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BUFFALO BILL CODY

On December 11, 1872 Buffalo Bill Cody made his first stage appearance in a production of The Scouts of the Prairie.
Although he was known as a showman, William Frederick Cody played an important role in the settling of the west. Cody joined the western messenger service of Majors and Russell as a rider while still in his teens. During the Civil War, he joined forces with a variety of irregular militia groups supporting the North.

Cody began to earn his famous nickname in 1867, when he signed on to provide buffalo meat for the workers of the Eastern Division of the Union Pacific Railroad construction project. His reputation for skilled marksmanship and experience as a messenger resulted in General Philip Sheridan giving Cody a position as a scout.

Cody’s work as a scout in the western Indian wars began the foundation for his fame. Later, Cody served as a hunting guide for famous Europeans and Americans eager to experience a bit of the “Wild West” before it disappeared. One of his customers was Edward Judson, a successful writer who penned popular dime novels under the name Ned Buntline. Buntline made Cody the hero of a highly imaginative Wild West novel published in 1869. When a stage version of the novel debuted in Chicago as The Scouts of the Prairie, Buntline convinced Cody to abandon his real-life western adventures to play a highly exaggerated version of himself in the play.

TIME ZONES

At exactly noon on November 18, 1883, American and Canadian railroads begin using four continental time zones to end the confusion of dealing with thousands of local times. It shows just how powerful the railroads were.

The need for the time zones resulted from the problems the railroads had in moving passengers and freight over the thousands of miles of rail line that covered North America in the 1880s. Back then most of the towns set their clocks to the local movement of the sun. It was based on “high noon,” or the time when the sun was at its highest point in the sky.

Back when it was days between towns, the time differences didn’t matter. But as railroads shrink the travel time between cities to hours, these local times became a scheduling nightmare. Railroad timetables in major cities listed dozens of different arrival and departure times for the same train, each linked to a different local time zone.

Rather than turning to the federal governments of the United States and Canada, the railroads created a new time code system themselves. The companies divided the continent into four time zones…very close to the ones we still use today.

Most Americans and Canadians quickly embraced these new time zones, since railroads were their main link with the rest of the world. However, it was not until 1918 that Congress officially adopted the railroad time zones and put them under the supervision of the Interstate Commerce Commission.

LOOKING FOR PEOPLE OF CHARACTER

“Frontier battalions were organized and sent out to deal with problems in times of emergencies.”

We all know that, as a country, we’re going through some tough times. As the old saying goes, “Tough times don’t last, tough people do.” And our being tough people is a part of what has made the Unites States the greatest nation on the face of God’s earth.

Some 400 years ago the Pilgrims came to our east coast. For the next 300 years we were a frontier country. In order to survive on that frontier it required hard work, creativity, self-reliance, accountability and cooperation with neighbors. In short, it took people of character.

It has been over a hundred years since our last frontier. And we as a people are loosing those frontier characteristics. We believe this loss of character could very well be the reason we’re having tough times.
For over eleven years, through our monthly 1800’s newspaper, two syndicated radio shows, syndicated newspaper column, book and three extensive web sites we’ve had the mission of “Educating people about the history of our American West in an entertaining way.”

Our objective has been not just to share history, but, in the process, emphasize those precepts that made us the great country we are today. They can be boiled down to three words: “Faith, Family, Freedom.”
Sunny and I have come to the realization that, in order to be truly effective, we need the resources of additional people. So, we’re in the process of forming the “Chronicle of the Old West Frontier Battalion.” Traditionally a Frontier Battalion was organized and sent out to deal with problems in times of emergencies.

We’re looking for people who feel as we do that personal ethics and responsibility are important for a person to live a fulfilled life, and for the United States to remain the great country it has become.

We have no political or religious affiliation. This isn’t a Republican – Democrat or conservative – liberal thing. It’s an American thing.

The Frontier Battalion will be comprised of people who are actively using their skills in a profession and those who have retired with years of experience to share.

Presently we’re using print, radio, TV and Internet to educate people. We want to supercharge what we’re doing and expand the message.

If you’re interested in assuring today’s children and future children the great life we’re experiencing, give me a call at 928/532-2875 or email me at Dakota@RavenHeart.com and tell us how you would like to help.

I know you can help make a difference.

DOC HOLLIDAY

On November 8, 1887 Doc Holliday died from tuberculosis.

Born in Georgia, Holliday was raised in the tradition of the southern gentleman. He graduated from the Pennsylvania College of Dental Surgery in 1872. However, shortly after starting his career as a dentist in Atlanta, he developed a bad cough. Doctors diagnosed it as tuberculosis and advised him to move to a more arid climate. So, he moved to Dallas, Texas.

Even though Holliday was a good dentist, and had a successful practice, gambling interested him more than teeth, and he became a skilled poker and faro player.

About 1875, Holliday began drifting between the Wild West Boomtowns of Denver, Cheyenne, Deadwood, and Dodge City, making his living gambling and aggravating his tuberculosis with heavy drinking and late nights.

Although they were strange bedfellows, Holliday and Wyatt Earp were loyal friends. Following the O. K. Corral shootout, because of an arrest warrant, Holliday left Arizona and returned to the life of a western drifter, gambler, and gunslinger.

By 1887, his hard living had caught up to him, forcing him to seek treatment for his tuberculosis at a sanitarium in Glenwood Springs, Colorado. He died in his bed at the age of 36.

It’s interesting to note that although movies about Tombstone show Doc Holliday as being consumed with tuberculosis, in reality, as a result of Tombstone’s dry climate, he had little trouble with his tuberculosis.

BATTLE OF GONZALES

The ever patient Texans could take no more when on October 2, 1835 Mexican soldiers attempted to disarm the people of Gonzales.

Even though Texas had technically been a part of the Spanish empire since the 17th century, as late as the 1820s, there were only about 3,000 Spanish-Mexican settlers in Texas.

After winning its own independence from Spain in 1821, Mexico invited Anglo-Americans to come to Texas in the hopes they would be able to tame the Comanche Indians and the harsh land. During the next decade men like Stephen Austin brought more than 25,000 people to Texas, most of them Americans.

Even though these emigrants became Mexican citizens, they continued to speak English, and had closer trading ties to the United States than to Mexico.

In 1835, the president of Mexico, Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna, overthrew the constitution and appointed himself dictator. Recognizing that the “American” Texans were likely to use his rise to power as an excuse to secede, Santa Anna ordered the Mexican military to begin disarming the Texans whenever possible. This proved more difficult than expected, and on October 2, 1835, Mexican soldiers attempting to take a small cannon from the village of Gonzales encountered stiff resistance from a hastily assembled militia of Texans. After a brief fight, the Mexicans retreated and the Texans kept their cannon.

The determined Texans would continue to battle Santa Ana and his army for another year and a half before winning their independence and establishing the Republic of Texas.

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