Percy Julian

Posted by The Zodiac | Black History | Tuesday 30 July 2013 12:42 am

percy_julianPercy Julian, born April 11, 1899 was one of the premier scientists, inventors, business leaders, and humanists of his time. Being an African American and chemist were only two of the obstacles Julian faced and overcame during his lifetime.

Percy Julian was the eldest of six children belonging to James Summer Julian, a railway mail clerk, and wife Elizabeth Lean Adams. The Julian family resided in the Chicago suburb Village Oak, and was often the targets of racially motivated attacks on them and their home. They were the only black family in the neighborhood. The cultural and religious tradition that the Julian family upheld, paved the way for Julian’s new ideas and achievements. The Julian family thrived on hard work, family pride, love, acceptance, high moral standards, good parental example, respect for authority, and God centeredness.

Julian’s academic achievements were impressive. Formal education for blacks in Alabama stopped at the eighth grade. Julian made the long trip from Montgomery to Greencastle, Indiana where he attended De Pauw University. His support and tuition came from his earnings as a waiter. Often he worked as a ditch digger during the day and attended classes in the evening. He received his BA in 1920. He then went on to Fisk University where he taught chemistry. He also obtained a Master’s degree from Harvard. He was unable to obtain a faculty position at Harvard after receiving his degree, due to the fact that he was a Negro. He instead went to West Virginia State College, at that time an all-black institution, to become a professor of chemistry from 1926 to 1927.

Percy selected Vienna to research the chemistry of natural products. When Percy arrived in Vienna he brought a wealth of knowledge and new equipment. Among these things were ground glass equipment, elaborate laboratory glassware, electric stirrers, and other extravagances not know to the average student.

Julian’s most notable achievements in his career came after being hired on as the Director of Research of the Soya Products Division of Glidden. The Soya Division became the most profitable division of Glidden during this point in time. Julian developed an oil-free granular product, which stabilized against rancidity, and is widely sold today in markets as “Lecithin Granules”, a food supplement. In 1935, he created synthetic physostigmaine, a drug used to treat glaucoma. From soybean, he created biomedical products, synthesized progesterone and testosterone, a female and male hormone. The production of these drugs in large quantities reduced the cost in treating hormonal deficiencies and other disorders.

Percy Julian demonstrated his chemical competence and creative imagination in applied chemistry by securing a number of patents for the making of desired substances from the plant products, and he also kept up regular publications on pure chemistry, including papers on indoles, sterols and steroids, and conjugated systems. He also founded two firms through which he could apply his scientific knowledge, inventive skill, and judgment to recover large quantities of intermediate substances from Soya beans and other plants.

In recognition of his many scientific achievements, he was elected to the National Academy of Sciences and obtained many honors. In 1973 he was honored, together with his wife Anna J. Julian, for bringing to life the Legal Defense and Educational Fund in Chicago.

Percy Lavon Julian died on April 19, 1975. In 1976 the village of Oak Park, a suburb of Chicago where Julian and his family resided since 1950, observed his birthday as a holiday. He was a well-respected scientist by his peers and friends.

California teacher Charged with 41 Counts of Sex

Posted by The Zodiac | Uncategorized | Sunday 28 July 2013 12:57 pm

mugshot-laura-whitehurstA Redlands, Calif., high school teacher accused of having a baby allegedly fathered by a teen student was charged Monday with 41 counts of sex and oral copulation with a minor.

Laura Elizabeth Whitehurst, 28, was arrested a week ago after the mother of a Citrus Valley High student contacted school officials about the suspected relationship between her son and the English teacher.

Authorities said Whitehurst had given birth June 18 to a baby fathered by the student with whom she alleged began having an affair when he was 16. The boy attended the baby’s birth, according to court documents.

After Whitehurst and the boy confirmed details of the relationship to a Redlands police detective, authorities made the accusations public. Then, at least two other men came forward and said they had had sexual relations with Whitehurst in 2007 and 2008.

One of the alleged victims spoke to NBC4 Southern California, saying he never felt victimized but wanted to share his story so that others might come forward to tell police about their experiences with Whitehurst.

Officials with the Redlands Unified School District had interviewed Whitehurst and her alleged victim about their relationship in May, but police were not contacted until the boy’s mother made a complaint, according to a police detective’s affidavit.

The charges filed by the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s office against the teacher reflect alleged relationships with the three teen students. Whitehurst is charged with 30 counts of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, and 11 counts of oral copulation of a person under 18.


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Posted by The Zodiac | Uncategorized | Wednesday 24 July 2013 10:57 pm

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