Category Archives: American History

1838 – John Wilkes Booth is born

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Everybody who has heard his name today knows him as the man who shot and killed President Abraham Lincoln in 1865, but before that, Booth was a theater actor known for his passionate and dramatic appearances on stage.  The ninth of ten children, he came from a prominent family of actors, his father Junius Brutus Booth Sr. being known for his Shakespearean roles and his mother Mary Ann Holmes being a mistress before marrying Junius when their son was thirteen years old.  John became a great athlete, particularly fond of fencing, and was an excellent horseback rider, and with his handsome features, he was said to be popular with women.

But Booth was a Confederate sympathizer, whose love of the South where he was born became his downfall.  He gathered a group of like-minded individuals in 1664 and planned to kidnap President Lincoln, but eventually his intentions grew more manacing and on 14 April 1865, while the President was viewing a production of Our American Cousin at Ford’s Theatre with his wife, Booth snuck into the President’s box and shot him in the back of the head.  Booth scrambled away, sustaining a broken leg in his escape, while Lincoln died the next morning.

On 26 April, after the greatest manhunt in American history, Booth and his traveling companion, David Herold, were cornered by Union soldiers in the tobacco barn of Garrett Farm, where Booth refused to surrender and was shot in the neck and died from his injuries the following morning.  He was twenty-six years old.

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Posted by on May 10, 2018 in American History, Civil War


Documentary Sunday – Killer Subs in Pearl Harbor

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Posted by on December 11, 2017 in American History, Documentary Sunday


1941 – The Attack on Pearl Harbor

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In fact, the number actually rose above 2000.  When Japanese air forces arrived at the Naval base of Pearl Harbor near Honolulu, Hawaii around 8 in the morning, they brought with them undeniable destruction that thrust the United States into World War II, which lead to nearly five years of battle between America and Japan as well as Germany.

My grandfather at the age of just twenty heard of the attack and soon after joined the USMC (The Marine Corps), and served in the 1st Batallion, 1st Regiment in Japan, and participated in the Battle of Guadalcanal a short while later.  Pearl Harbor not only changed the world forever, it also changed my family forever.  As a Corporal, my grandfather saw the story of what Japan was capable of with his own eyes; he faced near certain death every day, but he came home and hardly ever spoke of what he witnessed.  After his death in 1976, my family kept his uniform and a flag he brought home from Japan, which I remember finding as a girl and being fascinated by my family hero.  His heroism began with Pearl Harbor, as did the heroism of countless other men and women who joined the Second World War.  We owe everything to the sacrifice of the citizens of Pearl Harbor and that is why we still remember them to this day and for the days to come.

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Posted by on December 7, 2017 in American History


1882 – Jesse James is Murdered

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One of the most famous bank robbers in American history was killed in his own home by one of his own gang members in 1882.  Brothers Charley and Robert Ford joined the infamous James-Younger Gang hoping for an opportunity to capture James and bring him in in exchange for the massive bounty on his head.  According to the brothers, James laid down his revolvers on the sofa in his St. Joseph, Missouri home and climbed a ladder to dust a picture.  Once his back was turned, Robert Ford shot him in the back of the head and he died at the age of 33.

In the aftermath of James’ death, the Ford brothers were charged with murder, but pardoned by the Governor, and in 1884, Charley committed suicide while his younger brother was himself murdered in 1892.  James himself was buried at his family farm in Kearney, Missouri before his body was moved to the local cemetery, where he rests today with his wife Zerelda Mimms.  His mother wrote the epitaph that can still be seen on his original tombstone, which states that he was “Murdered by a Traitor and Coward Whose Name is not Worthy to Appear Here.”

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Posted by on April 3, 2017 in American History


Documentary Sunday – Secrets of the Founding Fathers

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Posted by on March 5, 2017 in American History


1963 – John F. Kennedy is Assassinated

The 35th President of the United States died at the age of forty-six after a fatal gunshot wound to the head and to the throat.  He was the second youngest president to take the office and the youngest to leave it.

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Posted by on November 22, 2015 in American History


Independence Day – 4 July 1776

It is a day Americans know well, but today we celebrate our nation’s separation from the British Empire with alcohol, barbecues, and fireworks.  Very few take the time to remember the struggles of our Founding Fathers over two centuries ago.

When King George III refused to acknowledge the many grievances of the American colonists, they declared themselves to be separate from the British Empire in a document known as The Unanimous Declaration of the Thirteen United States of America, known commonly today as the Declaration of Independence.  (You can see the original name on the document copy below)  Penned by Thomas Jefferson, the youngest of the delegates of the Continental Congress, and edited with the help of John Adams and Dr. Benjamin Franklin, the final draft was adopted by Congress on the Second of July and formally signed by all members during the summer, not on one day as is commonly thought.  Months prior in January 1776, when it became clear that there was no way for the Americans to peacefully negotiate with the King, John Adams, a lawyer from Massachusetts and cousin to Patriot Samuel Adams, persuaded Congress to have his friend and fellow delegate Thomas Jefferson, a planter from Virginia, write the first draft since he knew the younger man to have a great way with words.  It took several tiring and stressful weeks, but soon, the document was completed and unanimously agreed upon by all delegates of all 13 states.  This is seen as the defining moment of the American Revolution, though the war itself did not end until 1778.

The real Independence Day is in fact July Second, however the date instead commemorates the date on which the Declaration’s existence was made public.