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The Union Sends a Message

The Union Sends a Message



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History of postcards

Tracing back the origins of the picture postcard is difficult because postcards were not simply invented — instead, they evolved. Their history is inevitably linked with the development of the postal service, but also features innovations in printing and photography, daring proposals. and even a 300-meter tower!

We try to chronicle the history of postcards through a timeline of relevant events, going back a few centuries to provide the context that culminated in postcards being officially issued and recognized by a postal operator, on October 1st 1869.

17-19th century

Following the popularization of printing presses, visiting cards, bill heads, writing paper and other types of paper ephemera started to have illustrations on them, often with delicate engravings and tasteful designs.

Already in 1777, French engraver Demaison published in Paris a sheet of cards with greetings on them, meant to be cut and sent through the local post, but people were wary of servants reading their messages. so the idea was not very well received.

A postal reform in the UK unified the cost of domestic mail delivery to 1 penny per envelope, to be prepaid by the sender. The proposals of Sir Rowland Hill also included that the pre-payment was to be made by issuing printed sheets of adhesive stamps. The Penny Black, the world's first adhesive postage stamp, made its debut in May 1840.

Simultaneously, decorated prepaid letter sheets (similar to today's aerograms) were also put on sale by the post office. These were designed by William Mulready and showed Britannia with a lion at her feet, sending mail messengers to all parts of the world. Though this particular design turned out to be unpopular and often ridiculed, this was the first postal stationery item issued by the post office that had decorations on the outside. They were replaced the following year by plain pink envelopes, with a printed 1 penny stamp on the corner.

Already that year, Theodore Hook Esq, a British writer, mailed himself a caricature of post office workers, shown to be writing mail in order to sell more stamps. Most likely mailed as a joke (and delivered against the post office regulations of the time), this could probably be the earliest record of a postcard being sent through the mail.

A few years later, in 1843, Sir Henry Cole produced the first Christmas greeting card, a drawing of himself and his family. This was the year in which Charles Dickens A Christmas Carol was published.

In late February, the US Congress passed an act that allowed privately printed cards, weighing one ounce or less, to be sent in the mail.

Later that year, John P. Charlton from Philadelphia patented a postal card and sold the rights to Hymen Lipman (founder of the first envelope company in the US and inventor of the lead-pencil and eraser). However, with the start of the Civil War a month later, these Lipman Cards as they became known were forgotten and not used until almost a decade later.

The earliest record of Lipman card's being used is from October 25, 1870, sent from Richmond, Indiana. It featured an illustrated advertisement of Esterbrook Steel pens, and was the first pictorial postcard to be mailed in the USA.

At the Karlsruhe postal conference, Heinrich von Stephan proposed the creation of offenes Postblatt (or, open post-sheets). The goal was to simplify the etiquette of the letter format, but also to reduce the work, paper and costs involved in the sending of a short message.

He suggested the introduction of a rigid card, roughly the size of an envelope, which could be written on and mailed without the need for an envelope, having the postage pre-printed.

The idea was not so well received in Germany: the post office feared the complexity and cost of implementing the scheme in all the different states, each emitting their own stamps.

Despite this setback, Von Stephan was a prominent figure in the history of postal services in Germany. Beginning his work as a postal clerk in 1849, he was successively promoted until he reached the post of Minister of Postal Services in 1895. He focused on the standardization and internationalization of postal services, and later helped establish the Universal Postal Union.

1st October 1869

In Austria-Hungary, Dr. Emanuel Herrmann (a professor of Economics from Vienna) wrote an article in the Neue Freie Presse pointing out that the time and effort involved in writing a letter was out of proportion to the size of the message sent. He suggested that a more practical and cheaper method should be implemented for shorter, more efficient communications.

His recommendations impressed the Austrian Post, who put them to practice on October 1st 1869, resulting in the Correspondenz-Karte, a light-brown 8.5x12cm rectangle with space for the address on the front, and room for a short message on the back. The postcard featured an imprinted 2 Kreuzer stamp on top right corner, costing half the price of a normal letter.

It is not known whether Dr. Herrmann had any knowledge of Von Stephan's earlier proposal for a very similar card.

Seeing the immense popularity of this new means of communication, Switzerland, Luxembourg, the United Kingdom and some states of Germany quickly followed suit, issuing postcards less than a year after the initial launch.

Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Finland, Sweden, Norway, and Canada issued cards in 1871, and the following year also Russia, Chile, France, and Algeria added postcards to their offers. In 1873, France, Serbia, Romania, Spain, Japan and the United States issued their own postcard offerings. By 1874, Italy, Romania and Serbia had also began to issue theirs.

The General Postal Union (later renamed Universal Postal Union) was created in Bern, Switzerland. One of its first postal treaties fixed a standard postage for letter mail sent to the members of the Union, and determined that half that rate should be applied to postcards.

This made sending postcards abroad much cheaper, and less complicated.

Today, the UPU is a specialized United Nations agency that coordinates postal policies among its 192 members, standardizing procedures and making international mail delivery much simpler. Prior to its establishment, each country had to organize separate treaties with every single country to engage in international mail delivery with them.

In 1894, twenty years after its inception, an estimated 1.7 billion postcards were exchanged between UPU member countries.

1880s

In the 1880s, many postcards were printed with small sketches or designs (called vignettes) on the message side, initially just in black, but increasingly also in color. Slowly, Germany came to dominate the industry of chromolithography, with many postcards being printed there. A large number of these featured illustrated views of a town and the expression Gruss Aus (or, Greetings from), leaving enough space for a message.

At the end of the decade, the Eiffel Tower made its debut on the Exposition Universelle of 1889 that took place in Paris. French engraver Charles Libonis designed postcards for the occasion featuring the monument, which was the tallest tower in the world at the time. The novelty postcards, which could be mailed from the Eiffel Tower itself, were much beloved by the visitors and became known as Libonis.

1890s

The 1890s saw photography starting to be used in postcards, gradually increasing in popularity over the next few decades. All matter of subjects were photographed with topographics (urban street scenes and general views) being a recurrent topic.

At the turn of the century, Kodak launched the No. 3A Folding Pocket camera with negatives that were the same size as postcards, and could thus be printed directly onto postcard card stock without cropping, keeping it simple.

Already in 1854, French photographer Andre Disdéri had patented a version of the photographic carte de visite, which proved to be incredibly popular as visiting cards. They could be reproduced inexpensively and in large quantities, and had space on the back to write a note. Visiting or calling cards could be given out in person or when making social calls, and were incredibly popular in Europe and the United States.

The World's Columbian Exposition opens in Chicago, a world fair where 46 nations participated with exhibitions and attractions. Over 26 million people visited the fair, and for many of them, this was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to discover what lies beyond their own country's borders.

Publisher Charles W Goldsmith seized the opportunity to produce a novelty set of official postcards, showing the pavilions and other interesting sections of the exhibition in color. These were the first commercially produced pictorial postcards to be printed as a souvenir in the United States, and they proved to be a sensational hit.

A year later, prominent London journalist James Douglas wrote:

"Like all great inventions, the Picture Postcard has wrought a silent revolution in our habits. It has secretly delivered us from the toil of letter-writing. There are men still living who can recall the days when it was considered necessary and even delightful to write letters to one's friends. Those were times of leisure. (. ) Happily, the Picture Postcard has relieved the modern author from this slavery. He can now use all his ink in the sacred task of adding volumes to the noble collection in the British Museum. Formerly, when a man went abroad he was forced to tear himself from the scenery in order to write laborious descriptions of it to his friends at home. Now he merely buys a picture postcard at each station, scribbles on it a few words in pencil, and posts it. This enhances the pleasures of travel.
Many a man in the epistolary age could not face the terrors of the Grand Tour, for he knew that he would be obliged to spend most of his time in describing what he saw or ought to have seen. The Picture Postcard enables the most indolent man to explore the wilds of Switzerland or Margate without perturbation. "

In June of 1897, the World Association Kosmopolit was founded in Nuremberg, a postcard collecting club with thousands of members. They would send postcards to each other with the greeting Gutferngruß, requesting a return card to be mailed back, thus collecting postcards from all over the world.

The association was active until the First World War, and at its peak counted with more than 15 000 members in Germany alone.

1900-1915

The turn of the century saw the golden era of postcards. An article on the Standard (a British newspaper) from August 21, 1899 read:

With multiple daily pickups and deliveries (up to 12 times per day in large cities!), postcards were effectively the text messages of their time. It was cheap and convenient to send them, and postcard-obsession reached its peak in the Edwardian era with billions of them being sent every year.

Scenic landscapes, portraits, exhibitions, royal visits, humorous scenes or even current events were quickly printed in postcards shortly after taking place. The many surviving examples of such postcards tell a vivid picture of the time.

On August 21, 1899, an article on the British newspaper Standard read:

"The illustrated postcard craze, like the influenza, has spread to these islands from the Continent, where it has been raging with considerable severity. Sporadic cases have occurred in Britain. Young ladies who have escaped the philatelic infection or wearied of collecting Christmas cards, have been known to fill albums with missives of this kind received from friends abroad but now the cards are being sold in this country, and it will be like the letting out of waters.(. )"

"Germany is a special sufferer from the circulation of these missives. The travelling Teuton seems to regard it as a solemn duty to distribute them from each stage of his journey, as if he were a runner in a paper chase. His first care on reaching some place of note is to lay in a stock, and alternate the sipping of beer with the addressing of postcards. Sometimes he may be seen conscientiously devoting to this task the hours of a railway journey. Would-be vendors beset the traveller on the tops of hills, and among the ruins of the lowlands, in the hotel, the café and even the railway train. They are all over the country, from one end of the Fatherland to the other, — from the beech woods of Rügen on the North, to the southernmost summit in the Saxon Switzerland. Some of these cards, by the way, are of enormous size and anyone who is favoured with them by foreign correspondents is subjected to a heavy fine by the inland postal authorities, who are not content with delivering them in a torn and crumpled state."

In 1902, the British Post Office allowed messages to be written on one half of the side normally reserved for the address, paving the way for the divided back era of postcards. This left the reverse side of the card free to be completely filled with an image.

However, these postcards could not be sent abroad until other Universal Postal Union members agreed to do the same. An agreement on the matter was reached at the Sixth Postal Union Congress in Rome, in 1906.

An American of German descent, Curt Teich started a publishing company in Chicago in 1898 focused on newspaper and magazine printing. A few years later, in 1908, Curt Teich Co. introduced postcards to their portfolio, and over the next few decades became the world's largest printer of view and advertising postcards.

Curt Teich was an early pioneer of the offset printing process, and the first to understand the advantages of using lightly embossed paper to speed up the drying of ink, allowing the finished product to retain brighter colors. Because of their texture resembling linen, these embossed postcards became known as linen cards.

He is best known for the Greetings From postcards with large letters, having successfully adapted the idea of the earlier Gruss Aus cards to the US audience.

1908 was also the year in which E. I. Dail, a salesman from Michigan, invented the revolving postcard rack. The metal contraption could be placed in a counter and allowed customers to view and select postcards for themselves.

Starting in 1913 and well into the 1930s, postcards featuring a white border became commonplace in the US.

Typically, multiple postcards were printed in rows on a large sheet of paper, which had to be trimmed around the edges of each postcard — a job that required a great deal of precision. The white borders were introduced to give some margin of error to the process, thus making them less expensive to produce.

The expression carte-maximum (maximum card or maxicard) was first used in 1932, when a collector named Lecestre published an article on Le Libre Échange detailing the design of this philatelic item. A maxicard consists of picture postcard with a postage stamp and a cancellation mark affixed on the picture side of the card. The themes of all these three elements should match in terms of motives, time and location, so that they are in "maximum concordance".

The study, creation and collection of maximum cards is called maximaphily.

On July 14, 2005 Postcrossing was launched!

The website platform was built by Paulo Magalhães, a Portuguese software engineer who loved receiving postcards but did not know many people he could exchange them with. So he coded a website on his free time with the goal of connecting him with other people who also enjoyed sending and receiving postcards. What started as a small side project quickly became a worldwide hobby, shared by many postcard enthusiasts. To date, over 57 million postcards have been exchanged through the platform, with thousands more on the way.

On the 150 th anniversary of the postcard, Postcrossing organized a worldwide campaign to celebrate the special ocasion.

A postcard contest received thousands of submissions from all over the world sharing their enthusiasm for postcards, filled with kind and thoughtful messages.

A selection of some of the best postcards was showcased during October in an exhibition at the Universal Postal Union headquarters in Bern, Switzerland. More details of the exhibition can be found on Postcrossing's blog.

Many postal operators, museums, libraries and event schools joined the celebrations with postcard related events and initiatives.

  • 58 meetups
  • 11 postcard exhibitions
  • 8 special cancellation marks
  • 8 workshops
  • 6 seminars
  • 4 commemorative postcards issued by post offices
  • 3 guided tours
  • 2 postage stamps

After a successful celebration in 2019 of the 150th anniversary of the postcard, Postcrossing, with the help of Finepaper, decided to launch the World Postcard Day on every October 1st — a day to celebrate the postcard and the connections it brings.

A postcard design contest was organized among design&art students to create an official postcard for the event that was made available for everyone to use on this date.

In the midst of a very unusual year, the special day was nonetheless comemorated all over the world, with the issue of comemorative postcards, dedicated cancellation marks, events in schools, philately fairs, libraries, museums, discounts at post offices and, above all, many many postcards.


President Biden: ‘The choice to join a union is up to the workers – full stop’

In a video, President Joe Biden sent a strong message of support to workers who seek a voice on the job through a union – especially the Amazon workers in Alabama who are voting on whether to form a union.

“The choice to join a union is up to the workers – full stop,” Biden said in what may be the strongest pro-labor message from a president in recent times.

“Today and over the next few days and weeks, workers in Alabama and all across America are voting on whether to organize a union in their workplace,” the president continued. “This is vitally important – a vitally important choice – as America grapples with the deadly pandemic, the economic crisis, and the reckoning on race, and what it reveals about the deep disparities that still exist in our country. And there should be no intimidation, no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda. No supervisor should confront employees about their union preferences.”

Made as nearly 6,000 Amazon workers at a warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, are voting by mail on whether to join the Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), Biden’s words could hardly be a stronger endorsement of the power of labor unions and the positive difference they make in the lives of American workers. As some have pointed out, they are nearly unprecedented.

AFSCME strongly supports Amazon workers trying to unionize for the same reason we believe every worker in America should have the freedom to form a union. Building power through a union makes a difference: It leads to higher pay, better health care, a more secure retirement, safer working conditions and more.


President Biden denounces ‘anti-union propaganda’ ahead of Amazon union vote

On Sunday night, President Joe Biden released a message of support for unionizing Amazon workers in Alabama, while sternly denouncing anti-union efforts by employers. The message comes in the midst of a contentious union election at an Amazon warehouse in Bessemer. And while Biden stopped short of an explicit endorsement of the fledgling Bessemer union, he was broadly enthusiastic about the benefits of collective bargaining.

“I made it clear during my campaign that my policy would be to support unions organizing and the right to collectively bargain,” Biden said in the statement. “I’m keeping that promise.”

It’s rare for a sitting president to publicly support a union drive, and the statement is careful not to direct workers to vote in favor of unionization, as such statements might violate labor law. Biden never names Amazon directly in the statement, although he does directly name Alabama warehouse workers. He also denounces anti-union efforts in a way many will see as aimed at the company.

“There should be no intimidation,” Biden says in the video, “no coercion, no threats, no anti-union propaganda.”

The Retail, Wholesale and Department Store Union (RWDSU), which is organizing the Bessemer worksite, applauded the statement. “As President Biden points out, the best way for working people to protect themselves and their families is by organizing into unions,” said RWDSU president Stuart Appelbaum in a statement. “And that is why so many working women and men are fighting for a union at the Amazon facility in Bessemer, Alabama.”

Amazon has been aggressive in its efforts to prevent the warehouse from unionizing, inundating Alabama workers with text messages and worksite posters warning of the downsides of unionization. Last week, workers spotted anti-union ads running on Amazon-owned Twitch, although Twitch withdrew the ads once their existence was made public. In another incident, Amazon worked with county officials to alter the timing on a stoplight near the warehouse, making it harder for organizers to approach workers as they left the site.

In some instances, those efforts have provoked a backlash against the company. Last week, Amazon’s VP overseeing labor and employment law abruptly resigned from the American Constitution Society, a liberal legal group that had recently appointed him to a three-year term. A coalition of members had called for his resignation in December, citing Amazon’s response to a walkout at a Staten Island warehouse last year.


The history of messaging

Smoke signals are a form of visual communication that can travel over long distances and are one of the oldest forms of long distance communication. Smoke signals were used to warn others of enemy attacks in Ancient China, as they were able to be seen from tower to tower along the Great Wall. Native Americans used this form of communication as well and each tribe had their own system. Usually the placement of the signal on a hill would indicate different meanings. Today, smoke signals are still used in Rome to signify when a new Pope has been selected.

Carrier Pigeon

Carrier or homing pigeons are birds that have been bred to find their way home over long distances. Historically, when an army was engaged in a battle, a short message could be written on a small piece of paper which was then inserted into a small metal canister and attached to the leg of a pigeon. The pigeon would be labeled for a certain location and once released with the message, would then return home. The infrastructure that supported this message system required regular deliveries of birds between cities, regular release of the birds so they did not imprint on a new location, and supply of pigeons to armies or other people with time-critical messages.

Message in a Bottle

In the 16th century it was common practice in the military to send information by dropping bottles into the sea. The English Navy for example used bottle messages to send ashore information about enemy positions. Some say that Queen Elizabeth I even created an official position of "Uncorker of Ocean Bottles", and if anyone else were to stumble upon a bottle and open it without permission, they would face the death penalty.

Telegrams

In 1837, two sets of inventors simultaneously developed an electrical telegraph: Wheatstone and Cooke in England, and Samuel Morse in the United States. With the help of an assistant, Morse developed a new signalling alphabet using dots and dashes that became the standard for telegram communication. By 1861, this Morse telegraph system connected the West Coast to the East and put the Pony Express out of business. As technology improved, the telegraph became an audio transponder, where messages were translated based on the interval between two clicks instead of the previously used register and tape.

Pony Express

The Pony Express was a mail delivery service that served communities throughout the Great Plains and across the Rockies in the early 1860’s. Using a series of relay stations, the Pony Express reduced time for messages to travel from coast to coast to just 10 days. It was a vital system for sending notes east to west prior to the birth of the telegraph. Most notably, it helped tie the new state of California to the rest of America.

Balloon Mail

Balloon mail refers to the transport of mail by an unmanned helium or hydrogen-filled balloon. Though the sender is typically unknown, it is an effective way for those within a closed off society to send information or propaganda materials to those on the outside. This method of balloon mail was used by private activists to distribute leaflets to Warsaw Pact countries from West Germany in the mid-1950s and by South Koreans to North Korea discussing the health of Kim Jong-il.

Telephones

Alexander Graham Bell is commonly credited as the inventor of the telephone, though many individuals contributed to the devices we use today. The concept of the telephone dates back to the non-electric string telephone that has been known for centuries, comprising two diaphragms connected by a wire. Many experimented with this concept, but it was Bell who filed the patent in 1876 for an "apparatus for transmitting vocal or other sounds telegraphically"

Fax Machines

Early prototypes of the fax machine have been around since the 1880’s, but they didn’t reach widespread commercial success until 1966, when Xerox introduced the Magnafax Telecopier. The device weighed 46 lbs and sent digital versions of documents through phone lines via a series of dial tones. The fax machine allowed people to send documents across the world in a matter of minutes, replacing courier mail services and telegrams.

Pagers

Sometimes referred to as a “beeper,” pagers are electronic devices that signal a person with beeps or vibrations when contacted. They tend to be triggered by a phone call and are most often worn at the hip. The wearer will respond to a signal by looking at a small screen on the device for an important message, which is usually in numeric code. These devices were created in 1949, but their first practical uses didn’t come until a paging service was launched for physicians in New York the following year. Physicians paid $12 a month for the service and carried a 6 oz pager that would receive phone messages within 25 miles of a single transmitter tower.

Cell Phones

In 1973, Motorola produced the first cellphone (which weighed 4.4 lbs!) Today, we’ve come a long way from those clunky, oversized devices and people are able to communicate with phones that weigh less than 4 oz and easily slip into their pocket.

Instant Messaging

With the advent of the Internet came “Instant Messaging”, also known as “IM’ing”. ICQ was the first stand-alone instant messenger. The idea of a centralized service with individual user profiles paved the way for later instant messaging services. While many people today use programs like Jabber, Slack, and gchat to communicate via IM, AOL was a pioneer in its field when it launched popular IM tool “AIM” in 1997.

Texting

For the past decade, we’ve been using cell phones for much more than just talking. In fact, Americans spend approximately 6 minutes per day talking on the phone, but more than 26 minutes texting. Originally, we had to type out each and every letter according to the numerical keypad on our mobile devices. Then, with the advent of T9, texting speeds increased. Finally, Blackberry and Palm Pilot added the full QWERTY keyboard and we’ve never looked back. Android and iOS devices today offer touch screen keyboards with predictive text and autocorrect capabilities that make it easier than ever to communicate.


The text message turns 20: A brief history of SMS

HBD, text messaging! The first SMS text was sent 20 years ago today by Neil Papworth, then a 22-year-old communications engineer working in the United Kingdom. Papworth's SMS — Short Messaging Service — text was sent from a PC (phones didn't yet have keyboards) to a friend at a holiday party across town and read simply, "Merry Christmas." Here, a brief history of the humble beginnings and ensuing explosion of texting:

1984: An idea is bornSitting at a typewriter at his home in Bonn, Germany, Friedhelm Hillebrand types random sentences and questions, counting every letter, number, and space. Almost every time, the messages amount to fewer than 160 characters — what would become the limit of early text messages — and thus the concept for the perfect-length, rapid-fire "short message" was born. "Perfectly sufficient," Hillebrand would recall later about his discovery, which came long before mobile phones were an everyday tool.

Dec. 3, 1992: The first text messagePapworth, a former developer at Sema Group Telecoms, sends the world's first SMS greeting to his friend Richard Jarvis, who at the time worked at U.K. service Vodafone. Jarvis couldn't say "Merry Christmas" back, because his brick-sized Orbitel 901 phone had no way of inputting text.

1993: Mobile phones get SMSFinnish phone-maker Nokia debuts the first mobile phone that's able to send texts. Early text messages — which have to be painstakingly entered on numerical keypads — are free, but can only be sent between two people on the same network. This remains the standard for quite a few years.

1994: SMS as broadcastVodafone — one of only two mobile networks in the U.K. — launches a share-price alert system for business people.

1995: T9 debutsThe Tegic or "T9" system, which predicts texting based on what letters you're typing, first sees the light of day. Though confusing at first, the input method becomes popular among slick-fingered texters.

1997: Enter QWERTYThe Nokia 9000i Communicator becomes the first phone to come equipped with a keyboard. Future BlackBerry fans rejoice.

1999: Worlds collideText messages finally cross networks for the first time, and "a new fever" is born, says The Wall Street Journal. College kids begin latching onto the inexpensive, quick-fire technology as their communication medium du jour.

2000: Text messaging takes offNow capable of texting with their friends on other networks, Americans begin sending (a now comically low) 35 texts per month.

2002: Text messaging really explodesMore than 250 billion SMS messages are sent worldwide.

July 2006: Enter TwitterTwitter makes its debut as a text-message-based service in the summer of 2006. Its famous 140-character limit was set by SMS' own limitations pioneered by Hillebrand.

2007: Texting surpasses callingNBD. The number of texts sent in a month passes the number of monthly phone calls placed by Americans for the first time ever.

2008: The texter-in-chiefPresidential candidate Barack Obama sends supporters a text message announcing Joe Biden as his vice-presidential running mate.

2010: The service peaksThe International Telecommunications Union reports that 200,000 text messages are sent every minute. 6.1 trillion texts are sent worldwide over the entire year.


Part 1: Can Verizon Give Me Text History?

You can actually see your Verizon text messages history as the company allows you to do so. This is a good thing because a lot of other companies only provide the contact number information of incoming and outgoing SMS.

With Verizon, you have the ability to see your history for text messages. As long as you have access to a phone number and its security details, you can view the SMS history of both messages that have been received and sent.

But what if you want to check the Verizon text messages history of others? Well, you won’t be able to do it unless you have the actual login details of the specific contact number you wish to see the text messages history of.

As such, we’ll teach you how to view this text message history throughout the next section. Detailed information will be given so you can check out your SMS history and if possible, weed out important details you need for work, business, personal, or legal matters.


Timeline

1992 First text message sent

1995 T9 system invented, making texting quicker

2001 Text volume passes 1bn a month in the UK

2001 Text messaging is used to help organise protests that topple President Joseph Estrada in the Philippines

2002 A service called Text2TV from a Devon-based company says it will let you send texts to your TV and reply via your remote. It doesn't take off

2003 David Beckham sends a series of steamy text messages to his personal assistant Rebecca Loos they are later published, and nearly end his marriage

2004 Tony Blair takes part in a live text chat

2005 The Eurovision song contest includes SMS votes, creating the biggest ever "televoting"

2008 Nielsen reports that the average US mobile user sends and receives more texts per month than phone calls – 357 v 204

2009 WhatsApp, a free text-like service that lets people send messages for free over data connections, is founded

2011 Number of texts sent at Christmas falls year-on-year in Finland, Hong Kong, Spain and the Netherlands

2012 Ofcom reports that text messages are the most-used method for daily communication with family and friends – 58% of UK adults do so at least once a day

2012 Rebekah Brooks reveals that David Cameron sent her texts signed "LOL" because he thought it meant "lots of love" its usual meaning is "laughing out loud"


‘If you truly cared’ — angry president of largest teachers union sends message to school reformers

It’s been a bad week for teachers unions — what with a California judge tossing out state statutes providing job protections for teachers and attendant publicity, including an article in Politico Pro with the headline, “The Fall of Teachers’ Unions‘. But let’s face it: Headlines have been screaming for years that teachers unions were “under siege.”

A 2013 Education Week commentary with the headline “The Plight of Teachers’ Unions” says:

A 2013 headline in the Hechinger Report said, “Under siege—and in bid to stay relevant—teacher unions evolve.”

A 2012 story in The New York Times about a teachers strike in Chicago (which, incidentally, didn’t turn out terribly for the teachers) says, “In Standoff, Latest Sign of Unions Under Siege.”

Indeed, teachers unions are facing unprecedented stress as the teaching profession has come under assault from those who want to take away their job protections and cast them as the biggest problems in student underachievement, but all unions in general face stresses for a variety of reasons. In fact, union membership in this country has been falling since 1947, when the Taft-Hartley Act, an anti-union law, was passed. While it is certainly true that unions were very late in recognizing that they needed to make changes in their views on issues such as teacher evaluation, it would be simplistic to say that unions are doing themselves in all on their own. A shift in the base of the Democratic Party — traditionally a friend to the labor movement — toward Wall Street hasn’t helped.

The ruling earlier this week by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu revealed as much about Treu’s views of the facts as the facts themselves. He accepted what is really a specious argument offered in the “Vergara trial” that state laws giving job protections to public school teachers deprive students of their constitutional right to an adequate education. The statutes themselves don’t do that. How those statutes are implemented is a different story, but that’s not the fault of the statutes. In any case, Treu’s ruling, which he stayed pending an appeal, sparked victory parties among reformers and promises of more lawsuits against teachers unions around the country.

USA Today ran a full-page ad by an anti-union group urging people to sue teachers and their unions (not a new call by this group) and Politico ran its story, which got a lot of Twitter attention. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest teachers union, sent a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan criticizing his praise for the Treu ruling (which you can read here), and Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union, made a video, which you can watch (above) or read (see transcript below), expressing unusual public anger for the labor leader.


‘If you truly cared’ — angry president of largest teachers union sends message to school reformers

It’s been a bad week for teachers unions — what with a California judge tossing out state statutes providing job protections for teachers and attendant publicity, including an article in Politico Pro with the headline, “The Fall of Teachers’ Unions‘. But let’s face it: Headlines have been screaming for years that teachers unions were “under siege.”

A 2013 Education Week commentary with the headline “The Plight of Teachers’ Unions” says:

A 2013 headline in the Hechinger Report said, “Under siege—and in bid to stay relevant—teacher unions evolve.”

A 2012 story in The New York Times about a teachers strike in Chicago (which, incidentally, didn’t turn out terribly for the teachers) says, “In Standoff, Latest Sign of Unions Under Siege.”

Indeed, teachers unions are facing unprecedented stress as the teaching profession has come under assault from those who want to take away their job protections and cast them as the biggest problems in student underachievement, but all unions in general face stresses for a variety of reasons. In fact, union membership in this country has been falling since 1947, when the Taft-Hartley Act, an anti-union law, was passed. While it is certainly true that unions were very late in recognizing that they needed to make changes in their views on issues such as teacher evaluation, it would be simplistic to say that unions are doing themselves in all on their own. A shift in the base of the Democratic Party — traditionally a friend to the labor movement — toward Wall Street hasn’t helped.

The ruling earlier this week by Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Rolf M. Treu revealed as much about Treu’s views of the facts as the facts themselves. He accepted what is really a specious argument offered in the “Vergara trial” that state laws giving job protections to public school teachers deprive students of their constitutional right to an adequate education. The statutes themselves don’t do that. How those statutes are implemented is a different story, but that’s not the fault of the statutes. In any case, Treu’s ruling, which he stayed pending an appeal, sparked victory parties among reformers and promises of more lawsuits against teachers unions around the country.

USA Today ran a full-page ad by an anti-union group urging people to sue teachers and their unions (not a new call by this group) and Politico ran its story, which got a lot of Twitter attention. Randi Weingarten, president of the American Federation of Teachers, the second-largest teachers union, sent a letter to Education Secretary Arne Duncan criticizing his praise for the Treu ruling (which you can read here), and Dennis Van Roekel, president of the National Education Association, the country’s largest teachers union, made a video, which you can watch (above) or read (see transcript below), expressing unusual public anger for the labor leader.


Watch the video: The Union Sends a Message (August 2022).