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Joe's Daily U.S. History Lesson

Updated 5 days ago

Education
History
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Daily American show that celebrates the great United States of America! Here, I talk about the good, the bad and the ugly with stories ranging from Ben Franklin to Billy the Kid to the New York Yankees and Hollywood. Give me four minutes and I'll tell you all about it!

Read more

Daily American show that celebrates the great United States of America! Here, I talk about the good, the bad and the ugly with stories ranging from Ben Franklin to Billy the Kid to the New York Yankees and Hollywood. Give me four minutes and I'll tell you all about it!

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iTunes Ratings

20 Ratings
Average Ratings
16
2
1
0
1

Great Job

By zakattacksd - Nov 17 2016
Read more
like Love this show! Or, Great job, keep it up Joe

Great job!

By FosterFamilyof8 - Jan 06 2016
Read more
We really enjoyed the show! Loved it, good job!
Cover image of Joe's Daily U.S. History Lesson

Joe's Daily U.S. History Lesson

Updated 5 days ago

Read more

Daily American show that celebrates the great United States of America! Here, I talk about the good, the bad and the ugly with stories ranging from Ben Franklin to Billy the Kid to the New York Yankees and Hollywood. Give me four minutes and I'll tell you all about it!

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Rank #1: NOVEMBER 19 -- 1834 Happy Anniversary Franklin and Jane Pierce; 1966 HARP shoots 400 lb. projectile 112 miles up; 1863 Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address

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NOVEMBER 19 -- 1834 Happy Anniversary Franklin and Jane Pierce; 1966 HARP shoots 400 lb. projectile 112 miles up; 1863 Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address

1834 – Happy anniversary Franklin and Jane Pierce.

Jane Means Appleton was born March 12 1806 in Hampton, New Hampshire to Jesse Appleton and Elizabeth Means. Jesse was the president of Bowdoin College in Brunswick, which is where Jane met Franklin when he was a young lawyer. But Jane was morbidly religious, often depressed and wasn’t a big believer in happiness. Though it was clear that Handsome Frank, who was already a congressman, was destined for a career in politics, Jane detested Washington DC., was mostly critical of him in general, and Mama Elizabeth was hoping she’d marry someone who was a bit more successful in life.

Nonetheless it would be on this day in 1834 that Frank and Jane would tie the knot. Upon returning from fighting in the Mexican War in 1847, Frank setup a law practice and life all seemed to be well, despite losing their children early on – Franklin Pierce Jr who died as an infant in 1836, Frank Robert who died of typhus at age 4 in 1843. In 1841, Benjamin, or Bennie, as he was nicknamed, was born. This was Jane’s boy, and she smothered and mothered him to exhaustion. Then the Democratic National Convention named handsome Frank their choice to run for President in 1852, which I cover in detail on my Jun 5th ep, seemingly from out of nowhere.

He was a dark horse, and his nomination was shocking to the family. Jane did not handle the news well. Young Bennie wrote to his mom “I hope he won't be elected for I should not like to be at Washington and I know you would not either.” And then the unthinkable happened: he became America’s next president. Upon hearing the news, Jane fainted. Then the worst tragedy of all struck. Just a few weeks before his inauguration, he, Jane and Bennie were travelling by train from Andover, Mass to Concord, New Hampshire for a friend’s funeral, their passenger car came undone and rolled down the track into a ridge. Bennie was the only fatality on the car.

Grief stricken, Jane was convinced that God was punishing her for her husband’s new role in government. She could not even bear to attend her husband’s inauguration. She was rarely seen in the White House, with the one exception of coming out of her bubble briefly at a New Year’s Day party in 1855, leaving social duties to her aunt, and friend Varian Davis, the wife of Secretary of War and future Confederate President Jefferson Davis. After four years in the White House, Pierce’s time was up. He attempted to take Mrs. P on a vacation, to the Caribbean, then to Europe. It was a noble attempt to raise her spirits, but did not succeed at all. At this point, good friend Nathaniel Hawthorne is noted in describing Jane, “She really wasn’t of this world.”

They retired to Andover Mass, where she died of tuberculosis on December 2 1863, buried next to her children. Her husband would follow her in 1869.

Happy anniversary, Frank and Jane!

1831 – Happy Birthday James “Boat Man Jim” Garfield, #20. ...Garfield was born on a poor farm near Cleveland Ohio. His father died when he was only two. Quite possibly the poorest man who would become president in US History, he had many jobs growing up, including a part-time teacher, carpenter and janitor. He couldn’t swim and worked on a canal boat, almost drowning once when he fell out of it. He studied at Williams College in Massachusetts and graduated in 1856, then went on to teach Greek and Latin. In fact Boatman Jim was ambidextrous, he could write Latin in one hand and Greek in another at the same time. I did not make that up, true story. In 1858 he married Lucretia Rudolph. They were have seven children together. A year later he was elected senator of Ohio as a Republican.

He fought several battles as a Unionist during the Civil War, was promoted to major general of voluneteers. He reluctantly left the military during the war after President Abraham Lincoln persuaded him to return home to run for the House of Representatives, where he was elected. Garfield, like many politicians, was not without scandal as he was accused but acquitted for bribery charges during the Credit Mobile scandal of 1872. He supported the heavily debated gold standard, the Compromise of 1877, which ended military occupation in the South after the Civil War, and successfully reached a compromise between Stalwart political boss Roscoe Conkling and the Half Breeds. And then came the election of 1880; the closest election America has ever seen. Running under John Sherman, Garfield first defeated Ulysses Grant and and James Blaine.

But Sherman would not win the Republican nomination, however Garfield, as a dark horse, did, and would go on to defeat Democrat William Hancock in the presidential election. As president, Boat Man Jim Garfield appointed members of both the Stalwarts and Half Breeds to his cabinet. Conkling was furious Garfield appointed his enemy William Robertson to manage the Customs House. Conkling tried to persuade the Senate to block the appointment but was unsuccessful. So Conkling countered the move by trying to persuade the Senate to only confirm the Stalwarts, but Garfield wouldn’t budge and withdrew all the nominations except Robertson. Conkling finally resigned in protest, hoping to get re-elected, but that didn’t happen either and Robertson’s election was confirmed. This move quite possibly would eventually get Garfield killed, I’ll get to that in a moment.

Inside the White House, then called the Executive Mansion, Garfield had a dog named Veto, V-E-T-O. Hilarious right? I hope you didn’t think I was going to say Garfield had a dog named Odie because Odie is the dog in the Garfield comic strips you see in the paper. Different Garfield altogether. President Garfield was determined to continue President Hays vision to run a corrupt-free government and move towards civil service reform. However after only four months in office he faced the revenge of the stalwarts.

On July 2, 1881, at a train station in Washington on his way to a Williams College reunion, President Garfield was assassinated by Charles Guiteau, the self-proclaimed Stalwart of Stalwarts who shouted as Garfield fell to the ground that now Chester Arthur would be president. Guiteau would be executed by hanging in 1882. It’s likely that Garfield died from blood poisoning as opposed to the bullet in his back; which doctors never found. Instead, they used dirty bare hands and unsterilized instruments to poke and prod through Garfield’s body looking for the bullet. Alexander Graham Bell tried to help find the bullet by using a metal detector he designed, but that didn’t work either. Garfield finally succumbed to his wounds a painful eleven weeks later on September 19, 1881, and in fact, Arthur would be president following him. James Garfield once said, “I would rather believe in something and suffer for it, than to slide along in to success without opinions.” Another great quote from Garfield, “Justice and goodwill will outlast passion.” Good stuff. Happy birthday James!

1966 – HARP shoots 400 lbs. projectile to an altitude of 112 miles.

Project HARP, or High Altitude Research Project, was collaboration between the US Department of Defense   and Canada’s Dept. of National Defense. With the purpose of studying ballistics of re-entry vehicles at low cost.  The reason low cost was highlighted here is because many similar types of testing was used with expensive and faulty rockets. With HARP, rockets weren’t needed, just a cannon. Gerald Bull; the brains behind the, initially built HARP from a 50-caliber navy cannon from a battleship, and expanded it to 100 cal. Now too big for practical military applications, HARP was actually perfect for shooting stuff into space. In 1966, Yuma Arizona, HARP fired 400 lbs. into space, setting an altitude record 110 miles that stands to this day.

1863 – Four score and seven years ago, or sometime around there, Lincoln delivers Gettysburg Address. It was a dedication for the thousands dead in the bloodiest battle of the Civil War. It was also a reminder about equal rights as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence, and how the Civil War was being fought for human equality.

Nov 15 2019

7mins

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Rank #2: NOVEMBER 18 -- 1978 Mass suicide at Jonestown; 1901 Happy Birthday George Gallup (pollster); 1874 Happy Birthday Carrie White, lived up to 116; 2007 New England Pats continue domination with 56-10 victory over Bills

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NOVEMBER 18 -- 1978 Mass suicide at Jonestown; 1901 Happy Birthday George Gallup (pollster); 1874 Happy Birthday Carrie White, lived up to 116; 2007 New England Pats continue domination with 56-10 victory over B

NOVEMBER 18 1978 –Mass suicide at Jonestown. ...Don’t drink the kool-aid! Cult leader Jim Jones, born in 1931 in Indiana, began a religious quest as a young boy. In the 1950s, he was a known healer, evangelist, and aired a sermon on the radio. He established a racially integrated religion called Wings of Deliverance and moved to northern California. He created an establishment in the small town of Ukiah, and opened a church in San Francisco. Then the brainwashing began.

His followers were giving up more than just their personal belongings to them; he also apparently impregnated a few followers. His church was accused by the media of financial fraud physical abuse of its members and mistreatment of children. Jones moved his congregation down to Guyana where he built a tiny town in the jungles. About 1,000 people followed him down there but it was not what they thought it was going to be. He called this place Jonestown. He confiscated their passports, censored their letters home, made them work in the fields all day, and had armed guard surrounding the place. He then began performing mock suicide drills by waking up some of his followers in the middle of the night to drink what he told them was poisoned punch, basically, testing them for loyalty. His reputation grew worse, and was being looked at by the Guyana government. California congressman Leo J. Ryan flew down to Jonestown to check it out.

On November 17, 1978, Ryan along with an NBC camera crew arrived to tour the compound. When some of the members asked Leo to go back home with him, Jones became upset at this defection and ordered one of his lieutenants to ambush the Ryan and his crew. When they got to the airstrip, Congressman Ryan and his group were all killed at the airstrip as they were trying to leave. Now that Jones realized everything was about to hit the fan, he had a batch of punch mixed with cyanide and Valium and forced all 900 members, including 276 children, to drink it. Those who refused were threatened by gunpoint. When officials got to the scene, they found Jonestown covered with hundreds and hundreds of bodies. Many people died with their arms around each other.

1901 – Happy birthday George Gallup. ...He took polls. Like him? Hate him? Sometimes doesn’t give you the numbers you wanted? Yeah, I get it. He is known to conduct some of the more trusted polls in America; Life ranked him one of the 100 most important Americans of the 20th Century. In order to stay objective and independent, Gallup set up his pools in the 1930s to not undertake any polling that was paid for or was sponsored in any way by special interest groups, including Republicans and Democrats. Gallup correctly forecasted the defeat of Alfred Landon by Franklin D. Roosevelt, and after that the word Gallup became a household name.

1874 Happy birthday Carrie White, she would go on record to claim to be the oldest person in the United States upon her death in 1990 at the age of 116.

2007 – Already 10-0, the New England Pats slaughtered the Buffalo Bills, 56-10. I remember that game vividly. Tom Brady threw 5 TD’s, 54 to Randy Moss. Then another one to a fourth string running-back. Pats were on their way to the first perfect season since the 1972 Miami Dolphins.

ills

Nov 15 2019

6mins

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Rank #3: NOVEMBER 17 -- 1863 Siege of Knoxville begins; 2015 Niles Village, Illinois, purchases Leaning Tower;990 Gary Erickson invents the Cliff Bar; 2015 Gingerbread Lane goes on display in NYC

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NOVEMBER 17 -- 1863 Siege of Knoxville begins; 2015 Niles Village, Illinois, purchases Leaning Tower;990 Gary Erickson invents the Cliff Bar; 2015 Gingerbread Lane goes on display in NYC

NOVEMBER 17 1963 – Siege of Knoxville begins at Campbells’ Station. ...Union Maj. Gen. Ambrose Burnside and the Department of Ohio troops, V Lt. Gen. James Longstreet’s Army of Tennessee. The result: Union victory. Longstreet, with two divisions and about 5,000 cavalry, was recently victorious against the Union army in Chattanooga. Longstreet and Burnside, a.k.a. Sideburns both realized the key to victory in Knoxville would be whoever got there first. And no, just because Burnside had long sideburns, doesn’t mean you can call Longstreet Streetlong. Because he wasn’t. Anyway.

The race was on as both generals headed towards Campbell’s station, now Farragut. Longstreet wanted to get there first, and hold the station which would keep Burnside from reaching Knoxville to safety and forcing Burnside to fight outside his already built earthworks. Burnside won the race on this rainy November 16, by a mere 15- minutes, which proved crucial for the attack. The Yankees won not only the battle on this day, but the Knoxville campaign as well. Burnside sent Brig. Gen. William Sanders of the U.S. Cavalry to hold off the Rebels while Burnsides men reinforced the earthworks, but Sanders was killed on November 18th by sniper fire. The Knoxville campaign would continue in Ft. Saunders on November 29, and finally end at Bean’s Station on December 14. To be continued.

1990 – Gary Erickson invents the Cliff Bar after

...follows the White Road on the Epiphany Ride. On a bikeride through a 175 mile excursion through the California Bay Area, Erickson would realize that the red road is predictable, a known entity, safe and conservative, but the white road.  Just the opposite. It is the road less traveled. It is an unknown entity, unpredictable, and there may be danger and hardship along the way... But along with this hardship or danger, there is often reward. The reward is a sense of accomplishment—the joy and beauty of the journey along the road less traveled.

After the bike ride, Gary began making his CLIF bar in his mother’s kitchen, so snowflakes and millennials there may be hope for you yet. Gary named the CLIF bar after his father, Clifford, who encouraged him to live his passion. Since the bars they ate on this fateful day in 1990 tasted like dirt and really didn’t give them the energy they needed, Gary and his wife Kit studied nutrition to figure out how to make a real energy bar. In 1999, they launched the Luna Bar, which marketed to women bike riders and rock climbers, and in 2000, Gary turned down a $120M offer to sell the company, keeping it in the fam.

If you work for the company, you can expect to eat a bar and do some exercises in a company gym which features rock climbing, yoga and dance studios, along with an employee stock ownership program for 20%, making

Nowadays, cruising through his early 60’s, Gary looks back on the White Road, knowing his bar was ranked #1 on Forbes Breakaway Brands in 2009. That’s amazing! I’ve lived in California my whole life, both southern and northern, and I know at least fifteen people who make energy bars. I don’t ever see them in Forbes! Just saying.

1970 -- Doug Engelbart invents the computer mouse. Actually during WWII early trackballs, or joysticks, or roller ball, or whatever you want to call it, were used by the jolly good British no less, but it only had two metal rollers. Not sure if that went across or up and down, but as usual, it took Americans to improve on it and make it usable for practical life.

From Stanford University came Engelbart, who used a simple hollowed-out wooden block, with a single push button on top. And yes, since it had a cord and kinda looked like a mouse, it was called a mouse and has been ever since. With this device, the mouse was able to select text, move it around, and point and click. Bill English in 1972 would come up with the trackball inside when he worked for Xerox to help invent the GUI, or the graphic user interface. As an old school IT guy, one of the most disgusting aspects of the jobs was dealing with stuff that gets wrapped around the metal rollers inside the mouse. Not that I’m OCD, but sometimes it was so bad I’d have to use latex gloves to pick that stuff out so the mouse would be usable. Not to sound gross, but for crying out loud people please eat your Top Ramen and burritos away from the mousepad!

Thankfully, the optical mouse was patented by Lisa Williams and Robert Cherry in 1988. Only problem with that is trying to use it on a glass table. Doesn’t work since the reflectors have nothing to bounce off.So you gotta grab a piece of paper and put it underneath the mouse in order for it to work. But I disagree.

Getting back to Engelbart, he actually did so much more than invent this wonderful device, he also worked with Stanford Colleagues on the NLS, or On Line System, which allowed two or more users to work on the same document from different workstations. The computer mouse everyone. You’re welcome world!

2015 -- The Niles Village in Illinois purchases the Leaning Tower.

Yes, there’s a leaning tower Pisa-style in the city of Niles, Illinois. It was built in the 1930s by a businessman named Robert Ilg. He built a big water park for his employees that featured swimming pools and a cabana. Rather than ruining the scenery with a giant ugly water tank, he covered it up with a tower that eland it looks like the architect behind it got his license from a Cracker Jack box...

Yet it’s brilliant as it’s half the size of the Leaning Tower of Pisa. In the 1960s one of Ilg’s descendents donated part of the park to the local YMCA,  In 1991 the city of Niles got together with the city of Pisa in Italy and formed a sister city relationship. Those-a Crazy-a Americans-a! In 2014 it was estimated that repairs needed to the tower would exceed around #$600,000, so the Village bought it from the YMCA with the favor in return for renovating it. The Board came up with $550,000 and a rehaul began. So if this is something you’re into, the park is free, so if you’re in the area checks it out. If not, don’t go too far out of your way.

1973 – Nixon insists he’s not a crook in response to the Watergate scandal. You’re not? Oh you’re a politician, my bad.

Sheriff's deputies in South Los Angeles charged 61-year-old Bonnie Pointer of The Pointer Sisters for possessing rock cocaine after the car she was riding in was pulled over for a mechanical malfunction. I can’t believe this. She’s 61 already! Wow.

2015 – Gingerbread Lane goes on display in New York City.

Jon Lovitz began experimenting with gingerbread communities since the mid-90s when he first became a chef.  In 2013 he built 157 gingerbread houses. The next year, 1,040. Jon was on a roll, and the following year he made the world’s largest gingerbread lane with 1102 buildings in Jon’s village, complete with streets, cars, and an ice skating rink with a giant Rockefeller type Christmas tree.

He makes it in his apartment and constructs the village on site. 682 lbs. gingerbread, 793 pounds of candy, and 4,000 pounds of royal icing. Yes, his apartment neighbors all agree his apartment smells delicious.  These days it’s on display at the New York Hall of Science, and after the holidays Lovitz simply gives the houses away. And people line up to take them, some folks take them home and put shellac on them.  That royal icing is rock hard as we all know since we all tried it every year as kids, and in my case as an adult, so I’m not sure what exactly happens to the rest.

Jon Lovitz everybody! Thanks for helping to make the holidays more enjoyable for kids and grownups of all ages.

Nov 15 2019

8mins

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Rank #4: NOVEMBER 16 -- 1821 Becknell opens trade on Santa Fe Trail; 1907 Oklahoma becomes 46th State; 1948 Frederick Gardner Cortrell dies (inventor of electrostatic precipitator); SPORTS: 1984 Houston blocks 20 shots, tying NBA regular season record, 1962 Wilt C

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NOVEMBER 16 -- 1821 Becknell opens trade on Santa Fe Trail; 1907 Oklahoma becomes 46th State; 1948 Frederick Gardner Cortrell dies (inventor of electrostatic precipitator); SPORTS: 1984 Houston blocks 20 shots, tying NBA regular season record, 1962 Wilt Chamberlin scores 75 points, 1957 Bill Russell gets 32 rebounds in one game Rockets block 20 s.

NOVEMBER 16 1821 – Beckness opens trade on the Santa Fe Trail. ...This trail would be heavily used after 1821 for fur traders to get from Missouri to New Mexico. Prior to the Louisiana Purchase, the French in St. Louis were granted a monopoly on trade in Santa Fe by the Spanish rulers. But in 1821, Mexico gained independence from Spain, and opened the trade to all Americans. Once Missouri Indian trader and business man William Beckness got word of this, he headed immediately to Santa Fe and found a profitable market for his goods, and he grew rich with Mexican silver when he returned to Missouri. He was using a route that had been used for centuries by Native Americans and Spanish and French explorers but he opened a shorter and easier cutoff across the Cimarron Desert, which is how Becknell earned the nickname, Father of the Santa Fe Trail.

1907 – Oklahoma becomes the 46th state. The territory was reserved for Indian tribes in 1828 and became known as the Indian Territory in 1834 as Cherokee tribes moved their way from the east in a forced march known as the trail of tears. After the civil war, illegal white invasion into Indian Territory incurred. They were called Boomers, and the federal government opened two million acres in the area for white settlers.

At noon on April 22, 1889, a pistol was shot and the opening of the new land was on. Tens of thousands of settlers poured in and instantly set up towns, banks, homes, churches, schools, etc. etc. There were some white settlers already there illegally, called Sooners, which is how the state got its nickname. Now some fun facts about Oklahoma according to legendsofamerica.com. In Hawthorne, it’s illegal to put a hypnotized person on a display window. Do that somewhere else. In Clinton OK, it’s illegal to molest an automobile. Don’t ask.

In Ponca City a tornado once picked up a house with a man and his wife still in it. Though the walls and roof were blown away, the floor remained intact and eventually glided downward, setting the couple safely back on the ground. Aunti Em! If you wear a New York Jets jersey in Ada, you could be jailed. Same thing if you’re playing catch with a football in the streets of Bartlesville. The world’s first parking meter was installed in Oklahoma City on July 16, 1935! In Bristow, Oklahoma it is against the law to serve water to a customer in a restaurant unless one peanut in a shell is also served. The consequences for this "serious” offense can result in a fine of up to five dollars.

1948 — Frederick Gardner Cottrell dies. ...He invented the electrostatic precipitator. It worked by collecting sulfuric acid mists, such as fly ash, dust and fumes, acid mists and fogs that spewed from turn-of-the century plants, and this which became a primary means for controlling industrial air pollution.

1841 – Napoleon Guerin from NYC patents the first life preserver. It was originally made out of cork!

1984 – Houston Rockets block 20 shots vs Denver – tying an NBA regulation game record.

1962 – Wilt Chamberlain gets 73 points against the Knicks. 1957 – Bill Russell of the Celtics gets 32 rebounds in the first half alone, an NBA record.

Nov 15 2019

6mins

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Rank #5: NOVEMBER 15 -- 1957 Khruschev challenges U.S. in nuclear rifle match; 1984 Baby Fay dies of kidney failure; 1777 Articles of Confederation adopted

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NOVEMBER 15 -- 1957 Khruschev challenges U.S. in nuclear rifle match; 1984 Baby Fay dies of kidney failure; 1777 Articles of Confederation adopted

NOVEMBER 15 1957 – Khrushchev challenges the US ...to a friendly nuclear rifle match. Why, doesn’t that sound fun. Little ballistic skeet anyone? Seems the USSR was gloating in their success in launching their first and second Sputniks. The second one had a dog named Laika in it, who proved that living beings can survive weightlessness in outer space, which paved the way for human exploration. So Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev challenged President Eisenhower on the US progress in the arms race, and issued a formal challenge to a “shooting match”. After all, if the US did have a Sputnik, he said, she would have launched it already. Guys need a ruler? Seriously.

Eisenhower told Khrushchev he was going to bitch slap him so hard Google won’t be able to find him. Actually I made that last part up. While Khrushchev acknowledged that the UZSA and USSR wanted peace, and that the Soviets would never start a war, “some lunatics” might bring it on, namely Secretary of State John Foster Dulles who had created an artificial war psychosis. If there was a war, he said, it would be fought on American soil, which their rockets could reach. Communism would ultimately defeat capitalism. Right. How did that work out again for the USSR? Exactly.

1984 – Baby Fae dies of kidney failure. ...It would have been heart failure, but Leonard Bailey MD, a heart surgeon at Loma Linda in California, performed the first cross species transplantation on her and paved the way to medical innovations unseen to this point. Baby Stephanie Fay Beauclair was born with hypo plastic left heart syndrome, which is where parts or all of the left side of the heart is missing. It’s basically fatal, Fay’s mom Theresa two big choices, she could leave Fay at the hospital to die, or take her home to die.

That’s when Dr. Bailey got a hold of Theresa and explained his research. Several other humans tried animal-heart transplants in the past but were unsuccessful. Dr. Bailey believed an infant would be more likely to survive due to an underdeveloped immune system that would not reject an alien organ. On October26, he performed the world’s first baboon-to-human heart transplant, replacing the 14-day-old infant’s defective heart with the healthy heart of a young ape. Faye not only survived the surgery, but flourished for two weeks. A new drug called immune-suppressive drug called cyclosporine was also used to help keep the body from rejecting the new heart. It worked, and Fay’s body accepted the heart but due to an increase of the dosages for the drug, her kidneys would ultimately shut down. Faye survived for 20 days, but on November 15 1984 she died.

1777 – Articles of Confederation are adopted. ...Basically the first constitution of the United States, the articles established Congress, the Law, and the authority to make treaties. During the American Revolution, the Articles were ratified and eventually replaced by the Constitution to make the US government stronger. There were eight presidents during the duration of the Articles, one for each year. The first was John Hanson, whose title was President of the United States in Congress Assembled. The Articles could not levy taxes but could declare war or peace.

Nov 13 2019

5mins

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Rank #6: NOVEMBER 14 -- 1776 Britain announces Ben Franklin's allegiance to America; 1851 Moby Dick published; 2006 The Pig Stand closes down; SPORTS: Suns beat Portland in quadruple OT, MLB MVP Awards, 1888 USC Methodists/Trojans play 1st football game

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NOVEMBER 14 -- 1776 Britain announces Ben Franklin's allegiance to America; 1851 Moby Dick published; 2006 The Pig Stand closes down; SPORTS: Suns beat Portland in quadruple OT, MLB MVP Awards, 1888 USC Methodists/Trojans play 1st football game

NOVEMBER 14 1776 – British publicly announce Ben Franklin’s allegiance to America. ...History.ocm says this was the day he switched sides but Franklin had switched sides years before this point. In 1776 he was in London opposing the Stamp Act. When the British wanted to raise taxes on the Americans to pay for the French and Indian Wars, Franklin argued that the Americans already paid more than their fair share. Then there was the incident with the Hutchinson letters, where Gov. Thomas Hutchinson and Lt. Governor Andrew Oliver had letters to King George to crack down on the Americans intercepted, and that was in 1774.

The British knew he was going to cause problems and ridiculed franklin in front of the Privy Council. On November 14, 1776, the St. James chronicle of London announced ”The very identical Dr. Franklyn, whom Lord Chatham so much caressed, and used to say he was proud in calling his friend, is now at the head of the rebellion in North America.”

1851 – Herman Melville publishes a story about a horrible, scary, ugly monstrosity that ravaged the seas. No, it wasn’t about my ex-girlfriend. I’m talking about Moby Dick, a story of how Cap. Ahab goes after the whale that crippled him and destroyed his boat. At first it as commercial flop, but after Melville’s death it began to grow fame in the underground scene. Throughout the 20th century it grew more and more famous and these days is considered an American cultural icon.

2006 – The Pig Stand closed down. The world’s first drive through restaurant, created by Jessie Kirby built the first Pig Stand restaurant in Dallas on the corner of Fort Worth Pike Road and Chalk Hill Rd in October 1921, selling pig sandwiches. It was an instant hit. Within two and half years expanded to ten restaurants and were selling a total of 50,000 sandwiches per week. Allegedly these restaurants also gave us the fried onion ring, chicken-fried steak, and Texas toast. In fact it’s quite possible but somewhat debatable that Kirby and company came up with the concept of the restaurant franchise.

When customers pulled up, young men and women, mostly teenagers, would run to the car to take the order. The boys wore white shirts and black bow ties, the girls would ride roller skates. Kirby once said that people with cars are so lazy they want to eat at a restaurant without leaving their cars. The concept was simple: good looking young people, tasty food, speedy service, and auto-based convenience. By 1934, 130 franchises, mostly in California and Florida had popped up. Unfortunately for the franchise, WWII hit and the restaurant started having a hard time making ends meet. By 2006 only six restaurants were left, and they closed down as well. In 2007, it got a new breath when bankruptcy trustees made it possible for one Pig Stand to stay open in San Antonio. Good stuff.

1997 – Phoenix Suns beat Portland 140-139 in an amazing 4 OTs. MVP go out to A-Rod 2005, zJuan Gonzales of Rangers in 1996, Reggie Jackson for the As in 1973, Hank Araron in 1957, Mickey Mantle in 1956, Ted Williams in 1946. Cy Young awards go out to Randy Johnson of AZ in 2000, Doug Drabek in 1990, Mark Davis of the Padres in 1989 Jim Palmer of the Orioles in 1973. Finally 1888, the USC Tojans, then the Methodists, played their first football game.

Nov 07 2019

5mins

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Rank #7: NOVEMBER 13 -- 1945 Truman announces State of Israel; 1966 Bingham Canyon Mine becomes a historic monument;  2016 Gregory Foster breaks recrord for eating most Carolina Reaper chiles in one minute; 2017 RIP Arcturus the 30 lb. cat

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NOVEMBER 13 -- 1945 Truman announces State of Israel; 1966 Bingham Canyon Mine becomes a historic monument;  2016 Gregory Foster breaks recrord for eating most Carolina Reaper chiles in one minute; 2017 RIP Arcturus the 30 lb. cat

NOVEMBER 13 1945 – Truman announces inquiry into state of Israel. ...This prompted the question, was Haberdasher Harry a Zionist? No. He wasn’t. President Harry Truman was actually in favor of the Morrison-Grady plan, which would establish a federated Palestine with autonomous Jewish and Arab regions. On the other hand, after seeing the destruction in Nazi concentration camps after WWII, because he was a human being, he sympathized with the Jews and felt they should have their own state. Putting a Jewish state in Arabsville is like putting a kitten in a cave full of bears. O is tit? The Arabs sure never think so, Arabs believe that’s not a kitty cat that’s a lion! So how’s this going to work politically? It won’t. It never has. But Truman became a modern day Cyrus; the Persian king who overthrew the Babylonians in 593BCE and helped the Jews, who were being imprisoned in Babylon, to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple.

An autonomous state for Jews in Palestine? Good luck. American Jews angrily denounced the Morrison-Grady plan, which threatened Truman’s chances of reelection especially in New York. So how could Truman get the Jews and Palestine’s to live side-by-side, especially when the Jews would take 80%of the area?

As Truman said so himself, Jesus Christ couldn’t please the Zionists when he was here on earth, so how could anyone expect that I would have any luck? Good question. Combine with Osama Bin Laden’s 1996 fatwa against the American crusaders, and peace is no longer an option. Truman had other reasons to be very cautious about how to handle this, since there was a fear that Middle East and its much needed oil supply would side with the communists in the Soviet Union. On November 13, 1945, Truman announced the establishment of a panel of inquiry to look into this Jewish state. Probably not because he was a Zionist, but because he was a politician in the end. In Mcarthyism news…

1953 – Robin Hood gets banned ...from an Indiana school for being a communist. The Sheriff of Nottingham had no idea that Robin Hood was a communist this whole time and was livid. Mrs. Thomas J. White of the Indiana Textbook Commission orchestrated the Green Feather movement, which quietly tacked green leather to every bulletin board on the Indiana University campus. Boy don’t mess with her or she’ll….she’ll.

Why she’ll do something bad! Because not only did Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor he wore a green feather in his hat. Hence the Green Feather movement. She also attacked Quakers since they didn’t fight wars. Look, everyone just calm down. Good grief. The Red Scare, everyone. That’s how life was in American during the 1950s and 60s.

2001 – happy birthday Moziah Bridges, the kid who owns MosBows.

He started his company at nine years old, because  I needed an accessory to help me look sharp, but didn't see anything out there that fit my style or personality. His website continues: So, with the help of my granny, I started making my own bow ties. I never imagined the baby business I started at my grandmother's kitchen table in South Memphis would one day be an internationally recognized brand. Oh, you mean the NBA? This young man’s business took off as it became featured with Oprah’s magazine O, plus publicity from Vogue, then an appearance on TV show Shark Tank, yeah that should get your business going.

But when Russel Westbrook from the Oklahoma City Thunder showed up in one of Mo’s Bows, it was on for the little guy. My dream is to become a fashion mogul. When I graduate high school in 2020 I plan to go to college and study fashion design. I’m living proof that you can be anything you want - at any age.

1966 -- Bingham Canyon Mine becomes a historic monument in Utah.

You want some copper for your speakers? Assuming they’re not Bluetooth, you’ll find plenty of copper here. Actually over 19 million tons, Bingham in the Oquirrh Mountains in Salt Lake County is the world’s largest man-made excavation. The operations that run this place are so gigantic that the electric shovels  can be seen from space while extracting nearly a hundred tons of copper in one scoop. The trucks used to haul it  makes us look like we’re in giant-ville, and the sheer amount size of it could hold some 9 million people.  Rock on!

1809 – Happy Birthday John Dahlgren, US navy officer who founder of the US Navy’s Ordinance Department, made the Dahlgren-cannon. 1913 – Mary Phelps Jacob from New York State. She invented the modern day bra. In her case, her boobs were so big she needed boulder holders. At any rate, her idea, born out of necessity, started with two pocket handkerchiefs and pink ribbon pinned together.

2016 -- Gregory Foster sets the record for most Carolina Reaper

Chiles eaten in one minute. You gotta be careful with this stuff. The Carolina Reaper, which originates out of Rock Hill South Carolina,  has been known to constrict veins in the brain and cause headaches that feel like thunderclaps. The method used to determine the hot of the chili is registered in SHU, or the Scoville Heat Unit.

Pepperhead.com has determined the Carolina Reaper to have an SHU of 2.2M, more than the Trinidad Moruga Scorpion, the Pot Douglah, Pot PrimoTrinidad Scorpion Butch, and all the others. On this day in 2016, the Puckerbutt Pepper Company put on an reaper eating challenge, and Gregory Foster took the glory after hauling in 120 grams of that inferno.  Glad I didn’t have to share the bathroom with him that night!

2002 – Ross Ward, who turned the Old West into Tinkertown, passes away.

In Sandia Park, New Mexico, Ward starting making miniature carved wooden figures and displaying them in a traveling exhibit, going to county fairs and such. But now it’s become a life of its own, in a town of its own. Tinkertown’s 22-room museum hosts really cool Wild West wonders He got his influence way back in junior high by carving circus performers. And why not. Circus performers defy both lions and gravity, and the American Wild West had the best travelling circus performers.

What started out in the early 80s was a one-bedroom museum, which since has turned into a giant roadside attraction that’s visited by 20,000 people every year. The website compares it to Grandma Prisby’s Bottle Village in California and Reveran Howard’s Finster’s Paradise Gardens in Georgia, For kicks and 25 centsm, Esmeralda the Fortune Teller will predict your destiny. If you don’t like what the Great Esmeralda says, you can get serenaded by Otto the One-man Band. By the way, one of the 22 rooms contains 50,000 glass bottles.

Check it out.

Nov 07 2019

7mins

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Rank #8: NOVEMBER 12 --1815 Happy birthday Elizabeth Cady Stanton; 1864 Sherman burns Atlanta; 1966 The Mothman Cometh to W. VA

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NOVEMBER 12 --1815 Happy birthday Elizabeth Cady Stanton; 1864 Sherman burns Atlanta; 1966 The Mothman Cometh to W. VA

NOVEMBER 12

1815 -- happy birthday Elizabeth Cady Stanton. 

Suffragist, social activist, abolitionist, author, one of the main influences in the women’s suffrage movement of the late 19th century. Elizabeth Cady, the 8th of eleven children, was born in Johnstown New York to Daniel Cady and Margaret Livingston. Daniel was a judge, congressman and slave owner, and Elizabeth learned a few things about law from her dad while growing up.

She received a great education at the Johnstown Academy and later Emma Willard’s Troy Female Seminary in New York before she became an advocate for women’s rights, being the daughter of a slave owner and all, she was an abolitionist. . The fact that Daniel once told his daughter he wished she was a boy probably fueled her movement. In 1840 she married speaker and co-0founder of the Republican Party Henry Brewster Stanton, with whom she had seven children.

Henry had a cousin named Gerrit Smith, an abolitionist who ran for president three times. During the wedding, she had the word obey removed from her wedding vows. That’s funny.

I didn’t do that for my wedding. I didn’t even know that was an option. Now look at me. All I ever do is obeying my wife. Haha.Happy wife happy life, right fellas? You know what they say, marriage is grand. Divorce on the other hand; you’re looking at around a hundred grand.  Anyway.  

During the honeymoon in London England, she tried to attend the World’s anti-Slavery Convention but she was not admitted inside. However, n she met Lucretius Botswana that’s when she developed a passion for leading the women’s rights movement. In July 1848 she and her friend Bott would the first Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls in New York.

This is where she gave her Declaration of Sentiments during her speech, which went far beyond simply the right to vote for women. It also included right to own land and earn wages, legal representation as well as divorce and child custody rights, and other reforms for college educations, participating in church affairs and the moral concept of submission to men.

Just so everybody knows, when my wife tells me to jump me say Sir How High.

Just like that the women’s movement was in full swing. Three years later she met Susan B. Anthony, and the two would pledge their lives to the tireless effort of women’s right. There was more to women’s suffrage than writing articles and publishing books with Susan Anthony, and they often had to tour and give speeches.

That’s kinda hard to do when you have seven children to rise, so Anthony was able to carry the heavy load there. When the Civil War broke out, they founded the Women’s Loyal National League to encourage the passing of the 13th amendment to abolish slavery. However, when it came to the 14th and 15th amendment which gave black men the right to vote, Stanton fought the bill, creating a schism between women Americans and African Americans.

This schism would lead to Stanton and Anthony creating the National Women Suffrage Association four years after the end of the Civil War. In 1876 she helped to write the Declaration of Rights of Women which Anthony presented in Philadelphia. By 1890 the two major women’s suffrage organizations merged to become the national American Women’s Suffrage Association. Getting up there in her years, she spent less time travelling and more time writing.

With her daughters help she wrote and published two volumes of The Woman’s Bible, which drew fire from the church goers within the organization.  On October 26 1902, Elizabeth Cady Stanton died, before she got a chance to see the difference that her restless journey had not just in America, but the world as well. Through her efforts, she became the long overdue voice of freedom for women everywhere, and her challenge for women to stop being submissive to men no doubt influenced the passing of the women’s right to vote eighteen years after her death. 

Happy birthday Elizabeth!

1954 – Ellis Island closes its doors. ...In the old days, this is how immigration to the US worked If you were first class or second class you’d get a descent ride on the boat. If you were third class, you would join the other 3,000 third class riders on the lower deck of the ship. The first thing you’d see when you come to America is of course, the Statue of Liberty. There’s a good chance you’re smiling at this point, or maybe jumping up and down ith joy, or maybe crying. Or maybe all the above. Health officers would board the ship and do a quick inspection on everyone and everything. Now the first thing you’d do when you get off is register. You’d get a number.

If you don’t speak English, and there’s a decent chance you didn’t, no worries. Just take the number, go upstairs to the registration area. Doctors would watch as you climb up the stairs, if climbing the stairs seems to be a problem for you you’ll get checked out right away. Otherwise, you’d proceed to the great hall with thousands of others going through legal and medical inspection. If you had trachoma, or an eye disease, you’d have to go back to your home country. Sorry, can’t have that here. If you appeared lung problems or if you seemed like a nutcase, you’d be marked with chalk on your clothes and sent somewhere else for further review.

Otherwise, you would proceed to the legal inspection. Where were you born, have you ever committed a crime, where are you going, what do you do, etc. If you pass all these tests, you can get your currency exchanged for US dollars, and you go to the kissing room to see your family and friends who have been waiting for you. Heavy sigh. The immigration policy just made so much more sense back in those days. After 1924, ellis island changed from a processing center to a detention center for illegal immigrants, a hospital for wounded soldiers during WWII, and a Coast Guard training center. These days it’s a museum.

1864 – Sherman burns Atlanta. ...When Union General William T. Sherman took Atlanta from Confederate Confederate Gen. John Bell Hood in early September, that would turn out to be not only the greatest Union victory in the civil War until Vicksburg and Gettysburg, ; it also clinched President Lincoln’s reelection in 1864.

If you’ve seen Gone with the Wind you know this story. Sherman divided his army and sent General George Thomas back to Nashville to deal with Hood, while Sherman prepared to move to Savannah. On the way out, his soldiers literally destroyed Atlanta. One disobedient officer lit up 28 boxcars full of ammunition it create quite possibly the largest explosion of the entire war and destroyed every building within a quarter mile. Out of 3600 homes, only 400 were left standing. This took some explaining on Sherman’s part, but let’s just says that although he didn’t authorize the Atlanta to be burnt until it was nothing but a smoldering shell, he didn’t exactly do much to stop it. Speaking of fire in the sky…

1799 – Elliott records the first meteor shower in the America. Andrew Ellicott was an American surveyor helped to make maps for territories west of the Appalachians, he surveyed the boundaries and completed Pierre L’Enfant’s work of what would become Washington DC and taught Meriwether Lewis survey methods. And on November 12, 1799, he made the first known record of a meteor shower observation in the US from a ship off the coast of Florida Keys.

1966 – The Mothman cometh.

On this night in 1966, five men were digging a grave at a cemetery in Point Pleasant in West Virginia when they saw a humanlike figure flying low through the air.

I’ve heard that West Virginia can have some big mosquitos, but this takes it to a whole new level. Several days later the Mothman was seen again with ten foot wings whose eyes glowed red. I realize Halloween was two weeks ago, but the sightings occurred in November, what can I say.

In December 1967, over a year later, the Silver Bridge collapsed, killing dozens, and the Mothman was blamed though hadn’t been sighted since the year prior. Local police have called it more of a bird than a human-shaped moth, perhaps a heron or perhaps a sandhill crane that flew off course its migration pattern, such as the one that West Virginia University biology professor Dr. Robert Smith describes which would have a wingspan of over seven feet and a reddish area around the eyes.

Regardless of what it is or what planet it’s from, this maerry marvelous moth monster from Point Pleasant is celebrated every year at the Mothman Festival every third week in September. Yes, there went the neighborhood on this day in 1966, and it hasn’t been the same since. If you visit, make sure you come equipped with giant mothballs so your clothes don’t get chomped. The festival includes a mothman hayride, a mothman pageant, and a mothman 5k, or maybe a fly-k I don’t know.

Nov 07 2019

9mins

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Rank #9: NOVEMBER 11 -- 1918 WWI ends; INVENTION/PATENTS: 1930 Edison/Szilard patents refrigerator, 1890 McCree patents roll up fire escape, 1851 Alvan Clarke invents telescope; 1978 Happy Birthday General Lee (Dukes of Hazzard car); 2016 The story of the BlueWhal

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NOVEMBER 11 -- 1918 WWI ends; INVENTION/PATENTS: 1930 Edison/Szilard patents refrigerator, 1890 McCree patents roll up fire escape, 1851 Alvan Clarke invents telescope; 1978 Happy Birthday General Lee (Dukes of Hazzard car); 2016 The story of the BlueWhale of Catoosa

NOVEMBER 11

WWI ends on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Four empires dismantled: Ottoman, German, Russian, and Austro-Hungarian.

On September 15th, the Chicago Tribune’s headlines read: Austria asks for Peace, Yanks Take 150 Sq. Miles in 27 Hours, and an indication of the quick fall of the Axis powers. America stayed neutral during the first few years of the Great War, with the exception of supplying arms and lending money to whichever side would pay the most. France would borrow heavily from America at high interest, and so would the United Kingdom, who had declared war on Germany in 1914 and dominated the high seas with the world’s largest naval fleet at that time.

However Germany led the world in industrialization, and the United States, who by the way had a huge German population, many of which had been sympathetic towards Germany since the American Revolution itself. But there would be no way Britain would allow the US to sell armistice to Germany, and made a much better offer. This led to Germans sinking American cargo ships without the slightest apology, and President Woodrow Wilson entered America into the war. At the second battle of Marne. The English and French wanted several million U.S. troops to fight trench warfare, but General John Pershing could only offer 200,000 doughboys that would still need to be trained.

Meanwhile Germany was looking to take Russia and move troops in the east to take France before American troops arrived, but were too late. General Pershing was able to train 4 million troops, and the United States Army’s Third Infantry Division fought so ferociously alongside the U.S. Marines they became the Rock of the Marne. Some of the greatest warriors that would eventually fight in World War II, including George Patton and George C. Marshall, actually served under Pershing, as well as Douglas MacArthur and even Wild Bill Donavon who would later head the group that would later lead the Strategic Services; then eventually the CIA.

The Germans, as they’ve done all throughout the war, up to this point were making the Americans pay dearly for every inch taken, but after Bulgaria and the Turks bailed, Austria-Hungary split up, and German troops were exhausted.  Over There, the Expeditionary Forces practically ambushed the German army at Saint-Mihiel, and the results of that wound up on headlines such as the Chicago Tribune. Over There, around 1.2 million Americans fought Meuse-Argonne, until this day in 1918, at 11:00; Germany would prepare to face the Big Three: 1st Earl David Lloyd George of Britain, Prime Minister Georges Clemenceau of France, and President Woodrow Wilson, the Phrasemaker.

The terms were harsh, beginning with the League of Nations, not you Germany, let everyone else pick Germany to the bone; with troops exiled from the Rhineland, the rich coalfields of the Saar given to France for 15 years, the French reacquisition of Alsace-Lorraine, eastern land rich in soil given to Poland, uniting with Austria out of the question, the German army limited to 100,000 troops, a maximum of six battleships, zero submarines, dismantling of the air force, and 132 billion reichsmarks, equivalent to around 26 billion dollars in those days, decapitated the country, and the German empire was done. Out of this heaping mess,

Adolf Hitler and the Nazis would rise and lead Germany to the sequel of the War to End All Wars. Was it worth America’s involvement? After all, over there, over 26,000 American troops die in an otherwise forgotten war.

1885 – Happy Birthday General

Paton! George Smith Patton Jr, though he couldn’t possibly be a junior since his immortal soul has been reincarnated throughout the centuries. Because greatness of this magnitude just cannot die. Nor can it be born. When God said Let there be light, Patton told God to say please. Patton made his own uniform. He had pistols with ivory handles.

In 1912 he represented the United States at the Stockholm Olympics kin the first modern pentathlon. He was the only contender and still won first place, second and third. By the time he was 26 at West Point he excelled in pistol shooting, sword fencing, and swimming horseback riding and cross country running. All at the same time. One time he stirred controversy by yelling at a soldier suffering from exhaustion in a hospital and slapping him across the face for being a coward. Legend has it that soldier never got tired again. He was a tank warfare guy and had a huge victory in the Allied Invasion of French North Africa in 1942.

In 1943 he beat British commander Montgomery in the Sicilian Race to Messina during WWII. Nobody was racing Patton except himself and he still won. Patton’s physical body died in Germany from wounds received in a car accident in late 1945. Yet. Just yet. The 1970 movie Patton won seven Academy Awards; and when George C. Scott who played the title role, tried to accept the awards, Patton’s ghost showed up on stage, intercepted the awards, and told Scott to shine his shoes. Patton, everyone. Like a boss!

1930 – Albert Einstein and his former student Leo Szilard parents the modern day refrigerator; although it was likely Szilard did most of the work while Einstein helped with the patent paperwork. 1890 – African American Daniel Mccree from Chicago invents the roll up fire escape. It had a cage that could be raised and lowered, and was designed to be part of a buildings existing fire prevention equipment and could be stored on location.

1851 – Alvan Clark from Massachusetts invents the telescope. He has two craters named after him; on e on the moon and one on Mars. Pay it a visit for extra credit!

1978 – Happy birthday General Lee. Now we all know Robert E Le as not born in 1978, thus I’m clearly talking about the 69 Dodge Charger from the Dukes of Hazard TV show that aired from 1978- 1985. On November 11, a stuntman rides off a dirt ramp and over a cop car; 16 feet high and 82 feet long. Like, most of Gen. Lee’s stunts, this one killed the car. But we saw it during the opening credits of the Dukes of Hazard week after week; thus being the only General Lee to air every episode. Its horn played the first few notes of Dixie, it had a confederate battle flag as an emblem on the top of the roof, and the doors were wielded shut so you could only get in through the window. I don’t normally wish automobiles a happy birthday, but this is worth exception.

2003 -- At the emotional funeral for Righteous Brother Bobby Hatfield, Bill Medley, the remaining half of the famous blue-eyed-soul duo, sings the gospel standard "Precious Lord."2004 --M'hammed Soumayah, bodyguard for Liza Minelli, sues ths singer for $100 million for allegedly forcing him to have sex with her or be fired.

2016 – The Blue Whale of Catoosa begins selling Snapchat Spectacles.

Ah, what a great day in American History.  Elon Musk was busy working on Hyperloop One, President Elect Trump met with President Obama and there were protests in major cities everywhere. It’s also my little brother’s birthday. Brother-in-law, whatever, close enough.

This is just one of those things you see on Route 66 that makes you do a double take and say, did I just see a two story tall fish off the side of the highway? Yes you did, Captain Ahab! And this large smiling whale can swallow men and women whole.

Back in the 1970s, just east of Catoosa Oklahoma, Zelta Davis was a big fan of whales. Her anniversary with her hubby Hugh Davis was coming up, and he surprised Zelta with one whale of a surprise, made out of pipe and concrete on top of a large natural pond, a K2C legend originally called Nature’s Acres Animal Reptile Kingdom, or ARK, now that Time Mag called one of the top 50 places in America you gotta see. Zelt’a wedding anniversary present, named appropriately named Blue, was getting nationwide attention almost right away, as visitors flocked from everywhere to see Blue Whale. Hugh decorated it with picnic tables, a diving board way up off the tail, a slide that goes into the pond, and entertainment provided by one heck of a silversmith and celebrity  painter, Zelta’s brother Chief Wolf-Robe, a full-blooded Acoma Indian. But in 1988 the business went belly-up (oh no I didn’t just say that), and two years later Hugh passed away, along with Zelta 11 years later. Blue began to disintegrate;  Fins of the Whale stopped coming by as weeds and grass overtook Blue, along with Vandals.

Hugh and Zelta’s son Blaine gathered up some volunteers in 1995 and started cleaning up Blue.  It’s not the swimming hole it used to be, there’s just too much liability, though there’s no record I can see of anyone getting hurt back in the 70s by using it as such. Blue is still smiling, is still worth pulling over as you’re driving down the Mother Road, and now, and began in 2016 started giving people another reason to pull over and say hi, since Blue stared selling Snapchat Spectacles at his little gift shop, and the long lines were back in Catoosa.

Nov 06 2019

9mins

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