Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Topsail Beach's Missiles and More Museum: Operation Bumblebee

From the July 23, 2015, Pender-Topsail Post & Voice "Backyard Adventures: Missiles and More Museum" by Tammy Proctor.

The museum is located on the south end of Topsail Island in the Town of Topsail Beach and it preserves the history of the town, island and Operation Bumblebee.  The museum is located atthe Assembly Building which is home to the Topsail Island Historical Society which operates it.

When I first saw the name Assembly Building, I figured this is where people assemble for activities, but it was actually where rockets were assembled and ramjet technology was developed after World War II.

The rockets were then taken across the island to the launch pad which is where the patio of the Jolly Roger Motel is located.  The rockets would then be launched and tracked for trajectory and speed by crews stationed at eight concrete towers along the beach, most of which are still standing.The Assembly Building and neighboring concrete Control Tower are listed on the National Register of Historic Places.

The museum not only covers Operation Bumblebee but the whole history of the island which was closed to civilian use until after the military was finished using it in the late 1940s.  That would include the Gold Hole, pirates and even a Civil War blockade-runner which was sunk nearby.

It is open everyday but Sunday from two to five p.m. from Memorial Day to Labor Day during the summer.  It has reduced days the rest of the year except by appointment.  Admission is free but donations really welcomed.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Shipwreck-hunting Company Sues North Carolina Over Blackbeard's Ship-- Part 2

North Carolina has created a tourist industry around Blackbeard and his ship including museum exhibits since the ship's discovery in 1996.

The state and Intersal went to mediation in 2013.  The Department of Cultural Resources denies any breach of contract.  Intersal claims that it searched for the Queen Anne's Revenge for twenty years before finding it.

The Queen Anne's Revenge was a French slave ship called La Concorde when Blackbeard captured it in the fall of 1717 in the Caribbean.  Blackbeard renamed the vessel and made it his flagship.  However, it sank just a few months later.


Shipwreck-hunting Company Sues North Carolina Over Blackbeard's Ship-- Part 1

From the July 28, 2015, Wilmington (NC) Star-News/AP by Martha Waggoner.

Florida-based Intersal, Inc., the shipwreck-hunting company that found Pirate Blackbeard's ship, the Queen Anne's Revenge which sank off the North Carolina coast nearly 300 years ago, is suing the state for more than $8 million saying that it violated a contract involving photos and videos of the wreck and artifact recovery.

The lawsuit also seeks a temporary order preventing the state from recovering any more objects.  the company says they really didn't want to do this but had no choice but to protect their rights.

Listed among the violations are the state display of more than 2,000 images and more than 200 minutes of video on websites other than the state's Department of Cultural Resources website.

No real loot was discovered on the Queen Anne's Revenge when Intersal found it 20 years ago, but the company agreed in 1994 to a 15-year contract for rights to photos and video of the wreck, the recovery and study of its historic  artifacts.

Avast There.  --Cootaye

Monday, July 27, 2015

"Family Guy" Celebrates its 250th Episode

From the May 18, 2015, Time Magazine.

The Griffins are now officially one of the longest-running TV families in history.

Here are some TV sitcoms that have run longer:  (episodes)

CHEERS--  (275) The Boston barfly comedy lasted 11 seasons, spinning off "Frasier." which had 264 episodes.

THE DANNY THOMAS SHOW--  (344)  Began as "Make Room for Daddy" in 1953.

MY THREE SONS--  (380)  A single dad raising sons ran 12 seasons and moved from ABC to CBS.

THE ADVENTURES OF OZZIE AND HARRIET--  (435)  Real-life married couple raising their real-life sons in the Eisenhower era.

THE SIMPSONS--  (574)  When this season ended, they were near 600 episodes and just got renewed for two more seasons.  Just keeps getting better.


Saturday, July 25, 2015

Hit the Beach: 50th Anniversary of "Beach Blanket Bingo"

From the June/July AARP Magazine by Bill Newcott.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon's beach romp.  Hard to believe that long ago.  And for all of us guys who really, really liked the former Mouseketeer, it was awesome.

I am at the beach right now here at Topsail each, North Carolina, but instead of finding a beach movie, wasting my time doing this.

Anyway, he came up with six other favorite beach flicks (with dates):

The Endless Summer, 1966.  Two surfers searching for the perfect wave.

Summer of '42, 1971.  

Back to the beach, 1987.  Annette and Frankie two decades later.

Beaches, 1988.  A  lifelong friemdship.

Nights in Rodanthe, 2008.  Nothing like North Carolina in Maine.

The Descendants, 2011.  Very Emotional.


Friday, July 24, 2015

100th Anniversary of Chicago's SS Eastland Tragedy Today

On July 24, 1915, the SS Eastland, a passenger ship carrying more than 2,500 people, rolled over onto its side while docked at the Clark Street Bridge on the Chicago River.

An estimated 844 died in the disaster.

Sadly, this is a largely forgotten event, but not in this blog.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Telephone Connections and T-Storms 100 Years Ago in DeKalb County, Illinois

From the July 15, 2015, Mid Week (DeKalb, Il.) "Looking Back.'

From July 1915.

The Inter-Township Telephone Company, which had headquarters at Hinckley and exchanges in Hinckley, Waterman, Shabbona, and Lee, has refused to make connections with the DeKalb County Telephone Company which operates in the northern 15 of 18 townships in DeKalb County.

They had damaging thunderstorms back then as well.  Much damage was done by one on Saturday night.  Telephone and electric wire service were put out of order.  Trees and buildings were struck by lightning, especially south of Sycamore.  A barn in Cortland was struck and caught fire, but was extinguished with minimal loss.  The steeple of the Methodist church in DeKalb was struck and the building badly torn and damaged by water.


Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Eradication of the Mexican Weed (Marijuana) in DeKalb County, Illinois

From the July 21, 2015, DeKalb (Il) Midweek "Looking Back"

JULY 1940, 75 years ago.

Two years more is the time limit set by Sheriff W.D. Runnels for thye first eradication of every stalk of tye Mexican weed, Marijuana.  He estimate results from a survey of patches and the progress that has been made in combatting the weed in the last two years.

Genoa Township to have a 4.6 acre park at tye site of the old Chamberlain homestead on the southeast corner of Derby Line and Route 23.  It is at the bequeath in the will of the late Miss Lila Chamberlain.

A survey was made on the courthouse grounds in Sycamore for new sidewalks to be built on the grounds by the WPA.

Marijuana in 1940?  --Cooter

Monday, July 20, 2015

10 Ridiculous Myths From Famous Historical Wars

From the June 20, 2015, Listvers by Gregory Myers.

10.  World War I started because of a sandwich.

9.  The U.S. saved the day in World War II.

8.  The American soldiers in the Revolutionary War were highly motivated.

7.  General Hannibal's elephant cavalry turned the tide against the Romans.

6.  Napoleon would have won the Battle of Waterloo if only he had....

5.  The harshness of the Treaty of Versailles led to World War II.

4.  The Tet Offensive determined the Vietnam War.

3.  The U.S. entered World War II after Pearl Harbor.

2.  The Scottish wore kilts while fighting the English.

1.  The bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki was unprecedented.

As usual,. pictures and more information at the site.


Sunday, July 19, 2015

The Five Deadliest Train Derailments in U.S. History

From the Dec. 2, 2013, Daily Beast.

What brought this article about was the Metro-North accident on Sunday back then in the Bronx which killed four and injured more than 60.

The first train derailment took place in 1833 with President John Quincy Adams on board.  He was not hurt.

1.  August 7, 1904--  96 dead, Eden, Colorado

2.  November 1, 1918--  102 dead, Brooklyn, New York

3.  September 6, 1943--  79 dead, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania   I wrote about this one today in my World War II blog.

4.  December 16, 1943--  72 dead, Rennert, North Carolina.  I wrote about this one, coming just months after the one in Philadelphia, yesterday in my World War II blog, "Tattooed On Your Soul."

5.  February 6, 1951--  85 dead, Woodbridge, New Jersey.

The article has more information about each one.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Seinfeld Cast Made the Big Bucks

From the May 31, 2015, Yahoo! Finance/CNBC"'Seinfeld cast members made money hand over fist."

Jerry Seinfeld reportedly turned down a $100 million contract, $5 million per episode, to make one more season of his highly acclaimed series.

By the ninth and final season, he was making one million dollars an episode.  His three co-stars were making around $600,000 a show.  these contracts were the record at NBC until the six cast members of "Friends" made $1 million each per episode.

Starting with the very first "Seinfeld" episode, CNBC did an analysis to determine who played the biggest roles.  Jerry Seinfeld was the most talkative, but his lines declined as the series continued.

Cosmo Kramer played a bigger role as the series went on and George Costanza and Elaine Benes stayed about the same.

Good Money If You Can Get It.  --DaCoot

Sunken Vessels of Epic World War I Naval Battle Revealed

From the June 16, 2015, Yahoo! News/Sky News.

3D scans have revealed the wrecks of several of the 25 warships (14 British) sunk during the huge naval action at the Battle of Jutland on 31 May 1916.One is of the HMS Invincible in which 1,000 sailors lost their lives.  The other two are the HMS Defence and HMS Queen Mary.  All three have been scanned.

The HMS had been described at the time as being "reduced to atoms" when it sank, but has been found to be complete and sitting upright.

The HMS Echo used information from previous expeditions as well as eyewitness accounts to visit 21 of the 25 shipwreck sites where they are expected to be.

In the battle, the British Navy had 6,094 killed and the Germans lost 2,551.  Both sides claimed victory.


Friday, July 17, 2015

Countdown of the 40 Biggest Movies By Year the Past 40 Years-- Part 2

1995--  Batman Forever
1996--  Independence Day
1997--  Men in Black
1998--  Saving Private Ryan
1999--  Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace

2000--  Mission Impossible
2001--  Shrek
2002--  Spider-Man
2003--  Finding Nemo
2004--  Shrek 2

2005=--  Star Wars Episode III: Revenge of the Sith
2006--  Pirates of the Caribbean: Deadman's Chest
2007--  Spider-Man 3
2008--  The Dark Knight
2009--  Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen

2010--  Toy Story 3
2011--  Harry Potter: The Deathly hallows, Pt. 2
2012--  The Avengers
2013--  Iron Man 3
2014--  Guardians of the Galaxy
2015--  So Far (Before Jurassic World)--  Avengers: Age of Ultron

I've Seen 'Em All.  --DaCoot

Countdown of 40 Biggest Movies in the Past 40 Years-- Part 1

1975--  Jaws
1976--  Omen
1977--  Star Wars
1978--  Grease
1979--  Amityville Horror

1980--  Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back
1981--  Raiders of the Lost Ark
1982--  ET: The Extraterrestrial
1983--  Star Wars Episode VI
1984--  Ghostbusters

1985--  Back to the Future
1986--  Top Gun
1987--  Beverly Hills Cop
1988--  Who Framed Roger Rabbit?
1989--  Batman

1990--  Ghost
1991--  Terminator: Judgement Day
1992--  Batman
1993--  Jurassic Park
1994--  Forest Gump


Thursday, July 16, 2015

Just the Facts About the Stanley Cup-- Part 8: Has It Ever Been Stolen?

The Cup has been stolen, nearly stolen and misplaced multiple times, including once in Chicago.  The trophy was on display in the Chicago Stadium lobby during the 1962 playoffs when a Montreal fan tried to steal it from its case while the alarms were turned off.  A police officer spotted and stopped the would-be thief right as the man got to the exit doors.

There have been other notable mishaps.  Members of the Ottawa Senators drop-kicked the trophy into a canal while celebrating their championship win in 1905.  No one bothered to retrieve it until the next day.

The People's Cup.  --DaCoot

Just the Facts About the Stanley Cup-- Part 7: When Does It Make An Appearance?

As the Blackhawks closed in on the 2013 Championship in Boston, Pritchard, the Cup keeper, packed the trophy in its black trunk lined with red cloth and headed to TD Garden about midway through the second period.

Pritchard said that he and the handlers have to be prepared for any eventuality -- like the Blackhawks dramatically sealing victory with two goals in 17 seconds.

Who's Have Figured That?  --Cooter

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Just the Facts About the Stanley Cup-- Part 6: Where Does It Go After a Team Wins?

After a team wins, each player and staff member gets to spend 24 hours with the Stanley Cup.  That is one of the neatest things about the Cup.  Too bad each member of winning MLB, NBA and NFL team don't get to do the same thing.  Then many more people will get the chance to see the trophy and it can be used for charity fundraising.

The trophy spent the first couple weeks of its post-championship tour in Chicago after the Hawks 2013 win, then went on the road in the U.S., Canada, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Sweden.

While the Cup was on tour in Slovakia, right winger Marian Hossa ate pierogies out of it.

I wonder how many times it has served as a cereal bowl or baby holder or bathing tub?

Taking the other trophies on tour like the Cup would make them less of a millionaire's cup and more of a people's cup.

Just Right to Hold My Beer.  --DrinkChug-A-LugCoot

Just the Facts About the Stanley Cup-- Part 5: Who Engraves It?

Louise St. Jacques is the trophy's official engraver, only the fourth person to ever have that role.  She takes the trophy to her studio in Montreal every September to engrave the names of the championship team and all its members.

The Cup is disassembled from the top down and the bottom band removed from the base so St. Jacques can imprint the names.  It takes her about 30 minutes to inscribe each name and about ten hours overall.

As room runs out on the trophy, the bands are periodically swapped out and stored.  Retired trophy rings are kept alongside the original trophy in the Lord Stanley vault in the Hockey Hall of Fame in Toronto.

Blackhawk players have had their names misspelled on the trophy twice: once in 1938, when left winger Pete Palangio's name appeared as "Palagio," and again in 2010, when left winger Kris Versteeg's name initially was engraved as "Vertseeg" before being corrected.

Henry Richard of the Montreal Canadiens appears most often on the Cup as a player with eleven times.

Wonder How Much Louise gets Paid for the Engraving--  HockeyPuck

Just the Facts About the Stanley Cup-- Part 4: Who Was Lord Stanley?

OK, here's the scoop on the real guy.

English-born Frederick Arthur Stanley became a huge hockey fan after moving to Canada in the late 1880s.  He decided that the teams needed a prize to compete for and bought a silver cup for about $50, intending it to belong only to the team that had won the most recent championship.

Amateur teams competed for it for several years, with the Montreal Amateur Athletic Association the first to be awarded the cup.  Professional teams from the National Hockey Association got involved in 1910.  The NHA gave way to the National Hockey League, and its member teams have been competing for the Stanley Cup since 1926.

How 'Bout Changing the Name to the Cooter Cup?  --CooterPuck

Monday, July 13, 2015

Just the Facts About the Stanley Cup-- Part 3 Who Was Lord Stanley? (What Is Lord Stanley's?)

Well, everyone from DeKalb, Illinois, home of NIU, knows that it is the name of a great bar where the DeKalb Footstompers play every Homecoming to a packed house.  The place is named after the Stanley Cup and called Lord Stanley's.  Of course, it is a HUGE Blackhawks bar, just the place to watch a Hawks game or any hockey game for that matter.

Back when we were at NIU, it was the Shamrock and back then the upper level was open for partying as well.  It was one of out downtown bars which also included the Uprising (now Otto's), Andy's (now open whenever the owner gets around to it), McCabe's (now closed), the Candlelight (torn down but where the downtown McDonald's is now and Sullivan's (referred to as Sully's).

These bars were all part of what we referred to as the Lincoln Crawl, so named because DeKalb's Main Street is none other than the famed 1913 Lincoln Highway.

Crawlin' the Crawl.  --Cooter

Just the Facts About the Stanley Cup-- Part 2: How Big Is It?

The first form it had was a silver bowl just over 7 inches high and 11 inches across.  Now, the bowl is slightly bigger, 7 1/2 inches high, 11 inches across and 35 inches around.  This sits on top of the current trophy made of silver and nickel.

Below the bowl are three tiered bands, a collar and five larger bands making up the largest part of the trophy.  The whole thing stands just over 35 inches tall and weighs a little more than 34 pounds.

Just the right size for hoisting, kissing and bathing babies.

So Good to have It back in Chicago.  --DaCoot

Just the Facts About the Stanley Cup-- Part 1 Has to Go Through Airport Security Also

From the June 16, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Just the Facts: 6 things to know about the Stanley Cup trophy" by Dawn Rhodes.

Well, as you may know, the Chicago Blackhawks won their third Stanley Cup title in six years, also winning it in 2010 and 2013.  Lord Stanley's namesake arrived at the United Center sometime during Game 6 vs. the Tampa Bay (No Hawk Fans Allowed) Lightning.

Keeper of the Cup Philip Pritchard said that the Cup and the Conn Smythe Trophy, awarded to the NHL's Playoff MVP, had to go through airport security just like any traveler's bag or suitcase.  You just never know what those sneaky terrorists will try next.

You Kind of Have to Wonder What the TSA Folks Were Thinking When They saw Its X-Ray?  --LordStanleyCooter

Saturday, July 11, 2015

World War I Heroes Finally Receive Medal of Honor-- Part 4: Henry Johnson

Henry Johnson was assigned to C Company, 15th New York (Colored) Infantry Regiment, an all-black National Guard unit, later the 369th Infantry Regiment.

The unit was nicknamed the Harlem Hellfighters and was ordered into battle in 1918.  Johnson "became a legend," according to President Obama.  He received his Medal of Honor for his actions on May 15, 1918, near the Tourbe and Aisne revers near Sainte-Menehould, France.

Johnson and a fellow soldier were on night sentry duty "along no-man's land" when they were attacked by a German raiding party of at least 12 soldiers.

The Germans fired a hail of bullets at the two American soldiers, who fired back until they ran out of ammunition.  When the other soldier was badly wounded, Johnson prevented him from being taken prisoner.

He stuck another magazine into his rifle, but when it jammed, he used it as a club.  he then grabbed his bolo knife and went to save his friend. In just two minutes of fighting, he had defeated the entire  raiding party and saved his friend.

Crippled from his injuries, Johnson died in his early 30s and is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

World War I Heroes Finally Receive Medals of Honor-- Part 3: William Shemin

Sgt. William Shemin was a member of G Company, 2nd Battalion, 47th Infantry Regiment, 4th Division, American Expeditionary Forces and received the Medal for his actions Aug. 7-9, 1918, during combat near Vesle River, Bazoches, France.

He men were hunkered down in a trench and the Germans were likewise about 150 yards away.  That open space was No-Man's Land and it meant almost certain death to enter it.  But yet, Shemin entered that hell three times to rescue fallen comrades from an earlier attack repeatedly exposed himself to enemy fire.

After all the officers and senior noncommissioned officers were casualties, William Shemin stepped up and took command and continued to display great initiative under fire until he was wounded himself on August 9.

Shemin was honorably discharged in August 1919 and went on to get his degree from the New York College of Forestry.  He started a greenhouse and landscaping business in Bronx, New York, where he raised there children.  He died in 1973.

Friday, July 10, 2015

World War I Heroes Finally Receive Medals of Honor-- Part 2

William Shermin's daughter, Elsie Shemin-Roth, worked for years to gather documents to support his bid.  She and her sister, Ina, accepted the award from Obama on their father's behalf.

Henry Johnson's supporters included New York senator Chuck Schumer and had been working on the bid for decades.  They finally made their breakthrough when a trove of military became available online.  It included a communique from American WWI General John Pershing describing Johnson's heroic actions.

Command Sgt. Major Louis Wilson of the New York national Guard accepted the Medal of Honor on behalf of Sgt. Johnson.

World War I heroes Finally Receive the Medal of Honor-- Part 1

From the June Army Times "WWI heroes awarded Medal of Honor at last" by Michelle Tan.

"Almost 100 years after their heroic actions during World War I--and thousands of hours of work by loved ones and advocates -- two soldiers were honored June 2 with the Medal of Honor."

Sgt. William Shemin and Henry Johnson both were posthumously awarded the nation's highest honor during a ceremony at the White House.

I'd have to say the reason it took so long for them to get their medals was because of prejudice at the time.  William Shemuin was Jewish and Henry Johnson was black.  President Obama said "No one who serves  our country should ever be forgotten.  We are a nation, a people, who remember our heroes."

The efforts to award these two men the Medal of Honor led Congress to pass an exemption from rules specifying that the deeds had to take place within the last five years for consideration.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Historians to Stage Trial for Eastland Disaster-- Part 3: What Happened in Aftermath

Whatever comes out of the mock trial will likely be more conclusive than what happened in the aftermath 100 years ago.

The ship's captain, engineer and four company executives were charged with manslaughter and criminal carelessness in August 1915.  All in the group were accused of loading the ship "greatly in excess of the number of persons the boat could carry with safety."  They were also accused of operating the ship despite knowing it was in substandard condition and of hiring an incompetent engineer.

Captain Harry Pederson additionally was accused of not following the proper procedures and failing "to warn passengers to leave the Eastland when it became apparent to him that she was about to overturn."  Engineer Joseph Erickson faced similar charges.

But U.S. District Judge Clarence Sessions cleared the men, reasoning that there was not enough evidence to prove the group knew of or ignored problems with the ship.

In the end, no one was found criminally liable.  Law at the time limited damages to the value of the ship which came to about $46,000 which went to pay claims of companies that provided coal to the ship and that towed the Eastland out of the river.  Families received next to nothing.

Sure Wouldn't Have Happened Today.

Historians to Stage Trial for Eastland Disaster-- Part 2

There is no definitive cause for the capsizing of the SS Eastland which claimed 844 lives.  The dominant belief is that the ship had many structural flaws.  It was overloaded with life boats as a result of the Titanic's sinking three years earlier.  It had no keel and its ballast system was faulty.  That morning it was overloaded with at least 2,500 people on board.  The story also is around that most of the people rushed to one side.

Lawyers from Marshall Law School have teamed up to analyze the information from a modern legal perspective.  One challenge is to determine what kind of a trial it should be.  To use modern civil law would be extremely complicated.  Today, you would have gone after Western Electric, but they didn't sponsor the boat ride; it was an employee who organized it.

They decided the case was best suited for involuntary manslaughter against the Eastland owners.  That is when somebody unintentionally kills someone likely to cause death or great bodily harm..  Attorney Bob Clifford said that the owners knew the ship was ill-prepared for its voyage but didn't do anything about it.  The Eastland was actually certified for service but had quite a history of being unstable.

Six jurors will decide the case and audience members will be able to vote on the outcome.

Wonder What The Verdict Was?

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Historians to Stage Trial for Eastland Disaster-- Part 1

From the June 18, 2015, Chicago Tribune by Dawn Rhodes.

"Early on Saturday morning in 1915, thousands of workers and family members from Western Electric Co. gathered on the Chicago River for a lake excursion and an employee picnic.

"But what was supposed to be a celebration swiftly turned catastrophic as the SS Eastland--the first of five vessels scheduled to shuttle passengers to the Michigan City, Ind., outing -- rocked alarmingly and capsized in the 20-foot-deep waterway between Clark and LaSalle streets, killing 844 people and wiping out nearly two dozen families.

"The horrific scenes July 14 marked the worst disaster in Chicago's history (much worse than the much-better-known Great Chicago Fire), but nobody was held responsible.  As the Eastland tragedy marks its centennial, historians and legal experts are staging a trial to keep relevant the memory of the disaster and illuminate the issues that never saw the inside of a Chicago courtroom."

And Most Chicagoans Don't Even Know About It.

Getting 3,000 MLB Hits a Big Thing-- Part 2

20.  Craig Biggio-- 3,060
19.  Dave Winfield--  3,110  I have a foul bal;l hit by him off Britt Burns.
18.  Tony Gwynn--  3,141
17.  Robin Yount--  3,141
16.  Paul Waner--  3,152

15.  George Brett--  3,154
14.  Cal Ripkin--  3,184
13.  Nap Lajoie--  3,252--  Played before 1901
12.  Eddie Murray--  3,255
11.  Willie Mays--  3,283

10.  Eddie Collins--  3,314
9.  Paul Molitor--  3,319--  Part of that True Blue Brew Crew with Yount.
8.  Carl Yastrzemski--  3,419
7.  Honus Wagner--  3,430--  pre-1901
6.  Derek Jeter--  3,465

5.  Tris Speaker--  3,515
4.  Stan Musial--  3,630
3.  Hank Aaron--  3,771
2.  Ty Cobb--  4,191
1.  Pete Rose--  4,256

What a List.  --Cooter

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Getting 3,000 Hits in MLB a Big Deal-- Part 1

From the June 20, 2015 Northwest Herald "A-Rod hits 3,000 in style" by ben Walker AP.

New York Yankee player Alex Rodriguez hit his 3,000th hit, hitting a 95 mph fastball from Detroit ace Justin Verlander for a home run.  This was his 667th career home run and he joins Hank Aaron and Willie Mays as the only players to hit 600+ home runs and have 3,000+ hits.

But what I really liked was the list of the 28 players who have hit 3000+ hits:

28.  Alex Rodriguez, 3000--  only player still active
28.  Roberto Clemente, 3000--  You have to wonder how many more hits he would have had had he not been on that mercy mission that crashed.
27.  Al Kaline, 3,007
26.  Wade Boggs, 3,010
25.  Cap Anson, 3,011-  pre-1901

24.  Rafael Palmeiro, 3,020
23.  Lou Brock, 3,023--  And who did the Cubs get for him?
22.  Rod Carew, 3,053
21.  Ricky Henderson, 3,055--  I was there when he broke Maury Wills' single season stolen base record in Milwaukee.

And, I Know All these Guys.  --Cooter

Think Beyond BBQ on This Fourth-- Part 6: The Surrender at Yorktown

And here's the story of Sarah Osborn on Oct. 19, 1781.

She was a cook with the army.  General Washington seeing her at work as the cannonballs flew suggested she take cover.  She replied: "It would not do for the men to fight and starve, too."

Osborn was then at the decisive Battle of Yorktown, and she continued: "The drums continued beating, and all at once the officers hurrahed and swung their hats, and (Osborn) asked them, 'What is the matter now?'

"One of them replied, 'Are not you soldier enough to know what it means?'

"(Osborn) replied, 'No.'

"They then replied, 'The British have surrendered.'"

Talk about being there for an imortant event.

Think Beyond BBQ on This Fourth-- Part 5: Lift That Stone

Another great story, one you probably won't see in history books involved General Israel Putnam while preparing the defenses of Boston.  He asked a corporal to place a heavy stone on top of a defensive wall.  The man refused, saying it was beneath the dignity of a noncommissioned officer to do so.

According to a witnesses' affidavit, Putnam said, "'I ask your pardon, sir,' and immediately got off his horse and took up the stone and threw it...and then mounted his horse and rode on."

Now, that is a great little story and an example of true leadership.

If a General Will Do It, So Can a Corporal.  --Cooter

Monday, July 6, 2015

Think Beyond BBQ On This Fourth-- Part 4: Play the Fife and We'll Go

Then, there was the story of Sgt. Richaed Vining whose company was ordered to intercept a large British force threatening a small town in Massachusetts:  "All the officers refused to go above me in command, and none would (of the enlisted men) go except (if) some of the officers would go with them.  I finally told the captain that if the fifer would play a tune, I would follow him and see how many would volunteer to go with me.

"We had no drums.  The following persons volunteered and went with me to Scopus, to wit: Nathaniel Hubbard, Benjamin Baldwin, David Kibbe, Jr., Abijah Hubbard, John Kibbe and Isaac Finch."

Think Beyond BBQ On This Fourth-- Part 3: It's a Shoe Thing

Joining the rebel cause during the Revolution was risky business.  After all, the British Army was comprised of well-trained professionals with a lot of experience.  The Patriots were at best a ragtag bunch often lacking weapons and even clothing.

One applicant for a pension, Thomas Craige noted that he "once went on parade in his bare feet when the snow was four or five inches deep, not because he hadn't shoes, but to show the men it wasn't so great a hardship as they complained of."

James Hawkins and Elijah Morehouse were barefoot at the Battle of New York and requested time off to get shoes.  That request went all the way up to General Washington himself who told them: "My brave fellows, you see the condition in which I am placed.  Yonder upon the East River is the enemy.  Should they advance, and we expect them every moment, I shall need every man of you.  My soldiers are my life.  Should they retire, call again, and you shall have your furlough."

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Think Beyond BBQ on This Fourth-- Part 2: A Slave's Story

Not everyone rejoiced this date 239 years ago.  It was a gamble many didn't want to take.  Britain would consider the Declaration of Independence and all its supporters as being guilty of treason, punishable by death.  Others wanted to stay with Britain.

Jehu Grant was a slave and the declaration was written by a slaveholder.  Yet he heard something in Thomas Jefferson's words that weren't intended for him:  "Songs of liberty that saluted my ear, thrilled my heart," Grant said in his petition.  "These considerations induced me to enlist in the American army, where I served faithful about ten months, when my master found me and took me home."

Later he purchased his freedom and unsuccessfully applied for his pension.

Think Beyond BBQ on This Fourth-- Part 1: The Reading

From the July 3, 2015, Chicago Tribune by Ron Grossman.

While you're enjoying all the festivities that go along with our country's birthday all those years ago, take a moment to thank John Adlum from York, Pennsylvania, and others from back then who wrote:  "On the morning of the seventh of July, the four companies of the town militia was paraded when the Declaration of Independence was read.  Mr. Smith (who signed it) made a speech...and then threw up his hat and hurrahed for liberty and independence.  The militia on parade and others attending followed their example."

Thanks to Congress, we know how other Americans felt back then.  A half century later, legislation was enacted to provide pensions for those who fought in the Revolutionary War.  Determining who was eligible wasn't easy as documentary evidence was scarce.  Citizen soldiers had drifted in and out of the militias and applicants for pensions had to submit an affidavit of their experience.

These are preserved in the National Archives and of great interest to historians.  It tells us more of the story and from a more common reference point, not just the generals and statesmen.

And, a Happy Birthday to the U.S..

Friday, July 3, 2015

2015 Anniversaries-- Part 2

50TH-- MARTIN LUTHER KING JR.'S FIRST MARCH AT SELMA, March 7:  It would take three attempts before the marchers finally made it from Selma to Montgomery, Alabama, during a year full of Civil Rights milestones.  Retrospective coverage will also likely focus on the assassination of Malcolm X on February 21 in New York City.

50TH--  FILM PREMIER OF "THE SOUND OF MUSIC", March 2:  Julie Andrews as Maria was a revelation, Time wrote.  "Nearly all of the requirements for what moviemakers tout as wholesome family entertainment" were met.

75TH--    McDONALD'S OPENING, May 15:  Brothers Richard and Maurice McDonald opened the first restaurant to bear their name in San Bernardino, California.  Ray Kroc later took the franchise global; today, there are more than 35,000 locations worldwide.

150TH--  END OF THE CIVIL WAR, April 9th:  The sesquicentennial of the U.S.'s bloodiest conflict is about to draw to a close as the date arrives on which Robert E. Lee surrendered to Ulysses S. Grant.  And April 14th marks the 150th anniversary of Abraham Lincoln's assassination.

Remember Any of These?  --DaCoot

2015 Anniversaries-- Part 1: From Hoverboards to YouTube

From the Jan. 5, 2015, Time Magazine by Lily Rothman.

Moments from the Past You're Sure to Hear About in the Future.

OTH-- MARTY McFLY'S ARRIVAL IN THE FUTURE October 21:  It's been more than two decades since "Back to the Future Part II" in which Michael J. Fox's character traveled to...2015.  Your social-media feeds will be flooded by people disappointed we're all not riding around on hoverboards.  I wonder if I would fall off that as well.

5TH-- CITIZENS UNITED DECISION January 21:  The U.S. Supreme Court struck down regulations on corporate political spending.  As the 2016 elections approach, those freed-up dollars are likely to flow.  Just what we need, more government by the corps and GRB.

10TH--  FIRST YOUTUBE VIDEO April 23:  It's 16.7 million views would be nothing for a top post today.  But the 18-second clip, "Me at the Zoo," starring YouTube co-founder Jawed Karim, is likely to be heavily viewed as it reaches its 10-year milestone.  A site that always costs me at least several hours.

An Anniversary for Everything.  --Cooter

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Must See TV Through the Years

From Wikipedia.  there is actually a site for it here, referring to NBC's prime time blocks 1982-2006.

Here are some of the classic sitcoms airing those years:

Cosby Show-- 1984-1992
Family Ties--  1984-1987
Night Court--  1984-1987
A Different World--  1987-1992
Dear John--  1988-1989
Wings--  1990-1994
Mad About You--  1993-1994
Friends--  1994-2004
Seinfeld--  1992-1998
The Office
30 Rock
Parks and Recreation


Hill Street Blues--  1981-1986
LA Law--  1986-1994
ER--  1994-2009

This Was Some Really Great TV.

Sorry to See It Go.  --DaCoot

The Death of NBC's "Must See TV"

From Time Magazine by James Poniewozik.

It was born in 1981, when NBC aired the "first in a set of comedy lineups that would eventually include Cheers, The Cosby Show, Seinfeld, Friends, the Office and many more TV legends.  It died of old age and neglect on Jan. 22, 2015, with the little-mourned expirations of Bad Judge and A to Z."

During most of the time, the four sitcoms were followed by a good drama.

"NBC euthanized its comedy block, but it is not solely guilty.  The Must-See-TV brand once promised a kind of sitcom that was both sophisticated and popular.  But as cable outlets for niche comedy multipliedMustaudiences shrank..  The finale of Cheers drew over 80 million viewers; the finale of the urbane, witty 30 Rock, not quite 5 million."

I was a real big fan of that Thursday night Must See TV, but no longer watched it by last year.

Bring back Must See TV.  --Cooter

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Comparing Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning Fans-- Part 3

Category, Blackhawks, Lightning:

Share, Local Sports Ticket Sales:  37%, 25%

Next Favorite Sports Ticket:  Cubs 35%, Rays 39%

Cheesy Slogan:  "One Goal:, "Be the Thunder"  OK, let's keep the Wisconsin folks out of the discussion.

Cheesy Celebrity Fan:  Vince Vaughn, Hulk Hogan

Cheesy Song:  "Chelsea Dagger", "Hockey Paradise" by Seven Williams and the Brandt Brothers

Facebook: 2.5 million likes, 457,000 likes

Twitter:  915,000 Followers, 245,000 followers

Favorite Chant:  "Detroit Sucks", "I Believe That We Will Win"

There You Have It.  --DaCoot

Comparing Blackhawk and Lightning Fans-- Part 2

Category, Blackhawk Fans, Lightning Fans

Median Age:  45, 50

Median Income:  $77,000, $62,000

Median Home Value:  $219,000. $176,000

Male/Female:  59%/41%, 68%.32%

College Degree:  35%, 36%

Minority:  34%, 25%

Average Regular-Season Ticket Price on StubbHub:  $200m $60

Sales Rank (I'm Guessing NHL):  2nd, 15th