HistoryBuff.com June 2009 Newsletter
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Does History Repeat Itself?

I have researched and written over 200 articles about press coverage of major events in American history. I am listed as a resource in a few directories. When a major event happens, I often receive phone calls from reporters wanting to know if anything similar had happened in the past.

One example is the Bush presidential voting fiasco in 2000, I received several phone calls from reporters wanting to know if anything like this had happened before. As a matter of fact, it has happened SIX times before. Many Americans know about the Dewey Defeats Truman episode for the presidential election of 1948. However, that error was only printed in one newspaper, the Chicago Daily News. For the presidential election of 1876, the two candidates were Samuel Tilden and Rutherford B. Hayes. After the votes were counted, Tilden had 250,000 more votes than Hayes. However, the votes were still uncounted for Florida, South Carolina, and Louisiana. Both parties demanded a recount. Despite the uncertainty of who was the winner, most newspapers declared Tilden the winner in their November 7 editions. Newspapers were filled with editorials of controversy and both sides accused the other side of fraud. The presidential inauguration took place on March 5, 1877. The final winner, Rutherford B. Hayes, was not announced until only three days prior to the inauguration.


The day after the Columbine High School shootings, April 21, 1999, I received phone calls from several reporters wanting to know if this was the worst mass-killing of children that ever took place at a school. It wasn’t. On May 18, 1927, 45 people, mostly children, were killed and 58 were injured when disgruntled and demented school board member Andrew Kehoe dynamited the new school building in Bath, Michigan. He did this out of revenge over his foreclosed farm due in part to the taxes required to pay for the new school. The school had students from kindergarten to twelfth-grade. As the school’s janitor, Kehoe spent almost an entire year wiring dynamite throughout the basement of the school. In total, about one-thousand pounds of dynamite was planted. The evening of May 17, Kehoe, hooked a clock mechanism to the dynamite and set it to go off at 8:45 the next morning. He also rigged his home with dynamite. Early morning May 18, he got up and shot his wife. He then loaded his pickup truck bed with more dynamite as well as scraps of metal, nails, broken glass and other items to be used as shrapnel. Next he set off the dynamite at his home and then drove to the school arriving at about 9 AM, just after the school had blown up. When he arrived, dozens of men and women were searching through the rubble in an effort to save children. An entire wing of the school was turned into rubble. Children could be heard screaming and crying under the debris. Kehoe parked his truck in front of what was left of the school, turned around in the driver’s seat and fired a shot into the truck bed to set off the dynamite there. With this, even more people were killed; even the few children that had made it out of the school on their own and were wandering around trying to figure out what had just happened. The rescue attempts were stopped when more dynamite was found in the school wing that had not been blown up.

Being a town of only a few hundred people, almost every household suffered the death of one or more of their children. Almost an entire generation was wiped out in their town. Except for the Lansing, Michigan newspaper, all other newspapers covered the event on inside pages, if at all. The main news coverage was on Charles Lindbergh who was making aviation history with his flight to Paris.

 
Obsolete Words?

Last issue, I related some words that are no longer being used today. Subscriber Don Jolliff sent me an email with other words not used today. They are: poppycock, swell...as in "That is swell!" cheeky, shenanigan, groundswell, dumkoff, kaput, gerrymander, mindbogglingly, confabulation and boondoggling. Thanks Don.

 
Are You a Civil War Buff?

The twenty-fifth annual Civil War muster, held in Jackson, Michigan, will be on August 29 and 30, 2009. It is one of the largest Civil War musters in the country. Last year, there were 2,500 participants in the event. In addition to a battle re-enactment, other demonstrations were given such as the Lincoln-Douglas debates, field medical procedures, Mary and Abraham Lincoln, General and Mrs. Grant impersonators, and many other events. You could spend two full days and not see everything that is offered. For more information, their web site URL is http://www.civilwarmuster.org (Unfortunately, as of June 8, 2009, information about the 2009 muster was not on their Web site yet.)

To read about last year's muster, check out the September 2008 issue of this newsletter.

Access it at: http://www.historybuff.com/newsletter/sep08.html

For photos of the last year's muster, go to: http://www.historybuff.com/newsletter/jackson

You could make a family vacation out of this trip as there are several other great sites to visit and all within less than a morning's drive. For more information, contact me, Rick Brown.

Reprints Monograph

A reminder that my monograph An Annotated Index of American Newspapers Know to Have Been Reprinted, with Ancillary Information on Detecting Reprints is availble for purchase. It has eleven more pages than the 1992 edition and now has 567 listings on 56 pages. About 80% of the listings in my updated monograph include identifying factors such as page–size, number of pages, type of paper printed on, etc. With this information, determining authenticity is easier.

Many of the reprints in my updated edition were found in Ebay listings. These numbered almost one–hundred previously unrecorded reprints. Some of the sellers claimed they were offering an original edition, but in fact, were actually old reprints. My Annotated Index of American Newspapers Know to Have Been Reprinted, with Ancillary Information on Detecting Reprints will aid in not paying big bucks for what is claimed an original but in fact is actually a reprint.

In addition, the update includes photos of the back, pattern side, of the July 2 and 4, 1863 wallpaper editions of the Vicksburg Daily Citizen. This special edition was reproduced over 100 times between the end of the Civil War and the early 1900s. As a reprint, there is minimal collector value. With the aid of the photos, determining authenticity can be completed with a mere glance at the back side.

The monograph is available in two formats: E-Book and hard copy. For more information about this work can be found by going to http://www.historybuff.com/reprints

Donations

As a result of my appeal for donations in the previous issue, several people made a one-time donation. They are Virgil Jain, Elizabeth Chapman, and Bunnys Ebooks 4u. Thank you.

If you desire to make a one-time donation, utilize the link below. The dollar amount donated is up to you.

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May Contest


CONTEST ONE QUESTION: The Indian Removal Act of 1830 provided for the moving of American Indians to land West of the Mississippi River. So many Indians died during the move that it became known as what?

ANSWER: Trail of Tears.

CONTEST TWO QUESTION: In 1836 what did Texas declare?

ANSWER: Independence.


Eighty-two people entered. Twenty-three people had errors in their entry. Two prizes went unclaimed.
The May Contest Winners Were:
  • Shirley Wardzinski - Indiana
  • Greg Harris - California
  • Morris Brill - Pennsylvania
  • Adam J. Carozza - Florida
  • Kevin J. Wick - Wisconsin
  • Paul H. Bomely - North Carolina


This Issue's Questions:

To enter Contest One, answer the question: When the Liberty bell was cast, how much did it weigh?

To enter Contest Two, answer the question: Who wrote the Battle Hymn of the Republic?



Contest Rules

  • Contest entry deadline is Friday, June 19, 2009. Later entries will be disqualified. Winners will be notified by email within 48 hours after the contest deadline. Winners' names and states will be published in the next issue of the HistoryBuff.com newsletter.

  • To enter Contest One or Contest Two, email your answer to curator at historybuff.com

  • To enter Contest One, use "Contest One Entry" for the emailed contest entry subject heading and answer the Contest One question. Any other subject heading will be disqualified.

  • To enter Contest Two, use "Contest Two Entry" for the emailed contest entry subject heading and answer the Contest Two question. Any other subject heading will be disqualified.

  • Subscribers may enter both contests, but only win one prize.

  • If entering both contests, entries must be sent in separate emails.

  • Each entry MUST select ONE prize from the appropriate prize list.

  • If answering the Contest One question, select your prize from the Contest One prize list.

  • If answering the Contest Two question, select your prize from the Contest Two prize list.

  • From subscribers entering the contest, submitting the correct answer, correct subject heading, submission received by the deadline, as well as advising which ONE contest prize they want to win, NINE will be selected to win ONE of the contest prizes below.

  • Subscribers to this newsletter that won a prize in my trivia contests in the last 90 days are ineligible to win.
June Contest One Prize Selection
(Only one of each offered)


Hard Bound Book

The Long Range Desert Group
Providence Their Guide
By Major-General David Lloyd Owen

In a campaign known for many special warfare units, the Long Range Desert Group (LRDG) became one of the greatest legends of the North African Campaign in World War II. Equipped with specially modified light trucks, the British, New Zealand, and Rhodesian troops of the LRDG roamed far behind German lines on a variety of dangerous missions.

The book can be ordered from Amazon.com.

For information on all books published by Casemate Publishing visit their Web site.

















DVD Game

Sports Trivia

Similar to the "Scene It" DVD game

 
June Contest Two Prize Selection
(Only one of each offered)


DVD

Mrs. Robinson Crusoe

Douglas Fairbanks



DVD

Make Room for Daddy

Classic 1960s TV Series

Danny Thomas

Original Historic Newspapers


Original Boston Recorder historic newspaper from 1830


Original Daily National Intellegencer (Washington, DC) historic newspaper from 1843


The Daily Atlas historic newspaper from 1867


Original Coldwater Republican historic newspaper from 1876
That's it for this issue.

Rick Brown


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