A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006.

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Entry from July 21, 2010
“You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Weather Underground (organization)
Weatherman, known colloquially as the Weathermen and later the Weather Underground Organization (abbreviated WUO), was an American radical left organization. It originated in 1969 as a faction of Students for a Democratic Society (SDS) composed for the most part of the national office leadership of SDS and their supporters. Their goal was to create a clandestine revolutionary party for the violent overthrow of the US government and the establishment of a dictatorship of the proletariat.

With leadership whose revolutionary positions were characterized by Black separatist rhetoric, the group conducted a campaign of bombings through the mid-1970s, including aiding the jailbreak and escape of Timothy Leary. The “Days of Rage”, their first public demonstration on October 8, 1969, was a riot in Chicago timed to coincide with the trial of the Chicago Seven. In 1970 the group issued a “Declaration of a State of War” against the United States government, under the name “Weather Underground Organization” (WUO). The bombing attacks mostly targeted government buildings, along with several banks. Most were preceded by evacuation warnings, along with communiqués identifying the particular matter that the attack was intended to protest. For the bombing of the United States Capitol on March 1, 1971, they issued a communiqué saying it was “in protest of the US invasion of Laos.” For the bombing of the Pentagon on May 19, 1972, they stated it was “in retaliation for the US bombing raid in Hanoi.” For the January 29, 1975 bombing of the United States Department of State Building, they stated it was “in response to escalation in Vietnam.”

The Weathermen grew out of the Revolutionary Youth Movement (RYM) faction of SDS. It took its name from the lyric “You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows”, from the Bob Dylan song Subterranean Homesick Blues. You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows was the title of a position paper they distributed at an SDS convention in Chicago on June 18, 1969. This founding document called for a “white fighting force” to be allied with the “Black Liberation Movement” and other radical movements to achieve “the destruction of US imperialism and achieve a classless world: world communism.”

The Weathermen largely disintegrated after the United States reached a peace accord in Vietnam in 1973, which saw the general decline of the New Left.

Wikipedia: Subterranean Homesick Blues
“Subterranean Homesick Blues” is a song by Bob Dylan, originally released on the album Bringing It All Back Home in March 1965. The following month it was issued as a single, becoming his first Top 40 Billboard Hot 100 hit (#39) and going Top 10 in the UK. It was subsequently re-released on numerous compilations such as Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits (1967). One of Dylan’s first ‘electric’ pieces, “Subterranean Homesick Blues” was also notable for its innovative film clip, which first appeared in D. A. Pennebaker’s documentary, Dont Look Back.
(...)
Influence
Listed by Rolling Stone magazine as the 332nd “Greatest Song of All Time”, “Subterranean Homesick Blues” has had a wide influence, resulting in iconic references by artists and non-artists alike. Most famously, its lyric “you don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows” was the inspiration for the name of the American radical left group the Weathermen, a breakaway from the Students for a Democratic Society. John Lennon was reported to find the song so “captivating” that he didn’t know how he’d be able to write a song that could “compete” with it.

Wikipedia: Blowin’ in the Wind
“Blowin’ in the Wind” is a song written by Bob Dylan and released on his 1963 album The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylanthough it has been described as a protest song, it poses a series of questions about peace, war, and freedom. The refrain “The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the wind” has been described as “impenetrably ambiguous: either the answer is so obvious it is right in your face, or the answer is as intangible as the wind”.

In 1999, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. In 2004, it was ranked #14 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of the “500 Greatest Songs of All Time”.

The Free Dictionary
which way the wind is blowing
how something will probably develop It wasn’t hard to tell which way the wind was blowing when the judge spoke to the jury. Peter quickly saw which way the wind was blowing and tried to comfort the worried parents.

(Oxford English Dictionary)
wind, n.
In expressions referring to a tendency, turn, or condition of affairs:
e.g. to know which way the wind blows; the wind has changed; is the wind in that corner or door? (see CORNER n.1 8, DOOR 6b); to sail with every (shift of) wind, to turn every change of circumstance to one’s advantage; to have the wind at will, to have circumstances or conditions favourable for one’s purpose.
c1400 Gamelyn 703 To telle him tydynges how the wind was went.
1546 J. HEYWOOD Prov. (1867) 75, I..knew, which waie the winde blewe.
1560 J. DAUS tr. Sleidane’s Comm. 334b, The Byshoppes of Germany hauynge the wynde at wyll, restore the same.
1562 BULLINGHAM in Foxe (1563) 1541/1 Wel Palmer (sayd I) is the wind in that corner with you? I warrant you it wyl blow you to litle ease at thend.
1615 SWETNAM Arraignm. Wom. To Rdr. A3, You may perceiue the winde is changed into another dore. 1672 W. WALKER Parm. 9 To have the wind with one.
1695 CONGREVE Love for L. IV. xiii, The Wind’s chang’d?
1710 R. G. Sacheverell’s Def. 7 We see the Dissenters can Sail with every Wind.
1818 SCOTT Br. Lamm. xxv, ‘Have I heard!!!’ said Caleb (who now found how the wind set).
1859 FARRAR J. Home iv, Miss Sprong.., seeing how the wind lay, had tried to drop little malicious hints against the favourite nephew.
1914 T. DREISER Titan xiii. 103, I know all about this. I’ve seen which way the wind is blowing.

10 July 1848, Daily National Intelligencer (Washington, DC), “The Canvass,” pg. 3:
SIGNS IN VIRGINIA.—The last Richmond Whig contains the subjoined extracts from business letters received at that office within a day or two. They show which way the wind is blowing:...

9 September 1857, New York (NY) Herald, “Our State and City Elections,” pg. 4:
With the practical opening of the State campaign they will very soon discover which way the wind is blowing.

2 September 1862, Macon (GA) Telegraph, “Progress in Tennesse and Virginia,” pg. 2:
One of the straws which indicate which way the wind is blowing flew in my pathway, during the last few days.

18 May 1865, Cleveland (OH) Plain Dealer, pg. 2:
Look out for squalls about these days! The above, which is taken from a late issue of the New York Times is only a straw, but it shows which way the wind is blowing, and unmistakably indicates that the happy family of black republicans are in imminent peril of an irrepressible Kilkenny cat-fight. 

10 May 1872, Bangor (ME) Daily Whig and Courier, pg. 2, col. 2:
The N. Y. Times says, “John Morrissey, the gambler and prize fighter, has come out strongly in favor of Greeley’s candidature. Straws show which way the wind is blowing.”

20 May 1903, Galveston (TX) Daily News, “Cleveland and Roosevelt Will Run,” pg. 1, col. 3:
“That, to my mind, was a straw showing which way the wind is blowing.”

2 November 1905, Salt Lake Telegram (Salt lake City, UT), pg. 4, col. 2:
When a man puts up real hard money on an election bet, it can hardly be called “straws that show which way the wind is blowing.”

8 August 1906, Galveston (TX) Daily News, “To Desert the State House,”
Austin, Tex., Aug. 7.—Saturday and Sunday will be “get-away day” among the State house employes and local politicians, who are going to Dallas en masse for the big Democratic State convention. Most of them want to be on the ground early and see which way the wind is blowing and then point with the straws.

15 October 1912, Abilene (TX) Semi-Weekly Reporter, “The Straw Vote,” pg. 2, col. 2:
It is dangerous to pin all your faith to the straw vote, still, there is no getting away from the fact that straws show which way the wind is blowing.

29 April 1916, Mountain Democrat (Placerville, CA), pg. 6, col. 1:
Interest in the Presidential primaries is increasing in California as State after State elects Wilson delegations without opposition and with more votes than all the rival Republican candidates put together. Straws show which way the wind is blowing.

OCLC WorldCat record
Political straws : how the wind blows.
Publisher: Sacramento CA : E. Broughton, 1933-1934.
Edition/Format: Journal, magazine : Periodical : English

18 September 1947, Ottawa (Ontario) Citizen, pg. 3, col. 4:
Weather Vane
Atop Goal Post
Assists Players

MIDDLETOWN, Conn., Sept. 17—(AP)—Punters on the Middletown high school football team don’t need a weather man these days to tell them how the wind is blowing.

OCLC WorldCat record
You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows
Author: Karin Ashley; Weatherman (Organization); et al
Publisher: [S.l. : s.n., 1969?]
Edition/Format: Book : English

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityGovernment/Law/Politics/Military • (0) Comments • Wednesday, July 21, 2010 • Permalink