Apr 30, 2013

Coxey's Army

(Wikipedia) Coxey's Army was a protest march by unemployed workers from the United States, led by the populist Jacob Coxey. They marched on Washington D.C. in 1894, the second year of a four-year economic depression that was the worst in United States history to that time. Officially named the Commonweal in Christ, its nickname came from its leader and was more enduring. It was the first significant popular protest march on Washington and the expression "Enough food to feed Coxey's Army" originates from this march. Continued

Apr 29, 2013

1861: Maryland's House of Delegates votes Against Secession

(Wikipedia) Maryland, a slave state, was one of the border states, straddling the North and South. Due to its location and a desire from both opposing factions to sway her population to their respective causes, Maryland played an important role in the American Civil War. The first fatalities of the war happened during the Baltimore Riot of 1861, and the single bloodiest day of combat in American military history occurred near Sharpsburg, Maryland, at the Battle of Antietam, which provided the opportunity for President Abraham Lincoln to issue his famed Emancipation Proclamation. The 1864 Battle of Monocacy helped delay a Confederate army bent on striking the Federal capital of Washington, D.C..
Nearly 85,000 citizens signed up for the military, with most joining the Union Army, although nearly a quarter of these enlisted to fight for the Confederacy. Leading Maryland leaders and officers during the Civil War included Governor Thomas H. Hicks, who despite his early sympathies for the South, helped prevent the state from seceding, and General George H. Steuart, who was a noted brigade commander under Robert E. Lee. Continued

Apr 28, 2013

Henry Reed

(LoC) James Henry Neel Reed, known as Henry Reed, was born on April 28, 1884, in the Appalachian Mountains of Monroe County, West Virginia. Reed was a master fiddler, banjoist, and harmonica player whose amazing repertoire consisted of hundreds of tunes, as well as multiple performance styles. His music conveyed tradition while setting new directions, and became a touchstone for academic research into the history of U.S. fiddle music.
Henry Reed learned the overwhelming majority of his tunes by ear and retained them by memory. He learned from elderly musicians such as Quince Dillion, who was born around 1810 and served as a fifer in the Mexican War and the Civil War. As a youngster, Reed learned to read music, played alto horn in a local band, and picked up a few additional tunes from sheet music. Continued 

Apr 27, 2013

The Bombers Who Terrorized Boston 100 Years Ago


(Slate) ... bombings are nothing new in the United States—not even to Boston. Almost 100 years ago, the country was besieged by violent anarchists intent on bringing about the end of capitalism and organized government. In Boston, bombs went off at a police station and at the homes of political figures, with the goal of sewing fear and discord toward some vague political aims. This political ferment was the backdrop for Dennis Lehane’s 2008 novel The Given Day. But the truth of the era might be stranger than fiction. Continued

Apr 26, 2013

Hack Wilson

(Wikipedia) Lewis Robert "Hack" Wilson (April 26, 1900 – November 23, 1948) was an American center fielder in Major League Baseball from 1923 to 1934. He is best known for his record-setting 191-RBI season of 1930. He was inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1979. Continued

Apr 21, 2013

Author Rita Mae Brown talks about preserving history


(YDR) York, PA - Author Rita Mae Brown believes the past is prologue. If you don't know where you came from, you don't know where you're going.
That's why Brown, who grew up in the Hanover area, believes a Revolutionary War prison camp in Springettsbury Township should be preserved.
"It's such an important part of our history," she said during a phone interview this week. Continued

Apr 13, 2013

We're Moving!

This blog will be moving to falmanac.blogspot.com, right soon.

Apr 11, 2013

John O'Hara

(Wikipedia) John Henry O'Hara (January 31, 1905 – April 11, 1970) was an American writer born in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. He initially became known for his short stories and later became a best-selling novelist whose works include Appointment in Samarra and Butterfield 8. He was particularly known for an uncannily accurate ear for dialogue. O'Hara was a keen observer of social status and class differences, and wrote frequently about the socially ambitious. Continued

Apr 10, 2013

The London Company

(Wikipedia) The London Company (also called the Charter of the Virginia Company of London) was an English joint stock company established by royal charter by James I of England on April 10, 1606 with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America. It was not founded as a Joint Stock company, but became one under the 1609 charter. It was one of two such companies, along with the Plymouth Company, that was granted an identical charter as part of the Virginia Company. The London Company was responsible for establishing the Jamestown Settlement, the first permanent English settlement in the present United States in 1607, and in the process of sending additional supplies, inadvertently settled the Somers Isles, alias Bermuda, the oldest-remaining English colony, in 1609. ... On May 14, 1607, the London Company established the Jamestown Settlement on the James River about 40 miles (64 km) upstream from the mouth of the Chesapeake Bay at Cape Henry. Later in 1607, the Plymouth Company established its Popham Colony in present day Maine, but it was abandoned after about a year. Link

Apr 9, 2013



'The momentous meaning of this occasion impressed me deeply. I resolved to mark it by some token of recognition, which could be no other than a salute of arms. Well aware of the responsibility assumed, and of the criticisms that would follow, as the sequel proved, nothing of that kind could move me in the least. The act could be defended, if needful, by the suggestion that such a salute was not to the cause for which the flag of the Confederacy stood, but to its going down before the flag of the Union. My main reason, however, was one for which I sought no authority nor asked forgiveness. Before us in proud humiliation stood the embodiment of manhood: men whom neither toils and sufferings, nor the fact of death, nor disaster, nor hopelessness could bend from their resolve; standing before us now, thin, worn, and famished, but erect, and with eyes looking level into ours, waking memories that bound us together as no other bond;—was not such manhood to be welcomed back into a Union so tested and assured? Instructions had been given; and when the head of each division column comes opposite our group, our bugle sounds the signal and instantly our whole line from right to left, regiment by regiment in succession, gives the soldier's salutation, from the "order arms" to the old "carry"—the marching salute. Gordon at the head of the column, riding with heavy spirit and downcast face, catches the sound of shifting arms, looks up, and, taking the meaning, wheels superbly, making with himself and his horse one uplifted figure, with profound salutation as he drops the point of his sword to the boot toe; then facing to his own command, gives word for his successive brigades to pass us with the same position of the manual,—honor answering honor. On our part not a sound of trumpet more, nor roll of drum; not a cheer, nor word nor whisper of vain-glorying, nor motion of man standing again at the order, but an awed stillness rather, and breath-holding, as if it were the passing of the dead!'

Joshua L. Chamberlain, Passing of the Armies, pp. 260-61

Apr 8, 2013

The Works Progress Administration (WPA)

(LoC) On April 8, 1935, Congress approved the Emergency Relief Appropriation Act of 1935, the work relief bill that funded the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Created by President Franklin Roosevelt to relieve the economic hardship of the Great Depression, this national works program (renamed the Work Projects Administration beginning in 1939) employed more than 8.5 million people on 1.4 million public projects before it was disbanded in 1943. The WPA employed skilled and unskilled workers in a great variety of work projects—many of which were public works projects such as creating parks, and building roads and bridges, and schools and other public structures. The Federal Writers' Project (FWP) was one of several projects within the WPA created to employ people with skills in the arts. Other arts projects included the Federal Art Project (FAP), the Federal Music Project, and the Federal Theater Project. When these projects were created, they were known collectively as Federal Project Number One—or more informally, “Federal One.”Among the well-known writers employed by the Federal Writers’ project were Nelson Algren, Saul Bellow, Ralph Ellison, Zora Neale Hurston, May Swenson, and Richard Wright. Continued

Apr 7, 2013

Was Lincoln a Tyrant?


(NYTimes) When Abraham Lincoln took office in March 1861, the executive branch was small and relatively limited in its power. By the time of his assassination, he had claimed more prerogatives than any president before him, and the executive branch had grown enormously.
Lincoln’s critics witnessed his expanding power with alarm. They accused him of becoming a tyrant and warned that his assertions of authority under the guise of “commander in chief” threatened the viability of a constitutional democracy.
Lincoln ignored his foes and kept moving. And, despite lingering discomfort with some of his actions – particularly around the issue of civil liberties – history has largely vindicated him. Why? Continued

Apr 6, 2013

Drawings by a long-dead soldier to assist Camp Security fundraising efforts

York, PA (YDR) Friends of Camp Security are hoping that a man who's been dead for 183 years will help them raise money to purchase the site of the Revolutionary War prison camp.
Sgt. Roger Lamb, an Irishman who served with a regiment of Welsh riflemen during the Revolutionary War, was captured at the Battle of Saratoga in 1777 and eventually -- two escapes later -- wound up incarcerated with other British prisoners at Camp Security.
Lamb wrote about his incarceration in his memoirs. His notes -- or perhaps manuscript -- include drawings of the camp and depictions of his eventual escape. Continued

The Grand Army of the Republic

(Wikipedia) The Grand Army of the Republic (GAR) was a fraternal organization composed of veterans of the Union Army who served in the American Civil War. Founded in 1866, it was dissolved in 1956 when its last member died. Linking men through their experience of the war, the GAR became among the first organized advocacy groups in American politics, supporting voting rights for black veterans, lobbying the US Congress to establish veterans' pensions, and supporting Republican political candidates. Its peak of membership at more than 400,000 was in 1890, a high point of Civil War commemorative ceremonies. It was succeeded by the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW), composed of male descendants of Union veterans. Continued 

Apr 5, 2013

National Park Service

(LoC) Conservationists, civic leaders, and government officials submitted testimony before Congress in favor of the establishment of the National Park Service on April 5 and April 6, 1916. The congressional debate over the proper management of the growing system of national parks began in 1912 and culminated with the passage, in 1916, of the National Park Service Act. This legislation created the National Park Service within the Department of the Interior. Stephen T. Mather was named its first director. Continued

Apr 4, 2013

Denton Cooley

(Wikipedia) Denton Arthur Cooley (born August 22, 1920) is a pioneering American heart surgeon. He graduated in 1941 from the University of Texas, then began his medical education at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston and then went on to complete his medical degree and his surgical training at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. Following his graduation he went to London to work with Lord Russell Brock. In 1969, he became the first heart surgeon to implant an artificial heart designed by Dr Domingo Liotta in a man. Continued

Apr 3, 2013

Carrie S. Burnham


Have women citizens the right of suffrage under the Constitution of the United States and of this particular State of Pennsylvania?
With this simple question, Carrie S. Burnham began her argument, made before the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on April 3 and April 4, 1873, for her right to vote. "It is not simply," Burhnam reasoned, "whether I shall be protected in the exercise of my inalienable right and duty of self-government, but whether a government, the mere agent of the people, …can deny to any portion of its intelligent, adult citizens participation therein and still hold them amenable to its laws…" Continued


Apr 2, 2013

The Fall of Richmond


(LoC) - At approximately 7:00 a.m. on Sunday, April 2, 1865, Ulysses S. Grant's army attacked Confederate lines at Petersburg, Virginia. By mid-afternoon, Confederate troops had begun to evacuate the town. The Union victory ensured the fall of Richmond, the capital of the Confederacy, located just twenty-five miles north of Petersburg.
President Jefferson Davis received word of the events in Petersburg while attending services at St. Paul's Church in Richmond. He abandoned the capital late that night on a train bound for Danville, Virginia.
Richmond, meanwhile, burned, as fires set by fleeing Confederates and looters raged out of control. Continued


Apr 1, 2013

April Fool!


(LoC) April the 1st was dreaded by most rural school teachers. The pupils would get inside and bar the teacher out. The teacher, who didn't act on the principle that discretion is the better part of valor, generally got the worst of it. Mr. Douglass soon learned this, and, on April Fool's Day, he would walk to the school, perceive the situation, laughingly announce there would be no school until the morrow, and leave. Continued

Image: Cecil County School #12, Colora, Maryland