Thursday, October 27, 2011

Civil Rights, Uncivil Rites and a Re-Attached Arm for Good Measure

The picture below contains a recollection of Charles Diggs Jr. about his father, who was a congressman in the 1930s and '40s that introduced one of the first civil rights bills in Michigan and the entire United States, aptly titled the Diggs civil rights act, and their dealings with Eloise and the cemetery. Since it's an oral history it may be long in memory and short on facts but is interesting just the same.

from the book "Untold tales, unsung heroes: an oral history of Detroit's African American community, 1918-1967"

by Elaine Latzman Moon
Wayne State University Press, 1994


Donald Musser of Van Buren Township was working on a garbage truck the day of October 29, 1969 when a box spring mattress he had thrown into the compacter got jammed and while trying to work it loose a packing lever sprang back and severed his arm at the elbow.

A resident in the Westland neighborhood called police and the three officers -- William McDonald, Michael Frayer and Sam Burke -- who arrived at the scene secured his arm from the truck and made for its safe transport to Wayne County General Hospital. There a team of 15 surgical personnel reattached his arm, veins and arteries in two hours.

Musser, who was conscious up until surgery, was surprised to see his arm in a thick cast when he awoke later, having already fretted about living the rest of his life with only one arm. The prognosis was for full recovery though two additional surgeries would be necessary.


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