Wednesday, September 30, 2015

The U.S. Military Bronze Star: Martin S. Kadner, Vietnam War Recipient

In my Down Da Road blog today, I wrote about the death of a good friend of mine who taught with me at Magee Middle School in Round Lake, Illinois, for around 30 years.  His name was Marty Kadner.  I did not know he received a Bronze Star for his service in the Vietnam War

From Wikipedia and other sources.

The Bronze Star Medal, unofficially, the Bronze Star is awarded to members of the U.S. military for heroic achievement or service or meritorious achievement or service in a combat zone.

It was established by Executive Order 4 February 1944.  The idea for it was conceived by Col. Russell P. "Red" Reeder.

During the Vietnam War three types of Bronze Stars were awarded:

Bronze Star for service:  26, 213
Bronze Star for Achievement:  2,159
Bronze Star for Valor:  6,215

Unfortunately, I was unable to find any information on the circumstances for which Marty received his Bronze Star.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Deaths: Helped Make Dad's Root Beer an International Brand

From the August 21, 2015, Chicago Tribune.

ROU GURVEY (1923-2015)

Built Dad's Old Fashioned Root Beer into a strong brand before Coke and Pepsi dominated the market.  According to his son Scott, he was able to build personal relationships with bottlers back in the days when there were a lot of independent soft drink flavors.  Died August 12 at age 92.

Born in New York and moved to Chicago where graduated from Roosevelt High School before attending University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.  Left school in sophomore year to served in World War II.

In the early 1950s, hired by Chicago-based Dad's which had been founded in the 1930s.  Dad's at the time was a regional powerhouse, but Gurvey helped build it into a national and international brand.  They became second in root beer sales with 12 million cases, behind A&W.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Kennedy Auction Back in 2013

From the Feb. 18, 2013, Yahoo! News "JFK birthday card from son, other items auctioned off for up to $2 million" by Daniel Loverwig.

The auction ended Monday.

In it, a birthday card from his son went for $17,000.

A flag flown on Kennedy's motorcade limo went for $55,000.

The seal that hung above the aide's desk in the West Wing-- $17,000.

Kennedy's Air Force One bomber jacket was expected to go for between $20,000 and $40,000, but went for $570,000.  This was found in the home of David Powers who was close to JFK from 1946 to the assassination.

There were also books inscribed by the president.


Saturday, September 26, 2015

Comparing the New Panama Canal and the Old One

From the May 25, 2015, Time Magazine.

This table was in an article about the new expansion lane built on the Panama Canal to allow bigger ships to pass through between the Atlantic and Pacific.

The first numbers refer to the 1914 canal, second to the new lane:

EXCAVATION:  268 million cu. yd.  ////  203 million cu. yd.

YEARS FROM START TO FINISH:  34 (1880-1914)  ////  9 (2007-2016)

CONCRETE USED:  4.4 million cu. yd.  ////  5.7 million cu. yd.

NUMBER EMPLOYED:  56,307 (1904-1913)  ////  32,000

LIVES LOST:  25,600 (estimated)  ////  6

COST:  $635 million ($15 billion in 2015 dollars)  ////  $5.25 billion

MAXIMUM SHIP SIZE:  965 ft. by 106 ft. by 39 ft.  ////  1,200 160 ft. by 50 ft.

TONS OF CARGO (PER YEAR):  252 million (2014)  ////  504 million (expected)


SIZE OF LOCK CHAMBERS:  1,000 ft. by 110 ft. by 42 ft.  ////  1,400 ft. by 180 ft. by 60 ft.

How It Grows.  --Cooter

Friday, September 25, 2015

Cheers to Oktoberfest-- Part 4: It's Huge in Munich

The German Beer Institute has these statistics about the annual Oktoberfest celebration in Munich.  Over six million attend it from all over the world.  They consume more than six million liters(1.75 million gallons of beer during the sixteen day event.  That's 30% of Munich's total beer production for the whole year.

Since 1950, Oktoberfest officially begins when Munich's mayor taps the first barrel of beer.

In Wisconsin, there are plenty of Oktoberfest beers to choose from A really good one is put out by Capital Brewery in Middleton (near Madison).  Their Oktoberfest brew is its most popular seasonal beer..

I love my Oktoberfest parties and, of course, those great Oom-Pah bands.

Oom-Pah Me.  --Cooter

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Cheers to Oktoberfest-- Part 3: Marzenbeer

In the really old days, beer would sour if it was brewed during the summer months.  Brewers didn't exactly know why, but made up for it by brewing more during the winter and pretty much shut down in March.  In Bavaria, these brews were called Marzenbeer.

They would be a bit stronger and dosed with more hops which are a natural preservative.  These March beers would then be stored in caves and cellars so there would be a supply of beer to last through the summer.  By Autumn, the casks would be needed for new brew and it was necessary to empty the casks.  So, a ready supply of well-aged, characterful beer was on hand when the Oktoberfest season arrived.

Pioneering efforts by Gabriel Sedlmayer and Anton Dreher led to a lighter color for their Marzen beers.  A new malt was developed that gave the beer a reddish color and a caramelized flavor was added.  This became known as the Vienna malt and is widely used today.

The Spaten Brewery developed a slightly darker malt, now known as Munich malt.

Not Finished Drinking Yet.  --Cootglug.

Wednesday, September 23, 2015

MLB says "No" to "Shoeless Joe"

From the September 2, 2015, Chicago Tribune."Says it's no: MLB denies Jackson."

MLB commissioner Rob Manfred decided not to re-open the case of "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, meaning that he remains formally banned from baseball and, worst of all, ineligible for inclusion in the Baseball Hall of Fame.

The Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum in Greenville, S.C., on Tuesday released a letter from Manfred dated July 20, said he agreed with past rulings by baseball commissioners.  He noted that Jackson was eligible for inclusion in the Hall of Fame from 1920 to 1991, but never came up with the necessary votes for induction.

Jackson had a career batting average of .356, third highest in MLB history.  But, he was banned by then baseball commissioner Kennesaw Mountain Landis along with seven other White Sox players after being accused of fixing the 1919 World Series.

Jackson was not officially banned from Hall of Fame consideration until 1991, when the HoF ruled that anyone on the sport's permanently ineligible list could not be voted into Cooperstown.  This rule is largely there to keep Pete Rose out of it.

Time Has Come to Let Jackson In.  --Cooter

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Cheers to Oktoberfest-- Part 2: A History

On October 12, 1810, the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig married Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen.  A crowd of 40,000 attended the wedding party which was held on the same land where today's Oktoberfest takes place in Munich.  Horse racing was the main attraction.

Everyone was impressed with the event, so much so that the anniversary of it was marked every year afterwards.  By 1814, beer stands were beginning to pop up and increased in number while the festivities were extended to several days.

This all fit in nicely with Bavaria's beer culture.

I'd sure like to go there, but really hate beer foam and every picture I've seen, the top fourth of those huge mugs.  Nothing against suds, but, you can't drink them.


Monday, September 21, 2015

Cheers to Oktoberfest-- Part 1: That Amber/Reddish Color

From the September 16, 2015, Kenosha (Wis.) News by Bill Siel.


"Pick a holiday and it's likely you've got a beer of choice to toast the festivities.

"And then there's Oktoberfest, which turns the tables as it IS a beer holiday, one that begins Saturday (September 19th) and ends Oct. 4."

And you get to pick a date to celebrate or do it every day.  And your beer as well.  Beer Advocate magazine identifies 1,485 beer offerings for Oktoberfest.  And these are generally bigger with a more flavorful malt character and a minimum contribution from hops.  They are usually amber/reddish hued, but paler, golden varieties are becoming more in vogue.

One of my favorite times as you can also get that good ol' Oompah Music and German food.

More Sips to Come.  --Cooter

Saturday, September 19, 2015

NIU Alumnus Finds SS Eastland Disaster Film

From the Summer 2015 Northern Illinois Alumni Magazine "Film Find Brings Historic Tragedy to Life" by Colleen Leonard.

NIU alumnus Alex Revzan, '14, made headlines around the United States this year with his discovery of a rare film of the SS Eastland disaster which claimed 844 lives in 1915 when it capsized in the Chicago River.

Revzan found the film just days after two other clips surfaced, the first-known archived footage of the tragedy.  But Revzan's film provides even more graphic views as it shows victims being rescued from the ship's hull and the Chicago River.

At the beginning of his discovered film, a young woman in a white dress is pulled from the hull and put on a pier.

Mr. Revzan started searching after he had heard about the first two clips on WTTW, PBS' "Chicago Tonight."  When it was mentioned that there might be other films of the disaster, he put his research skills to use.  he searched online at the British Pathe film archive.  After going through hundreds of clips, he found what appeared to be that of the Eastland.  ted Wachholz, executive director and chief historian of the Eastland Disaster Historical Society, confirmed it.

Alex Revzan says he hopes his find will help him in his job hunt a she graduated in December with a master's degree in history.

A Nice Foot In the Door.  --Cooter

Friday, September 18, 2015

Ten Things You Might Not Know About College-- Part 5: North Carolina A&T and the LSD Prof

9.  A year before four students were killed at Kent State University in Ohio, a young man at NORTH CAROLINA A&T STATE UNIVERSITY in Greensboro was shot and killed on campus during a Civil Rights protest at the historically black college.

It was never determined who pulled the trigger to kill Willie Grimes in May 1969, but protesters insisted it was the police.

But, what happened next, though, is undisputed.  National Guard soldiers, backed up by a tank and several armored personnel carries, invaded the campus in a pre-dawn assault.  They enjoyed air superiority with a plane and a helicopter dropping tear gas and "nausea gas" as they rounded up hundreds of students, most of whom were rousted from their beds after the locks on their dorm room doors were shot away.

This is horrible.

10.  The UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO has boasted many distinguished graduates and must have thought it had another one when professor John Buettner-Janush became chairman of New York University's anthropology department in 1973.

But, he was convicted of using his NYU lab to manufacture LSD and methaqualone.  After he was paroled, he sent poisoned Valentine's Day chocolates to the judge, whose wife ate the candy and fell ill but survived.  The disgraced prof was convicted again and died in federal custody.

Nothing to be proud of Here.  --DaCoot

Ten Things You Might Not Know About College-- Part 4: Tuition Up, But UGLi Rules at Michigan

7.  Average TUITION and FEES at four-year public colleges nearly quadrupled in the last 40 years from $2,469 in 1974-1975 to $9,139 in 2014-15 (with both figures stated in 2014 dollars).

I paid $250 a semester at NIU from 1969 to 1973.  Of course, one needs to also look at how much money the football and basketball coaches are getting paid at the bigger schools to put it all in perspective.

8.  UNIVERSITY OF MICHIGAN  students refer to their undergraduate library as UGLi.

UGLi To the Bone.  --Cooter

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Ten Things You Might Not Know About College-- Part 3: Oldest Colleges, Chicago's Hobo College and College of Coaches

5.  The OLDEST CONTINUOUSLY OPERATING UNIVERSITIES are in the Islamic world, and the longest-running of those is Kaarueein, or al-Qarawlyyin, founded in 859 in Fes, Morocco, predating any Europen one by more than 200 years.

But Takshashila, in present-day Pakistand, was a thriving center of free higher education 16 centuries before that.

6.  CHICAGO has been the home of some very unorthodox colleges.  there was the Hobo College, founded in 1908 by Dr. Ben Reitman to give homeless people a place to gather and hear lectures on philosophy and literature.

Then, there was the College of Complexes, a free-speech forum founded in 1951 and still going strong.  (A recent topic: "Was Jesus a Proto-Communist?)

And then there was the Chicago Cubs "famous" College of Coaches, an invention of owner P.K. Wrigley in which the team had no manager in 1961 and 1962 but was run by a group of coaches who took turns serving as head coach.  Wrigley's idea flunked out, though, as the Cubbies went 123-193 those two years.


Ten Things You Might Not Know About College-- Part 2: Famous Roommates, No Books in Library

3.  Famous college ROOMMATES include director Wes Anderson and actor Owen Wilson at the University of Texas in Austin, former Vice President Al Gore and actor Tommy Lee Jones at Harvard, and actors Ving Rhames and Stanley Tucci at State University of New York-Purchase.

4.  FLORIDA POLYTECHNIC UNIVERSITY in Lakeland may be the newest college in the country boasting a striking Santiago Calatrava-designed science building and more than 500 students in its inaugural class.  What it doesn't have are actual books in its all-digital library.


Wednesday, September 16, 2015

Ten Things You Might Not Know About College-- Part 1: "I Didn't Write This One Either"

From the August 30, 2015, Chicago Tribune by Mark Jacob and Stephan Benzkofer.  

Illinois' University of Illinois has been in the news a lot of late as well as College of DuPage.  And not for good reasons.  Our intrepid researchers have been at it again, coming up with some obscure and interesting things.  They really should consider putting these Ten things in a book.

1.  HENRY FORD II, grandson of the famous automaker, left Yale in 1940 after he was caught hiring someone to write a research paper for him.

Visiting the college decades later to give a speech, he told the audience, "I didn't write this one either."

2.  Who reads those COLLEGE CREDENTIALS  anyway.  And why do so many people lie about them.  Yahoo CEO Scott Thompson stepped down in May because he claimed he had a computer science degree from Stonehill College, which didn't offer the degree when he was there.

Coach George O'Leary at Notre Dame lost his job in 2001 when he claimed a degree he didn't have.  Same with Marilee Jones as dean of admissions at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 2007.

The best story, however, was Bausch & Lomb CEO Ronald Zarrella who, after it was revealed that he didn't have a New York University master's degree lost a $1 million bonus, but kept his job and $10 million in pay after that.  The company's board said a firing would not be in the best interest of the stockholders.

Things That Make You Go "Hhhmmmmm."   --Cooter

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Chicago's Andy Frain Ushers-- Part 2: The Pigs Are a Little Cleaner

Convinced he could do a better job at ushering he started his own business at Comiskey Park with some of his brawny buddies in 1924.  he got his first big break four years later when Cubs owner William Wrigley Jr. gave him a break after a near riot at Wrigley Field when customers found their seats already occupied.  He hired Andy Frain to clean up the mess.  He did.

In gratitude, Wrigley gave him $5,000 to buy uniforms.  Andy Frain was a Notre Dame fan, though he never finished school, and he chose his team's colors and they became his ushers' trademark.

He had a great sense of humor too.  During the 1952 Republican National Convention at the International Amphitheatre, which also hosted livestock shows, both of which his ushers were in, he was asked by reporters to compare the two events.  He replied, "I believe the pigs are a little cleaner as they do not throw cups, food, used badges, etc., on the floor.  Pigs also as they are told most of the time, while delegates are unpredictable."

During World War II, Andy Frain had to start using female  usherettes because the men were off fighting.

Frain's sons took over the business in 1968 and ran it to the 1990s.  Andy Frain Services is still a name in security and event management.


Chicago's Andy Frain Ushers-- Part 1: Military Discipline

From the August 30, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Chicago Flashback: Andy Frain ushers were once just about everywhere in Chicago" by Ron Grossman.

They wore blue uniforms trimmed with gold and you would see them out at Wrigley Field or the old Chicago Stadium for sporting events.  They were also at the Greyhound bus station and O'Hare Airport.  They were the ones who took care of duty at top-drawer events.

They had strict dress codes and vigorous drilling.

Boss Andy Frain told a Tribune reporter in 1948 that he was proud of his company with its military discipline, high expectations and successful alums.

Andy Frain was the product of the hardscrabble Back of the Yards Chicago neighborhood.  As one of 15 children, he directed his siblings in use of the outdoor privy.  At age 16, he was earning a few bucks picking up seat cushions and empty bottle at Comiskey Park.  he said that the first 100 guys would get jobs as ushers, but a fourth of them were dips who would pick your pocket while taking you to your seat.


Monday, September 14, 2015

Goodbye to NIU Mascot Diesel

It was sad to hear on last Tuesday that long-time NIU mascot Diesel, a Siberian husky, died.  We had just heard the week before that he had cancer.  He was 12 and had been at most every Northern Illinois University football game for nine years.  He was replaced with another Siberian husky, Mission, in 2013.

NIU is called the Huskies.

Tom Bonnevice adopted Diesel from a husky rescue shelter.  Tom and family and Diesel lived in my old hometown of Round Lake Beach, Illinois.

After his retirement, Diesel was classified "Mascot Emeritus."  Unfortunately, advancing age and ailments caused Diesel to be unable to run near the end of his mascot years, but he learned how to high-five cheerleaders and this was picked up on ESPN and the national networks.

Diesel was able to attend the first game the Huskies played this year against UNLV.  he died the next day.

We were able to personally meet him while we were in Mobile for the Go-Daddy bowl against Arkansas State.  He had about the softest fur I've ever petted.  And talk about laid-back.

Somewhere, Diesel will be watching as NIU plays that little old Ohio State this Saturday.

Go Diesel!!

The Use of Military 'Drone' Aircraft Goes Back to World War I

From the August 26, 2015, We Are the Mighty.

Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (UAV) were used during World War II, but there were four programs for them as far back as World War I.

The first two were in the United Kingdom and involved gliders designed to explode when they hit the ground.  Both efforts were unsuccessful and they were not used in warfare.

The first American program was an attempt to create an aerial torpedo and was led by Elmer Sperry ( inventor of the auto-pilot), Peter C. Hewitt (specialist in radio signals and vacuum tubes) and Carl Norden (who created the famous World War II bombsights.  The UAV could fly 50 miles with a 300 pound bomb.

The Army, meanwhile. developed the "Kettering Bug" with the help of Charles Kettering and Orville Wright.

Both systems had problems and were not completed before the war ended.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

The Titanic's Lifeboats After the Sinking

From Wikipedia.

Thirteen lifeboats were retrieved by the Carpathia and taken to the White Star Line's Pier 59 in New York where souvenir hunters soon began stripping much of their equipment.  The Titanic nameplates were removed by the company.

The boats were inventoried by C,M. lane Lifeboat Co. of Brooklyn.  Their assessed salvage was $4,972 collectively and they were the only salvageable items from the Titanic.

They may have been taken back to England on the Olympic which left 23 May 1912.  there, they were either destroyed or redistributed to other ships of the company.

Nothing remains of the life boats but fitting taken by souvenir hunters.  One of them is a bronze White Star Line bungee now at the museum of the Titanic Historical Society.

A full-size replica of a lifeboat is on display at the Titanic Belfast visitor attraction.


RMS Titanic Lifeboat No. 1-- Part 2

There were seven crew members aboard the lifeboat:

Lookout George Symons (in charge)
Charles Hendrickson
Samuel Collins
Gregory Taylor
Frederick Sheath
Robert Pusey
Albert Horswell

Manning a lifeboat was as good a job for a crew member as you could have that fateful night.


RMS Titanic Lifeboat No. 1-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

A couple posts ago i wrote about the sale of items belonging to Abraham Lincoln Salomon at auction.  He was one of the five first-class passengers on this boat saved from the sinking.

Lifeboat No. 1 was the fourth lifeboat launched at approximately 1:05 a.m., over an hour after the collision with the iceberg on April 14, 1912.  It had a 40 person capacity, but only 12 aboard, the least number of occupants of any boat that made it off the doomed ship that night.

Most of the passengers were men, despite Captain Smith's orders of women and children first.

First Officer Murdoch, in charge of the starboard side lifeboats permitted five passengers to board Lifeboat No. 1:

Sir Cosmo Duff-Gordon
Lucy Duff-Gordon, his wife
Mabel Franeatella, her secretary
Abraham Lincoln Salomon
C.E. Henry Stengel, a leather manufacturer from Newark, N.J.


Friday, September 11, 2015

Remembering 9/11: "Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue"

Continued from my Tattooed On Your Soul World War II blog.

Lyrics to Toby Keith's "Courtesy of the Red, White & Blue (The Angry American)"

These are the spoken ones at the beginning of the song:

How many Americans do we have in here tonight?
In the days following September 11th last year
Everybody that was a poet or writer or a songwriter of any kind
Had a reason to write some words down.
Or some thoughts on a piece of paper
And i was no different than anybody else.

That's what you do when you do what I do
And my father served in the Army in the 50's
He lost his right eye in a training combat mission
he came home, he put a flag up at the farm I was raised on

I lost him six months prior to the attacks on New York City
And the United States and that flag
Flew out in that yard, it's flown there every
He raised me right an' he never bitched one time about losing his eye.

Continued on mt Saw the Elephant blog.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Last Titanic Lunch Menu Goes On Auction-- Part 3: The Unjust Inquiry"

The Duff-Gordons were the only passengers to testify at the subsequent hearings on the sinking and were cleared by the British Wreck Commission who determined that they had not deterred others from being rescued.

A letter from Lady Duff-Gordon, angry about the treatment they received in the press and public on their return to England sold at a Boston auction earlier this year for nearly $12,000.

Francantelli wrote Salomon that she hoped he had recovered from his experience and "the unjust inquiry."

Abraham Lincoln Salomon was the owner of a wholesale stationery business in New York.


Last Titanic Lunch Menu Going to Auction-- Part 2: Turkish Baths

Abraham Lincoln Salomon also had a printed ticket from the Titanic's Turkish Baths which recorded the person's weight.  It also has the names of three of the other first class passengers with him on Lifeboat No. 1.  It is one of only four weigh-in chair tickets known to remain and is estimated to get between $7,500 and $10,000.

The third artiact to go at auction is a written note from Mabel Francatelli yo Salomon at New York's Plaza Hotel six months after the ship sank.  She had climbed into Lifeboat No. 1 with her employer, fashion designer Lucy Duff-Gordon and her Scottish husband Lord Cosmo Duff-Gordon who allegedly bribed the boat crew to row them away even though the boat could carry 40 people.  This is estimated to go for between $4,00 to $6,000.


Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Last Titanic Lunch Menu Going to Auction-- Part 1: From "The Money Boat"

From the August 30, 2015, Yahoo! News "Last Titanic lunch menu, saved by survivor, going to auction" by Ula Ilnyyzky.

It was saved by a passenger who climbed aboard the "Money Boat" and expected to get between $50,000 and $70,000 by Lion Heart Autographs who will be offering it along with two previously known artifacts from Lifeboat No. 1.  The auction was on September 30th, the 30th anniversary of the Titanic's discovery.

Abraham Lincoln Salomon, one of the handful of first class passengers who boarded the "Money Boat," also called "The Millionaire's Boat"    Lifeboat No. 1 was dubbed this by the press because reportedly one of the people aboard bribed the crew members to quickly row away instead of trying yo rescue others..

The menu listed corned beef and dumplings along with other 1st-class offerings.  It is signed on the back by another 1st Class passenger, Isaac Gerald Frauenthal, who escaped in another lifeboat.  It is believed they ate together that day.


What's in a Name, How Some Goldsboro Sections Got Their Names-- Part 2

Goldsboro, North Carolina


At one point Goldsboro was booming because of its street railway system.  The Oliver Construction Company built a line to a new real estate division on the norther edge of town.

To honor the man who headed the project, the project developers named it "Revilo" which was Oliver's name backwards and added the word Park.  It is still referred to as Revilo Park.  It was supported by many of the leading men of the city and many lots were sold, though it never developed into as big of a project as thought.


Greenleaf was to have been Sandy Plains but it was found that there already was another Sandy Plains in the state and that if they wanted a post office they would have to find another name.

That was fifty years ago, before rural mail service became as good as it is today.

Congressman Green had been active in getting them a post office and they decided to name their section in his honor.  The post office was abolished in the early 1900s, but the community kept its name.

How About Cooterville?  --Cooter

Monday, September 7, 2015

What's in a Name: How Some Sections of Goldsboro Got Their Names-- Part 1

Continued from the early column post from today.  Goldsboro, North Carolina.

LITTLE WASHINGTON  Little Washington became a black settlement after the freeing of the slaves following the Civil War, and was named for the nation's capital.  Blacks of the time regarded it as the mecca of their race because Lincolns's Emancipation Proclamation originated from there when he was president.

WEBBTOWN--  Named for store owner Silas Webb who had a business there.

GEORGETOWN--  Named for Dr. George L. Kirby who owned a large amount of property.

EDMUNDSON HILL--  Named for John Edmundson, a real estate dealer who started a subdivision there.


Goldsboro, N.C., Once Had a Lamplighter

From the March 15, 2015, Goldsboro (NC) News-Argus  "From My Perch: Tidbits and pieces of local history" by Sherwood Owl Williford.

Mr. Williford took the information from the 1947 centennial edition of the paper commemorating the city's centennial celebration.

Mrs. J.W. Howell of 408 Daisy St. recalls that when she was seven years old, she remembered a lamplighter coming around on his rounds to light the town's street lights with his long torch.

The street lights burned all night long and in the morning he would have to come back and put them out.

This was about 1903, and she is not sure whether the lights were kerosene or gas lamps.

At the time, kerosene l;amps were used in Goldsboro.


Saturday, September 5, 2015

Julius Rosenwald's Generosity: Rosenwald Schools

From the September 2, 2015, Chicago Tribune "Film shows Rosenwald's generosity" by Clarence Page.

His is a name from history that not many know.  And that is a sad thing.  But, he wanted it that way.

Julius Rosenwald never finished high school, but rose to become president and co-owner of Sears, Roebuck and Co., but declined having his name placed on it.  He died in 1932 and didn't want his name on the Chicago Museum of Science and Industry although he funded and promoted it.

Even more impressive was his 5,000 schools that he helped fund for black schoolchildren across the South.  he didn't want his name on those school either, but today they are called Rosenwald Schools.  Clarence Page says that some of his family are alumni of those schools.

There is a new documentary film "Rosenwald" out, which sadly I probably won't get a chance to see.It was made by Aviva Kempner.

Former United States poet laureate Rita Dovem a Rosenwald graduate, has called the Rosenwald Fund "the single most important funding agency for African-American culture in the 20th century."  His schools allowed black children to receive the education they might not have gotten in the segregated Jim Crow South.

I know that efforts are underway across the South to save some of the remaining Rosenwald Schools.

A Great Man.

NIU's Huskie Stadium Turns 50 This Year-- Part 3: Improvements

The field was recarpeted in 1980 and again in 1990 and replaced with FieldTurf surface in 2001.

In 2003, the stadium's field was named Brigham Field after Robert Brigham, a former player, coach and athletic director.

The NIU Huskies have had much football success since 2000, including victories over nationally ranked at the time Maryland and Alabama and Iowa State in 2003  January 1, 2013, NIU played in the Orange Bowl against Florida State.  Because of all of this success, plans are underway to enlargen the stadium to seat 30,000 to 35,000 with a potential for as high as 42,000.

In addition, the Yordon Athletic Center gas been built at the north end of the field in August 2007 and behind it, the huge Chessick Practice Center which opened in October 2013.  We were there for that dedication.  It houses a full-size football field inside, something very handy for the weather in northern Illinois.


Friday, September 4, 2015

NIU's Huskie Stadium Turns 50-- Part 2: Games Played at Glidden Field Before That

Before the 1965, NIU football games were played at 5,500 seat Glidden Field on the campus' east side.  This is where the Art Building is now located.  After quarterback George Bork led the Huskies to the AP Small College Championship in 1963, plans began for a new, much-bigger stadium.

Construction delays, however, caused the first home game in  the stadium to be on November 6, 1965, a 48-6 victory over the Illinois State redbirds.The September 20, 1969, game with the University of Idaho marked the first major college football game in the state of Illinois to be played on artificial turf.  I was there for that game which Northern won 47-30.

While a student, a rarely ever missed a home game.


NIU's Huskie Stadium Turns 50-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

When the Northern Illinois University Huskies open their 2015 season in DeKalb, Illinois, this Saturday against UNLV, this will mark the 50th year of Huskie Stadium.  I have been to this stadium many times, including the 1969, 1970 and 1972 seasons when I was a student.

To mark the occasion, the Huskies will be wearing throwback jerseys like the one they wore at the inaugural season fifty years ago.

Technically, the place is called Brigham Field at Huskie Stadium.  (Huskie is the spelling of the mascot adopted by NIU in case you're wondering.  This is driving the old spellcheck crazy.)

Huskie Stadium opened for business in 1965, four tears before I got there.  It was one of the earlier structures on the campus' west side.

Its original capacity was 20,257 from 1965-1981.  During those years you could say we had half a stadium.  It was expanded in 1982 to 30,998 with the opening of the east side (for students).

Go You Huskies!!  --DaHuskieCoot

World War I Lightship Sunk By U-boat Off North Carolina Coast-- Part 2

On August 6, 1918, exactly 16 months after the U.S. entry into World War I, while patrolling off the coast of North Carolina, the LV-71 came across the sinking cargo ship SS Merak.  It had been sailing from New York to the West Indies when it was spotted by the German submarine U-140 which fired a torpedo at it.  The torpedo's wake was spotted and the Merak took evasive action and avoided it but ran aground.  The submarine then surfaced to finish it off with its deck gun.

The ship started sinking, but the crew escaped.

The LV-71 arrived on the scene and Master Walter Barnett sent out warning to other ships in the area.  The U-140 intercepted the message and returned to the scene and sank the LV-71 with its deck gun.  residents in Hatteras, N.C., reported hearing the gunfire.

The wreck is 12 miles off the coast and is the only U.S. lightship ever sunk by enemy action.

We'll leave the Light On.  --Cooter

Thursday, September 3, 2015

World War I Lightship Sunk By U-boat Off North Carolina-- Part 1

I wrote about this ship in yesterday's Tattooed On Your Soul World War II blog.  For more information, see that.

From Wikipedia.


It was built in 1897 by the Bath Ironworks in Bath, Maine and had a wooden hull, steel keel and braces.  Its lights were clusters of three 100 cp electric lens lanterns mounted on each of its two mastheads.  In addition, it had a 12-inch steam chime whistle and a 1000 pound hand-operated fog bell.  All the better to warn you.

It was 128-feet long with a 28-foot beam weighing 590 tons capable of cruising at 8.5 miles per hour.  In 1904, iy was equipped with telegraph and in 1915, an 18-inch searchlight.

Originally intended for Overfall Shoal in Delaware, iy ended up assigned as the Diamong Shoal Light near Hatteras, North Carolina. on March 9, 1898.

It alternated station with the LV-69 and in 1912 was fitted with a two-way radio.


World War I's United States Food Administration-- Part 2

From the Children In History Site.

Food became a weapon during World War I and no country produced more than the United States.  Herbert Hoover was put in charge of the USFA and he succeeded in cutting food consumption of those ones needed overseas.  He also was able to avoid the very real possibility of rationing.  he also managed to keep the Allied fed overseas.

He also had such programs as "Wheatless Wednesdays" and "Meatless Mondays."  he did everything he could to avoid anything mandatory.  His organization made much use of media and especially posters.

He designated a voluntary program and called for food conservation.  However, despite his success, many Americans did not like him or his program and began referring to it as "Hooverizing."


Wednesday, September 2, 2015

World War I's United States Food Administration

From Wikipedia.

In the last entry I wrote about the U.S. Food Administration's poster during the war.

This agency was responsible during World War I for administering food to the U.S.. Army overseas and Allied food reserves.  One important task it had to do was to stabilize wheat prices in the United States.  It was established by Executive Order 2679A by President Wilson in August 1917 pursuant to the Food and Fuel Control Act.

It was under the direction of Herbert Hoover whop later became president.

As part of their program, they released a lot of posters.


Smithsonian Military Posters 2015 Calendar for September


Poster showing the three men you're used to seeing for the American Revolution, the Spirit of '76, marching along, only instead of weapons and a drum they are carrying baskets of food and one has wheat stalks slung over his shoulder.

At the upper left hand side are the words "The Spirit of '18."  Under them the words "The World Cry Food:  Keep the Home Garden Going.  United States Food Administration."

The Spirit of 18, The World Cry Food, Keep the Home Garden Going by William McKey, United States Food Administration, 1918.

One of the issues faced by the U.S. Food Administration was whether agricultural resources needed for food should be used to produce beer, wine and liquor.  Supporters of the temperance movement argued, unsurprisingly, that because of the need for food conservation, the government should impose an unofficial prohibition to prevent food from being used to make alcoholic beverages.


Ten Things You Might Not Know About Unions-- Part 6: Egyptian Unions in the Age of Ramsses

10.  The skilled artisans at Deir el-Medina working for Pharaoh Ramesses III didn't receive their wages as expected one month in 1158 BC so they walked off the job and into history what is commonly considered the first recorded labor action.

The pharaoh, a militaristic ruler who enjoyed cutting off the penises of enemy captives, scrambled to appease his workers.  Why? The artisans were building his tomb.

As it turns out, ensuring that your boss can safely pass into eternal life puts you in a strong bargaining position.

I Sure Wouldn't Surrender to Ramesses.  --Cooter

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ten Things You Might Not Know About Unions-- Part 5: Most Unionized Countries and Chicago Parade

8.  The Nordic countries of Iceland, Finland, Sweden, Denmark and Norway are five of the six MOST UNIONIZED nations in the world according to 2012 data.  A whopping 82.6% of Iceland's workers are union members.

9.  CHICAGO has hosted huge Labor Day parades.  On September 1, 1902, more than 42,000 laborers in more than 200 unions marched in a procession that took five hours to pass the reviewing stand.  Some of the unions were listed by the Chicago Tribune:  gravel roofers, elevator constructors, steamfitters, boxmakers, hat finishers, soda water bottlers, chandelier makers, bakers, granite carvers, cracker packers, barbers, mosaic tile layers, longshoremen, sign painters, egg inspectors and bootblacks.

Some interesting unions.


Ten Things You Might Not Know About Unions-- Part 4: The Questionable Ring and From Shakespeare to Pullman Porters

6.  A Chicago union official named ANGELO INCISO was interviewed by a u.S. Senate subcommittee in the mid-1950s about why he spent $1,200 of union funds for a men's diamond ring.  here is where it gets good.

The labor boss said the ring was to reward a union ally and that it would have taken too long to get approval and that the jewelry would have gone "out of style."

He also took a union-paid "goodwill tour" overseas  This caused a senator to ask, "To whom were you spreading goodwill?"  Inciso's answer:  "Myself."

Good one Mr. Inciso.

7.  Famed African-American labor leader A. PHILLIP RANDOLPH became an actor in his early twenties and played parts in Shakespeare plays.  But when he wrote his parents that he had gotten a break in Harlem theater, his African Methodist Episcopal preacher father told him to forget it.  And he did.

Instead, Randoloph went into politics and labor activism, eventually becoming the head of the Pullman Porters union.