Tag Archives: HISTORY

Nothing New About the Tea Party

Speaking at a luncheon prior to the dedication of the MLK, Jr. monument in Washington, DC, Jessie Jackson made the statement that the Tea Party was nothing new, “It’s just a new name for an old game.”

The old game Jackson referenced is the argument for state’s rights. When historians examine the causes of the American Civil War they often cite issues involving state’s rights as a major reason Continue reading Nothing New About the Tea Party

As You Drink a Cold One on Monday

America has been taking the first Monday in September off since the late 1800s. The holiday rose from the labor violence of that era as a reaction to the growth of the unionism and collective bargaining. It is a day whose purpose is to honor the efforts of those who fought so hard to attain better conditions for the nation’s working classes.

In the decades that followed, the day has come more to mark the end of summer rather than a day to acknowledge the reason for the holiday itself. Labor Day is a day Continue reading As You Drink a Cold One on Monday

A Place Named Betsy Bell

Back in the spring I ventured over to the Atlantic coast near Virginia Beach for some salt water fishing. I love to drive and don’t seem to have any trouble finding things to do as I wind my way along the Interstates and secondary roads. I stop frequently to stretch the legs and on occasion back track to take a look at some point of interest or historical monument.

Another way of passing time is to take note of the many signs alerting the traveler of nearby towns and villages bearing interesting or curious names. Continue reading A Place Named Betsy Bell

The Rule of Thumb

I am fascinated to know the origin of sayings and clichés. I have several books on the subject. My grandmother and mother had a trove of sayings and my brothers and I use them frequently but I notice that most younger people do not “GET” them. One old saying I do NOT use is “RULE OF THUMB” because it stems from the fact that in old English law a man was allowed to punish his wife and children with a rod as large as this THUMB! Continue reading The Rule of Thumb

Maybe Not Warfare But Certainly Disparity

Frequently when discussing the distribution of wealth in America a conservative will employ the phrase, “class warfare.” They argue that liberals and the liberal media are trying to drive a wedge between the haves and have-nots that will somehow lead to a forced redistribution of wealth at the hands of government.

I don’t think anyone is advocating real “class warfare” but, there Continue reading Maybe Not Warfare But Certainly Disparity

Why 160 Acres?

My wife, after reading Mike Newman’s piece about his great-grandfather homesteading in New Mexico, asked me, “Why 160 acres?” The only answer I could give her was that it had something to do with one of the several Homestead Acts passed by the US Congress and possibly with the terms of the Northwest Ordinance of 1787. I also recalled it had something to do with the old saying, “forty acres and a mule.” Forty acres being about what one family with a mule could work in a years time and Continue reading Why 160 Acres?

What the heck is Wall Drug?

My wife and I were recently in a local steak house and on the wall was a sign that read, “Visit Wall Drug.” There are probably many people today who have no idea what that sign is all about or what Wall Drug is. Back in the 1960s it didn’t seem to matter where one traveled, you ran into “Visit Wall Drug” signs. I even remember seeing one on the side of a double-deck city bus in Continue reading What the heck is Wall Drug?