The Watsons Go to Birmingham--1963
The top 10 hunting dogs (alphabetically)
Beagles are a classic hunting dog, known for their playfulness, intelligence, and characteristic howl. The beagle is a British breed that specializes in smaller game. They have boundless stamina and persistence when tracking their game.
The bloodhound is the quintessential tracking breed — their famous noses can follow trails that have gone cold for days. Their sense of smell is so powerful that these dogs are regularly used by law enforcement to track criminals and locate missing persons.
- Chesapeake Bay retriever
This water-loving dog gets his name from the breed’s history along the Chesapeake Bay, where they were bred to hunt ducks. Though not as well-known as Labradors or golden retrievers, this breed shares all the qualities that make retrievers lovable: intelligence, athleticism, and boundless good nature.
Coonhounds are great trackers, relying on their sense of smell to help their human compatriots locate their prey. They may have been bred as a combination of two other great tracking breeds — foxhounds and bloodhounds — and get their name for their propensity towards smaller game, such as raccoons. However, this breed is known for their fearlessness and is often used in hunting large game, like deer.
Skeptics may have a hard time believing this stubby-legged dog would be of any use in the field, but dachshunds have been bred as far back as 17th century Europe to hunt smaller game. This breed has long proved a fearless tracker of badgers, foxes, and rabbits. Their name even comes from the German words for badger and dog: “Dachs” and “Hund.”
- English setter
Easily trained and energetic, this breed is another coveted bird dog, originating in the United Kingdom in the 19th century. The closely related Irish setter has many similarities. Both possess an excellent sense of smell and a deep reserve of stamina.
- Fox terrier
Now harder to find than most others on this list, the fox terrier is another breed that can trace its roots back to 17th century Europe. This small but spirited terrier was bred to chase foxes out of their hiding places. Today, their short but powerful frames make them coveted companions for fox hunting.
- Labrador retriever
The Labrador retriever is considered to be the best hunting dog because of its versatility. Labs are famously trainable, intelligent, athletic and good-natured. They are also water-loving dogs with slightly webbed toes and water-repellant coats. One interesting quality about Labradors is their “soft bite.” A Lab can be trained to hold an item in its mouth without damaging it — a well-trained lab can even hold an egg in his mouth!
The pointer is another classic hunting dog, working easily on both land and water. They are commonly used as bird dogs, although they also are adept at tracking. Their name comes from their characteristic “pointing” behavior. When a pointer smells prey, instead of flushing it out, she freezes and points with her body towards the prey.
- Spanish water dog
The Spanish water dog’s specialty is in its name. These highly intelligent, eager, and agile dogs are perfectly suited for flushing out and retrieving waterfowl. They’re so comfortable in the water they are often used in aquatic search-and-rescue missions. Their thick coat is poorly suited for hunting in the brush, however, as it can catch on branches and vegetation.
Did you know...
- that whirlpools, while dangerous to swimmers, can also threaten boats?
- three of the most famous whirlpools in the world are the whirlpool below Niagara Falls, the Maelstrom off the coast of Norway, and the Chrybdis between Sicily and Italy
- the Charybdis whirlpool and the treacherous rocks near it are immortalized in The Odyssey as Scylla and Charybdis--two monsters that Odysseus and his crew must sail between
10 Facts about the 16th Street Bombing
Just three weeks after Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his groundbreaking "I Have a Dream" speech, an Alabama church was bombed before a Sunday service — killing four girls and injuring several others.
The horrific scene at the 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham was one of several tragedies at the peak of the Civil Rights movement that helped transform the nation.
On the 52nd anniversary of the bombing, here are several facts everyone should know of the senseless crime:
1. Members of the Ku Klux Klan called in bomb threats to the church several times prior to the bombing.
2. The bomb went off at approximately 10:22 a.m. on Sept. 15, 1963 as 200 church members were attending Sunday school classes .
3. The bodies of Addie Mae Collins, Carole Robertson and Cynthia Wesley, all 14, were found in the basement bathroom under the rubble with 11-year-old Denise McNair.
4. Sarah Collins, 10, was also in the basement bathroom and lost her right eye at the time of explosion.
5. Four Klan members — Thomas Edwin Blanton Jr., Herman Frank Cash, Robert Edward Chambliss and Bobby Frank Cherry — planted the bomb, made of 15 sticks of dynamite, underneath the church front steps.
6. The four white supremacists were not charged until 1977, when Robert Chambliss was convicted of first-degree murder of victim Denise McNair. Blanton and Cherry were later convicted in 2001 and 2002 and sentenced to life in prison.
7. The church bombing was the third in 11 days.
8. The violent explosion eventually led to the Civil Rights Act being signed by President Lyndon B. Johnson in 1964 and the Voting Rights Act in 1965.
9. Several movies and books depict what happened in Birmingham including “4 Little Girls,” directed by Spike Lee and “Selma,” directed by Ava DuVernay.
10. On May 24, 2013, President Barack Obama awarded a Congressional Medal of Honor posthumously to the four girls killed in 1963, presenting the medal to the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute.
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