Tag Archives: HISTORY

A surviving Patterson remains but a dream

Recently someone posted a YouTube video on Facebook of a 1909 Patterson automobile being taken for a test drive. The video was posted by the Saratoga (NY) Automobile Museum and many wondered if it was a long-sought survivor of the C.R. Patterson Company of Greenfield, OH.

C.R. Patterson was the first, and only, African American manufacturer of automobiles in America and there are no known survivors of their motorized vehicles. The Greenfield Historical Association does own a couple of examples of the horsedrawn wagons the company made before going into the automobile, and later bus, business.

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America, our nation, may be doomed

I taught American Government for a couple of decades and always believed in the basic principles of our Constitutional democracy. That the founders feared power and they believed too much power would result in corruption. This fear led them to create a system that divided power into three governmental branches and assigned certain powers to each. It was assumed that protecting what was their own would cause each branch to check the power of the others while protecting its own.

While this system of “checks and balances” has never worked perfectly it has, for almost two and a half centuries, kept us a democratic nation and prevented the rise of a tyrannical dictatorship. The maintenance of democracy in America has, however, been under attack since Donald Trump took occupancy of the White House. Trump has increasingly used every means at his disposal to weaken the competing two branches while strengthing the power of the executive to levels never before seen. The current attempt to impeach and remove Trump fro43%m power is motivated in great part, to an attempt to restore a balance between the three branches.

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The Impeachments You’ve Probably Not Heard Of

I think we can now confidently say that three American presidents have been impeached, Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and most certainly, Donald Trump. Richard Nixon would have been impeached and most likely removed from office had he not resigned his office before the House of Representatives took a vote.

But, what about other federal impeachments? The Constitution permits the impeachment of the President, Vice President, and all civil officers, including federal judges, of the United States.* So far, in our nation’s history, there have been nineteen impeachments, fifteen of which were judges and two were presidents. Trump is not included in the total, as of yet.

Most Americans know little to nothing about the non-presidential impeachments but a little investigation makes for interesting reading. A list if our impeachments, along with a brief story of each can be found by clicking HERE.

  • Members of Congress are not considered civil officers and are not impeachable.

Ford & Rockefeller Make History

With everything that’s recently been said about impeachment, Gerald Ford was mentioned. Ford, a long-time member of the House of Representatives, was quoted as having said that high crimes and misdemeanors were whatever the House says they are.

That said, I got to thinking about Ford’s time in the White House and recalling a bit of historical trivia regarding both he and his vice president, Nelson Rockefeller.

While some of you old-timers may recall this, it may be new to the whipper-snappers out there. As a result of the 25th Amendment and the resignation of President Richard Nixon, Ford and Rockefeller made history.

Before the resignation of Nixon his Vice President, Spiro Agnew, had been forced to resign because of criminal problems back in his home state of Maryland. The 25th required that a replacement be appointed and that person was Gerald Ford. Thus, Ford became the first VP to have never been elected by the people or the Electoral College. Later, when Nixon resigned to avoid being removed through the impeachment process, Ford became the president, again without being elected.

That left the VP vacant and the 25th required that someone needed to be appointed to fill that vacancy. That somebody was the former governor of New York, Nelson Rockefeller.

So, for the first and only time in America’s history, both the presidency and the vice presidency were filled by people who had not been chosen by either popular vote or the majority of the Electoral College. And there children, is your historical trivia for the day.

 

A Tree Named Boab (That’s Australian for Bob)

Have you ever seen a photo of a baobab tree? I first saw them in a college textbook about South African History and they are

Classic baobab tree.

magnificent. They sort of look like a tree turned upside down with its roots in the air and its foliage buried in the ground. To see one makes it hard to forget one.

Last winter my wife and I watched a police series that was filmed in Australia and something resembling baobab trees were a regular part of outdoor shots. After a little research, I discovered that there is only

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What About Bernie?

When 78-year-old Bernie Sanders had his recent heart attack I wondered if it would ruin his chances for election. I recalled that in the 1950s Dwight Eisenhower suffered heart problems and he finished out two terms in office. I couldn’t remember if he had experienced his attack during his first or second term.

So, I did a little Googling and learned that the four-pack a day smoker suffered an attack while playing golf in September 1955. He was aged 64 and in June of 1956 announced he would run for a second term.

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Sergeant at Arms, Arrest That Man!

Unless you’re brain dead you know there is a huge battle going on between the House of Representatives and the White House. The House is gleaning information (evidence) in an attempt to impeach Donald J. Trump and Donald J. Trump is stonewalling in every way he can.

Traditionally the House could turn to federal prosecutors but since the AG is behaving as if he were Trump’s personal attorney there’s not much chance of resolution via that route.

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The Last Days of Great BBQ? Let Us Hope Not!

In the early 1980s, my sister in law’s parents began letting my family and me stay at their Atlantic Beach, NC cottage for a week each year. On our first trip, we discovered Wilber’s BBQ in Goldsboro, NC and to this day it has remained the standard by which we have come to measure pulled pork. Over the years none of us have ever driven along Highway 70 and not stopped at Wilber’s going and coming. Often we would stop just to bring home bottles of his famous vinegar-based sauce and several frozen pounds of his whole-hog hickory-smoked delight.

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Understanding High-Crimes & Misdemeanors

For at least the fourth time in our history, the US House of Representatives is investigating a sitting president for impeachable offenses. Besides the official investigation that Speaker Nancy Pelosi endorsed yesterday against Donald Trump, there was Andrew Johnson in 1868, Richard Nixon in 1973, and Bill Clint 1998. Nixon resigned before his case came to trial in the Senate while the Senate failed to find Johnson and Clinton guilty of the charges. 
With yesterday’s decision by Pelosi the question arises, what are impeachable charges? The US Constitution clearly states that the president, the vice president, and all civil officers, may be impeached. Stated impeachable offenses would include “treason, bribery, or other high crimes and misdemeanors.”

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“Locked & Loaded” – Oh Shit, Not Another War!

George H.W. Bush, in 1990, took a coalition of nations into Kuwait and Iraq to protect one of our sources of oil from an invading Iraqui army. We went to war for oil, and many Americans didn’t think that was justified. The majority, however, saw our actions as protecting a friendly nation from a tyrant, Saddam Hussein.

Currently, Donald Trump is threatening war with Iran and seems to be claiming that Iran attacked our friend, Saudi Arabia. A clearer version of the truth is that both Iran and Saudi are aggressor nations and neither is a friend to America. Both nations are religious and economic rivals and both sponsor international terrorism. After all, it was Saudis who brought down the trade towers on 9/11 and it is the Saudis who are heavily responsible for the civil war that is raging in their neighboring country of Yemen.

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Gee Our Old LaSalle Ran Great…

People love to talk about how great things used to be and in many ways, I’m no different. Several conversations recently have me thinking about those good old days. So, I decided to make a list of what we used to pay for things. Feel free to add to it.

Prices in the 1950s:

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Red’s – It Is What It Is!

There was a time in the American South when juke joints were to be found at every dirt road crossing. Sometimes they were ramshackle houses or abandoned commercial buildings but often, they were small buildings assembled from whatever could be found. Rough cut boards, disassembled shipping crates, and rusting metal roofing were common.

Inside these places could be found fried catfish, smoked pork, cold beer, corn liquor and a couple of guys with cheap instruments pounding out the rhythms that we know today as the blues. If there wasn’t live music there’d be a jukebox playing records and thus the name, juke joints.

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Biscuits & Gravy, a History

I am a member of a Facebook Page aimed at people who love food and love to cook. One of the common postings is about having had biscuits and gravy for breakfast, especially biscuits and sausage gravy.

It’s a popular meal and almost everyone has something to say about how they prepare it and/or how they consume it. I prefer mine, for example, as a single split buttermilk biscuit with just a minimal amount of gravy containing a mild sausage. On top, I like a sunny side up farm egg with salt and pepper.

One member wrote about making a tomato gravy and serving it on toast. I tried making it and served mine on a biscuit. If I were to do it again I’d fry up a couple of strips of crisp bacon to crumble on top of the gravy.

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Mound City Group – National Historical Park

Back in the 1970s, I took my junior high school class to Mound City Group in Chillicothe. Even though I drive past the main site several times a year I haven’t stopped until just a few days ago. I had thrown my back out so I didn’t venture beyond the visitor center area but I got enough pictures and a short video to give one some idea of what is to be found there.

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A Few Words About Protected Words!

On Friday, July 19, 2019, Donald J. Trump said:

“You can’t speak about our country the way those four congressmen – they said, ‘garbage.’ They say things about Israel that’s so bad I’m not even going to repeat them right now.

“They can’t get away with that act.

Essentially Trump is claiming that Americans don’t have the right to say things that he disagrees with or doesn’t like. That somehow the First Amendment of free speech doesn’t apply to those who talk of things that challenge his hegemony of power.

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