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“Solving USA and the World’s Major Problems For A Better Future,”

Parkers' book review.pngBook Review, June 19, 2017, Franklin and Betty Parker. Title: “Solving USA and the World’s Major Problems For A Better Future,” 10-11 AM, Adshead Hall, Uplands Village, Pleasant Hill, TN 38578. E-mail:

Betty: Our book review, “Solving USA’s and the World’s Major Problems For A Better Future” was started before and revised during and after the contentious Nov. 8, 2016 election.

FRANK: We searched the internet, libraries, and elsewhere for best sources on such USA/World problems as: 1-stopping ongoing wars; 2-creating a more peaceful, cooperative world; 3-upliftlng needy people everywhere; and 4-finding ways toward a better future.

Betty: Frank, what concerns caused us to pursue this difficult topic on 1-what’s wrong with the USA and the world? and 2-How to correct those wrongs for a better future?

FRANK: I am 96, Betty is 88. Our old age concerns and questions are: 1: why the USA, since World War 2, has been involved in ongoing, costly, deadly wars? 2: What did we do wrong to bring on our big troubles? 3: How can we correct past wrongs, mistakes, and move toward a better future?

Betty: Frank, any other really big problems to explore?

FRANK: The deadly problem of violent Jihadist attacks. Jihad in Arabic means “struggle,” struggle to defend the Muslim faith against unbelievers. Some Muslims, long defensive about their faith, have in recent troubled times become violently anti-Western. We need to understand why Islamic jihadists are determined to destroy us and our Allies, and how to soften their angers.

Betty: Reasons for Middle East angers against us include 1: We needed Middle East oil and got it by hook or crook. 2: In so doing we Westerners generally ignored their history, cultures, faiths, and traditions.

FRANK: 3: Muslims, whose main enemy is Israel, long resented, now hate, our USA backing of Israel since its 1948 founding. 4. Arabs, proud of their once great Arabic culture, feel threatened and besieged by the modern world. Muslims see us Americans as the worst of the modern world. Militant Islamists magnify our faults. They imagine that everything we do is against them.

Betty: Some young anti-West jihadists actually believe that either the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) or Israel’s secret agency Mossad on 9-11-2001 deliberately destroyed New York City’s World Trade Center in order to justify USA attacks on Muslims. Frank, these hard Islamist-USA differences nearly exploded on April 4, 2017, when Syria’s Pres. Bashar Hafez al-Assad (his name means “lion” in Arabic) used deadly poison gas on his own Syrian opponents.

FRANK: Pres. Trump’s immediate response to this poison gas atrocity was to order 59 Tomahawk Missiles fired on Syria’s main military airport. His action won immediate U.S. praise–but wait–here’s what happened: those U.S. missiles struck close to stored Russian planes, prompting Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to denounce our missile strike as a provocative act.

Betty: Recently North Korea has tested missiles to show the world that they will soon be able to pulverize us.

FRANK: Such dangerous incidents can spin out of control; can lead to WW 3, to mutual nuclear bomb exchanges, to annihilation. Another big problem: Why does the USA use pilotless drones to kill targeted enemies?

Betty: Why do we use bombs and drone strikes knowing they also cause innocent civilian deaths and injuries? Our drone strikes increase their anger and make their blowback attacks on us fiercer, more vicious.

FRANK: “Blowback” is a term first used by the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) to explain retaliation in its deeper, hidden, more sinister meaning, as follows: the USA military has reason to suspect, then verifies, then bombs a jihadist site, expecting jihadists’ retaliation, so that USA military can hit them again with a superior force. This causes jihadists to use stronger retaliation, followed by even bigger USA bombing. That’s the heart, the awesomeness, and the evil of our ongoing wars: jihadists hit us, we hit back harder, knowing they will retaliate more fiercely. Blow by bigger blow escalates without end.

Betty: Also disturbing about our blowback strikes is their secrecy. The American public is not informed when the US uses drone strikes.

FRANK: Journalists imbedded with our military have rightly described blowback strikes as perpetuating ongoing endless wars. What is behind our never-ending wars is profit and power. Endless wars push Congress to give the military more and more money, more and more power, which profits munitions makers, which enriches our 1% top rich because they own stock in defense industries.

Betty: Many Americans are not aware that our ongoing wars cost trillions of dollars, lead to many deaths and injuries and create homeless refugees. Those trillions of dollars could, should, be spent to uplift needy people everywhere, eliminate diseases, repair faulty infrastructures, plus other similar needs.

FRANK: Better to use those trillions of dollars to help modernize poverty-stricken nations, improve and universalize education at all levels, create self-help programs everywhere, encourage peaceful negotiation, solve international disputes–tasks needed to assure our better future. Instead we use trillions of dollars to kill, kill; to dominate.

Betty: We share below author John W. Whitehead’s criticism of our tremendous military overspending. He is a constitutional lawyer and human rights attorney.

FRANK: Whitehead’s book is titled Battlefield America; The War on the American People, 2017. Interestingly, Whitehead’s main points were published in our newspaper, Crossville Chronicle (April 14, 2017, p. 4), titled: “Beware the Dogs of War.” See:;+The+War+on+the+American+People+Place

Betty: Whitehead wrote #1: Our gigantic military spending is ruining the USA. Our endless wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere, instead of making the world and us safer are digging the USA deeper into trillions of dollars of debt.

FRANK: Whitehead wrote #2: Our government has spent 4.8 trillion dollars on wars abroad since September 11, 2001, when jihadists hijacked USA planes, crashed them into New York City’s World Trade Center, into Washington, D.C.’s Pentagon Building, and crashed another in Pennsylvania as passengers fought off hijackers.

Betty: Whitehead, #3: Although the USA has only 5% of the world’s population, our military spending is almost half the world’s total military expenditure. We spend more on our military than do the 19 next biggest military spending nations combined.

FRANK: Whitehead, #4: The Pentagon spends more on ongoing wars than all of our 50 states combined spend on health, education, welfare, and safety. Our country is now (2017) 19 trillion dollars in debt.

Betty: Whitehead, #5: Everybody’s taxes pay for USA’s rising military costs. The 1% top rich get richer from ongoing wars because they own the most shares in the armaments industry.

FRANK: Whitehead, #6: Interestingly, USA taxpayer statistics for 2013 reveal that some 243 million USA adults paid some type of federal taxes. About 122 million Americans paid federal income taxes. All American workers have payroll taxes. Result: low to moderate USA earners pay a larger percentage of their income in taxes than do high earning Americans. See:

Betty: Whitehead, #7: asked: who is stealing the USA blind and pushing us to bankruptcy? Not the sick, elderly, or poor—but the military-industrial complex–the illicit merger of the armaments industry and the Pentagon as President Dwight Eisenhower 56 years ago warned in his 1961 farewell address.

FRANK: Whitehead, #8: added this strong statement: The military-industrial complex, by influencing and controlling Congress plus controlling other sources of USA power, is perhaps the greatest threat to our country’s future.

Betty: Whitehead, #9, asked: what and who are behind USA’s expanding military empire? His answer: corrupt politicians, incompetent government officials, co-opted by greedy defense contractors. By approving and fostering America’s expanding military empire, they are bleeding the USA dry at a rate of more than 15 billion dollars a month or 20 million dollars an hour.

FRANK: Whitehead, #10: That USA expenditure of over 15 billion dollars a month; 20 million dollars an hour is spent on foreign wars alone. That sum for foreign wars alone does not include the added cost of staffing and maintaining our 1000-plus U.S.A. military bases worldwide.

Betty: Another author, Jane Mayer, M A Y E R, confirms Whitehead’s assertions about USA enormous military spending. Her book is titled: Dark Money: The Hidden History of the Billionaires Behind the Rise of the Radical Right, NY: Doubleday, 2016.

FRANK: Jane Mayer wrote, #1: reinforcing Whitehead, that USA military trillions of dollars are paid mainly by the non-rich 99% taxpayers, not by the 1% rich taxpayers.

Betty: Jane Mayer wrote, #2: Most Americans don’t know, don’t realize, the above two facts: that lower income Americans pay for our ongoing wars, which benefit the super rich and do not know that our ongoing wars against Muslim nations create the radical jihadists who are determined to destroy us.

FRANK: We would rebel, rebel–if all Americans knew the above two facts, if we all knew the high costs of ongoing wars, if we all knew the horrors of military and civilian lives lost and crippled, if we knew the hurt and sadness suffered by involved families-we would rebel.

Betty: We would rebel by voting out misguided politicians, voting in reform minded honor-bound, enlightened government officials.

FRANK: We would rebel by electing officials who care for all their constituents, especially their needy ones, and care for all people everywhere.
Betty: We need to elect leaders dedicated to honest uplift and advancement of all their constituents, poor, rich, regardless of color or national background.

FRANK: Now for one favorite author Chalmers Johnson who died in 2010, one of the early respected critics of USA’s military excesses, a scholar and professor at the University of California’s Berkeley and San Diego campuses. He first exposed the USA military blowback scheme that propels our ongoing wars.

Betty: Chalmers Johnson, #1: Johnson, an early Cold War anti-USSR scholar-writer and for a time a CIA advisor, soon saw and wrote convincingly that our ongoing wars as Policeman of the World were changing the USA from a Democracy into an Oligarchy ruled by the richest few.

FRANK: Chalmers Johnson, #2: His best known 3-volume Blowback series covers the USA’s World War 2 defeat of Hitler and Hitlerism, covers aggressive USSR expansionism which determined the USA to become the World’s Policeman.

Betty: Chalmers Johnson, #3: He continued: With the 1991 collapse of the USSR, the USA, instead of disarming, strengthened itself as Super World Policeman. In doing so we began losing our highly regarded Democracy. We became more and more an Oligarchy.

FRANK: Chalmers Johnson, #4: Titles of his 3 Blowback series are: 1- title: Blowback: The Costs and Consequences of American Empire, published 2000. 2-title: Sorrows of Empire published 2004. 3-title: Nemesis: The Last Days of American Empire, published 2006. His last book of essays was titled: Dismantling The Empire: America’s Last Best Hope, published 2010, the year he died.

Betty: Chalmers Johnson, #5: His Blowback series documented that the CIA plus a dozen or more other US intelligence agencies operate in secret without accounting for monies spent. Chalmers Johnson first told about the Defense Department’s growing number of military bases worldwide–737 in his time, grown to over 1,000 by 2017.

FRANK: Chalmers Johnson, #6: He was one of the first scholars to say that our enforcement of American dominance over the world constitutes a new form of USA global empire.

Betty: Chalmers Johnson, #7: Past empires, he wrote, controlled subject peoples as colonies. But since World War II our many military bases around the world have made the USA a new World Empire, an empire evoking resistance, antagonism, and Islamist terror attacks wherever they think they can hurt us most. Chalmers Johnson’s Blowback series warned that being an Empire causes rebellion, strife, and war with those we would rule. He urged again and again for dismantling our empire.

FRANK: Chalmers Johnson, #8: wrote descriptively of military prisons using such cruel practices as brutal waterboarding torture of prisoners and worse. These atrocities done secretly in Iraq and at our Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, prison have since been made public.

Betty: Chalmers Johnson, #9: Outwardly, military men and women on bases abroad, single or married, have assigned rigid military duties, yet many live in luxury, in opulence: low rent or no rent, cheap goods in Post Exchanges, many recreation outlets.

FRANK: Sins hidden from us on our 1,000+military bases worldwide include: swaggering drunken soldiers who brawl, injure, kill native people, rape women; sins which, even if reported, are covered up.

Betty: Our military bases abroad are imperial enclaves, a form of colonization, barely tolerated by the host country for financial and political reasons, deeply resented by the country’s citizens, utterly detested by resentful jihadists. That’s what ongoing wars do. They are brutal and brutalizing.

FRANK: Another special best author, Betty’s favorite, is Rosa Brooks. Her book is on the US military, the Pentagon, and the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). It is titled: How Everything Became War and the Military Became Everything, 2016, listed among the best 100 books published that year.

Betty: Brooks grew up in a liberal activist family. Her mother, Barbara Ehrenreich, is a well-known journalist (NY Times; New Yorker) and an award-winning author of 21 books (Nickel and Dimed).

FRANK: Rosa Brooks became a lawyer, a legal scholar, and a human rights activist.

Betty: She then worked for 26 months (2009-2012) in the Pentagon as chief legal research advisor to the highest-ranking woman officer in the Pentagon, with top security clearance. Rosa Brooks married a highly placed Pentagon officer.

FRANK: She is currently a professor of constitutional and international law and also Associate Dean at Georgetown University Law Center, Washington, D.C., and a prominent writer for major journals.

Betty: She is keenly insightful about USA military strengths and weaknesses.

FRANK: Brooks, #1 wrote: “Today, America’s wars are everywhere and forever. Our enemies change constantly and rarely wear uniforms, and virtually anything can become a weapon…“

Betty: Brooks, #2: She shows how U.S. defense policies evolved during the long USA-USSR Cold War, 1945-91, 45 years. Then in 1991 the USSR fell apart, the Cold War ended, and the world dramatically changed.

FRANK: Brooks, #3: Since 1991, our enemies are not nation states but are Mid-East Muslim jihadists who hate the West.

Betty: Wars are no longer declared. Enemies rely on shock and terrorism.

FRANK: Meanwhile, we still support the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), our western nations organization to counter Russian aggression, and other defense agreements created for a Cold War with the USSR that no longer exists.

Betty: Brooks, #4: Her urgent warning is that constant wars destroy America’s founding values, laws, and institutions. On-going wars undermine the international rules and organizations that keep our world from sliding into chaos.

FRANK: The world around us, she continued, is quietly changing beyond recognition—and time is running out to make things right. While military costs continue to rise higher and higher, USA domestic needs continue to have lower and lower priority.

Betty: Those higher and higher military costs are for endless wars with mostly Mid-Eastern Muslim and with north African countries whose jihadists hate our USA military presence and exploitation.

FRANK: Brooks, #5: She re-emphasizes that it is suicidal for us to forget President Eisenhower’s 1961 farewell address warning against what is now the commanding threat:–the military-industrial complex.

Betty: Brooks, #6: reminds us that President John F. Kennedy, three months after his inauguration, on the CIA’s urging, naively approved the disastrously failed CIA-directed attempt to overthrow Cuba’s Pres. Fidel Castro.

FRANK: Though the CIA invasion was planned under Pres. Eisenhower, JFK accepted full responsibility for this failure.

Betty: But JFK never again trusted the CIA and signed an executive order prohibiting the CIA from more such secret operations.

FRANK: Brooks, #7: stated that conspiracy theories about JFK’s assassination blame his assassination on an embittered CIA that hated JFK for threatening to “Smash the CIA to smithereens” (his words).

Betty: Yet after Kennedy’s death and throughout the Cold War years, CIA’s secrecy, spending, and power grew, mushroomed.

FRANK: The CIA has spent vast sums in Southeast Asia, in Iran, in Afghanistan, and in Central and South America. The CIA is much like a secret army with a secret budget.

Betty: Brooks, #8: asked, “Where is the hope in this dangerous world?” What is the answer?

FRANK: Brooks, being a specialist in international law, believes the U.S. still has time to help create an international system of checks and balance that can save us. We need, she wrote, to develop cautions and processes that make life in this dangerous world safer, better. (Rosa Brooks, p. 355)

Betty: Brooks, #9: “We will need to do this on…the individual, state, and international levels…and balance the right of each individual to life, liberty, and fair process…” “With regard to the nation, we need categories, rules, and institutions that enable meaningful democratic control of government decisions that affect [our] liberty and lives.” FTNTP. Brooks, p. 356.

FRANK: Brooks, #10: then remarkably urged that we remake our war Army into a peace Army, a new kind of John F. Kennedy Peace Corps. Brooks asked: “…why not use this as an opportunity to engage everyone—to include millions more Americans in the project of making the nation stronger, and the world a little less cruel?”

Betty: Brooks, #11: continued: “Imagine a revamped public sector premised on the idea of universal service—an America in which every young man and woman spends a year or two engaged in work that fosters national and global security…some might work on international development or public health projects.” “A universal service program would also be a massive investment in a safer, stronger future” (Brooks, page 360).

FRANK: Brooks concluded, #12: on the hopeful note that though the USA and the World are in dangerously troubled times, we should, like our founding fathers, never abandon hope.

Betty: Brooks’ superior coverage of USA military problems is a good place to give my closing thoughts. ¶Martin Luther King, Jr., having battled for African American rights, the night before his death said: “I have been to the mountaintop and seen the Promised Land.” We do not live on a mountaintop. We live on the Cumberland Plateau of Tennessee. We here have not seen the Promised Land. Instead, we see inadequate health care and many other needs, knowing that around the world the lavishly expensive American military presence produces hatred, not peace, and that the costs of wars are taking money that could provide our neighbors with adequate health care, provide other needs, and assure a better future. Rosa Brooks in concluding her book says: “We don’t have to accept a world in which the globe is a battlefield… We should be asking…What kind of world do we want to live in—and how do we get from here to there?”

Betty: Now for Frank’s conclusion.

FRANK: This USA/World problems and solutions topic has been for us a challenge and an eye opener. Our USA/World problems are many and complex; the solution few and difficult. We appreciate our audience’s patience. Your comments and reactions after my conclusion will be welcomed. I have asked Betty to alternate with me.

Betty for Frank: Having explored major USA/World problems, their origins and scope, Frank briefly sketches our USA’s growth from small beginnings to our high boom time rise, to our recent troubled discontents about 1- jobs lost to cheaper labor abroad, 2- ongoing wars, 3-our role as the hated world policeman, 4-many U.S. military bases and military spending, 5. our drift from Democracy to Oligarchy.

FRANK: Despite its troubles our USA is wonderful, but no utopia. We’ve tried utopias–near perfect, cooperative societies; some religious, some secular: Shakers, Mennonites (some around Crossville, TN), New Harmony, Ind.; Brook Farm in Mass.; Rugby in TN; Oneida in New York State known for its silverware; Mormons in Utah. But these utopias did not last, never became mainstream.

Betty: Our USA has lasted and we hope will last for better or worse, despite many challenges. Frank, describe your view of our past, present, and likely future of the USA and the World.

FRANK: Look back to Philadelphia, Penn., around 1776–a handful of smart/bold rebels from 13 colonies declared their independence from Britain; bound themselves together in Articles of Confederation, formed a new nation, wrote a Constitution, created a congress to make laws, a president to lead, a supreme court to decide, a government to cover every contingency. Why? So that free and independent people might live in harmony to shape their own changing future by free, prudent, competitive, informed, honest voting.

Betty, speaking for Frank: Those new Americans from 13 colonies were wise, substantive men of property who knew they had to compromise to accommodate colonies big and small, with immigrants from far and wide.

FRANK: Each was different, each with varied jobs and incomes– few rich; mostly hard working, aspiring small farmers, small shopkeepers. Those founding fathers and their successor leaders, in keeping with the mores of their time, warily accepted as inevitable the need of Southern growers of cotton and other crops for cheap African slaves. It was wrong. We endured a civil war to right that wrong, and it gave us Abraham Lincoln.

Betty speaking for Frank: We welcomed indentured servants from mother England who would in time earn full citizenship; admitted low cost Chinese laborers to help lay iron track for railroads; opened wide liberty doors to massive poor immigrants needed for Northeast manufacturing and trade, encouraged the adventurous to fill the unfilled west to the Pacific Ocean.

FRANK: What followed? How did America change? How did we get into our time of trouble? How did we rise so high and then, recently, fall so low? Listen to insights about our rise and fall from Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois, Social Science Professor Robert J. Gordon. His book is titled: The Rise and Fall of American Growth; The U.S. Standard of Living Since the Civil War. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, 2016.

Betty for Frank: Robert J. Gordon wrote that in our first hundred years, about 1776 to 1876, we had small population growth, small economic rise, and wee endured a divisive Civil War. The next hundred years, roughly 1876 to 1976, our country mushroomed phenomenally with massive population growth, more and greater inventions, plentiful jobs, despite of and in consequence of World Wars 1 and 2.

FRANK; That 1876-1976 boom was spectacular. Living conditions changed beyond recognition for nearly every American. Electric lights replaced candles and kerosene and whale oil; indoor flush toilets replaced outhouses; national highways replaced country roads; electric lights replaced oil-lit, then gas-lit homes, Electric washers replaced porch-based scrub boards, gasoline-driven cars replaced horses and horse driven carriages, steam and electric trains, new phones, ever new electronic gadgets. New York City’s financial district, a muddy street in the 1880s, boomed as Wall Street. We became the world’s financial center.

Betty speaking for Frank: We became the world’s leading democracy. But that once in our national lifetime 1876 to 1976 boom could not, did not last. USA job losses worried us.

FRANK: Life for many blue collar Americans went downhill. USA manufacturing lost jobs to cheap labor abroad. Coal use dropped, replaced by lower priced natural gas and other lower polluting energy sources. USA shoppers bought cheaper made goods abroad rather than USA made goods. Result: USA job losses, job losses. The military-industrial complex then mired us down in ongoing unwinnable wars in Vietnam and elsewhere. It was the downward bust after the uplift boom plus ongoing wars that created our current USA and World unsolvable problems which we earlier highlighted.

Betty Speaking for Frank: In the November 8, 2016 presidential election angry hard working Americans who lost jobs voted for a change agent, a conservative real estate billionaire who repeatedly tweeted: I will make America great again. What’s ahead, Frank; will our future be better or worse?

FRANK: Nuclear war, if it comes, will take survivors 100 or more years to rebuild a broken world. We must avoid such carnage, must create Brooks’ suggested Peace Army to uplift the fallen, to heal the world, to spread life-long learning to all people young and old, emphasizing goodness, honor, nobility, truth, and helpfulness. Each one teach one lifelong must become universally ingrained.

Betty For Frank: We humans have damaged, fouled, our God-given earth, air, rivers, oceans with garbage and harmful carbon smoke. We’ve learned to live with it but we have possibly doomed life on earth for future generations. We unwisely brought on our big floods, tsunamis, earthquakes, foul air resulting in mounting illnesses and early deaths.

FRANK: In a hundred years we may be forced to leave our beloved but human-fouled Earth writes our one of the great living scientist, Cambridge University professor Stephen Hawking, himself immobile, speechless, wheel chair bound with Lou Gehrig’s disease, communicating only with a twitch near his right eye. He believes the future of our children’s children’ future is up there, up in space. Hawking believes, future generations must go up there, up there, to adapt to livable conditions, perhaps to find more advanced forms of life, to learn if those on other planets had the equivalent of Moses or Mohammad or Jesus.
In ending, I say: let us all on this Earth do the best we can to save a life, to save the world. Bless all in this house. Thank you. Thank you, projectionist Phil Nevius. Thank you, Book Review hosts Don and Mary Schantz. Thank you, audience. It’s your opinion & question time. END.

Note: Besides the books cited above, we searched many aspects of this topic at plus other search engines, including

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About bfparker

Franklin Parker, 1921-, and Betty June Parker, 1929, met at Berea College near Lexington, KY, Sept. 1946, were married June 12, 1950.

Frank attended the University of Illinois Graduate School, Urbana, 1949-50, for the M.S. degree. We both first taught at Ferrum College near Roanoke, VA , 1950-52. We did additional graduate study at both George Peabody College for Teachers and at adjoining Vanderbilt University campus in Nashville, TN, summers 1951, 1952.
Part time jobs and study in Nashville during 1952-56, four years, enabled us to graduate in Aug. 1956: Betty, M.A. degree in English; Frank, doctoral degree, Social Foundations of Education.
Frank’s dissertation topic, which took us to London, England, for three months, Sept. to Dec. 1954, and influenced our lives, came from Peabody College Graduate Dean Felix C. Robb (1914-97).
Dean Robb told Frank that during his own doctoral study at Harvard Graduate School of Education, Harvard’s History Prof. Arthur Schlesinger Sr. (1888-1965), knowing Robb was a Peabody College administrator, told him: Robb, your college founder, George Peabody, was the largely forgotten founder of modern educational philanthropy. His Peabody Education Fund, just after the Civil War, set the pattern for all later large educational funds and foundations. A well done doctoral dissertation based on his original papers and related papers needs to be written.
Dean Felix Robb, perhaps regretting that he had written on another topic (school administration), urged Frank to look into George Peabody’s influence.
We did, were inspired by what we found, spent many months reading George Peabody documents in libraries in Nashville, Washington, DC, Baltimore, New York City, Boston and Salem, Mass.; plus three months in London, England, libraries.
Because the George Peabody research took us to London, changed our lives, led us to 27 trips abroad, we must tell why he was important, why research on him was so beneficial for us.
Born poor 19 miles north of Boston and little schooled, George Peabody at age 17 migrated South, succeeded as a dry-goods importing merchant at Peabody, Riggs & Co., 1814-40s, based in Baltimore, Md., with New York and Philadelphia warehouses.
On Peabody’s fifth European buying trip, 1837, all via London, Maryland officials commissioned him to sell abroad Maryland’s $8 million bonds to finance its Baltimore and Ohio canal and later the Baltimore and Ohio railroad.
The U.S. was then a borrowing nation needing foreign capital for internal improvements. In the financial panic of 1837, against all odds, Peabody sold Maryland’s bonds abroad, found himself in transition from merchant to U.S. state bond broker-banker.
He remained in London the rest of his life: 1837-69. His George Peabody & Co., banking firm, London, 1838-64, 26 years, specialized in selling U.S. state bonds to finance canals, railroads, telegraph, the Atlantic Cable, etc., thus helping modernize and industrialize the U.S.
Note that J.P. Morgan’s (1837-1913) father (J.S. Morgan, 1813-90) was George Peabody’s partner, making George Peabody a root of the JP Morgan banking empire.
Peabody supported his widowed mother, was the family breadwinner, paid for the education of his siblings, and later his nieces and nephews. Unmarried, he used half his fortune, large for that time, to found educational institutions while he lived and left half to relatives at his death.
His philanthropic motive is best expressed by his motto in his 1852 letter founding his first hometown library: “Education: a debt due from present to future generations.”
Peabody founded seven U.S. Peabody libraries, with lecture halls and lecture funds, the adult education centers of the time; well before Andrew Carnegie’s later more numerous Carnegie libraries.
The Peabody Institute of Baltimore comprised a reference library, art gallery, lecture hall and fund, and the Peabody Conservatory of Music–all now part of Johns Hopkins University,
George Peabody’s example influenced Baltimoreans Enoch Pratt (1808-96) to found the Enoch Pratt Free Public Library and Johns Hopkins (1795-1873) to found Johns Hopkins University and Medical School.
George Peabody founded three Peabody museums: 1: advanced anthropology at Harvard, 2: paleontology at Yale, and 3: maritime history and Essex County history, including George Peabody’s letters and papers, at Peabody Essex Museum, Salem, MA.
He endowed professorships at Phillips Academy, Andover, MA, and Washington and Lee University, Lexington, VA. He gave publication funds to both the Maryland and Massachusetts Historical Societies; aided Civil War widows and orphans (through the U.S. Sanitary Commission); and supported a Vatican charitable hospital (in Rome, Italy).
His multi-million dollar 1862 Peabody Homes for London’s working poor amazed the British, inspired imitators in the U.S. and elsewhere, brought him many honors. The Peabody Homes today, housing over 50,000 low income Londoners, offer highly praised job counseling and other social services, making George Peabody better known in England than he is in the U.S.
His previously mentioned Peabody Education Fund (1867-1914, 47 years) advanced public elementary and secondary schools, plus teacher education in 12 depressed southern states.
Pres. Andrew Johnson (1708-75) and the U.S. Congress acknowledged the Peabody Education Fund as a national gift. Harvard historian Schlesinger was right: all later larger major U.S. funds and foundations are based on the Peabody Education Fund model.
That Fund’s legatee in Nashville, George Peabody College for Teachers (1914-79, 65 years), shared courses and credits with adjoining Vanderbilt University. They merged in 1979 as Peabody College of Vanderbilt University.
In London we read George Peabody-related papers at his banking firm, in the British Library, University of London Library, and at Windsor Castle. Queen Victoria wanted to knight him. He graciously declined. He died in London, Nov. 4, 1869, evoking public and news media praise for his philanthropy on both sides of the Atlantic.
His remains lay in state for 30 days at Westminster Abbey. His will, requiring burial near his USA birthplace, prompted Queen Victoria to order his remains returned to the U.S. on Britain’s newest war ship.
President U.S. Grant (1822-85) ordered a U.S. war ship as escort vessel. His trans-Atlantic funeral made international news.
Memory of George Peabody inevitably faded in time, overshadowed by vastly wealthier industrialists (Carnegie, Rockefeller, Ford, others) and their much larger funds and foundations.
We returned to Nashville in December 1954 and found new part-time jobs.
On February 18, 1955, George Peabody’s 160th birthday, Frank was invited to give the Peabody College Founders Day Address, published as George Peabody (1795-1869), Founder of Modern Philanthropy (Nashville: George Peabody College for Teachers, 1955). Frank wrote and Betty edited the George Peabody dissertation, which was defended, accepted, and later published by Vanderbilt University Press as George Peabody, a Biography, 1971.
In 1995 on the 200th anniversary of George Peabody’s birth, Frank’s updated version was republished with 12 illustration. The George Peabody research experience bonded us wonderfully. The London research and brief trips to Scotland, Paris, Lucerne, and Rome helped us see ourselves, the U.S., and the world differently.
The British people and Europeans in 1954, still scarred by WWII bombings and privation but on the mend, seemed to us more mature, substantive, more serious than hustling, bustling, competitive, keep-up-with-the-Joneses Americans.
Compared to the U.S., we thought British and European family life, schools at all levels, and media were more substantive, more culturally informed, better character building. We felt that our advertising-dominated American culture, in over-promising everything, cheapened our values, often misled us with inconsequential fads and fancies.
Berea College, Peabody College, and our research experiences, especially in London, besides bonding us, led Frank to emphasize more and more international education during his 40 years of teaching at the universities of Texas (Austin), Oklahoma (Norman), W. Va. (Morgantown), Northern Arizona (Flagstaff), Western Carolina (Cullowhee, NC).
We felt that teachers with intercultural-international understanding could help new student generations build a more peaceful world. As longtime editor of the Comparative and International Education Society Newsletter Frank learned of and publicized low-cost travel and international study opportunities for students and teachers. A competitive Kappa Delta Pi (education honor society) Fellowship in International Education took us to Africa for eight months during 1957-58.
The British south central African colonies of Northern Rhodesia (later Zambia), Southern Rhodesia (later Zimbabwe), and Nyasaland (later Malawi) had formed a multiracial federation. Our research plan was to record how this multiracial experiment was working out educationally for the white, black, Asian, mixed-blooded racial groups, especially the segregated African majority.
Carnegie Corporation officials, long involved in African education, helped us become attached as unpaid researchers to the University College of Rhodesia and Nyasaland in Salisbury, now the University of Zimbabwe in its capitol of  Harare.
We visited mission schools, government schools, and studied documents in the Government Archives. We explained our research purpose and limited funds in a letter to the editor of the Salisbury (now Harare) newspaper. In response, five white families going on long vacations asked us at low rent to be live-in caretakers of their homes. We thus compared ruling white minority luxury living with majority African subsistence living.
Frank’s small book about our 1957-58 experience, African Development and Education in Southern Rhodesia, Ohio State University Press, 1960, led to Frank’s being asked to contribute articles about Africa to encyclopedia yearbooks: Americana, World Book, Collier’s, others, for over a decade.
In 1961-62, Frank as a Fulbright Research Scholar, allowed us to be attached to the Rhodes Livingstone Institute, Lusaka, Northern Rhodesia (now part of the University of Zambia). We wrote many articles about Northern Rhodesia government and mission schools.
Frank’s three pamphlets (with Betty’s collaboration) in Education Honor Society  Phi Delta Kappa’s international education honor society publication series. were: 1–The Battle of the Books: Kanawha County, 1975, based on a much publicized school textbook censorship case in Charlestown, W. Va. 2–What Can We Learn from the Schools of China? 1976, based on Frank’s China school visits in March 1974.
We both later visited China’s schools in July 1978 and again during Dec., 1986-Jan., 1987). 3–British Schools and Ours, 1979, based on school visits in and around London plus short courses we took at Cambridge University and the University of London.
We end with appreciation for our 27 trips abroad listed below, 1954 to 1987, 33 years, and 40 rich rewarding teaching years.
We are grateful for 18 retirement years with interesting Uplands Retirement Village friends who share our hope for peace and justice for all people everywhere. END.
1-1954: Sept.-Dec.): England and Scotland manuscript research for dissertation and book, George Peabody: A Biography. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1971, revised 1995 with 12 illustrations.
2-1957-58: International Fellow at University College, Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Central Africa; visited Zambia, Malawi, Republic of South Africa.
3-1961-62: Senior Fulbright Research Scholar at Rhodes-Livingstone Institute of University of Zambia; visited Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Republic of South Africa, and England.
4-Aug. 1966: Studied adult education in Finland & West Germany; visited Belgium, The Netherlands, & England.
5-Aug. 1967: Studied adult education in Belgium and West Germany; visited Luxembourg and England.
6-May-June 1969: Lectured at Twente Technological Institute, The Netherlands; attended International Comparative Education Society meeting in Prague, Czechoslovakia; visited Belgium and England.
7-July-Aug. 1969: Taught at University of Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
8-July-Aug. 1970: Taught at University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada.
9-July 1971: Taught at University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
10-Nov. 1971: Participants in Phi Delta Kappa Eastern European Comparative Education Seminar held in Hungary, Romania, USSR, and Poland.
11-March 1972: Gave conference keynote address on “Educational Strategies for Accelerating Development in Southern Africa,” at University of Witwatersrand, Johannesburg, Republic of South Africa; visited Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), Lesotho, and Swaziland.
12-July 1972: Taught at University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
13-Nov. 1972: Co-directed with Dr. Gerald H. Read: Phi Delta Kappa Seminar in East Africa: Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, and Tanzania.
14-July 1973: Taught at University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada.
15-Dec. 1973: Research on comparative education at the University of London, England.
16-March 1974: Participant in Phi Delta Kappa’s first seminar in People’s Republic of China.
17-July-Aug. 1974: Taught at the University of Newfoundland, Canada.
18-Dec. 1974: Research on comparative education in the University of London, England, libraries.
19-July 1975: Participant, “British Schools and Society” course, Caius College, Cambridge University, England.
20-July 1976: Participants, “Education in England” course, Institute of Education, University of London, England,
21-May-June 1977: Lectured at the University of Madrid Institute of Education and the University of Oviedo Institute of Education, Spain. Studied schools in Surrey County, England.
22-July 1978: Participants in Adult Education Seminar in the People’s Republic of China.
23-Aug. 1978: Lectured at the United Nations University, Tokyo, Japan.
24-July 6-Aug. 8, 1980: Participants, Fourth Middle East Studies Seminar, sponsored by Israeli Teachers Association, American Federation of Teachers, and National Committee for Middle East Studies, Israel; also visited England.
25-March 3-10, 1984: London, England.
26-March 4-11, 1985: London, England.
27-Dec. 19, 1986-Jan. 4,1987: Participants in Phi Delta Kappa Education Seminar in Peking, Shanghai, Guilin, Canton; Hong Kong; Tokyo, Japan. END.
Franklin Parker, 1921-, & Betty J. Parker, 1929-, WRITINGS ON GEORGE PEABODY (1795-1869): Merchant, Banker, Educational Philanthropist. July 14, 2010.
Dissertation Parker, Franklin. “George Peabody, Founder of Modern Philanthropy,” Ed. D. Dissertation, George Peabody College for Teachers [of Vanderbilt University Library after July 1, 1979], Nashville, TN 37203-5721 , 1956, 3 volumes, 1219 pp.
Book: George Peabody, A Biography. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, 1971, 233 pp. Reprinted in CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education, IX, 3 (November, 1985), Fiche 7 D10, entire issue.
George Peabody, A Biography. Nashville: Vanderbilt University Press, February 1995 revised edition with 12 illustrations added, 278 pp.
Journal, Printed, Entire Issue “Legacy of George Peabody: Special Bicentenary Issue” [reprint of 21 articles], Peabody Journal of Education, LXX, No. l (Fall 1994), 210 pp. Journal, Fiche, Entire Issue (With Betty J. Parker). “George Peabody (1795-1869) A-Z: People, Places, Events, and Institutions Connected with the Massachusetts-born Merchant, London Banker, and Educational Philanthropist.” CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XXIV, No. 3 (Oct. 1999), Fiche. Encyclopedia Articles Tennessee Encyclopedia of History and Culture. Carroll Van West, et al., Eds. Nashville: University of Tennessee Press, 1998: 1-”George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, pp, 359-360. URL: HYPERLINK 2-”Peabody Education Fund in Tennessee,” pp. 725-726. URL: HYPERLINK “George Peabody (1795-1869).” Encyclopedia of Philanthropists in the United States. Westport, Conn.; Greenwood Press and Onyx Press, 2002. (With Betty J. Parker). “George Peabody (1795-1869),” Philanthropy in America: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, ed. by Dwight Burlingame. ABC Clio, 2004, 370-371. Chapters in Book “George Peabody (1795-1869), Founder of Modern Educational Philanthropy: His Contributions to Higher Education,” Academic Profiles in Higher Education. Edited by James J. Van Patten. Lewiston, NY: Edwin Mellen Press, 1992, pp. 71-99. George Peabody (1795-1869), Merchant, Banker, Creator of the Peabody Education Fund, and a Founder of Modern Philanthropy,” Notable American Philanthropists, Robert Thornton Grimm, Jr., ed. Westport, Conn.; Greenwood Press and Onyx Press, 2002, pp. 242-246. (With Betty J. Parker). “George Peabody (1795-1869),” Philanthropy in America: A Comprehensive Historical Encyclopedia, ed. By Dwight Burlingame (ABC Clio, 2004), pp. 370-371. URL: HYPERLINK Articles in Journals [Note 1: Items 18,19, and others in Fiche form in CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education) are published by Carfax Publishing, Taylor & Francis Ltd, P. O. Box 25, Abingdon, Oxfordshire 0X14 30E, United Kingdom]. [Note 2: See End of Manuscript for URL access to Parkers’ George Peabody (1795-1869) U. S. Government ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) entries]. 1. “Nashville’s Yankee Friend,” Nashville Tennessean Magazine (May 15, 1955), pp. 2, 6-7. 2. “Founder Paid Debt to Education,” Peabody Post, VIII, No. 8 (February 10, 1955), p. 1. 3. “The Girl George Peabody Almost Married,” Peabody Reflector, XXVII, No. 8 (October, 1955), pp. 215, 224-225. 4. “George Peabody and the Spirit of America,” Peabody Reflector, XXIX, No. 2 (February, 1956), pp. 26-27. 5. “On the Trail of George Peabody,” Berea Alumnus, XXVI, No. 8 (May, 1956), p. 4. 6. (With Walter Merrill), “William Lloyd Garrison and George Peabody,” Essex Institute Historical Collections, XCV, No. 1 (January, 1959), pp. 1-20. 7. “George Peabody and Maryland,” Peabody of Journal of Education, XXXVII, No. 3 (November, 1959), pp. 150-157. 8. “Robert E. Lee, George Peabody, and Sectional Reunion,” Peabody Journal of Education, XXXVII, No. 4 (January, 1960), pp. 195-202. 9. “Influences on the Founder of the Johns Hopkins University and the Johns Hopkins Medical School,” Bulletin of the History of Medicine, XXXIV, No. 2 (March-April, 1960), pp. 148-153. 10. “George Peabody and the Search for Sir John Franklin, 1852-1854,” American Neptune, XX, No. 2 (April, 1960), pp. 104-111. 11. “An Approach to Peabody’s Gifts and Legacies,” Essex Institute Historical Collections, XCVI, No. 4 (October, 1960), pp. 291-296. 12. “George Peabody’s Influence on Southern Educational Philanthropy,” Tennessee Historical Quarterly, XX, No. 2 (March, 1961), pp. 146, 151-152. 13. “Maryland’s Yankee Friend–George Peabody, Esq.,” Maryland Teacher, XX, No. 5 (January, 1963), pp. 6-7, 24; reprinted in Peabody Notes (Spring, 1963), pp. 4-7, 10. 14. “The Girl George Peabody Almost Married, Peabody Notes, XVII, No. 3 (Spring, 1954), pp. 10-14. 15. “George Peabody, 1795-1869, Founder of Modern Philanthropy,” Peabody Reflector, XXXVIII, No. 1 (January-February, 1965), pp. 9-16. 16. “The Funeral of George Peabody,” Essex Institute Historical Collection, XCIX, No. 2 (April, 1963), pp. 67-87; reprinted: Peabody Journal of Education, XLIV, No. 1 (July, 1966), pp. 21-36. 17. “George Peabody and the Peabody Museum of Salem,” Curator, X, No. 2 (June, 1967), pp. 137-153. 18. To Live Fulfilled: George Peabody, 1795-1869, Founder of George Peabody College for Teachers,” Peabody Reflector, XLIII, No. 2 (Spring, 1970), pp. 50-53. 19. “On the Trail of George Peabody,” Peabody Reflector, XLIV, No. 4 (Fall, 1971), pp. 100-103. 20. “The Creation of the Peabody Education Fund,” School & Society, XCIX, No. 2337 (December, 1971), pp. 497-500. 21. “George Peabody, 1795-1869: His Influence on Educational Philanthropy,” Peabody Journal of Education, XLIX, No. 2 (January, 1972), pp. 138-145. 22. “Pantheon of Philanthropy: George Peabody,” National Society of Fund Raisers Journal, I, No. 1 (December, 1976), pp. 16-20. 23. “In Praise of George Peabody, 1795-1869,” CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XV, No. 2 (June 1991), Fiche 5 AO2. 24. “George Peabody (1795-1869), Founder of Modern Educational Philanthropy: His Contributions to Higher Education,” CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XVI, No. 1 (March 1992), Fiche 11 D06. 25. “Education Philanthropist George Peabody (1795-1869), Founder of George Peabody College for Teachers, Nashville, and the Peabody Library and Conservatory of Music, Baltimore (Brief History).” CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XVIII, No. 1 (March 1994), Fiche. Abstract in Resources in Education. 26. (With Betty J. Parker), “George Peabody’s (1795-1869) Educational Legacy,” CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XVIII, No. 1 (March 1994), Fiche 1 C05. Abstract in Resources in Education, XXIX, No. 9 (September 1994), p. 147 (ERIC ED 369 720). 27. “Educational Philanthropist George Peabody (1795-1869): Photos and Related Illustrations in Printed Sources and Depositories,” CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XVIII, No. 2 (June 1994), Fiche 1 D1Z; abstract in Resources in Education, XXX, No. 6 (June 1995), p. 149 (ERIC ED 397 179). 28. “The Legacy of George Peabody: Special Bicentenary Issue” [reprints 22 article on George Peabody], Peabody Journal of Education, LXX, No. 1 (Fall 1994), 210 pp. 29. “Educational Philanthropist George Peabody and Peabody College of Vanderbilt University: Dialogue with Bibliography,” CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XVIII, No. 3 (December 1994), Fiche 2 E06. 30. (With Betty Parker). “A Forgotten Hero’s Birthday [George Peabody]: Lion and the Lamb,” Crossville (Tenn.) Chronicle, February 22, 1995, p. 4A. 31. (With Betty Parker). “America’s Forgotten Educational Philanthropist: A Bicentennial View,” CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XIX, No. 1 (March 1995), Fiche 7 A11. Abstract in Resources in Education, XXXI, No. 12 (Dec. 1996), p. 161 (ERIC ED398 126). 32. (With Betty Parker). “Educational Philanthropist George Peabody (1795-1869) and the Peabody Institute Library, Danvers, Massachusetts: Dialogue and Chronology,” CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XIX, No. 1 (March 1995), Fiche 7 B01. 33. (With Betty Parker). “George Peabody (1795-1869); Merchant, Banker, Philanthropist,” CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XX, No. 1 (March 1996), Fiche 9 B01. Abstract in Resources in Education, XXXI, No. 3 (Mar. 1996), p. 169 (ERIC ED 388 571). 34. (With Betty Parker). “On the Trail of Educational Philanthropist George Peabody (1795-1869): A Dialogue.” CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XX, No. 3 (October 1996), Fiche 13 B07. 35. (With Betty Parker).”Peabody Education Fund in Tennessee (1867-1914),” Tennessee Encyclopedia of History & Culture (Nashville: Tennessee Historical Society, 1998), pp. 725-726. (With Betty Parker).”George Peabody College of Vanderbilt University,Ó Tennessee Encyclopedia of History & Culture (Nashville: Tennessee Historical Society, 1998), pp. 359-360. 37. (With Betty J. Parker). “Educational Philanthropist George Peabody (1795-1869) and First U.S. Paleontology Prof. Othniel Charles Marsh (1831-1899) at Yale University.” CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XXII, No. 1 (March 1998), Fiche 7 A04. Also abstract in Resources in Education, XXXIV, No. 1 (Jan. 1999), p. ? (ERIC ED 422 243). 38. (With Betty J. Parker). “Educational Philanthropist George Peabody (1795-1869) and U. S.-British Relations, 1850s-1860s.” CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), XXIII, No. 1 (March 1999), Fiche 1 A05. Also abstract in Resources in Education, XXXV, No. 5 (May 2000), p. 122 (ERIC ED 436 444). 39. (With Betty J. Parker). “George Peabody A-Z,” CORE (Collected Original Resources in Education), Vol. 24, No. 3 (Oct. 1999), Fiche 11 C10. 40. (With Betty J. Parker). “General Robert E. Lee (1807-70) and Philanthropist George Peabody (1795-1869) at White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia, July 23-Aug. 30, 1869.” Abstract in Resources in Education, XXXVI, No. 2 (Feb. 2001), p. 184 (ERIC ED 444 917). 41. (With Betty J. Parker). “The Forgotten George Peabody (1795-1869), A Handbook A-Z of the Massachusetts-Born Merchant, London-Based Banker, & Philanthropist: His Life, Influence, and Related People, Places, Events, & Institutions,” 1243 pp. Abstract in Resources in Education, Vol. XXXVI, No. 3 (March 2001), pp. 122 (ERIC ED 445 998). 42. (With Betty J. Parker). “Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, Nashville, Tennessee: Past and Future; From Frontier Academy (1785) to Frontiers of Teaching and Learning,” Review Journal of History and Philosophy of Education (published in India by Anu Books), Vol. XXVIII (February 2003), pp. 109-144. 43. “Robert E. Lee, George Peabody, and Sectional Reunion,” Peabody Journal of Education, Vol. 78, No. 1 (Fall 2003), pp. 91-97 [reprinted from Peabody Journal of Education, Vol. 37, No. 4 (Jan. 1960), pp. 195-202, and Peabody Journal of Education, Vol. 70, No. 1 (Fall 1994), pp. 69-76]. 44. “George Peabody, 1795-1869: His Influence on Educational Philanthropy,” Peabody Journal of Education, Vol. 78, No. 2 (Summer 2003), pp. 111-118 [reprinted from Peabody Journal of Education, Vol. 49. No. 2 (Jan. 1972), pp. 138-124; Peabody Journal of Education, Vol. 70, No 1 (Fall 1994), pp. 157-165; and Tennessee Historical Quarterly, Vol. 20, No. 2 (March 1961), pp. 65-74]. ERIC (Educational Resources Information Center) Thirty six (36) of the Parkers’ articles on George Peabody in the U.S. Government’s ERIC system can be accessed and read in abstract and in full at the following URL source: HYPERLINK “” Below is our 2015 Christmas NewsLetter: Franklin & Betty Parker, 205/6 Fletcher House, Uplands Village, PO Box 406, Pleasant Hill, TN 38578. Married June 12, 1950 (65 years). At Uplands 21 years. *JAN. 29, 2015: New Uplands van was dedicated, with Frank’s picture, head and shoulders in swimming pool, on outside Van window. *FEB. 22 through early March: Local historic ice Storm made national news, electricity off, many trees down; many cleanup volunteers from several states came to help. Fletcher House (where we live) bedded and fed over 25 neighboring elders from heatless & fallen-tree ruined homes. Looking back it was a heart-warming help-your-neighbor community experience. *MAY 16: Uplands band played at Pleasant Hill Spring Festival, with Frank as drummer. *JUNE 15: Our Book Review given in Fletcher’s Adshead auditorium, titled: “Minorities’ Protests in the 1960s, the 20th Century Most Tumultuous Decade,” was about civil rights protests, sit-ins at segregated lunch rooms, freedom riders, protest marches, race riots, Latino protests, women’s lib–all resisted by segregationists. Contents included Congressional Civil Rights and Voting acts redress sought and partly won by M.L. King, Pres. JFKennedy, Pres. LBJohnson, others. Special visiting guests included our nieces Micki and Diana. For full reading copy on your computer browser, copy and click on (short wait): or copy and click on (short wait): For most of our Franklin and Betty J. Parker published writings, some of which can be fully read, copy and paste on computer browser, then click on (short wait): or (on browser, click (short wait): *JUNE 17: Enjoyed Betty’s sister Letha Conrad’s visit from Sedona, AZ, for a week in Pleasant Hill and in Sparta (where brother-in-law George Weber lives). *JUNE 22: George Weber drove Letha, Betty, and Frank to Athens, Ala. to lunch with cousins (Gentrys and Orrs). We then drove to Decatur, Ala. visited friend Dilsie Williams and family and enjoyed Dilsie’s daughter Bessie Matthews’ companionship and delicious food. *AUG. 26: Frank played on drums with Ensemble Band Concert at Wharton Homes, our Uplands nursing care unit. *NOV. 26: On card placed on Fletcher THANKSGIVING tree in dining room, Frank wrote: “Grateful for: 1-Life. 2-Beauty of nature: earth, sky moon, sunshine, flowers, birds and other creatures. 3-Loved ones, especially wife Betty, family, special friends who helped us along life’s way. 4-Blessed opportunities which came our way. 5-Blessed as Americans with free speech, democracy, and opportunity. 6-Deep longing for peace, justice, and plenty for all, everywhere, no exceptions.” *Nov. 26: Our guests at Uplands Thanksgiving Community Dinner, Adshead. Were brother in law George Weber, lives in Sparta, and his daughter Emily Weber Hayden, lives in Mass. *Dec. 10: Frank’s performance with bells at Wharton Home to tune of “jingle bells.” *Dec. 25: Christmas Party at Fletcher House. Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to ALL. End of Manuscript. Please e-mail corrections and questions to:

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“Mom Said “NO,” Saved My Life

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“Roger Duwayne Knight (Dec. 1, 1933-May 22, 2013) Memorial, July 13, 2013, Uplands Village, Pleasant Hill, TN.”

 “Roger Duwayne Knight (Dec. 1, 1933-May 22, 2013) Memorial, July 13, 2013, Uplands Village, Pleasant Hill, TN,” by Franklin Parker and Betty J. Parker,


         Betty Parker and I appreciate sharing our brief thoughts of beloved friend Roger D. Knight.  Roger’s gift in friendship is best described in Shakespeare’s Hamlet as (Quote): “The friends thou hast and their adoption tried, grapple them to thy soul with hoops of steel.”    Ref.:  ACT 1, Scene 3.


         Roger and I were swim buddies in Ruth Peeples’ pool, whenever he was free from meetings/duties at church, Uplands board, writers group, Shalom Center, Blue Barn, gardening, greeting, entertaining, ad infinitum


         Roger swam the pool’s length under water.  He could stand on his hands, head in the water, feet in the air.  No, he did not walk on water!


         He shared with me his writings for the writers group, shared his thoughts on profound articles he read in The New York Review of Books, shared that magazine, shared vegetables and fruits he’d grown, shared foods he had prepared, shared so many things with so many people.


         Cheerful as ever two days before first entering the Knoxville hospital. Roger jokingly told Betty and me: “When I get over this hospital visit,  I’m going to the Playhouse and try out for a role in ‘The Wizard of Oz.”


          Roger’s Yellow Brick Road (the road home to happiness) in life was his dear wife Beth, their children, family, church, friends, and–Beth and Roger’s unlimited ways of doing good.


          Roger, who brightened my life and many other lives, now brightens his Heaven’s Yellow Brick Road.


         I must share these few lines of lament for Roger Knight (Quote):


“Close by, I have a friend,

In Uplands Village that has no end.


“I too-seldom see my old friend’s face,

For life is a swift and terrible race.


“Tomorrow” I say! “I will call on Roger

Just to see that sweet old codger.


The phone rings:  “Roger died today.”

What to do?  What to say?


At a sudden end?

Of a valued friend?

Ref.:         and


         But end I must and end I do again with Shakespeare’s words on his fallen hero Hamlet (Quote): “Now Cracks a Noble Heart.  Good Night, Sweet Prince;  And Flights of Angels Sing Thee To Thy Rest.” Ref. Hamlet, Act 5, Scene 2.   Thank you, Roger in Heaven’s Yellow Brick Road.  Thank you  Beth Knight, children, family, friends.  Amen.  Amen.


Find online Obituaries-Rememberances of Roger Knight at:



3.    (scroll down to: “Memorial…”)



END.  Corrections, additions, comments:

About the Authors:  Franklin Parker and Betty J. Parker

 P.O. Box 406

Pleasant Hill, TN 39578



For our Library of Congress and WorldCat publications: copy Frankln Parker, 1921, and Betty J. Parker, 1929-) on your browser and click on:




Access our’ many articles through google or any other search engine by typing as subject:  FranklinParker, or Betty J. Parker, or Franklin and Betty J. Parker, or Betty and Franklin Parker, or bfparker, or,



For 37 of our articles in blog form, copy and paste on your browser and click on:


The 37+ articles titles on 4 pages will appear.  Click on the one you want to open and read.  If this does not work let us know: 


24 of our book titles are listed in: 


For F.P.”s articles on:  1-George Peabody College of Vanderbilt Univ., 2-Peabody Education Fund in TN., & 3-May Cravath Wharton: click on:


For a funny skit on our 61st wedding anniversary, access:


For a Year’s Eve Dec. 31, 2012,  version of above funny skit, access:;postID=4052694467764754564                                END.



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Christmas 2012 Message, Franklin and Betty J. Parker,

Christmas 2012 Message,  Franklin  & Betty J. Parker.

One Christmas 2012 surprise was to find Alabama-born Betty’s biographical sketch in Alabama Authors (to access: copy, paste on browser, click on):

If the last-minute end-of-2012 Obama/Republican-Congress fiscal-cutting compromise holds, let’s hope it will join such high liberal moments as: Lincoln’s 13th Amendment salvaging the USA slavery sin, Teddy Roosevelt’s first backing of  the income tax, women’s voting act (1920), FDR-Frances Perkins Social Security Act (1935), and the Civil Rights Act (1964).  More insights on:

Frank’s unforgettable pre-Christmas 2012 moment came Oct. 5 when he was inducted into West Va. Univ.’s College of Human Resources & Education’s (WVU-HRE) Hall of Fame, Morgantown, where he taught 18 years, 1968-86, before retiring at age 65.

The presenter said to a large audience  (in brief):  Parker  taught at WVU and several other universities for 44 years, wrote or edited more than 20 books, hundreds of articles and book reviews, and held office in national organizations including being president of the History of Education Society.  He studied cultures and schools on three continents and was a Senior Fulbright Research Scholar in Southern Africa.

He has degrees from Berea College, Berea, KY; University of Illinois, and Peabody College of Vanderbilt University, Nashville.  Berea and Peabody of Vanderbilt gave him Distinguished Alumnus awards.  One colleague said of Parker that his professional life and human concerns exemplify values every university holds dear.  [End of presenter’s remarks].

Frank’s remarks of thanks, summarized below, brought thunderous applause:  “Thank you from the bottom of my heart for this day’s honor.  You have made this day a most memorable one….  Last year (2011) when my 84-year-old former WVU-HRE Dean was asked to suggest possible Hall of Fame nominees, he named me.  His death soon  after added sorrow to my surprise and feeling of humility.

“Compiling my requested life’s work was a somber reminder of things done which I could have done better and people who helped along the way I should have thanked more.

“Puzzling over life’s strange turning points reminded me of Robert Frost’s: ‘Two roads diverged in a wood.   I took the one less traveled by and that made all the difference.”

After thanking Betty, his wife of 62 years, as “co-researcher, co-author, co-everything,” Frank said that in teaching History and Philosophy of Education he stressed its heroes: Socrates, Plato, Jean Jacques Rousseau, John Dewey, others, including Horace Mann (1796-1859), 19th century Massachusetts public school system creator, model for all other state public school systems.  He stressed that he always quoted Horace Mann’s ringing challenge to students and teachers:  “Be ashamed to die until you have won some victory for humankind.”

“The best teachers,” Parker added, “uplift young lives, correct mistakes, help build a better future, student by student, class by class, generation by generation.”  WVU-HRE, he said, “will long remain a place of magic, of knowledge, encouragement, inspiration; a place to dream and try, to hope and aspire.”  “Here,” he said, “those preparing to teach acquire skills that inform, lead, heal, lift lives, improve people, help create a better future, and enrich our country and the world…”

A safe, healthy, happy Christmas for ALL.  We Parkers thank you for your friendship and shared concerns.  For Parker articles copy, paste on browser, click on:

On    under Life Style we Parkers are on left side of pool.


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