Immigration To US Has Been Controversial for over 150 Years
June 8, 2010

1899 Cartoon: Immigrant-"Can I come in?" Uncle Sam- "I 'spose you can; there's no law to keep you out."

Big Daddy Grover?

On This Date in History:  Grover Cleveland was the only president to serve two non-consecutively terms as President of the United States. So, it is quite common for him to be  listed as the 22nd and 24th President.  In his first campaign, there was much mud-slinging between he and Republican James G. Blaine.  The accusations against Blaine were pretty pedestrian.   They claimed that he took bribes.  Cleveland was accused of fathering a child with a woman to whom he was not married!   In a world in which we are used to politicians making denials to claims against them, Cleveland took a novel approach.   Guilty as charged.  He acknowledged the legitimacy to the question and said that the child was indeed his.  The American people seemed to shrug their shoulders and Cleveland was promptly elected.  Goes to show, all you need to do is tell the truth!   It’s amazing how difficult it is for some politicians to try such a simple and winning formula. Interestingly, the mother named the baby boy, Oscar Folsom Cleveland.

Grover's Bride Was His Best Friends Daughter

Now, Cleveland was an attorney by trade and he had a partner in practice by the name of Oscar Folsom, which raises the question as to why the mother used both the law partner’s names.  Anyway,  Folsom died in 1873 following an unfortunate carriage accident and left his old friend Grover to manage the estate.  And manage he did!  No, he didn’t marry his good friend’s wife…he married his daughter.  Frances Clara Folsom was but 9 years old when her father died but Cleveland made sure that she and her mother’s finances were in order.  After Frances Clara  graduated from Wells College, he proposed marriage.   Frances was not one to make a rush decision so she took a trip to Europe to clear her mind.  When she returned, no doubt some thought she had lost her mind because the on June 2,  1886, President Grover Cleveland became the first president to be married in the White House to Frances, who was 27 years his junior.  I wonder if when she was growing up she called him “Uncle Grover.” 

Doubtful that the Baby Ruth Bar Was Named For Cleveland's Daughter Ruth

They had several children, one of which was Ruth.  The official story by the maker of the “Baby Ruth” candy bar was that it was named after the President’s daughter.  Somehow, a judge sided with the company in a lawsuit it brought against the makers of the “Babe Ruth Home Run Bar” saying the competitor’s name too closely resembled “Baby Ruth.”  Trouble is, Ruth Cleveland died in 1904, the candy company wasn’t in existance until 1916 and the “Baby Ruth” bar wasn’t born until 1921…or about the time that a certain George Herman Ruth was beginning to make a name for himself.  But, the makers stuck to the story  and, to this day as far as I know, the estate of Babe Ruth has not gotten a dime from the makers of the bar.

Big Daddy Grover-Investigated Anyone in Gov't Who Was Not Born in the US...How Would That Fly Today?

So, let’s jump ahead almost to the Cleveland’s 10th wedding annivesary.  President Cleveland was in his second term as President and was the defacto head of a Democrat Party.  Now, at this time there were no real laws to limit or control immigration.  Yet, anti-immigrant sentiment had run high in the nation throughout the 19th century.  In Antebellum America there was even a political party called the American Party that had some cloudt and became known as the “Know Nothings” with a platform that took an exceptional view of Americans born in the country and opposed any “non-native” Americans.  Well, by the late 19th Century, the Democrat Party had taken the lead in anti-immigrant sentiments.  Hence, as head of that party,  on this date in 1896 Cleveland ordered his cabinet secretaries to determine exactly how many foreigners worked in the federal government.  Much like illegal immigrants today, late 19th Century immigrants from Europe were blamed for rising crime rates. Cleveland held these “aliens” responsible for bringing with them ideas like socialism and communism. Once he found out the identities of the culprits, he had them investigated for potential subversive behaviour.   Cleveland maintained that it was his duty and the right of the government to “prevent the influx of elements hostile to its internal peace and security…even where there is not treaty stipulation on the subject.” I’m just not sure how far back Cleveland took this. I mean, ultimately, everyone except for the Native Americans were immigrants at one point or another. If the investigators took it to the limit, then they’d have to investigate everyone in the government including the other investigators and the President himself!!

We are a Nation of Laws

Today, we often hear of protestors who claim that governmental is unconstitutional or over-reaching.   Many times, those bringing the charges are simply not well versed in Constitutional Law but, some times, the charges may hold merit.  Either way,  it would be wrong to assume it had never happened in American history.   And it would be wrong to assume that the country would necessarily fall to pieces if the supposed un-Constitutional behavior of the government came about.  Eventually, we seem to get things right.   The pendulum of power has always swayed too and fro and as long as there are counterbalances amongst the people, the branches of government and the judicial system then things tend to work out in the end.  The key to this democracy, in my view, is to maintain the balance of power between states, Congress, the executive and judiciary and to make certain that each part of government is by and for the people, not by and for those who would make themselves king or the would-be king makers.

SPC Severe Outlook Tuesday...I wouldn't worry about it.

Weather Bottom Line:  Snow White and I had planned to take our niece, McKenna, to visit the animals at Henry’s Ark today.  My sister-in-law informed us “it’s supposed to rain” on Tuesday.  I told her nonsense.  But, it’s an example of how people perceive forecasts.  I told you yesterday that I had seen forecasts of 50% chance of rain for Tuesday and 50% on Wednesday and then it changed to 40% on Tuesday and 60% on Wednesday.  Either way, when someone sees 40% then most people assume its going to rain.  The truth is, it has been my experience that the majority of people on TV don’t even know what the rain chance means.  They will usually say that a 40% chance of rain means that there will be “a 40% coverage of rain.”  That would be wrong.  Officially what it means is that at the forecast site, in this case the airport, given the forecast conditions that there would be measurable rain in that rain gauge 40 out of 100 days of similar weather conditions.  It has nothing to do with coverage nor with rain amounts.  In order for it be to an issue of coverage, uou would have to have a rain gauge about every 100 feet in the area because one must be able to verify an hypothesis.  Now, the last station I worked for was quite reasonable because no one lives at the airport.  So, we modified the meaning to say that at any given point in our viewing area we were forecasting that there would be rain 40 out of 100 days. 

SPC Severe Outlook Wednesday

When I forecast, I always took the public perception into account.  I personally did not think it would rain on Tuesday but had noted that a couple of models wanted to throw out a few sprinkles.  I  figured that the best chance for rain would be after midnight and on Wednesday.  So, I would have put a 20% or 30% chance of rain on Tuesday because when people see that, they think that it won’t rain and I didn’t much think that it would but would have allowed for perhaps an outside possibility.  By elevating the rain chances to say 70% for late Tuesday night and Wednesday, that would indicate to people when the best chance for rain was and also play to the perception that 70% means to most people that it will indeed rain. 

SPC Wednesday Severe Probability

All of this is holding true.  Our air is just so doggone dry that I don’t see how the storms from the west will be able to hold together and by the time they get here, it will be after dark.   On Wednesday, the storms will get going again but the best chance for them to really get rambunctious would be to our east when they are  moving through  the heating of the day.  My guess is that we get rain in the first part of Wednesday and those storms become stronger as they head toward Lexington.  However, should the initiation take place just to our west on say an outflow boundary left over from the Tuesday storms, then there would be the potential for some strong storms on Wednesday.   So, I would say that its possible but  not probable for strong storms in our region but that at least some shower or even thundershower activity will be in the region.  After that, it gets hot heading into next weekend when it would appear that there may be another opportunity for strong storms.

Bogus Movie Is Considered One of Greatest; Really a Scam
February 8, 2010

Idiotic Scene From "Historic" Birth of a Nation

Idiotic Scene From "Historic" Birth of a Nation

On This Date in History: First, on an interesting note relating to baseball and Bonds as well as a recent post, I found out that Hank Aaron’s birthday was February 5. The man he passed as the all time home run king, Babe Ruth, celebrated his birthday on February 6. That’s kinda unusual. Then, I got to thinking…which is dangerous…I had a post regarding the Great Baltimore Fire on Feb 7-8 1904. Speculation is that it started from a carelessly tossed cigarette or cigar. Now, Ruth would have just celebrated his 9th birthday and his father’s bar is located close by to where the fire started. I don’t think that Ruth had been sent away to St. Mary’s Orphanage when he was 9, so what about the possibility that the fire was started by the juvenile delinquent George Herman Ruth!

Griffith's KKK Saves The South from Reconstruction...Nonsense

Griffith's KKK Saves The South from Reconstruction...Nonsense

That would make a good story line for our feature of the day…Kentuckian David Wark Griffith.   He was born not far from Louisville in La Grange and became famous for the first full length feature film, Birth of a Nation. The film opened on this date in 1915 and Birth of a Nation is  widely regarded as historic and monumnetal and such. I could never figure out why because it’s stupid and it’s biased and racist and inaccurate. I believe that the notorieiity comes, not due to the content, but instead for the techniques that Griffith used and pioneered that gives the film its place in history.

Griffith was born in 1875 to an Ex-Confederate. Now, much of the nation today thinks of Kentucky as being in the South. But, when I moved here, I couldn’t believe I was moving so far north. I thought I was in Yankeeland. Kim Stevens is from Alabama and she married a guy from Louisville. Her family said that they thought they could accept that she was marrying a “Yankee.” People who are really in the South don’t think of Kentucky as being in the South. Oh…the anger I get from people about that. I tell people to move to Jackson, Mississippi if they want to find out what the South is like. I point out that about 25,000 served in the Confederacy from Kentucky while over 130,00o served in the Union. I point out that Louisville was home to the

Griffith's KKK Saves The Ladies! More Foolishness

Griffith's KKK Saves The Ladies! More Foolishness

Army of the Ohio and 75,000 Union Troops who were invited into the state by the legislature in late 1861. I point out that Louisville averages over 15 inches of snow a year and often gets below zero. I point out that St. Louis is exactly 250 miles due west, was a major city in a border state yet no one calls them the South. My thesis had to do with Loiusville’s true roots being with the North but that they purposely realigned themselves with the South for economic reasons after the war. That’s where the myth of the Kentucky Colonel comes from. Louisville had the only working railroad into the South after the war and wanted to capitalize economically for the rebuilding south and so they basically said, “why, we wuz with ya all the time boys!! Do business with us, not them Yankees!” Never mind that Braxton Bragg came into the state with an Army of 45, 000 hoping to get Kentuckians to join the Confederate cause. Kentuckians declined, leaving Bragg to refer to Kentuckians as a bunch of “shuffling middlemen.” Now, there were no book burnings, but Kentuckians simply left out all references to the North when they wrote the history of the state, specifically the Memorial History of Louisville to 1896. They had a whole section on the Southern Exposition but said not one word about the National Industrial Exposition that lasted twice as long. They made no reference to a huge event that became national in scope in 1885 celebrating the birthday of US Grant. It’s on Grant’s Tomb in the form of a plaque but is found nowhere (except my published article…Ohio Valley History Fall 2008… and thesis) because they wanted no one to find out about it. It messed up their story.

Protesters Were Pretty Close To the Mark

Protesters Were Pretty Close To the Mark

Well, DW Griffith was part of the mythmaking when he made Birth of a Nation. For the first month of its release, it was called The Clansmen and was a biased view of the Civil War and Reconstruction. It portrayed African Americans in an awful light and as evil and bad. It created the illusion of the Ku Klux Klan as some heroic figures. Now, US Grant had crushed the Klan in the 1870’s. But, not long after Griffith’s stupid movie, the Klan re-emerged to be a scurge on the land for decades to come. There is little doubt that Griffith’s film helped sway public support toward the reborn group that became “anti” all sorts of things, not just African Americans. It’s an idiotic film. It was censored in some cities and sparked riots in many northern cities. The newly formed NAACP tried to have it banned. Griffith did agree to cut out some particularly offensive scenes. But, the film itself is largely historically a fraud and I suppose it set the stage for historic movies to come as most Hollywood historically based films are not accurate…don’t believe everything you see.

Fairbanks, Pickford, Chaplin and Griffith: Founders of United Artists in 1919

There are some interesting things about the film though was that Griffith began the idea of feature length films. He also was the first to make actors rehearse before shooting scenes, thus increasing the quality of the acting. Griffith helped pioneer the use of zooms and close ups and panning camera shots. He also had breakthroughs in editing techniques that are still used today. His work with the actors helped launch the big careers of people like Mary Pickford, Lionel Barrymore and Lillian Gish. He later went on to form United Artists with Charlie Chaplin, Mary Pickford and Douglas Fairbanks. So, Griffith does have a place in film history….just don’t buy his work of propaganda and foolishness AS history…its nonsense.

12Z GFS Called For over 5 inches through Wed

I Told You So! (at least I think so)

Weather Bottom Line:  Well, I’m breaking out Colonel Klink because this is pretty close to an “I told you so” as I’ve had in awhile.  Then again, maybe I should wait until this event actually happens before I claim victory because it’s still not a slam dunk.  But, I like Werner Klemper so there you go.  What am I prematurely crowing about?  First off,  I’ve been saying for days that I didn’t see how we were going to get above freezing today or any other day this week.  At 5pm we touched 31 in Louisville.  Hmmm…I suppose it’s still possible that we move warmer but at this point I claim victory. Then, I’ve been telling you since last Wednesday that we could see a pretty decent snow on Tuesday and Wednesday.   Then, I let you know that some data was trying to bring in rain in between the snow, thus decreasing our snow total.   Well, the morning run from both the GFS and NAM both call for all snow and run something more than 5 inches.  OK, now the reason why I may be jumping the shark with Colonel Klink. 

12Z NAM called for over 4 inches of snow

The storm coming has some similarities to the one  a few days ago in that we have a southern and northern stream somewhat in sync.  The southern system though is farther south and it is driving the warmer air farther north.  Graphically, almost every model almost every run since last Wednesday has put the 500mb to 100omb thickness line south of the area, but close at times. Yet, numerically, the past several days both the GFS and NAM were insisting on some snow followed by rain and then closing with snow.  But, the 12Z run of both models both kept Louisville as all snow and both came in with an excess of 5 inches.  Now, the 18Z NAM is backing off with just under 3 inches.  I’ve been thinking all along that we would get all snow but the rain/snow line will be close…say around E’town and that’s not far from Louisville. 

18Z NAM Snow backed off to about 3 inches

So, I say the same thing I’ve said all along. Plan on snow beginning after midnight early Tuesday morning and continuing with perhaps 3-4 inches.  Then, things should back off but then pick up again lightly for Tuesday night into the first part of Wednesday as the northern system behaves more as an upper low to the parent southern low; again very similar to last week.  I would think that this secondary guy may bring an additional inch or so.  An obvious fly in the ointment would be if that rain/snow line drifts just a shade farther north.  The earth is 25, 000 miles around and so a difference of just 30 miles is a small fraction of the world’s surface but is a huge difference regarding snow totals.  If we do in fact get a little rain between periods of snow.  Not only will Colonel Klink have egg on his face but also the driving conditions will be more difficult as icing may become an issue. 

Chuck Knows Snow, but he's not tellin'

The other potential problem with a 5-6 inch snow would be in the event we stay all snow but there are big thunderstorms along the Gulf Coast, that may serve to limit some of the moisture coming up from the South.  And you know what?  The  Storm Prediction Center does indeed call for possible thunderstorms from East Texas to south Mississippi through Tuesday morning.  So, it’s not that far fetched.  They don’t have a severe risk but I’m telling you, some decent storms are possible and I would have concern that it messes up our snow potential even if the rain snow line behaves itself and stays south.  Now, if those storms don’t materialize (the probably will to some degree) and we do stay all snow, then maybe we’d get more than 5 inches…but I doubt that will happen.  The other issue is temperatures.  I’ve seen some national forecasts call for highs above freezing on Friday through the weekend.  I don’t get it.  Well, I suppose that they are coming around and have lowered that high on Friday to 32 but they have teens for Friday morning then mid 30’s for highs through the weekend. I still don’t get it.  I just don’t see how we get above freezing through Sunday.  And, I’ll tell you what…the Wednesday winds should have backed off by Friday morning and if we get clearing for that night..even partial clearing…it will be colder than the teens.

Regardless, its still a very difficult forecast and there will be great differences in snow totals between the southern part of Kentuckiana and the northern part.  Somewhere in between is the rain snow line and to say for certain exactly where it will be is above my pay grade and I believe above that of any human….except maybe Chuck Heston and he’s not tellin’.

McDonald’s is off the island; So much for free: religion, range, tv and from the bambino
October 27, 2009

no mcdonalds

icemac

Icelandic Menu Too Pricey?

Svo lengi mcdonalds kostar það of mikið að frábær stærð mig. That means “so long McDonalds. It costs too much to super size me.”  McDonald’s hasn’t been voted off the island, but it just simply can’t afford to stay there.  Seems that Mickey D’s has to import it’s materials from mainland Europe to supply its two franchises in Iceland.  Because of changing currency rates, that means that they would have to raise the price of the Big Mac to the dollar equivalent of $6.36 to turn a profit.  The Hamburglar must be doing pretty good in Iceland because that’s a crime.  And apparently the pooh-bahs at McDonald’s agree.  They are taking down the golden arches and leaving the island.  Ambrose Evans-Pritchard thinks Icelanders will survive quite well without Ronald and the gang.  But, how does he know?  I mean, Iceland now joins Albania, Armenia,Bosnia and Herzegovinia and Vatican City as the only countries in Europe that don’t have McDonalds and I dont think any of those places are exactly economic powerhouses, though Vatican City has revenues of between $300 million and $400 million.

A DAY OF FIRSTS ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY!!!

Mary Dyer Taking Her Turn At the Gallows

Mary Dyer Taking Her Turn At the Gallows

So much for religious freedom:

On this date in 1659, two men gained infamy in the Boston Commons as the first Quakers executed in the New World for their religious beliefs. Mary Dyer and William Leddra soon followed. After that, those who were sentenced to death had their sentences commuted to simply being whipped out of the colony. Marmaduke Stevenson and William Robinson had left England to seek freedom of religion. Their first mistake was to settle in the Massachusetts Colony where the Religious Society of Friends, the formal name of Quakers, was banned with the punishment of practicing their Faith being death by hanging. Seems that the Quakers opposed a central church authority and preferred to seek spiritual counseling through local Quaker meetings. They stood for a truely egalitarian society in which there was equality between men and women and they opposed the notion of slavery. Oh…such dastardly people those Quakers. Robinson and Stevenson left a legacy of staying out of Massachusetts as others who followed found refuge in Rhode Island and other colonies. But, the legacy of Massachusetts lives on. While we are taught in school that Massachusetts was the cradle of liberty, we must remember the fate of the Quakers, those who were to be bussed to get equal access to schools in the early 1970’s, the tax system in the Commonwealth and of course, all of the anti-global warming folks who opposed windmills off the coast of Cape Cod because the clean-energy devices spoiled their view. Yes, indeed. Quite a history of freedom in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Barbed Wire That Closed the Open Range

Barbed Wire That Closed the Open Range

So Much for the Free Range: On this date in 1873, Joseph Glidden applied for a patent on his version of barbed wire. He had seen the barbed wire of Henry Rose at the DeKalb County Illinois State Fair but he was not impressed. He came up with a new design that used two wires to hold the barbs firmly in place. His proved to be the first to be mass produced and his inexpensive wire fencing was up to 80 million pounds in production by 1880. By making it available to farmers en masse on the plains, it effectively brought to an end the big cattle drives because ranchers driving their cattle to market suddenly found their routes cut off by barbed wire fencing all across the plains.

If You Got Close Enough You Could See The Screen

If You Got Close Enough You Could See The Screen

So Much for Commercial Free TV

It all started on this date in 1946. Geographically Speaking debuted as a travel show on TV. It showed travel films. It was about as exciting to viewers then then as it would be today as it only ran until Dec. 1, 1946. Real clunker. But, it was the first TV show to have a sponsor, Bristol-Meyers. And we’ve had commercials on TV ever since.

 Today with everyone having a remote, advertisers have had to get more creative in order to keep us from changing channels during commercials. It’s called zapping. We see an ad and “zap” we change channels. That’s why so much money is spent on ads for TV in production. We need to be entertained as well as informed. It doesn’t work with me when there are various sports on.

Remember when cable TV first came out? It was initially promoted as the public paying for TV so we wouldn’t see commercials any more. Well, that quickly evaporated. Many of the original cable TV outlets were “superstations.” We thought it was so cool getting a New York station and a Chicago station and of course Ted Turner’s WTBS. But we quickly realized we were paying to see shows with other areas commercials. Now, we pay for cable networks so we can see more commercials. Some time when you have nothing better to do, look at the Weather Channel and count how many minutes in an hour are devoted to weather and how many to commercials. You’ll be surprised. Then you will get mad when you realize you are paying for the privilege of watching all of those commercials. At least ESPN commercials are funny.

So, now I have all of these “premium” channels that show no commercials and all movies. Of course it costs me another $15 a channel on top of the premium cable charge so I don’t have to watch commercials.
It all began on this date in 1946 on a crummy show. But, without advertisers, I’d be out of a job so by all means, frequent all of our advertisers and watch their messages. In fact, I’d recommend that, when you are tuned in to another channel and they show a commercial, zap over to channel 32. Odds are the commercial is just as good as the one you were watching and you know the news that follows will be much better…especially the weather!

Ruth Pitching 1918

Ruth Pitching 1914

So Much for the Curse of the Bambino:

On this date in 2004, the Boston Red Sox won that franchise’s first World Series since 1918. They had suffered from what is known as “the curse of the Bambino.” See, a young pitcher who was also developing as a slugger at the plate played for the Red Sox. His name was George Herman Ruth, known as Babe Ruth. He was a pretty good pitcher. He still shares the American League record for most shut outs by a left hander in a season with Ron Guidry with 9 white-washings. But, his hitting became apparent as he was hitting home runs when no one else was doing so at the time. By his 4th complete season, Ruth only pitched in 17 games but hit 29 home runs to lead the league…a new record at the time. The Sox won 4 world championships between 1903 and 1918. Ruth went to the Yankees in 1920. The story has always been that the owner, Harry Frazee sold him to finance a play. I think that is how all of the

Ruth Batting 1918

Ruth Batting 1918

movies have portrayed it. But, other sources claim that Ruth had demanded a double in his pay to $20,000 and the owner refused. When he tried to trade him, the league president supposedly wanted to mess up Frazee’s enterprise and force him to sell so he talked most of the owners out of dealing with him. The White Sox though supposedly offered Shoeless Joe Jackson and $60,000 but the Yankees, who were terrible at the time, offered $100,000. Imagine what might have happened if Frazee took the White Sox deal? As it was, Frazee took the bigger wad of cash and the Red Sox never won another World Series until 2004. So, the team was cursed. But that’s not as good as the Cubs’ curse.

Billy Goat Bellies Up To the Bar

Billy Goat Bellies Up To the Bar

I think it was in 1945, when the owner of a tavern tried to bring his lucky goat into Wrigley Field for the
World Series. He was denied and he put a curse on the Cubs, who have not won a World Series since 1908. You can visit the Billy Goat Tavern on Lower Michigan Avenue right by the Wendella Boat Tours in Chicago. Get a cheese burger and ask for a coke and see what happens. Snow White went there and asked for fries. Try that out too. BTW, I hope the curse is never broken…Go Astros.

fri12z

Friday Morning

Weather Bottom Line:  Okay…I took one on the chin.  I knew we’d get rain but I held out the prospect we wouldn’t see any until late in the day or the evening.  Only made it through midday and then the rain came. It was dreary.  The system will move out of the area leaving us with a good Wednesday and Thursday.  Thursday night, a system approaches and rain chances go up.  It still remains to be seen if we get any thunderstorms or possibly strong storms.   The convergence area is in the lower Mississippi Valley and will probably cut off any big stuff our way and the SPC outlook area goes that way with the severe risk area for Thursday night into Friday from around Memphis to the south.  Weekend looks good but with highs in the mid to upper 50’s on Saturday and near 60 on Sunday.

Ben Takes the Reigns at the Post Office
July 26, 2009

Young Printer Ben

Young Printer Ben

Franklin Stamp 1866-69

Franklin Stamp 1866-69

On This Date In History: The US Postal Service was founded on this date in 1775 with Ben Franklin as the first Postmaster General.   Franklin was the best choice since he had experience. See, he was the Postmaster General of the colonies(or deputy postmaster)  for the crown beginning in 1753.  Under Franklin, delivery time for mail was cut in half.  He is credited with great improvments and innovations that even continue to the present. 

Franklin Milepost Near Boston

Franklin Milestone Near Boston

He started by making a tour of all the postal facilities, which was a tough task at that time due to the difficulty of travel.  He had routes surveyed and found established the shortest and most efficient routes between cities.  He established milestones, which would be the precursor for the milemarkers on today’s highways,  and improved mail service between New York and Philadelphia by scheduling mail wagons for both night and day.  Of course, Franklin had other interests and used his position to take advantage of his position.   He was able to markedly increase the circulation of his Gazette (either Philadelphia Gazette or Pennsylvania Gazette, depending on the source) by delivering the paper using the postal service to make his delivery.  As it turns out, the previous postmaster of Philadelphia had been a competitor of Franklin’s so I guess turnabout is fair play. 

Surveyor Goddard's ID Pass signed by Franklin 1776

Surveyor Goddard's ID Pass signed by Franklin 1776

As crown postmaster, old Ben established the rate chart, which determined postal rates by distance and weight.  Today, the postal service has a new rate for a standard box in which weight is not determined.  But, in general, the practice of using weight to determine the rates continue and I haven’t figured out why because the volume of the package seems to be more important as it takes up more space.  Anyway, its all Franklin’s fault and the system he initiated became standard.  But, for all the good he did the crown, he was dismissed from his position in 1774 because the old King wasn’t too thrilled with his vocal enthusiasm for independence.  Fired from one job, he was quickly rehired by the fledgling colonial government on this date in 1775. 

I’ll let you look at the postal service history as told by the postal service. Its probably a good idea to look for outside sources if you want the whole story because the USPS will tell you what the USPS wants you to know. Anyway, here’s the link:

http://www.usps.com/history/history/his1.htm

An interesting tidbit is that the USPS is not a direct governmental agency anymore. It became and independent agency under the Executive Branch in 1971 and stopped receiving subsidies in the early 1980’s. I think that means it is not accurate to yell at the postman and tell him he works for you or that your tax dollars pay his salary.

A Forgettable Portrayal of the Bambino

A Forgettable Portrayal of the Bambino

On This Date In Baseball: Babe Ruth made his final public appearance in 1948 at the screening of The Babe Ruth Story. Ruth died 3 weeks later from throat cancer…or at least that is the official story. I would not be surprised to find that Ruth really died after watching actor William Bendix portrayal of Ruth in The Babe Ruth Story. If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean.

Ruth was known for many things but I didn’t know memorable quotes was one of them. Here is one worth remembering and shows that Ruth was indeed a winner and a champion.

“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”

 

HPC Sunday Evening

HPC Sunday Evening

 

Weather Bottom Line:  Frontal boundary finally plods through early Sunday but then sorta gets stuck.  On the one hand, we’ll get a reinforcement of the cooler than average temps.  I checked it out and through Saturday our average high has been just a shade under 81 degrees so far in July with no 90 degree days at all.  Not sure what the record coolest July is for our area but I’ll be we’re close.  With this front coming through and nothing really looking to alter the long wave pattern that rapidly, its a fair bet that we will not see 90 this month and that will be a first.  Now, this front will not get too far from us so I would not be surprised if there are some errant overrunning afternoon t’storms…well…not exactly overrunning but at least some elevated storms on the 850 boundary which will probably still be somewhere in the vicinity…most likely the southern part of the area.  Not really paying that much attention at this point (My attention is divided between the lightning outside and the Marx Brothers on the tube)  but it would seem that the boundary gets hung up near our area for a chunk of the week ahead so a risk of afternoon showers or t’showers will persist for much of the week with lower than average tempertures.

Who’s That Girl? Anastasia? How Not To Be A Lawyer
July 16, 2009


Do You Know This Girl?

Romanov Family

Romanov Family

Cellar Where Execution Took Place

Cellar Where Execution Took Place

On This Date In History: The Romanov Royal Family in Russia met its doom. Czar Nicholas II was put in a bad spot as he was not really trained to be the Czar. He took the throne in 1896 and was pretty aloof. He got the Russians into a war with the Japanese in 1905 and his fleet got totally annihilated in a naval battle north of Japan. Then he goes and gets them into WWI in 1914 when his army is completely ill-equipped for modern warfare. They had lots of guys but they were more suited for a war in 1814 instead of 1914. The only reason they got into it was a stupid treaty with the Serbs. The people had gotten angry in 1905 and forced the Czar to create the Duma, a form of Congress. But he kept on dissolving the Duma whenever it came up with some sort of reforms. So, in 1917 the Russian Revolution broke out. In July 1918 they captured the royal family and on this date in 1918, the family was lined up for a photograph and then gunned down.

What about the girl?

Anna 1953, Anastasia 1916

Anna 1953, Anastasia 1916

Rumor was that the whole family was killed except for Anastasia, the young daughter. During the 20th century, several women showed up in Europe and even the United States claiming to be Anastasia. The most convincing of these Anastasias was a woman, Anna Anderson, who moved to the United States and died there in 1984. In 1991, the bodies of the Royal Family were exhumed only to find that Anastasia was indeed not there. However, DNA comparisons between Anna Anderson and the Royal Family proved she was not Anastasia. So, the question remains…..what happened to Anastasia?

 HOW NOT TO MAKE YOUR LEGAL CASE Clement Vallandigham was a member of Congress from Ohio prior to the Civil War. He was against slavery but also was for the Constitution as he saw it, he with the “states rights” argument made by the South and also agreed that it was A-Okay for any state to secede whenever it wanted. After the war began, he lost his Congressional seat but he kept up his rants. General Ambrose Burnside (of sideburn fame) issued General Order Number 38 which declared an intolerance to the “habit of declaring sympathies for the enemy” with the district of Ohio. Vallandigham in 1863 made a speech claiming that the war was not being fought to save the Union but instead was being fought to “free the black man and enslave the white.” That didn’t sit well with the authorities and he was arrested. The drawing to the left is supposedly of his arrest, though it’s unclear whether or not he was taken into custody in his skivvies. I suspect that is a political statement by the artist. Long johns or not, eventually, President Lincoln had him banished to the Confederacy.

After the war, he returned to Ohio and became a successful lawyer. Obviously, being successful doesn’t require a lot smarts. On This Date in 1871, Vallandigham was preparing a clever defense for a murder suspect, He was planning on showing in open court how the victim could have possibly shot himself with his own gun, accidentally. While he strategized, the hours of his days on earth dwindled. Because on the very next day, old Clement was demonstrating to some colleagues what he was going to do in court the next day. He went to presumably empty pistol from atop a dresser and pressed it to his chest. He discharged the weapon. To his great surprise, he grabbed the wrong gun. See, the other gun on the dresser was the empty one. Vallandigham exclaimed “my God, I’ve shot myself!” and down he went to the floor for the count.

The ploy may have paid off even though the jury didn’t get to see the dramatic demonstration. The suspect was acquitted of the murder charge.

babe ruth

In Baseball People have been suspicious about the big home run totals of the late 1990’s and early 2000’s and there have been revelations of steroid use by sluggers such as Alex Rodriguez, Jason Giambi,  Rafael Palemero and now Manny with his women’s fertility drug.  Barry Bonds total of 73 home runs is 22% more than Babe Ruth’s 60. On this date in 1920, Ruth hit his 30th home run to break his record of 29. He ended up with 54 home runs for the year, breaking his record by 86%!!! Beer and Hot Dogs are suspected as the key to his unfathomable success.

Weather Bottom Line:  Global Warming enthusiasts will have to hide this weekend around here.  We may not get out of the low to mid 70’s and most likely not out of the 70’s at all…in mid/late July. The front that could have brought the ruckus showed itself yesterday afternoon to just move through here today pretty quietly.  Now, on Friday, a second cold front will come down and lower the 850 temps to below 10 for the weekend.  That will translate into very cool nights and very mild afternoons.  The trof is progged to be very deep and maybe make it to the Gulf Coast.  Tis possible there may be a few t’storms on Friday afternoon with the passage of the second front but the real story will be the mild air.  It will begin to modify Monday but temperatures should remain below seasonal averages at least into the middle of next week.

Grab A Blanket on This Day of Firsts: Quakers, TV, Barbed Wire and Baseball
October 27, 2008

NAM surface Temps Mon (10/27) Afternoon

NAM surface Temps Mon (10/27) Afternoon

NAM AM Temps Tue(1028)

NAM AM Temps Tue(1028)

The cold air is working its way in

…now you don’t need to go and build an igloo…it’s not going to get that cold.  In fact, if this were January we’d be saying that it was seasonal. But, it’s not January and we had temps in the upper 60’s on Sunday and so the schock will be worse than the actual temperatures.  Sorta like when we get a warm up in January or February and the afternoon gets to say 59…you see people in shorts whereas upper 50’s in September means

NAM AM Temps Wed (1029)

NAM AM Temps Wed (1029)

jackets.  Anyway, this system is very winter-like. The front comes through and we get fair skies followed by clouds as the jet stream dives down. Then as it lifts out, the clouds go away and we then start to rebound in the temperature department.  In the winter, often when the clouds roll in following the front, we get snow flurries. In this case we won’t get any precipitation.  Look for us to get to the mid 40’s by midday on Monday then we don’t go a whole lot higher due to the clouds.  In spite of the clouds, we still go to freezing or below on Monday night and then the clouds start to break up on Tuesday afternoon.  A relatively clear night on Tuesday night should send everyone down below freezing before we warm up quickly for the latter half of the week.  There is a Freeze Watch for the entire viewing area Tuesday morning.  Bring in the plants if you want to save them for a little longer.

A DAY OF FIRSTS ON THIS DATE IN HISTORY!!!

Mary Dyer Taking Her Turn At the Gallows

Mary Dyer Taking Her Turn At the Gallows

So much for religious freedom: 

On this date in 1659, two men gained infamy in the Boston Commons as the first Quakers executed in the New World for their religious beliefs. Mary Dyer and William Leddra soon followed.  After that, those who were sentenced to death had their sentences commuted to simply being whipped out of the colony. Marmaduke Stevenson and William Robinson had left England to seek freedom of religion.  Their first mistake was to settle in the Massachusetts Colony where the Religious Society of Friends, the formal name of Quakers, was banned with the punishment of practicing their Faith being death by hanging.  Seems that the Quakers opposed a central church authority and preferred to seek spiritual counseling through local Quaker meetings.  They stood for a truely egalitarian society in which there was equality between men and women and they opposed the notion of slavery.  Oh…such dastardly people those Quakers.  Robinson and Stevenson left a legacy of staying out of Massachusetts as others who followed found refuge in Rhode Island and other colonies.  But, the legacy of Massachusetts lives on.  While we are taught in school that Massachusetts was the cradle of liberty, we must remember the fate of the Quakers, those who were to be bussed to get equal access to schools in the early 1970’s, the tax system in the Commonwealth and of course, all of the anti-global warming folks who opposed windmills off the coast of Cape Cod because the clean-energy devices spoiled their view.  Yes, indeed. Quite a history of freedom in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

 

Barbed Wire That Closed the Open Range

Barbed Wire That Closed the Open Range

So Much for the Free Range: On this date in 1873, Joseph Glidden applied for a patent on his version of barbed wire.  He had seen the barbed wire of Henry Rose at the DeKalb County Illinois State Fair but he was not impressed.  He came up with a new design that used two wires to hold the barbs firmly in place.  His proved to be the first to be mass produced and his inexpensive wire fencing was up to 80 million pounds in production by 1880.  By making it available to farmers en masse on the plains, it effectively brought to an end the big cattle drives because ranchers driving their cattle to market suddenly found their routes cut off by barbed wire fencing all across the plains.

If You Got Close Enough You Could See The Screen

If You Got Close Enough You Could See The Screen

So Much for Commercial Free TV

It all started on this date in 1946. Geographically Speaking debuted as a travel show on TV. It showed travel films. It was about as exciting to viewers then then as it would be today as it only ran until Dec. 1, 1946. Real clunker. But, it was the first TV show to have a sponsor, Bristol-Meyers. And we’ve had commercials on TV ever since.

 Today with everyone having a remote, advertisers have had to get more creative in order to keep us from changing channels during commercials. It’s called zapping. We see an ad and “zap” we change channels. That’s why so much money is spent on ads for TV in production. We need to be entertained as well as informed. It doesn’t work with me when there are various sports on.

Remember when cable TV first came out? It was initially promoted as the public paying for TV so we wouldn’t see commercials any more. Well, that quickly evaporated. Many of the original cable TV outlets were “superstations.” We thought it was so cool getting a New York station and a Chicago station and of course Ted Turner’s WTBS. But we quickly realized we were paying to see shows with other areas commercials. Now, we pay for cable networks so we can see more commercials. Some time when you have nothing better to do, look at the Weather Channel and count how many minutes in an hour are devoted to weather and how many to commercials. You’ll be surprised. Then you will get mad when you realize you are paying for the privilege of watching all of those commercials. At least ESPN commercials are funny.

So, now I have all of these “premium” channels that show no commercials and all movies. Of course it costs me another $15 a channel on top of the premium cable charge so I don’t have to watch commercials.
It all began on this date in 1946 on a crummy show. But, without advertisers, I’d be out of a job so by all means, frequent all of our advertisers and watch their messages. In fact, I’d recommend that, when you are tuned in to another channel and they show a commercial, zap over to channel 32. Odds are the commercial is just as good as the one you were watching and you know the news that follows will be much better…especially the weather!

Ruth Pitching 1918

Ruth Pitching 1914

So Much for the Curse of the Bambino:

  On this date in 2004, the Boston Red Sox won that franchise’s first World Series since 1918.  They had suffered from what is known as “the curse of the Bambino.”  See, a young pitcher who was also developing as a slugger at the plate played for the Red Sox.  His name was George Herman Ruth, known as Babe Ruth.  He was a pretty good pitcher.  He still shares the American League record for most shut outs by a left hander in a season with Ron Guidry with 9 white-washings.  But, his hitting became apparent as he was hitting home runs when no one else was doing so at the time.  By his 4th complete season, Ruth only pitched in 17 games but hit 29 home runs to lead the league…a new record at the time.  The Sox won 4 world championships between 1903 and 1918.  Ruth went to the Yankees in 1920.  The story has always been that the owner, Harry Frazee sold him to finance a play.  I think that is how all of the

Ruth Batting 1918

Ruth Batting 1918

movies have portrayed it.  But, other sources claim that Ruth had demanded a double in his pay to $20,000 and the owner refused.  When he tried to trade him, the league president supposedly wanted to mess up Frazee’s enterprise and force him to sell so he talked most of the owners out of dealing with him.  The White Sox though supposedly offered Shoeless Joe Jackson and $60,000 but the Yankees, who were terrible at the time, offered $100,000.  Imagine what might have happened if Frazee took the White Sox deal?  As it was, Frazee took the bigger wad of cash and the Red Sox never won another World Series until 2004.  So, the team was cursed. But that’s not as good as the Cubs’ curse.

I think it was in 1945, when the owner of a tavern tried to bring his lucky goat into Wrigley Field for the

Billy Goat Bellies Up To the Bar

Billy Goat Bellies Up To the Bar

World Series. He was denied and he put a curse on the Cubs, who have not won a World Series since 1908.  You can visit the Billy Goat Tavern on Lower Michigan Avenue right by the Wendella Boat Tours in Chicago.  Get a cheese burger and ask for a coke and see what happens.  Snow White went there and asked for fries.  Try that out too.   BTW, I hope the curse is never broken…Go Astros.

Big Heat, Big Daddy Grover and Baby Ruth
June 2, 2008

As expected, some isolated t’storms popped up late in the day on Sunday. Some along the frontal boundary that was stubborn to move through but finally got it’s act together and moved south.  The others were behind the front and initiated from the northwest.   The boys at the SPC had it right, before they had it wrong.  They had a slight risk over us then they got rid of it. As it turns out, there were a couple of storms that were possible hailers that slinked down from eastern Illinois.  One even made it to Jackson County before it faded away.  The boundary will be on the move again on Monday but this time it will be coming back as a warm front.  Some of the models don’t really give much to hang your hat on regarding rain here but I think it’s logical to expect rain or even t’storm chances late Monday through Monday night and early Tuesday as the warm front comes back.  The heat and humidity will be back to stay for the rest of the week. A few storms are possible Tuesday evening and again on Wednesday. A front is scheduled to come down for Saturday but probably won’t make it, but perhaps far enough to trigger some late day or evening storms on Friday.  Otherwise, look for the mercury to push 90 by week’s end with elevated humidity.

 

Big Daddy Grover?

 Big Daddy Grover Cleveland

  Grover Cleveland was the only president to serve two terms as president non-consecutively. So, you will see he is commonly listed as the 22nd and 24th President.  In his first campaign, there was much mud-slinging between he and Republican James G. Blaine.  The accusations against Blaine were pretty pedestrian. They claimed that he took bribes.  Cleveland was accused of fathering a child with a woman to whom he was not married!  Cleveland’s defense? Guilty as charged.  He acknowledged the legitimacy to the question and was promptly elected.  Goes to show, all you need to do is tell the truth! 

Grover's Bride Was His Best Friends Daughter

Now, Cleveland was an attorney by trade and he had a partner in practice by the name of Oscar Folsom.  Folsom died in 1873 following an unfortunate carriage accident and left his old friend Grover to manage the estate.  And manage he did!  No, he didn’t marry his good friend’s wife…he married his daughter.  Frances Clara Folsom was but 9 years old when her father died but Cleveland made sure that she and her mother’s finances were in order.  After she graduated from Wells College, he proposed marriage.   Frances was not one to make a rush decision so she took a trip to Europe to clear her mind.  When she returned, no doubt some thought she had lost it because the On This Date in 1886, President Grover Cleveland became the first president to be married in the White House to Frances, who was 27 years his junior.  I wonder if when she was growing up she called him “Uncle Grover.” 

Baby Ruth Sold As Natural Energy

They had several children, one of which was Ruth.  The official story by the maker of the “Baby Ruth” candy bar was that it was named after the President’s daughter.  Somehow, a judge sided with the company in a lawsuit it brought against the makers of the “Babe Ruth Home Run Bar” saying the competitor’s name too closely resembled “Baby Ruth.”  Trouble is, Ruth Cleveland died in 1904, the candy company wasn’t in existance until 1916 and the “Baby Ruth” bar wasn’t born until 1921…or about the time that a certain George Herman Ruth was beginning to make a name for himself.  But, the makers stick to the story to this day and, to this day as far as I know, the estate of Babe Ruth has not gotten a dime from the makers of the bar.

Ben Takes Charge
July 26, 2007


I will post the severe outlook tomorrow. Story is same as yesterday. We’re in a slight risk as afront comes down our way on Friday we will see rain and t’storms and some of them could be strong with wind the primary risk or small hail. Any tornadic activity would be limited to localized situations such as cell mergers or bow echoes.

On This Date In History: The US Postal Service was founded on this date in 1775 with Ben Franklin as the first Postmaster General. I’ll let you look at the postal service history as told by the postal service. Its probably a good idea to look for outside sources if you want the whole story because the USPS will tell you what the USPS wants you to know. Anyway, here’s the link:

http://www.usps.com/history/history/his1.htm

An interesting tidbit is that the USPS is not a direct governmental agency anymore. It became and independent agency under the Executive Branch in 1971 and stopped receiving subsidies in the early 1980’s. I think that means it is not accurate to yell at the postman and tell him he works for you or that your tax dollars pay his salary.

On This Date In Baseball: Babe Ruth made his final public appearance in 1948 at the screening of The Babe Ruth Story. Ruth died 3 weeks later from throat cancer…or at least that is the official story. I would not be surprised to find that Ruth really died after watching actor William Bendix portrayal of Ruth in The Babe Ruth Story. If you’ve seen it, you know what I mean.

Ruth was known for many things but I didn’t know memorable quotes was one of them. Here is one worth remembering and shows that Ruth was indeed a winner and a champion.

“You just can’t beat the person who never gives up.”

Now…we’re off to scull. Have a nice day.