Tag: History

Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. A Dream of a Sunday Afternoon

 

We’d planned to have an early dinner at a fairly decent Mexican food restaurant, part of a chain called Abuelo’s. In addition to learning that “abuelo” means grandfather, I learned about a mural in the restaurant that I’d seen a dozen times but had never really looked at. And the entire experience was delightful. (The picture below is the original.)

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Tom Tobin: ‘He Could Track a Grasshopper Through Sagebrush’

 

In October of 1863, southwestern Colorado Territory was months into a murder spree that would put any modern serial killer to shame. But Lieutenant Colonel Samuel F. Tappan thought he might well be looking at a chance to end it for good.

Leander Philbrook had stumbled into Fort Garland with word that he had escaped the murderers after they had shot the mules he was driving. He had been traveling by wagon between Trinidad and Costilla with Maria Dolores Sanches when attacked. The man and woman had fled on foot but soon Maria had hidden in some rocks so as not to slow down Philbrook while he searched for help.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Military Service Records of Our Presidents

 
General Washington Crossing the Delaware.

This post is inspired by a bit of presidential trivia I came upon the other day. When John F. Kennedy was elected president, he became the first to have served in the US Navy. That made me wonder about how many other presidents had served in the military in some capacity prior to their winning the White House, what branches they had served in, and whether or not they’d experienced combat.

In general, I think it’s agreed that prior military service is to the credit of anyone seeking political office, especially so for the presidency and that also having combat experience only enhances that benefit. With that in mind, does the record bear out the assumption that prior military service makes for a better president? Whether that’s been the case for our presidents is, I think, an open question; although I would still prefer, everything else being equal, that the presidential candidate I support have military service on their résumé.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Snapshot: The Kodak Brownie

 
Advertisement for Kodak Model No 1 (1888)
George Eastman circa 1890

No man did more to bring photography to ordinary people than did George Eastman (1854-1932). Eastman, who had two sisters, was born into a successful family on a small farm in upstate New York. When his father’s health began to fail the family moved to Rochester, NY. His father would die in 1862 when young George was eight and his mother was forced to take in boarders in order to make ends meet.

Among those boarders would be the Henry Strong family. Strong would become and remain a life-long friend and business partner of Eastman (he served as president of Eastman Kodak from its inception until his death in 1919). As for George, he would begin working full time at age 14 as an office boy (his workweek was 10 hours per day, six days per week at $3 per week). Eastman was a smart and diligent young man who was steadily advancing in the work world.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Ricochet at 10: America in 2010

 

We’re almost through our 10th year around here. Wow. Who would have thought it? It was a much different world back in May of 2010 when the first Ricochet Podcast went online and was followed by a website that the founders envisioned would be more civilized because everyone would have “skin in the game;” even if that “skin” was nothing more than the cost of a cup of coffee at Starbucks.

What was roiling us back then? Well, according to Time, the #1 story that year was an environmental disaster in the Gulf: the explosion of the BP drilling rig, “The Deepwater Horizon.”

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Today is the Birthday of Wildcatter Charles Newton.  More

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As you may recall, early in the 2016 Presidential election candidate Donald Trump famously said that Jonah Goldberg, one of his conservative critics, couldn’t even buy a pair of pants. I kinda think that’s not so since every time I’ve seen Jonah on TV he is always wearing pants. In any event, I think that […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Now Is the Play of Our Discontent

 

When one thinks of great Russian literature, one does not associate it with the time period of Stalin. Venezuela probably has great literature in its history, but I doubt much of it is written today by some crony of Maduro. But such is the oddness of the English language and the English people that the greatest flowering of English literature happened during the time of an illegitimate, usurping dynasty that had its thumb squarely upon the people and the arts created, a dynasty that resorted to execution more than any since.

Some say Shakespeare was a genius for his accomplishments. But how much more of a genius was he that he accomplished all that he did in an oppressive atmosphere that saw many locked up or executed for offending the Tudor monarch? A play like Romeo and Juliet might not have been too dangerous. Classical comedies and tragedies were not too dangerous, especially when set in places like Italy. The Taming of the Shrew? Two Gentlemen of Verona? But Shakespeare delved into another realm altogether: the history play. With histories from far off in time, indeed, apocryphal histories, such as King Lear and Macbeth, danger was not so apparent, yet Shakespeare came closer in time, right up to the time of his monarch. And in the writing of these nearer histories, Shakespeare prostituted himself, becoming the propagandist of the Tudor Dynasty, or did he?

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. John Garand: The Forgotten History of the Man Who Invented the Iconic M1 Garand Rifle

 

“In my opinion, the M1 rifle is the greatest battle implement ever devised.” — General George S. Patton

Today is John Garand’s Birthday! Any gun nut – er, “firearms enthusiast” – worth their salt has heard of the M1 Garand (it rhymes with “errand,” by the way). This .30-06 semi-automatic rifle is one of the most iconic American firearms of all time, and was the standard-issue weapon for American infantry troops during World War II and the Korean War. Drill teams and honor guards continue to use this in the present day, such is its role as a symbol of the American military.

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Will Fitzhugh, founder and editor of The Concord Review, an international journal that has published high school students’ history essays for 30 years, joins “The Learning Curve” this week. He discusses the importance of assigning serious history research and writing, and reading non-fiction, in K-12 education. Will describes the diverse backgrounds and successful college and career paths of some of the students published in The Concord Review.

Stories of the Year: New Orleans became the first city in the U.S. to convert all of its district schools to charters – with promising student achievement results. A new California bill will make it illegal for public schools to suspend disruptive students in grades K-8. Will this experiment address overreliance on punishment in the classroom, and racial imbalances in school discipline? A U.S. News story found that 20 percent of federal Title I funding meant for low-income, rural students instead went to larger urban districts with a higher proportion of wealthy families.

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Taking Memories to the Streets

 

This year marked the 100th anniversary of observing what became Veterans’ Day in America. It was also the 75th anniversary of a series of critical battles and campaigns that sealed the Third Reich’s fate. In June, the western Allies gathered to remember the Normandy invasion. On December 16, there was another major commemoration, although not with all national leaders, remembering the battle that finally broke the Germans, the Battle of the Bulge.

On December 16, 1944, Hitler hurled his last, best troops, those who had survived the Russian meat grinder and the battering, fighting retreat from Normandy since June 1944, back through a weak point in the Allied front. Taking advantage of bad weather, suppressing American air superiority, and employing superior knowledge of local terrain, armored columns thrust deep through the Allies’ lines. Yet, the Allies were not going to break catastrophically and the Wehrmacht lacked the operational and strategic supply support needed to fully exploit any tactical or operational success. Nevertheless, the tactical situation became so desperate that the white Army leaders who had lied through their teeth, after World War I, about black men’s ability to be their peers in the infantry now called forward volunteers out of the support troops, filling in gaping holes with platoons of African American soldiers assigned to formerly all-white companies. Four years later, President Truman rejected “expert” opinion and ordered the complete racial desegregation of the armed forces with Executive Order 9981.

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Today marks the 246th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party when American patriots, frustrated and angry at Britain for imposing “taxation without representation,” dumped 342 chests of tea into the harbor in protest. You’re probably somewhat familiar with this seminal event but you may not be with the story of those behind it. The “Sons Of Liberty” […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Member Post

 

“I’m the gun guy, a loud guitar Dirty Harry with a ponytail.”  Ted Nugent The list of conservative rock-and-rollers is pretty short. But even if you were only going to have just one, Ted Nugent would do the trick. Today is December 13th and it’s also Ted Nugent’s birthday. More

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Quote of the Day: Before There Was Harry and Meghan . . . There Was Edward and Wallis

 

I have found it impossible to carry the heavy burden of responsibility and to discharge my duties as King as I would wish to do without the help and support of the woman I love.

On December 10, 1936, what might be described as Britain’s “long national nightmare” came to an end when Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David, Edward VIII, By the Grace of God, of Great Britain, Ireland and the British Dominions beyond the Seas King, Defender of the Faith, Emperor of India, threw in the towel and bailed on both his throne and his country.

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Dunno Much ‘Bout History

 

A couple of days ago, I overheard two of my colleagues talking about football. One of the mentioned the red and yellow uniform of the San Francisco Forty-Niners. I spoke up:

“The uniform is red and gold, not yellow.”

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Today is the birthday of Eugene Stoner – one of the most underappreciated American firearms designers of the 20th century. Eugene Stoner was born in Gosport, Indiana, in 1922. After attending high school, Stoner enlisted in the U.S. Marine Corps during World War II; he served overseas in both the South Pacific and northern China. […]

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Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Regular and Irregular Channels

 

Some of the witnesses at the ongoing Congressional hearings seem quite disturbed at the use of “irregular channels” for decision-making and implementation, supplementing and bypassing the “regular” channels. (here, for example) Reminds me of a Churchill story…

In February 1940, Churchill was not yet Prime Minister but rather was First Lord of the Admiralty. He received a letter from a father disappointed that his son had been turned down for a commission, despite his qualifications and his record. Churchill suspected class prejudice and wrote to the Second Sea Lord, saying that “Unless some better reasons are given to me, I shall have to ask my Naval Secretary to interview the boy on my behalf.”

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Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Half Right News

 

The Jim Bohannon Show included a short bit of news on a woman who had bought a Utah ghost town, in which this artist is now the only resident. Looking up Eileen Muza and the town of Cisco yielded a story that, like the radio show segment, was obviously incomplete, or should have been so. See if you can spot the problem in the Denver Post/AP story:

Eileen Muza is the sole resident of Cisco, Utah, a scattering of old buildings in the high desert 30 miles west of the Colorado line, KUTV reports. The town was created in the 1880s as a fill-station for a railroad, but died off when Interstate 70 was built a few miles north.

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Or How Not to Land in California and Have a Bay Named After You Thunder Go North, by Missy Darby, University of Utah Press More

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