HistoryBuff.com May 2010 Newsletter
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Grant Proposal Update

First, thank you very much for your kind comments when you voted for the HistoryBuff.com grant proposal. I really appreciate them.

For those that did not receive the email I sent out May 1 concerning the HistoryBuff.com grant proposal, I offer a synopsis of that email. (About fifty of them bounced back to me due to being "Over Quota.")

Pepsi has a program that offers grants. Usually, when a foundation offers grants, the Board of Directors meet and evaluate the grant proposals and then select the ones they want to support. The Pepsi grant approvals ARE NOT selected by a Board of Directors. Instead, the grant proposals that receive the most votes are awarded the funds.

HistoryBuff.com has a grant proposal in the running. I am attempting to receive funding to compile and publish an extensive database of historical data for use on HistoryBuff.com. When the visitor enters a month and year, the results will be:

  • A listing of newspaper headlines for each day of that month, if significant
  • Prices for various commodities - a dozen eggs, a loaf of bread, a gallon of gas, etc.
  • Average cost of a new automobile
  • Average price of a home - standardized to number of rooms, square feet, etc.
  • Average income for various occupations - carpenter, teacher, store clerk, etc.
  • Top television shows - or radio shows pre-1948
  • Movie release dates and primary stars
  • Top songs for that month
The first database will cover the years 1930 to 1984 with over 20,000 records and over 800,000 fields. Of the $25,000 I am seeking, I will be receiving only 12% of the total for my labor and expertise. The rest will be paid out to others. There is money in the budget to pay four people for data entry and I have no objections to hiring subscribers to my newsletter for that job. The requirements are as follows:

  • 1) Own or have access to a laptop/notebook computer

  • 2) Able to provide their own transportation to a larger library or state archives in their area

  • 3) Experience in using microfilm.
The people that do the data entry will need to visit a library/archives that has a major city daily newspaper on microfilm and go through them day by day and enter the major headlines as well as check the movies pages and enter the most well-known movies and their stars. For the rest of the data, they will be supplied with various government and association publications to gain the data from. All data entry will be done in the area they live and those hired will be supplied with the software program for data entry. Returning the filled out forms can be done through the Internet.

Twenty-four hours after I sent out my email notice requesting votes, the HistoryBuff.com grant proposal was ranked in 311th place out of 1,343 proposals. Nearly a week later, it was ranked number 132. Then the momentum lost ground. It is now ranked at 199th.

I have been asked by a few people that if they register to vote on the Pepsi Web site, will they start receiving more SPAM email? The answer is NO! I first registered to vote on the Pepsi Web site three months ago and have only received two emails from Pepsi, or its affiliates, and both were updates for my grant proposal. (Thank you for submitting a grant proposal and Your grant proposal was accepted for voting.)

Please vote for the HistoryBuff.com grant proposal as often as you can. Teachers, if you have a computer lab connected to the Internet in your school, please help by voting as often as you can. The direct URL to vote is: http://www.refresheverything.com/historybuff

Thanks in advance.

Rick Brown

Two Stories Worth Reteling

In 1960, when I was twelve years old, a camp counselor for our group told us the following two stories around the campfire. Fifty years later, I still remember them and have often repeated them. You might want to pass them on too.

One-hundred-fifty years ago, this area was the home of a Native American tribe - insert a tribe name per your location. One year, the chief’s son went on his quest to become a man. Usually, the person going on the quest was at least 16 years of age, however, the chief’s son, Prancing Deer, was only 13 when he went on his journey to become a man. The quest was to be sent out alone with only a knife and survive for 30 days. Sure enough, on the thirtieth day, Prancing Deer returned home unharmed. The chief was so proud of his son that he had signs placed all over the valley so that others would know about his son’s achievement. This tribe had no written language. Rather, they used symbols or drawings for signs. Today, one-hundred-fifty years later, these signs can still be seen along highways. Click here to see the sign.

One-hundred-fifty years ago, this area was the home of a Native American tribe - insert a tribe name per your location. When a male Native American turned sixteen years of age, he was required to go on a quest . The test was that he was given a knife, but no other weapons, and had to survive all alone for thirty days and if he returned home unharmed and on time, he became a man. Falling Rock accepted the challenge and left on his quest. Thirty days passed, then thirty-five days, but Falling Rock had not returned. The chief sent out his warriors to try and find Falling Rock. They searched for a full two months but could not find him and finally gave up searching. Falling Rock’s father became highly depressed but did not want to give up searching for his son. Everywhere he went, he left signs for others to see and help find Falling Rock. Today, one-hundred-fifty years later, these signs can still be seen along highways. Click here to see the sign.

NOTE: A right click of your mouse button will enable you to download the sign to your computer. Then you can print them out for use in repeating the above two stories. Alternately, when traveling in an area that has these signs along the highway, start telling the stories.

Safety Tip

An incident recently happened to me that I want to pass on to you. I was in line at the grocery store. Like most of us do, as the cashier was ringing up my items, I held my debit card in hand. When it came time to pay, I handed my card to the cashier. No problem - WRONG!!

My bank called me the next day and advised I had overdrawn on my bank account. Imagine my shock when I was told of some transactions of well over $2,500 that I did not make; An HDTV from a store in Oklahoma; Three packages were sent from Fort Worth, Texas by FedEx to a Bahamas address; and an iPod was puchased from a store in California. My bankcard had never left my possession. She closed that debit card account once and for all and issued me a new card. I asked her how someone could have used my debit card to make purchases when it never left my possession?

She then told me about a new method that thieves use to obtain debit//bank card information. They purposely wait in line behind some checking out and use their cell phone camera to take a picture of the credit/debit card. This way, they have the name of the cardholder, numbers and expiration date. Literally within an hour they post on a specific underground Web site that they have credit card information to sell. The same credit card info is sold to lots of different people. These people then make purchases over the telephone using your card information. Once they can no longer use the card, they move on to another stolen card. After hearing this it was then that I recalled while waiting in line to check out, I heard a "ping" and turned around. A female of about 20 years of age had her cell phone in hand and quickly told me "I'm sorry. I pushed the wrong button." Oh well... yeah, yeah!

Now, the tip. When you are waiting in line to check out, keep your debit/credit card face down and hand it to the cashier the same way. Then tell him/her about why you are handing it to them face down and advise them to return it to you face down also.

Was Davy Crockett Really born in Tennessee?
By Guest Author William Wiersema

If you look up information on David Crockett (better known as Davy Crockett) you will find that you will be told he was born August 17, 1786 in Tennessee. Depending upon what article you read you may read he was born in Limestone, or Green County, or more correctly as Wikipedia encyclopedia states “what is now known as Green County Tennessee”. The date is correct, however at the time that he was born he was not born in Tennessee but it actually another state, another state that is no longer in existence.

In 1784, the original colonies were asked to pay for the war efforts in order to set up sound finances for the country. Being as cash was in short supply, North Carolina gave the western portion of the state consisting at the time of 8 counties to the federal Government, but before Congress could act upon the offer North Carolina changed their mind. The citizens of the area thought that Federal rule would be a good idea because North Carolina didn’t help the area in the fight against the Indians. They did however see some other benefits though, such as representation and relief from some taxes.

On August 23, 1784, delegates from North Carolina convened in the town of Jonesborough and declared their independence. On May 16, 1785 they submitted a petition for statehood to Congress. This area incorporated a constitution modeled on that of North Carolina and was adopted with few changes, and the state was named Franklin after Benjamin Franklin.

In 1786 the downfall of the new state began when they were not allowed to be admitted to the United States because they could not meet the requirements to be admitted to the Union. In March of 1788, the Indians began once again to attack the State of Franklin and as they had no money they sought help from North Carolina so that the militia could help them fight the Indians. The State of Franklin had collapsed entirely by 1790 and the territory was back under the control of North Carolina again.

John Sevier was elected to the legislature of the area in order to represent it. Not long after this, North Carolina once again gave up the area. John Sevier became the first Governor of Tennessee and the area that was the State of Franklin was admitted into the state of Tennessee.

Therefore, when Davy was born, he was actually born in the State of Franklin which is now known as Tennessee.

Somehow the phrase from the song about Davy that could state “Born on a mountain top in Franklin” just don't sound right.

Interesting Web Sites

Subscriber Mary Weems told me that her dad, Ardis Weems of Cropwell, Alabama, that has created a web site with his first-hand accounts of everyday life in rural Alabama during the 1930's Great Depression. Photos and historic documents are included with the articles. The URL is http://www.fridayscrossing.com

Subscriber Lindsay Wood sent me a URL for interesting photos of the recent volcano eruption. The URL is http://www.boston.com/bigpicture/2010/04/more_from_eyjafjallajokull.html


As a result of my appeal for donations in the previous issue, Jack Albert, Kathleen Panek, Maurice Siskel, and Peter Marchand made one-time donations. Thank you.

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

Help Support HistoryBuff.com

Another method to make a donation is a paid subscription for the HistoryBuff.com newsletter. If you feel the newsletter is worth $1, per issue, you may want to pay for a subscription. A paid subscription is totally optional. You'll never miss that $1 each month and it will greatly help to keep HistoryBuff.com online and free. Doug Owens and Susan Freedman-Varbero signed up for a one-year paid subscription from the April issue.

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If you prefer NOT to use a credit card or PayPal, a check or money order can be mailed to: Rick Brown, HistoryBuff.com, 6031 Winterset Drive, Lansing, MI 48911. Make check or money order payable to HistoryBuff.com. Thank you.


April Contest

CONTEST ONE QUESTION: Who was the British King during the Revolutionary War?

ANSWER: King George III

CONTEST TWO QUESTION: Which ex sheriff of Dodge City ended his working career as a sports writer for a New York newspaper?

ANSWER: Bat Masterson

One-hundred-eight people entered the contests. Seventeen people just clicked "Reply" and did not change the original subject heading - "HistoryBuff.com April Newsletter" to the correct subject heading. Twenty-two others did not select a prize if they won. Four had an incorrect answer. One sent their entry five days after the deadline. All prizes were awarded.

The April Contest Winners Were:
  • Robert Rabinsky - Pennsylvania
  • Maynor Barrientos - Florida
  • Peter C. Hildreth - New Hampshire
  • Noreen Marchand - Connecticut
  • Martin Shore - New York
  • Rusty Carmichael - Oklahoma

This Issue's Questions:

To enter Contest One, answer the question: What comedy trio used Three Blind Mice as their theme song?

To enter Contest Two, answer the question: Which comedian used Thanks for the memories as his theme song?

Contest Rules

  • Contest entry deadline is Tuesday, May 18, 2010. 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 historyreference.org

  • 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.

  • 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, SEVEN 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.
May Contest One Prize List
(Select ONE of the two prizes below if enterering Contest One)

DVD: Howdy Doody

Episodes from this classic 1950's TV show

Authentic WWII Pillow Cover

Army Souvenir Pillow Cover

May Contest Two Prize Selection

(Select ONE of the prizes below if enterering Contest Two)

DVD Movie

Little Lord Fountleroy (1936)

Staring Freddy Bartholomew & Mickey Rooney


Mr. & Mrs. North

Classic Episodes of the 1950s TV Series

Original Historic Newspapers

Original The Boston Statesman historic newspaper from 1828

The New York Herald historic newspaper from 1877

Original The Stars & Stripes historic newspaper from WWII
That's it for this issue.

Rick Brown

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