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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

This Day in the American History

On July 31, 1918 HENRY "HANK" JONES was born in Vicksburg, Mississippi. He was an American jazz pianist, bandleader, arranger, and composer. Critics and musicians described Jones as eloquent, lyrical, and impeccable. In 1989, The National Endowment for the Arts honored him with the NEA Jazz Masters Award. He was also honored in 2003 with the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers (ASCAP) Jazz Living Legend Award. In 2008, he was awarded the National Medal of Arts. On April 13, 2009, the University of Hartford presented Jones with a Doctorate Degree for his musical accomplishments. Jones recorded over sixty albums under his own name, and countless others as a sideman.
Today in 1860 Mary Vaux Walcotts an American artist was born. She is known for her watercolor paintings of wildflowers. She was born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania to a wealthy Quaker family. After graduating from the Friends Select School in Philadelphia in 1879, she worked at home and on the family farm. During this time she took an interest in watercolor painting, and began painting illustrations of wildflowers that she saw on family trips to the Rocky Mountains of Canada. She also became interested in glaciers at that time.
Walcott married the paleontologist Charles Doolittle Walcott, who was the Secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, in 1914. She played an active part in her husband's projects, returning to the Rockies with him several times and continuing her hobby of painting the wildflowers there. In 1925 the Smithsonian published some 400 of her illustrations, accompanied by brief descriptions, in a five-volume work entitled North American Wild Flowers.
From 1927 to 1932 Walcott served on the federal Board of Indian Commissioners. She was elected president of the Society of Woman Geographers in 1933. In 1935, the Smithsonian published Illustrations of North American Pitcher-Plants, which included 15 paintings by Walcott.
Following the death of her husband in 1927, Walcott established the Charles Walcott Doolittle Medal in his honor. It is awarded for scientific work onpre-Cambrian and Cambrian life and history. Walcott died in St. Andrews, New Brunswick.
A mountain, called Mount Mary Vaux, in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada is named after her. It is located at 52°33′0″N 117°27′10″W.

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