Archive for the ‘history’ Tag

05/15/2022 Sports Cont’d   Leave a comment

I was pleased to see that yesterday’s post on sports trivia was well received. I thought I’d expand it a little more today.

  • In 1994 NY Giant’s linebacker Lawrence Taylor played his last game. He took a small but poignant souvenir from that game which was the referee’s yellow flag. He felt that he deserved it because the refs “throw it against me often enough”.
  • Walter Payton the famous Chicago Bears running back missed only one game during his 13-year career. He carried the ball more often (3838 times) for more yards (16,726) and scored more rushing touchdowns (110) than anyone else.
  • In 1925 the Dartmouth football team contained 22 members of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society.
  • Golfing great Ben Hogan is also known for his famous reply when asked how someone can improve their game. It’s short and simple answer is still true today, “Hit the ball closer to the hole.”
  • After retiring as a player, Babe Ruth spent one year as a coach for the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1938.
Roger Bannister
  • In 1912, at the Stockholm Olympics, electric timing devices and a public address systems were used for the first time.
  • Famed fullback Jim Brown while attending Syracuse University in the mid-1950s also played lacrosse. and made All-American.
  • In June 1938 the Cincinnati Reds southpaw pitcher John Vandermeer pitched two no-hitters. They were the only two he ever threw, and they were consecutive. He pitched the first one against the Boston Braves and then his next game he pitched one against the Brooklyn Dodgers.
  • Ty Cobb was the only major league baseball player to have a brand of cigarettes named after him.
  • In 1979 New York Yankee manager Billy Martin had a confrontation with a marshmallow salesman and lost his job.
  • In in 1954 Roger Bannister, was named the Sports Illustrated magazines first Sportsman of the Year for breaking the four-minute mile.

BACK TO WORK TOMORROW

05/03/2022 Do you know your history?   Leave a comment

I’ve been a history buff for most of my life. I would prefer to sit in a corner and read a book on history than just about any other topic except for science fiction. Unfortunately, many historical facts that were being taught in the school systems weren’t exactly accurate. Here are a few examples.

LIZZIE BORDEN
  • Lizzie Borden’s verdict was not guilty.
  • The first shots of the US Civil War were not at Fort Sumter South Carolina. On January 9, 1861, a battery of Confederate soldiers on Morris Island, South Carolina – cadets from the Citadel Military College fired 17 shots at the Star of the West, a civilian union steamship hired by the federal government to transport military supplies and reinforcements to Fort Sumter. Three months later is when the Confederate army fired on the South Carolina Fort.
  • The feminists did not burn their bras but wore them. The closest thing to bra burning happened at the 1968 Miss America pageant. On September 7, 1968, protesters of the pageant filled a “freedom trashcan” with bras, girdles, false eyelashes, men’s magazines, and other items they considered instruments of torture. Some people wanted to burn the items, but they were unable to obtain a burn permit.
  • President Lincoln’s first choice to lead the union armies was not General Grant but Robert E Lee, who rejected his offer because of his loyalty to Virginia.
  • President Andrew Jackson was called Old Hickory because of his walking stick.
  • George Washington’s false teeth were not made of wood but of hippopotamus and elephant ivory held together with gold springs. Real human teeth and bits of horse and donkey teeth were inserted into an ivory plate. By the way, his dentures are on display in the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of History and Technology.
GEORGE’S TEETH
  • Contrary to the image of Daniel Boone popularized by actor Fess Parker on TV, the real Daniel Boone didn’t wear a coonskin hat, which he thought looked uncivilized. Instead, he wore a beaver felt hunters’ hat, a wide brimmed, Pennsylvania-style hat, which resembled the hat depicted on a box of Quaker Oats.
DANIEL BOONE

Just when I thought I had a good handle on our history I stumbled upon hundreds of items that needed clarification. I’ll send along more in the future because the more I find the more interesting they become.

04/12/2022 Historical Trivia   Leave a comment

I’m a lover of history, and I’m absolutely crazy about obscure historical trivia facts. I’ve collected quite a few over the years and I’m going to begin today with what I hope will be a number of postings with more of these little tidbits. Enjoy!

  • “Take this script,” Rudyard Kipling said to the nurse who cared for his firstborn child, “and someday if you are in need of money, you may be able to sell it at a handsome price.” Years later, when the nurse was actually in want, she sold the manuscript of the first Jungle Book and lived in comfort for the rest of her life.
  • After writing the runaway bestseller Uncle Tom’s Cabin, Harriet Beecher Stowe was bombarded with hate mail. Out of one package that she received fell the ear of a slave.
  • The author of the best-known document in the United States, and perhaps in the world, published only one book. Thomas Jefferson’s answers to a set of 23 questions about the American continent, circulated in 1780 by the French emissary François Marbois, appeared as Notes on the State of Virginia.
  • Walt Whitman was dismissed from his clerical post in the Indian Bureau of the Department of the Interior when the Secretary of the Interior, James Harlan, read a portion of Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and deemed it “pernicious poetry”.
  • Heavyweight boxing champion Gene Tunney lectured on Shakespeare at Yale University.
  • The electric automobile self-starter, which was perfected in 1911 by Charles F Kettering, made it possible for women to drive without the companion previously needed for cranking the engine.
  • In the early 1860s, a New York firm offered a prize of $10,000 for a satisfactory substitute for ivory in the manufacture of billiard balls. The prize was won by an American inventor, John Wesley Hyatt, who devised for the purpose what came to be known as celluloid. It was the first synthetic plastic.
  • Somewhere out there in space, amid all of the junk, is the Hasselblad camera dropped during a spacewalk by the United States astronaut Michael Collins. It will orbit the earth indefinitely.
  • A manned rocket reaches the moon in less time than it took a stagecoach to travel the length of England.
  • In 1930, Ellen Church recruited seven other young nurses to work 5000 feet above the Earth. They were the first airline stewardesses, flying on Boeing’s San Francisco to Chicago route, a trip that, in good weather, took 20 hours and made 13 stops.

WHO DOESN’T LOVE HISTORICAL TRIVIA?

04/04/2022 More Bad Poetry   2 comments

As you may have guessed, I’ve been around a while and my memories go back many years. I survived the 60’s and 70’s with only minor damage and tried desperately to forget everything about the 80’s and 90’s. The new millennium was a big letdown, and it still remains just that. This little ditty was written in 1978 or there abouts. I was smoking a lot of Weed in those days so I’m not entirely sure about the exact date. Take a trip back with me.

THE GENERATION GAP❤
Your Dis’n me, I’m Dis’n you,
It’s all just Greek to me.
It’s wicked hot, she’s wicked cool,
I’m wicked confused you see.


I thought our slang from years ago
was a cool and groovy thing.
We’d rap all night about far-out stuff
and what the future might bring.


Peace Man! Protest marches,
and on into the night.
We’d smoke some weed and drink some beer,
it’s what made everything alright.


Stop the war! Kent State Revenge, was
what we thought was cool.
Pass the beer, we can crash over here,
so, we’re a little late for school.


To mix and match the old and new
really must be done.
To help prepare for whatever new
and the nonsense that’s sure to come.

❤❤❤

And for our millions of millennials:

LIKE WHATEVER!!!!!

08/27/2021 Old Golden Rule Days   Leave a comment

As most of you are aware I am a lover of all things trivial and historical. I love all history but especially my own. Now it’s time for me to take you on a little trip down memory lane back to 1960. I’m going to introduce you to someone in my life who left me with vivid memories of school and a few emotional and geographical scars.

The lady in question was my eighth grade geography teacher. She was obsessed with geography to a fault. She was one of the meanest teachers I’ve ever had but also absolutely unforgettable (and not in a good way). On the first day of classes she told our group that half of our grade for the entire year would be based on our ability to memorize all the countries of the United Nations in alphabetical order and to recite it in front of the class. We spent many a day standing in front of the classroom and reciting as best we could as many of the countries as possible. Did I learn the countries, you bet I did, and at that time there were 82 of them.

All of us students agreed that she was an absolute lunatic and that was never disproven. She passed away many years ago and I actually sat in a bar that night with a close friend, another of her students, and toasted the old girl with a few stiff drinks. I didn’t attend her funeral but I was tempted to because I wanted to make sure she was really gone. This post is a something of a memorial and tribute to miss Mabel Milldollar, one of the most unforgettable persons I’ve ever met. This list of trivia items would have been something she would have loved but only if she could have used the information to create one of her memorable pop quizzes. They were brutal. Let’s get this started….

  • The part of the United States that the sun shines on first is the top of Mount Cadillac in Maine.
  • The state of Hawaii is composed of 132 Islands.
  • 25% of the State of California is made up of deserts.
  • The southernmost tip of Africa is the Cape of Agulhas.
  • The northernmost point in the United States is the city of Point Barrow, Alaska.
  • The city of Timbuktu is located in Mali in Western Africa.
  • The Sahara desert in North Africa has an area of 3,250,000 square miles.
  • Western South Dakota marks the geographical center of the United States since the addition of Hawaii and Alaska.
  • Piccadilly Circus in London got its name from collars, called picadillo’s, that were made by a tailor name Robert Baker who created them in the area.
  • The highest uninterrupted waterfall in the world is Angel Falls in Venezuela. It has a 3212 foot drop.
  • The lowest point of dry land on the earth is the shore of the Dead Sea, between Jordan and Israel, which is approximately 1300 feet below sea level.

I hope you’re smiling up at me Miss Milldollar because you couldn’t possibly be looking down on me. Your evil brainwashing techniques would have certainly qualified you for special duty at Club Gitmo. No terrorist in the world could have stood up to that “evil eye” you were famous for. I hope you’re sitting in the corner of wherever you happen to be with a pointy dunce cap on your head and having your hand smacked with a big ass ruler.

Am I bitter? Nah, I’m not bitter.

08/16/2021  Ten Year Anniversary   Leave a comment

Good morning readers. I just wanted to let everyone know I’m within two weeks of celebrating my tenth year of blogging which I think requires me to do an honest review of myself. I have to admit it’s been a real learning experience but one I wouldn’t change for anything. I never decided to blog because I thought I had all the answers or that my philosophy of life was of any interest to anyone but me. I blog primarily to keep myself sane. Blogging is a good way for me to vent and lower my blood pressure all at the same time.  I especially enjoy reading the feedback even if it’s discourteous, rude, or off-color.  It’s called freedom of speech.

I initially blogged about personal stories of my life but found out very quickly that family and friends dislike notoriety. From that point on I made sure to never mention names or to post any family members photographs.

I then moved into politics and voiced my opinions rather loudly and pointedly. It helped me to quickly discover that most blog surfers are of the “sound bite” generations. My goal then became writing a variety of articles that would keep readers reading to the end. It involved a mix of politics, humor, sarcasm, trivia, and whatever else I could find. I’m interested in anyone who really wants to take the time to read every word, think about it for a while, and then comment with a yea or nay. I’m not looking for approval just honest and open discussions and opinions.

After my interest in political blogging waned I decided to return to writing about personal stories from my past. It seemed the best way to go if I wanted to increased traffic. It also seemed that I wasn’t the only person fed up with politics and politicians. I love embracing change and have done so many times over the years. An old quote I heard many years ago still holds true today: “the greatest opportunities are found on the edge of chaos”.

I have a rather loyal following of readers who’ve stayed with me through my cancer diagnosis, surgeries, and a year of little or no blog postings. I’d like to thank them all for their continuing interest and support. It made returning to this blog a much easier transition than I had ever hoped for. Thanks again.

 

05-02-2016 Journal–Presidential Trivia!   Leave a comment

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As I prepare for the exit of Barack Obama as President my mind naturally turns to politics. I’m not going to get into the expected arguments concerning the current roster of candidates because it’s pointless. People make up their own minds and then spend all of their leisure time trying to convince everyone else to vote like they do because they’re smarter than everyone else.  It’s those kinds of discussions I don’t want taking place on this blog.

I honestly don’t care a wit for who any of you may vote for.  Just like I won’t tell you what I’m going to do. If I agree with your selection I’m smart and intelligent and if I don’t then I’m a dumb ass without a clue about politics. It’s a lose . . . lose for me and not worth my time.

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As much as I dislike politics and politicians I still love trivia.  So I’ll delve into my archives to find a few interesting political tidbits from past Presidents and presidencies.  Here they are.

* * *

Herbert Hoover was the only president to turn over 40 years of his government paychecks to charity.

A $5.7 million dollar renovation of the White House during the Truman administration was caused when the leg of Margaret Truman’s piano broke through the floor of v\her sitting room into the room below.

President Lyndon Johnson and his wife named their dogs Him & Her. Franklin D. Roosevelt and his wife named their pistols His & Hers.

Camp David located in the Catoctin Mountains was originally named Shangri- La before renaming by FDR.

James Madison, the fourth President was 5’4” tall and never weighed more than 100 pounds.

George Washington’s second inaugural address was the shortest in history.  It contained only 135 words.

William Howard Taft had a bathtub installed in the White House large enough to hold four men.  He weighed in at the time at 325 pounds.

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During his 12 years as President FDR used his veto powers 635 times.

Alexander Hamilton is credited with writing George Washington’s famous Farewell Address.

The average age that Presidents have taken office is 54.

First Lady Barbara Bush’s great-great-great uncle was President Franklin Pierce.

FDR was the only President who never used the word “I” in his inaugural speech.

The nickname of the first Presidential plane (a C-45 piloted by Major Henry T. Myers in 1944) was the, ”Sacred Cow”.

John Tyler was the only President to serve as a member of of the Congress of the Confederate States.

John Quincy Adams was the first President to wear long pants rather than knee breeches to his inauguration in 1825.

* * *

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I think that’s about enough politics for me today.  Anymore and I’ll become nauseous and violently ill.

03-01-2016 Journal–Looking Back–March 1st!   Leave a comment

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Being a history buff has been a lifelong pleasure for me.  I’ve always believed that individuals and governments have much to learn from their past mistakes and by studying those mistakes can improve their future circumstances. With that in mind I thought I’d step back in time to review and pass on to all of you a few interesting factoids  on notable occurrences for March 1.

Some of you may find these items interesting and others not so much.  My better-half will more often than not just roll her eyes and then turn up the volume of the music she’s listening to when I start spouting historical facts.   I guess I can’t please everyone all of the time but I’ll keep trying.  Here we go.

This Day In History – March 1st

1954 U.S.A. – US tests hydrogen bomb in the Pacific archipelago of Bikini, part of the Marshall Islands. 

1961 U.S.A. – President John F. Kennedy establishes the Peace Corps as a new agency within the Department of State.

1932 U.S.A. – The Lindbergh baby is kidnapped when stolen from his crib at the family estate in Hopewell, New Jersey, 

1936 U.S.A. – The Hoover Dam ( Boulder Dam ) is completed and turned over to the U.S. government. It supplies hydroelectricity, irrigation and fresh water to homes in California and Nevada. 

1941 U.S.A. – Nashville, Tennessee becomes the home of the very first FM radio station in the country. While the FM band had less static and more range, it didn’t become popular until the early 1960s.

1954 U.S.A. – Five U.S. congressmen were shot and injured during a House session today when Puerto Rican spectators who yelled "Free Puerto Rico" fired shots into the United States Capitol building.

1962 U.S.A. – On this day, 95 people were killed in a plane crash that occurred along the South shore of Long Island, New York. The irony of it all is that this plane crash happened after the end of a long stretch of bad weather (rain and fog) that had continued for about a week-on a clear day. 

1966 Soviet Union – An unmanned Soviet probe called Venera 3 crashes on Venus in the pursuit of the conquest of space.

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1971 U.S.A. – The radical left organization Weather Underground  bombs the United States Capitol on March 1, 1971. A bomb was placed in the senate wing causing $300,000 damage and no injuries. 

1972 Syria -  This was one of the significant days of the attack by Israel against the Arabs. The Israeli army launched attacks against Arab Guerrilla camps that operated in southern Syria at this time. Fighting back and forth continued on at different times after this until the present day. 

1973 Sudan – The Palestinian terrorist group Black September storm the Saudi Arabian embassy in the Sudanese capital Khartoum, taking diplomats hostage. ( This was the same terrorist organization that murdered nine Israeli athletes at the Munich Olympics). 

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1978 Switzerland -  The coffin of Charlie Chaplin was stolen from a small, unguarded village cemetery in Switzerland . 

1997 U.S.A. – Massive flooding occurred throughout the state of Kentucky with thousands left homeless and more than 50 people dead. 

2002 U.S.A – The possibility of water still existing on Mars was made known. According to NASA, a spacecraft called Odyssey had detected it on this planet.

2005 U.S.A. – Dennis Rader, accused of leading a double life as the BTK ( Bind, Torture and Kill, ) serial killer, was charged in Wichita, Kan., with 10 counts of first-degree murder between 1974 and 1991.. (Rader later pleaded guilty and received multiple life sentences.) 

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2007 U.S.A. – A series of 55 Tornadoes strike the southern United States that began in Kansas on February 28th, 2007 and included Alabama and Georgia, the tornadoes leave 20 dead with the worst effected area being Enterprise, Alabama where a section of the Enterprise High School was destroyed during the middle of the school day killing 8 and injuring many more. 

2008 Afghanistan -  Prince Harry who was sent secretly to Afghanistan with his regiment in December at his request  is forced to return to Britain following the American website, The Drudge Report, making his deployment public. 

2008 United States – People have been watching the naming of the warship that was built from parts of the steel salvaged from the World Trade Center. The families of the 9/11 victims were among the thousands of spectators at the naming of the U.S.S. New York, in Avondale, Louisiana. The bow contains 7.5 tons of steel taken from Ground Zero. It bears a shield with two bars to symbolize the towers, and a banner with the slogan “Never Forget”. The New York is an amphibious landing ship with a crew of 360, and complement of 700 marines. 

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‘Never Forget’

2012 United States – Thursday, 1st March, 2012 : The suspected gunman, TJ Lane, in a deadly school shooting will face charges as a juvenile in the US state of Ohio. Lane was suspected of killing three students and wounding two at Chardon High School.

There’s your history lesson for today. Whoever said that March was a slow winter month was badly mistaken. Just ask Julius Caesar.

02-18-2016 Journal – Me and Julius Caesar!   Leave a comment

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It’s 630am and I just finished watching Julius Caesar be murdered for the umpteenth time. What a bizarre way to start my day.  I’m badly addicted to the late great HBO series, Rome, and watching it has slowly become my morning ritual. My fixation with all things Roman began in my junior year of high school with the reading of Julius Caesar and my three years of Latin language  classes also helped. Later in college I became quite fond of wearing togas giving me a whole new appreciation for Roman ingenuity when it came to easy-removed clothing.

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Over the years I’ve read almost everything I could find about that time period trying in vain to understand how such an advanced society could become so bloodthirsty and uncaring about human life.  The history of the time gave me a great deal of respect for Spartacus and his minions who rose up and attempted to free themselves from slavery even though they were all killed in the process.  I remain puzzled by the entire era which forces me to keep reading about it.

I’ve heard so many people over the years comparing the situation in this country to Rome’s decline and in some ways agreed with them. The only accurate comparison for me concerned the continuing lack of morality in Rome that seemed to increase year by year with their affluence. The United States seems to me to be in a similar rut but comparing the two in their entirety is like comparing apples with oranges.

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I’ve been reading for the last few months a book written in the mid-1700’s by Edward Gibbons, The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire. It’s a difficult read on a good day as are all books written by so-called intellectuals.  There are as many footnotes as actual text in the book and I wanted to scream out loud before I made it through the first 100 pages. It became somewhat easier when I decided to completely disregard all of the footnotes and just read the actual text. I’ll probably finish reading this cumbersome tome in a few months but it won’t be easy.  Unfortunately there’s just enough valuable information in it to keep me reading to the end.

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I just finished my second cup of hot black coffee and I can feel my energy level beginning to rise. I’ll be spending some time today putting the finishing touches to a print I’ve been working on.  It’s an abstraction of a family photo
taken last Christmas in front of the tree. It’s more of an experiment in the use of vivid colors while working with materials that are somewhat new to me.  It’s preparing me for a more detailed and difficult project that I’ll be starting in the next few weeks using these same materials. As always practice and preparation make for a satisfactory completion of any project.

I’ll watch a few more minutes of Rome then get up to face my day.  I should be safe since the Ides of March are still a few weeks away.

03-17-2015 Journal–Spring is Now Officially Here!   Leave a comment

More light snow through the night last night but we’re expecting warmer temperatures today.  As we drove through the surrounding towns this morning it became fairly obvious that Spring has officially sprung.  It seems as if every maple tree in Maine is in the process of being tapped for their sap.  It’s one of the best indicators that Winter is on it’s way out finally.  These first two photos are examples of the old time way of tapping.

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‘Old School – Low Tech’

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Many of the local farming families have been doing this since just after the Pilgrims landed and like doing it the tried and true way of their predecessors.  Others have succumbed to the more modern ways and now use multiple plastic tubes from multiple trees that flow into a central container.  Take a look.

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‘New School – High Tech’

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The results are the same but there’s something really comforting about seeing it done the old way.  You can almost picture the pilgrims and their ancestors tapping trees in these same areas in the mid 1600’s.  History is just too cool.

As we made our way home I snapped this final picture of what looks to be a very lonely horse.  He’s just hanging around and watching the world go by. I think he’ll be just as happy as the rest of us to see Spring arrive.

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