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Discussion

From the Editors
Our profile of Houston’s cultural renaissance [“The Big Heart”] sparked debate on Facebook. The city “was a giant parking lot when I moved here in 1980 and it keeps getting bigger,” Thomas Hazard said. “It epitomizes urban sprawl.” Not so, says Meredith Nudo: “It’s been a great city for a while. Everyone’s just been too preoccupied with New York, L.A. and Chicago to notice.” Michael A. Fletcher’s new oral histories of the August 1963 March on Washington [“A Change Is Gonna Come”] inspired readers. Judi Howe, of Cornelius, North Carolina, says the march was “one of the most important moments” of her life. John Barry Kelly II, a file clerk at the FBI that summer, recalls receiving orders not to join the marchers on the Mall. “We have all come a long way thanks to King and the other martyrs of the civil rights movement,” he writes. Brooke Mahanes says the interviews “just blew me away. The oral history style really made me feel like I was there.” Michael D’Orso, co-author of Representative John Lewis’ memoir Walking With the Wind, says the struggle isn’t over:

Marching On
I was deeply moved by your powerful package of text and photographs commemorating the 1963 March on Washington. It was particularly refreshing to see new images of that day—the glow of promise, possibility and intense determination captured on so many faces by Stanley Tretick’s marvelous photographs. So much momentum for the movement was gathered that day, momentum that carried forward and culminated in groundbreaking legislation, none more important than the Voting Rights Act of 1965. Today, we find that Voting Rights Act being assaulted by the same forces that stood against the march. I hope words and images like those in this package will serve as reminders that the dream envisioned by Dr. King and the mass of marchers has not yet been achieved. We owe it to them to continue working toward the “ray of light” young Ken Howard saw that day, and to march again if we must.

Michael D’Orso
Norfolk, Virginia

Revisiting Tonto
Thank you for the story “Behind the Mask” by Jerry Adler. In the article Mr. Adler mentions the actor Jay Silverheels. Born Harold Smith in Canada, he took the screen name “Silverheels” from a nickname he received as a lacrosse player. He brought a lot to the role of Tonto in “The Lone Ranger” television series. When I watch reruns, I like to see how Silverheels handles himself in a fight. He was a middleweight boxing champ and he did the best trick ride mount of anyone in the movies. But what Mr. Silverheels leaves to America is his work with the Indian Actors Workshop that trained aspiring Native Americans. But how many real Native American actors are on the screen today?

Judith Carlson
Dexter, Michigan

Women Ballplayers
I was thrilled to find out that Jackie Mitchell had struck out both Babe Ruth and Lou Gehrig in 1931 at the age of 17. I’ve loved playing baseball all my life, so it’s great to hear of females who did well in the game, if only for a few minutes of fame. I am, however, appalled by Tony Horwitz’s misogynous statement that compared organized baseball’s first girl pitcher with a hamster playing shortstop.

Amy Miller
Tulsa, Oklahoma

Subatomic Story
I am elated to have a sense of what the Higgs boson fuss is all about. I love reading science articles but always skip those on physics as beyond my grasp. Brian Greene’s column did the trick and sparked my understanding of the Large Hadron Collider and theoretical math’s place in our universe.

Patsy Harris
Buckhead, Georgia

Correction
You don’t have to be a particle physicist to see that the photograph on page 25 of the Compact Muon Solenoid at CERN was reversed. Yet we didn’t think it was a mistake until readers pointed it out. Sorry about that.

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