Tag Archives: history

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 – Back to the Future Again

Wednesday, August 9, 2017 – Back to the Future Again or History the Way it Should be Taught

I received a great compliment the other day. A dear friend said, “I would love to have taken a history class from you.” Yes, you probably would. Ask all those fabulous J. L McCullough High School students in the late 70’s and early 80’s. They had the best and brightest history and government teachers Conroe ISD had to offer. Take that CHS!

Here is what I am thinking my history class might hear today.

Good Morning,

Is Stephanie on her way to class? Or will she be virtual presence? Good, here she is.

You need your device. I hope they are charged but if not, move to one of the charging stations in the back. Remember to charge! An uncharged device is like The Charge of the Light Brigade and you know what happened to them.

Open your folder and click on the link I sent you just now.

Screen One

Listed below are three historical events. Your assignment is to relate each of these three past events to the current events today in as many ways as you can think of. You may work alone or form a group not to exceed four.

Your assessment will be a presentation of how you chose to relate the events and how many relationships you can make. Alabama is going to be tough but it is there. No, I do not think it is the football team, but if you can find a relationship, then go for it.

You may choose any presentation method, including but not limited to: essay, charts/graphs, poetry, artwork, music, movie, theatre (a play), or a combination of methods.

Upload your presentation to your folder on Electronic Homework. Your final presentation is due at 11:59 PM, August 9, 2017.

Screen Two

  1. Seventy-two (72) years ago, August 9, 1945, the United States dropped a second atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan.
  2. Forty-three (43) years ago, August 9, 1974, the following letter was sent to Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. It read:

“I hereby resign the office of President of the United States.

Sincerely, Richard M. Nixon.”

  1. “Who’s Next?” By Tom Leher That Was the Year That Was Album 1965

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oRLON3ddZIw

Let me know if you have questions.

Thursday, August 3, 2017 – The Miller’s Tale

Thursday, August 3, 2017 – The Miller’s Tale

Dear Mr. Stephen Miller,

This is a photograph of my great grandfather and the origin of the Duffey line – J.W. Duffey. He was probably about 40 years old in the photograph.

According to the proposed immigration rules, he would not be allowed to enter the United States today. He was only 12 years of age when he and his two brothers and mother and father came to America in 1848. He had no skills and did not speak English. He was 12!

His family – aka MY family – came to America from Ireland – County Cork to be precise. It seems in 1848 there was this agricultural blight called The Potato Famine. Perhaps you have heard of it. There was literally no food and hundreds of thousands starved to death. The British government’s policy was “Let the Irish starve.”

I suppose the family decided not to go to the continent of Europe. Almost every country was embroiled in revolutions and rebellions of people trying to persecute and oppress groups of people they didn’t like and other groups called The Resistance. For example, that Otto von Bismark guy was strutting around scaring France and then he united a bunch of little states in what would become Germany. Troubled times. So the next option was America. People immigrated there because it offered FREEDOM. Perhaps you have heard of it too, Mr. Miller.

However, J.W. Duffey would become a blacksmith and serve in The War Between the States in such a capacity, achieving the rank of Sgt. He would receive an honorable discharge from the Confederate Army. He used those smithy skills to build the railroads of Alabama and Mississippi before settling in Louisiana where he ran a livery stable.  Just below his name on his headstone it reads “Born in Ireland.”

GGGrandfather would marry and raise several children, one of whom became my grandfather. Both of GGrandfather’s children, one of whom became my father graduated from high school, when only 8% of the entire US population did. My father would graduate from Miss Lynn’s Business College and become a bookkeeper.

 

Then came the rest of J. W. Duffey’s heirs four and five generations later. We all graduated from college – good ones too! We became doctors, lawyers, social workers, business owners, business leaders, accountants, teachers, mothers, fathers, civic leaders and a couple of the heirs even like horses and that blacksmith stuff.

Mr. Miller, I would hate to think what would have happened in 1848 if that12 year boy and his family were not allowed to come to America.

Enough about my family coming to America, Mr. Miller. How about your family? Please know I signed you up withAncestry.com. so you can determine how, when and why your family arrived in America. Miller? I betting the name is English as in white, male and protestant. Your ancestors probably said “Let the Irish starve.”

Statue of Liberty, 1986. Photo by me.

Sincerely yours,

The proud heir of an Irish immigrant.

PS – Mr. Miller if you wear a pink bow tie, you really will look like Pee Wee Herman.

Thursday, July 6, 2017 – Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer and G-20

Thursday, July 6, 2017 – Lazy, Hazy, Crazy Days of Summer and G-20

Here’s What I’m Thinking. Get your history hat on.

The POTUS is out of the country. Our political prayer for the day is “please do not let him tweet and start a war.”

He is headed to the G-20 Summit that kicks off tomorrow in Hamburg, Germany. The Chair of the Conference is Head of State of Germany, Angela Merkel. It is a meeting to discuss world financial issues and has been going on since 1999 (Google it).

I am feeling like The Hippie Dippy Weatherman (George Carlin) “A line of thunderstorms is headed toward Japan, but so is a line of North Korean missiles, so I would not sweat the thunderstorms.” Is the emoji for this a mushroom shaped cloud over Alaska or the Secretary of Education telling children to “just get under their desks and put your hands over your heads?”

The POTUS visited Poland on his way to Germany. When That Man tweets at 3:00 AM that “His Presidency received the largest crowds ever” please remember your history.

  1. Most of those crowds were bused in. They are somewhat like Extras in a crowd scene in a movie. If one knew their history, he or she would know this.
  2. Had he or his staff bothered to check a history book he would see that since September 1, 1939, Poland has taken a rough ride in history. Actually, it goes way back further, but we’ll start with the September first date. First it was those Nazis tanks overpowering a military that was riding horses waving sabers.Then it was the Soviets and that Iron Curtain. So when he tweets “I am the BEST,” remember previous Presidents were not allowed to visit. Something about that Soviet Union travel ban during a period known as The Cold War. Ask your buddy VP. Not the Vice President.
  3. The POTUS is also meeting with the leader of Russia Vladimir Putin. I wonder if Vlad will serve Moscow Mules in a symbolic gesture of what the POTUS means to him.

As the 20 Heads of State gather in Germany, let us end with a history joke.

The Heads of State of Germany, The United States and Russia meet in a bar. The three are to discuss world issues and strategies to achieve them. As the evening progresses and drinking continues, the German head of state remains silent. The heads of state from the United States and Russia outline elaborate strategies. Finally, German leader is asked for input. She looks at the Russian and says, “Next time we will come in the summer.”

Thursday, May 4, 2017 – May the Fourth Be With You. Cinco de Mayo Primer

Thursday, May 4, 2017 – May the Fourth Be With You. Cinco de Mayo Primer

Here’s what I’m thinking today. As the scary Orange Vader from the Dark continues to usurp power from the Ordinaries, formerly known as Voters, our tales of Starless Wars continue.

Good opening, don’t you think? Today is celebrate Star Wars day. I am certain this next statement will get me removed from The Big Bang Theory fan club. I prefer Star Trek over Star Wars. And I like The Next Generation. Of course it has to do with a better looking crew, but I also identified with the empath, Commander Deanna Troi. Of course it was Commander Troi who crashed the space ship in the movie.

Tomorrow promises to be mucho more fun – the celebration of Cinco de Mayo. Since this question comes every year at this time, I shall now provide you with some responses and just enough history of the holiday for the first round of drinks. This will come in handy when you are celebrating when someone asks, “What is Cinco de Mayo?”

It is NOT Mexico’s Independence Day. That date is September 16 when the country celebrates its independence from Spain. Cinco de Mayo celebrates the victory of the Mexican army over the French army at the 1862 Battle of Puebla. I am sure the US would sent troops to help had Orange Vader been successful in time travel and in preventing the engagement the US was involved in during 1862,

The day is not that popular in Mexico and began in California during the time of The American Civil war with Americans of Mexican descent hoping to raise money for Mexico’s troops and independence effort.

The celebration of the day began in the 1970’s and 1980’s when American beer companies began targeting and marketing to the Spanish speaking population.

In conclusion Cinco de Mayo is pretty much an American day of celebration originating with a commercial interest. Forbes estimates that 80 million pounds of avocadoes are consumed on this day in The United States.

How does Orange Vader plan to get that amount of avocadoes over The Wall?

Oh well, Wait Staff Person? Another round please. One frozen, no salt. One on the rocks with salt. Two Dos Equis. One Corona. Donde esta el bano?

Photo by me. January 15, 1991. Inauguration of Governor Ann Richards.

Info taken from: http://www.ajc.com/news/local/facts-about-cinco-mayo-you-should-know-but-probably-don/pY6RsKLlc02fUMjur3M0PO/

Fiza Pirani The Atlanta Journal-Constitution 3:50 p.m Tuesday, May 2, 2017 National/World News

Thursday, March 2, 2017 – March 2, 1836 – Texas Independence Day!

Thursday, March 2, 2017 – March 2, 1836 – Texas Independence Day!

While the fighters were defending The Alamo, the suits and politicians were signing a Declaration of Independence stating the Mexican state of Texas would henceforth be free and independent.

Five days later, on March 6, Santa Anna’s armies would breach the walls of The Alamo and order “no quarters” which meant “kill them all.” A few days march later, there was The Goliad Massacre. History books state Colonel Fannin split his troops into two sections (not good military strategy). Neither did he tell his troops there was to be “no quarters.” These decisions vilified Fannin and his widow and two daughters for decades.

Meanwhile, General Sam Houston and the entire town of Gonzales were hauling their newly independent asses toward the Gulf Coast with Santa Anna in hot pursuit. Had General Santa Anna not stopped along the way, he might have overtaken them. That would be “no muy bueno. Es muy mal.”

The ending battle for Texas Independence was April 21, 1936 at San Jacinto. The Battle of San Jacinto is considered a world changing battle. Texas was free and independent. I know, RP, it should have stayed that way.

Today is a day when we celebrate all of Texas and its heroes of The Revolution. William B. Travis, Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, Sam Houston, DeWitt, Rush, Rusk, and all of the others Texas heroes of the day.

But here is my Texas hero. J.V. McClanahan from Luling, Texas. JV waving from bus (800x530)

Five years ago, I had the privilege and honor to escort Mr. J. V. on Austin’s first Honor Flight carrying World War II Vets to see their monument in Washington D. C.ww-ii-2

untitledOn March 2, 1945, Mr. McClanahan was taken POW by the Germans during The Battle of the Bulge. He remained a POW until VE Day in May of 1945. Upon his release he sailed home on The Queen Mary.

Thank you to all The Texians. Thank you, J.V. and to all those who protect our freedom on a daily basis. Here’s a big 10 gallon Texas HAT’S OFF TO YOU!

Texas Flag @ Sunset (800x600)

Thursday, January 5, 2017 – I Like Books. I Like to Read. Go For It, Bibliophiles.

Thursday, January 5, 2017 – I Like Books. I Like to Read. Go For It, Bibliophiles.

For Christmas I received these two books in the same gift – Hugs – Daily Devotionals for Women and The Official Dictionary of Sarcasm. Maybe my family knows me better than I think they do. My sister only received the one about hugs. She then stated regarding the second title, “Why did you get the other one? You certainly don’t need a book to be sarcastic.”

Buddy Glasses

I started keeping this book list in June.

Fiction

The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah. We learn so many behind the scenes, resistance and sacrifices made during WWII. Viva la France!

Razor Girl by Carl Hiaasen – From the opening pages when you determine why the book is so titled you will not stop laughing. Florida and Hiaasen at their best.

Adding to my Grit Lit Syllabus

William Faulkner’s Absalom, Absalom. Each year I read a work of Faulkner. While Absalom, Absalom is considered to be one of Faulkner’s greatest works, it took me three months to read the 300 page novel about The South during the 1930’s during a time of poverty, illiteracy, race, mixed races, rape, incest; War Between the States memories; honor, greed, family secrets, grave yards, hooped skirts; half breeds, former slaves still tied to their masters; the old South refusing to die; and sentences like this one that trail off into who knows where, forcing the reader to become lost and forgetting who the characters are or what we are even talking about and then there is that one sentence that is supposed to be 1118 words long that continues for pages. The previous paragraph was 114 words for comparison. But what a story of The South! And no one writes it better than Faulkner.

Tobacco Road by Erskine Caldwell. OMG! I cannot believe this was on my high school reading list at McC. I really should have read it before putting it on the reading list. Just think how TW parents reacted to The Chocolate Wars! Thank goodness only Bert Cohn read it and was mature and smart enough to understand it, but then he was in the Sons of the Confederacy. Think Faulkner with shorter sentences and more direct sentences about The South and rape, race, incest, poverty and illiteracy.

The Underground Railroad by Colson Whitehead. While listed under fiction, I so wish this was a tale of fiction, but history tells us it is not. Every school child when he or she first learns of The Underground Railroad thinks it is a train that run beneath the earth. We later learn it was a path to freedom. This book tells of the horror and the kindness witnessed when the train makes stops headed north. A must read for history lovers. Have tissues close by.

Hillbilly Elegy. A Memoir of a Family and Culture in Crisis by J. D. Vance. This was one of the most influential books of 2016. Faith, Appalachia, poverty, family love and a Yale Law School graduate. Educators need to look at a First Generation college graduate and prestigious law school grad and the norms and mores he still carries. It also examines what that background and upbringing reveals about Trump, The Rust Belt and America.

The Whistler by John Grisham. I forgot the plot and this one did have a plot unlike his last. Hey, it’s Grisham – some lawyers, some bad people, some good people and this one takes place in Florida. Fun read.

The Whole Town’s Talking by Fannie Flagg. This is the kind of book that keeps a smile on your face with every word. When you get to the last page, you want to start it all over again. Worth the hardback because you feel so good at the end.

Non/Fiction History

Gone at 3:17 – The Untold Story of the Worst School Disaster in American History by David M. Brown and Michael Wereschagin. One needs only to grow up in Texas and exam the nine pages of In Memoriam listing the names and grave sites to understand the magnitude of the horror that occurred in New London, Texas on March 18, 1937 when the school exploded taking the lives of an entire generation.

Currently Reading

What Hath God Wrought – The Transformation of America, 1815-1848 by Daniel Walker Howe. This Pulitzer Prize winner for history is not for the faint of heart, (or the weak of arms) but the lover of history. This 850+ page monstrosity examines a time in United States history that is remarkably similar to today. It starts with a dying generation of white men from The Colonial Era moving into a time frame when a seemingly unqualified man was elected President of the United States, whose cabinet was infamous for infighting over the morals of their wives and other issues; a First Lady who was vilified in public, a campaign to remove an entire race and culture of people, and brand new technology called the telegraph that told the entire world about it all. There is also the other technology of the time period – The railroad. Like President Elect Trump, Andrew Jackson had bad hair too.

Empire of the Summer Moon by S. C. Gwynne. Speaking of the extermination of a race and culture, this Austin, Texas author tells the story of Quanah Parker, the Comanches and the most powerful Indian tribe in American history. This is an easy, but powerful read with lots of Texas history that the Daughters of the Texas Revolution probably do not want one to know about. For example, the POTUS of the time, Andrew Jackson had a plan called The Indian Removal – just move them somewhere (See Oklahoma). The second President of the Texas Republic, Mirabeau Lamar’s was known as The Indian Exterminator – kill them. If one follows the same logic today about removing statues of individuals during a time of slavery, then there would not be an elementary school in the state of Texas named after The Father of Texas Education.

Keep reading!

Friday, December 2, 2016 – Conference Championship Weekend and the Way Way Back Machine!

Friday, December 2, 2016 – Conference Championship Weekend and the Way Way Back Machine!

Before we begin, let us review (Saint Madeline, Patron Saint of Education). It is Snarky Friday. I only write about college football teams I like and/or play teams that I like. However, it is the “Be nice, not naughty” season so I am trying reel in the Snark. Please stop laughing.

The Conference Championship for the conference formerly known as The Big 12 will play their faux conference championship in Oklahoma when Bedlam breaks out between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. The Cowboys are coached by the man voted “Best Mullet in College Football,” Mike Gundy. Let’s go Cowboys! “Hell is coming and we’re coming with ‘Em.” Go Pokes!

OSU 1 - Copy (800x550)

The Southeast Conference Championship is between # 1 Alabama and Florida. DROWN THE GATORS! DRAIN THE SWAMP! TASTE LIKE CHICKEN! STOMP! STOMP! STOMP! ROOOOOLLLLLL TIDE! Go Jalen. At least you can make Texas football proud.

I am sure I would look cute in an Alabama championship shirt of some kind. It’s not like Bama Fans don’t have a zillion of them. A nice hound’s tooth hat would look cute on me too. Just saying. I would have posted a pic.

But before college there is high school. The Way Back Machine was in action yesterday. In fact it was in way, way back mode. Check out what Magnolia history I uncovered in the family storage. Magnolia High School yearbooks. These are from 1946-1952.

magnolia-hs-yearbooks-800x450

I quickly glanced through them and saw names such as: Groves, Cronin, Flemings (both sets), Carraways, Smith (as in Toby and Cedric) Buckalew, Grogan, Wade, Sanders, Evans, Covingtons, Harpers, Hanks, Graves, Deans (all sets of them too,) Damuths, Ricketts, Davenports, Purvis, Lott and so many more. There are some great photos of the old school, including the old cafeteria. I cannot wait to start sharing. Nothing like a picture of ya’ll in elementary school.

The weather is supposed to turn chilly this weekend. Perhaps these letter jackets will keep you warm with Magnolia memories.

mhs-jackets-800x450