Archive for the 'History' Category

Monday, September 27th, 2010 :: In History ::

The history of the Model T:

Tuesday, September 21st, 2010 :: In Education, History ::
San Timoteo Canyon fossil

A utility company preparing to build a new substation in an arid canyon southeast of Los Angeles has stumbled on a trove of animal fossils dating back 1.4 million years that researchers say will fill in blanks in Southern California’s history.

The well-preserved cache contains nearly 1,500 bone fragments, including a giant cat that was the ancestor of the saber-toothed tiger, ground sloths the size of a modern-day grizzly bear, two types of camels and more than 1,200 bones from small rodents. Other finds include a new species of deer, horse and possibly llama, researchers affiliated with the project said.

Full story….

Monday, August 16th, 2010 :: In History, Politics ::

by Phyllis Schlafly:

Arizona’s new law that requires the police to ask people to show ID, which was just knocked out by a supremacist judge, may not be the most controversial Arizona law about illegal aliens. Governor Jan Brewer signed another law this year that bans schools from teaching classes designed to promote solidarity among students of a particular ethnic group.

This law bans classes that “promote the overthrow of the United States government” or “promote resentment toward a race or class of people” because schools should treat all pupils as individual Americans. The issue arose because the Tucson School District offers courses in Mexican-American studies (known locally as Raza Studies) that focus on that particular group and its influence.

Read the whole thing….

Monday, August 9th, 2010 :: In History, Politics ::

J.B. Williams at American Thinker:

Prior to 1913, there was no federal income tax. The states had rights and representation in Washington DC, there was no Federal Reserve Bank, and the federal government lived under the enumerated powers afforded within the US Constitution. What a difference one year can make…


Passage of the 16th Amendment to the Constitution would forever change life in America and not for the better.

The 16th – The Congress shall have power to lay and collect taxes on incomes, from whatever source derived, without apportionment among the several states, and without regard to any census or enumeration.


Further, thanks to the passage of the 17th Amendment, also passed in 1913, the states no longer have representation in Washington DC.

The 17th – The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, elected by the people thereof, for six years;

Read the whole thing….

History of the U.S. Tax System

Tuesday, July 27th, 2010 :: In History, Liberty ::

On July 27, 1953 @ 10:00pm (Korean time) the cease fire between North and South Korea officially went into effect but in reality both sides had ceased fire two hours earlier.

The armistice turned out to be one of the luckiest events of my life.

Eight of us were geared up and painted up for a recon (reconnaissance) patrol to a dome-shaped hill about 1000 yards to our front. Battalion had made the mission clear: we were to approach near the center of the near side, DO NOT be detected, work our way up to the mid-point of the 250′ hill, circle the girth if possible, return and report what we had observed.

The briefing had taken place about 3 hours before word of the cease fire came down. When word arrived our C.O. told the patrol to standby until further notice.

Finally, at about 2300 hours (11:00pm), while still reeling from the eerie silence, we were ordered to stand-down.

At daylight the next morning I noticed most of my platoon had gathered up near the ridgeline, looking north. I ran up and couldn’t believe my eyes. The hill we had prepared to recon the night before was literally covered with Chinese. They were so thick it has hard to see the ground. In fact, the cease fire was near the end of my tour and that was the largest concentration of the enemy I had seen in my nine months in Korea. There’s little doubt that we would’ve been wiped out before we made it up the hill and there’s absolutely no doubt that the Chinese were planning a major offensive on our position.

Recently, some libtards have been raising a new question.

Was the U.S. right to intervene in Korea?

Last week Jonathan Tobin posted his review of a book by Bruce Cumings that criticizes U.S. intervention after North Korea invaded South Korea on June 25, 1950. Tobin says:

Turning history and logic on its head, Cumings believes that not only was American intervention in Korea wrong but the North Koreans were the good guys.

Tobin later mitigates that statement somewhat:

… He has a point when he notes that a record of collaboration with the brutal Japanese occupation of the country compromised the South Korean leadership during the first half of the 20th century. But however nasty some of the South Korean leaders were, it is impossible to compare them unfavorably with their Stalinist opponents in the North.

I agree with that observation. When the cease fire between the U.N., China and North Korea was negotiated and agreed to, South Korea President Syngman Rhee refused to participate and refused to sign.

In fact, Rhee was so pissed at the U.S. and U.N. for negotiating with “his” enemies that he ordered the mass release of North Korean and Chinese POWs under his control. Rhee released over 10,000 at one time and we had to fight in all directions as the released POWs tried to make their way north.

Furthermore, investigations later revealed that Rhee committed atrocities against suspected North Korean sympathizers in the South and slaughtered thousands of North Korea and Chinese POWs under his control.

But no matter how bad Rhee was, that doesn’t make the North Korea despots one iota better than the despicable creatures they have always been.

One other note: Tobin never mentions that it was a young United Nations that intervened in the Korean conflict. The U.S. was just one of many nations that sent troops. I don’t dispute that the USA carried the water during the U.N. debate but the Korean War was a UN war. In fact, my outfit often linked with and ran joint operations with units of Turkey, Britain, Canada and others.

Here’s the Tobin piece.

Thursday, June 17th, 2010 :: In History ::

From over the transom:

Capt. Eddie Rickenbacker

It happened every Friday evening, almost without fail, when the sun resembled a giant orange and was starting to dip into the blue ocean.

Old Ed came strolling along the beach to his favorite pier… Clutched in his bony hand was a bucket of shrimp. Ed walks out to the end of the pier, where it seems he almost has the world to himself. The glow of the sun is a golden bronze now.

Everybody’s gone, except for a few joggers on the beach. Standing out on the end of the pier, Ed is alone with his thoughts…and his bucket of shrimp.

Before long, however, he is no longer alone. Up in the sky a thousand white dots come screeching and squawking, winging their way toward that lanky frame standing there on the end of the pier.

Before long, dozens of seagulls have enveloped him, their wings fluttering and flapping wildly. Ed stands there tossing shrimp to the hungry birds. As he does, if you listen closely, you can hear him say with a smile, ‘Thank you. Thank you.’

In a few short minutes the bucket is empty. But Ed doesn’t leave.

He stands there lost in thought, as though transported to another time and place.

When he finally turns around and begins to walk back toward the beach, a few of the birds hop along the pier with him until he gets to the stairs, and then they, too, fly away. And old Ed quietly makes his way down to the end of the beach and on home.

If you were sitting there on the pier with your fishing line in the water, Ed might seem like ‘a funny old duck,’ as my dad used to say. Or, ‘a guy that’s a sandwich shy of a picnic,’ as my kids might say. To onlookers, he’s just another old codger, lost in his own weird world, feeding the seagulls with a bucket full of shrimp.

To the onlooker, rituals can look either very strange or very empty. They can seem altogether unimportant …. maybe even a lot of nonsense.

Old folks often do strange things, at least in the eyes of Boomers and Busters.

Most of them would probably write Old Ed off, down there in Florida. That’s too bad. They’d do well to know him better.

His full name: Eddie Rickenbacker. He was a famous hero back in World War I as Captain Eddie Rickenbacker. He shot down 26 enemy aircraft.

However, one of Rickenbacker’s most famous near-death experiences occurred in October 1942. He was sent on a tour of the Pacific theater to review conditions and operations, and to personally deliver a secret message to General Douglas MacArthur. He and his seven-member crew went down. Miraculously, all of the men survived, crawled out of their plane, and climbed into a life raft.

Rickenbacker and his crew floated for days on the rough waters of the Pacific. They fought the sun. They fought sharks. Most of all, they fought hunger. By the eighth day their rations ran out. No food. No water. They were hundreds of miles from land and no one knew where they were.

They needed a miracle. That afternoon they had a simple devotional service and prayed for a miracle. They tried to nap. Eddie leaned back and pulled his military cap over his nose. Time dragged. All he could hear was the slap of the waves against the raft.

Suddenly, Eddie felt something land on the top of his cap. It was a seagull!

Old Ed would later describe how he sat perfectly still, planning his next move. With a flash of his hand and a squawk from the gull, he managed to grab it and wring its neck… He tore the feathers off, and he and his starving crew made a meal – a very slight meal for eight men – of it. Then they used the intestines for bait… With it, they caught fish, which gave them food and more bait….and the cycle continued. With that simple survival technique, they were able to endure the rigors of the sea until they were found and rescued (after 24 days at sea…).

Eddie Rickenbacker lived many years beyond that ordeal, but he never forgot the sacrifice of that first lifesaving seagull… And he never stopped saying, ‘Thank you.’ That’s why almost every Friday night he would walk to the end of the pier with a bucket full of shrimp and a heart full of gratitude.

Reference: (Max Lucado, In The Eye of the Storm, pp..221, 225-226)

PS: Eddie started [founded] Eastern Airlines.

Composer / author unknown. If it’s yours and you want credit and a link, let me know.

Saturday, June 12th, 2010 :: In Entertainment, History ::

Yesterday TCM devoted the day to re-runs of The Underwater World of Jacques Cousteau and The Cousteau Odyssey. I took the time to re-watch some of the episodes.

One show that I just happen to catch was Cousteau’s dive to explore the HMHS Britannic off the coast of Greece. Here’s a memory refresher from Wikipedia:

HMHS Britannic was the third and largest Olympic-class ocean liner of the White Star Line. It was the sister ship of RMS Olympic and RMS Titanic, and was intended to enter service as a transatlantic passenger liner. She was launched just before the start of the First World War and was quickly put to use as a hospital ship. In that role she struck a mine off the Greek island of Kea on 21 November 1916, and sank with the loss of 30 lives.

In the show, the narrator says that Cousteau thought the hole in the ship’s hull was too large to have been caused by a mine so Cousteau speculated that perhaps the ship’s boiler exploded. It’s interesting to me that Cousteau made that observation over 30 years ago but the person posting at Wikipedia doesn’t mention it.

But that’s not the most interesting thing I learned.

Did you ever hear of Violet Jessop?

Violet Constance Jessop

Even at my advanced years the name seems to ring a bell but I have to admit that her name was no longer in my consciousness.

Here’s an excerpt from Wikipedia on her:

Violet Constance Jessop (1 October 1887 – 5 May 1971) was an ocean liner stewardess and nurse who achieved fame by surviving the disastrous sinkings of the sister ships RMS Titanic and HMHS Britannic in 1912 and 1916, respectively. In addition, she had been on board their other sister ship RMS Olympic, when it collided with the HMS Hawke in 1911.


Thursday, April 29th, 2010 :: In History, Technology ::

Sony Tokyo To End Production of 3.5-Inch Floppy Disks

In a sign of the times, Sony on Monday confirmed that it will soon end the sale of floppy disks.

Sony Tokyo will end sales of 3.5-inch floppy disks in Japan, effective March 2011, a Sony spokeswoman said in an e-mail.

The disks have been shipping in Japan since 1983. Evolving technology and storage options, however, including cloud computing and high-capacity USB drives, not to mention computers that no longer include disk drives, have made the floppy disks less useful in recent years.


3.5 inch floppy disk

Monday, April 19th, 2010 :: In History ::

New York City’s oldest library says President Washington checked out two books in 1789 and never returned them. As Jeff Glor reports, Mr. Washington owes $300,000 in late fees.

CBS report….

Thursday, April 15th, 2010 :: In History, Liberty ::

Van der Leun, December 24, 2007:

A short list. In no particular order.

We had car shows, boat shows, beauty shows and dog shows.

We ran robots on the surface of Mars by remote control.

Our women came from all over the world in all shapes and sizes hues and scents.

We actually believed that all men are created equal and tried to make it come true.

Everybody liked our movies and loved our television shows.

We tried to educate everybody, whether they wanted it or not. Sometimes we succeeded.

We did Levis.

We held the torch high and hundreds of millions came. No matter what the cost.

Read the whole beautiful thing….

Saturday, April 10th, 2010 :: In Foreign Affairs, History ::

Judi McLeod in CFP:

Poland’s President Lech Kaczynski was leading a delegation of top Polish officials, including Gen. Franciszek Gagor, head of the army and chief of staff, to memorial ceremonies at Katyn, the site of a massacre of 22,000 Poles by Soviet agents 70 years ago. “The soul trembles to think that Katyn has taken new victims,” said Konstantin Kosachev, chairman of the International Affairs Committee in Russia’s parliament.


“More than 90 souls, including many high officials of the Polish state” President Lech Kaczynski and his wife, MPs, the highest military, banking officers and many other people.”

Read the whole sad story….

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 :: In Health Care, History, Politics ::

J.R. Dunn, March 29, at American Thinker:

The Supreme Court and FDR’s Power Grab

How great a chance do we have to overthrow ObamaCare in the courts? To answer that question we need to look into that bleak pit of falsehood and mendacity that America’s left would like us to ignore at all costs, the historical record.

We need to look at the original effort to nationalize the American economy, the one attempted by Obama’s model, Franklin D. Roosevelt, by means of the New Deal. FDR was never quite clear about what he wanted to do. He was clear about the goal, but not about how to get there. Not unlike Obama, he left that problem to various retainers, in this case the members of the Brain Trust.

The two key Brain Trusters were Adolf Berle and Rexford G. Tugwell. Both men were professors at Columbia, and both were of one mind concerning the solutions to America’s economic problems: collectivism, centralization, and state control. [Bold added]

Read more….

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010 :: In History, Military ::

You won’t see this in the MSM so here’s a link to the local paper….

NEW BRITAIN — The names are a chronicle of this diverse city — Colello, Dixon, McEnaney and Meskill; Nadeau, Ohanesian, Pozniak and Rabinowitz.

They were among the World War II veterans memorialized on a stone and metal monument in a tiny city park. Now, that honor roll has been defaced and diminished.

Two of six plaques bearing veterans’ names were pried from the monument in Kulper Park more than a week ago. Police are searching for the missing plaques and those responsible for what Lt. James Wardwell called “a truly despicable crime.”

Investigators are not sure whether the culprits were vandals or thieves out to cash in the plaques at a scrap yard, Wardwell said. Police have alerted scrap yards in the area to look out for the plaques, which are made of either bronze or brass.

Read the whole story….

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010 :: In Entertainment, History ::

The song runs less than a minute and is nothing special but what they do next is amazing!

Saturday, March 27th, 2010 :: In History, Military ::

WoW! I didn’t know this was available on YouTube.

News reel of the surrender ceremony onboard the USS Missouri in Tokyo Bay on September 2, 1945. Background music is “With Honour Crowned”.