June 30, 2016
Independence Day, or more commonly known as the Fourth of July is one of the biggest events and celebrations in America’s history. Still, we must not forget why we celebrate this important day and everything the led to it, plus more facts about it. Today, I am presenting you with some trivia about the Fourth of July that may surprise you:
- While many get the Fourth off today, it was not officially declared by Congress a paid Federal holiday until 1938. It was originally unpaid since 1870.
- Nathan’s Hot Dogs holds their Hot Dog Eating Contest annually. This is to see who can eat the most hot dogs in the fastest time. The event is held on New York’s Coney Island and is broadcast on national television on cable.
- Three presidents died on the 4th of July: Thomas Jefferson, John Adams within hours of each other on 1826, and James Monroe in 1831. The only president to the be born on the 4th of July was Calvin Coolidge in 1872.
- The Liberty Bell in Philadelphia is tapped thirteen times in honor of the original thirteen colonies. The bell has not been rung since 1846.
- John Hancock was the first signer of the Declaration of Independence and the only signer ON the Fourth of July. It actually took a month for all 56 signatures to get on the Declaration of Independence and John Adams thought the Second of July would become Independence Day.
- While we light fireworks on the Fourth some 240 years after we became a country, in the first year afterward, many Americans placed a candle on their windowsills to show their patriotism for their new country. Those still loyal to the British crown left their windowsills bare.
- While we hold barbecues today that feature burgers and hot dogs, our founding fathers ate foods like turtle soup, poached salmon in egg sauce, peas, boiled potatoes in their skins, and apple pandowdy for dessert!
Hope you enjoyed all the trivia! Happy 4th, America!
March 10, 2016
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Iowa was included in the Louisiana Purchase, came under US control in 1803, and became the 29th state on December 28, 1846. The state flag was not adopted until 1921 when it was designed by a Mrs. Dixie Gebhardt who was from the Daughters of the American Revolution of Iowa. The flag’s colors are red, white, and blue, and take on the same tricolor pattern as the French flag, paying homage to its French roots. The white center of the flag is larger and has a bald eagle holding a flowing ribbon in its beak. The ribbon reads, “Our Liberties we prize, and our rights we will maintain.”
Iowa’s state capital is Des Moines which had been named after a military post called Fort Des Moines that had been established along the Des Moines river during the 1840s. The city was officially incorporated on September 22, 1851. The city has a population of over 204,000 (as of the 2010 Census) but a Metro population of nearly 570,000.
Iowa got its state name is from the word Ioway, the French version of the name Bah-kho-je, which was the name of the Indian tribe that lived in the area.
Well known Iowans-31st US President Herbert Hoover was born in West Branch, IA, on August 10, 1874.
Actor John Wayne (born as Marion Mitchell Morrison) was born in Winterset, IA on May 26, 1907.
July 28, 2015
The fifteenth state to enter the United States is Kentucky on June 1, 1792. Kentucky is known as the Bluegrass State. This is due to the large patches of grass growing on lawns, farms, and pastures in which blue-purple buds blooming help add a bluish tint during the spring.
Kentucky’s state flag was adopted in 1918, although the design was not finalized until 1928 and changed again in 1962. The state’s flag has a navy blue background with the Kentucky state seal emblazoned on the center. Inside the seal, a pioneer and a statesman are shaking hands with the words United We Stand on top and United We Fall below them. Outside the state seal in yellow letters reads Commonwealth of Kentucky and below are two goldenrod flowers.
Kentucky is actually the birthplace of Abraham Lincoln, who was the 16th President of the United States from 1861-1865. He was born in Hodgenville, Kentucky on February 12, 1809 in a log cabin. He lived here with his family until 1816 when the Lincolns picked up and moved to Indiana.
While one of Kentucky’s most well-known cities is Louisville, the state capital is actually Frankfort. It became the state capitol in 1792 after pledging more manpower of a statehouse than any other city. According to the Kentucky state website (2009), Frankfort’s population is slightly less than 30,000 while Louisville and the Louisville metro area’s population is reported to be 1,556,429.
Famous Races: Kentucky is home to the Kentucky Derby which is the oldest annual horse race in the US. It is held at Churchill Downs in Louisville.
State Name: The name Kentucky came from the Iroquois word “Ken-tah-hen” which translates to “land of tomorrow”.
July 10, 2015
The final colony to enter the union is Rhode Island on May 29, 1790. It is the smallest state in the United States at Rhode Island is so small that they’re composed of only five counties! Despite being a small state, Rhode Island is well known for it’s large shoreline. Set on Narragansett Bay (Atlantic Ocean), the shoreline runs for nearly 400 miles, earning the nickname “The Ocean State”.
The Rhode Island state flag was adopted in 1879. The flag is white with a yellow anchor in the center. The anchor is encircled by thirteen yellow stars to represent the thirteen colonies. Underneath the anchor is a light blue ribbon which reads the state motto “Hope”. The colors on this state flag date all the way back to colonial times, the original establishment of Rhode Island, and the Providence Plantations ruled under King Charles II of England.
Rhode Island is home to two war memorials. The first memorial is The Korean War Memorial of Rhode Island in Providence, RI. The memorial was erected to honor Rhode Island citizens who served and died in the Korean War (1950-1953). The names of those Killed in Action (KIA) or Missing in Action (MIA) are engraved in white bricks while the red bricks bear the names of the men and women who served during the war. The second war memorial is The World War I Memorial in Miantonomi Park, RI where it was established in 1921 to memorialize those who had been lost in WWI (1914-1918). The memorial is 100 foot tower of stone along with a 30 foot flagpole at the top. It became listed as a National Historic Park in 1969.
The Ocean: Nearly all residents of Rhode Island live about 30 miles from the ocean!
Early Days: Rhode Island was originally known as “The Colony of Rhode Island and the Providence Plantations”, an early settlement. After the American Revolution, the land became known as the State of Rhode Island.
March 20, 2015
Georgia is the fourth state into the union. It became a state on January 2, 1788, right after the new year. Georgia is known as the Peach State due to a large amount of peaches that grow there (peaches became the official state fruit in 1995).
In my research, I learned that Georgia originally had a different state flag. Several versions, to be exact, but the most well-known version is the 1956-2001 flag.
The first flag consisted of the Confederate flag along with a blue background with the Great Seal of the State of Georgia. However, after flying for 45 years, the Georgia state flag was changed. The Confederate flag on the first state flag was controversial, reminding the people of Georgia of their darker days in history. The request to change the flag dates as far back as the 1980s. The request was to return to the pre-1956 design which was much like the then-current flag but with three stripes: two red, and one white.
The bill for a new flag was finally passed in January 2001. The new flag that would be flown over Georgia was designed by Cecil Alexander, an Atlanta based architect. The new flag consisted of a blue background along with the seal of the State of Georgia in a gold color. Around the seal are 13 white stars to represent the original 13 colonies. Underneath is a gold ribbon labeled “Georgia’s History” with five flags. The first flag is the original stars and stripes with just thirteen stars, next is one of the coat of arms designs. Then comes the 1920s flag, followed by the 1956-2001 flag, and a 2001-2003 version. Last but not least is the current flag of Georgia.
This 2001 incarnation of the state flag flew for just two years until 2003. While some were pleased with the new design, others were still not satisfied. Some felt it was an insult to their history and heritage. Finally, in May 2003, Governor Sonny Perdue signed House Bill No. 380 into law. The 2003 flag is reminiscent of the flag from the 1920s but the lower red stripe is longer and the blue is a little cut back as a result. This flag has finally won the favor of the people of Georgia.
Travel: Although Georgia is a coastal state, there are two islands to which you can actually drive: Tybee Island and Jekyll Island.
In addition to peaches, peanuts are also grown in this state.
November 12, 2014
I had a blog written about Veterans Day but we attended the Veterans Day Parade here in town. I changed my whole idea of what I wanted to write. I wanted to try to tell you how I felt to stand on the side of parade line next to my Marine Veteran and see Veterans from every generation.
There were Pearl Harbor survivors, WWII Veterans, Vietnam Veterans, Submarine Vets, Army, Air Force, Navy, Coast Guard and Marines.
Along the parade route came a family representing 5 brothers that were in WWII that served in the 5 branches of military. We sat next to a young lady that just recently did 4 years in the Army as an Animal Specialist. My Honey’s co-worker came to the parade and he was in the Army Calvary.
This year’s theme was Women in Military-We Served. And they did, and were out in force, from Nurse’s Corp to pilots – it was amazing!
I always tell a Veteran…Thank you for your service…but this year we talked to a widow of a Navy man. Her husband passed away last year and here she was 78 years old, drove an hour to pay her respects all by herself. But you know what? She wasn’t alone, she had us and we listened to her adventures of being a Navy wife.
Some of the best experiences are unexpected. I cried at seeing our Veterans. I was so full of pride for my fellow citizens. My chest hurt from being overwhelmed at the joy of everyone celebrating our Veterans.
I took a lot of pictures that I would like share, I hope you enjoy. My advice to you, talk with a Veteran, not just on Veterans Day but any day, you might find out something in your heart that was missing.