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Witness 1: Copy of Witness Vocabulary and Background Knowledge

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Peggy Walker

on 1 December 2014

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Transcript of Witness 1: Copy of Witness Vocabulary and Background Knowledge

By Karen Hesse
Background Knowledge
Act One
Fresh Air Fund
any person to whom an evening of hearty laughter is poison
had better keep away from the community club minstrel show
friday evening at the town hall. all others will be admitted
for a night of fun brought to you by 22 genuine
black-faced "coons." (7)
any of a troupe of performers typically giving a program of black American melodies, jokes, and impersonations and usually wearing blackface
that wasn't my fault,
his horse and wagon miring down,
stuck in the mud. (8)

. . . she ought to go away to a
sanatorium to get her health back. (8)

i shouldn’t let them get to me but
i’m flint quick these days. (10)

she wore no coat, her head was bare,
no rubbers on her feet . . . (11)
they even tried him, neighbor, they tried him
before a jury of white men
for inciting trouble . . . (14)

. . . what he’s doing down there in texas
is sure to get him lynched. (15)
senator greene (17)
"The temperance movement, which promoted abstaining from drinking alcohol, led Congress to pass the Eighteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution in 1917, which prohibited the manufacture, sale, and consumption of alcoholic beverages in the United States. Then-New York City deputy police commissioner John A. Leach is pictured here watching Prohibition agents dump liquor into a sewer after a raid in 1921."
"Prohibition Agents Dump Liquor into a Sewer After a Raid." American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp?
ItemID=WE52&iPin=MIAH5030&SingleRecord=True (accessed August 6, 2011).
- Merriam-Webster
i know the names of the customs officers,
american and canadian . . . (19)
Urban Dictionary:

Moral fiber is the capacity to do what is right, no matter what the circumstance.

Bernie Madoff was severely lacking moral fiber when he took billions from investors.
with each step they unravel the
moral fiber of our country. (21)
. . . the wanton will of satan. (21)
they say maple sugar
is becoming as old-fashioned
as the paisley shawl . . . (23)
female governors
From: Encyclopedia of Women's History in America, Second Edition.

In 1924 America got not only its first but its first two female governors—both of whom had previously served their states as first ladies. One was Nellie Tayloe Ross, who was elected in 1924 to complete the term of her husband, who had died two years into his term as governor of Wyoming. (Ross failed to win reelection in 1927.) The other was Miriam Amanda (Ma) Ferguson. Her husband had been governor of Texas several years before; when he was impeached and barred from ever holding that office again, his wife ran and won in his place. Although she was in most cases a proxy for her husband (the two campaigned side by side with the motto "Two Governors for the Price of One"), Ma Ferguson followed her own agenda on one issue: unlike her husband, Ferguson gave what aid she could to the prohibition forces.
Percelle Johnson,
town constable
Rum runners unloading cargo on the Philadelphia docks. 1929
wanton means "malicious" and "reckless"
Lynching is when a mob puts someone to death -- sometimes by hanging.
"A noose is a loop with a slipknot that binds closer the more it is drawn."
-- Merriam-Webster
Full transcript