Tuesday, March 31, 2009

March Local Malcontest Results Very Disappointing

The Third Local Malcontest was indeed a flop.


We asked for both the President's name and the date: At least the year.
The year was 1961; specifically, October 29th of that year.
Any last minute guesses??? Please hurry, as I've got to go.... really bad.

To understand Three Sticks Monument is to understand southeastern Oklahoma.
"During the early 1900’s, "cut and get out" lumber companies basically clear cut the Ouachita Mountains in two sweeps. One sweep cut out all the pine trees, and the second sweep, after Prohibition was repealed, cut out all the oak trees. What was left was barren mountains, soil exposed to erosion, and any trees or shrubs left were damaged.
[...]Robert S. Kerr was Oklahoma’s first native born Governor and later a powerful U.S. Senator.
"Kerr was also an environmentalist and oilman. Kerr loved southeastern Oklahoma and saw the potential of the area for tourism.

However, Kerr also knew the lack of north-south roads in the area would prohibit any true development. By 1955, the only north-south road in the Oklahoma Ouachitas was the "Indian Service Road" (or Indian Highway) from Talihina to Bethel. All other roads and highways entered the Ouachitas at some break along the front range and soon came to parallel the bending mountain ranges as they wrapped from east to southwest. Thus US 59 ran south of Heavener to Stapp and then turned east (as a gravel road) to Mena, Arkansas. From Mena, US 59 and 71 both ran south within the core area of the Ouachitas. Within the Broken Bow Uplift area of the Oklahoma Ouachitas, an earth graded/gravel state highway (OK 21) connected Broken Bow, Bethel, Smithville, and Cove, Arkansas along the valley of the Mountain Fork River. By 1953-55, work started on a gravel road south of Stapp towards Big Cedar, Oklahoma. This road took advantage of a stream valley (tributary of Shawnee Creek) that broke the Shawnee Ridges and provided access to the south.

"Work continued off and on for three more years before the twisting road crossed Kiamichi and Rich Mountains via a harrowing switchback through rough Jackfork Formation turbidites.In fact, once Kiamichi Mountain was crossed, it was easier to follow Big Eagle Creek down to Smithville. Thus the first north-south road had been constructed connecting LeFlore and McCurtain Counties. All along the process, Senator Robert S. Kerr had monitored and encouraged the construction. So once this vital north-south link was complete, a group of local citizens decided to commemorate Senator Kerr’s efforts.

"Thus on top of the most difficult ridge to conquer, a monument known as "Three Sticks", was constructed and dedicated by these local citizens.

Senator Kerr was never shy about using his influence to get what he wanted for the good of Oklahoma. By his influence, he was able to arrange for President John F. Kennedy to visit Big Cedar, OK to dedicate US Highway 259 that combined TX 27, OK 87, OK 21, and OK 103 into a north-south cutoff of the eastern bow of US 59.

Days before President Kennedy was scheduled to arrive in Big Cedar, Governor Edmondson frantically called President Kennedy to find the real reason for his eastern Oklahoma visit.

Kennedy told Edmondson, "Why Howard, I’m going to Oklahoma to kiss Bob Kerr’s ass!"

So, on October 29, 1961, the skies above Big Cedar were stirred by dual-rotor helicopters and visitors swelled the village of a few people to a population of over 20,000.
There at Big Cedar, Kennedy dedicated "a mountain road that starts nowhere in particular and goes to a suburb of the same place".

In all the commotion, Kennedy was so entrenched in his speech that he almost forgot to cut the ribbon to open the new US highway. Rep. Carl Albert noticed a Secret Service man holding a pair of scissors and pointed this out to Senator Kerr. Senator Kerr took the scissors, and in his "simple country boy" fashion announced to President Kennedy, "Mr. President, we have come here to dedicate a highway."
At that point he handed the scissors to Kennedy who clipped the ribbon and officially opened US 259.
My wife and I will nevertheless, donate the money to the Abused Women's Advocacy Project, AWAP, in the names of 'The Local Malcontet Blog Readers', if that's OK.

We both believe very strongly in the equal rights of women to be, and to achieve, whatever they want to be in this country, as well as to be leaders among women around the world.

Thank you for your kind "following" here, and your sweetness in eagerly
"entering" our Local Malcontests!
Due to their success, there won't be any more Local Malcontests.


The Localmalcontent said...

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ABNPOPPA said...

Darn, and I knew the answer. How's it going Mal?


The Localmalcontent said...

How did you slip in Pops?

slowly going insane, I guess. You?