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Megan Smith
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John Glenn refused to fly until Katherine Johnson checked the math. Watch 4 min:  @MAKERSwomen Now 96 yr old, African-American Mathematician   Katherine Coleman Johnson calculated the trajectories for John Glenn, Alan Shepard and Apollo 11  Nearly lost history... just released her short film today.  #Apollo11 @NASA Thank you Katherine for your heroic technical leadership! 

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And now you know...

The real “Lone Ranger,” it turns out, was an African American man named Bass Reeves, who the legend was based upon. Perhaps not surprisingly, many aspects of his life were written out of the story, including his ethnicity. The basics remained the same: a lawman hunting bad guys, accompanied by a Native American, riding on a white horse, and with a silver trademark.

Historians of the American West have also, until recently, ignored the fact that this man was African American, a free black man who headed West to find himself less subject to the racist structure of the established Eastern and Southern states.

While historians have largely overlooked Reeves, there have been a few notable works on him. Vaunda Michaux Nelson’s book, Bad News for Outlaws: The Remarkable Life of Bass Reeves, Deputy U.S. Marshal, won the 2010 Coretta Scott King Award for best author. Arthur Burton released an overview of the man’s life a few years ago. Black Gun, Silver Star: The Life and Legend of Frontier Marshal Bass Reeves recounts that Reeves was born into a life of slavery in 1838. His slave-keeper brought him along as another personal servant when he went off to fight with the Confederate Army, during the Civil War.

Reeves took the chaos that ensued during the war to escape for freedom, after beating his “master” within an inch of his life, or according to some sources, to death. Perhaps the most intruiging thing about this escape was that Reeves only beat his enslaver after the latter lost sorely at a game of cards with Reeves and attacked him.

After successfully defending himself from this attack, he knew that there was no way he would be allowed to live if he stuck around.

Reeves fled to the then Indian Territory of today’s Oklahoma and lived harmoniously among the Seminole and Creek Nations of Native American Indians.

After the Civil War finally concluded, he married and eventually fathered ten children, making his living as a Deputy U.S. Marshall in Arkansas and the Indian Territory. If this surprises you, it should, as Reeves was the first African American to ever hold such a position.

Burton explains that it was at this point that the Lone Ranger story comes in to play. Reeves was described as a “master of disguises”. He used these disguises to track down wanted criminals, even adopting similar ways of dressing and mannerisms to meet and fit in with the fugitives, in order to identify them.

Reeves kept and gave out silver coins as a personal trademark of sorts, just like the Lone Ranger’s silver bullets. Of course, the recent Disney adaptation of the Lone Ranger devised a clever and meaningful explanation for the silver bullets in the classic tales. For the new Lone Ranger, the purposes was to not wantonly expend ammunition and in so doing devalue human life. But in the original series, there was never an explanation given, as this was simply something originally adapted from Reeves’ personal life and trademarking of himself. For Reeves, it had a very different meaning, he would give out the valuable coins to ingratiate himself to the people wherever he found himself working, collecting bounties. In this way, a visit from the real “Lone Ranger” meant only good fortune for the town: a criminal off the street and perhaps a lucky silver coin.

Like the Lone Ranger, Reeves was also expert crack shot with a gun. According to legend, shooting competitions had an informal ban on allowing him to enter. Like the Lone Ranger, Reeves rode a white horse throughout almost all of his career, at one point riding a light grey one as well.

Like the famed Lone Ranger legend Reeves had his own close friend like Tonto. Reeves’ companion was a Native American posse man and tracker who he often rode with, when he was out capturing bad guys. In all, there were close to 3000 of such criminals they apprehended, making them a legendary duo in many regions.

The final proof that this legend of Bass Reeves directly inspired into the story of the Lone Ranger can be found in the fact that a large number of those criminals were sent to federal prison in Detroit. The Lone Ranger radio show originated and was broadcast to the public in 1933 on WXYZ in Detroit where the legend of Reeves was famous only two years earlier.

Of course, WXYZ and the later TV and movie adaptions weren’t about to make the Lone Ranger an African American who began his career by beating a slave-keeper to death. But now you know. Spread the word and let people know the real legend of the Lone Ranger.

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200+ Bay Area High School Students  were hosted by +TeslaMotors  +google +NASA Astronaut Chamitoff for #STEM Field Trip with  +EndersGame screening and talk by Enders Game special effects team --  ABC News Bay Area report  #HeroicEng

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Great imagery of Chautauqua Institution now live in StreetView... sometimes I describe Chautauqua as sort of  "TED Conference" like summertime place founded in the 1870s -- multi-dimensional, thinking, arts, education, recreation, innovation community that has been gathering every summer for 100+ years.
New on #StreetView: Explore the +Chautauqua Institution, a National Historic Landmark and non-profit summer educational and arts center founded in 1874 in NY State on Chautauqua Lake. Each summer, for more than 130 years, Chautauqua has hosted many distinguished visitors and speakers including Amelia Earhart, Booker T. Washington, Margaret Mead, Elie Wiesel and Jane Goodall.  

We used our Street View Car, Trolley and Trike to capture 360-degree photos of the institution's expansive grounds, here are some of our favorite locations. Take a look or explore now in Street View at:
Chautauqua Institution in Streetview
10 Photos - View album

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Amazing nearly-lost history story saved by Kathy Kleiman... 
Kathy Kleinman presented a little-known historic moonshot on the ENIAC project at the '7 Techmakers and a Microphone' session at Google I/O last week.  ENIAC, built during WWII, was the first all-electronic digital computer, a machine of approximately 18,000 vacuum tubes and forty black 8-foot panels.  And its first programmers (...and the world's first programmers) were six women. 

You can check out the session here:

Session details:  Megan Smith, hosts a series of lightening talks from Susan Wojcicki, Anna Patterson, Johanna Wright, Kathy Kleiman, Jean Wang, and Diane Greene. They share their insights, learnings, and “ah ha!” moments from being technical leaders inside innovative companies.

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Join - an online forum to encourage and amplify moonshot thinking and collaboration. Tech moonshot proposals = address a huge problem * propose a radical solution that just might work * use breakthrough technology to make it happen. Come join and declare your "X" - what are you working on, what do you want to see in the world? …

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Working on some projects to get more visibility of technical women -- including historic leaders... Happy Birthday Ada Lovelace!!

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UN Education Envoy has declared Nov 10 Malala Day -- events in over 100 countries today to support Malala's vision of girls learning and empowerment -- and education of all children globally. New fund launched - give at hosted by VitalVoices or in the US text "BRAVE" to 27722 to donate $10. Sign petition at share #iammalala #malalafund 
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