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HISTORICAL IMPEACHMENT VOTE TRAIL LEADS TO NEW MEXICO 01/13/99 It would take a pretty strong imagination to connect several New Mexicans to the impeachment trial of President Clinton going on in Washington, D.C. Or maybe just a good history book. Steve Ross, an administrator at San Juan College, knows something about the impeachment of a president. His great-great-grandfather, Edmund Gibson Ross, cast the vote that kept President Andrew Johnson in office in 1868. Ross has a keen sense of the historical significance of his genealogy and knows that at no time in the past, nor likely in the future, will his family history be as interesting _ or important _ as it will for the next few weeks. The history books have chronicled the role Edmund G. Ross played in Johnson's trial 131 years ago. But few go on to tell the rest of the story. Edmund Ross went on to play a big role in the history of New Mexico, and through the children he fathered and their children, he continues to impact the state. Born in 1826 in Ohio, the third of 14 children, Edmund Ross became involved in newspaper work at an early age, paying for his high school materials by setting type for the Sandusky (Ohio) Mirror after school. After newspaper stints in Wisconsin, Ross and his brother moved to Kansas in 1855. Working for the Topeka (Kan.) Tribune, Ross had to disguise himself on the street at times for the editorials he wrote opposing slavery. Ross later bought the Tribune and produced the paper for two years before launching the Topeka Kansas State Record. He was instrumental in shaping the Kansas Constitution, leading to the state's admission to the union in 1860. A year later, the Civil War erupted and Ross sold the paper and formed a company of volunteers at Leavenworth, Kan. The company found a discarded printing press and began printing an army paper. In 1865, following the end of the war, Ross continued his newspapering in Lawrence, Kan. But it would not last. One of Kansas' U.S. senators, James Lane, committed suicide. The governor of Kansas appointed Ross to replace Lane, and radical Republicans in Congress were confident they had a man they could count on for critical votes. Ross was re-elected to a full term the following year. In Washington, the political climate was still heated despite the time that had passed since the war had ended. President Lincoln, elected on the Union ticket, was assassinated and Johnson, a southern Democrat, succeeded him. In those days, voters elected a president and vice president separately, and it wasn't uncommon to have men of different parties in the two positions. When Johnson assumed the presidency, he immediately clashed with Secretary of War Edwin Stanton, a Lincoln appointee. Stanton, in defiance of Johnson, continued with his plans for unification of the states. Johnson asked for his resignation and Stanton refused, so Johnson suspended Stanton and replaced him with Gen. Ulysses Grant. That quickly brought a rebuff from Congress, which claimed the removal was a violation of the Tenure-of-Office Bill, a measure that was passed over the president's veto. It prevented the removal of all new officeholders whose appointment required confirmation by the Congress. Johnson, eager for a court test of the law, again removed Stanton from office, but Stanton barricaded himself in his office, drawing a cry from the public against Johnson. The House of Representatives quickly impeached the president. There were 27 states in the Union at that time, as southern states were not recognized. That meant there were 54 senators. A two-thirds vote to convict the president required 36 votes. Twelve Democrats were sure to vote against conviction, leaving the 42 Republicans with only six votes to lose. A Republican caucus was held and all but Edmund G. Ross expressed his voting intentions. Six Republicans said they would vote to acquit, making Ross's vote critical. Ross became the rope in a political tug-of-war and his silence just brought out more people demanding he vote one way or the other. The people and politicians of his state demanded he vote to convict. One telegram read: ``Kansas has heard the evidence and demands the conviction of the President.'' Ross fired a telegram back, saying, ``I do not recognize your right to demand that I vote either for or against conviction. I have taken an oath to do impartial justice according to the Constitution and the laws, and trust that I shall have the courage to vote according to the dictates of my judgment and for the highest good of the country.'' Ross didn't particularly like Johnson, being from opposite sides of the political fence. But he was honor bound to vote his conscience. As the votes were announced, the tension in the room caused some senators to become physically ill. leaving only 12 more to convict the president. Ten were guaranteed and the 11th was practically certain. Ross's vote was the critical moment of the impeachment process. But when Ross's quiet voice announced his vote, the room was silent _ the fans stilled and shuffling feet held motionless. Still, senators on the far side of the chamber didn't hear it and called for his answer to be repeated. ``Not guilty,'' Ross answered louder. Republicans slumped in their seats. The president would not be convicted on this, the most important count. A 10-day recess followed. Those days were full of political maneuvering as senators tried to get southern states admitted which had senators with sure ``guilty'' votes. Deadlines were not met, however, and the Senate reconvened to hear the rest of the counts. By this time the pressure had changed from encouragement to name-calling and Ross now received telegrams that read, ``Kansas repudiates you as she does all perjurers and skunks.'' The president was acquitted on all charges. Ross' private life was turned inside out. One telegram offered him the use of James Lane's gun. With his political future over, Ross finished his term and returned to a Kansas that didn't want him. After returning from Washington in 1871, Ross worked for several papers and launched his own in Coffeyville, Kan. He later bought the Leavenworth paper and consolidated the two, even becoming a candidate for governor but _ not surprisingly _ was not elected. He was an outcast in most circles. His family was ostracized and attacked physically and by the late 1870s was near financial ruin. Things were bleak for Ross and his family when a fair promoting a new territory to the south and west of Kansas brought him to the territory of New Mexico. New Mexico suited Ross and the change in climate improved his health considerably. He was hired to write a series of articles on the resources of the area, and in 1884 he sent for his family. New Mexico, it seemed, was the perfect tonic for an ailing, ex-senator who essentially had been run out of his home state. Ross moved to Albuquerque and began to make a name for himself. Having campaigned for Grover Cleveland in his run for the presidency, Ross was appointed the governor of the Territory of New Mexico by now President Cleveland. He moved to Santa Fe in 1885 and spent the next four years guiding New Mexico closer to statehood and protecting the area's natural resources from outside interests. But Ross's biggest contribution may have been his interest in education. As a territory, New Mexico had no organized school system. He spoke out vigorously for education and for the territory to be admitted to the union. One of his final actions as governor was to sign the enabling legislation that allowed the territory to establish institutions of higher education, including the University of New Mexico. Out of government again, Ross went back to what he knew well. He signed on with the Santa Fe New Mexican, wrote a history of the impeachment of Andrew Johnson, penned many articles on the reconstruction period and the U.S. Senate. After a term as secretary of the Bureau of Immigration, he moved to Deming, where he was the publisher of the Deming Headlight, and then moved back to Albuquerque where he set up a job printing office. In 1899, his wife of 50 years died. In his final year, Ross was vindicated. Just a few months before his death in 1907, a delegation from Kansas arrived in New Mexico. The group brought with it letters of apology and vindication from many of the same people who had attacked Ross originally for his vote. Later, Ross was paid another tribute, bringing his actions out of the minds of a few obscure university history professors into the mainstream. Soon-to-be president John F. Kennedy wrote a simple little book, titled, ``Profiles in Courage.'' Edmund G. Ross was heralded in Chapter 6, given his rightful place among the nation's most influential politicians. Ross' body was laid to rest in the family plot in Fairview Cemetery in Albuquerque. An elementary school in New Mexico's largest city bears his name and his grandchildren, great-grandchildren and great-great-grandchildren have graduated from the colleges and universities he helped create.
AVIATION TIME CAPSULE PART OF STATE HISTORY 01/13/99 01:25AM It looks almost like Billy Parker just left. A coffee pot sits on a single-burner hot plate beside a stand-up telephone and an early-day example of a two-way radio. An incomplete letter, being composed by Parker himself, is still in the ancient typewriter. Historic pictures of Parker, Wiley Post, Will Rogers and Art Goebel, who won the Dole Pineapple Race to Hawaii in 1927, adorn the walls. The former office of Parker _ Phillips Petroleum's first corporate pilot and sales manager for aviation fuels, oil and lubricants _ stands as a time capsule of when aviation was in its glory days, when newspapers worldwide were heralding astounding feats recorded almost daily by pilots in their fragile flying machines, especially the one-eyed Oklahoman Wiley Post and his Lockheed Vega, the Winnie Mae. That office, used by some of the greats of early-day aviation, is inside the pristine example of the earliest service station architecture. ``People tell me that most of the great people of aviation history were in this building at one time or another,'' said Jim Edwards, who sort of manages the building. ``(Charles) Lindberg was here, Amelia (Earhart) was here and of course Wiley (Post) made all his high-altitude flights from here, doing a lot of his planning in this office. I've even heard that Marlene Dietrich stopped by here and was in the office.'' It's only fitting, for the building that looks like a service station, but was used for aviation, sits on Frank Phillips Field in Bartlesville, location of the Bartlesville Municipal Airport. Phillips built and owns the building as well as the field. The company also manages the airport for the city, with Phillips' corporate aviation department the airport's biggest customer. Another Phillips division operates the fixed base operator, a sort of airport service station itself, selling Phillips 66 aviation fuels, oils and lubricants. Plans were recently established to build an industrial park around Frank Phillips Field in an effort to attract more industry here, but there has been no announcement on when work would start. ``Right now, the plan is to use some of that space out by our old sod (landing) strip,'' Edwards said. That strip, recently developed, is used for two major events as Bartlesville Municipal Airport _ the annual International Biplane Association fly-in in June, which attracts pilots and planes from all over the world, and the Tulsa regional fly-in in September. ``Those are our really big events that we plan for all along,'' he said. Recently, the airport was expanded 500 feet to make it more acceptable to corporate aviation. The runway now is 6,200 feet long and 100 feet wide. ``We wish we could make the runway a little longer, because we can't get any commercial operations, not even charters, in here without a 10,000-foot runway,'' Edwards said. Even so, there are about 17,000 to 20,000 operations _ takeoffs or landings _ recorded annually on the airport. The majority of those are done by Phillips' aviation department and those of corporate executives coming in to do business with Phillips. Considering the history of the field and some of the buildings, it's only natural that mention of the ``old sod strip'' would evoke memories of trail-dragging fabric covered biplanes landing there. ``We built that as a cross-wind runway, but when we started bringing in the biplanes it turned into a lot of trouble,'' Edwards said. ``Now we just use it for the biplanes.'' It seems that every year when the biplanes come in, rain also comes in. So, when the heavy fuel trucks would be driven out to the biplanes to refuel them for takeoff, ruts would be dug into the sod. That caused extra expense in filling them in, so the sod runway is no longer used for modern aircraft. Combating that disappointment, the original landing strip is still evident between the main runway and the taxiway. It hasn't been paved over because of historical reasons. The historic building that resembles a service station almost was lost. There are not many of these buildings remaining, so the Oklahoma Historical Society convinced Phillips to donate it for a Route 66 display in Clinton. After workmen dug out along the east side of the building, in preparation to putting support underneath it to move it, a heavy rain flooded the ground. ``The whole east wall fell in and we had to completely rebuild it,'' Edwards said. Now, airport users _ along with some Phillips employees _ are watchful to head-off any other attempt to take the building. ``Phillips has spent a lot of money on this building, but we (volunteers) have put a lot of time on it keeping it the way it is,'' Edwards said. ``I don't know how they (Phillips) got talked into donating the building to be moved to Clinton, but I feel it's a bad idea.''
http://www.azstarnet.com/public/dnews/088-5012.html The Arizona Historical Society's ``Quickie Courses in Southwestern History'' are at the society, 949 E. Second St: Mammoth Hunters, Canal Builders and Cliff Dwellers, Storytelling of Southwest Indians, Priests, Soldiers and Settlers, The Real Old Tucson, From Frontier to Statehood. For more details, call 628-5774.
http://deseretnews.com:80/dn/view/0,1249,30005941,00.html? The Madrid Codex is made almost entirely of bark paper. However, a section of European paper, with 16 lines of 17th-century Latin text, is embedded in the codex. Michael A. Coe of Yale University believes the European paper may have been used to make the codex. One line of Latin seems to contain the partial word " . . . riquez." Houston points out that a Spanish missionary named Fray Juan Enriquez was killed by Mayan Indians in 1624. If the fragment refers to him, and the paper was used in making the book, the codex could not be as old as once believed.
http://deseretnews.com:80/dn/view/0,1249,30005852,00.html? Utah Geological Survey will soon be offering a CD-ROM that will allow anyone to create maps showing the state's natural resources, along with detailed information about the location of each item. The disk should become available by Feb. 1 at the Utah Department of Natural Resources Map and Bookstore, 1594 W. North Temple. http://www.ugs.state.ut.us/
http://www.news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/education/specials/bett_99/newsid_254000/254933.stm Ticking down to a May launch, the 24 Hour Museum Website will allow visitors to assemble their own private collection of favourite exhibits from Britain's 2,500 museums and galleries. http://www.24hourmuseum.org.uk/
http://nt.excite.com:80/news/pr/990111/oh-toy-fair The game is based on an ancient Greco-Roman game known as TABAS, kids used to play with game pieces from dried sheep-knuckle bones in the village squares 2,000 years ago. http://www.crazybones.com/