes a performance from the Heartland Men’s Chorus, remarks from archivist, military historian and author Dr. Mitch Yockelson and an Honor Guard presentation from Ft. Leavenworth. The Walk of Honor, now more than 10,000 bricks strong, is divided into three sections: bricks dedicated solely to those who served in World War I; bricks dedicated to veterans of any military service; and bricks that honor civilian friends, family or organizations. Walk of Honor bricks are dedicated twice each year during Memorial Day and Veterans Day ceremonies. FREE to the public. MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND HOURS AND PARKING The National World War I Museum and Memorial will be open from 10 a.m. – 5 p.m. Friday-Sunday and from 9 a.m. – 5 p.m. on Monday. To accommodate expected high Memorial Day weekend attendance, a parking shuttle service will be available Saturday, May 27 and Sunday, May 28 from 9:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. from the West Yards Garage at Union Station and on Monday, May 29 from 8:30 a.m. – 5:30 p.m. About the National World War I Museum and Memorial The National World War I Museum and Memorial is America’s leading institution dedicated to remembering, interpreting and understanding the Great War and its enduring impact on the global community. The Museum holds the most diverse collection of World War I objects and documents in the world and is the second-oldest public museum dedicated to preserving the objects, history and experiences of the war. The Museum takes visitors of all ages on an epic journey through a transformative period and shares deeply personal stories of courage, honor, patriotism and sacrifice. Designated by Congress as America’s official World War I Museum and Memorial and located in downtown Kansas City, Mo., the National World War I Museum and Memorial inspires thought, dialogue and learning to make the experiences of the Great War era meaningful and relevant for present and future generations. To learn more, visit theworldwar.org.
News Article | May 11, 2017
FILE - In this April 17, 1973 file photo, President Richard Nixon speaks during White House news briefing in Washington. President Donald Trump’s surprise firing of FBI Director James Comey drew swift comparisons to the Nixon-era "Saturday night massacre.” Both cases involve a president getting rid of an official leading an investigation that could ensnare the White House, said Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University. (AP Photo/Henry Burroughs. File) WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump's surprise firing of FBI Director James Comey drew swift comparisons to the Nixon-era "Saturday Night Massacre." Both cases involve a president getting rid of an official leading an investigation that could ensnare the White House. On that Saturday night in 1973, Nixon ordered the firing of the independent special prosecutor overseeing the Watergate investigation, prompting the resignations of the top two officials at the Justice Department. This week, Trump fired the FBI director in the midst of an investigation into whether Trump's campaign had ties to Russian meddling in the election that may have helped send him to the White House. Douglas Brinkley, a presidential historian at Rice University, said the comparison was "apt." ''Obviously, there are different circumstances. But it's about a president that's seeming to lurch into abuse of power," he said. Nixon ordered Archibald Cox fired for his continued efforts to obtain tape recordings made at the White House. Cox had said he would not bow to "exaggerated claims of executive privilege" and drop his pursuit of the tapes. Attorney General Elliot Richardson refused to carry out Nixon's order and resigned in protest. Richardson's deputy, William Ruckelshaus, also refused and resigned as well. Finally, Solicitor General Robert Bork, the third-ranking official at Justice, fired the prosecutor. In this case, Trump had the power to fire the FBI director himself. The White House cited a Justice Department official's concerns about the director's handling of last year's investigation into Hillary Clinton's email practices. But Democrats criticizing Trump's stunning move say the two cases are similar because Comey was overseeing an FBI investigation into both Russia's hacking of Democratic groups last year and whether Trump campaign associates had ties to Moscow's election interference. Three U.S. officials say Comey told lawmakers that he had recently asked the Justice Department for more money for the bureau's investigation into Russia's election meddling. "This is Nixonian," Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa., declared on Twitter on Tuesday, calling for a "special prosecutor to continue the Trump/Russia investigation." The White House has said there is no evidence of any ties between the Trump campaign and Russia. In his letter to Comey, Trump said that the FBI director had told him "on three occasions, that I am not under investigation." There are some differences. Brinkley noted that the Watergate investigation was further along, while the Russia probe is just beginning. And after Nixon's firings, Brinkley said, a number of Republicans "started going after the leader of their own party" and that has not happened yet in Trump's case. The Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum pushed back on the comparison on its official Twitter account Tuesday, writing: "FUN FACT: President Nixon never fired the Director of the FBI." The National Archives and Records Administration later criticized the tweet in a statement, saying it "was not representative of the policies of the Library or the National Archives." The National Archives added that it is "examining the training provided to employees who post to official social media channels as well as reviewing work flows and approval processes to ensure that our social media efforts engage the public in constructive conversations in line with agency policies." Citing personnel rules, it did not say if any employees would be punished for the Tweet. The presidential library system is overseen by the Office of Presidential Libraries, a component of the National Archives. The libraries are funded through federal dollars and private contributions.
News Article | May 17, 2017
A free reception at the museum is planned at 5 p.m. June 20, followed by a moderated panel discussion led by American Legion 100th Anniversary Honorary Committee Chairman Ted Roosevelt IV. Scheduled panelists include former U.S. Sen. James Webb, who wrote, introduced and championed the Post 9/11 Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2008; VA Deputy Under Secretary for Economic Opportunity Curtis Coy; Student Veterans of America CEO and President Jared Lyon; and American Legion Assistant Director of Veterans Employment and Education John Kamin. The panel discussion will include remarks from National WWII Museum President Dr. Gordon H. "Nick" Mueller and American Legion Executive Director Verna Jones. The event will include a question-and-answer session were audience members will be invited to share the ways in which the GI Bill has influenced their lives and to discuss the future of the benefit for today's veterans. In addition to the cover and signature pages of the original act, on loan from the National Archives, and the speech, on loan from the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, is a pen used by President Roosevelt to sign the bill into law, on loan from The American Legion National Headquarters. Visitors planning to attend the June 20 event are asked to call ahead at 1-877-813-3329 extension 412. The National WWII Museum tells the story of the American experience in the war that changed the world – why it was fought, how it was won, and what it means today – so that future generations will know the price of freedom and be inspired by what they learn. Dedicated in 2000 as The National D-Day Museum and now designated by Congress as America's National WWII Museum, it celebrates the American Spirit, the teamwork, optimism, courage and sacrifices of the men and women who fought on the battlefront and served on the Home Front. For more information, call 877-813-3329 or 504-528-1944 or visit nationalww2museum.org. With a current membership of 2.2 million wartime veterans, The American Legion, www.legion.org, was founded in 1919 on the four pillars of a strong national security, veterans affairs, Americanism, and youth programs. Legionnaires work for the betterment of their communities through more than 13,000 posts across the nation. To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:http://www.prnewswire.com/news-releases/american-legion-gi-bill-forum-exhibit-set-for-the-national-wwii-museum-300459597.html
News Article | February 28, 2017
Taking a drive down memory lane is a way to connect to the past, and much like a photograph, visiting historical landmarks can stir emotions and educate the next generation. As part of Black History Month, Toyota teamed up with the National Trust for Historic Preservation (NTHP) to help raise awareness of America’s often overlooked yet not so hidden historic African-American treasures, for a road show to three states and contribution to help restore endangered, iconic African-American sites. “The National Trust for Historic Preservation couldn’t be more pleased that when Toyota says, “let’s go places” it also means the historic places we care about,” said Marita Rivero, chairman of the board of trustees, National Trust for Historic Preservation. “ We believe there is no more powerful way to learn about who we are and where we are headed than from the very places where history happened. It is an honor to receive this generous donation from Toyota to further our efforts in ensuring that the full breadth of the American story is told.” The road trip included such sites as: “We are proud to be a part of protecting cultural treasures for present and future generations to enjoy, preserving places that tell America’s rich history,” said Adrienne Trimble, general manager, Diversity & Inclusion, Toyota Motor North America. “These historical sites help showcase the many contributions African Americans have made to the rich tapestry of America. It’s important that we maintain them so that we can visit and discover our history.” The Black History Month road trip concluded with a visit to the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture, which opened in Washington, D.C. last September. Toyota is one of the museum’s founding sponsors. Toyota also has sponsored the National Archives to preserve important documents, including the GI Bill of Rights and House Passage of the Bill of Rights. Most recently, Toyota donated funds to advance programing at the Museum of Mississippi History and assist the creation of the Toyota Civil Rights Gallery at the Mississippi Civil Rights Museum. About Toyota Toyota, creator of the Prius and the Mirai fuel cell vehicle, is committed to advancing mobility through our Toyota and Lexus brands. Over the past 60 years, we’ve produced more than 30 million cars and trucks in North America, where we operate 14 manufacturing plants (10 in the U.S.) and directly employ more than 44,000 people (more than 34,000 in the U.S.). Our 1,800 North American dealerships (nearly 1,500 in the U.S.) sold almost 2.6 million cars and trucks (2.45 million in the U.S.) in 2016 – and about 85 percent of all Toyota vehicles sold over the past 15 years are still on the road today. Toyota partners with community, civic, academic, and governmental organizations to address our society’s most pressing mobility challenges. We share company resources and extensive know-how to support non-profits to help expand their ability to assist more people move more places. For more information about Toyota, visit http://www.toyotanewsroom.com. About the National Trust for Historic Preservation The National Trust for Historic Preservation, a privately funded nonprofit organization, works to save America’s historic places. http://www.SavingPlaces.org
News Article | February 15, 2017
Baseline, the industry leader in intelligent irrigation control systems, is excited to announce an expanded distribution relationship with SiteOne Landscape Supply, the largest supplier of wholesale irrigation and the complete line of green industry products in the United States and Canada. “With our expanded SiteOne relationship, we are increasing our presence in many markets in the US and Canada” said Nick Toyn, Baseline's Vice President of Marketing & Support Services. “Our goal is to continuously improve our customers’ experience in every aspect. Expanding our network of distributors and being close to our customers are key steps towards achieving that goal.” Baseline products are available from SiteOne branches in most of SiteOne's regions including all of Canada, Hawaii, and US branches east of the Rocky Mountains. To find out whether a SiteOne branch in a specific location is a Baseline distributor, please visit the Where to Buy page on the Baseline website http://www.baselinesystems.com/where-to-buy.php. "We are excited about the direction that SiteOne is heading in, and we are proud to partner with them on the journey" stated Jon Peters, Baseline's Senior Vice President of Sales and Business Development. "Baseline has developed great working relationships with SiteOne management, and we are looking forward to strengthening our partnership." Representatives from many SiteOne branches are attending training at Baseline Headquarters so they can share expert knowledge of Baseline products with their customers. About Baseline Baseline, a HydroPoint Company, is a leading provider of smart irrigation control technologies. Baseline irrigation control solutions reduce management effort and costs, increase landscape health and beauty, and significantly reduce water waste. With unique, patented and patent pending technologies, Baseline provides irrigation control solutions for agricultural, commercial, and residential applications. For more information, visit http://www.baselinesystems.com. About HydroPoint HydroPoint is the proven leader in smart water management solutions. We provide commercial, government, education, and communities the ability to manage their water – both indoors and out – through real-time visibility and automation with our 360° Smart Water Management Platform. A 2014 EPA WaterSense® Manufacturer Partner of the Year, HydroPoint offers WaterCompass, WeatherTRAK, and Baseline Solutions. Founded in 2002, HydroPoint has helped a wide array of premiere sites from the National Archives Building in DC to thousands of Walmart’s across the United States to maximize water savings, reduce operating costs, and minimize risk. For more information, visit http://www.hydropoint.com. About SiteOne Landscape Supply SiteOne Landscape Supply, Inc. is the largest and only national wholesale distributor of landscape supplies in the United States and has a growing presence in Canada. Its customers are primarily residential and commercial landscape professionals who specialize in the design, installation and maintenance of lawns, gardens, golf courses and other outdoor spaces. For more information, visit http://www.siteone.com.
News Article | February 23, 2017
The ransom notes helped seal Hauptmann's fate. Eight experts testified that the handwriting on the notes matched Hauptmann's. In the media frenzy that was the Lindbergh trial, one of those experts made a point of avoiding the spotlight, something he did throughout his long career. Years later, when he was nearing retirement, a profile in Reader's Digest would refer to him as Detective X. His name was Wilmer Souder. A physicist at the National Bureau of Standards, now known as the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST), Souder played an important role in the early days of forensic science. He helped send countless murderers, bootleggers, gangsters and thieves to prison, and he kept such a low profile partly out of concern for his and his family's safety. Perhaps as a result, he was not long remembered for his forensic work, and his influence on the developing field of forensic science was not as great as it might have been. A scientist and a historian at NIST team up to discover the mostly forgotten history of Wilmer Souder, a scientist who worked at the National Bureau of Standards (now NIST) from 1911 to 1954. Souder was an early expert in the field of forensic science. His careful analysis of evidence and his expert testimony sent to prison countless murderers, bootleggers, gangsters, and thieves. The most famous case he worked on was the Lindbergh kidnapping case, and this video reveals that his involvement in that case was much greater than previously known. But this story is about more than a partly forgotten historical figure. It's also about the history of science, and the fact that progress usually does not happen in a straight line. Souder brought precision measurement and rigorous standards to the emerging field of forensic science. In doing so, he confronted issues that modern forensic science is still grappling with today. Now, a scientist and a historian are bringing Souder's story to light. But their efforts have been impeded not only by a scarcity of historical records—something many researchers must contend with—but also by the fact that Souder had diligently obscured his own role. The search started in late 2014, when Kristen Frederick-Frost, then working as curator of the NIST Museum, was planning a display of objects related to the history of forensic science. Frederick-Frost, who earned a Ph.D. in physics before obtaining a master's degree in the history of science, is fascinated by historical artifacts. Often, when she finds one, she manages to convey both spontaneous excitement and scholarly seriousness at the same time. Frederick-Frost knew of Souder's work in forensic science from a few brief mentions in the agency's official history, and she hoped that the NIST archive might include a Souder-related artifact or two for her display. So, she put on a thick sweater she keeps at her desk and headed down to the agency's archive, which is really just a room in the basement filled with shelves and kept cold to preserve the collection. On one of those shelves was a box containing much more than she was expecting to find. In it were nine old notebooks, each bound in green fabric and filled with Souder's barely legible script. "It took me about ten minutes of reading before I realized how big a deal this was," Frederick-Frost said. At around the same time, a NIST scientist whom Frederick-Frost had not yet met was also digging into Souder's history. John Butler, like Souder before him, is an important figure in the history of forensic science. As a Ph.D. student in the 1990s, he developed techniques for analyzing DNA that are now standard practice in crime labs around the world. Butler, a father of six, usually walks the less than two miles from his home to the NIST campus in suburban Gaithersburg, Maryland. He no longer works in the lab. These days, Butler plays a leading role in a NIST effort to strengthen the scientific foundation of forensics, and he is vice-chair of a federal advisory committee, the National Commission on Forensic Science. Butler's goal, and that of the larger effort of which he is a part, is to strengthen forensic science in ways that ensure criminals are brought to justice and innocent people do not end up behind bars. During college, Butler had a summer internship at the National Archives, so he's a bit of a history buff. If NIST were going to try to change the way forensic science is practiced today, Butler thought, it would be wise to learn from history. Butler also knew just a bit of Souder from the agency's official history, and he started searching for Souder's scientific publications. "I had no idea how big a role Souder played," Butler said. A mutual colleague told Frederick-Frost about Butler. She called him, and within an hour Butler was poring over the notebooks and sharing what he had learned so far. Trained by the Best Souder, they would later learn, grew up on a farm in Indiana and worked briefly as a schoolteacher before earning a master's degree in physics. He started working at the National Bureau of Standards in 1911. He must have shown considerable promise because he left two years later for the University of Chicago, then home to perhaps the top physics department in the United States. That department included Albert Michelson, who had won the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1907 for inventing optical instruments that could measure things very precisely. The Michelson interferometer, for instance, could measure distances of less than one micrometer, or one-millionth of a meter. That department was also home to Robert Millikan, who would win the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1923 for his work on the photoelectric effect. Souder studied under Millikan and conducted many experiments on that same subject, though most of Souder's research papers did not list him as first author. That honor, in keeping with a tradition that many graduate students are still familiar with today, went to Millikan. Soon after receiving his Ph.D. in 1916, Souder returned to the National Bureau of Standards, where he made a name for himself by studying the physical properties of dental fillings, including how different amalgams expanded or contracted as they dried or changed temperature. Perhaps drawing on his doctoral training, he used an interferometer to measure these changes with great precision. This work may seem less exciting than forensic science, but it was of great interest to the U.S. Army, whose soldiers required dental care. Although Souder is not well-remembered for his work in forensics, one of the most prestigious honors in the field of dental research is named for him: the Wilmer Souder Award. The mild-mannered expert on dental fillings would soon develop a sideline in forensic science. In those days, federal agencies had not yet set up crime laboratories, so when they had evidence to analyze, they turned to the National Bureau of Standards for help. Forensic science is largely a matter of metrology—the science of measurement—and that fell squarely within the remit of the bureau. And within the bureau, who better to make extremely precise measurements of physical evidence than the University of Chicago-trained physicist? When law enforcement agents brought evidence to him, Souder logged its receipt in a notebook. Among those notebooks were the nine that Frederick-Frost would find, almost a century later, in the NIST archive. Butler spent his off-hours during the summer of 2015 filling a spreadsheet with dates, case numbers, and other data from the notebooks. He found that from 1929 until 1954, Souder worked on 838 cases, including almost 100 for the Department of Justice, which then included the Bureau of Prohibition as well as the FBI. He also worked on almost 300 cases for the Treasury Department, which often investigated mobsters for tax evasion—most famously, Al Capone, though no evidence has emerged that Souder worked on that case. Most of the cases Souder worked on came from federal agencies. But there was at least one exception. On May 9, 1932, a Lieutenant R. A. Snook of the New Jersey State Police met with Souder at the bureau's labs in Washington, D.C. Snook was the chief investigator in the Lindbergh case, and he brought with him the original ransom notes for Souder to photograph and analyze. A few days later, Snook filed a report of this meeting with his police agency. "Dr. Souder explained that arrangements had been made for the work to be kept strictly confidential," the report said. "The case was to be known to the Bureau of Standards as the Adamson case," a fictitious name that Souder invented to throw busybodies off the trail. The report went on to say that when Souder introduced Snook to people at the bureau, he introduced him as, "Mr. Martin, from New York." The Chicago Daily Tribune reported Souder's involvement later that month, so in the Lindbergh case, at least, the information didn't take long to leak out. But Souder's notebooks are full of obscure references. "Who knows what other famous cases he worked on," Butler said. On September 6, 1932, Souder must have been working on the Lindbergh case. His notebook entry for that day says, "see Adamson Volume." Butler and Frederick-Frost searched everywhere they could think of for the Adamson volume. "I was obsessed with finding it," Frederick-Frost said. So far, at least, they haven't. Their next big break came later that year, when Frederick-Frost was searching through binders full of old archive transfer records at NIST. In one of them, she found a half-century-old transfer slip that documented a shipment to the National Archives containing more than 10,000 glass plate negatives. Other shipments contained detailed reports of laboratory test results. At least some of these photographs and reports, she was sure, would be from Souder's lab. She and Butler visited the National Archives in College Park, Maryland, several times in late 2015. Unfortunately, they learned that detailed reports related to identification of handwriting, typewriting and bullets—these were Souder's areas of expertise—had been discarded in April 1944, presumably to make room in the collection for new material. But the glass plate negatives were there, and an archivist named William Wade gamely assisted by hoisting and carting heavy boxes full of those plates to the viewing area. "We were at the end of a long day and I said, 'Billy I have just one more pull, I'm sorry,'" Frederick-Frost said. He came back with a box that looked different from the others. When new material arrives at the facility, archivists repackage it in preservation-quality boxes. This was an old cardboard box that looked as if it had not been opened for decades. Butler and Frederick-Frost, wearing white cotton art-handling gloves, opened the box. It was stuffed with shredded newsprint. Pushing that aside, they dug out two smaller boxes sealed with black tape. Scribbled across the top of those, in the same penciled handwriting that fills Souder's nine notebooks, they saw the words, "Baby Lindbergh Kidnapping Case." "We were ecstatic," Frederick-Frost said. Opening the smaller boxes, they found glass plate negatives, produced during Lieutenant Snook's May 9, 1932, visit to the National Bureau of Standards, of the handwritten ransom notes demanding money—some demanded $50,000, others $70,000— for the safe return of Charles Lindbergh Jr. Souder analyzed the handwriting in those notes and testified at trial that the handwriting was Hauptmann's. Prosecutors presented much other evidence as well, but Souder's testimony did help send Hauptmann to the electric chair. Was his analysis of the evidence reliable? In recent years, many forensic methods have come under increased scrutiny. A 2009 report from the National Academy of Sciences found that there may be a scientific basis for handwriting comparison, but that there has been only limited research into its reliability. It said much the same about another technique that Souder frequently used, that of comparing marks on bullets to determine if they were fired by the same gun. Referring to a broad array of forensic disciplines, the report said: "In some cases, substantive information and testimony based on faulty forensic science analyses may have contributed to wrongful convictions of innocent people." To reduce the likelihood of wrongful convictions, that 2009 report, and a 2016 report from the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology, called for increased research into the validity of forensic methods. They also called for a transition away from subjective methods that require human judgement and toward objective measurements with well-defined error rates. NIST launched its current forensic science program partly in response to the issues raised in the 2009 report. Today, NIST scientists are developing new methods for analyzing ballistic evidence, fingerprints and DNA evidence, among others. NIST also is leading an effort to develop science-based standards for use in forensic laboratories. While searching through old scientific publications, Butler found that Souder often discussed these very same issues. For instance, in an article by Souder in the March 19, 1932, issue of Army and Navy Journal, Souder discussed the importance of precision measurement in forensic analysis. He also called for minimum standards for laboratory equipment and standards for qualification of experts. In doing so, Souder anticipated with eerie similitude the very issues that are roiling the forensic community today. So, can we have confidence in Souder's analysis of Hauptmann's handwriting? "We don't have his detailed case notes, so we don't know exactly how he conducted his analyses," Butler said. "But in terms of his scientific approach, he was way ahead of his time." Souder had no understudies in forensic science, and after he retired in 1954, the National Bureau of Standards no longer involved itself in forensic casework. Souder had maintained a much more visible profile in his dental research, and he would have a great influence on the trajectory of that field. But his contributions to forensic science would be largely forgotten. Today, the forensic community is still grappling with issues that Souder first raised almost 100 years ago. Perhaps the biggest piece of this still incomplete puzzle fell into place after Butler searched census records, marriage announcements and genealogy websites to locate Souder's only living descendant. Kathy Leser is a retired corporate executive living in Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and she bears a striking resemblance to her grandfather. Leser was unaware how important a role Souder played in the early days of forensic science. Most of her memories of him are from after he retired to Pennsylvania. Butler and Frederick-Frost invited Leser to NIST so they could share what they had found. When she visited, she brought a box of Souder's belongings from her attic. The box contained a photo of a young Souder growing up on the family farm in Indiana, and photos of Souder, his wife and daughter—his only child—on vacation in Europe. It contained press clippings and letters of appreciation from FBI director J. Edgar Hoover and Treasury Secretary Andrew Mellon. It also included a gun carry permit that listed as the reason for issuance: "Witness in criminal identifications for Federal & D.C. Governments. Personal protection desirable for such service." Leser donated these items to the NIST archive. Frederick-Frost, who originally intended only a museum display about the history of forensic science, mounted an exhibit on Souder which opened at the NIST Museum in June 2016. Today, Frederick-Frost is a curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of American History, where she specializes in the history of science. Butler continues his work to move forensic science forward. He has always kept notes on the efforts he's been involved in, but he does that now more than ever to ensure that an institutional memory of these efforts persists. That way, future efforts can build upon what's already been accomplished rather than repeating what came before. Butler and Frederick-Frost both continue to search for information about Souder. There is surely more out there, though much is permanently lost. The first time they met Leser, Butler and Frederick-Frost asked her if she had a notebook or box with the word "Adamson" on it. Leser did not. She said that Souder had kept organized records in his attic, but since he passed away in 1974, they've been lost. Explore further: Trace evidence databases for forensic investigators now available online
News Article | March 1, 2017
HANOVER, MD / ACCESSWIRE / March 1, 2017 / Brekford Corp. (OTCQX: BFDI), a leading public safety and security technology service provider of fully integrated automated traffic safety enforcement ("ATSE") solutions, announced that on February 28, 2017 it finalized the sale of an 80.1% stake in its vehicle services business to LB&B Associates Inc. ("LB&B"), headquartered in Columbia, Maryland. Proceeds from the sale were used to retire all long-term debt of the Company, and provide growth capital for expansion of its ATSE business, which provides turnkey solutions to government agencies for automated enforcement of speed, red light, and distracted driving violations. In keeping with the Contribution and Unit Purchase Agreement (the "Agreement") signed by Brekford and LB&B on February 6, 2017, the Company contributed substantially all assets and certain liabilities related to its law enforcement vehicle upfitting business to Global Public Safety, LLC ("GPS"). As of the closing on February 28, 2017, LB&B acquired 80.1% of the units of GPS for $4 million in cash and a $2 million promissory note that will be secured by LB&B's GPS units. Brekford retains ownership of 19.9% of the units of GPS as a minority member. "We are pleased to finalize this important transaction, which will provide necessary growth capital for Brekford's ATSE business," commented Rod Hillman, President and COO of Brekford. "We look forward to implementing an aggressive growth plan to provide our turnkey photo enforcement solutions to government agencies throughout the U.S. and Latin America. Additionally, GPS is positioned for significant expansion of its public safety solutions business under the leadership of LB&B. With an ongoing minority interest in GPS, we will also assist in whatever manner requested to help that business flourish." The sale is in keeping with a definitive merger agreement signed between Brekford and Keystone Solutions, Inc. ("Keystone") on February 10, 2017, with a condition to sell the vehicle upfitting business to a company with the resources to grow the business nationally (https://www.accesswire.com/454965/Brekford-Signs-Definitive-Agreement-to-Merge-with-Keystone-Solutions-Inc.). LB&B has been in business since 1992, and currently operates nationwide providing diversified services such as facilities management, transportation and distribution, security, simulation systems support and training, and base operations support for both federal government and private sector clients. Brekford Corp. provides state-of-the art automated traffic enforcement solutions to municipalities, and other public safety agencies throughout the United States. Its services include automated speed, red light, and distracted driving camera enforcement programs. Brekford's combination of automated traffic enforcement services with a longstanding background and foundation in public safety solutions offers a unique 360-degree solution for law enforcement agencies and municipalities. The Company is headquartered in Hanover, Maryland, and its common stock is traded on the OTC Markets under the symbol "BFDI." Additional information on Brekford can be accessed online at www.brekford.com. LB&B Associates Inc. is a diversified services company operating in over twenty-five states, the District of Columbia, and overseas locations. Its services include facilities management, operations and maintenance, logistics support, simulation systems support and training, base operations support, and commercial support. More than 1,000 associates nationwide have provided a broad range of services to federal agencies, state governments, commercial businesses, the military, NATO, hospitals, churches, research centers, and educational facilities. Key customers include the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, GSA, National Archives, CMS, and DHS. LB&B is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland. Additional information can be accessed online at www.lbbassociates.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of that term in Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Words such as "anticipate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," "target," "aim," "should," and words and terms of similar substance and any financial projections used in connection with any discussion of future plans, strategies, objectives, actions, or events identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, among others, those concerning our expected financial performance and strategic and operational plans, as well as all assumptions, expectations, predictions, intentions or beliefs about future events. These statements are based on the beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to us and reflect our current views concerning future events. As such, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among many others: the risk that any projections, including earnings, revenues, expenses, synergies, margins or any other financial items that form the basis for management's plans and assumptions are not realized; a reduction in industry profit margin; requirements or changes affecting the business in which we are engaged; our ability to successfully implement new strategies; operating hazards; competition and the loss of key personnel; changing interpretations of generally accepted accounting principles; continued compliance with government regulations; changing legislation and regulatory environments; and the general volatility of the market prices of our securities and general economic conditions. Readers are referred to the documents filed by Brekford Corp. with the SEC, specifically the Company's most recent reports filed on Form 10-K and Forms 10-Q, which further identify important risks, trends and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release. Brekford Corp. expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
News Article | March 1, 2017
New Entity Launches on March 1, 2017 as "Global Public Safety" HANOVER, MD / ACCESSWIRE / March 1, 2017 / Brekford Corp. (OTCQX: BFDI), a leading public safety and security technology service provider of fully integrated automated traffic safety enforcement ("ATSE") solutions, announced that on February 28, 2017 it finalized the sale of an 80.1% stake in its vehicle services business to LB&B Associates Inc. ("LB&B"), headquartered in Columbia, Maryland. Proceeds from the sale were used to retire all long-term debt of the Company, and provide growth capital for expansion of its ATSE business, which provides turnkey solutions to government agencies for automated enforcement of speed, red light, and distracted driving violations. In keeping with the Contribution and Unit Purchase Agreement (the "Agreement") signed by Brekford and LB&B on February 6, 2017, the Company contributed substantially all assets and certain liabilities related to its law enforcement vehicle upfitting business to Global Public Safety, LLC ("GPS"). As of the closing on February 28, 2017, LB&B acquired 80.1% of the units of GPS for $4 million in cash and a $2 million promissory note that will be secured by LB&B's GPS units. Brekford retains ownership of 19.9% of the units of GPS as a minority member. "We are pleased to finalize this important transaction, which will provide necessary growth capital for Brekford's ATSE business," commented Rod Hillman, President and COO of Brekford. "We look forward to implementing an aggressive growth plan to provide our turnkey photo enforcement solutions to government agencies throughout the U.S. and Latin America. Additionally, GPS is positioned for significant expansion of its public safety solutions business under the leadership of LB&B. With an ongoing minority interest in GPS, we will also assist in whatever manner requested to help that business flourish." The sale is in keeping with a definitive merger agreement signed between Brekford and Keystone Solutions, Inc. ("Keystone") on February 10, 2017, with a condition to sell the vehicle upfitting business to a company with the resources to grow the business nationally (https://www.accesswire.com/454965/Brekford-Signs-Definitive-Agreement-to-Merge-with-Keystone-Solutions-Inc.). LB&B has been in business since 1992, and currently operates nationwide providing diversified services such as facilities management, transportation and distribution, security, simulation systems support and training, and base operations support for both federal government and private sector clients. Brekford Corp. provides state-of-the art automated traffic enforcement solutions to municipalities, and other public safety agencies throughout the United States. Its services include automated speed, red light, and distracted driving camera enforcement programs. Brekford's combination of automated traffic enforcement services with a longstanding background and foundation in public safety solutions offers a unique 360-degree solution for law enforcement agencies and municipalities. The Company is headquartered in Hanover, Maryland, and its common stock is traded on the OTC Markets under the symbol "BFDI." Additional information on Brekford can be accessed online at www.brekford.com. LB&B Associates Inc. is a diversified services company operating in over twenty-five states, the District of Columbia, and overseas locations. Its services include facilities management, operations and maintenance, logistics support, simulation systems support and training, base operations support, and commercial support. More than 1,000 associates nationwide have provided a broad range of services to federal agencies, state governments, commercial businesses, the military, NATO, hospitals, churches, research centers, and educational facilities. Key customers include the U.S. Navy, Air Force, Army, Marine Corps, GSA, National Archives, CMS, and DHS. LB&B is headquartered in Columbia, Maryland. Additional information can be accessed online at www.lbbassociates.com. This press release contains forward-looking statements within the meaning of that term in Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Words such as "anticipate," "expect," "project," "intend," "plan," "believe," "target," "aim," "should," and words and terms of similar substance and any financial projections used in connection with any discussion of future plans, strategies, objectives, actions, or events identify forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements include, among others, those concerning our expected financial performance and strategic and operational plans, as well as all assumptions, expectations, predictions, intentions or beliefs about future events. These statements are based on the beliefs of our management as well as assumptions made by and information currently available to us and reflect our current views concerning future events. As such, they are subject to risks and uncertainties that could cause our results to differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements. Such risks and uncertainties include, among many others: the risk that any projections, including earnings, revenues, expenses, synergies, margins or any other financial items that form the basis for management's plans and assumptions are not realized; a reduction in industry profit margin; requirements or changes affecting the business in which we are engaged; our ability to successfully implement new strategies; operating hazards; competition and the loss of key personnel; changing interpretations of generally accepted accounting principles; continued compliance with government regulations; changing legislation and regulatory environments; and the general volatility of the market prices of our securities and general economic conditions. Readers are referred to the documents filed by Brekford Corp. with the SEC, specifically the Company's most recent reports filed on Form 10-K and Forms 10-Q, which further identify important risks, trends and uncertainties which could cause actual results to differ materially from the forward-looking statements in this press release. Brekford Corp. expressly disclaims any obligation to update any forward-looking statements.
News Article | February 24, 2017
After a heart attack, it is important for patients to take medication that lowers cholesterol levels. In a new study published in the European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, researchers at Uppsala and Umeå Universities have found that general cognitive ability (intelligence) has a bearing, in the first year and two years after the heart attack, on how well men take statins prescribed for them. Patients who have had heart attacks almost always get prescriptions for statins, which are among the key drugs for secondary prevention and effectively reduce cholesterol levels. Not taking one's statins raises the risk of suffering from a new heart attack or premature death. Nonetheless, some patients choose not to continue taking them. The risk of discontinuing statins is associated with various factors, such as side-effects, degree of morbidity and socioeconomic status. The study in question included more than 20 variables, such as age, diabetes, employment status, medications at discharge, and self-assessed physical and mental health. The cognitive ability of more than 2,500 patients had been measured roughly 30 years before the heart attack, when their compulsory military service began, and the researchers found an association between low general cognitive ability and an elevated risk of not taking the statins prescribed. 'It's very important for the patients themselves to take personal responsibility for their health after the heart attack -- taking their medication, eating a healthy diet, taking exercise and not smoking. This study inspires hope that we might be able to improve tailor-made care, based on the patients' cognitive capacity,' says John Wallert, a clinical psychologist and PhD student at Uppsala University. Jointly with epidemiologist Claudia Lissåker, cardiologist Claes Held, psychologist Erik Olsson and Professor Guy Madison, Wallert used data from men aged 60 or younger whose first heart attack occurred between 2006 and 2011, as registered in the SWEDEHEART national quality register. Data was linked with the Swedish National Archives' register for military conscription, INSARK, containing data on cognitive ability from male conscript testing in 1965-1997. The Swedish Pharmaceuticals Registry and self-reported medication then provided information about the patients' statin intake. 'Data in this study are limited to relatively young men and follow-up studies should also include older people and women,' Wallert says. 'Current treatment and aftercare guidelines for heart attacks don't pinpoint the significance of cognitive ability, which is vital for planning, memory and executive function in everyday life. Previous studies have shown that cognitive ability is extremely stable between the ages of 18 and 65 in its systematic variation from one individual to another. What we have here is a previously unknown long-term predictor that seems to contribute to whether these patients take their statins or not. We hope this may be useful in healthcare and communication with patients,' Wallert says. 'Several studies have shown that cognitive ability predicts a range of established lifestyle risk factors, such as smoking, physical inactivity, diabetes, and now also non-compliance with taking statins after a heart attack. With tailor-made care, aggregate research suggests that we should take patients' cognitive ability into account as well. Today, secondary prevention after heart attack has a clear structure, based on repeat visits to the cardiologist and cardiac nurse, which are a vital requirement for tailor-made care. There may possibly be a risk of some patients with lower cognitive ability falling through the cracks of present-day care at the stage when patients need to make key behavioural changes that, in turn, affect their risk of having another heart attack and dying prematurely.' Article reference: John Wallert, Claudia Lissåker, Guy Madison, Claes Held and Erik Olsson (2017) Young Adulthood Cognitive Ability Predicts Statin Adherence in Middle-Aged First Myocardial Infarction Men: A Swedish National Registry Study, European Journal of Preventive Cardiology, DOI: 10.1177/2047487317693951 For more information, please contact John Wallert, tel: 018-4713483, e-post: email@example.com