Friday, December 29, 2017

DeKalb Piano Factory Offered to World War I Effort

From the November 29, 2017,

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"For several days past rumors have circulated about the city to the effect that the government had taken over the Mellville Clark piano factory for the manufacture of war materials..  In an interview with Superintendent Ernest Clark it was learned that these rumors are entirely without foundation.

"Mr. Clark said that the company had tendered its services to the government when the war first started, sending all data as to what could be done here.  The local man said that his plant was at the disposal of the government at anytime the men higher up saw fit to take it, but thus far, nothing had been done."

Come And Get It.  --Cooter

Thursday, December 28, 2017

Annie Glidden Road Expanded in DeKalb in 1967

From the December 13, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1967, 50 Years Ago.

"Meeting at the new Municipal Building for the first time, the DeKalb City Council approved resolutions for the extension of Annie Glidden Road, stoplights for the Annie Glidden/Lincoln Highway intersection, and road improvements on Glidden Road and Lincoln Highway at the edge of the old city limits."


Wednesday, December 27, 2017

New Art Building At NIU in 1967

From the December 13, 2017, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1967, 50 Years Ago.

"Northern Illinois University's new art building will rise four stories in pre-cast concrete and brick on the site of the campus' former football field.

"The $13 million art building will be constructed on Northern's historic Glidden Field where NIU football squads played until dedication of the new stadium in 1965."

Art So Pretty.  --Cooter

Tuesday, December 26, 2017

The Purple Cross Association in World War I

From the December 13, 2017, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"In the window of Wiswall & Wirtz will be found a poster calling for attention to a petition which should be of interest to DeKalb people and which all should sign gladly.

"The petition is in connection with the work of the organization known as the Purple Cross Association and in a word, its organization is for the purpose of taking steps to have the remains of American heroes killed on French soil brought back to their native land for interment."

I was unable to find out any more information on this association.


Friday, December 22, 2017

Genoa Soldier Injured in Vietnam in 1967

From the October 4, 2017, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1967, 50 Years Ago.

"Pfc. Lonnie G. Stojan, son of Mr. and Mrs Gordon Stojan of Genoa was injured while on duty in Vietnam.  His parents received a letter from him stating that he and his buddy were both wounded when a huge piece of equipment they were operating hit a mine.

"Lonnie, who was standing guard about ten feet away was thrown into a ravine and received shrapnel wounds to his face, left arm and shoulder."

Those Sneaky Viet Cong.  --DaCoot

Thursday, December 21, 2017

A New Chili Place Opening in DeKalb in 1917

From the October 4, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Jim Hayes has leased the little room on Fourth street at the rear of the Balou-Ronan building and will open a small lunchroom.

"The new place will be  known as 'The Little Chili House,' and the opening is announced for tonight."

Be a First-Nighter.  --Cooter

Wednesday, December 20, 2017

Two Famous McDonald's in Chicagoland About to Change

The famed Rock and Roll McDonad's in downtown Chicago, a must-see for visitors for many years is about to be a no more.  It will close December 30 and when it reopens, all that great old Rock and Roll stuff will be gone.  So, it you've always wanted to see it, there aren't many more days.

But, by far, this is the worst of the two we're about to lose.The replica of Ray Kroc's first franchise in Des Planes, Illinois, is under consideration by McDonald's for destruction.

This building opened in 1985 and is on the site of the original.  It was built to look just like it did when it opened.  Even the sigh out front is the same (with a burger costing 15 cents and "We have sold over 1 million")

Over the years, it has been plagued by flooding and the  corporation wants to tear it down and give the land to Des Plaines.

However, Volo Auto Museum may be getting involved and move it to their place.

I think that all big chains should make efforts t keep at least one of their stores looking as they originally did and even turn it into a museum.  The McDonald's Museum in Des Plaines really brought back early memories of mine.

Here's Hoping It Stays Where It Is.  --McCooter

Tuesday, December 19, 2017

Some More Famous U.S. Warships Built at Brooklyn Navy Yard

Yesterday, I wrote about some of the ships built at this famous navy yard.  Here are a few more:

Fulton--  Robert Fulton's steam frigate launched in 1815.

USS Ohio--  Launched 1820, ship-of-the-line

USS North Carolina--  battleship  (My favorite battleship).

USS Iowa--  battleship

USS California--  battleship at Pearl Harbor


Monday, December 18, 2017

Penny Shortage in DeKalb in 1917 Linked to War Tax

From the December 13, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917,  100 Years Ago.

"There is a reported shortage of pennies in DeKalb and while this matter is not one that will get serious, it is causing some inconvenience at the present time,

"The ticket agent at the depot announces that he was compelled to scratch around yesterday on three or four occasions to get pennies.  The war tax on so many articles is responsible for the shortage in the pennies."

Gimme Back My Pennies.  --Cooter

Brooklyn Navy Yard in Greenport, NY City: Famous U.S. Warships Built Here

From the May 2017, Smithsonian "Wet and Wild" by Tony Perrottet.

New York City is taking advantage of its famed waterfront.

The Brooklyn Navy Yard opened in 1801 and was one of the first naval repair facilities in the United States.

It was here that the USS Monitor was clad with iron plate in the Civil War.  The USS Maine was also built here, only to be sunk in Havana Harbor.  So were the USS Arizona which went down in Pearl Harbor, and the USS Missouri, upon whose deck the Japanese surrendered in 1945.

At its height in World War II, over 70,000 people worked on the sprawling 300-acre site.  It was the headquarters of the North Atlantic Fleet during World War II.  After its closure in 1966, the city bought the yard and reopened it as an industrial park


Friday, December 15, 2017

Hemp Coming to DeKalb in 1942

December 6, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Farm advisors from northern Illinois met in DeKalb and made plans for the introduction of the crop of hemp in the area.

"The introduction of the crop to this locality is being urged by the government which plans the erection of about ten or twelve processing plants in this part of the state."

Probably part of the war effort, but isn't there some connection between hemp and that thing people illegally smoke in the state?


Thursday, December 14, 2017

The Famed DeKalb-Made Firetrucks in 1917

From the October 4, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"The fame of DeKalb made fire trucks is monthly spreading over more territory and through the efforts of the sales department of the local wagon company, and also through the words of praise from outside users, the company is making a truck for some city at all times.

"The latest Illinois city to join the ranks of DeKalb Wagon Company fire trucks is Fulton, which order was signed last week."

I'd never heard of DeKalb Fire trucks.

Going Fire in DeKalb.  --CootFire

Company A Leaving DeKalb for Mobilization in 1917

From the September 27, 2017, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back.

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"If tomorrow morning shortly after six o'clock the fire whistle of DeKalb starts to blow, do not become alarmed and think the town is burning up, it is burning with enthusiasm, on the occasion of the departure of the members of Company A for the mobilization at Camp Logan."

Going to War.  --CootJohnny

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

U.S. Battleship Division Nine in World War II

From Wikipedia.

This division consisted of four (later five) dreadnaught battleships from the U.S. Navy's Atlantic Fleet which were sent over to help the British Grand Fleet.

These ships arrived December 6, 1917, as mentioned in the World War Timeline on Monday.

The first four were the USS New York, Wyoming, Florida and Delaware.  All were capable of doing 21 knots and mounted ten to twelve 12-inch to 14-inch cannons in their main armament.  They were accompanied by the destroyer USS Manley on their way over.

While in Britain, the division was deployed mostly in convoy duty and maintained the blockade, keeping the German High Seas Fleet in port.


Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Clinton Glidden Comes Home From the Marines for a Visit During World War I

From the October 25, 2017, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Clinton Glidden, son of Judge and Mrs. V.A. Glidden came home for a few days' visit with his parents and many friends.  Clint is a member of the marines stationed at Quantico and in order to come home it was necessary that he be transferred to another company.

"The furlough was granted after Judge Glidden had written General Barrett a letter explaining the circumstances.  Clint was asked by his lieutenant if it was worth his while to go home after he traveled for 28 hours and the young man did not hesitate to reply in the affirmative."

Looking At His Last Name, Kind of An Important One in DeKalb.  -Cooter

Monday, December 11, 2017

World War I Chronology, December 1917: Sinking of the USS Jacob Jones

From the VFW magazine , April 1917.

DECEMBER 6--  The U.S. destroyer Jacob Jones is torpedoed and sunk with the loss of 64 lives near the Scilly Isles.

DECEMBER 6--  U.S. Battleship Division 9 arrives at Scapa Flow in the Orkneys to reinforce the British Grand Fleet as the 6th Battle Squadron.


Making It Back to Fort Sheridan In Time in 1917

From the September 27, 2017, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Tom Murray, looking hale and hearty, and in every sense a soldier, came out of Fort Sheridan for a visit with his wife and relatives.  The noon train wast on the North Western which Tom had planned to return to Fort Sheridan was several hours late and Frank Stevens of the fire department was induced to take the former fire chief to Aurora.

"In this manner, Mr. Murray was able to report at 4:30 thus obeying orders from the commanding officer at the training camp."

AWOL, You Know, But With An Excuse.  --Cooter

Friday, December 8, 2017

The 31st Annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival in 1992

From the October 25, 2017, MidWeek, "Looking Back."

1992, 25 Years Ago.

"Six tons of pumpkins have been distributed to local youngsters and will be returning in decorated fashion to the county courthouse Wednesday.

"Everything is ready for the 31st annual Sycamore Pumpkin Festival, said Jerry Malmassari, Pumpkin festival Committee Chairman.

"This year's theme is "Pumpkin Pioneers."

This festival continues today and gets bigger every year.

--Color Me Orange.  --Cootkin

Thursday, December 7, 2017

Warning Signs On the Road to Pearl Harbor-- Part 2: Interim Years and Japanese Expansion

1931:  September 18:  Japan invades Manchuria and sets up a puppet regime.

1936, February 26:  Military extremists fail to overthrow the Japanese government, which had struggled with the country's failing economy since the implosion of world markets.

Military officers and conservatives press for aggressive expansion in Asia as a Japanese right.

November 25:  Japan and Germany sign Anti-Comintern Pact as an alliance against the Soviet Union.

This will be continued on today's Not So Forgotten War of 1812 blog.  All of my blogs today will be about Pearl Harbor.


Warning Signs On the Road to Pearl Harbor-- Part 1: World War I

From the December 7, 2016, USA Today.

1905:  Japan defeats Russia in the Russo-Japanese War and becomes a world power.

1910:  Japan annexes Korea and begins eyeing China and other Asian nations as sources of oil, coal, iron and other materials.

1914:  Japan joins Russia, Britain and France against Germany in World War I.  It expands its influence by taking German territories in the Pacific.


April 6:  U.S. enters World War I.

November 2:  U.S. signs pact with Japan to ease tense relations.


Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Rubes Finds "No-Man's Land"

From the October 28, 2017, Rubes comic strip.

You see two men crawling through the desert and they come across a line of porta-potties with barbed wire draped over them.

The captin reads:  "Harvey and Floyd inadvertently stumble into no-man's land."

About those huge lines waiting to use the women's porta-potties.

Of course, the term "No-Man's Land" became very apparent during World War I referring to the land between the opposing trenches.

Women?  --CootaGottaGo

Chicken Thieves in Waterman, Illinois, in 1917

From the November 1, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"The Chronicle office received communication from Miss Agnes Mullen of Waterman to the effect that chicken thieves were operating in that vicinity and desired the paper to give publicity to the fact.

"According to the communication several chickens were stolen recently and the vicinity is up in arms against chicken thieves."

Gimme Back My Chickens.  --Cooter

Tuesday, December 5, 2017

A School Break-in Back in 1917

From the November 1, 2017, MidWeek.  "Looking Back"

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Miss Minnie Kreuger, who is teaching at the Carter school south of DeKalb, was somewhat surprised yesterday morning when going to the school for the day, to find that the little school had been entered and everything of value had been taken.

"The night prowlers helped themselves to books on the teacher's desk, books of the pupils and anything else that was handy or any value at all.  Miss Kreuger has no idea as to whom the marauders might be, but wish they would be kind enough to return the set of reference books which were taken from her desk.

Real Nice of Them.  And You Thought Crime Was a New Thing.  --Cooter

A Drunk Driver Finds Himself Between a Fence and a Fire Hydrant in 1942

From the October 18, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Police department officials had something new to look after while cruising in the squad car, and one that required some dexterity on the part of the city street department workmen to extricate the automobile of a Cortland man.

"From information available, the Cortland man had spent much of the day in taverns and as he attempted to return home, turned the wrong corner and found himself on a dead-end street and the next thing he had driven his machine between a fence and a fire hydrant, the rear of his machine hooked onto a fire plug.

"He endeavored to release his car and threw enough dirt with the back wheels to resemble an early spring plowing task."

Don't Drink and Drive.

Oops.  --Cooter

The "Birds" Get After DeKalb

From the October 18, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"The passing of great flocks of birds over the city every evening this week has been watched with interest by many DeKalb people.  The birds settle over the city during the day and at sundown fly to Huntley Park for the night.

"Neighbors in the vicinity say that the birds can be heard for blocks and that the park is full of them."

DeKalb County is going to the birds.

Keep An Eye to the Sky.  Prepare to Duck and Watch Where You Step.  --Cooter

Monday, December 4, 2017

Sparrows Take Over the County Courthouse in 1917

From the November 29, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"It appears DeKalb has its blackbirds to contend with and Sycamore has its sparrows, but in Sycamore's case, the birds select the small tree at the entrance to the courthouse property at State and Maple streets.

"Yesterday morning it is estimated there were more than 2,000 birds in the tree, and rather than having a wintery look as is the case most of the day, it looked fully leafed.  Efforts have been made to exterminate the birds but with little success."

Da Birds in Sycamore.  --Cootfeather

Electricity Comes to DeKalb County Farms in 1917

From the November 22, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back.'

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Life on the farm has been revolutionized these days by electricity.  The use of electric current has totally changed the methods of existence on the farm and where is this seen better than right here in DeKalb county.

"William Rich, one of DeKalb county's prominent farmers living about four and a half miles northwest of DeKalb has just completed the electrification of his farm establishment and is mighty proud of his equipment."


Cattle Anthrax Breakout in DeKalb County in 1917

From the November 15, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"DeKalb farmers will hear with apprehension that the deadly cattle anthrax has broken out in this county.

"Dr. F.N. Rowan, of the state veterinarian office placed a quarantine on the farm of Walter Hammett of Elva where it was found that several cattle of a herd recently imported from North Dakota were affected by the disease."

Something You Don't Much Hear Anymore.  --Cooter

Saturday, December 2, 2017

Send Cakes and Sweets to Soldiers at Camp Grant in 1917

From the October 18, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"A DeKalb lady receiving the following from Camp Grant comes forward with the suggestion today that DeKalb women and girls spend a little time in making cakes and other sweets for the soldier boys not mobilized there."

Meaning soldiers not sent off to war.  Some more World War I homefront effort.


Site for Kishwaukee College Selected in 1967

From the October 11, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1967, 50 Years Ago.

"The Ralph Byrd farm on Alternate 30 west of Malta is where the Junior College Board has taken an option on 120 acres for the site of the proposed college.

"The area is located on the north side of Alternate 30 and west of the Kirkland blacktop road."

This would be where Kishwaukee College is located today.  Alternate 30, the original Lincoln Highway, is now Illinois Highway 38.


Friday, December 1, 2017

Getting "Hooverized" for the WW I Effort: Wheatless and Meatless Days

From the November 29, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back.:

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Meatless and wheatless days are a common thing around this neck of the woods, and it seems that everywhere one goes there is work of "Hooverizing" in evidence.

"The local restaurants eliminated pork, beef and all by-products from their menus and although there was little to choose from save fresh fish and egg dishes, there was not a word of complaint heard."

Doing It For the Troops.  --DaCoot

Peace Road Opens in DeKalb County in 1992

From the October 25, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1992, 25 Years Ago.

"DeKalb County Board Chairman Robert Hutchenson addressed a group on the opening of the Peace Road extension between Bethany Road and Il-23, marking the end of a two-year, $1.2 million project.

"The road now spans seven miles, from I-88 to Sycamore, with three miles in the planning."

This is a good way to avoid driving through downtown Sycamore.


"Comfort Kits" for the Soldiers in World War I.

From the November 22, 2017, MidWeek  (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

""While Miss Eleanor Townsend of Sycamore was attending Wisconsin university the girls made 'comfort kits' and other articles and sent them with their names and the name of the university to the soldiers in France.

"A few days ago, Miss Townsend received from a soldier written in French politely thanking her and expressing appreciation for the gift.  The giver naturally feels gratified that it reached one for whom it was designed and that it was so much appreciated."

Supporting Out Troops.  --Cooter

Daylight Saving Goes National in 1967

From the November 22, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1967, 50 Years Ago.

"The nation takes a great leap backwards into standard time Sunday.  For the first time, the move will be all but universal as residents of 46 states turn their clocks back one hour."

Getting All Aboard.  --Cooter

Thursday, November 30, 2017

Getting the Scoop on Chicago Papers in 1917

From the November 8, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"The Chronicle is first giving tragedy news.  Patrons of the Chronicle had the important facts about the sinking of the American transport, The Antilles, last night at six o'clock about 14 hours before the Chicago morning papers which were the next ones to carry anything about the tragedy.

"This again emphasizes the fact that people who want to read about the world news at the earliest possible moment take the Chronicle as no other paper in this section can give anything like the telegraphy service that this paper offers."

I'm figuring the Chronicle had an evening paper.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Mighty Expensive Farm in 1917: $300 an Acre

From the November 15, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"A well improved farm in the south end of the county just at the south edge of Sandwich has been sold for $300 an acre.

"The farm of 160 acres was one of the best in that end of the county as the price paid per acre will show."

DeKalb County, Illinois

Mighty Expensive Land Back Then.  --Cooter

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

First Americans Killed in WW I-- Part 7: James Bethel Gresham

Born August 23, 1893  Died November 3, 1917.

First Hoosier killed in the war.

Born in McLean County, Kentucky.

Enlisted in the Army April 23, 1914 and in June of 1914 was serving with General "Blackjack" Pershing.

Killed in France 3 November 1917.

In 1921, he was reburied in Evansville, Indiana, at Locust Hill Cemetery.

There is a memorial to all three men at the Crawford County Court House in Van Buren, Arkansas.


Monday, November 27, 2017

First Americans Killed in WW I-- Part 6: Merle David Hay

From Wikipedia.

Born July 20, 1896  Died November 3, 1917.

Born in Carroll County, Iowa.  Enlisted 3 May 1917, among eight men from Glidden, Iowa, who enlisted that day.

Re-interred July 1921 at West Lawn Cemetery in Glidden.  This was later renamed the Merle Hay Memorial cemetery in his honor.  The Iowa legislature had an eight-foot monument erected at his grave.

Shortly after his death, the highway running from Des Moines, Iowa to Camp Dodge was renamed the Merle Hay Road and a memorial boulder was placed on it in 1923.  The Merle Hay Mall in Des Moines is also named for him.

The first American military casualty of World War II was also an Iowa native from Arlene.  Robert M. Losey was a military attache killed April 21, 1940, during the German bombardment of Dombas, Norway.


Friday, November 24, 2017

First Americans Killed in WW I-- Part 5: Thomas F. Enright

Thomas Enright reenlisted in the 16th Infantry at Fort Bliss, Texas. On 26 June 1917, he and his regiment disembarked in France.

He and the two others were killed 3 November 1917.  On their first burial they had the inscription "Here lie the first soldiers of the illustrious Republic of the United States who fell on French soil for justice and liberty."

His body was returned home and on 16 July 1921 he was honored in Pittsburgh with his casket lying in state at the Soldiers and Sailors National Military Museum and Memorial.

He is buried at St. Mary Cemetery.


Wednesday, November 22, 2017

First Americans Killed in WW I Action-- Part 4: Thomas Enright

From Wikipedia

Thomas F. Enright, private.  First Pennsylvanian serviceman killed in action WW I and perhaps the first American to die.  (It is not known in what order the  three men were killed.)

Born May 8, 1887.  His parents were Irish immigrants.  Enlisted in the Army in 1909 and served in the Chinese Boxer Rebellion and the Philippines Insurrection.  In 1914 he was in Vera Cruz, Mexico, with Pershing looking for Pancho Villa.

In 1916, he left the Army and went home to Pittsburgh.  He reenlisted in the 16th Infantry at Fort Bliss, Texas.  On June 26, 1917 he and his regiment disembarked in France.


Tuesday, November 21, 2017

World War I Chronology, November 1917, 100 Years Ago


First U.S. Naval aircraft sortie of the war is flown by a Tellier flying boat on anti-submarine patrol from Le Croistic, France, at the mouth of the Loire River.


U.S. 11th and 212th Engineers (Railway) participate.  11th sustains 18 casualties on November 39.


Monday, November 20, 2017

Mt. Olive Pickles and Me

I have a bit of a history with the Mt. Olive Pickle Company.  My father was born in Mt. Olive, North Carolina and growing up I spent a lot of time with his parents who still lived there.  You might say I am a Mt. Olive fan.  And, the pickle company is really big in that town.

One time, my dad and my cousin Graham,who at the time lived in Warsaw, N.C., in the same county as Cates Pickle into an argument over whether Cates (made in Faison) or Mt. Olive had the better pickles.  They did a bling Pickle taste test and Mt. Olive won.

Mom bought Mt. Olive Pickle stock and now that she has passed on, my brother, sister and I have inherited that stock, so I am a part owner of the company.

Every New Years Eve, Mt. Olive Pickle Co. and the town put on a Pickle Drop (but earlier than midnight).

Several years back I was really surprised to start seeing Mt. Olive Pickles being sold here in the MidWest (and it still is).  Before that it was just a regional company.  Great to see Mt. olive pickles being sold in our local Jewel grocery stores.

And, I Really Like Their Pickles.  --Cooter

Friday, November 17, 2017

Mt. Olive Pickles-- Part 2: What Keeps Mt. Olive Going

Today, Mt. Olive Pickles is the nation's largest privately held pickle company, with one million square feet of production and warehouse space located on 150 acres.  You enter Mt. Olive and see signs saying "Welcome to Mt. Olive.  Home of Mt. Olive Pickles."

Shikrey Baddaour left the business years before his death in 1938, his homegrown company is one of Wayne County's largest employers -- providing more than 600 jobs.

"Without Mt. Olive Pickle, you might have to roll the sidewalks up," says Charles Brown, town manager.  "Mt. Olive Pickle is what keeps Mt. Olive going."

Plus, Baddour's descendants have been very active in North Carolina ever since.


Thursday, November 16, 2017

Mt. Olive Pickles-- Part 1: A Lebanese Opportunity

From the February 2017, Our State (N.C.) magazine  "Bringing It Home" Karen Sullivan.

The story of Lebanese Immigrants to North Carolina.


Dreams of a better life caused thousands of Lebanese to leave their country between 1880 and 1920.  In North Carolina, the census counted nearly 1,400 people of Lebanese descent in 1920.

Shikrey Baddour was one of those early Lebanese immigrants, arriving in the early 1890s.  The streets were not paved with gold as he was told, but there was an abundance of opportunity.  By 1924, just nine years after he arrived in the U.S., he was already running a shirt factory in Goldsboro, N.C..

One day, on a drive through nearby Mt. Olive, he saw farms where cucumbers were rotting in the fields, he was inspired to turn this into a profit.  With the help of 36 shareholders, he started the Mt. Olive Pickle Company in 1926.

And, you can go into most any store here in the Midwest and find these pickles on the shelves today.


Without a Trace: The Lost Colony-- Part 2" What Happened?

When John White was finally able to return, the colonists he had left were gone, the village disassembled and overgrown with brush.

He found the word "Croatoan" carved into the surface of one of the palisades' entrance posts, and the letters "Cro" carved into a nearby tree.  White believed that meant that the colonists had moved south to join the Croatoan Indians and he set out to find them.

But storms and lack of provisions soon halted his search, and he returned to England without ever knowing what had happened to his colonists.

To this day, no one is sure, either.

Somehistorians believe they died from disease or Native American attacks.  Or, perhaps they split up and were assimilated with the locals.

It would be 65 more years before immigrants again came to North Carolina.


Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Without a Trace: The Lost Colony, "Croatoan"

From the Feb. 2017 Our State magazine, North Carolina.

In April 1587, more than 30 years before the Pilgrims landed at Plymouth Rock, explorer John White and about 120 men, women and children set sail from England to establish England's first permanent settlement in what became America.

They were the first whites to come here and joined thousands of Indians already living here for centuries.  They had intended to land in the Chesapeake Bay area, but got dropped off on Roanoke Island and soon became some of North Carolina's most famous residents: the Lost Colony

After living at the island for six weeks, White left the colony for England to get supplies and reinforcements.  he had delays in returning.


Tuesday, November 14, 2017

First Americans Killed in Action World War I-- Part 3: "He Stayed At His Post of Duty and Fought to the Last"

Upon arrival in England, they sailed to Artois in northern France and immediately engaged in trench warfare.

Early in the morning of November 3, 240 German soldiers attacked the American trenches.  The Americans were vastly outnumbered and hand-to-hand fighting took place.

Besides these three men who were killed in this action, there were 5 Americans wounded and twelve captured, but the Germans retreated back to their trenches.  Hay, Enright and Greshan were buried at the scene.

Hay's commander wrote to his father:  "He was a faithful soldier, one we could trust.  At all times his work was of high quality but especially at the time of his death did he prove real worth.  He stayed at his post of duty and fought to the last.

"We are proud of the true American spirit shown by him and his comrades."

The remains of all three were returned to their home towns for proper internment and memorial.

The First of Many Americans to Fall.  --Cooter

Marines in the American Revolution-- Part 2: Fort Nassau

Just weeks after being formed, the U.S. Marine Corps proved their mettle in 1776 at Fort Nassau, Bahamas.  The British were storing large supplies of gunpowder there.

Captain Samuel Nicholas and 234 Marines sailed with the Continental Navy to the Bahamas.  The British troops surrendered within minutes

The Americans also acquired cannons and other military supplies, all badly needed for the new cause.


"Pole of Smokes" for Camp Grant: Smoking in World War I

From the October 11, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Just watch the pole of smokes for Camp Granters, now on display in Anderson Brothers' window, increase.  It was announced this morning at the store that if occasion demanded the entire west window would be devoted to the display of tobacco for the soldiers of the selected army, and those sponsoring the movement only hope that such will be necessary.

" DeKalb smokers know what it is to be away from the humidor and find that the pouch is empty and willing to give almost anything for a smoke -- that is just the way the fellows at Camp Grant are feeling, that is a large majority of them."

This sounds like getting tobacco for pipe smoking.

Smokes for Camp Grant.  --Cooter

Monday, November 13, 2017

Other November Events in Marine Corps History

Of course, November 10 was when the act was passed forming the United States Marine Corps.

NOVEMBER 12, 1908--  President Theodore Roosevelt removed Marines from warships.  Six months later, they were reinstates for that sea service by President Taft.

NOVEMBER 10, 1918--  The day before the end of World War I, the 5th Marines made a night crossing of the Marne River against German resistance.


Every Woman Over 16 Should Register for Service in WW I

From the October 11, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917. 100 Years Ago.

"Every woman over 16 years of age should register for service in the war.  It is not compulsory but it is the first time that the United States Government has asked service of all women."

A bit confusing.  Was this to register for the draft?

I did find out in another source that during World War I women were allowed to join the military as nurses or support staff and that some 33,000 did.  More than 400 nurses died in line of duty.


Saturday, November 11, 2017

Five Great Places to Honor Our Veterans This Veterans Day

From the November 10, 2017, USA Today  "10 great places to honor military on Veterans Day" Larry Bleiberg.

He has more written about each site.  I'm just listing them.

1.  Lejeurne Memorial Gardens--  Jacksonville, North Carolina

2.  USS Alabama Battleship Park--  Mobile, Alabama

3.  USS Arizona Memorial--  Honolulu, Hawaii

4.  National Museum of the Marine Corps--  Triangle, Virginia

5.  Soldiers' National Cemetery--  Gettysburg, Pennsylvania

I'd like to add the USS North Carolina Battleship Memorial in Wilmington, North Carolina.

Here's Hoping That Everyone Will Do Something Today to Honor Our Veterans.  --Cooter

Friday, November 10, 2017

Marines In the American Revolution-- Part 1: The Job and First Commandant

The U.S. Marines were authorized by the Continental Congress 10 November 1775 when two battalions were to be formed.  Their job was conduct ship-to-ship fighting, shipboard security and discipline enforcement and to assist landing forces.

The first commandant, Captain Samuel Nicholas, was commissioned 28 November.  Enlisting took place at Nicholas' family's tavern "The Conestoga Waggon" or, according to Marine lore, the Tun Tavern in Philadelphia.


Happy Birthday USMC!!

Back on this date, November 10, 1775, the Continental Congress passed a resolution to raise two battalions of Marines.

That is 242 years ago.

And the rest, as they say, is quite a history.


Thursday, November 9, 2017

First Americans Killed in Action in WW I-- Part 2

Continued from November 6.

The three men killed:

**  THomas F. Enright, private:  Sister Mrs. Mary Irwin, No. 6641 Premo St., Pittsburgh.

**  James P. Gresham, private:  Mother, Mrs. Alice Dodd, No. 1001 West Ohio street, Evansville, Indiana.

**  Merle D. Hay, private:  father, Harvey D. Hay, Glidden, Iowa.

All three enlisted, not drafted.  Enright joined in 1909, Gresham 1913 and Hay in May 1917.  Enright was 30, Greshan and Hay in their early to mid-20s.

All were members of the First Division, Co. F, Second Battalion, 16th Infantry.


Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Woodstock Theatre 90th Anniversary

From the Cinema Treasures Site

Woodstock Theatre, 209 Main Street, Woodstock, Illinois.

The Miller Theater was built on the site and opened November 8, 1927.  It featured a mix of movies and vaudeville shows.  It featured a Barton-Style 23 theater organ with six ranks.

It was renamed Woodstock Dollarodeon Theater in 1976 twin theaters were partitioned in 1979.

Classic Cinemas bought it in 1988 and a new marque was added in 1991.

In 2013, three adjacent buildings were demolished and the theater expanded to eight screens.

Woodstock Theatre Celebrates 90th Anniversary Today

I received notification from the General Cinema Corporation via e-mail that today they would be celebrating the 90th anniversary of the Woodstock Theatre in Woodstock, Illinois, just off the historic Woodstock Square.

I will be leaving to go to it in just a few minutes.  This is a theater I go to a lot.

The mayor of Woodstock will speak at 11 a.m., and I imagine he will do that in the theater #1, with that magnificent recovered dome dating to the first theater at the site.

Afterwards, all day long they will be selling small popcorn and drinks for 90 cents.  That is a huge deal considering the usual cost, $5 and $4.

I will be seeing a couple movies.

And, the Woodstock theatre has been in the movies itself, serving as the scene in "Groundhog Day" movie where Bill Murray was dressed like Bronco Billy with his housemaid date.  Every year during the town's Groundhog Festival, they show free screenings of the movie.

Should Be Fun.  --Cooter

Tuesday, November 7, 2017

Waterman, Illinois, Has a Small Pox Case in 1917

From the October 11, 2017, MidWeek.

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Waterman has a small pox case within its borders.  Every  precaution has been taken and schools and churches have been closed.

"People are being vaccinated in hopes that there will be no further spread."

A Serious Thing Back Then.  --Cooter

Monday, November 6, 2017

The First Americans Killed in Action During World War I-- Part 1

From the October 27, 2017, Orlando (Florida) Sentinel "Commentary:  Honoring the first to fall in World War I:  A Story of U.S. sacrifice"  Thomas V. DiBacco.

I wrote about this Sunday in the WW I chronology.

One hundred years ago this week, three American soldiers became the first to lose their lives in front line combat during the war on November 3, 1917.

News of it broke in early November 1917 without much emotion.  The Washington Herald had a story about it on the front page with the headline "U.S. Soldiers Were Trapped: Caught In Dugouts by Germans, Officers' Belief Here."

The story continued on page two with their names and facts about each one.

Sadly, the First of Many.  --DaCoot

A Timeline of Horror Movies-- Part 8: It Follows, It

2014--  "IT FOLLOWS"--  I am not familiar with this one.  The film is a warning to today's free-love millennial  society as it tells the story of an entity that follows and kills those who have one-night stands.

2017--  "IT"--  The latest Stephen King adaptation, the film features the machinations of the supernatural clown Pennywise and his obsession with terrorizing children.  That is until he met his "match" with the group of oddballs who banded together to get him.

"It" has become the highest-grossing horror film ever.  And, there obviously is going to be a Part 2.  Of course, in my opinion, there sure haven't been a lot of good movies out of late.

This film certainly has not helped real clowns.


Sunday, November 5, 2017

World War I Chronology, November 1917 (100 Years Ago)-- Part 1: First American Battle Casualties

NOVEMBER 3--  First U.S. Lethal Firefight.

U.S. troops engage in trench skirmishing for the first time near Bathelemont in the Luneville Dector near Nancy, France.

Three members of F Company, 2nd battalion, 16th Infantry, 1st Division are the first American Killed In Action:  James B. Gresham, Thomas F Enright and Merle D. Hay.

NOVEMBER 5--  The American armed yacht Alcedo (SP-166) is torpedoed and sunk by UC-71 off France:  22 lives are lost.

The War Heats Up for the U.S..  --DaCoot

A Timeline of Horror Movies-- Part 7: Witches, Saws and the Paranormal

1999--  THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT"--  In an otherwise underrated year that brought us the cringe-inducing "Audition," the big thrills of a revamped "The Mummy" and ghost tale "The Sixth Sense," a new-found footage genre was tapped in "The Blair Witch Project" about a small group that gets lost in the woods and is haunted by -- who knows.

You never see whatever it was.

2004--  "SAW"--  Would you kill a stranger or friend if it meant that your wife and kids would survive a serial killer?  Two people are forced to answer this question as they are held by a killer named Jigsaw.

It's the kill-or-be-killed attitude, or "torture porn," that "Saw" helped unlock as a horror sub-genre.

2009--  "PARANORMAL ACTIVITY"--  Mixing the use of security-camera footage and supernatural possession, the film was the first of a trilogy telling the generational tale of a demon and a coven.

Like, BOO!!  --CootFright

Saturday, November 4, 2017

A Timeline of Horror Movies-- Part 6: Freddy, Scream, Ringu

1984:  "A NIGHTMARE ON ELM STREET"--  Freddy Krueger, a child molester later burned alive by irate parents in the neighborhood where he committed his crimes, was tailor-made horror -- with a touch of humor.

1996--  "SCREAM"--  A self-referential horror film, the killer sticks to horror film tropes that are pointed out often by characters in the movie.

A mystery-comedy-satire, it seemed to show that even if you know the cliches, you can't escape.

1998--  "RINGU"  ("RING")--  The Japanese psychological horror film in which a cursed videtape brings death to anyone who watches it was remade in the U.S. in 2002.

I guess now someone will have to explain what a video tape is to the younger folks.


Friday, November 3, 2017

A Timeline of Horror Movies-- Part 5: Giant Bug, "Here's Johnny," Scary TVs

1979--  "ALIEN"--  Alone in outer space with a huge ugly, smart buglike creature which only desires to kill you or plant another xenamorph inside you?  That's horror.  Nowhere to go.  When that thing burst out of the guy's stomach, another really frightening, gross moment.

1980--  "THE SHINING"  "Friday the 13th"--  Two sides of horror.  "The Shining" is a psychological thriller, a haunting in a hotel that chronicles a man's descent into madness.  "Here's Johnny!!"

There's no psychology to "Friday the 13th."  It was all physical as the mother of Jason Vorhees killed any of the campers that happened to trespass in Camp Crystal Lake.  Another good reason teens ought not to have sex.

1982--  "POLTERGEIST"--  The haunted house film was represented a few years earlier in 1979 with "The Amityville Horror," but "Poltergeist," with its cute little girl, scary clown and voices in the TV took the subgenre to near heights.

And when that huge skull came out of the closet, had my friend's wife been sitting next to me, she would have been repaid for "Halloween."  That REALLY SCARED me.

Scared to Death.  --DaCootScream

A Timeline of Horror Movies-- Part 4: Jaws, Carrie and Halloween

1975--  "JAWS"--  The theme song alone brought terror to many a swimmer.  I haven't been into the ocean over my knees since then.

Steven Spielberg's hit, chronicling the efforts to survive attacks from and capture or destroy a huge great white shark terrorizing beachgoers, is often credited as the first blockbuster film.  And that, "We're going to need a bigger boat," is one of the best lines ever spoken in a movie.

1976--  "CARRIE"--  The first film adaption of a Stephen King novel featured Sissy Spacek as Carrie White, a telekinetic high school girl who is bullied at school and abused at home -- until she went overboard.  The film was nominated for two Academy Awards.

Careful who you mess with, and whatever you do-- no blood buckets.

1978--  "HALLOWEEN"--  John Carpenter's Michael Myers is an empty, evil vessel bent  on killing anyone in his family -- and, for that matter, anyone who tries to stop him from doing that.  Another reason why teen's should not have sex as Mikey will get them.

I made the mistake of first seeing this with friends of ours, and the wife was sitting next to me and the first time Michael popped out, she really let me have it on my leg.  I asked my wife to change seats.


Thursday, November 2, 2017

A Timeline of Horror Movies-- Part 3: Rosemary, Exorcist and Chainsaw

1968--  "ROSEMARY'S BABY"--  Ulterior motives are at work when a husband and group of supposed friends attempt to steal a baby from Rosemary.

She later finds out that her baby is a lot more than just a baby, but chooses to raise him anyway.

Frank would not approve.

1973--  "THE EXORCIST"--  At the center of William Friedkin's film that tests religious faith, young Linda Blair puts on a tour de force of demonic possession as Regan MacNeil, a child possessed.  "The Exorcist" was the first horror film to receive an Academy Award nomination for best picture.

And, then there were those creepy "Tubular Bells."

1974--  "THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE"--  The film may be about a family of cannibals and the poor souls unfortunate enough  to stumble across their rural Texas home, but one family member in particular, Leatherface, who was inspired by real-life murdered Ed Gein, could be considered the first of the slasher genre.  Right Freddie and Michael?

I've never seen it, though.

Must Get My Chain Saw Sometime, Have Tree Limbs To Cut Down.  --CootMask

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

A Timeline of Horror Movies-- Part 2: Howling, Destroying, Stabbing and Biting

1941--  "THE WOLF MAN"--  Lon Chaney Jr.'s portrayal of a man cursed to change into a wolf during the full moon was repeated in four sequels.  All you ever wanted to know about werewolves.

1954--  "GODZILLA"--  A Japanese kaiju (monster movie) showed the dangers of atomic testing.

1960--  "PSYCHO"--  Director Alfred Hitchcock's split-personality thriller featured Norman Bates as a hotel caretaker.  And then there was that famous shower scene and that music.

1968--  "NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD"--  Director George A. Romero's take on zombies and a world where they overrun society.  The look of the zombies and over-the-top gore endeared it to horror fans.  "The Walking Dead" owes him a huge thank you.


A Timeline of Horror Movies-- Part 1: Meet Frank, Count and the Kong

From the October 29, 2017, Chicago Tribune  "A Timeline of Horror: Influential movies of the genre" by Jevon Phillips, LA Times.

Stephen King's current "It" is the highest grossing horror movie ever.

The first-ever known movie that can be classified as horror would be the 1896 French short silent film "Le Manoir du Diable" ("The House of the Devil").

here are 25 pivotal moments in horror:

1910--  "FRANKENSTEIN"   Boris Karloff 1931 movie better known, but the first to bring it to life was a 16-minute short film filmed 21 years earlier.

1922--  "NOSFERATU"--  Adapted from the book "Bram Stoker's Dracula."  We are introduced to Count Orlok, who drinks human blood.  Bela Lugosi's more-famous count with a cape comes in 1931.

1933--  "KING KONG"--  The original beauty tames the savage beast.

The Big Guy Falls, the Fancy Guy Drinks.  --CootFrank

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Movie Blood, Zombies & More-- Part 2: The Horror Stats Guaranteed to Shock

$2,500--  What Stephen King was paid for the rights to "Carrie" (1976), his first novel adopted to a movie.

1,000--  Gallons of movie blood director Kimberly Peirce says were used to film the prom scene of her 2013 "Carrie" remake.

$146--  Dollars 2015 horror moviegoers spent on snack bar carbonated beverages, $21 more than average moviegoers.

$114,000--  Budget for George A. Romero's "Night of the Living Dead."

20--  Number of days Romero needed his "Night of the Living Dead" star Duane Jones to work without pay in exchange for back-end points.  (Not sure what this means?)

0--  Number of times the word "zombie" is used in the "Night of the Living Dead."

0--  Number of main characters alive at the end of "Night of the Living Dead."

Now You Know.  --CootZom

Monday, October 30, 2017

The More "Psycho" You Get- Part 1: Horror Movies By-the-Numbers-- Part 1

From the October 29, 2017, Chicago Tribune "'Psycho' pay gap, movie blood, zombies and more"  LA Times.

Here are some numbers to eat.

$806,947--  Estimated budget of Alfred Hitchcock's "Psycho" (1960)

$40,000--  What Anthony Perkins was paid for hsi role in psycho.

$35,000--  What Janet Leigh was paid for "Psycho."

$40,000--  The amount Leigh's character Marion Crane stole in "Psycho."

$32 million--  Estimated domestic gross of "Psycho,"  Hitchcock's most profitable film.

What's That Sound?  --CootScared

A Coal Shortage in DeKalb in 1917

From the February 8, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"The coal situation in DeKalb is tighter right now than it has been in some time, especially as to coke and hard coal.  There is a fairly good supply of soft coal but hardly a wagon load or so of other varieties.

"One local coal merchant informs the Chronicle that he has only half a ton in his own cellar and not a pound of coke in the yard.  Others are also hard up for coal to supply their customers.  Another manager of a coke concern states that he will be having to use soft coal in his own house furnace within another day."

Looks like cold days ahead for DeKalb.  Was this a result of the United States preparing to get into World War I or a particularly bad winter?

Hard Coal Better Than Soft Coal.  --Cooter

Friday, October 27, 2017

Camp Grant Boys Need Blankets: World War I

From the October 25, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Perhaps DeKalb folks do not know that the boys at Camp Grant (Rockford, Illinois) are in need of comforts and blankets these chilly nights.

"The Chronicle received word from one who visited the camp very recently that the boys there do not hesitate to say that an extra blanket or comfort from the folks at home would be appreciated more than anything else."

Warm and Snugly for the War.  --DaCoot

DeKalb's MidWeek Celebrating 50 Years

I use a section from the weekly MidWeek published in DeKalb, Illinois, called "Looking Back" a whole lot in this blog as well as my RoadDog's RoadLog Blog and Tattooed On Your Soul World War II Blog.

A group of history-minded folk get together at the Joiner Library in Sycamore, Illinois, and go through old newspapers and report on things that happened 100, 75, 50 and 25 years ago.  I always find these to be of extreme interest so you get to see them often in these blogs.

The MidWeek began back in 1967 as "The Citzen's Shopper" and at the time mostly covered items for sale.  It was started by J. Frederick Baker with first issue published April 6, 1967.  Under its second owner, James Morel, the amount of news content was expanded and that is where we get the "Looking Back" columns.

Keep Up the Good Work MidWeek and "Looking Back."  --CootWeek

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Chief Illinewek, 1967. 50 Years Ago: Univ. of Illinois in 1967

From the October 25, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

"Chief Illinewek may just (jump) a little higher at the University of Illinois football game Saturday.

"He's wearing the first new costume he's had in 37 years.  The Chief is Illinois' traditional gridiron fight symbol."

So Sad Seeing What They Are Doing Now.  --DaCoot

Icing It in 1917

From the February 8, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)   "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Will Myers and Pete Larson of Cortland are filling the ice house from Myers pond.

"The ice is about a foot thick."

Before Refrigerators and Bags of Ice.  --Cooter

Wednesday, October 25, 2017

Blacksmith Phineas Vaughan-- Part 2: About That Anvil

His wife, Phebe Vaughan (1830-1898) is also buried beside him on the plot with the anvil.

His home was on DeKalb's Main Street on the north side between Third and Fourth streets.  It was later moved to North second Street adjacent to the Russell Smith Garage at 212 N. Second Street.

He has a big headstone at Evergreen Cemetery with the anvil he used in the back left corner.

I'll have to look for his grave and Evergreen Cemetery the next time I'm in DeKalb, Illinois.  I've never seen an anvil on somebody's grave.

That is, if I can find Evergreen Cemetery.


Phineas Vaughan-- Part 1: Helped Invent Barbed Wire

From the Joseph F. Glidden Homestead and History Center.


Played a pivotal role in helping his friend, Joseph F. Glidden, invent "The Winner,"  one of the most widely used types of barbed wire.  Ultimately, he and Glidden would patent a hand-operated machine for making barbed wire.

The site of his original blacksmith shop is on the north side of Lincoln Highway between 3rd and 4th streets in downtown DeKalb.  It is marked by a horseshoe embedded in the concrete sidewalk, believed to be one from Vaughan's shop.


Tuesday, October 24, 2017

The Local Blacksmith Gets Anvil for Headstone

From the Feb. 1, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Bygone sites in DeKalb include the blacksmith shop on the 300 block where P.W. Vaughan pounded out many of the devices that improved Uncle Joe's barbed wire machine.

"The anvil on which he worked was first to come into this territory and it now serves as a headstone on his grave in Evergreen Cemetery."

Uncle Joe would be Joseph Glidden, barbed wire's inventor.

Not Your Usual Headstone.  --Cooter

Monday, October 23, 2017

A Milk Bottle Shortage in 1942

From the January 25, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Milk bottles are again scarce with the dairymen in Sycamore, according to reports heard yesterday, and another appeal is made to householders everywhere in the city, not to throw the bottles in the ash can but put them out that they may be picked up when milk is delivered."

Not sure if the milk bottle shortage was because of the war effort.


World War I Chronology, October 1917-- Part 2: Marines Organized, First U.S. Artillery Fire

OCTOBER 23--  U.S. 5th and 6th Marine Regiments in France are organized as the 4th Marine Brigade, part of the Army's 2nd Infantry Division.

OCTOBER 23--  C Battery, 6th Field Artillery, 1st Infantry Division, fires the first U.S. artillery shells of World War I.  The same day, D.H. harden, of the 26th Infantry, becomes the first U.S. combat soldier wounded in action on the Front.


Sunday, October 22, 2017

Bizarro Looks At the Ancient Egyptians

From the January 28, 2017, Bizarro comic strip.

Ancient Egyptians are standing by the pyramids.  They are talking.  One says to the other, "Well, I heard the pharaoh sent all out pyramid-building jobs to the Mayans."

A Bit of Ancient Humor.  --CootHaHa

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

People Stealing Bicycles

From the Feb. 1, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1942. 75 Years Ago.

"Warning!!  Lock your bicycle inside your garage or home.  A bike stealing blitz is believed started.

"Sycamore police reported that three bicycles were stole from two front porches within a few blocks of each other Thursday night."

I liked the newspaper calling it a "blitz."  A little war terminology goes regular.

And, you thought people were so honest back then.

Sounds Like a Crime of Opportunity.  --Cooter

Monday, October 16, 2017

Sycamore Gets a New High School in 1917

From the February 1, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

Sycamore, Illinois.  Wonder of it is still there?

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"The Sycamore high school pupils will occupy the new school building beginning next Monday.

"The public will be invited to inspect the building the following Sunday."

A New School.  --Cooter

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Great Gumball Heist

From the February 1, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb County, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"In the men's waiting room at the depot in DeKalb there is a penny slot gum machine and this morning when the day force got on the job, it was found that the machine had been broken and almost $1.50 had been stolen.

"Officer Rowe got on the job and says he has the guilty party located, and it is probably that he will receive a reprimand for the petty theft."

Look for the Guy Whose Pants Are Falling Off With All Those Pennies, Officer Rowe!  --Cooter

Thursday, October 12, 2017

Where U.S. Presidents Were Born-- Part 2: Seven of First Twelve Born in Virginia

**  More than half of them come from just four states:  Virginia, Ohio, New York and Massachusetts with 24.

**  Most come from the East Coast, only eight born west of the Mississippi and just two west of the Rockies:  Nixon in California and Obama in Hawaii.

**  Ten of the original colonies had presidents.  Only Delaware, Maryland and Rhode Island didn't have one.

**  Seven of the first 12 presidents were born in Virginia.  Only one since, Woodrow Wilson.  Virginia was once the most populous state until overtaken by New York in 1810.

**  Seven of 17 presidents between 1869 and  1923 were born in Ohio.

**  Vermont leads in presidents per capita.  It had two presidents, Chester A. Arthur and Calvin Coolidge.

**  The three most populous states today:  California, Florida and Texas have had just three presidents between them (none from Florida).

** Trump is from New York.


Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Where U.S. Presidents Were Born-- Part 1: Two Each From Texas, N.C. and Vermont

From January 20, 2017, Yahoo! News  "MAP:  Where every U.S. president was born" by Nathan Grannini.

Virginia 8
Ohio 7
New York  5

Two each from Texas, North Carolina and Vermont

One each from :  Ca., Neb., Iowa, Illinois, Mo., Ky.,, Ga, S.C., Pa., N.J., Ct., N.H..


Tuesday, October 10, 2017

WW I Concrete Ship SS Palo Alto Smashed in Half-- Part 2

24 new concrete ships were ordered.  Concrete ships, reinforced with steel were cheaper and more available.

Concrete floating ships were an invention of the French inventor of ferro concrete, Joseph-Louis Lambol who had created a concrete dingy a half century earlier.

In 1917, Norway had built an 84-foot long ship of concrete, but no one was sure how even bigger ships like the Palo Alto would do.

Their capabilities, however, were untested during the war.  By the time the 420-foot Palo Alto was completed at the Naval Shipyard in Oakland, California, the war was over.  It remained at Oakland until 1929 when it was towed to Sea Cliff Beach and scuttled.  It soon was just referred to as the Concrete Boat and became a tourist destination.

In 1930, a pier was constructed out to the ship and the Cal-Nevada Co. installed a 54-foot long heated pool, a casino and a dance floor on it.  It lasted until 1932 when it was hit by a storm and then the Great Depression which closed it.

The State of California bought it and it has been closed to the public since 1950.


Monday, October 9, 2017

World War I Concrete Ship, SS Palo Alto, Smashed in Half By Storm

From the January 23, 2017, Vancouver Sun by Ben Guarino, Washington Post.

This is a curious artifact of American history, the crumbling, but famous World War I-era tanker SS Palo Alto.

Since 1930, the unusual concrete hull, a symbol of Santa Cruz County, has been sitting at the end of the pier jutting out into Monterrey Bay.

Saturday, record high 34-foot waves pounded the ship.

During World War I German submarines, U-boats,  were sinking so many Allied ships that there was a fear that we would run out of steel.  In 1917, the Emergency Fleet Corporation was formed under President Woodrow Wilson.

Twenty-four concrete ships were built.

Sounds Heavy to Me.  --Cooter

Ice Skating Fun in 1942

From the January 18, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago.

"Ice skating has again become a popular sport and during the past few days the Teachers College (NIU) pond (the Lagoon) has been crowded with skaters.

"The college pond is not the only popular spot for skaters.  The artificial pond on the Everett playground, near the Haish school, is also well patronized at the present time."


Sunday, October 8, 2017

Looking Back to 1942: A Fire Break

From the January 18, 2017, MidWeek "Looking Back."

1942, 75 Years Ago

"At 8:45 o'clock this morning, the DeKalb fire department had enjoyed a 24-hour period without a fire call.  This is news because the company had its nineteenth call in thirteen days, yesterday morning."

A Much Needed Break from the Flames.  --Cooter

Friday, October 6, 2017

History Back in History

From the August 23, 2017, MidWeek  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"Today in Sycamore, members of the Daughters of the American Revolution of which several DeKalb people are members are making final plans for the placing of two markers on historic spots in DeKalb County.  In the spring time, the board of supervisors will willingly make an appropriation of $200 for the placing of the markers and the fund has been greatly increased by the Daughters of the American Revolution.

"The markers will be placed near Hinckley the location of the first permanent settlement in the county and at Coltonville the site of the first session of DeKalb County court."

Even History Back Then.  --Cooter

Thursday, October 5, 2017

"For Sammy in France" 1917

From the August 23, 2017, MidWeek (DeKalb Couty, Illinois)  "Looking Back."

1917, 100 Years Ago.

"General Pershing has sent the request that we send our papers and magazines to the boys in France.  It is only necessary to roll two or three together, tie securely, write on the margin, "For Sammy in France," and put on a one cent postage stamp.

Just think how we miss our morning paper if for any reason it does not reach us each morning by breakfast time.  The boys will be very greatly pleased even though the news be a week or two old."

The War Effort.  --DaCoot

Some More on the Attack on Base Hospital No. 5 in WW I

Continued from September 28, 2017.

Also killed in the attack, besides Lt. Fitzsimons:

Leslie G. Woods, Streator, Illinois

Rudolph Rubino, New York City

Oscar Tugo, Boston

Army Hospital #21 in Aurora, Colorado was renamed Fitzsimons Army Hospital in 1920

There is a Fitzsimons Fountain in Kansas City at the corner of 12th and Paseo del Mayo dedicated May 30, 1922.

In 1947, the American Legion Post No. 8 became the Fitzsimons-Battenfield Post.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

SS Antilles-- Part 2: The New War Insurance Law

The S Antilles sailed from New York to France in a four ship convoy, arriving September 24, 1917.  The Antilles and another ship from that convoy, the SS Finland were torpedoed on their way back to the United States.

On 17 October, three days out of Saint Nazairere, France, the Antilles was torpedoed by the U-62 and reportedly sank in four and a half minutes.  There were 118 survivors and 67 deaths.

The survivors landed in France 21 October and were cared for by the Red Cross.

Those who died came under the new war insurance law that allowed payment of $6,000 to families of the deceased in installments of $25 a month over twenty years.


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

SS Antilles, Sunk Oct. 17, 1917-- Part 1: U.S. Army Chartered Transport

In the last post, I mentioned the SS Antilles being sunk on October  17, 1917.

From Wikipedia.

American passenger-cargo ship launched 1907.  Chartered by the Army in 1917 as a troop transport.  Sunk by a submarine and 67 lives lost, at the time of its sinking October 17, 1917, this was the largest single loss of American lives up to that point in World War I.

The ship was 6,879 tons , 421 feet long and had a beam of 53 feet.

It was selected by the Shipping Control Committee and turned over to the U.S. Army for use as a civilia,1917-crewed U.S. Army Chartered Transport (USACT).


World War I Combat Chronology, October 2017: Antilles Sunk, Americans relieve French Troops

From the April 2017, VFW Magazine.

OCTOBER 17--  Army transport Antilles is sunk by a German submarine on its return trip to the United States -- 70 lives are lost.

OCTOBER 21--  United States 1st ID troops relieve French forces for the first time in the Luneville Sector near Nancy, France.


Civil War Trust Battles of October-- Part 2: John Brown's Raid

14th--  1863:  Battle of Bristoe Station, Va.

16th--  1859:  John Brown's Raid on Harpers Ferry, Va. (now W. Va.) begins and lasts for three days.

18th--  1859:  U.S. Marines storm engine house at Harpers Ferry and capture John Brown

19th--  1781:  British General Cornwallis surrenders at Yorktown, Va.

19th--  1864:  Battle of Cedar Creek, Va.

21st--  1861:  Battle of Ball's Bluff (Leesburg), Va.

25th--  1864:  Battle of Mine Creek, Kansas


Monday, October 2, 2017

Civil War Trust Battles in October-- Part 1: First Union Ironclad, USS St. Louis, Launched

3rd--  1862:  Second Battle of Corinth, Ms. begins

8th--  1862:  Battle of Perryville, Ky.

9th--  1864:  Battle of Tom's Brook, Va.

12th--  1861:  First ironclad in U.S. Navy, the USS St. Louis, launched at Carondelet, Mo.


Civil War Trust Battles in September-- Part 2: Battle of Antietam

14th--  1862:  Battle of South Mountain Gap, Md.

15th--  1862:  Capture of Harpers Ferry, Va. (now W. Va.)

17th--  1862:  Battle of Antietam, Md.

18th--  1863:  Battle of Chickamauga, Ga. begins

19th--  1864:  Battle of Third Winchester, Va.

28th--  1781:  Siege of Yorktown, Va. begins

29th--  1864:  Battle of New Market Heights, Va. begins


Sunday, October 1, 2017

Civil War Trust Battles in September-- Part 1: Fort McHenry Bombardment

1st--  1862:  Battle of Chantilly, Va.

2nd--  Federal forces occupy Atlanta, Ga.

8th:  1781:  Battle of  Eutaw Springs, S.C.

11th--  1777:  Battle of Brandywine, Pa.

11th--  1814:  Battle of  Lake Champlain, N.Y.

12th--  1814:  Battle of North Point, Md.

13th--  1814  Bombardment of Fort McHenry, Md.  You know,  that Star-Spangled thing.

Oh, Say Can You See.  --Da Coot

Civil War Trust Battles in August-- Part 2: Burning of Washington, D.C.

19th--  1812:  The USS Constitution defeats the HMS Gueriere

23rd--  1863:  Quantrill's Raid on Lawrence, Kansas

24th--  1814:  Battle of Bladensburg, Md.

24th--  1814--  Burning of Washington, D.C.

25th--  1864:  Second Battle of Ream's Station, Va.

27th--  1776--  Battle of Long Island, N.Y.

28th--  1862:  Second Battle of Manassas, Va. begins

30th--  1862:  Battle of Richmond, Ky.


Friday, September 29, 2017

Civil War Trust Battles in August-- Part 1 Battle of Mobile Bay, Battle of Camden

From the Civil War trust: Celebrating 30 Years 2017 Calendar.


5th--  1864:  Battle of Mobile Bay, Alabama

9th--  1862:  Battle of Cedar Mountain, Va.

10th--  1862:  Battle of Wilson's Creek, Mo.

16th--  1780:  Battle of Camden, S.C.

17th--  1863:  Federals begin the great bombardment of Fort Sumter


Thursday, September 28, 2017

WW I Attack Base Hospital No. 5-- Part 5: New Air Raid Warnings Devised

The last and most fatal bomb resulted in the deaths of Privates Woods and Rubino and wounded Privates Mason, Sloane, Stanton and McLeod.  Five amputations were necessary for Aubrey S. McLeod, whose legs were shattered by the terrific force of the explosion.

After the attack, flags at No. 11 (Harvard U.S.A.) General Hospital were flown at half mast.  Plans were to have memorial services on Sunday evening, September 9, but they were terminated because of an air raid warning.

In addition, everyone was expected to dig a trench by their tent in which to take shelter in new air raids.  A new method of air warning was also developed.  Three one-minute blasts from the cement factory whistle served as the warning.  Five shorter ones  meant all clear.

For the remainder of September and well into October,  air raid warnings were often heard, but most often were false alarms.


Wednesday, September 27, 2017

Attack On Base Hospital 5-- Part 4: Wounded and Killed

Flying fragments of the bombs wounded Lieutenants Rae Whidden, Thaddeus Smith, Clarence McGuire and Private Hiram Brower.

Fragments from two bombs killed Private Oscar Tugo and several patients, while other patients were wounded.

Mrs. Eva Parmelee, nurse on duty in C-6 escaped wounding but her dress was penetrated by flying shrapnel.  She remained cool and collected. ministering to newly wounded and comforting others.  She received an honorable mention from General Pershing and had the honor of being the first American nurse awarded the Military Medal by King George V.


Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Attack on Base Hospital No. 5 in WW I That Resulted in 1st American Deaths in France-- Part 3

Lt. William T. Fitzsimons heard the explosions and summoned Private Hiram Brower to find out what was going on.  The private told him and then went on about his patrol.  Scarcely a minute had passed when there was another explosion.  An aerial torpedo had been dropped at General Hospital No. 18, but it landed in an athletic field and did no damage other than making a deep hole several yards wide.

The plane then went into a semicircular course and a similar bomb was dropped into the reception tent of General Hospital No. 4, followed almost immediately by two bombs dropped within about eighteen inches of each other in from of Lt. Fitzsimons' tent.

He was killed instantly by the first two bombs and then three others were dropped.

I have been unable to find out how these bombs were dropped.  I would say definitely not from bomb bays like in World War II.  I believe most likely by the pilot or another crew member if they had others, dropping them over the side of the plane.

Monday, September 25, 2017

The Attack on Base Hospital No. 5 in WW I-- Part 2

On the night of September 3, 1917 there was an air raid attempt on the coast of England which was turned back by coastal guns.  The next day, a German scouting plane came over Base Hospital No. 5 and it is believed that it might have taken a photograph of the huge U.S. flag by the headquarters and the Germans then decided to make an example of it, even though they knew it was a hospital.

And, this hospital was caring for 2,000 sick and wounded, when the attack came.

Another German raid on England on September 4.  was turned back.At 10:30 the hospital received warning about possible enemy planes.  Anti-aircraft guns at two places in the distance opened fire for a few minutes before the all-clear was sounded.

At 10:55 p.m., without any warning whatever and while all the hospital's lights were on at the 12,000 bed facility, an enemy aeroplane swooped down and started dropping bombs.


Friday, September 22, 2017

Concerning the Attack on Base Hospital No. 5-- Part 1

There is a book published on Base Hospital No. 5 in France during World War I.  It is titles "Concerning Base Hospital No. 5."

It is dedicated to members who made the supreme sacrifice:

Captain Charles R. Rund, Capt. Harry A. Bullock, Lt. William Fitzsimons, Lt. Rae Whidden, Sgt, Walter Sullivan, Pvt. Oscar C. Tugo, Pvt. Rudolph Rubino, Pvt. Colin Powell, bugler, Pvt. Leslie G. Woods and Private John Lydon.

Lt. Fitzsimons, and Privates Tugo, Rubino and Woods were killed in the September 4, 1917, bombing attack.


Oscar C. Tugo, One of First Americans Killed in France in WW I

From the Harvard Collection, Harvard University.


Photo October 18, 1921.

Private Tugo (1893-1917) enlisted in the Army on May 7, 1917, and was killed as a night orderly during the September 4, 1917 attack on Base Hospital No. 5 which also resulted in the death of Lt. William Fitzsimons.  This hospital was under the auspices of Harvard University.

In October 1921, the public space adjoining the Harvard Medical School quadrangle was named in his honor.  He was one of the first enlisted men killed in France.


Thursday, September 21, 2017

World War I Chronology, 100 Years Ago This Month



Two members of the 11th Engineers of teh American Expeditionary Force (AEF) are wounded in action (WIA) by German shellfire at Gouzeaucourt --  the first Americans wounded while serving with a United States on the front lines of battle.


Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Obituary of Lisa Grimm Oda: A True Child of the 60s

From the September 17, 2017, Chicago Tribune Death Notices.

Born August 4, 1949  Died September 11, 2017.

After reading her obituary, I'd have to say she really lived and fulfilled the life of what we might call a Hippy.

"Always the explorer and adventurer, during the turbulent 60's, Lisa spent time in a commune in Berkeley, CA..  This foretold a lifelong quest to seek truth and wisdom and question the status quo.

"After a few years working for Price Waterhouse in Chicago, she left to embark on her quest to enrich others with her compassion, creativity, ethics, selflessness, thoughtfulness, spirituality, and nurturing spirit and being.

"A very spiritual person, Lisa studied many religions and philosophies, endeavoring to live life in as good a way as possible.  She found aspects of Christianity, Taoism, Buddhism and Native American Spirituality that gave her clarity and truth."

She Must have been Quite An Interesting Person.  A Real Flower Child.

World War I Chronology, 100 Years Ago This Month


Merchant transport Minnehaha is torpedoed and sunk off the coast of Ireland -- 48 men drown.


First Americans Killed Overseas in World War I-- Part 7: Ex- President Theordore Roosevelt's Response to the Attack

Lt. Fitzsimons was not the only American soldier to lose his life that night.

Privates Oscar Tugo, Private Rudolph Rubino and Private Leslie Woods were also killed in the raid.

There is no doubt that the raid was deliberate.  The German fliers even dropped German coins to show the Americans who had bombed them.

On a page one editorial in the Kansas City Star on September 17, 1917, former President Theodore Roosevelt blasted Germany for Fitzsimons' death saying that they had demonstrated "calculated brutality" and "carried on a systematic campaign of murder against hospitals and hospital ships."

After the war, the U.S. government had a program to enable parents and family to visit the graves of their family overseas.  On July 5, 1930, Lt. Fitzsimons' mother, Catherine Fitzsimons, visited his grave at the Somme American Cemetery and Memorial in Picardie, France.


Death of Lt. William T. Fitzsimons-- Part 6: "Before the Lifeless Remains of Lt. Fitzsimons, I Stood Dazed"

The lieutenant had a calling card on him  reading "Dr. W. T. Fitzsimons, United States Army."  It was ripped by shrapnel from the bomb which is now on display at the memory Hall at the National World War I Museum and Memorial in Kansas City.

Nurse Louise McCloskey described the aftermath of Fitzsimon's death:  "Words are futile to describe that night, the dead, dying, wounded lying on the floor.  With only a flickering candlelight, someone whispered, 'Lt. Fitzsimons has been killed.'  In the daylight before my misty eyes, coffins were lying side by side holding lifeless bodies of soldiers killed that night.  Before the lifeless remains of Lt. Fitzsimons, I stood dazed."

National World--DaCoot

Death of Lt. William T. Fitzsimons-- Part 5: Should Not Have Been a Target

William Fitzsimons was the hospital base adjutant and second in overall command. as well as commander of the headquarters company and inline for promotion to captain at the time of his death.

The hospital should not have been a German target that night.  Its lights were on, and they knew it was a hospital.

At 10:30 p.m., September 4, 1917, the hospital received warning that German planes were approaching along the coast.  At 10:50, Fitzsimons was in his tent and heard bomb explosions.  he came out and called to the sentry, Hiram Brower to ask if all was alright.  Brower started to answer when a second explosion occurred.  This one killed Fitzsimons instantly.



Monday, September 18, 2017

Death of Lt. William T. Fitzsimons-- Part 4: Valuable Target

Fitzsimons returned to Kansas City from Europe on March 27, 1917, and joined the Army Medical Corps and was commissioned a lieutenant.  On April 27, 1917, he entered active duty.

Because of the German Navy's unrestricted warfare against merchant ships, it took three weeks for his ship to cross the Atlantic Ocean, reaching Liverpool on August 13, 1917.  Two weeks later, he was at Base Hospital No. 5 at Dennes-Camiers, south of Calais, France.

This was a 12,000 bed facility, but unfortunately it was located close to a munitions storage area and a cement factory, both targets of enemy bombers.

Colonel Robert Patterson, commander of the U.S. hospital, insisted that a large American flag be flown from a very tall flagpole to assert American presence to the Germans.

Quite the Ripe Target for a German Ariel Attack.  --Cooter

Friday, September 15, 2017

Something Fishy in Fox Lake on September 16

Tomorrow, at 9:30 a.m., the Fox Lake Grant Township Area Historical Society will be having a monthly meeting at the Grant Hall Museum at 411 Washington Street in Ingleside, Illinois.

Topic of the meeting will be Commercial Fishing and Seining for Carp.

2017 marks the 20th anniversary of the organization, same as the 20th anniversary of the McHenry County Civil War Round Table which I also am a member.

Always something interesting.


Death of Lt. William T. Fitzsimons-- Part 3: Served in Europe Before U.S. Entry Into the War

Historian James Heiman has written a book "Voices in Bronze and Stone: Kansas City's World War I Monuments and Memorials."  he has a whole chapter on Lt. Fitzsimons.

He was born April 18, 1889 in Burlington, Iowa, the oldest of six children.  Fitzsimons attended St. Mary's College in St. Mary's and then in 1908, transferred to the University of Kansas' School of Medicine, receiving his BA in 1910 and two years later his medical degree.

After a year of internship at St. Mary's Hospital, he spent 14 months studying surgery in New York City.

While still a civilian, he went to England as a Red Cross volunteer, arriving September 13, 1914, just a few weeks after the war started.  From there he went to Belgium to treat wounded civilians and soldiers, returning to the United States on December 10, 1915.


Death of Lt. William T. Fitzsimons in the Hospital Attack-- Part 2: First American Officer Killed in World War I

I did some more research on yesterday's post.

From the September 3, 2017, Topeka (Kansas) Capital-Journal "100 years later:  First officer killed in WW I was a doctor in Kansas" by Steve Fry.

Lt. William T. Fitzsimons was a northeastern Kansas surgeon in the U.S. Army, who was killed just three weeks after he arrived in France in 1917.

On September 4, 1917 a German aircraft made a late-night raid over the massive military hospital he was assigned to.

He had stepped to the door of his tent when a bomb landed within a dew feet of him and blew up, killing him instantly.  He was 28 at the time and became the first U.S. officer killed in the war.


Thursday, September 14, 2017

World War I Chronology, Sept. 1917-- Part 1: First Americans Killed


First American killed in France

Germans bomb American  hospital units at Dannes Carriers.  Four were killed and wounding nine Doughboys.

One of the men was the first American officer killed in the conflict, Lt. William Fitzsimons of Kansas.  Also killed were Privates Oscar C. Tugo, Rudolph Rubino and Leslie G, Woods.


Wednesday, September 13, 2017

World War I Chronology, September 1917, 100 Years Ago: 1st U.S. Aero Squadron Arrives in France

SEPTEMBER 3--  1st U.S. Aero Squadron arrives in France.  U.S. planes to the rescue.

From Wikipedia.

The 1st U.S. Aero Squadron is the military's oldest flying unit, established 5 March 1913.  Today it still exists as the 1st Reconnaissance Squadron (1RS), USAF and is assigned to the 9th Operations Group based at Beale AFB, California.

It was organized originally for operations along the U.S.-Mexico border during the Pancho Villa days.  Pancho Villa crossed the border and attacked Columbus, New Mexico, on 9 March 1916 and the 1st Aero Squadron was sent to Columbus and took part in the Punitive Expedition.

They were still in Columbus, N.M. when the United States entered World War I on 6 April 1917.  They were ordered to Fort Jay, New York, and accompanied the U.S. First Division to Europe by boat, departing 13 August 1917 and arriving in England 1 September.  They crossed the English Channel the next day.

Lafayette, We Are Here.  --Cooter

About That War 100 Years Ago-- Part 5: This Means War!!

Given a free hand by Germany, Austria was determined to punish Serbia, and Russia, similarly encouraged by France, mobilized for defense of their fellow Slavs.

Mobilization, in the eyes of Germany, was tantamount to war, and, when Russia refused to order demobilization, Germany declared war (August 1).  Two days later she declared war on France, and, when the German army invaded Belgium, Great Britain entered the war (August 4).

Before many months, all of Europe, with the exception of Spain, Holland, Switzerland, Denmark, and the Scandinavian Peninsula, was involved.

Forsaking the Triple Alliance, Italy remained neutral until 1915, when she joined the Allies, followed by Romania and Portugal (1916) and Greece (1917).  Turkey (1914) and Bulgaria (1915) were brought into the war on the side of the Central Powers.

This Means War.  --DaCoot

"Some Damned Foolish Thing In the Balkans"

German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck, giving a speech at the Congress of Berlin in 1878, ably summed up what he thought would start a general war.

"Europe today is a powder keg and the leaders are like men smoking in an arsenal... a single spark will set off an explosion which will consume us all ...  I cannot tell you when that explosion will occur, but I can tell you where   Some damned foolish thing in the Balkans will set it off."

By Jove, I Think He Got It.  --Cooter

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

U.S. Flags Still Up Today and Tomorrow

I have six United States flags up here at the house in Spring Grove, Illinois.  Sad to see that so few people flew flags yesterday.  Kind of was a flag thing to do.

And, I will have them up today and tomorrow.

Never Forgetting.

Flag of Honor and Flag of Heroes

As I was looking around the internet for 9-11 material, I came across these two flags. Both are United States flags, but the stripes are not one block of color.

The Flag of Honor to honor the people who died on September 11, 2001.  Their names are written on the stripes of the flag.

The Flag of Heroes is to honor emergency personnel who died on that day.  Their names make up the stripes.

I am thinking about getting one, perhaps both, for the next commemoration.

Monday, September 11, 2017

9-11 Observances Across the United States: New York, Washington, D.C. and Shanksville, Pa.

From USA Today.

In New York City, the observance begins at 8:46 a.m., ET, when the first tower of the World Trade Center was struck.  The second plane hit the second tower at 9:03 a.m..

At 9:37  a.m., President Trump will lead the observance at the Pentagon Building outside Washington, D.C..  That was the moment the third plane hit.

The observance near Shanksville, Pennsylvania, will begin at 10:03 a.m. ET, when the fourth plane crashed.

The names of all victims will be read at the 9/11 Memorial and Museum in New York City.

Saturday, September 9, 2017

About That War 100 Years Ago-- Part 4: "Some Damned Foolish Thing In the Balkans"

With Europe indulging in an orgy of militarism, imperialism, and nationalism, it was unlikely that this balance of power could be indefinitely maintained.

It was finally upset in the Balkans, where racial hatreds and nationalistic striving were complicated by the conflicting ambitions of Austria and Russia.

One of the Serbian intrigues against Austria, encouraged by Russia, came to a head on June 28, 1914, when Archduke Francis Ferdinand, heir to the Austrian throne, was assassinated while visiting the city of Sarajevo in the Austrian province of Bosnia.

Doggone Balkans.  --DaCoot

About That War 100 Years Ago-- Part 3: Forming Alliances

Italy, since her unification, would extend her boundaries to include Italian-speaking peoples to the north and east;  Austria-Hungary, cut off from expansion to the west, looked upon the Balkans as a normal region for expansion and thus came into conflict with Russia.

Obviously, there was enough tinder here for a dozen conflagrations, and it is amazing that, with the exception of the Balkans, Europe maintained peace over a long period.

For this period of peace, Germany was primarily responsible.  Wedged in between hostile nations and anxious to maintain the status quo in Europe, she constructed in 1882 the Triple Alliance with Austria-Hungary and Italy.

To protect herself, France achieved an alliance with Russia in the early nineties and a close understanding with Great Britain, while the later attempted to iron out her conflicting imperialistic rivalries with Russia and Japan.

Just Waiting for a Spark.  --CootWar

Friday, September 8, 2017

About That War 100 Years Ago-- Part 2: Nearly Everybody Wanted Something

"While smaller nations sought to pick up the crumbs of imperialism let fall from the feast of their more powerful neighbors.

"In this scramble for markets and territories Africa had been carved up into colonies and protectorates, and there was every indication that the same fate awaited Asia.

"While colonial rivalries kept the chancelleries of Europe on the qui vive and precipitated numerous diplomatic crises, serious European rivalries were a continuous menace to peace.

France had never been reconciled to the separation of Alsace-Lorraine, and the more warlike of her statesmen awaited only the right moment to regain her lost provinces;  Russia, without an outlet to the Mediterranean, had her eyes fixed on Constantinople and sought to dominate the Balkans.

Just Waiting for the Spark.  --Cooter

Thursday, September 7, 2017

About That War 100 Years Ago-- Part 1: Doing That Imperialism Thing

From the Federal Point Historic Preservation Society January 2017 newsletter.

Text from "American Political and Social History" by Harold Underwood Faulkner, published May 1937 by F.S. crofts & Co., New York.


"...As the nations of Western Europe became industrialized, they sought an outlet for manufactured goods in the less developed regions of the world.  Great Britain had obtained the lion's share, but the decade after 1870 other nations moved aggresively to obtain what was left.

"Behind this imperialistic rivalry was France seeking to restore her national spirit after her defeat in 1870 (the Franco-Prussian War);  Germany, with an amazing industrial development and with the most powerful army in the world, demanding "a place in the sun"; Russia in search of an ice-free port on the Pacific; and Japan looking for markets to support her teeming population."


Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Big Ben Goes Silent-- Part 2: Longest Period of Silence Ever

Steve Jaggs, keeper of the Great Clock, said that the clock mechanism will be dismantled piece by piece, and its four dials will be cleaned and repaired.  The 15.1-ton bell will be cleaned and checked for cracks.

Big Ben has been stopped several times since it first sounded in 1859, but the current restoration project marks the longest period of silence.

Parliamentary officials say, however, that they will ensure that the bell still sounds on major occasions like New years Eve and Remembrance Sunday.


Monday, September 4, 2017

Big Ben Goes Silent-- Part 1: No Bongs for Four Years

From the September 3, 2017, Chicago Tribune "Big Ben to fall silent for 4 years" by AP.

If you're going top visit London with the idea of hearing the massive bongs of Big Ben, you're too late.  At least for the next four years, Big Ben goes silent.

Big Ben, the huge clock bell of Britain's Parliament has fallen silent as a four-year restoration project gets underway.

The bongs of the iconic bell stopped chiming at noon on August 21 to protect workers during the $38 million repair job on the Queen Elizabeth Tower which house Big Ben and its clock.  (Most people think Big Ben is the name of the tower.)  It isn't due to resume service until 2021.


Saturday, September 2, 2017

Claude R. Pfaff-- Part 7: Fishing and Active in the Community

In the 1960s, Claude and Atha retired from the dairy farm and spent from early spring to late fall at the cottage at Carolina Beach.  Daughter Gerri says her father practically lived on Fisherman Steel Pier at Carolina Beach, coming home only when his wife demanded he eat or sleep.

In those years he became a member of the Carolina Beach Presbyterian Church and an active member in the life of the local community, often sitting on the benches of the boardwalk and people-watching while Atha played bingo.  There used to be a lot of bingo parlors and at one time the boardwalk was right by the ocean in the days before the dunes were established.

They saw Carolina Beach go into decline in the 1950s, which continued through to around 1980, when it started coming back to being the tourist destination it is today.

Claude died in November 1983 and Atha in September 1986.

Gerri Cohen is their last surviving child and currently lives in Wilmington, but still uses the cottage in the summer, sharing it with her extended family.  She is a member of the Federal Point Historical Society and generously offered her father's World War I uniform for display during the war's centennial.


Claude R. Pfaff-- Part 6: Carolina Beach During World War II

Often during World War II, the Pfaff family ended up sharing their small cottage at Carolina Beach, "The Lullaby" with a family of strangers.  because of the shortage of housing in Wilmington area, property owners were required to rent out their houses in order to provide the families of the enlisted men due to ship out soon a place to spend a week at the beach before they separated.

Only office space was exempt, so Atha designated one room as an office.


Claude R. Pfaff-- Part 5: Summers At Carolina Beach, N.C.

Gerri Cohen (their daughter) remembers that as soon as her school was out the family would get on US Highway 421 in Winston-Salem and take it to Carolina Beach where they would stay all summer until just before school began in September.

Now, that's the life.  Beach bum for the summer.  I'd only get to do that for about a week and definitely not every summer.  Perhaps if we had continued living in North Carolina and had Hurricane Hazel not destroyed my grandparents' cottage on Carolina Beach's Southern Extension, I might have been able to do that as well.

Us Highway 421 goes right through Carolina Beach and ends at the "Rocks" by Fort Fisher, about four miles away.  I have taken  US-421 from its northern terminus in Michigan City, Indiana, all the way to the "Rocks."  Before I-40, it was the way to go from Winston-Salem (which it passes through) to Carolina Beach.

Carolina Beach, One of My Favorite Places in the World.  --CootBum

Friday, September 1, 2017

Claude R. Pfaff-- Part 4: A Carolina Beach Connection

In the 1920s, when he was working for the Realty Bond Real Estate Company, the firm would send its salesmen on vacation to Carolina Beach so that they would come back and tell their customers how wonderful the beach was, and hopefully sell more lots at Carolina Beach.

Throughout his years of living in Winston-Salem, Mr. Pfaff most enjoyed going to Carolina Beach for the fall fishing season.  His friend Ellis Freeman taught him how to fish, and Ellis' wife Annie, taught him how to cook what he caught.

In 1927, the Carolina Beach Hotel stood across from where Claude and Atha were staying, and one evening, while they were sitting on the porch of their place, they watched waiters and employees carrying out linens, silverware and other valuables from the hotel.  The next night the hotel "mysteriously" burned to the ground.

In the early 1930s, Claude built a cottage near Carolina Beach Lake as a birthday present to Atha, who named it "The Lullaby" for the choruses of frogs that sang around it at night.


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Claude R. Pfaff-- Part 3: After the War, Jobs and Carolina Beach

Now a civilian again, Claude worked for the Colonial Motor Company and then as a salesman for the Realty Bind Company in Winston-Salem.  He married Atha Wolff of Tobaccoville, N.C., in June 1919 and they had two sons, Harry and Bob, and one daughter, Geraldine.

In his later years, Claude Pfaff worked as a retail coal dealer then a dairy farmer before retiring and spending most of his time in Carolina Beach, N.C., and much of that time fishing for king mackeral off the Fisherman's Steel Pier.

Both of my grandfathers were avid fishermen and loved to get out on piers.  My father's father, was killed in an accident coming back from a pier at Topsail island, N.C..


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Lt. Pfaff's WW I Experience Much Like My Grandfather and Great Uncle's

The last two posts I wrote about Claude Pfaff and his World War I experience.  He had his training at Camp Jackson near Columbia, South Carolina, as did my grandfather, William Graham Hood.  And like Mr. Pfaff, my grandfather never had to ship off to France.  Also, my grandfather was honorably discharged at Camp Sevier.

My Great Uncle, David Mabury Prince was a lieutenant, but trained at Camp Sevier and went overseas.

Find out about my grandfather and great uncle by clicking the David Prince and William G. Hood labels.

Small World.  --Cooter

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Our World War I Soldier, Claude Pfaff-- Part 2: Camp Jackson and Camp Sevier

Claude Pfaff enlisted and was sent to Camp Jackson, a major training and staging base established near Columbia, South Carolina.  Here, battalions were formed before being sent overseas to fight in France.

Claude was promoted to Band Sergeant and assigned to the 156th Depot Brigade.  Using his musical talents, he played the bugle for military ceremonial occasions as well as morale-lifting events at such locations as the base hospital, the Red Cross Convalescent House and the Liberty Theater, which seated 3,600 soldiers.

On September 26, he was transferred to Camp Sevier, Greenville, South Carolina, and in October, he was commissioned out of the ranks to lieutenant.

With the war coming to an end and the Armistice going into effect on November 11, 1918, the military quickly demobilized and Pfaff was honorably discharged on November 30, 1918 as a second lieutenant and returned to civilian life.

A World War I Story.  --Cooter

Monday, August 28, 2017

Our World War I Soldier, Claude R. Pfaff-- Part 1: Student at UNC-Chapel Hill and Volunteered for the Army

From the April 2017 Federal Point Historic Preservation Society Newsletter.

CLAUDE R. PFAFF-- 1892-1983

2nd Lieutenant in the United States Army--  1918

The society's History Center in Carolina Beach, N.C. has a new exhibit marking the centennial of the U.S. entry into World War I and his uniform is on display, thanks to its loan by member Gerri Cohen.

He was born September 1892 in Pfafftown, Forsyth County, North Carolina.  He was of Moravian heritage and spent his formative years playing in the Bethania Moravian Band.  After attending Bethania High School, he earned his bachelor's degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (Class of 1917 (1917?)).  As part of his matriculation, he taught school at Mount Tabor.

In 1917, the United States formally entered World War I.  Pfaff, like most young men to graduate that spring, knew he was likely to be drafted into the military as soon as he graduated.  The university offered to waive all final exams to anyone who volunteered so he joined the Army.


Friday, August 25, 2017

200 Years Ago, the Erie Canal-- Part 7: "Buffalo Gals Won't You Come Out Tonight"

**  As the Erie Canal's original Lake Erie terminus, Buffalo became America's eighth largest city.  To emphasize that heyday heritage, Buffalo has excavated and revived its largely abandoned canal bed as Canalside, an urban park and recreational  development where you can catch a concert or rent kayaks.

In Victorian times, the Canalside was where crews of east-bound Midwest grain freighters were paid -- and where their wages were squandered on booze and floozies.

Larry Mruk, who leads walking tours for Explore Buffalo said this is the spot that inspired the folk song "Buffalo Gals"  They were the painted ladies who would come out at night and dance by the light of the moon.

What was the song George Bailey and Mary Hatch had in "It's A Wonderful Life?"

Well...  Something I Definitely Did Not Know About That a Song.  --Cooter

Thursday, August 24, 2017

200 Years Ago, the Erie Canal-- Part 6: Locks and Wurlitzer

**  The Rochester Museum and Science Center has a hands-on model of a lock, while the town of Lockport is where seven locks initially raised and lower canal boats 167 feet, the same distance as the natural plunge at the nearby Niagara Falls.

Today, there are just two locks at Lockport.

You can take a narrated boat trip here with Lockport Locks & Erie Canal Cruises.

**  North Tonawanda, the canal's western terminus since the 1917-1918 enlargement of the waterway, is where the canal feeds into the Niagara River.  A beautifully developed canalside docking area is located in the spruced-up downtown, once home to factories for Wurlitzer organs and Herschell carousels.


Wednesday, August 23, 2017

200 Years Ago, the Erie Canal-- Part 5: A "Wizard of Oz" Connection

**  The City of Little Falls had the foresight to keep its old canal warehouses intact.  Today they house boutiques in what's called Canal Place.

**  At tiny Chittenango, once a hub of canal-boat building and repair, the Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum features a replica canal boat.  "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" author Frank Baum was born in Chittenango in 1856 and the village has various Oz-inspired touches, including the Yellow Brick Road Casino.

**  In downtown Syracuse, where the original canal flowed, you can see dozens of artifacts and look around a canal boat replica at the Erie Canal Museum in the old Weighlock Building, where tolls were assessed by poundage.

I wonder if there are any original canal boats remaining?


Tuesday, August 22, 2017

200 Years Later, the Erie Canal-- Part 4: Places to Go on the Erie Canal

Some places to see on the Erie Canal:

**  Historic downtown Waterford, which pushes it status as the eastern end of the original Erie Canal.  (The canal's eastern terminus is now less than a half-mile sout on the deeper Mohawk River channel.)  Pleasure craft can dock at the town's landing and the city is dotted with painted, life-size fiberglass mules as a public art project.  Mules, of course, were the main source of power for the 1800s canal boats.

There are hiking trails, exhibits, scenic overlooks.  Learn about the canal's histort at Waterford Historical Museum.

**  At Fort Hunter, west of Schenectady, there is the Schoharie Crossing State Historic Site where yoy can see the remains of an aqueduct created for the early 1800s canal.  The picturesque town of Amsterdam is nearby on the Mohawk River.