Showing posts from May, 2014

Henry Ford - Grill Master

Welcome to the days of warm weather and impending summer one and all. Here in America we can look forward to days spent sunbathing, cooling off at the pool, camping, and all the other activities that define an "American summer". One of those is the time honored tradition of eating tasty things prepared on a grill. Burgers, bratwursts, hot dogs, and chicken wings all prepared on that magical cooking instrument. But many of you may not know who is responsible really for making grilling such a vital part of our society. Well, it is also the same person who is responsible for making the automobile something every Tom, Dick, and Henry can own...Henry Ford. While it seems so unlikely that Henry Ford's name should be tied with outdoor grilling, there is a funny story behind it. A tale of ingenuity and entrepreneurship by a captain of American industry. And sure he may have been a teetotaler and an anti-Semite, but he was a man who easily saw solutions to problems. His problem

The Man Who Changed the World

       Most of us have heard and often think that one man cannot change the world...that we are just a small cog in the very large machine that is humanity and civilization. And while most of us will be born, live our lives, and die in relative obscurity in the annals of history that does not mean that some of us cannot fundamentally set events in motion that will change the paradigm. One man who was by all means unremarkable did just that. He did not change the way we look at the fabric of creation like Einstein. He did not command armies into glorious victories or massive defeats. He never ran for or won elected office. He did not live a long life. He was however a match, a spark, that lit a volatile world ablaze. The fire that ensued saw the destruction of three empires, the deaths of 17 million people, and the destabilization of a balance of power in western society that had endured for over a century. He did this all in one single day. His name was Gavrilo Princip.      The ye

First World War- The Angels of Mons

     So its 2014 and its the 100th anniversary of the start of the First World I am on a kick with the topic. I thought I would write about a legend/myth that happened during the war that injected a big boost of morale into the British Army's Expedition Force in the summer of 1914...the Angels of Mons.      The Angels of Mons originated in the Battle of Mons, which was the first real battle between the very small British Expeditionary Force (BEF) and the Imperial German Army in the third week of August that year. The BEF found themselves greatly outnumbered by the Germans in both men as well as in machine guns. Only the superior training of the British professional army allowed them to hold off the mostly conscripted Germans. The propaganda arm of the British war ministry spun this into a resounding victory, a true David and Goliath story, but it became clear that the public saw through the spin. The idea that the British were going to handily defeat Germany was quickly

Summer Vacation Attractions for the History Nerd

Well I have been slacking a bit to deal with personal reasons and the stress of those has kind of put a damper on my fire to I apologize for not being productive as I should be. I've also got so many stories crammed into my head that sometimes they end up like the Christmas lights in a box in an attic. All there, but when you try to pull one strand out they come out all together in some unholy hell of a tangle. So I thought to myself "You most awesome excellency...what else could you write about?". Then I realized I could give my top picks of places I'd like to go see on summer vacation. Maybe those of you with money to burn and time to kill can go see some of these awesome things. 1. Kansas Cosmosphere and Space Center- Hutchinson, Kansas Website for the Museum  This place is simply the bees knees of cool in the U.S.A. outside of the Smithsonian Air and Space Museum. It has the largest collection excluding the Smithsonian of all things space and

Too Soon? How WW2 Almost Started a Few Days Earlier

      This week marks the 69th anniversary of "VE Day", the day that the German forces formally surrendered to the Allied Powers. Given this anniversary I thought I would write a small blog on an interesting Second World War story. This is the story of Lieutenant Albrecht Herzer, the man that mistakenly fired the first shots of the European theater before the war even started.      Hitler and the German High Command decided in early Spring 1939 to invade Poland as a continuation of their pursuit of Lebensraum , or "living space". They tasked the head of the German Army 's Abwehr( intelligence ) Admiral Wilhelm Canaris to create special fighting units known as Kampfgruppen( fighting groups ) that would infiltrate into Poland and destroy strategic targets ahead of the main army advance. All in all Admiral Canaris formed sixteen such groups consisting of the cream of the crop in the German Wehrmacht . One such group was headed by Albrecht Herzer, an ironic choice