A Sharpshooter on Maryland’s Eastern Shore

By | Oct 3, 2015

Annie Oakley, the female sharpshooter of “Buffalo Bill’s Wild West” fame along with her husband Frank Bulter called Cambridge, Maryland one of their retirement homes. She along with Butler decided in 1912 to stop performing with the Wild West show. The couple lived in the Eastern Shore town from 1912 until 1917.

Those familiar with Maryland’s Eastern Shore know that the area is a great place for those who like to hunt and fish. Butler even called the area a “sportsman’s paradise”. This is considered the reason that the couple decided to retire there.

The house that they built in Cambridge located at 28 Bellevue Avenue is the only surviving primary residence of Annie Oakley. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on October 3, 1995. Presently, it is a private residence.

The couple found that it was hard to settle down. They also owned a place in Pinehurst, North Carolina and Newcastle, New Hampshire. In 1917 they decided to sell their Cambridge home and relocate to North Carolina..

After long and adventurous lives in 1926 the couple died within a couple of weeks of one another. Annie on November 6 and Frank Butler on November 21.

Annie Oakley was born on August 13, 1860 as Phoebe Ann Mosey. She met Frank Butler as the two of them were rival sharpshooters. The married on June 20, 1882 and joined the Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show in 1885, she was the sharpshooter and he as her business manager.

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September 30, 1955

By | Sep 30, 2015

Had he lived, James Dean would be an 80 year old man and who knows what would have happened with his career. He could have been one of those stars that would shine for a couple of years and then fade away never to be seen again.

It’s possible he may even had changed careers. Dennis Hooper, who was a friend of Dean, said that Dean told him that he was considering leaving acting to become a director.

But James Dean will forever be remember as the 24 year old Rebel Without a Cause who died as a result of an auto accident that occurred on September 30, 1955.

When he died he only one of his three movies had been released. That being East of Eden which was released in March 1955. Nearly a month after his death on October 27, 1955 Rebel Without a Cause was released. His last film Giant was released over a year later on November 24, 1956.

After his death he was nominated for the Academy Award for best Actor in both 1955 and 1956. His nomination in 1955 for his role of Cal Trask in East of Eden was the first ever posthumous nomination. He is the only person to have two posthumous nominations.

Along with Elvis Presley, John Lennon, Marilyn Monroe and now Michael Jackson he is one of the most popular dead celebrity. Sometimes it does pay to die young, but all of that pay goes to the estate.

Birth of the Blues

By | Sep 28, 2015

During the early part of the 20th Century it was sheet music that was the way that music was purchased. On September 28, 1912, W.C Handy’s The Memphis Blues sheet music went on sale in department stores. It was a huge success selling the first thousand copies in three days.

But W.C Handy did not see much money from the success of the song. His publisher told him that it was a flop and offered to buy the rights for 50 dollars. In 1912, 50 dollars was a lot of money, so Handy sold the rights. Unfortunately this was common even as late as the 1970s.

Handy learned a lesson and although he was cheated out of the rights of his first hit, he went on to write many more songs including St. Louis Blues, and Yellow Dog Rag and self published them. With his songs he is considered by most musical scholars as the Father of the Blues with Memphis Blues as being the first Blues song.

The genesis of Memphis Blues was as a campaign tune for Edward Crump who was running for Mayor of Memphis in 1909. It was originally entitled as Mr. Crump but changed prior to its publication.

Handy didn’t create the blues. While he wandered the southern roads of the Mississippi Delta he wrote down the songs that he heard. These songs were the basis of his later compositions adapting the style to become his own.

W.C. (William Christopher) Handy was born in Florence, Alabama on November 16, 1973 in the log cabin that handy said was build by his Grandfather. Both his grandfather and father were minsters. That log cabin is now preserved. Handy died on March 28, 1958 at the long lived age of 83.

Edward Everett Horton

By | Sep 28, 2015

March 18 is the anniversary of the birth of Edward Everett Horton. It’s possible that you don’t know who he is, but nearly everyone over the age of 40 will be familiar with his voice. He was the narrator of the Fracture Fairy Tales from the Rocky and Bullwinkle Show.

Horton was born in 1886 and died 84 years later on September 29, 1970. He had a long entertainment career beginning on the Vaudeville stage in 1906 then on Broadway, motion pictures, radio and television.

Even though he is perhaps best remembered for his narration of Fracture Fairy Tales, he is also considered a master of the supporting role, appearing in many films of the 1930’s. His film career began in silent pictures with his last role in the film Cold Turkey, released after his death. He also appeared as Medicine Man Roaring Chicken in the 60’s TV series F-Troop.

Horton developed his own variation of the double-take for his supporting roles. He would smile and nod in agreement when encountering a possible embarrassing situation and once he realized what was happening his face turned into a sober, trouble mask.

Edward Everett Hale, author of The Man Without a Country was Horton’s grandfather and he was named after him. Horton used his full name as his stage name through the encouragement of his father, who said there may be others using the name Edward Horton, but no one else else would be using Edward Everett Horton.

After his death the city of Los Angeles named a street in the district where he lived Edward Everett Horton Lane in his honor.

The First 12 Proposed Amendments to the US Constitution

By | Sep 25, 2015

It didn’t take long for Congress to start debate on Amendments to the United States Constitution. Congress first convened on March 4, 1789 and on June 8th of the same year James Madison read his thoughts regarding a Bill of Rights. During the course of debates though the ratification process of the Constitution many states express concerns that certain rights weren’t part of the Constitution.

Between June 8th and September 25, 1789, when the 12 proposed Amendments, the Bill of Rights, were submitted to the states, Congress compiled and debated the articles. First it was the house which used many of Madison’s proposals. The Senate modified them. On September 21, 1789 the House and the Senate together worked to resolved the differences, which was settled when the Senate passed them.

George Washington signed the resolution on October 2, 1789 and the proposed 12 amendments were sent to the 11 states that had already ratified the United States Constitution.

Each of the 12 articles would be voted on separately by states with an article being ratified when it received approval of three quarters of the states. Six weeks after receiving the Bill of Rights North Carolina ratified the Constitution. They had been holding out because it didn’t have individual rights guarantee. Also during the ratification process, Vermont was admitted to the United States and Rhode Island, the last of the original thirteen states, ratified the Constitution.

Virginia became the 11th and deciding state to ratified the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution on December 15, 1791. They approved all 12 of the articles, but only Articles 3-14 were ratified. Article 1 had been rejected by Delaware while New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania and Rhode Island had rejected Article 2.

Article 1 of the 12 original Amendment Articles will probably never be passed, it established a formula for the number of House representatives. Article 2, which simply stated, “No law, varying the compensation for the services of the Senators and Representatives, shall take effect, until an election of Representatives shall have intervened.” became the 27th Amendment to the United States Constitution on May 5, 1992, over 202 years after original Congressional approval, when Missouri and Alabama became the 37th and 38th state to ratify it. Seven states ratified it after that date bringing the total to 45. New York, who rejected it in 1790, Nebraska with a 1987 rejection along with Massachusetts, Mississippi and Pennsylvania are the states who have not approved the Article.

Famous Yogiisms – Quotes of Yogi Berra

By | Sep 23, 2015

Note: Yogi Berra passed away on September 22, 2015 at the age of 90.

Yogi Berra is one of the best catchers to play the game of baseball. During his career he won the American League Most Valuable player three times and with the New York Yankees appeared in fourteen World Series winning ten.

After he retired from playing the game he became the manager of the Yankees and lead that team to the World Series only to be fired at the end of the season. He moved to the New York Mets where he worked first as a coach and then as a manager leading the Mets to the World series becoming one of the few managers to lead a team from both leagues to the World Series.

He will also be remembered for his witty quotes referred to as yogiisms.

It ain’t over ’til it’s over. – Actually he said. ‘You’re never out of it till you’re out of it.’

Ninety percent of the game is mental, the other half is physical.

When you get to a fork in the road, take it.

It’s like déjà vu all over again.

It gets late early out there.

I never said half the things I said.

Birth of the Titanic

By | Sep 20, 2015

On March 31, 1909 at the shipyards of Harlan and Wolff, in Belfast Ireland, the keel of the Titanic was laid. This can be considered the birth of the ship. Thomas Andrews, the managing director of Harland and Wolff, was the ship’s chief designer. He spend many hours with the ship, including going on its maiden voyage.

The ship was built as part of the White Star Lines and part of their Olympic Class liners. There was three Olympic Class ships, the Olympic, Titanic and Britannic. The Titanic was the second of the three ships.

The approval of the designs of the Titanic was on July 29, 1908.

The Olympic was launched on October 20, 1910 and until the launch of the Titanic on May 31, 1911 it was the world’s largest ship.

Originally the date for the maiden voyage of the Titanic was to begin on March 20, 1912, but when the Olympic was damaged on September 20, 1911, it was decided to set back the date until April 10, 1912.

On March 31, 1912 the fitting of the Titanic was completed. The ship began sea trails three days later on April 2nd.

A ‘Trial of the Century’

By | Sep 18, 2015

In 1935 it was termed the ‘trial of the century’ and lasted from the 2nd day of the New Year until a verdict was proclaimed on February 13th. It was on that date that German carpenter Bruno Hauptmann was found guilty of the kidnapping and murder of Charles Lindbergh’s young son.

The media proclaimed ‘crime of the century’, the kidnapping of Lindbergh’s twenty-month old son, occurred during the night of March 1, 1932. Of course since that time, every few years there is another case that is given that name. In April the Lindbergh’s paid a ransom of $50,000. The dead body of the baby was found in May.

As a response to the kidnapping the United States congress passed the Lindbergh Kidnapping Law of 1932, That law made it a federal crime to take a kidnap victim across state lines.

The kidnapping case remained a cold case until the summer of 1934. On September 18th a gold certificate that was part of the ransom payment was discovered. On it was written a license plate number. That number was on the blue Dodge sedan owned by Bruno Hauptmann.

Even with the evidence that was discovered that linked Hauptmann to the crime he proclaimed his innocence until he was put to death on April 3, 1936. It would seem that whether or not he actually did the crime he must have been involved since he was identified as the man whom the ransom money was delivered, over $14,000 of the money was found in his garage and witnesses testified it was he who spent some of ransom money.

Before Hauptmann was put to death, New Jersey Governor Harold Hoffman paid a death row visit on October 16, 1935. After this he was in doubt of Hauptmann’s guilt, however Hauptmann was still executed. As with many cases that are decided with circumstantial evidence, there are those as many who are convince that he was innocent as those who believe him guilty.

The Red Baron Wins his First Aerial Combat

By | Sep 17, 2015

He was only 25 when he died on April 25, 1918, but Manfred von Richthofen also known as the Red Baron was a flying ace and a deadly combat pilot for Germany during World War I. He was also know as “le Diable Rouge” (“Red Devil”) or “Le Petit Rouge” (“Little Red”) in French, and the “Red Knight” in English.

Richthofen was born on May 2, 1892 in Kleinburg, into a family of old Prussian nobility. He began his military training at 11 and upon completion of training he join a cavalry unit. When the War began he was still in the cavalry and with the change of art of combat with machine guns his cavalry unit saw little combat, something he disliked.

He applied for a transfer into the “Imperial German Army Air Service” was in training during the last half of 1915. He won his first aerial combat over Cambrai, France, on September 17, 1916.

From September 1916 until April 25, 1918 when he was killed in an aerial plane fight, Von Richthofen had recorded 80 kills and was becoming a legend. As an aid for identification during air combat, Germany adopted red colorations with various individual marking. Some of Richthofen’s aircrafts was painted entirely red. This is how he received his name.

On the day of his death, the Red Baron had been pursuing a Sopwith Camel piloted by the Candian pilot Lt. Wilfrud May. During the battle the Red Baron was hit by a bullet. It was most probably a quick death, but one that occurred after he made a hasty controlled landing,

Even though he was an officer of Germany, the Allied air officers regarded their foe with respect and organized a military funeral. Richthofen’s aircraft was dismembered by souvenir hunters. Its engine is on display at the Imperial War Museum in London.

James Cash Penney

By | Sep 16, 2015

Nearly everyone knows of the store J.C Penney. The first store was opened in 1902 in Kemmerer, Wyoming. The owners were Guy Johnson, Thomas Callahan and James Cash Penney, or J.C. Penney. By 1907 two more stores had been opened. Johnson and Callahan decided they wanted to dissolve the partnership leaving Penney as lone owner.

James Cash Penney was born on September 16, 1875 and spent the first few years of his adult life working in dry good stores. In 1898 he began working in a Golden Rule store that was owned by Johnson and Callahan.

With the help of Earl Sams, Penney’s Sales Manager, by 1912 there were 34 stores in the Rocky Mountain States. A year later the main offices were located to Salt Lake City, Utah and incorporated under the new name, J. C. Penney Company.

The chain continued to grow in the west and extended east of the Mississippi in the 1920s. The chain grew from 120 stores in 1920, mostly in the western states to 1400 nationwide stores by 1929.

It was hard to keep the company operating through the early years of the depression. Before 1929 Penney had a large income which allowed him to perform many philanthropic causes. In the 1930s Penney used whatever means available to make payroll including borrowing on life insurance policies.

The chain and the man survived the depression, although it was hard on his health. In 1946 he left his position of Chairman of the Board, although he did remain the honorary chairman until his death on February 12, 1971.

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