Tuesday, February 28, 2006

This Day in History: February 28, 1827

1st commercial railroad in U.S. Chartered

On February 28, 1827, the 1st commercial railroad in the U.S., the Baltimore & Ohio, was charted. This railroad is also known as the B&O, which is very profitable in Monopoly.

The railroad was charted by a group of Baltimore businessmen to regain trans-Allegheny traffic lost to the newly opened Erie Canal. Construction began in 1828, and the first division opened in May, 1830, between Baltimore and Ellicott's Mills, Md. Horses were the first source of power, but the successful trial run of Peter Cooper's Tom Thumb in Aug., 1830, brought the change to steam locomotives. The B&O expanded steadily and reached St. Louis in 1857.

During the Civil War the railroad moved Union troops and supplies. By the end of the 19th century the B&O had achieved almost 5,800 miles of track and connected with Chicago, Philadelphia, and New York City. By the mid-1900s it had become mainly a freight carrier. Faced with financial difficulties, the B&O was acquired by the Chesapeake & Ohio Railway in 1963 and merged with it in 1965. In 1980 the combined company became part of the CSX Corporation.

The B&O was the first railroad to publish a timetable, to use electric locomotives and specialty cars (i.e. dining and baggage), and to run fully air-conditioned trains.

So Southern California finally got our big storm. Although it is probably no where near the damage of 95% of the rest of the country it is pretty crazy for us. I was thinking about how San Diego drivers are so terrible during the rain, and how there are a million and one accidents when it rains. And then I thought about why this was so. I think it is because 1) we never get rain (or as some like to say weather), thus we never get practice in driving in it. 2) our roads aren’t built for rain, thus all of our roads are always flooded over and terrible, which makes the drive a bit harder and 3) because it hardly ever rains, when it does, our roads are super slick from all the built up oil, etc.

After thinking about this I thought I should cut San Diegan’s some slack for their lack of skills or abilities to drive well in the rain. Hmm. Let’s see how our expected week of rain works out, and then I will tell you my final decision on this.

Have a good week!

Related Products

Check out our Cast-iron railroad lock. This cast-iron railroad lock recalls those that once secured railway cars from bandits, hobos and other unsavory types. Fully functioning, it's ideal for safeguarding your shed, barn or any entry that needs more style than any common lock can deliver. Embossed copper railway medallion. Complete with pair of oversized, iron skeleton keys. 7" tall. Weighing in at nearly 5 lbs

Check out our Railwayman's pocket watch. Our best-selling 18-jewel pocket watch features famous "winged wheel" logo and 24 hour markings on dial. Back shows massive Russian 4-8-2 steam locomotive, with 14 wheels (four unpowered in front, eight in center to drive train and two in rear on single axle) in high relief. Free 14" chain and Russian/English factory docs. Serial-numbered. 90-day warranty. 2" round face.

We also have this Classic train whistle. The whistle of the ol' West. The old familiar "choo-choo" of this train whistle will delight the child in anyone. Three nickel-plated brass pipes create a vintage locomotive whistle tone. Crafted in England by the legendary Acme Whistle Company (since 1883). 12"; 7 oz.

Monday, February 27, 2006

This Day in History: February 27, 1922

The 19th Amendment was Declared Constitutional

On February 27, 1922 the eight members of the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously declared the 19th Amendment, which provided female suffrage to the U.S. Constitution, constitutional.

The 19th Amendment, which stated that "the right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or any State on account of sex," was the product of over seven decades of meetings, petitions, and protests by women suffragists and their supporters.

The amendment was the culmination of the work of many activists in favor of women's suffrage. One such group called the Silent Sentinels protested in front of the White House for 18 months starting in 1917 to raise awareness of the issue.

On January 9, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson announced his support of the amendment. The next day, the House of Representatives narrowly passed the amendment but the Senate refused to even debate it until October. When the Senate voted on the amendment in October, it failed by two votes.

In response, the National Woman's Party urged citizens to vote against anti-suffrage senators up for election in the fall of 1918. After the 1918 election, most members of Congress were pro-suffrage. On May 21, 1919, the House of Representatives passed the amendment by a vote of 304 to 89, and 2 weeks later on June 4, the Senate finally followed, where the amendment passed 56 to 25.

Too bad weekends are never as long as you want them to be. I had a pretty good weekend, with some relaxation and even an adventure at a Brazilian restaurant. I wish the weekend wasn’t over though, because I am tired and I know this week might even seem longer than last week. Wish me luck!

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Check out our Rosie the Riveter sign. This nostalgic tin sign is an exact replica of the famous WWII propaganda sign. Ready to hang, 12"x16".

Friday, February 24, 2006

This Day in History: February 24, 1885

Chester W. Nimitz is Born

This day in history, Chester W. Nimitz, the Commander Chief of the Pacific Forces for the United States and Allied forces during World War II, was born on February 24, 1885. Nimitz was the nation’s leading authority on submarines, as well as the Chief of the Navy Bureau of Navigation in 1939.

In World War II Nimitz played a very significant role. Ten days after the attack on Pearl Harbor Nimitz was selected the Commander in Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet with the rank of Admiral. Nimitz assumed command at the most critical period of the war in the Pacific, and despite the losses from the attack on Pearl Harbor and the tragic shortage of shops, planes and supplies, he successfully organized his forces to halt the Japanese advance.

On October 7, 1943 he was designated Commander in Chief, Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas. By Act of Congress, approved 14 December 1944, the grade of Fleet Admiral of the United States Navy — the highest grade in the Navy — was established and the next day President of the United States Franklin Roosevelt nominated and, with the advice and consent of the Senate, appointed Admiral Nimitz to that rank. He took the oath of office December 19 1944.

In the final phases in the war in the Pacific, he attacked the Mariana Islands invading Saipan, inflicting a decisive defeat on the Japanese Fleet in the Battle of the Philippine Sea and capturing Guam and Tinian (from which Col. Paul Tibbets flew the Enola Gay to drop the Little Boy atomic bomb on August 6, 1945). His Fleet Forces isolated enemy-held bastions of the Central and Eastern Caroline Islands and secured in quick succession Peleliu, Angaur, and Ulithi. In the Philippines his ships turned back powerful task forces of the Japanese Fleet, a historic victory in the multi-phased Battle for Leyte Gulf 24 to 26 October 1944. Fleet Admiral Nimitz culminated his long-range strategy by successful amphibious assaults on Iwo Jima and Okinawa. In addition, Nimitz also persuaded the Army Air Forces to mine the Japanese ports and waterways by air in an successful mission called Operation Starvation which severely disrupted enemy logistics.

On September 2, 1945 Fleet Admiral Nimitz signed for the United States when Japan formally surrendered on board battleship Missouri in Tokyo Bay. On October 5, 1945, which had been officially designated as "Nimitz Day" in Washington, DC, Admiral Nimitz was personally presented a Gold Star in lieu of the third Distinguished Service Medal by the President of the United States "for exceptionally meritorious service as Commander in Chief, U.S. Pacific Fleet and Pacific Ocean Areas, from June 1944 to August 1945...."

It is FINALLY Friday! Woo hoo!! I have one more test this afternoon, and then it is pretty much home free. I am heading up to Long Beach later tonight. There are no real specific plans, except to have some time for relaxation.

I hope you all have a fantastic Friday and an even better weekend!!
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Check out our Navy Blanket. Each soft, woven jacquard throw features the seal of one of our nation's Armed Forces. Crafted in the USA of 100% cotton with fringed edging. Please specify Army, Navy, Air Force or Marines. Machine washable. 50"x60".

Check out our Navy insignia watch. Show your patriotic spirit with our striking watches, featuring the Navy insignia. Japanese quartz movement in water resistant, stainless steel casing. Sweep second hand. Leather strap with silver-finish buckle closure. Presented in tin gift canister.

Check out our Bosun's whistle. On a ship, the boatswain (aka "bosun") is responsible for the hull, rigging and anchors. When he blows his whistle, sailors jump! These whistles, constructed of nickel-plated brass, are easy to master and produce a distinctive sound. They have 101 uses - security, athletics, meetings or just keeping the troops in line - they'll put you in the captain's chair. A unique collectible and a great gift, too. Officer on deck!

Thursday, February 23, 2006

This Day in History: February 23, 1861

Lincoln avoids assassination attempt

On February 23, 1861 Lincoln foils an assassination attempt in Baltimore.

A few days before the attempt, Lincoln was in his hometown Springfield, Illinois giving a poignant farewell to his hometown and close friends. People who heard the speech felt like it was Lincoln saying goodbye to them forever when he said during his speech that Springfield was a place where his children were born and one was buried.

It turns out that when departing Springfield, Lincoln’s aides received reports of a planned assassination attempt in Baltimore and ordered the train to proceed to Washington immediately.

Lincoln was hated in a lot of southern states, for he assumed presidency on the eve of civil war, during which slaveholding states threatened to secede from the Union. Southern conspirators had vowed to kill Lincoln, because they perceived him as an abolitionist president even before he entered office.

A Chicago police detective, Allan Pinkerton, who was a devout supporter of Lincoln, infiltrated secessionist groups in order to prevent assassination attempts. While working undercover, Pinkerton engaged in a conversation on February 15 with one Captain Ferdinanda and an associate who told him “that d—d abolitionist shall never set foot on Southern soil but to find a grave….one week from today the North shall want a new president, for Lincoln will be dead.”

Even when news of the plot reached Lincoln, he argued to keep the Baltimore engagement, much to his aides’ frustration. A stubborn Lincoln finally submitted to his wife’s insistence to abandon his plans and avoid the attack. Observers who heard of Lincoln’s arrival at the Willard Hotel noticed the “tall and awkward form” of Lincoln. The president appeared nervous and quickly worked his way through the gathering throng toward his room. Shortly thereafter, his wife, Mary, and their sons joined him at the hotel, where the family stayed until his inauguration on March 4, 1861.

Trivia about Lincoln
·Lincoln was seeing the play "Our American Cousin" when he was shot.
·Lincoln was the first president to have a beard while in office. He grew his beard out of the suggestion of an 11 year old girl.
·A plot was developed to steal Lincoln's body, so a secret society to guard his tomb was formed.
·During the Civil War, telegraph wires were strung to follow the action on the battlefield. But there was no telegraph office in the White House, so Lincoln went across the street to the War Department to get the news.
·Lincoln once had a dream right before the fall of Richmond that he would die. He dreamt that he was in the White House, he heard crying and when he found the room it was coming from he asked who had died. The man said the President. He looked in the coffin and saw his own face. A week later Lincoln died.
·Lincoln was shot on Good Friday.
·Lincoln had a cat named "Bob," a turkey named "Jack," and a dog named "Jib."
·He was the first president to be photographed at his inauguration. John Wilkes Booth (his assassin) can be seen standing close to Lincoln in the picture.
·Mary Todd Lincoln's brother, half-brothers, and brothers-in-law fought in the Confederate Army.
·John Wilkes Booth's brother once saved Abraham Lincoln's son's life.
·Lincoln and his wife held séances in the White House. They had great interest in psychic phenomena.

Lincoln was always one of my favorite presidents to learn about, but I wonder if what I learned about was really true. I found out that a lot of the things I learned about past presidents, even in high school, were ridiculously wrong, or at least sugar coated.

Anyway, happy Thursday everyone! I am done with my tests, for the most part. I have a continuation of one on Friday. But after that it is free sailing for… a few hours… because I have a paper to write due Tuesday. Fun.

Related Products

Check out our Abraham Lincoln 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. Perfect for storing tiny treasures; great gift, too. 2½"x2".

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

This Day in History: February 22, 1980

U.S. Olympic Hockey Team Beats Russia

In one of the most dramatic upsets in Olympic history, the underdog U.S. hockey team, made up of college players, defeats the four-time defending gold-medal winning Soviet team at the XIII Olympic Winter Games in Lake Placid, New York. The Soviet squad, previously regarded as the finest in the world, fell to the youthful American team 4-3 before a frenzied crowd of 10,000 spectators. Two days later, the Americans defeated Finland 4-2 to clinch the hockey gold.

The so-called Miracle on Ice was more than just an Olympic upset; to many Americans, it was an ideological victory in the Cold War as meaningful as the Berlin Airlift or the Apollo moon landing. The upset came at an auspicious time: President Jimmy Carter had just announced that the United States was going to boycott the 1980 Summer Games in Moscow because of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan, and Americans, faced with a major recession and the Iran hostage crisis, were in dire need of something to celebrate. After the game, President Carter called the players to congratulate them, and millions of Americans spent that Friday night in revelry over the triumph of "our boys" over the Russian pros.

As the U.S. team demonstrated in their victory over Finland two days later, it was disparaging to call the U.S. team amateurs. Three-quarters of the squad were top college players who were on their way to the National Hockey League (NHL), and coach Herb Brooks had trained the team long and hard in a manner that would have made the most authoritative Soviet coach proud.

The 1980 U.S. hockey team was probably the best-conditioned American Olympic hockey team of all time--the result of countless hours running skating exercises in preparation for Lake Placid. In their play, the U.S. players adopted passing techniques developed by the Soviets for the larger international hockey rinks, while preserving the rough checking style that was known to throw the Soviets off-guard. It was these factors, combined with an exceptional afternoon of play by Craig, Johnson, Eruzione, and others, that resulted in the miracle at Lake Placid.
This improbable victory was later memorialized in a 2004 film, Miracle, starring Kurt Russell.

So in one of my books for class, they talk about this whole ordeal throughout three chapters, and the book is about Group Communication. It is pretty funny. Ironically enough, I have a test in this class today, and I am 100% sure that this will be talked about. Good thing I am writing about it today and learning even more. I guess it sets the mood, in a sense, for the test.

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Check out our 1980 Soviet Hockey Jersey. You can have 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.

We also have this other1980 Soviet Hockey Jersey.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

This Day in History: February 21, 1885

Washington Monument dedicated
Today, on February 21, 1885 the Washington Monument, built in honor of America’s first president, is dedicated in Washington, D.C.

In February 1885, the Washington Monument was formally dedicated, and three years later it was opened to the public, who were permitted to climb to the top of the monument by stairs or elevator.

The Washington National Monument Society laid the monument's cornerstone on Independence Day, 1848, 36 years before completion. But when the obelisk was a height of about 156 feet, the Society lost support and funding. The monument stood incomplete and untouched for 20 years. Finally, in 1876, President Ulysses S. Grant authorized the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to finish the project. When fully constructed, it was the world's tallest structure. Today, the approximately 36,000-stacked blocks of granite and marble compose the world's tallest freestanding masonry structure.

The monument was the tallest structure in the world when completed and remains today, by District of Columbia law, the tallest building in the nation's capital.

Even More Trivia
That 9-inch aluminum pyramid, which completes the top of the structure as it narrows to a point, is 100-ounces of solid aluminum, part of the monument's lightning protection system. In the 1880s, aluminum was a rare metal, selling for $1.10 per ounce and used primarily for jewelry. The pyramid was the largest piece of aluminum of its day and was such a novelty that it was displayed at Tiffany's jewelry store in New York before it was placed at the top. Last, if you go to visit the Washington Monument, you will have a spectacular panoramic view from the observation deck because, by government mandate, it will always be the tallest structure in Washington

Today will be a busy night of studying. I have to learn two 30-page study guides by tomorrow morning.

Also, I have been thinking about the Olympics this morning and how I haven’t been able to watch more than five minutes of it. I am pretty disappointed about that. I really want to watch curling. I wish I had more time.

What is your favorite Olympic sport?

Related Products

Check out our George Washington 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.

Monday, February 20, 2006

This Day in History: February 20, 1971

U.S. President's Day

On February 20, 1971, the observance of President’s Day on the third Monday of February became effective in the United States. President’s Day is officially known as Washington’s Birthday (February 22), although it is celebrated also for Lincoln’s Birthday (February 12).

Observance on the third Monday of February dates to the Monday Holidays Act of 1968, which became effective in 1971. A draft of that bill called for a Presidents' Day to honor both Washington and Lincoln, but the final version only moved Washington's Birthday from February 22 to the third Monday without changing its name. In 1971, President Richard Nixon issued a proclamation calling for a Presidents' Day on the third Monday to honor all US presidents, but that did not have the force of law. As of 2003, the federal government still refers to the holiday as Washington's Birthday, while many state and local governments and private employers refer to it as Presidents' Day.

U.S. schools generally use the days leading up this holiday to teach their students about the history of the President’s of the United States, in particular George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.

Adding to the confusion is that George Washington's birthday was nominally on February 11, but in the Julian calendar that predated England's calendar reformation in September 1752. His birthday is equivalent to February 22 in the Gregorian calendar used today. The third Monday in a month never falls later than the 21st, so the official holiday now never occurs on his actual birthday.

I hope everyone’s weekend went well. Mine was full of studying with a break of judo and lunch with a friend. Oh… and I also watched parts of the All-Star game and the Slam Dunk contest…which was awesome!

Anyway, for some reason I could not sleep for the life of me. It took me almost 4 hours to fall asleep. I thought maybe it was a full moon or something, but I think it was just the energy drink I drank a few hours before bedtime. Oops.

By the way, if you were wondering whether I got this holiday off from work or school, the answer would be no. I think I deserve a comment for that one.
Related Products

Check out our George Washington 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.

We also have an Abraham Lincoln 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.

Next we have these Presidential robes. 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). Save on a pair!

And the last item today is our Great Seal Dinnerware . On July 4, 1776, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams and Thomas Jefferson began creating a unifying symbol for America's virtues. Six years later, their masterpiece: The Great Seal of the United States. Our fine porcelain proudly displays the Seal. This patriotic set would be a precious gift or a fine addition to your table or display cabinet. Dinner plate, 10". Dessert plate, 8". Soup bowl, 7". Cup/saucer, 8oz. Save on a 5-pc. or 20-pc. place setting!

Friday, February 17, 2006

Titanic's Final Moments on History Channel, Sunday

On Sunday, February 26, 2006 at 9pm Eastern, the History Channel will present "Titanic’s Final Moments: Missing Pieces".

During this show they will talk about "A top-secret expedition by The History Channel to the Titanic wreck site, conducted in August 2005, produced never-before-seen footage that could completely rewrite the final moments of the world’s most famous sunken vessel. Using high-definition photographic equipment, an internationally acknowledged team of experts has located brand-new information that maritime historian Simon Mills has termed "…possibly the most significant pieces of evidence since the wreck was located in 1985." Find out what was down there and what it means to the story you thought you knew." --History Channel

This show is supposed to provide "the missing link" in the Titanic story, a piece of information that has causes many debates amongst experts for years.

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This is a White Star framed print. Thomas H. Ismay salvaged the White Star Line in 1868 for just £1,000. Ismay steered the company to success with his "comfort rather than speed" policy, creating a fleet of luxury liners like the Olympic and Titanic. Our reproduction of a vintage advertising print is a wonderful piece of White Star Line's amazing story of success, luxury and loss. Custom framed under glass. Ready to hang.

This is a Titanic ship model. 1:350 scale model exquisitely rendered in mahogany. The ship that suffered the most tragic of all maritime disasters is recreated in this exact mahogany scale model. Hand-signed by Millvina Dean, one of the last living survivors of the ill-fated luxury liner. Master model builders handcrafted this beauty to exacting specifications (each takes about 1,000 man-hours). Amazing detail – from the complex rigging running bow to stern to the dozen lifeboats port and starboard. Mounted on wooden platform with brass accents. 30" length, 3" beam. Quite simply, phenomenal!

This is a Titanic ship whistle. Thanks to the signals of the Titanic's First Mate's whistle, countless lives have been saved at sea. An original whistle from the Titanic recently sold at auction for more than £3,000! Our fully functioning reproductions are crafted in England from solid brass and nickel-plated. Made using the original 100-year-old tooling. 2".

This is a Titanic ship bell. Like a relic pulled up from the icy North Atlantic. Solid brass with a rich, rust-tone patina. Engraved with the ship's name and year of the fateful accident. Great for calling the kids in from play or warning of impending danger.

This is a White Star Line lifeboat model. Lifeboats like these were standard issue for the opulent White Star Line, builders of luxury liners like the Olympic and Titanic. Each remarkable model is built entirely by hand using traditional lapstrake construction of overlapping wooden planks. Details galore – from the water barrels and oars to the mast and canvas sail. Ready to hang with wrought iron wall davits or display on the mantel with table rests (both included).

This is a Titanic porcelain place-setting. Entertain guests with the same china pattern used in R.M.S. Titanic's first class dining salon and on the captain's table. Recreated by Woodmere to the exact specifications, per White Star Line. Finely detailed cobalt blue porcelain is hand-decorated and trimmed with 23 karat gold. Gift boxed with certificate of authenticity. 16-piece place-setting includes four each; dinner plate, salad/dessert plate, cup and saucer. Dishwasher safe; do not microwave.

This Day in History: February 17, 1801

Thomas Jefferson is elected

On February 17, 1801, Thomas Jefferson was elected the third president of the United States. This was the first election to constitute the first peaceful transfer of power from one political party to another in the United States.

There was a fierce partisan warfare that characterized the campaign of 1800 between Democratic-Republicans Jefferson and Aaron Burr and Federalists John Adams, Charles C. Pinckney and John Jay.

The election highlighted the ongoing battle between Democratic-Republican supporters of the French and the pro-British Federalists.

After a bloodless but vicious campaign in which candidates and influential supporters on both sides used the press, often anonymously, as a forum to fire slanderous volleys at each other, the then-laborious and confusing process of voting began in April 1800. Individual states scheduled elections at different times and although Jefferson and Burr ran on the same ticket, as president and vice president respectively, the Constitution still demanded votes for each individual to be counted separately. As a result, by the end of January 1801, Jefferson and Burr emerged tied at 73 electoral votes apiece. Adams came in third at 65 votes.

This unintended result sent the final vote to the House of Representatives. Sticklers in the Federalist-controlled House of Representatives insisted on following the Constitution’s flawed rules and refused to elect Jefferson and Burr together on the same ticket. The highly influential Federalist Alexander Hamilton, who mistrusted Jefferson but hated Burr more, persuaded the House to vote against Burr, whom he called “the most unfit man…for the office of president.” (This accusation and others led Burr to challenge Hamilton to a duel in 1804 that resulted in Hamilton’s death.) Two weeks before the scheduled inauguration, Jefferson emerged victorious and Burr was confirmed as his vice president.

In his inaugural address, Jefferson sought to heal political differences by graciously declaring, “We are all Republicans, we are all Federalists.”

Normally I am very excited about the weekend coming up, but this weekend I have to study, ALL weekend. I have three tests next week, and I haven’t even started studying yet. This will be a LONG weekend.

I hope your weekends go well!!
Related Products

Check out our Thomas Jefferson 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.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

This Day in History: February 16, 1862

Confederates Surrender at Fort Donelson

On February 16, 1862 about 14,000 Confederate soldier’s surrender at Fort Donelson, Tennessee during the Civil War.

The Battle of Fort Donelson was fought on February 12–16, 1862. This battle earned Union general Ulysses S. Grant the nickname “Unconditional Surrender” Grant.

This battle took place after the battle of Fort Henry, Tennessee, which was also a Union victory.

Albert Sidney Johnston gave Confederate General John B. Floyd command at Donelson. Floyd arrived after losing western Virginia to Union general George B. McClellan. Floyd was a wanted man in the North, for graft and secessionist activities as Secretary of War under the administration of President James Buchanan. Johnston gave him an additional 12,000 men and withdrew the rest of his force to Nashville to stop an expected Union attack there.

General Grant and U.S. Navy Flag Officer Andrew H. Foote had more trouble than they expected in the taking of Donelson, and did not catch Floyd.

The fort had twelve heavy guns about 100 feet above the Cumberland River, and three miles of trenches around the fort, which was more of a stockade than a fort.

Initial Union probing attacks on February 13 were repulsed, but on February 14, another 10,000 Union reinforcements arrived, with six gunboats, four of them ironclads. The ironclads approached too close to the fort, enabling the Confederates to pummel them. Crippled, they drifted downstream; fifty-four Union sailors were killed or wounded while the Confederates lost nothing.

However, on land well-armed Union soldiers surrounded the Confederates, and while the Union boats had been damaged, they still controlled the Cumberland River.

On the morning of February 15, the Confederates launched a counterattack from their left against the over-ambitious and glory-hungry Union general John A. McClernand's rash attack by his division on the Union right. The Union was caught off-guard, but the Confederates failed to capitalize on their advantage.

True to his nature, Grant did not panic at the Confederate assault. He ordered a counterattack the next day; the lost ground was soon retaken. By morning, Union artillery was scowling down on the Confederate fort. Nearly 1,000 soldiers on both sides had been killed with about 3,000 wounded still on the field; some froze to death in a snowstorm.

General Floyd expected a Confederate loss, and to be captured and face justice in the North. He gave command to the indecisive General Gideon Pillow, who gave it to the somewhat cautious General Simon Bolivar Buckner while Floyd escaped down the Cumberland in the night and Pillow also escaped.

Disgusted at this show of cowardice, Confederate cavalry general Nathan Bedford Forrest heatedly said, "I did not come here to surrender my command," and stormed out, leaving with his 700 men and not encountering a single Yankee at Donelson.

On the morning of February 16, Buckner sent a note to Grant requesting terms of surrender. Buckner had expectations that Grant would offer generous terms because of their previous relationship. In 1854 Grant had lost a command in California in part due a drinking problem, and then-U.S. Army officer Buckner had loaned him money to get home after his resignation. But Grant showed he had no mercy towards men who had rebelled against the Union. His reply was one of the most famous quotes to come out of the war, giving him his nickname of "Unconditional Surrender"; in part:


Yours of this date proposing Armistice, and appointment of Commissioners, to settle terms of Capitulation is just received. No terms except unconditional and immediate surrender can be accepted.

I propose to move immediately upon your works.

I am.

Sir: very respectfully,

Your obt. sevt.
U.S. Grant
Brig. Gen.

Buckner shortly surrendered his 12–13,000 troops, the first of three Confederate armies that Grant would capture during the war

So is anyone watching the All-Star games this weekend? I am very excited for them, although I have three tests to study for this weekend, so I am not sure how this will all fit in. Either way, I at least want to watch the Slam Dunk Contest.

Have a good day out there!!


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We have Confederate cavalry figures at www.Sieglers.com. These are lead cast figurines, entirely hand-painted, seem to gallop off the pages of history. 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. For history and Civil War buffs alike.

Next we have Authentic Civil War bullets. Load your collection with these genuine relics from perhaps the most significant event in U.S. history. Four-piece set includes a musket ball and minie-bullet along with an exceedingly rare "William's Cleaner" bullet and a .52-caliber Sharp's bullet (used only by cavalrymen). Limited to just 1,865 poignant sets, each with a hand-signed certificate of authenticity. Handsome, 9"x6" presentation case. Two-piece set includes a musket ball and minie-bullet in a handsome, 3"x4" presentation case. Certificate of authenticity. After more than 130 years of slow oxidation, the lead has acquired a white patina. Protective lacquer finish to preserve them for posterity. Bullets approximately 1". Please specify four-piece set or two-piece set.

This is a Brass and copper CSA bugle. Bugles like these once sounded the charge during the Civil War. Fully functional; ideal for calling the troops home for chow or waking up new recruits. Accurate replica complete with CSA (Confederate States of America) insignia and wreath and braided cord. Two-toned, crafted of copper and brass. 12" overall.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

This Day in History: February 15, 1812

The King of Diamonds is Born

Not to remind you of Valentine’s Day any longer, but today is the birthday of Charles Lewis Tiffany, the king of diamonds. Tiffany was born in Killingly, Connecticut in 1812. In 1837 he headed to New York to join his partner John B. Young in opening a stationary and fancy goods shop.

This plan change though when the political upheaval in Europe in 1848 caused the prices of precious stones to plummet. When this happened Tiffany took this perfect opportunity to open his own jewelry business. He bought a bunch of diamonds for really cheap, including the French Crown Jewel, which he later sold for a really good profit. Once he bought up all these diamonds, he got the press to call him “The King of Diamonds”.

Around this same time, Tiffany started to manufacture gold jewelry. He expanded his business rapidly, especially when he acquired John C. Moorey’s leading operations in 1851. Two years later, Tiffany gained complete control of the company and renamed it “Tiffany & Co”. During the following years, he opened Tiffany branches around the world and produced special items for famous people, such as the First Lady Mary Todd Lincoln.

When Tiffany died in 1902, his company had become very popular and considered a place for the high culture.

Although it is only Wednesday, I still think the week has moved by pretty fast. Maybe it is because Valentine’s Day was yesterday. Even though, I didn’t do anything Valentine related except give some co-workers some candy and get a cupcake in one of my classes.
How was your Valentine’s Day? And if you think Valentine’s Day is just about corporations, tell me why.

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This faceted glass diamond paperweight always makes me smile. I wonder what people think when you have this sitting on your desk. I bet if you were Tiffany, everyone would think it was real. Anyway, check it out; it is pretty unique and a lot cheaper than a real one. Imagine the look on a friend or girlfriend's face when you give this to them. It could go one fo two ways. Just imagining this makes me smile more.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

This Day in History: February 14, 2006

The History of Valentine’s Day

There are many legends about how Valentine’s Day started. One legend says it all started with St. Valentine and the cruel Emperor Claudius II. Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families so in effect he outlawed marriage for young men. Valentine believed this was a great injustice and defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that St. Valentine be put to death.

Another legend says that St. Valentine was the first to send a “valentine”. Legend says that while he was in prison for marrying people against Claudius’s wishes, he fell in love with a young girl, rumored to be the jailor’s daughter, who visited him while he was in prison. Right before he died it is said that he wrote a letter and signed it “From your Valentine”. Sound familiar??

Some believe that Valentine’s Day is celebrate in the middle of February to honor the anniversary of St. Valentine’s death or burial, although others say that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine’s Day in order to “christianize” the pagan Lupercalia fertility festival

Valentine’s Day became popular in Great Britain around the 17th century. By the middle of the 18th century, it was quite common for friends and lovers from all social classes to exchange tokens of affection, as they do now. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, however, Esther A. Howland began to sell the first mass-produced valentines in America.

Note: One answer is wrong on the quiz, Japan really does celebrate Valentine's Day, China doesn't. Oops.

Happy Valentine’s everyone!! My real Valentine’s Day happened last weekend. My Valentine is now in Long Beach, so I will not see him tonight. Instead, I will probably be at the gym. It sounds sad, but, I just got to celebrate early, so that is all that matters to me. Heh.

I hope you all have a great Valentine’s Day with whoever you are with!

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Give your Valentine a toast with our Crystal martini set. This is a five-piece crystal martini set where you can shake up your style and add a splash of decadence with our 24% lead crystal martini set. Whether you prefer a dirty martini or a cosmopolitan, this set is sure to please. Shaker 20 oz.; glasses 6 oz.

This is a Garibaldi-link bracelet. This is a 7.5" Garibaldi-link bracelet, that is 14k gold. Pendants not included.

Monday, February 13, 2006

This Day in History: February 13, 1923

Charles "Chuck" Yeager was Born

On February 13, 1932 Charles Yeager, better known as “Chuck” Yeager, was born. Today he celebrates his 83rd birthday.

Yeager is best known as the first man to break the sound barrier.

Yeager was born in the poverty-stricken Myra, West Virginia and overcame his bleak circumstances. During World War II he became a combat pilot, where he was shot down over France in 1943, and somehow managed to survive.

After the war Yeager was in charge of pilot training for experimental aircraft. On October 14, 1947 he became the first person to break the sound barrier, flying a rocket powered Bell X-1 jet. After this he helped train the first U.S. astronauts until the Vietnam War in the 60s where he flew combat missions over Vietnam. In the 1980s Yeager became a celebrity, largely due to the 1984 film made from Tom Wolfe's book The Right Stuff, which was an account of the early U.S. space program.

This weekend was a lot of fun. So much fun, that I will have a lot of catching up to do this week to get things done. It was worth it, so its okay.

This weekend I went to Judo, and I also got to do the whole Frisbee Golf thing again. It was my third time, and I think I was a little worse than my first. I will blame it on the wind, but really, I think my beginner’s luck is running out. Either way it was a lot of fun.

I hope you had a good weekend. Did you do anything fun?

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As mentioned above, Chuck Yeager broke the ‘sound barrier” and changed history. He did this in his Bell X-1 airplane, called the Glamorous Glennis. This is a recreated Bell X-1 model airplane and is signed by Chuck Yeager. This was meticulously handcrafted from solid mahogany, then intricately hand-painted and coated with clear lacquer to protect it for generations to come. Mounted on a handsome display stand with story plaque. 10½" wingspan.

Next we have these Classic nose art clocks. Turn back the clock to a time when scantily clad beauties decorated our bombers. Made using a proprietary process that imbeds the image into the surface of the metal dial. Set in an aluminum riveted case with a polished acrylic crystal. Accurate, quartz movement powered by one AA battery (not included). 14" diameter. Made in U.S.A. Choose from B-25, B-17 or Memphis Belle.

Lastly we have these Art deco airplane clocks. The sleek lines of this cast aluminum clock take you on a flight back in time. Precision quartz movement keeps your arrivals and departures on schedule.

Friday, February 10, 2006

This Day in History: February 10, 1942

Japanese sub bombards Midway

On February 10, 1942 a Japanese submarine launched a brutal attack on Midway, a coral atoll used as U.S. Navy base. This was the fourth bombing of the atoll by Japanese ships since Pearl Harbor on December 7.

Capturing Midway was an important part of the Japanese strategy to create a defensive line that would stretch from the western Aleutian Islands in the north to the Midway, Wake, Marshall, and Gilbert Islands in the south, and then into the Dutch West Indies. If they could occupy Midway, it would allow them to deprive the US of a submarine base while also providing a perfect launching pad for an all-out assault on Hawaii.

The mastermind of the Pearl Harbor attack and commander in chief of the Japanese combined fleet, Adm. Isoroku Yamamoto, knew that the only way for the Japanese to have free reign in the Pacific was to completely destroy the U.S. naval capacity. This bombing of the atoll ship and submarine did not end up breaking through the defense set up by Adm. Chester Nimitz, the commander of the US Navy in the Pacific though. Nimitz used every resource available to protect Midway, and essentially Hawaii.

The Battle of Midway, which actually started on June 7, 1942, ended up being a disaster for Japan, although it was a major victory for the U.S. in the Pacific.

Sorry about the quiz being late today. Although it was late, I did learn a lot about the Battle of Midway. One of my co-workers here does tours for the U.S.S. Midway and he told me a lot of inside stories about it. He is a really interesting guy, and probably the most knowledge people around when it comes to history. Hopefully, if he ever gets the time, he will be a guest blogger.

Anyway, I hope you have a good weekend!I have no exciting plans as of yet, but we shall see how it turns out!

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Here is our coppered brass "tot" rum cup.In days of yore, ship's pursers issued daily rum rations ("tots") to the crew. Our one-tot replica cup is handcrafted in brass with a silver-plated interior to protect the flavor of the drink. No ol' salt should be without one. 3½".

Next we have Navy insignia watch. Show your patriotic spirit with our striking watches, featuring the Navy insignia. Japanese quartz movement in water resistant, stainless steel casing. Sweep second hand. Leather strap with silver-finish buckle closure. Presented in tin gift canister.

Lastly we have this Schott U.S. Navy wool peacoat . Our U.S. Navy, melton wool pea coat is produced by Schott NYC, which has outfitted our sailors and flyboys since WWII. Wool-blend shell and full quilted lining with center vent back. Lined, slash pockets keep your hands warm; inside breast pockets keeps your valuables and documents safe. Ten-button, double-breasted front and stand-up collar. A great look, be ye a sailor or a landlubber.

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Today in History: February 9, 1861

Jefferson Davis was elected president of the Confederate States of America.

Four days after resigning from the Senate, Jefferson Davis was commissioned Major General of Mississippi troops, and then elected president of the Confederate States of America. He was then inaugurated on February 18, 1861.

Davis had initially argued against secession, but when a majority of his delegates opposed him, he gave in and allowed the secession to take place.

In order to resolve the Confederacy’s differences with the Union (USA) he appointed a Peace Commission. To help negotiate with the union though, he appointed P.G.T. Beauregard to lead the Confederate troops in the vicinity of Charleston, South Carolina. The Confederate government moved to Richmond, Virginia in May, 1861, and Davis and his family took up his residence there at the White House of the Confederacy on the 29th.

Davis was again elected as President of the Confederacy, but this time elected to an official six-year term on November 6, 1861. Davis never actually served a full term in any elective office though. He was inaugurated on February 22, 1862. On May 31, he assigned General Robert E. Lee to command the Army of Northern Virginia, the main Confederate army. That December, he made a tour of Confederate armies in the west of the country.

For some reason, this week seems like it is happening in slow motion. I cannot wait for the weekend, because I need some extra sleep. I think this is why it is going in such slow motion. Hah.

Anyway, I hope you enjoy my quiz on the Civil War, tell me what you thought about it!!

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These are Confederate cavalry figures. These lead cast figurines, entirely hand-painted, seem to gallop off the pages of history. 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.

Next we have this Wool felt cavalry hat. Our cavalry hat, inspired by those worn by Civil War cavalrymen, has been updated with a western-style twist. Completely handcrafted of water-resistant, crushable wool felt. Cavalry yellow, braided cord trim. 15", wire-edged brim lets you customize your style.

These Confederate gray Civil War kepi caps are modeled after French officer's caps, that were worn by soldiers on both sides during the Civil War. Hunched in the trenches, they raised their kepis with their rifles; if no one shot, it was safe to move. Our suede caps have a leather bill and strap across the front. Metal crossed rifles badge. Available in sizes.

Lastly we have this Cavalry-style leather cinch belt. Superior fit with unique, lever-action design and rugged good looks. Italian bridle leather with solid brass hardware will gracefully weather years of adventure. This can also be personalized.