Showing posts from February, 2015

Calvin Graham - Youngest Veteran of World War II

Calvin Graham was the youngest person to serve in World War II and he enlisted in the U.S. Navy at the age of 12 in 1942. He was a kid from Texas that was inspired by the death of his cousins in combat. This is what motivated him to join the military at such a young age. Calvin began shaving at the age of eleven. He talked his friends into forging his parents signatures and told his mom he was visiting his grandmother one hundred miles away. John Maag, a seaman who served with Graham told the Chicago Tribune. "They needed to ship out men quickly. We'd suffered a lot of casualties, and the Navy needed to build up its crews." This was one reason he was able to join the Navy so easy. He was assigned to the battleship USS South Dakota and saw heavy action at Guadalcanal. On November 14, 1942 the South Dakota suffered 47 casualties and Calvin suffered wounds along with having his front teeth being knocked out by shrapnel and suffering serious burns. In spite of that he …

How The Donkey And The Elephant Became The Symbol of The Democrat And Republican Party

How did the Democratic and Republican Party come to be represented by the symbols of the donkey and the elephant? The 1828 presidential election was one of the most hotly contested political races in American history. John Quincy Adams was running against Andrew Jackson. In 1824 Jackson lost a very close election to Adams. Jackson won 99 votes in the electoral college to Adams 84. Because of the closeness of the vote the election would have to be decided in the House of Representatives. The Speaker of the House, Henry Clay, was also a candidate for president who had placed fourth in the voting. Clay hated Jackson and he gave his support to Adams. As a result Adams was elected president. Adams then named Clay as his Secretary of State. The position of Secretary of State had been a stepping stone to the White House for the last four presidents. Jackson and his supporters accused Adams and Clay of making a "corrupt bargain". This set the stage for the hostility of the 1828 el…


Ketchup or Catsup - A little history

  Ketchup, or if you prefer catsup, was first recorded as being used to enhance the flavor of food in 544 BC. It was originally made from fermented fish guts. It's original name was k├┤echiap. This product was imported from the East Indies. In the 1690's the British began tampering with the recipe and started calling it catchup. By 1711 they were using the term ketchup. At this time people were using fermented anchovies as it's basic ingredient. Since anchovies were not always available they began using mushrooms and walnuts by the mid 1700's. People also experimented with other ingredients. It wasn't until the early 1800's that tomatoes became the basic ingredient of ketchup. Ketchup also came to America about this time. It is believed that the reason there are two terms, ketchup and catsup, is because ketchup is a higher quality form than catsup. Heinz began selling the two versions in the 1880's. Catsup was less expen…

The Day The Clowns Cried

The Hartford Connecticut Circus Fire was one of the worst fire disasters in United States history. It happened on July 6, 1944. The fire occurred during a performance of the Ringling Brothers Barnum and Bailey circus with a crowd of between 6,000 and 8,000 people. More than 165 people died and 700 were injured. The fire began as a small flame on the southwest sidewall of the tent but quickly spread because of paraffin wax waterproofing of the tent. Many people were burned by melting paraffin. At first it was thought that the fire was started by a carelessly tossed cigarette. Later a man who worked as circus roustabout, Robert Segee, confessed to starting the fire but later recanted his confession. It is believed that the death rate was actually higher than the official count because of poor record keeping. Small children were sometimes not identified and some people were completely incinerated. Free tickets had been handed out and it was believed that many drifters died who would not …


“And lest we get on our high horse and think this is unique to some other place, remember that during the crusades and the Inquisition, people committed terrible deeds in the name of Christ.” “In our home country, slavery and Jim Crow all too often was justified in the name of Christ.”These were the words spoken by Obama at the National Prayer Breakfast the other day in response to the savage killing of the Jordanian pilot by those pieces of trash called ISIS. Reverend Jeremiah Wright couldn't have said this better. The only difference is that Wright would have shouted the words out in his typical bombastic manner. Obama gave us the pedantic version. I am weary of people trying to justify bad behavior by constantly reminding us of the past sins committed in the name of Christianity, First of all Islam and atheism have killed many more people than those killed in the name of Christianity. Notice that I say in the name of Christianity. Anytime the state and religion join forces…

The Evil And Foolish White Man

A few days ago I watched a segment on Fox News about the new Frozen movie. Supposedly the movie depicts men as foolish and evil. Hollywood has been doing this for years now. I will go out on a limb here and say specifically that it is white men that are depicted in a negative light. I know I will be called racist for saying this in our politically correct environment but it is a subject that has been ignored for far too long. When I was a kid I was aware even then that America was a predominately white patriarchal society. White men were portrayed as strong, macho, intelligent, virtuous and wise on television and at the movies. Black men were depicted in the movies as silly, docile, lazy  stupid or easily frightened men like the famous black character actor of the 1930's named Lincoln Perry whose stage name was Steppin Fetchit. Perry wasn't too stupid though, he was the first black actor to become a millionaire.  Hispanic men, and Asian men were also depicted in stereotypic…