Showing posts from July, 2013


I was almost fifteen when Winston Churchill died. He was a hero to not only to the British people but  to the American people. Margaret Thatcher reminded me a lot of Churchill and that is one reason I liked her. Churchill was a controversial figure earlier in his life. It wasn't until the disastrous administration of Neville Chamberlain who tried to appease Hitler that the British realized that Churchill was the leader that Britain would need to get them through the crisis of war. Britain unfortunately had gone too far down the path of socialism and as soon as victory seemed assured they threw Churchill out in 1945 to return to a more socialistic path by electing Clement Atlee. It would take a Conservative like Thatcher to rescue England from going off the fiscal cliff in the 1970's and 80's. To paraphrase Churchill who resided on both the liberal and conservative side at different points in his life said that if you are a conservative you have no heart but if you are a…


Unto These Hills

Some of the cast of "Unto These Hills"

Cherokee doing the Bison Dance

  We took our vacation in Cherokee North Carolina this past week. I had plans to go tubing and rafting while we were there but I got hurt on Monday while tubing. The water was higher than normal because of the rain and I got caught in a strong current near the bank. I hit my head on a low hanging tree branch that knocked me into the water. I was trying to hang on to the tube and was dragged over rocks. I had a goose egg on my left shin and a huge bruise on my right arm. The pain in my arm has kept me up nights. Because of the current it took all my strength to make it to shore. Coming up the bank I threw my back out and last but not least I was stung by a wasp or a bee on my big toe which felt like a hot iron touching my skin. Needless to say my activities were limited for the rest of the week. 
  I did get to see the Indian Village which was better the second second time around. We wer…


I read about this Nun a few years ago and if true this an incredible story. The following is an article written about Saint Bernadette. When a body is described as being incorrupt it means that it does not decay after death. The same cannot be said of a body that is well preserved or mummified, or has undergone an embalming process. Most such corpses become stiff, but incorruptible saints remain completely flexible, as if they are only sleeping. This is particularly true of Saint Bernadette whose body is displayed in a glass case at the Convent of Nevers in France. In spite of having died more than 130 years ago, she looks for all the world as if she is about to wake up. It is true that when she was exhumed a second time, the nuns gave her face a light wax mask, but this was done mainly to cover damage caused earlier by washing. A doctor who removed one of her ribs to provide a relic found her body had remained pliable. Pope John XXIII’s body remains intact, but it was embalmed for hi…


The Great Locomotive Chase

The Andrews Raid

The Andrews Raid of April 12, 1862, brought the first Union soldiers into north Georgia and led to an exciting locomotive chase, the only one of the Civil War (1861-65). The adventure lasted just seven hours, involved about two dozen men, and as a military operation, ended in failure. In early spring 1862 Northern forces advanced on Huntsville, Alabama, heading for Chattanooga, Tennessee.
From The General and the Texas, by S. Cohen and J. Bogle
James J. Andrews. Union general Ormsby Mitchel accepted the offer of a civilian spy, James J. Andrews, a contraband merchant and trader between the lines, to lead a raiding party behind Confederate lines to Atlanta, steal a locomotive, and race northward, destroying track, telegraph lines, and maybe bridges toward Chattanooga. The raid thus aimed to knock out the Western and Atlantic Railroad, which supplied Confederate forces at Chattanooga, just as Mitchel's army advanced. On April 7 Andrews chos…


There was a popular play in 1955 and a movie that followed in 1960 called Inherit The Wind which portrayed the Dayton Monkey trial of 1925 as a battle between dumb redneck religious zealots and intelligent forward thinking progressives. The courageous progressives were fighting for intellectual freedom in the classroom. This interpretation is a leftist myth. The facts of the Dayton Monkey trial paint a totally different picture. The following points in the play and movie are false. This is a perfect example of how leftists influence popular opinion regarding historical events.

  Myth One - The State of Tennessee passed a statute prohibiting the teaching of evolution. Myth Two The statute gave unfair advantage to Christian Fundamentalists. Myth Three - Violation of the Butler Act came with a fine and imprisonment. The Butler Act was a 1925 Tennessee law prohibiting public school teachers from denying the Biblical account of man's origin. It was enacted as Tennessee Code Annotat…


Jefferson Davis was inaugurated as the first and only president of the Confederate States of America after the South seceded. The ceremony was held at Montgomery, the first Confederate capital, on February 18, 1861. When we visited my brother-in-law Ronnie Phillips and my sister-in-law Jamie in Montgomery Alabama during the 1980's we got the opportunity to see the first Confederate Capital which is the present day state capital building of Alabama. Right across the street is the original White House of the Confederacy where the Davis family lived. I have always thought it ironic that Montgomery was also the birthplace of the modern Civil Rights movement. Just down the street in sight of the Capital is the Dexter Avenue Baptist Church where Martin Luther King Jr. began his ministry and became the leader of the Montgomery bus boycott.
  Strategically Montgomery was a better choice as a capital than Richmond. Montgomery was in the deep South and would have been easier to defend, i…


Some might think that the Sandy Hook massacre of elementary students back in December 2012 was the worst killing spree of young children in American history. Think again. Notice that there are other ways to kill. Guns are not always the culprit. The Bath School disaster is the historical name of the violent attacks perpetrated by Andrew Kehoe on May 18, 1927 in Bath Township, Michigan, that killed 38 elementary school children and six adults in total, and injured at least 58 other people. Kehoe first killed his wife, fire-bombed his farm and set off a major explosion in the Bath Consolidated School, before committing suicide by detonating a final explosion in his truck. It is the deadliest mass murder in a school in United States history.

  Andrew Kehoe, the 55-year-old school board treasurer, was angry after his defeat in the spring 1926 election for township clerk. He was thought to have planned his "murderous revenge" after that public defeat and he had a reputation fo…


"Honorable Manhood"

This letter to his wife was found on the body of Sullivan Ballou after he was killed at the battle of 1st Bull Run July 21, 1861. Read the whole letter.

July 14, 1861
Camp Clark, Washington
My very dear Sarah:
  The indications are very strong that we shall move in a few days—perhaps tomorrow. Lest I should not be able to write again, I feel impelled to write a few lines that may fall under your eye when I shall be no more . . . 
I have no misgivings about, or lack of confidence in the cause in which I am engaged, and my courage does not halt or falter. I know how strongly American Civilization now leans on the triumph of the Government and how great a debt we owe to those who went before us through the blood and sufferings of the Revolution. And I am willing—perfectly willing—to lay down all my joys in this life, to help maintain this Government, and to pay that debt . . . 
Sarah my love for you is deathless, it seems to bind me with mighty cables that …


Beauvoir plantation is notable as the historic post-war home (1876-1889) of the former Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Its construction was begun in 1848 at Biloxi, Mississippi. It was purchased in 1873 by the planter Samuel Dorsey and his wife Sarah Dorsey. After her husband's death in 1875, the widow Sarah Ellis Dorsey learned of Jefferson Davis' difficulties. She invited him to the plantation and offered him a cottage near the main house, where he could live and work at his memoirs. He ended up living there the rest of his life. The house and plantation have been designated as a National Historic Landmark.

  Ill with cancer, in 1878 Sarah Ellis Dorsey remade her will, bequeathing Beauvoir to Jefferson Davis and his surviving daughter, Varina Anne Davis, known as "Winnie". His wife Varina Howell Davis was also living there, and the three Davises lived there until Jefferson Davis' death in 1889. Varina Davis and her daughter moved to New York in 1891. …




John Tyler (1790-1862) had more children than any other president. He had eight by his first wife and seven by his second. Tyler was 70 when his last child, Pearl, was born. He was also the first president to be married in office though his eight children from his first wife did not approve of the wedding and did not attend. Tyler is also the first Vice-President to assume the office of President after the death of a sitting President. He was Vice President to William Henry Harrison who died of pneumonia one month after giving his inauguration speech bare headed in cold March weather. Many believed that the Constitution only meant that the Vice President would serve until a special election could be arranged to elect a new President. Tyler, through the force of will, would not let that happen. Because Tyler took a stand it is now expected that the Vice- President will automatically assume the office of the President upon the death of the President while in office. This was codified…


The only president to serve two non-consecutive terms was also the only president married in a White House ceremony. Grover Cleveland was 49 and a little more than a year into his first term when he married 21-year-old Frances Folsom. The wedding was a simple affair, attended by close friends, family, and cabinet members and their wives. But the occasion was far from quiet—John Philip Sousa led the Marine Band. After the ceremony, "the ladies kissed the bride to their hearts content," The New York Times reported, "but the gentlemen followed the example of the groom and refrained." There was a 20-pound salmon to sup on and a 25-pound wedding cake. Cleveland had known his bride her whole life. Her father was a close friend of the future president, and Cleveland bought the infant Frances a baby carriage as a gift. Growing up she called him "Uncle Cleve." When her father died leaving no will, the court appointed Cleveland to administer the estate. Two other p…