Author Archives: Mahendra Francis

Raoul Wallenberg


This is a picture of Raoul Wallenberg of which was taken at Washington D.C. Wallenberg was responsible for saving thousands of lives during the Holocaust. He was described as a shining light in a dark and depraved world, and proved that a single person with courage to care can make a difference in the world. He was born on August 4th, 1912 and went missing never to be found again on January 17, 1945 when detained by German forces suspected of espionage. His career path included that of an architect, businessman, diplomat, and humanitarian. He saved many Jewish people by issuing them protective passports and providing them with shelters. In Honor of his memories a “Raoul Wallenberg Committee of the United States” was create in 1981 to promote the humanitarian ideals and the nonviolent courage of Wallenberg. He was praised as a wartime hero. In October 2016, nearly 71 years pursuant to his disappearance, he was finally declared dead by the Swedish Tax Agency. Interestingly, in his youth Wallenberg although his parents were rich preferred to travel on his own and take on odd side jobs. He is said to have written to his grandfather that “when you travel like a hobo, everything’s different. You have to be on the alert the whole time. You’re in close contact with new people every day. Hitchhiking gives you training in diplomacy and tact.” I find this interesting because there is much truth to it. By travelling like an ordinary person, you become more exposed to others and notice things that you would have otherwise not have been able to.

Raoul Wallenberg was quite the interesting fellow. He grew up filled with intrigues and did not want to use his parent’s money. He was quite self-independent. Furthermore, he went on to become a war time hero who aided thousands of Jewish people in their desperate time of need. Wallenberg was quite extraordinary as far as I can tell and deserved to be commemorated for the achievements that he has made in little time on earth. However, I am left with the big question of what has happened to him after his disappearance and why it took someone 75 years to be presumed dead after his disappearance.

Citation: Raoul Wallenberg and the Rescue of Jews in Budapest, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, (last visited May 24, 2017).

Sojourner Truth

This is a picture of Sojourner Truth which was taken in Washington DC. She was born in the year 1797 and died in the year 1883. She was a prominent abolitionist and women’s right activist. She was born a slave in New York State. Unfortunately, she had to experience three of her children sold away from her. After a successful escape from slavery, she turned to religion and became involved in moral reforms and abolitionist work. She was known to be a powerful and passionate speaker and is best known for “Ain’t I a Women” speech in 1851. She had no formal education but was a powerful force in the era in which she lived. She even was said to have challenged Fredrick Douglass on the issues of violence against slavery. During the Civil War, she was as brave as to walk the street collecting food and clothing for the black regiments. She was a big activist for educating children. She was said to have denounced racism stating that “it is hard for the old slaveholding spirit to die, but die it must.” This shows that she is looking towards the future and will not be filled with regrets. She died of old age in 1883 having quite a large funeral.

Sojourner Truth was a woman of strength. She was born into slavery but did not let that break her and cause her to doubt herself. She mustered the courage to escape but then became a vital part of a community which supports women’s rights and aimed to end slavery. She had no formal education but seemed to be a quick learner. She was outspoken and a great speaker. This is a trait in which I admire about her. Coming from her background one would expect her to have difficulties presenting her emotions and thoughts. However, she does not give in and does her best to show the world that she can make a difference and in fact she has. Truth is a brave woman from a time of which brave women were much needed. She duly deserves this commemoration of hers. She was a very interesting individual and will forever be a part of America’s history.


Citation: Staff, Sojourner (2009), (last visited May 24, 2017).


Martin Luther King Jr. By: Mahendra Francis

This is a picture of Martin Luther King Jr. of which I took in Washington D.C. King was a well-known civil rights activist who fought to end legal segregation and the many injustice inflicted upon black people. He was born on January 15th, 1929 in Atlanta, Georgia.  In his childhood, he actively took part in a small Baptist church owned by his father. Here he delivered many speeches and eventually took it over when his father died.  He went to a segregated high school and then went on to get a college degree at Morehouse college.  Then he won a fellowship and went to Boston University where he obtained a degree in 1955. In Boston, he married Coretta Scott and became the pastor of a Baptist Church in Montgomery, Alabama. He was always a strong activist for the civil rights of black people. He leads a bus boycott to fight against segregation in public buses. On December 21,1956, the Supreme Court of the United States had declared it unconstitutional for segregation to be allowed on buses. This was one of his many first big victories in the political world. He continued down on his civil right path and in 1957 was elected president of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference. He borrowed many the techniques of another prominent civil right activist named Gandhi who was from India. During his time as the president he travelled to many places and spoke to hundreds of people about his cause. He would appear wherever there was civil unrest. He even wrote books on the issue of civil rights. He was the youngest man to have won the Nobel Peace Prize at the age of thirty-five. On April 4th, 1968, he was assassinated while at a motel room in Memphis, Tennessee.

Martin Luther King Jr. was a great individual whose achievements will never be forgotten. He had fought and won many civil liberties for the black community and was a man of integrity. He came from a religious upbringing and throughout most of his life he had advocate for fair treatment of all and tried his best to improve the lives of his community. As a result of his efforts he had changed America for the better. He has helped to put an end to legal segregation and gave colored youth a better chance in society. He was a great activist and his commemoration is duly deserved.

Citation: Martin Luther King Jr.,, (last visited Apr 30, 2017).

Abraham Lincoln Memorial By: Mahendra Francis



This is a picture of Abraham Lincoln in which I took at Washington D.C. Lincoln was the 16th president of the United States of America. In 1861, he issued the emancipation Proclamation that ended slavery. During his presidency, there was a great civil war in the country. The South wanted to secede from the North and it was up to Lincoln to find a way to calm the turmoil. To my surprise, he was the son of an undistinguished family. During his early age, he worked in a farm and he learned how to read and write. When he became older he did not know much about the world but he had a drive for knowledge and constantly pursue knowledge whenever he was able. As president, he worked towards making the Republican party stronger and more organized. Upon the union victory in the civil war he quickly made efforts to rebuild the country and reunited the North and Southern states. The reconstruction era as it was now called began to move smoothly until on April 14th, 1865 Lincoln was assassinated and all hopes for a peacefully union between the North and Southern states came to a quick end.

Abraham Lincoln was an amazing individual. He came from meager backgrounds, but his love for knowledge and learning quickly made him became the person that he was in the later parts of his life. He went from a farm hand to becoming the 16th president of the United States! I am inspired by him and his achievements. I to love to learn new things daily and by seeing how much we have in common I am excited to see what the future has in-stored for me. Abraham Lincoln did many revolutionary things in his time such as releasing people from their bondage and help set in motion the plans for the reunion between a country that was at the time split. For these reasons, I strongly believe that his commemoration was well deserved!

Citation: Abraham Lincoln, The White House (2017), (last visited Apr 30, 2017).

Maria L. Sanford

This picture was taken in the capitol building in Washington D.C. It is a statue of Maria L. Sanford a well-known pursuer of knowledge. At the age of 16 she began her teaching career. She funded her own higher education using her dowry funds. She rose in rank as a national educator and became the principal and superintendent of many schools located in Pennsylvania.

Sanford was very enthusiastic when it came to education. This is something we both have in common. As a professor at the University of Minnesota to which she was invited to become a faculty of, she lectured students on literature and art history. These are areas in education for which I have a deep respect for as well. Sanford would challenge her students every day to perform well in her classes. She was a political activist as well and gave speeches to many and believed strongly in women’s right, education for African Americans, and adult education. Sanford was well-traveled and gave more than one-thousand speeches. She later went on to creating the Minneapolis Improvement League which helped to further the causes she believed in. Sanford was picked in 1920 to give a speech at the state celebration when the 19th amendment was passed. The amendment gave women the right to vote. In 1958, Minnesota chose Maria Sanford to represent the state in The National Statuary hall in Washington D.C. This was decision well-fitting of a women who was well ahead of her times!



Maria Sanford, Architect of the Capitol | United States Capitol, (last visited Apr 3, 2017).

Helen Keller

This picture was taken in the capitol building in Washington D.C. It is a statue of Helen Keller a well-known and respected individual. As a child she had been through many difficulties and through hard work and determination had overcome them. Keller was born on June 27, 1880. As a child she was both deaf and blind. With perseverance she became the first deaf and blind person to earn a bachelor of arts degree and went on to become an American author, political activist. She has set an example for many and showed that no matter the challenges one faced you can still succeed. Her birthplace in West Tuscumbia, Alabama, has become a museum and President Jimmy Carter in 1980 has declared her birthday to be “Helen Keller Day”.

I believe that Keller was an outstanding example of how far human beings can go if they put their mind and effort into achieving something. She has empowered some many people including me to do the best we can. Her commemoration is duly deserved and I hope that many more people take the time to learn about her.


Helen Keller, (2016), (last visited Apr 3, 2017).