Tuesday, January 31, 2006

This Day in History: January 31, 1865

General Robert E. Lee Named General of Confederate Armies

On January 31, 1865 General Robert E. Lee was named general-in-chief of all the Confederate armies. In the first few months of 1865, he advocated the support for the adoption of a scheme to allow slaves to join the Confederate army in exchange for their freedom. This scheme never ended up working out though.

The Confederate army became worn down by months of battle, leading to success of the Union’s capture of Petersburg on April 2, 1865. After this Lee abandoned the defense of Richmond and looked to join General Joseph Johnston’s army in North Carolina. The Union Army surrounded his forces though and Lee ended up surrendering to General Grant on April 9, 1865 at Appomattox Court House, Virginia.

After the war, Lee applied for official postwar amnesty, although was never granted it. After he filled out the application form, it was sent to the desk of Secretary of State William H. Seward, who thought that this application was just a copy and that someone else had already taken care of it. The application was filed away and was not found until decades later in his desk drawer. Because Lee obviously received no response, he figured that it mean that the government wished to retain the right to prosecute him in the future.

Many former members of the Confederacy’s armed forces took Lee’s example of applying for amnesty in order to become a citizen of the United States again as encouragement to do so themselves.

In 1975, President Gerald Ford granted a posthumous pardon and the U.S. Congress restored Lee’s citizenship, following the discovery of his oath of allegiance by an employee of the National Archives in 1970.

This discovery of Lee’s paper also changed some other issues, but this time regarding Lee and his wife’s estate. Lee and his wife lived at his wife’s home, the Custis-Lee Mansion, prior to the Civil War. Union forces ended up confiscating the mansion and turned it into what we know today as the Arlington National Cemetery. After Lee died the courts ruled that the estate had been illegally seized and that the estate should be returned to Lee’s son. The government offered to buy the land from him, to which Lee’s son agreed.

I can’t believe it is February starting tomorrow AND Valentine’s Day in 2 weeks! I hope these next few months keep moving just as fast, because I want to graduate already.

Anyway, have a good day everyone, and don’t forget to take the quiz, especially if you are a Civil War buff! I receive the results, and whoever gets the highest score, is in the running for a nice Siegler & Co gift certificate.

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Look at our Robert E. Lee Civil War Shadow Box. Each features a non-firing replica of an infantryman's Model 1849 pocket revolver, antiqued, brass-plated belt buckle, battle flag fragment and vintage-style photo of Robert E. Lee.

Next we have a Robert E. Lee lead figurine. These lead figurines are crafted and painted entirely by hand. In exact 1:32 scale (54mm) and historically accurate. Robert E. Lee shown in uniform, and on horseback.

Lastly, we have these Confederate cavalry figures. These Confederate cavalry figures come in a set of 6, are made cast in lead, and are entirely hand-painted. They are in exact 1:32 scale and historically accurate. Each comes to life with exquisite details, from uniform buckles to the horses' flowing manes. Confederate Cavalry features set of six troopers on horseback. 54 mm.

Monday, January 30, 2006

This Day in History: January 30, 1882

Franklin D. Roosevelt is Born

Franklin Roosevelt, the 32nd President of the United States, was born on January 30, 1882. FDR was the longest serving holder of the office and the only man to be elected President more than twice.

FDR was born wealthy, although he had to overcome a crippling illness in order to become President. FDR suffered from Polio and was actually the first and only U.S. President ever to be elected with and illness that paralyzed him to the point that he could not stand on his own.

His family and close friends called him Frank. To the public he was usually known as "FDR."

FDR’s inspirational leadership helped the United States recover from the Great Depression according to many historians, but others dispute this claim arguing that Roosevelt's economic policies actually slowed recovery.

In the build up to the Second World War, he prepared USA to be the "Arsenal of Democracy" against Nazi Germany and the Japanese Empire, but some historians criticize aspects of his leadership, particularly his naïve attitude toward Joseph Stalin.

Finally his vision of an effective international organization to preserve peace was brought to completion at the United Nations after his death.

In his lifetime Roosevelt was a polarizing figure: he was a hero to liberals and a hated figure to conservatives. Today opinions of him are more complex. Some liberals criticize measures such as the internment of the Japanese-Americans during World War II and his failure to advance civil rights for African Americans. Some conservatives such as Ronald Reagan have praised his national leadership, while dismantling his social programs.

This past weekend was pretty fun. On Friday I won tickets to the Clippers vs. Nuggets game in LA on Saturday, which I was pretty excited about. I am not an avid Clippers fan, but I am a huge fan of the NBA in general, so I was excited to see them for free. I rooted for the Clippers, and they ended up winning.

On Saturday I played Frisbee golf for my second time, and then I went to the game later on in the evening. Yesterday I took a lot of naps, and did some homework. Last night though, I only got about 3.5 hours of sleep because I just could not fall asleep after taking so many naps that day. I drove back from Long Beach this morning, and the drive was actually not bad.

Anyway, I hope you had a great weekend!!
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Check out this new item that came out on Friday. This is a Franklin D. Roosevelt Pot Belly box. These handcrafted Pot Belly boxes, designed in Gloucestershire, England, feature presidential caricatures carved into crushed marble bodies. Each boasts hand-painted, "politically correct" details and vivid colors that even Congress would surely approve of.

Friday, January 27, 2006

This Day in History: January 26, 1756

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was Born

On January 26, 1756 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, one of the greatest composers of European classical music, was born. Mozart composed a large amount of chamber, symphonic, religious and operatic works, as well as solo instruments, particularly the keyboard. Mozart was very unappreciated during his lifetime, but was later admired by many composers and many people in general for his works.

To find out more about Mozart or to test your skills on what you know about Mozart, take the quiz, linked below, that I made up.

Tell me how you did on the quiz in my comment box. I am very interested in knowing how good of a quiz I can really make. Also, there are talks about making quizzes everyday, and the winner getting a coupon for Sieglers.com. So if the turn out is well... then coupons and more quizzes can be in YOUR future. :-)

I remember watching the movie about Mozart when I was a kid and being fascinated by how he was so great, and slightly crazy (obvioulsy in a good way). It was a pretty intense movie for my 7th grade music class.

Anyway, it is Friday right now, and I am beyond excited. This was my first full week back at school and it got to me. I had my first day back at Judo last night, which was a LOT of fun; although I will definitely be feeling the "fun" tomorrow I am sure. My legs are already sore.

I leave for Long Beach this evening and am very excited to spend Saturday relaxing and having fun. Have a good weekend everyone!!

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We have here a 70s Vintage Baby Grand tin piano. When we stumbled across a forgotten case of these 30-year old toy pianos, it was music to our ears. Collectors and musicians alike will delight at the plinking of the tiny keys. Still in the original monochrome-printed box. Crafted of wood composition board and hand-painted in Japan.

Lastly we have Handcrafted rosewood harp. Right in tune, whether you're a traveling minstrel or you prefer this grand harp as decorative musical art. Handcrafted from plantation Rosewood and graced with a meandering carved floral motif. Fully functional with a resonant 3-octave voice and enchanting tone. Metal tuning pegs strung with color-coded nylon strings for easy learning. Tuning peg and 77-pg Basic Harp for Beginners instruction book included. Select from small (15" tall, 4 lbs.) or large (30" tall. 9 lbs.).

Thursday, January 26, 2006

This Day in History: January 26, 1905

World's largest diamond found

The World’s largest diamond was found on January 26, 1905 at the Premier mine in Pretoria, South Africa. The diamond is a 3,106-carat diamond and was discovered by a routine inspection by the mine’s superintendent. The diamond is called the “Cullinan”.

Joseph Asscher, head of the Asscher Diamond Company of Amsterdam, cut the Cullinan. Asscher examined the diamond for over six months before he determined how many pieces he would divide it into. On the first day of the division process, Asscher had a doctor stand by as he hit the first critical blow to the diamond, because he feared his heart might react negatively to the blunder. After pretty much shattering the diamond on his initial attempt, Asscher managed to satisfactorily divide it with his second blow, and fainted promptly after.

The Cullinan was later cut into 106 polished diamonds, and were valued at millions of dollars. The largest cut stones were called the “Star of Africa I” which was at 530 carats. It is the largest-cut fine-quality colorless diamond in the world. The South African province of Transvaal decided to present the gem, along with the smaller “Star of Africa II” to Britain’s King Edward VII. The “Star of Africa I” is pear-shaped with 74 facets, and now resides in the Tower of London among the other Crown Jewels. It is mounted in the British sovereign’s Royal Scepter. The 317-carat "Star of Africa II" is at the Imperial State Crown.
That must have been a pretty sweet discovery. Do you think he got commission?? Heh :-)

Does anyone have good plans for the weekend? I am heading out to Long Beach on Friday where I will partake in some more frisbee golf. I will also be studying a lot this weekend, which isn't the best sounding plan, but I guess it has to be done.

I also would like to catch a movie. I am thinking I might FINALLY see Hostel or Match Point. We will see how that works out though.

Have a good day everyone, and wish me luck again in finding parking. It worked out well yesterday, but Tuesdays and Thursdays are always a completely different story.

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Here we have a Faceted glass diamond paperweight, much like the Cullinan, although made of glass. Each is cut from a solid block of flawless optical crystal. Makes a gem of a paperweight. A great “engagement” gift for nagging girlfriends, too! Presented in a velveteen pouch and gift box.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Sieglers.com Winter Sale

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This Day in History: January 25, 1924

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First Winter Olympics

On January 25, 1924, the first Winter Olympics took place at Chamonix in the French Alps. Spectators were able to see skiing, bobsledding, as well as 12 other events involving a total of six sports. This first Winter Olympics, was known initially as the “International Winter Sports Week”. It was such a great success, that in 1928, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) officially designated the Winter Games in St. Moritz, Switzerland as the second Winter Olympics.

The interest in a Winter Olympics began officially five years after the birth of the modern Olympics i 1896 at the first organized international competition involving Winter sports staged in Sweden. This competition was called the Nordic Games, and only Scandinavian countries competed. It was like the Olympics, in that it was held every four years, but always in Sweden.
In 1908, figuring skating made its way into the Summer Olympics in London, although it was held three months after the events were over, in October.

In 1911, the IOC proposed a Winter competition for the 1912 Stockholm Games, but Sweden didn’t want it to happen, and declined in order to protect the popularity of the Nordic Games. Germany then planned a Winter Olympics after the 1916 Berlin Summer Games, but World War I forced the cancellation of both.

At the 1920 Olympics in Antwerp, Belgium, ice hockey joined figure skating as an official Olympic event, and Canada took home the first of many hockey gold medals.
Soon after, an agreement was reached with Scandinavians to stage the IOC-sanctioned International Winter Sports Week. It became so popular among the 16 participating nations that, in 1925, the IOC formally created the Winter Olympics, retroactively making Chamonix the first.

In Chamonix, Scandinavians dominated the speed rinks and slopes, and Norway won the unofficial team competition with 17 medals. The United States came in third, winning its only gold medal with Charles Jewtraw's victory in the 500-meter speed-skating event. Canada won another hockey gold, scoring 110 goals and allowing just three goals in five games. Of the nearly 300 athletes, only 13 were women, and they only competed in the figure-skating events. Austrian Helene Engelmann won the pairs competition with Alfred Berger, and Austrian Herma Planck Szabo won the women's singles. At Chamonix, Norway won all but one of the nine skiing medals.

I am attempting to find parking at school today in the late-morning. Wish me luck; I will definitely need it.

I am finally coming up with a schedule that I think will work out best for me, regarding work, school, and working out. The first few weeks of school are always the hardest, getting down a good routine and such, so getting a plan started this early helps out a lot.

Have a good day everyone, and again, leave me some comments.

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You're in luck, comrade! We've uncovered a small cache of Soviet-era Olympic pins from the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Set of 20 with assorted Olympic themes. 2"-5". Some real treasures, here. Let us make the selection – we guarantee you'll be pleased.

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This is a Helsinki Olympics canvas poster. This classic image from the '30s-'40s will give Alpine charm to any home. Digitally recreated from a vintage ski poster. Giclee-printed onto canvas which has been stretched over a wooden frame – the look and feel of a painting. Great decor accent for skiers or those with a mountain home or office. Ready to hang. 21"x33".

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Here we have a Soviet hockey jersey. When the U.S. hockey team upset the #1-ranked Soviet team in the last moments of the final game of the 1980 Olympics, sports commentator Al Michaels asked the TV audience "Do you believe in miracles?" Now, you can have the last laugh with your very own USSR or Red Army Penguins hockey jerseys. Jerseys are 100% polyester and feature a famous player's name, in Russian. One size fits all.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

This Day in History: January 24, 1965

Winston Churchill Dies

Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill died on January 24, 1965 at age 90 in London. Churchill was a British statesman, best known as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom during the Second World War. Churchill is generally regarded to as one of the most important leaders in British and world history because of how he guided Great Britain and the Allies through the crisis of World War II. He was also a famous author or won the Novel Prize in literature.

Churchill distinguished himself several times in his illustrious military career. In 1899 he decided that he would concentrate on his literary and political career, and resigned his commission. In 1900 he was elected to Parliament as a Conservative MP from Oldham. In 1904, he joined the Liberals and served a number of important posts before being appointed Britain’s first lord of the admiralty in 1911. Here he worked to bring the British navy to a readiness for the war that he foresaw.

During the second year of World War I, Churchill was held responsible for the disastrous Dardanelles and Gallipoli campaigns. He ended up being excluded from the war coalition government for this. He resigned and volunteered to command an infantry battalion in France. However, in 1917, he ended up returning to politics as a cabinet member in the Liberal government of Lloyd George. From 1919 to 1921, he was the secretary of state for war and in 1924 he returned to the Conservative Party, where two years later he played a leading role in the defeat of the General Strike of 1926. Churchill was then out of office from 1929 until 1939, where he issued unheeded warnings of the threat of Nazi and Japanese aggression.

When the outbreak of World War II in Europe occurred, Churchill was called back to his post as first lord of the admiralty and eight months later he replaced the ineffectual Neville Chamberlain as prime minister of a new coalition of government. During his first year of his administration, Britain was the only one to stand against Nazi Germany, but Churchill promised his country and the world that the British people would never surrender. He rallied the British people to a resolute resistance and expertly orchestrated Franklin D. Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin into an alliance that crushed the Axis.

After Germany’s defeat, Churchill’s Conservative government suffered a defeat against Clement Attlee’s Labour Party, causing Churchill to resign as prime minister. Churchill then became the leader of the opposition and in 1951 was again elected prime minister.

Two years after this, he was awarded the Nobel Prize in Literature for his six-volume historical study of World War II and for his political speeches. He was also knighted by Queen Elizabeth II at this point. In 1955, he returned as prime minister but remained in Parliament until 1964, the year before he died.

Well today will be a long day with school and work. I think Monday-Wednesday are my hardest. I went to bed pretty early last night though because my throat was hurting last night. It still sort of hurts, but I think the worst is over. Thanks to Zicam.

Have a good day everyone. And feel free (encouraged) to leave a comment about something. Suggestions are always welcome, even things critical critiques.

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Here we have a Allied Leader Figurines. This is supposed to be Winston Churchill and Roosevelt at the Casablanca conference in January 1943. Here they planned allied strategy and established terms of unconditional surrender for the Axis Powers. Skilled Russian artisans have recreated one of the 20th century’s most memorable meetings with these hand-painted lead-cast figurines. The expressions on the faces are almost lifelike; extraordinary details, like Roosevelt’s double-breasted suit and Churchill’s cigar. Each about 3" tall (90mm format). Select from Roosevelt(shown, left) or Churchill (shown, right).

Next we have Queen Elizabeth II's crown jewels Celebrate Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee (1952-2002) with this regal-piece crown. Each of these miniatures, handcrafted in England under Royal Warrant, is an exact 1/12 scale replica of the actual Crown of the Queen Mother in the Tower of London. Cast in pewter, gilt in gold and/or plated in silver, then hand-set with dozens of sparkling Swarovski® crystals. 1¼".

Monday, January 23, 2006

This Day in History: January 23, 1897

Friday, January 20, 2006

This Day in History: January 20, 1937

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U.S. Inauguration Day Changed to January 20th

Franklin Roosevelt’s second term began on January 20th, 1937, the first president to recognize the Twentieth Amendment that changed the previous Inauguration day on March 4th to January 20th.

Inauguration Day is the day on which the President and Vice President of the United States are sworn in and takes office. It was originally held every four years on March 4th, but with the Twentieth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution it was changed to noon on January 20th.

The U.S. armed forced have always participated in inaugural day ceremonies, even since George Washington. They do this because the President of the United States is also the commander-in-chief of the armed forces. Since Dwight D. Eisenhower’s inauguration in 1953, the Armed Forces have coordinated an Armed Forces Inaugural Committee (now called the Joint Task Force-Armed Forces Inaugural Committee) to coordinate the ceremony.

The oath of office is administered by the Chief of Justice of the United States on the steps of the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C. After the oath is given, the President delivers an inaugural address, where he sets the tone for the new administration. The Vice President is traditionally sworn into office a few minutes before the president.

If January 20 falls on a Sunday procedures are slightly different. The President usually takes the oath of office in a private ceremony that day, and then a public ceremony is held the following day.

Since 1953 the President and Vice President have been guests of honor at a luncheon held by the United States Congress right after the inaugural ceremony. Other than at State of the Union addresses and Red Mass, it is the only time the President, Vice President, and both houses of Congress congregate in the same locale.

Since Thomas Jefferson's second inaugural on March 4, 1805, it has become tradition for the president to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue from the Capitol to the White House. The only president not to parade down Pennsylvania Avenue was Ronald Reagan. He paraded down Pennsylvania Ave. during his first inauguration, in 1981, amidst the joyous news just minutes into his term that the American hostages held in Iran for more than a year had been released, but didn't do so in 1985 because freezing cold temperatures, made dangerous by high winds, cancelled the parade. In 1977, Jimmy Carter started a new tradition by walking from the Capitol to the White House, although for security reasons, subsequent presidents have only walked a part of the way.

The inaugural celebrations usually lasts 10 days, from 5 days before the inauguration to 5 days after. However, in 1973, the celebrations marking Richard Nixon's second inauguration ended just two days after he was inaugurated because of the four days that marked the death and state funeral of Lyndon Johnson.

I am so excited that the weekend is almost here. This week has been crazy for me. I still need to get used to it, but it should probably only take a few weeks.

Does anyone have any exciting plans for the weekend?

My plans involve sleeping. I will also do other errands and such, and maybe even a few fun things, but sleep will indefinitely be involved. I think I might catch the movie Hostel this weekend. Have any of you seen it? If so, please let me know if it is worth it. I have heard conflicting reviews of it.

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Here we have a Ronald Reagan inaugural invitation. These are very limited and are each printed on heavy card stock. Set in an archival fabric mat and framed, under glass, in an elegant gold-tone, wood frame. Brass story plaque. Certificate of authenticity.

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This is our John F. Kennedy inaugural invitation. We only have a handful of these historic invitations left, these are also printed on heavy card stock and set in archival fabric mat and framed, under glass in an elegant gold-tone wooden frame.

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Next we have these President and First Lady robes. Each robe is embroidered with the Presidential seal and with either Mr. President or First Lady. Each contains 69,000 loops of thick and thirsty, 100% Turkish cotton (60% heavier than ordinary robes). Roomy raglan sleeves, wide belt and doubled collar. 52" long (one size fits nearly everyone).

Thursday, January 19, 2006

This Day in History: January 19, 1807

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Robert E. Lee is born

Robert E. Lee was born on January 19, 1807 at Stratford Hall Plantation, in Westmoreland County, Virginia. Lee was the fourth child of Revolutionary War hero Henry Lee, otherwise known as “Lighthorse Harry” and Anne Hill (Carter) Lee.

Lee entered the United States Military Academy in 1825 and graduated second in his class in 1829. He attained the top academic record and was the only one to graduate from the Academy without a single demerit.

These were not Lee’s only achievements in his lifetime. He also was a career army officer and was considered to be the most successful general of the Confederate forces during the American Civil War. He eventually commanded all Confederate armies as general-in-chief. Although his victories against superior forces were ultimately losing cause he still won enduring fame. Lee remains an iconic figure of the Confederacy to this day.

Interesting Facts about Robert E. Lee

According to J. William Jones, Gen. Robert E. Lee spoke his last words on October 12, 1870, shortly before his death. He said: “Tell Hill he must come up. Strike the Tent.”

The birth of Robert E. Lee is celebrated in the state of Virginia as part of Lee-Jackson Day and as a state holiday in Mississippi, celebrated in conjunction with Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday

Traveller, Lee’s favorite horse, accompanied Lee to Washington College after the Civil War. Traveller lost many hairs from his tail to admirers who wanted a souvenir of the famous horse and his general. In 1870, when Lee died, Traveller was led behind the General’s hearse. Not long after Lee’s death, Traveller stepped on a rusty nail and developed lockjaw. There was no cure, and he was shot. He was buried next to the Lee Chapel at Washington and Lee University. In 1907 his remains were disinterred and displayed at the Chapel, before being reburied outside the Lee Chapel in 1971.

The General Lee, the 1969 Dodge Charger used in the television program in The Dukes of Hazzard in 1979 and also in the 2005 The Dukes of Hazzard (film) was named after Robert E. Lee.

I liked the fact about Robert E. Lee’s horse the best up there. They must have been pretty good buddies.

Anyway, it is my second day of school today, although with a new class. It is what I am expecting to be my favorite class, so this should be good. My first day of classes ended up going well, although there is a LOT of work expected. Oh well.

I should be going though, I have a doctor’s appointment really soon.

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To remember Robert E. Lee look to our Civil War shadow box. Each features a non-firing replica of an infantryman's Model 1849 pocket revolver, antiqued, brass-plated belt buckle, battle flag fragment and vintage-style photo of Robert E. Lee. Mounted under glass and framed in handsome oak.

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Next we have this Robert E. Lee lead figurine. These lead figurines are crafted and painted entirely by hand. In exact 1:32 scale (54mm) and historically accurate. Robert E. Lee shown in uniform, and on horseback. For history and Civil War buffs alike.

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

This Day in History: January 18, 1486

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Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV, marries King Henry VII

Elizabeth of York, daughter of Edward IV marries King Henry VII on January 18, 1486. Elizabeth was the eldest child of King Edward IV and his own Queen consort, Elizabeth Woodville.

Elizabeth Woodville arranged to marry her daughter to Tudor if he could overthrow King Richard. Tudor ended up overthrowing King Richard at the Battle of Bosworth Field on August 22, 1485 which allowed for him to become King Henry VII.

King Henry VII had publicly taken a scared oath to marry Elizabeth of York before he had left France to invade England, but he was not in a hurry to marry Elizabeth.

On October 30, Henry was crowned, but still delayed his wedding. To get Henry to stand by his word it took Parliament itself, on behalf of the people, to carry out his promise with a petition. On January 18, 1486, the marriage took place. Although Elizabeth was not crowned queen until November 25, 1487, more than a year after their first child Arthur was born on September 20, 1486.

Their marriage is considered relatively successful. They had seven children that are known of, although there is belief among many that there were really eight.

Their children include:

Arthur, Prince of Wales
Margaret Tudor
Henry VIII of England
Elizabeth Tudor
Mary Tudor
Edmund Tudor, Duke of Somerset
Edward Tudor. (This is the one that is up for debate)
Katherine Tudor

Elizabeth’s eldest son, Arthur, the heir to the throne, died after marrying Catherine of Aragon. This is said to have given Elizabeth the motive to become pregnant the last time, in order to strengthen the succession. This pregnancy ended up being the death of her though. Elizabeth died on her 37th birthday, a few days after giving birth to her last child, Katherine Tudor, who also ended up dying.

Henry VII threw Elizabeth a magnificent funeral. She is now buried in Westminster Abbey in the Lady Chapel. Her husband was later buried beside her.

Elizabeth of York is the only English Queen to have been a wife, daughter, sister, niece and mother to an English King.

Interesting Fact:

Elizabeth is also the basis for the picture of queens in a deck of cards.

Her second son Henry followed his father as king, her eldest daughter Margaret married James IV of Scotland, and her youngest child Mary married Louis XII of France.

So right now I am at school. The parking is ridiculous the first few weeks of school, so I came early, so I could actually find a parking spot. I was successful.

Not much else is going on today yet. I have two classes in a few hours and another later tonight.

Oh yeah, also, did anyone see the Suns vs. Kings game last night? I didn’t have NBATV so I did not. The Suns lost really bad, and I am quite intrigued as to how that could happen. The Suns are the #2 team right now and the Kings are doing really awful. If you can tell, I’m on the Suns side. Hmm. If you could leave me some comments, that would be nice.

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Here we have the minature crown of Queen Elizabeth II. Celebrate Her Majesty's Golden Jubilee (1952-2002) with this regal-piece crown. Each of these miniatures, handcrafted in England under Royal Warrant, is an exact 1/12 scale replica of the actual Crown of St. Edward in the Tower of London. Cast in pewter, gilt in gold and/or plated in silver, then hand-set with dozens of sparkling Swarovski® crystals.

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Next we have another miniature crown of Queen Elizabeth II. This one is the crown of Scotland. This miniature is also handcrafted in England under Royal Warrant, and is an exact 1/12 scale replica of the actual Crown of Scotland in the Tower of London. Cast in pewter, gilt in gold and/or plated in silver, then hand-set with dozens of sparkling Swarovski® crystals.

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Lastly, we have the crown of the Queen Mother. This is also a miniature handcrafted in England under Royal Warrant, and is an exact 1/12 scale replica of the actual Crown of the Queen Mother in the Tower of London. Cast in pewter, gilt in gold and/or plated in silver, then hand-set with dozens of sparkling Swarovski® crystals.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

This Day in History: January 17, 1706

Benjamin Franklin is Born

On January 17, 1706, Benjamin Franklin, a man known by practically everyone for his many talents, was born. Benjamin Franklin was born on Milk Street in Boston.

Benjamin Franklin was an American printer, journalist, publisher, author, philanthropist, abolitionist, public servant, scientist, librarian, diplomat, and inventor. He was also one of the leaders of the American Revolution. He is well known for his many quotations and his experiments with electricity. Franklin was a member of the Freemasons, corresponded with members of the Lunar Society and was also elected a Fellow of the Royal Society. In 1775, Franklin became the first United States Postmaster General.

Franklin's inventions include the Franklin stove, the medical catheter, the lightning rod, swimfins, improvements to the glass harmonica, and possibly bifocals.

Benjamin Franklin published many books including:

1) "The Way to Wealth"

2) "The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin"

3) "Poor Richards Almanac"

4) "The Poetry of Minor Connecticut Wits"

5) "Writings"

6) “On Love, Marriage, and Other Matters”

7) "Satires and Bagatelles"

Other Interesting Facts about Benjamin Franklin
1. Ben Franklin is most famous for his experiments with electricity, but his scientific study had a much broader scope. He was among the first to study weather and explore the movements of the Gulf Stream.

2. Franklin is the one to say: "A penny saved is a penny earned" in his writings in "Poor Richards Almanac"

3. Franklin was the oldest delegate in attendance at the Constitutional Convention in 1787. His influence helped establish the two-house Congress that America has today. This system satisfied both large and small states, and was instrumental in gaining unanimous support for the new Constitution.

4. Franklin wanted the Turkey to symbolize America because he thought it was a bird of courage, opposed to the Eagle who he felt had bad moral character.

5. Franklin offered his own personal fortune to appease the British by paying for the ruined tea after the Boston Tea Party, under the condition that Britain would repeal the unfair tax.

Tomorrow is my first day back at school, for my last semester ever as an undergraduate. I ended up getting that last class, by switching with a friend. It was a pretty sweet deal and I am pretty excited that I don’t have to crash my last semester of college.

I can’t wait for this semester to be over already. My days will be crazy. Everyday during the week I will basically be working and/or at school from 5am-10pm, not including getting homework done.

Today I get to buy books, one of the biggest rip-offs ever. And why are there not super sales at Staples for college starting, they always do it for high school and elementary school? Oh well.

Have a good day, and leave me a comment. Please, entertain me.

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Here we have Benjamin Franklin’s "The Way to Wealth" among other great statesmen books. Benjamin Franklin’s words in "The Way to Wealth" are said to be just as true and relevant today as when he wrote it, 200 years ago.

Monday, January 16, 2006

This Day in History: January 16, 1983

Martin Luther King Day

After 15 years of trying to create the federal Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, President Ronald Reagan finally signed it into law. Congressman John Conyers, a Democrat from Michigan introduced the legislation to commemorate Martin Luther King, Jr. four days after King was assassinated in 1968. After the bill became stalled, petitions endorsing the holiday containing six million names were submitted to Congress.

Conyers and Rep. Shirley Chisholm, Democrat of New York, resubmitted King holiday legislation each subsequent legislative session due to its lack of passing. This caused increased public pressure for the holiday during the 1982 and 1983 civil rights marches in Washington.

There were issues about when to commemorate this day. They felt that by having it on King’s birthday, January 15th, was too close to Christmas and New Years, sot hey decided to move it to the third Monday in January in order to appease this issue with those who opposed the commemorative date. Funny, how this year, it is only a day after his birthday.

Even after the holiday was put into law, a number of states resisted celebrating the holiday. Some said that it shouldn’t be King who deserves his own holiday, but rather the entire civil rights movement. And in some southern states they celebrate various Confederate generals on that day. Arizona voters finally approved the holiday in 1992 after tourists boycotted the state. And in 1999, New Hampshire changed the name of Civil Rights Day to Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.

Boy am I am tired from these past few days. I just officially got back into town at 730am this morning.

San Francisco was a lot of fun. I hung out with some good friends, went to some neat places, and even experienced new foods. The first two were great, although the new food (sushi) was not. Eww.

I am glad to be back though; the ride back home yesterday was pure torture. It only took up 6 hours to get up to San Francisco from Long Beach but on the way back I decided that going down Highway 1 would be a nice experience, and it was predicted to only take an hour longer than regular way back home. Highway 1, if you don’t already know, rides along the coast, it is really beautiful, but it is also very windy and only has one lane in each direction. Going the way of Highway 1, not only cost us $8 in toll charges (in Marin & San Francisco) but it also took us about 5 hours longer. What was supposed to be a 6-hour drive took us almost 11 hours. We didn’t get back to Long Beach until 11pm. I then woke up at 5am to drive from Long Beach down to San Diego. I am a little tired today.

Oh, one other thing, we saw the Oscar Mayer Weiner Mobile driving on Highway 1, which was pretty much the highlight of the ride.

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Here we have an authentic Ronald Reagan inaugural invitation. A select few received personal invitations to the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan. We have a handful of these historic invitations, each printed on heavy card stock. Set in an archival fabric mat and framed, under glass, in an elegant gold-tone, wood frame. Brass story plaque. Certificate of authenticity.

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

This Day in History: January 11, 1989

Reagan gives his farewell address

On January 11, 1989, Reagan gave his farewell address after eight years as president of the United States. In his speech, President Reagan enthusiastically spoke about the foreign policy achievements of his administration.

Reagan declared in his farewell address that America "rediscovered" its commitment to world freedom in the 1980s. He said the United States was "respected again in the world and looked to for leadership." He said the key was a return to the "common sense" that "told us that to preserve peace, we’d have to become strong again after years of weakness."

Reagan then went on to talk about successes he had with his foreign policy, which included:

1)Achieving peace in the Persian Gulf

2)Forcing the Soviets to begin departing from Afghanistan

3)Negotiating the withdrawal of Vietnamese troops from Cambodia and Cuban forces from Angola.

All of his success was based upon the wage against communism, which Reagan felt was the main threat to freedom. Although Reagan claimed these were all achievements, these achievements were a bit more complicated than he described.

For example:

1)The strength that Reagan talked about that he felt he renewed increase defense expenditure, which led to a national debt of over one trillion dollars.

2)The Peace in the Persian Gulf that Reagan talked about was only temporary. The Gulf War erupted during the presidency of Reagan successor George Bush.

3)The Iran-Contra scandal revealed that the Reagan administration employed some questionable means to reach its anticommunist ends-specifically, a complicated scheme involving covertly selling weapons to Iran and illegally supplying the Contra forces in Nicaragua.

Although his achievements were not as good as he said in his farewell address, he still left office as one of the most popular modern U.S. presidents.

Well, the registering for classes thing didn’t end up perfectly. They ended up canceling a class, which only gives me one option for a class that I need to graduate. The class is full, of course. Hopefully, I will be able to get into it still. Or work something out.

In other news, I am leaving for San Francisco tomorrow at 5am. I am pretty excited about it. I am not sure I will be able to have access to a computer while I am away, so I don’t think I will be posting anything for the blog. I apologize, but not everyone is up to date with technology.

Have a good rest of the week and a fantastic weekend!

Related Products

Here we have an authentic Ronald Reagan inaugural invitation. A select few received personal invitations to the inauguration of President Ronald Reagan. We have a handful of these historic invitations, each printed on heavy card stock. Set in an archival fabric mat and framed, under glass, in an elegant gold-tone, wood frame. Brass story plaque. Certificate of authenticity.

Lastly, we have presidential robe. This is embroidered with the Presidential seal and Mr. President or First Lady. Each contains 69,000 loops of thick and thirsty, 100% Turkish cotton (60% heavier than ordinary robes). Roomy raglan sleeves, wide belt and doubled collar. 52" long (one size fits nearly everyone).

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

This Day in History: January 10, 1923

U.S. troops depart Germany

On January 10, 1923 President Warren G. Harding orders U.S. troops stationed in Germany to return home, four years after the end of World War 1.

Under the agreements in the Treaty of Versailles signed in 1924, U.S. troops along with other Allied forces were supposed to occupy the defeated Central Powers nations in order to enforce the terms of the peace agreement. In Germany, Allied occupation and stiff war reparation against the county caused increasing bitterness.

As part of the Treaty of Versailles U.S. troops, along with other Allied forces, were supposed to occupy the defeated Central Powers nations to enforce the terms of the peace agreement. In Germany, Allied occupation and stiff war reparations levied against the country were regarded with increasing bitterness, and in 1923, after four years of contending Germany and their resentment towards Americans, the American troops were ordered home.

Recently it has been very warm in San Diego, around 85 degrees on average. Well, on Thursday I am going to head up to San Francisco for a short little vacation. Up there though, the weather looks bad. The forecast says it will be raining the entire time, and will be in the 50s. I am sure that may seem warm to some, but the 50s to me, means layers upon layers. And yes, I am probably related to reptiles. Hah. I hope the weather turns out a little better, but if not, it will still be a good trip. I have some family to visit and some friends. It should be a good time.

But for today, I get to register for my last semester of classes. I am kind of nervous, because my school is notorious for not having enough room for my impacted major. Wish me luck, because I will need it. I want to graduate in May, and would like to go through as little trouble as possible to do so.

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Commemorate the World War I veterans with this WWI coin and stamp collection. Our World War I collection includes six .900 silver coins (including Barber Quarter, Washington Quarter, Mercury Dimes and Walking Liberty Half Dollars) along with rare WWI coins, like the Lincoln Wheat Cent and Buffalo Nickel. Hard-to-find stamps, like a Pershing 8, WWI Vets 22 and Victory Issue 3. WWII steel Lincoln Cent and silver Jefferson Nickel, too. It also comes in a handsome leather portfolio.

This is a full-scale WWI aircraft prop. Visions of WWI flying ace, Eddie Rickenbacker, in his Nieuport 28 come spinning to mind. Crafted in richly stained pine and accented with brass hardware. Over 6' long (73"x6"x3"). 8 lbs.

lastly, we have this WWI trench lighter. On the muddy, wind-swept battlefields of Europe, the fighting men of WWI fashioned trench lighters like these from spent ammo casings. Soldiers needed a flame they could count on and these did the trick. Slide the outer casing up and the flame is protected from the elements. Slide the casing down and the flame is snuffed. Uses standard lighter fluid. Complete with lanyard/key ring. Ideal for your next outing or adventure. This is a great conversation piece.

Monday, January 09, 2006

This Day in History: January 9, 1768

First Modern Circus

The first modern circus was put on my Philip Astley in London. Although there had been trick riders, acrobats, clowns, trained animals and other familiar circus performances, but it was not until the late 18th century that the modern circus was born.

Astley, who was a former cavalry sergeant major, found that if he galloped in a tight circle fast enough, the centrifugal force allowed him to perform seemingly impossible feats on a horse's back. On January 9, 1768, he drew up a ring and invited the public to see him wave his sword in the air while he rode with one foot on the saddle and one on the horse's head.

Astley's trick riding became so popular he began to hire other equestrians, a clown, and musicians. He also built a roof over his ring in 1770 and called the structure “Astley’s Amphitheatre”.

In 1782 a competitor decided to set up shop just down the road from Astley's Amphitheatre, and called his show the "Royal Circus," after the Roman name for the circular theaters where chariot races were held.

The term "circus" was adopted as a generic name in the early 19th century for this new form of entertainment. Astley, who lived till 1814, eventually established 18 other circuses in cities across Europe.

In 1792, English equestrian John Bill Ricketts opened the first American circus in Philadelphia and later opened others in New York City and Boston. Smaller traveling circuses arose in Europe in the early 19th century, visiting towns and cities that lacked elaborate permanent shows. Larger traveling tent shows evolved in the 1820s.

So… this weekend was pretty fun. On Saturday there was a party at my house for my roommate’s birthday. And then on Sunday I played Frisbee golf. It was a lot of fun. I wasn’t too terrible either, at least compared to what I expected I would be like. I only lost the Frisbee once, although some boys found it for me, thankfully.

While playing Frisbee golf we came upon a “Shoe Tree”, apparently a piece of art, and a current issue in San Diego City Council. Here is a picture of it:

Earlier in the day we also went to Dog Park in Ocean Beach. We saw the cutest baby lab there, it was only 2 months old. Here is a picture of that one:

Well, I hope you all had a good weekend too!
Related Products

Here we have a World's Fair musical miniature
. This animated musical toy will delight the child in anyone. The Carousel (8" diam.) generates smiles with its spinning motion. Each is crafted from metal and resin and features an array of colorful, twinkling lights. Each plays 15 all-time classics and 15 holiday tunes.

Next we have this Movie theatre popcorn cart. This is called The Real McCoy, and is built in USA by Paragon Intl., makers of heavy-duty popcorn systems for theatres. Made to withstand the rigors of a theatre or commercial environment; (not to be confused with consumer-level imitations from China.) Makes 100 servings of mouthwatering popcorn/hour (four quarts every three minutes), with a taste unrivaled by popcorn from the microwave or hot air poppers. The 1100 watt, thermostatically controlled, side-hinged, hard coat, anodized aluminum kettle is easy to clean. Stainless steel interior panels are dishwasher safe. Tempered glass panels. Easily rolls from room to room. 120 volts, 9.2 amps, plugs into household outlet. Wheels 20"; cart 30"x16", 58" tall. 96 lbs. The Hummer® of popcorn poppers; limited lifetime warranty! We'll even help you get started with 24 free popcorn packs and 100 buckets to serve it in!

Friday, January 06, 2006

This Day in History: January 6, 1945

The Battle of the Bulge Ended

The Battle of the Bulge, otherwise known as the German Ardennes Offensive1, started in late December of 1944 and ended on January 6, 1945. This was the last major German offensive on the Western front during World War II. The German Army’s intention was to split the Allied line in half, capture Antwerp and then sweep the north in order to encircle and destroy four Allied Armies. Hitler believed all of this would force the Western Allies to negotiate a peace treaty in the Axis’ favor.

Hitler was ultimately unsuccessful, although the offensive still did tie down huge amounts of Allied resources and the slow response of the Allies erased months from their timetable. The offensive did allow the Allies to severely deplete the cream of the German army though outside the defenses of the Siegfried Line and left German’s remaining forces in a poor state of supply, thus easing the assault on Germany afterward. In numerical terms, this was the largest battle the United States Army has fought to date.

American casualties are around 70,000 to 81,000 (approximately), British casualties are 1,400 and German casualties are estimated at between 60,000 and 104,000.

The German losses in the battle were critical in several respects: the last of the German reserves were now gone; the Luftwaffe had been broken; and the German army in the West was being pushed back. Most importantly, the Eastern Front was now ready for the taking. In the East, the German army was unable to halt the Soviet juggernaut. German forces were sent reeling on two fronts and never recovered.

The Battle of the Bulge has been the setting of several movies and novels, including a full-length movie, Battle of the Bulge, which was made in 1965, starring Henry Fonda.

Stephen Ambrose's Band of Brothers is a factual account, which follows the fortunes of Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment, 101st Airborne. It was later made into a BBC/HBO television series, also called Band of Brothers that includes the Company's experiences in the Battle of the Bulge, particularly near Bastogne. Episode 6 of the television series, titled "Bastogne", depicts the fighting around Bastogne during the Battle of the Bulge.

My car is back in the shop today. Last week I took it in, but they couldn’t get the part in until today so obviously it couldn’t get fixed until then. I am not too excited about the bill, but at least my baby will be done for my drive up to San Francisco next week.

Earlier this week I mentioned Carlos’s foot being injured, but forgot to mention who Carlos was. Carlos is the web marketing boss at Siegler & Co, or rather “The World’s Greatest Boss,” as he likes to say. If you were wondering his foot is getting better, and he is walking with a little less of a limp.

Does anyone have any good plans for this weekend? My roommate’s birthday is tomorrow and we are throwing a party for her. It should be fun. Other than that, I am not sure what is going on. I might be playing a round of Frisbee golf for my first time though. That should be interesting.
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This is a print of the Band of Brothers. On June 7, 1944, Cpl. Forrest Guth snapped this photograph in the Normandy countryside. Guth was a paratrooper in the 101st Airborne and part of Easy Company, immortalized in the HBO Band of Brothers series. A limited edition series of 1,944 photos, each hand-signed and numbered by Cpl. Guth. Certificate of authenticity and story card included.

Next we have this Black Sheep Squadron autographed WWII photo. The Black Sheep Squadron up to their usual high-flying high jinks, are seen in this this photo, autographed by three surviving members. Professionally framed and matted with certificate of authenticity.

Lastly we have The Doolittle Raiders autographed WWII photo. The Doolittle Raiders, presented in this photo, is autographed by the three surviving members, countered and struck five major Japanese cities after the attack on Pearl Harbor. This is professionally framed and matted with a certificate of authenticity.