Continuing with the road trip we took, today I’m sharing another shot taken toward sundown in Death Valley. These dunes are the ones that were in upper left corner of yesterday’s photo. You can see the tracks of footprints in the sand leading out towards these giant dunes, and if you look more closely, you can see people standing atop the the highest points of the dunes.
Want a chilling thought? Imagine being buried in a sandstorm underneath one of these behemoths. Scary thought…one I hate to contemplate. But these dunes are small in comparison to the world record, the tallest sand dune in the world. That dune goes by the name Dune 7 and is found in the Namib Desert in Namibia. Dubbed by the Namibia Ministry of Environment and Tourism as the highest sand dune in the world, you need to see Dune 7 to believe it. The 1,256-foot dune got its name because it is the seventh dune past the Tsauchab River, which runs through part of the Namib Desert. You can see it here.
Tomorrow, we move onward on our road trip!
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: in 1914, convicted of murder on meager evidence, the singing Wobbly Joe Hill was sentenced to be executed in Utah.
A native of Sweden who immigrated to the U.S. in 1879, Joe Hill joined the International Workers of the World (IWW) in 1910. The IWW was an industrial union that rejected the capitalist system and dreamed one day of leading a national workers’ revolution. Members of the IWW–known as Wobblies–were especially active in the western United States, where they enjoyed considerable success in organizing mistreated and exploited workers in the mining, logging, and shipping industries.
Beginning in 1908, the IWW began encouraging its membership to express their beliefs through song. The IWW published its Little Red Song Book, otherwise known as the I.W.W. Songs to Fan the Flames of Discontent. A few years later, the witty and handsome Joe Hill became one of the Wobblies’ leading singers and songwriters. Hill composed many of the IWW’s best-loved anthems, including “The Preacher of the Slave” which introduced the phrase “pie in the sky.” By 1915, Hill was one of the most famous Wobblies in the nation.
Public notoriety, however, could prove dangerous for a radical union man. In 1915, Hill was arrested and charged with murdering two Salt Lake City policemen during a grocery store robbery. Although the evidence against Hill was tenuous, a jury of conservative Utahans convicted him on this day in 1914 and he was sentenced to death. He was executed by firing squad the following year.
Ever since, scholars have debated whether Hill was actually guilty or was railroaded because of his radical politics. Regardless of his guilt or innocence, Hill became a powerful martyr for the IWW cause by telegramming his comrades with a famous last-minute message: “Don’t waste any time in mourning. Organize.”
TRIVIA FOR TODAY: Apple’s name recognition was so low in Japan in the early 1980s that refrigerated trucks were used to deliver shipments of Apple computers because workers thought that the boxes contained perishable fruit.