Sunday, November 10, 2013


  The name of every American who died or is still listed as missing is inscribed on the walls of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.
  Interesting facts----Memorial building was started March 26, 1982 and the architect was Maya Lin.


  Early one April morning in 1775, 50 ragged "Minutemen" faced 1,000 red-coated British soldiers across the bridge at Lexington-a shot was fired, the first in the start of the Revolutionary War or the War for Independence.
  Interesting fact---the "Minuteman Statue" at Concord is a tribute to the first 88 colonists who died in the War for Independence.

Thursday, November 7, 2013


  • Eli Whitney was an American inventor best known for inventing the cotton gin. This was one of the key inventions of the Industrial Revolution and shaped the economy of the Antebellum South. 
  • Born: December 8, 1765, Westborough, MA
    Died: January 8, 1825, New Haven, CT
    Nationality: American
    Interesting facts--- Eli Whitney  became an expert at making nails from a device of his own invention. He later crafted canes and ladies hatpins.

    Wednesday, November 6, 2013


      During the War of 1812, Key accompanied by the British Exchange Agent Colonel John Stuart Skinner, dined aboard the British ship HMS Tonnant, as the guest of three British officers. Skinner and Key were there to negotiate the release of prisoners, but they were not allowed to leave the ship because the British felt that they had become familiar with their strengths and positions, as they were about to attack the American forces at Fort McHenry on the nights of September 3-4, 1814.
      At dawn, Key was able to see the American flag still waving and reported this to the prisoners below deck. After his release, and on the way back to Baltimore, he was inspired to write a poem describing his experience, calling it "The Defense of Fort McHenry, which he published in The Patriot on September 20, 1814.
      Key set his poem to the music of  "When the Warriors Return", since then, it has been called "The Star Spangled Banner". 
      Under this name, the song was adopted as the American national anthem first by order of President Woodrow Wilson in 1916 and then by Congressional resolution in 1931, signed by President Herbert Hoover.
      Interesting and little known facts about Key---in 1832 Key served as the attorney for Sam Houston during his trial in the U.S. House of Representatives for assaulting another Congressman and in 1835 he prosecuted Richard Lawrence for his unsuccessful attempt to assassinate President Andrew Jackson.

    Tuesday, November 5, 2013


    Louisa May Alcott (November 29, 1832 – March 6, 1888) was an American novelist best known as author of the novel Little Women and its sequels Little Men and Jo's Boys. Raised by her transcendentalist parents, Abigail May and Amos Bronson Alcott in New England, she grew up among many of the well-known intellectuals of the day such as Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Henry David Thoreau. Nevertheless, her family suffered severe financial difficulties and Alcott worked to help support the family from an early age. She began to receive critical success for her writing in the 1860s. Early in her career, she sometimes used the pen name A. M. Barnard.
    Published in 1868, Little Women is set in the Alcott family home, Orchard House, in Concord, Massachusetts and is loosely based on Alcott's childhood experiences with her three sisters. The novel was very well received and is still a popular children's novel today. Alcott was an abolitionist and a feminist. She died in Boston.

    Monday, November 4, 2013


    James Fenimore Cooper (September 15, 1789 – September 14, 1851) was a prolific and popular American writer of the early 19th century. His historical romances of frontier and Indian life in the early American days created a unique form of American literature. He lived most of his life in Cooperstown, New York, which was established by his father William. Cooper was a lifelong member of the Episcopal Church and in his later years contributed generously to it. He attended Yale University for three years, where he was a member of the Linonian Society, but was expelled for misbehavior. Before embarking on his career as a writer he served in the U.S. Navy as a Midshipman which greatly influenced many of his novels and other writings. He is best remembered as a novelist who wrote numerous sea-stories and the historical novels known as the Leatherstocking Tales. Among naval historians Cooper's works on the early U.S. Navy have been well received, but they were sometimes criticized by his contemporaries. Among his most famous works is the Romantic novel The Last of the Mohicans, often regarded as his masterpiece.

    Sunday, November 3, 2013


    When Samuel was 12, his father died of pneumonia, and at 13, Samuel left school to become a printer's apprentice. After two short years, he joined his brother Orion's newspaper as a printer and editorial assistant. It was here that young Samuel found he enjoyed writing.

    At 17, he left Hannibal behind for a printer's job in St. Louis. While in St. Louis, Clemens became a river pilot's apprentice. He became a licensed river pilot in 1858. Clemens' pseudonym, Mark Twain, comes from his days as a river pilot. It is a river term which means two fathoms or 12-feet when the depth of water for a boat is being sounded. "Mark twain" means that is safe to navigate.

    Because the river trade was brought to a stand still by the Civil War in 1861, Clemens began working as a newspaper reporter for several newspapers all over the United States.

    Twain began to gain fame when his story, "The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Calavaras County" appeared in the New York Saturday Press on November 18, 1865. Twain's first book, "The Innocents Abroad," was published in 1869, "The Adventures of Tom Sawyer" in 1876, and "The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn" in 1885. He wrote 28 books and numerous short stories, letters and sketches.

    Mark Twain passed away on April 21, 1910, but has a following still today. His childhood home is open to the public as a museum in Hannibal, and Calavaras County in California holds the Calavaras County Fair and Jumping Frog Jubilee every third weekend in May. Walking tours are given in New York City of places Twain visited near his birthday every year.                                                                 Interesting fact------In 1870, Clemens married Olivia Langdon, and they had four children, one of whom died in infancy and two who died in their twenties. Their surviving child, Clara, lived to be 88, and had one daughter. Clara's daughter died without having any children, so there are no direct descendants of Samuel Clemens living.

    Saturday, November 2, 2013


    Iwo Jima was the only battle by the U.S. Marine Corps in which the overall American casualties (killed and wounded) exceeded those of the Japanese, although Japanese combat deaths were thrice those of the Americans throughout the battle. Of the 22,000 Japanese soldiers on Iwo Jima at the beginning of the battle, only 216 were taken prisoner, some of whom were captured because they had been knocked unconscious or otherwise disabled. The majority of the remainder were killed in action, although it has been estimated that as many as 3000 continued to resist within the various cave systems for many days afterwards, eventually succumbing to their injuries or surrendering weeks later.
    Despite the bloody fighting and severe casualties on both sides, the Japanese defeat was assured from the start. American overwhelming superiority in arms and numbers as well as complete control of air power — coupled with the impossibility of Japanese retreat or reinforcement — permitted no plausible circumstance in which the Americans could have lost the battle.
    The battle was immortalized by Joe Rosenthal's photograph of the raising of the U.S. flag on top of the 166 m (545 ft) Mount Suribachi by five U.S. Marines and one U.S. Navy battlefield Hospital Corpsman. The photograph records the second flag-raising on the mountain, both of which took place on the fifth day of the 35-day battle. Rosenthal's photograph promptly became an indelible icon — of that battle, of that war in the Pacific, and of the Marine Corps itself — and has been widely reproduced.

    Friday, November 1, 2013


      Ninety five years ago, the  United States Post Office Department inadvertently printed a stamp with an upside down image of a Curtiss Jenny biplane. Just one sheet of these stamps were sold before a customer identified the error. This printing mistake has made the Inverted Jenny one of the rarest and most valuable stamps in collecting history. Image the excitement of finding such a sheet of stamps.
      Today the Post Office has given stamp collectors all over the world something to be excited by. The Post Office has made an exact replica of that Jenny, with the exception of changing the denomination from 24 cent to $2.00, so you can easily distinguish between the 1918 Jenny and the 2013 Jenny.
      The excitement is back. Be one of the first collectors to own one of these sheets of six $2.00 stamps.

     One of these sheets is now up for auction for 7 days beginning 11-1-13, and stating the bid at just 99 cents. To go to auction click here