Monday, May 16, 2022

His Name Is August Landmesser

Let's talk about August Landmesser. Let's talk about how he had guts, how he showed that he had cojones, even when surrounded by frightened sheep. Let's talk about a man who did not take a knee or accepted being "Woke" to the wonders of Fascist Socialism in Nazi Germany. Let's talk about a man who refused to be concerned with social justice, race-baiting, political correctness, peer pressure, and other similar methods of coercion.

He was born May 24th, 1910, and died on October 17th, 1944. He was a shipyard worker at the Blohm Voss Shipyard in Hamburg, Germany, in the 1930s and into the 1940s. Yes, during World War II. He's in one of my favorite historical photographs ever taken. He is best known because, in that photo, he refused to perform the Nazi salute at the launch of the naval training vessel, the Horst Wessel, on June 13th. 1936.

It's said that he had problems with the Nazi Party. But in reality, the Nazi Party had a problem with him since they did not approve of his "unlawful" relationship with Irma Eckler, a Jewish woman. 

He was later imprisoned and then forced to work as a laborer in the Nazi military war machine, then the German Army. He was killed in action. Irma Eckler was sent to a concentration camp where she was killed. Some will write to tell me that he too joined the Nazi Party in the 1930s. But people today forget that our Great Depression was felt all over the world, and in 1931, he did in fact join the Nazi Party as a way to get work. Yes, just as others did, he too hoped it would help him get a job. 

And just like many others at the time, he didn't know what he was doing when he joined the Nazi Party. We forget that the Nazi Party in 1931 was really no different than any other political party. In 1931, there were few in Germany who knew what the Nazi Party would become. 

Of course, people belonging to a political party with the most clout is nothing new in human history. During hard economic times, people used whatever sources were available to find a job. Joining political parties and other associations was seen as helpful to that extent. The problem comes about when one realizes that those perks were in reality all about making a deal with the Devil.

In 1935, August Landmesser became engaged to Irma. Because of the Nazi hatred for the Jewish race, August was expelled from the Nazi Party. The couple registered to be married in Hamburg, but the Nuremberg Laws enacted a month later prevented it. 

Love being the motivator that it is, the Nuremberg Laws forbidding the marriage of mixed races didn't stop the course of nature. So, they were married. And on October 29th, 1935, August and Irma gave birth to a daughter. They named their daughter Ingrid.

By 1937, August and Irma tried to flee with their child to Denmark. But they were apprehended and returned to Hamburg. She was again pregnant, and he was charged under Nazi racial laws. He was found guilty in July of 1937 of "dishonoring the race." 

August argued that neither he nor Irma knew that she was fully Jewish and was acquitted on May 27th, 1938, for lack of evidence. But, they were only acquitted with the warning that a repeat offense would result in a multi-year prison sentence. 

The couple may or may not have thought the threat from the government had passed. But either way, they publicly continued their relationship as a husband and wife with a child. This came to a stop on July 15th, 1938, when August was arrested again. This time he was sentenced to two and a half years in the concentration camp Börgermoor. 

While August was imprisoned in that concentration camp, Irma was detained by the Gestapo and held at the prison Fuhlsbüttel, where she gave birth to a second daughter, Irene. From there, she was sent to the Oranienburg concentration camp, the Lichtenburg concentration camp for women, and then the women's concentration camp at Ravensbrück. 

Meanwhile, August was released from prison on January 19th, 1941. He worked as a foreman for the haulage company Püst. The company had a branch at the Heinkel-Werke factory in Warnemünde. A few letters came from Irma Eckler until January of 1942. It is believed that she was taken to the Bernburg Euthanasia Center in February of 1942.

In February 1944, August was forced into the Nazi military in a "penal battalion," the 999th Fort Infantry Battalion. He was declared missing in action, then killed in action, after being killed during the fighting in Croatia on October 17th, 1944. 

In the course of examining documentation in 1949, after the war, Irma was pronounced legally dead with a date of April 28th, 1942. She was among 14,000 killed at the Oranienburg concentration camp. Like Irma, August Landmesser was legally declared dead in 1949. The marriage of August Landmesser and Irma Eckler was recognized retroactively by the German government in the summer of 1951. 

As for their children, their children were initially taken to the city orphanage. Ingrid was later allowed to live with her maternal grandmother while Irene went to the home of foster parents in 1941. In the autumn of 1951, Ingrid assumed her father's surname Landmesser. Ingrid was also placed with foster parents after her grandmother's death in 1953. But as for Irene, it is believed that she continued to use her mother's surname, Eckler.

Their father, August Landmesser, is featured in the photograph taken on June 13th, 1936, published on March 22nd, 1991, in Die Zeit

As one can clearly see, it shows a large gathering and all there with raised arms in the Nazi salute. The most obvious exception is that of August Landmesser, who defiantly stood with his arms crossed over his chest. Several others have also refrained from saluting but are not so obviously defiant.

There are so many lessons that we can learn from this. Obviously, being defiant in the face of an adversarial government is admirable. And yes indeed, that is one lesson here. But the bigger lesson is not allowing a central government, be it the Communist Party throughout their rule in the Soviet Union, the Nazi Party, or any Fascist Socialist government, even that disguised as a democratic government, to have so much power that they have the power to rule instead of governing their nation. When a nation is ruled by the government, the people are subjects. When a nation is governed, the people are citizens. 

Tom Correa

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

BLM Identifies Equine Virus Killer Of 95 Wild Horses

On April 28, 2022, the Bureau of Land Management announced tests determined an equine influenza virus caused the mysterious respiratory disease that killed at least 95 wild horses and forced a federal holding facility in Colorado to go under quarantine. The BLM report did state that the virus is "not uncommon" among horses.

The BLM conducted tests that showed that a strain of the virus, known as H3N8, was likely the cause of the outbreak and related horse deaths. The BLM issued the following statement: 


CAÑON CITY, Colo. – An equine influenza virus that is not uncommon among both wild and domestic horses has been identified as the likely cause of the respiratory disease outbreak and associated mortality that is occurring at the BLM’s Wild Horse and Burro Corrals located on the Colorado Department of Corrections (CDOC) East Canon Complex in Canon City, CO. Positive polymerase chain reaction (PCR) laboratory test results from two leading veterinary diagnostic laboratories in the United States identified the virus in nasal swabs and lung tissue from several horses.

This strain of equine influenza (subtype H3N8) is not related to the current outbreak of highly pathogenic avian influenza (subtype H5N1) that is currently impacting wild birds and poultry across the United States.

The PCR testing has also identified two equine herpes viruses (EHV-2 and EHV-5) but these commonly occur in normal, healthy horses, and it is unclear to what extent these may also be contributing to the severity of the clinical signs observed in the more severely affected group of horses at the facility.

More typical mild clinical signs of influenza are also being observed in approximately 10-20 percent of the other 2,184 horses at the facility that are not from West Douglas. No mortality has occurred in the larger groups of horses. The West Douglas horses were gathered in an emergency operation in 2021 following a wildfire that impacted their habitat. As of today, April 28, 95 horses have died at the facility since April 23.

“The Bureau of Land Management will review operations at the Canon City facility to prevent future outbreaks like this from occurring,” said BLM Colorado Acting Associate State Director Ben Gruber. “This tragic outcome was influenced by a population of horses that may have been particularly vulnerable given their time in the West Douglas area and their exposure to last year’s wildfire that prompted their emergency gather.”

“This unfortunate event is being taken very seriously by the Department of Corrections and the BLM,” said CDOC Executive Director Dean Williams. “We are working in coordination to mitigate the spread of the virus and identify and prevent any potential risk which could lead to future similar events.”

BLM continues to work with the attending veterinarians on the scene as well as the diagnostic laboratories, veterinarians, and epidemiologists from the US Department of Agriculture and the Colorado State Veterinarian’s Office to investigate and mitigate the factors that may be contributing to the most severe cases and prevent further spread of the disease. 

The facility remains under a voluntary quarantine with no horses allowed to leave the premises at this time and for the foreseeable future until it has been determined that the animals are again healthy and pose no risk to the domestic equine population in the community.

The veterinarian report and additional information can be found online at

The BLM manages more than 245 million acres of public land located primarily in 12 western states, including Alaska, on behalf of the American people. The BLM also administers 700 million acres of sub-surface mineral estate throughout the nation. Our mission is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of America’s public lands for the use and enjoyment of present and future generations.

-- end of BLM statement.

The BLM is in charge of caring for America's wild horses and announced that the outbreak had taken place when at least 57 horses had died in Cañon City, Colorado, located more than 100 miles south of Denver. Four days after the announcement, that number had reached 95.

According to reports, that is the second time between late March and the middle of April that the BLM had to shut down a wild horse facility because of a widespread illness among its horses. In March, a BLM wild horse facility in Wyoming was also closed because some animals developed "Streptococcus Equi." 

Streptococcus Equi is the bacterium that causes a disease in horses known as "strangles." Most horse owners know that "strangles" is primarily an upper respiratory infection.  It is characterized by swelling of the lymph nodes and the formation of abscesses, primarily in the head and neck. Disease severity varies and younger horses often exhibit more severe clinical signs than older horses. Strangles is a highly contagious bacterial disease among horses.

Tom Correa

Wednesday, May 4, 2022

1895 -- 8th Grade Final Exam & Answers -- Subject Orthography

A Completed 8th Grade Final Exam
Salina, Kansas, 1895

Here is a completed 8th Grade Final Exam -- Subject: Orthography  

1. What is meant by the following: Alphabet, phonetic orthography, etymology, syllabication? 
  1. Alphabet - A system of characters, signs, and symbols used to indicate letters or speech sounds, the basis of all writing. 
  2. Phonetic orthography - The standardization of the sounds of the letters of the alphabet in accordance with accepted usage. This varies from area to area within our nation but is becoming more and more uniform as communication and travel between the sections increases. 
  3. Etymology -- The study of the origin and development of a word, tracing it back to its original language and to its sources in contemporary or earlier languages. 
  4. Syllabication - The process of dividing a word into syllables, to determine the phonemic sound, the accent, and roots, to enable the reader to better grasp the meaning and pronounce the word in speech and writing. 
2. What are elementary sounds? How classified? 

The elementary sounds are the consonants and vowels: 
  • A consonant is any speech sound produced by stopping and releasing the air stream (p, t, k, b, d, g), by stopping it at one point while it escapes at another (m, n, l, r), by forcing it through a loosely closed or vary narrow passage (f, v, s, z, sh, zh, th, H, kh, h, w, y) or a combination of these means. 
  • A vowel (a, e, i, o, u and sometimes y) is a voiced speech sound characterized by generalized friction of the air passing in a continuous stream through the pharynx and open mouth, but with no constriction narrow enough to produce local friction. 
  • Phonemes include all significant differences of sound, including features of voicing, place, and manner of articulation, accent, and secondary features of nasalization, glottalization, labialization, and the like. Labial sounds are mainly formed by the lips; glottal speech sounds are formed mainly by closure of the glottis; nasal sounds are formed primarily by resonance in the nasal passages. 

3. What are the following, and give examples of each: Trigraph, subvocals, diphthong, cognate letters, linguals? 
  1. A trigraph is a combination of three letters representing one sound. An example is eau as in bureau. 
  2. A subvocal is beneath the voice, a silent or nearly silent sound. 
  3. A dighthong is a complex vowel sound made by gliding continuously from the position of one vowel to that for another within the same same syllable. An example is ou as in down. 
  4. Cognate letters are related in derivation, for instance, i and y. 
  5. Linguals are sounds articulated by using the tongue, for instance the sound th
4. Give four substitutes for caret 'u'. 

Substitutes for caret 'u' are oo as in tool, eau as in bureau, ew as in crew. 

5. Give two rules for spelling words with final 'e'. Name two exceptions under each rule. 
  1. When spelling words having a final silent e, drop the e when adding a suffix beginning with a vowel. Exceptions - knowledgeable, despiteous 
  2. If the suffix or verb ending begins with a consonant, keep the final e. Exceptions - truly, judgment 
6. Give two uses of silent letters in spelling. Illustrate each. 

Sometimes words have silent letters. These follow patterns that can be memorized. Examples: 
  • gn, pn, kn = n as in gnome, pneumonia, knife 
  • rh, wr = r as in rhyme, wrestle 
  • pt, ght = t as in ptomaine, height 
  • ps, sc = s as in psalm, science 
  • wh = h as in whole 
7. Define the following prefixes and use in connection with a word: bi, dis, mis, pre, semi, post, non, inter, mono, super. 
  1. bi - having two elements or natures, i.e., biangular, bifurcated. 
  2. dis - meaning away or apart from, i.e., disassemble, disregard. 
  3. mis - meaning wrong, wrongly, bad, badly, i.e., misstep, misapply. 
  4. pre - meaning before, ahead of, i.e., predate, prescience. 
  5. semi - meaning not whole, partly, not fully, i.e., semicircle, semifinal. 
  6. post - meaning after, behind, i.e., postscript, postpartum. 
  7. non - meaning not, i.e., nonhuman, nonagressive. 
  8. inter - meaning between, among, or reciprocal, i.e., intercede, interchangeable. 
  9. mono - meaning one, single, alone, i.e., monocline, monotheism. 
  10. super - meaning above, over, on top of, i.e., superabundant, superpose. 
8. Mark diacritically and divide into syllables the following, and name the sign that indicates the sound: Card, ball, mercy, sir, odd, cell, rise, blood, fare, last. 

[ Note: due to the limitations of html, the "macron" diacritical mark for vowels, a dash over the vowel, signifying the sound of the vowel name, is shown as ¯a, ¯e, ¯i, ¯o, ¯u ] 

card = cärd, 
ball = bôl 
mercy = mur'c¯e
sir = sur 
odd = ãd; 
cell = sel; 
rise = r¯is; 
blood = blud; 
fare = fer; 
last ~ last 

9. Use the following correctly in sentences, Cite, site, sight, fane, fain, feign, vane, vain, vein, raze, raise, rays. 
  1. The cite which was given as a source for the quote was incorrect. 
  2. The site was surveyed yesterday. 
  3. My rifle has a front and a rear sight. 
  4. We celebrated the re-birth at fane. 
  5. She would fain stay with her husband. 
  6. Can she feign surprise and excitement? 
  7. The vanes on the windmill are broken. 
  8. It is vain to think you are better than others. 
  9. Mother has a varicose vein in her leg. 
  10. Tomorrow they will raze the old barn. 
  11. Today they started to raise a new barn. 
  12. The rays of the sun feel good in the spring. 
10. Write 10 words frequently mispronounced and indicate pronunciation by use of diacritical marks and by syllabication. 
  1. anonymity == an' o nym' i ty 
  2. bestial == b¯es' tyal 
  3. Capernaum == Ca pur' na um 
  4. datum == d¯at' um 
  5. either == ¯e' ther 
  6. financier == fin' an sir' 
  7. get == get 
  8. homonym == häm' a nim 
  9. inchoate == in k¯o' it 
  10. I couldn't think of one starting with a "j", so, Salina == Sa l¯i' na , not Sa l¯e' na 
--- end of 1895 8th Grade Final Exam and Answers in U.S. History 

Time to take this exam: 1 hour

Editor's Note:

I've made the same comment and asked the same questions after each section in this series on the 8th Grade Final Exam given in Salina, Kansas, in 1895. As I said in the other parts of this series, after reading these questions and answers, I realized how much was expected of children in the past. And second, while I've been able to determine that the test is real and from 1895, I have not been able to find out who wrote these answers. And yes, my friends, I had to look them up to make sure they are correct -- and they are.

How well do you think you would have done taking this 1895 8th Grade Final Exam? Do you think 4-year college students today can pass this exam? How about Teachers today, how would they do taking this exam? Would they be able to pass this test? 

Of course, if you don't think they or your 8th Grade kids would be able to pass this test, it's important that we ask the questions: Why can they? What has happened that has made us unaware of things that 8th Graders in 1895 were required to know? 

Just some things to think about.

More to come!

Tom Correa

Sunday, May 1, 2022

The Reno Gang & The First Train Robbery

While I've never considered Indiana a part of the West, certainly not the Old West, there is no denying that the first post-Civil War train robbery in the United States took place in Indiana on October 6th, 1866. It was accomplished by none other than the now-famous Reno Gang. This newspaper clipping above was published a couple days later. It gave an account of the robbery:


Adams' Express Car on the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad Robbed of $15,000 The Through Safe Thrown from the Car, hut Afterwards Recovered The Robbers Escape.

INDIANAPOLIS, October 7 -- Last night, as the eastward bound train on the Ohio and Mississippi Railroad left Seymour, two men, with their faces masked, entered the messenger car of Adams' Express, presented a pistol at the head of the messenger, took his key, opened the local safe, and rifled it of $15,000. They then threw out the through safe, containing a large amount of papers and coin, and jumped from the car. The train was stopped some miles ahead and a hand-car sent back to the scene of the robbery. The safe, which was too heavy to carry, was recovered, but the robbers escaped. The company offers a liberal reward for their apprehension.

-- end of the 1866 news article.

The Reno Gang that was responsible for pulling off that heist was also known as the Reno Brothers, the Reno Brothers Gang, and even the Jackson Thieves. I found it interesting that the short-lived gang of outlaws actually had their start in 1864, while the Civil War was still going on. 

While Hollywood has portrayed them as Confederates stealing from wealthy Northern bankers in more than one B-Western, the Reno brothers were Yankees. After the war, those Yankee badmen operated in what we know today as the Midwest. And while most know the Reno Gang as train robbers, it's interesting that the gang also dealt in counterfeiting, thievery, and even murder-for-hire. Some sources say they were one of the first murder-for-hire gangs in Indiana. 

Though they were not around very long, unlike other outlaw gangs, the law had very little to do with breaking up the Reno Gang. The fact is they were stopped because citizens had enough of their lawlessness. It's true. Citizens formed vigilante groups. They are said to have lynched ten of the gang in 1868. And that, well that pretty much broke up the gang. Frankly, as we all know, necktie parties have that effect on criminals.

As for those in the vigilante groups who lynched the Reno Gang's members, it's interesting that no one was ever identified or ever prosecuted in connection to those lynchings. Of course, another interesting fact about the Reno Gang is that most of their stolen money was never recovered. Imagine that.

Tom Correa

Thursday, April 28, 2022

1895 -- 8th Grade Final Exam & Answers -- Subject Arithmetic

A Completed 8th Grade Final Exam 
Salina, Kansas, 1895

Here is a completed 8th Grade Final Exam -- Subject: Arithmetic

1. Name and define the Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic. 
  1. The Fundamental Rules of Arithmetic are Addition, Subtraction, Multiplication, and Division. 
  2. Addition - the summing of a set of numbers to obtain the total quantity of items to which the number set refers indicated in arithmetic by + . 
  3. Subtraction - the mathematical process of finding the difference between two numbers or quantities, indicated in arithmetic by - . 
  4. Multiplication - the mathematical process of finding a number or quantity (the product) obtained by repeating a specified number or quantity a (the multiplicand) a specified number of times (the multiplier), indicated in arithmetic by X . 
  5. Division - the mathematical process of finding how many times a number (the divisor) is contained in another number (the dividend); the number of times constitutes the quotient, indicated in arithmetic by ÷ . 
2. A wagon box is 2 ft. deep, 10 feet long, and 3 ft. wide. How many bushels of wheat will it hold? 

The wagon box contains 2 x 10 x 3 = 60 cubic feet. A struck bushel equals 1 1/4 cubic feet. A heaped bushel in general equals 1 1/4 struck bushels. Therefore the wagon box if heaped contains 60 bushels and if struck, 1/5th less or 48 bushels. 

3. If a load of wheat weighs 3942 lbs., what is it worth at 50 cts. per bu, deducting 1050 lbs. for tare?

The actual weight of the wheat, subtracting the tare of the wagon weight of 1050 lbs is 2892 lbs. A fully ripe and dried struck bushel of wheat weighs on average 58 lbs per bushel. Therefore the solution is 2892 ÷ 58 X $.50 = $24.93 

4. District No. 33 has a valuation of $35,000. What is the necessary levy to carry on a school seven months at $50 per month, and have $104 for incidentals? 

The cost of 7 months of school equals $50 X 7 + $104, therefore $454.The mil levy is therefore $454 ÷ $35,000 which equals .013 levy or $1.30 per $100 valuation of the district. 

5. Find cost of 6720 lbs. coal at $6.00 per ton. 

One ton equals 2000 lbs, therefore 6720 ÷ 2000 X $6 = $20.16 

6. Find the interest of $512.60 for 8 months and 18 days at 7 percent. 

A banking month is 30 days, or 360 days per year. If the principal is held for 258 days the proportional interest for the period held is 258 ÷ 360 X $512.60 X 7% or $25.72 

7. What is the cost of 40 boards 12 inches wide and 16 ft. long at $.20 per inch? 

40 X 12 X $.20 = $96.00 To verify this, lumber costs $150/1000 board feet, therefore - - 40 X 16 ÷ 1000 X $150 = $96.00 

8. Find bank discount on $300 for 90 days (no grace) at 10 percent. 

90 days is 3 months, 1/4 of the banking year, therefore the discount is .10 ÷ 4 X $300 = $7.50 

9. What is the cost of a square farm at $15 per acre, the distance around which is 640 rods? 

An acre measure is 160 square rods. The farm has each side of 160 rods or 160 rods square, therefore 25600 square rods, is 160 acres in extent and is $2400 in value. 

10. Write a Bank Check, a Promissory Note and a Receipt. 

Bank Check Promissory Note

Farmer's Coop Bank                                                              1895 
Salina, Kansas                                                           June 1, 1894 
Received Of                       John Q. Parent                       $57.16 


Fifty Seven and 16/100 -------------------------------------  Dollars 

1894-95 Tuition - 
James                                                       Roscoe R. Pound, Chmn


--- end of 1895 8th Grade Final Exam and Answers in Arithmetic 

Time to take this exam: 1.25 hours

Editor's Note:

First, as I said in Part One of this series, after reading these questions and answers, I realized how much was expected of children in the past. And second, while I've been able to determine that the test is real and from 1895, I have not been able to find out who wrote these answers. And yes, my friends, I had to look them up to make sure they are correct -- and they are.

How well do you think you would have done taking this 1895 8th Grade Final Exam? Do you think 4-year college students today can pass this exam? How about Teachers today, how would they do taking this exam? Would they be able to pass this test?

I have to wonder why 8th Grade children in 1895 were able to pass this test versus 8th Graders today? Maybe we should be asking if our children are learning the essentials in schools today? If not, and instead there really is too much political indoctrination in public schools, then how can we return schools to being places of learning instead of places of political indoctrination?

More to come! 

Tom Correa


Wednesday, April 20, 2022

Jimmy Doolittle - A True American Hero

It's hard for me to believe that it's the 80th Anniversary of the Doolittle Raid on Japan. I remember being a boy in grade school and hearing my teachers talk about it taking place "just a few years ago." Of course, World War II had only ended about 15 or so years before that. So yes, I can see why some folks at the time might have felt that only a few years had passed. 

Imagine hearing such an exciting story as a kid?

"It was April 18th, 'just a few years ago,' when Col. Doolittle and his sixteen B-25 crews took off from the deck of the aircraft carrier USS Hornet. They had just been spotted by a Japanese picket boat and Col. Doolittle had to make the decision to start their mission earlier than they wanted to. That, by itself, meant that the crews would have farther to go and less fuel to escape after they hit their targets in Japan. And remember, of those brave men, all volunteered for the mission.  

It was nighttime, dark, the weather was stormy, and the planes started to run out of fuel. All in all, they had been flying for about 12 hours. Fifteen of the planes headed for safety in China. One chose to land in Russia. 

Col. Doolittle and his crew bailed out safely over China when their B-25 ran out of fuel, and so did most of the other crews who took part in that one-way mission. Col. Doolittle landed in a rice paddy near Chuchow, China. He and his crew were finally able to link up after they bailed out. They were helped through Japanese lines by Chinese guerrillas and an American missionary by the name of John Birch. Although most eventually did reach safety, other aircrews were not so fortunate. 

One crewman was killed while bailing out after the mission. He was buried by Rev. Birch. Two men from Crew #6 had actually drowned because they crash-landed in the ocean off the China coast. Eight men were captured by the Japanese. Of them, three were executed by firing squad and one died of beriberi and starvation while in prison. Four of the men survived 40 months in solitary confinement in a Japanese prison."

That is a thrilling story of American courage. And while it is said that Col. Doolittle thought he would be court-martialed for launching the raid ahead of schedule after being spotted by a Japanese patrol boat, as well as the loss of all 16 B-25 bombers, in reality, he was instantly seen as an American hero. His service to our country was rightfully praised. He received the Medal of Honor from President Franklin D. Roosevelt. He was awarded the Medal of Honor for planning and leading his historic raid on Japan.

His Medal of Honor citation reads: "For conspicuous leadership above and beyond the call of duty, involving personal valor and intrepidity at an extreme hazard to life. With the apparent certainty of being forced to land in enemy territory or to perish at sea, Lt. Col. Doolittle personally led a squadron of Army bombers, manned by volunteer crews, in a highly destructive raid on the Japanese mainland."

Jimmy Doolittle was only a Major in the U.S. Army Air Corps when the Empire of Japan bombed Pearl Harbor in December of 1941. He was promoted to Lt. Col when we entered World War II. In fact, James H. "Jimmy" Doolittle was promoted to Lt Colonel on January 2nd, 1942, and assigned to Army Air Forces Headquarters. It was there that he took part in the planning for what was considered a retaliatory air raid on the Japanese homeland following the attack on Pearl Harbor. 

He volunteered for and received General Henry H. "Hap" Arnold's personal approval to lead the top-secret attack on targets in Tokyo, Kobe, Yokohama, Osaka, and Nagoya, Japan. The idea of having land-based planes take off from an aircraft carrier was first thought of by General Arnold. The idea of a raid on Tokyo using land-based bombers belongs to Admiral Francis S. Low. It's said that Doolittle started working on his concept of what was needed in the way of a raid on Tokyo right after the Japanese attack on our fleet on December 7th, 1941. The Doolittle Raid on April 18th, 1942, took place just a little over 4 months after Pearl Harbor was hit.

As for the Doolittle Raid, also known as the Tokyo Raid, of April 18th, 1942? The story that I relate above told to me in grade school was fairly accurate as to what took place. We know that planning "The Doolittle Raid" involved total secrecy. We know that sixteen B-25 Mitchell medium bombers were transported aboard the aircraft carrier USS Hornet which took them as close to Japan as possible. We know that those Mitchell Bombers had to take off on a short runway. Something that was never been done before. We know that the planes were stripped-down of non-essentials and filled with bombs. All of the planes involved in the Doolittle Raid were lost.

A foreign power was to attack the Japanese homeland. That was new in itself. Launching U.S. Army Air Corps bombers from an aircraft carrier was also something that was also never done -- other than attempting it twice before the actual raid. Many called the raid unprecedented, audacious, and purely American. Its success was called a "miracle" by many.

As for the idea of undertaking a bombing mission and knowingly doing it while fully understanding that you might never get back? Plan the mission to run out of fuel and crash land in Japanese-held China, while praying that they avoid Japanese patrols? Can you imagine pitching that idea to your superiors?

While some can argue its tactical importance, there is no arguing that it was a great victory and morale boost for Americans. And yes, it scared the Hell out of the Japanese military that ruled the Japanese government at the time. In fact, it is believed that the Doolittle Raid on Tokyo was what prompted the Japanese to attack Midway Island on Jun 4, 1942. It was a decision on their part that was disastrous for the Japanese Navy.

What some folks might not know is that Jimmy Doolittle flew in the lead plane on that historic raid. And yes, believe it or not, it was his very first combat mission. He survived and received the Medal of Honor for his daring raid on Japan. In July 1942, he was promoted to Brigadier General. Yes, he went from Lt-Col. to Brigadier General which means he had bypassed the rank of full Colonel and had been promoted by two grades on the day after the raid on Tokyo.

Doolittle became Commanding General of the Twelfth Air Force which was operating in North Africa. He was promoted to Major General in November 1942, and in March 1943 became Commanding General of the Northwest African Strategic Air Force. It was there that he garnered a reputation for his use of airpower to annihilate an enemy position

One example of his use of airpower against an enemy position is his use of airpower against the Italian town of Battipaglia which was held by Mussolini's elite forces. It is said that the town had been razed to the ground. In fact, it was said to have had so much destruction that Lt. General Carl Andrew Spaatz sent him a joking message: "You're slipping Jimmy. There's one crabapple tree and one stable still standing."

Maj. Gen. Doolittle took command of the Fifteenth Air Force in the Mediterranean Theater of Operations in November of 1943. On June 10th, 1943, believe it or not, as a Major General and commanding officer of the Fifteenth Air Force, he actually flew as a co-pilot on a mission. He and Jack Sims, who was also one of his men during the raid on Tokyo, flew a B-26 Marauder of the 320th Bombardment Group, 442nd Bombardment Squadron, on a mission to attack gun emplacements on the Italian island of Pantelleria off of Sicily. 

Pantelleria was regarded as crucial to Operation Husky which was the name for the Allied invasion of Sicily in 1943. The reason for its importance had to do with how planes based on Pantelleria could readily reach Sicily. In Operation Corkscrew, Allies bombed Pantelleria heavily from the air and the sea for days before the Sicily invasion. After the Italian garrison surrendered, the island of Pantelleria became what could only be considered a vital base for Allied airpower during the assault on Sicily. And yes, it is said that Maj. Gen. Doolittle continued to fly missions despite the risk of him being shot down and captured.

Though his promotion date to Lt General was March 13th, 1944, in January of 1944, he was put in command of the Eighth Air Force in England. So yes, in just a mere two years, he was promoted from Lt. Col. to Lt. General. His command of the Eighth Air Force would change the war in Europe.

As the commander for the entire Eighth Air Force in Europe, among other things, he would be responsible for securing the air during the preparations for D-Day. In fact, he was credited with reducing the effectiveness of the Luftwaffe and giving the Allies complete air superiority over Europe. He was the planner behind Operation Argument which was better known as “Big Week.” That was the Allied six-day air offensive that changed who had air superiority over Europe.

Doolittle forced Germany to respond with fighter interceptions so that he could either destroy the Luftwaffe in the air or destroy the production of replacement aircraft. While the Germans thought they had an advantage with their heavy fighter tactics, which made them very confident to take on the Eighth Air Force bombers, Doolittle surprised them by using our new longer-range P-51 Mustang fighters to leave our bombers as escorts -- and instead go hunting for German fighters. Doolittle had them do that by sweeping the skies looking for Luftwaffe well ahead of our bombers. That was new and effective.

In Operation Argument, Lt.Gen. Doolittle targeted factories in more than 11 German cities. And in what became known as the largest aerial formation ever assembled, on the first day, 3,894 heavy bombers and 800 fighters took off from England. Doolittle's new long-range fighter tactics were devastating to the Germans. In all, our pilots hunted down and picked off the Luftwaffe fighters before they could even get close to our bomber formations. Over the next six days, Doolittle's plan resulted in our damaging or destroying 75 percent of the factories that produced 90 percent of Germany’s aircraft. This gave the Allies total air superiority over Europe in time for the D-Day invasion of France.

A result of Doolittle's audacious plan and his tactic of allowing American fighters to sweep the skies, doing that instead of being in their formations with the bombers as escorts, that Operation took the German Luftwaffe from offense to defense for the rest of the war. And frankly, because of Operation Argument, the German Luftwaffe would never again be considered a threat to the Allies in the air.

It is said that the German High Command actually feared Lt. Gen. Jimmy Doolittle more than other Generals in our command structure because they knew that he would target and destroy Germany's oil industry, its supply chain, and its transportation infrastructure, as well as its communication capabilities. All from the air. And yes, their fears were well-founded since that was something that Doolittle had the Eighth Air Force do for the rest of the war.

So, while Jimmy Doolittle's raid on Tokyo was impressive, so was what he did in Europe. And fortunate for us, Jimmy Doolittle was more than just one of the Raiders who flew a remarkable mission to bomb Tokyo. He is a true American hero who has a special place among America's great Generals. No doubt about it.

Tom Correa

Sunday, April 17, 2022

Let's Talk About Easter Sunday

Let's talk about how Easter is a Christian celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ.

As for the Easter Bunny, the Bible makes no mention of a long-eared, short-tailed creature who delivers decorated and painted eggs to children on Easter Sunday. But the Easter Bunny has become a prominent symbol of Christianity's most important holiday. The reason is interesting because, while the exact origins of the mythical Easter Bunny are unclear, rabbits and hares are known to be prolific procreators and have been an ancient symbol of fertility and new life for more years than most realize.

According to some, the Easter Bunny first arrived in America in the 1700s with German immigrants who settled in Pennsylvania. They brought their tradition of an egg-laying hare called "Osterhase" or "Oschter Haws." Yes, an egg-laying hare! And for you city folks who might not know it, rabbits and hares don't lay eggs.

During that period, the tradition was for children to make nests in which the "egg-laying" rabbits and hares kept their colored eggs. Eventually, the custom spread across the United States, and the fabled rabbit's Easter morning deliveries expanded to include chocolate and other types of candies and gifts. Decorated baskets replaced nests. 

Easter is a Christian holiday brought to America by Europeans, but some of its customs, such as Easter eggs, should not be surprising since the egg is an ancient symbol of new life. European immigrants celebrating Easter as a religious festival used eggs as a way to symbolize the renewal of life. We know for a fact that such a tradition goes back to Medieval times when the egg was seen as a sign of new life. Of course, since Easter is considered the start of Spring, and Spring represents new beginnings, it fits our Christian belief that Easter and the resurrection of Christ is man's new beginning.

Eggs would often be painted with elaborate designs and given to lucky children. From a Christian perspective, Easter eggs are said to represent Jesus' emergence from the tomb and resurrection. Of course, decorating eggs for Easter is a tradition that dates back to at least the 13th century. One explanation for this custom is that eggs were formerly a forbidden food during Lent, so people would paint and decorate them to mark the end of the period of penance and fasting, then eat them on Easter as a celebration.

Easter egg hunts and egg rolling are two popular egg-related traditions. In the United States, the White House Easter Egg Roll, a race in which children push decorated, hard-boiled eggs across the White House lawn, is an annual event held the Monday after Easter. The first official White House egg roll took place in 1878 when Rutherford B. Hayes was president. The event has no religious significance, although some people have considered egg rolling symbolic of the stone blocking Jesus' tomb being rolled away, leading to his resurrection.

As for Easter Candy? Easter is the second best-selling candy holiday in America after Halloween. And really, among the most popular sweet treats associated with this day are chocolate eggs, which date back to early 19th century Europe. So yes, folks in the Old West were lucky enough to have gifts of candy eggs. 

Another egg-shaped candy, the jelly bean, became associated with Easter in the 1930s. And yes, according to the National Confectioners Association, over 16 billion jelly beans are made in the U.S. each year just for Easter. That, my friends, is a lot of jelly beans!  

My father-in-law, in Single Action Shooting circles, alias Nickel Jim will be glad to hear that for the past few decades, the top-selling non-chocolate Easter candy has been the marshmallow Peep - a sugary, pastel-colored confection. The Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, based candy manufacturer Just Born, which was founded by Russian immigrant Sam Born back in 1923, began selling Peeps in the 1950s. The original Peeps were handmade, marshmallow-flavored yellow chicks, but other shapes and flavors were later introduced, including chocolate mousse bunnies. My father-in-law lives for the yellow ones!

In New York City, the annual Easter Parade is a tradition that dates back to the mid-1800s when the upper crust of New York society would attend Easter services at various Fifth Avenue churches and then stroll outside afterward to show off their new spring outfits and hats. Average citizens started showing up along Fifth Avenue to check out the action. The tradition reached its peak by the mid-20th century, and in 1948, the popular film Easter Parade was released, starring Fred Astaire and Judy Garland and featuring the music of Irving Berlin. The title song includes the lyrics: "In your Easter bonnet, with all the frills upon it - You'll be the grandest lady in the Easter parade."

Today, the Easter Parade tradition lives on in Manhattan, with Fifth Avenue from 49th Street to 57th Street being shut down during the day to traffic. Participants often sport elaborately decorated bonnets and hats. The event has no religious significance, but sources note that Easter processions have been a part of Christianity since its earliest days. 

It's interesting to note that even though public schools are banning the word "Easter" from being used by children, there are cities across America that are also holding their own Easter Parades. And while it is okay in public schools today to live out Muslim holidays in dress and language, Christian symbolism is of any sort is being treated as bad as the Black Plague. 

Let me make something clear, while I don't really care if some devout Atheist Communist ass doesn't believe in what I believe, sadly, today it is extremely fashionable among the Atheist Communists on the Left in America and elsewhere to attack Christians and our most sacred holidays. And what's worst is that the Left has convinced others that any reference to Christian beliefs must be banned. Yes, even if the reference that they seek to ban on grounds that it applies to Christians has absolutely nothing to do with the Holy Bible, our Christian faith, or Christian traditions.  

Take, for example, Heritage Elementary School in Madison, Alabama, which in 2013 banned the "E" word, "Easter." The kids there were absolutely forbidden from saying the words "Easter Bunny" or even "Easter Eggs." Why? Well, according to Lydia Davenport, the principal at the school says, it was because "people relate the Easter Bunny to religion."  Imagine that coming from a supposedly educated person, "people relate the Easter Bunny to religion." Imagine how threatening Christianity must be to such people. 

As I said earlier, there is no mention of an Easter Rabbit, Hare, or Bunny of any sort in the Holy Bible. No, there was no Easter Bunny who healed the sick; no Easter Bunny walked on water; no Easter Bunny turned water into wine; no Easter Bunny was ever arrested for preaching peace; no Easter Bunny was crucified on a cross for the sins of the world. 

Since kids were not allowed to say the word "Easter," it was fairly reasonable to presume that teachers and political correctness had gone over the edge of sanity. And yes, as another writer asked, "What will students call Easter Island now? Will teachers take it upon themselves to rename Easter Island to Spring Island?" No, but it just shows the stupidity of such things. Of course, what happened did make national news.

Below is a copy of the 2013 letter sent out to parents regarding the use of the word "Easter" at Heritage Elementary School in Madison, Alabama. After getting pressure to observe American traditions and heritage, you will notice that this school official gets the point. It's just a shame that it had to become an issue.

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I hope you are all enjoying spring break. Please allow me to infringe on your break for a moment to bring you up to speed on a topic that has garnered national attention.

The controversy centers around an Easter egg hunt for the second grade and kindergarten classes at Heritage Elementary School. The activity was planned but the principal stepped in and asked that the activity not occur because the activity carried the title Easter. As you know, we walk a fine line in public education working to stay within the guidelines of recent court decisions. After the conversation, it was decided that the hunt was not in violation of any policies or procedures and that it could proceed as planned. I am pleased to inform you that it took place last week before we were dismissed for spring break.

At a previously planned elementary principals’ meeting last week, I informed the principals that in Madison City we would continue to have seasonal celebrations and activities such as Christmas gifts and Easter egg hunts. These traditions are a part of our rich heritage and I do not see them as infringing on ones’ religious rights. Additionally, words such as Christmas and Easter are not banned at our schools.

In all the national media reports they fail to mention that the Easter egg hunt occurred last week and that all our elementary principals have been advised that seasonal activities are acceptable. Sorry to disturb your break but I wanted you to be informed.

Dee O. Fowler
Superintendent of Education
Madison City Schools

Now, as for so-called "educators" who would say incredibly dumb things like "people relate the Easter Bunny to religion," allow me to inform them of a few things. Nowhere is there any mention of the Easter Bunny in the Bible. And really, there is a good reason for that. Easter is not about a bunny, it's about the lamb of God. The lamb symbolizes Jesus. The lamb embodies purity and goodness, but it also represents sacrifice.

Easter is a Christian festival and holiday celebrating the resurrection of Jesus Christ on the third day after his crucifixion, his sacrifice for our sins, at Calvary as described in the New Testament. Easter is the culmination of the Passion of Christ, preceded by Lent, a forty-day period of fasting, prayer, and penance. The last week of Lent is called Holy Week, and it contains the days of the Easter Triduum, including Holy Thursday, commemorating the Last Supper and its preceding foot washing, as well as Good Friday, commemorating the crucifixion and death of Jesus. 

Easter in the Bible is mentioned in the biblical account of Jesus' death on the cross, his crucifixion, his burial, his resurrection, and his rising from the dead, which can be found in the following passages of Scripture: Matthew 27:27-28:8; Mark 15:16-16:19; Luke 23:26-24:35; John 19:16-20:30; 1 Corinthians 15:12-20; 1Peter 1:3; Colossians 2:12; and Romans 6:4.

Sadly, even when shown that Scripture in the Holy Bible was written in three languages, Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic, over a period of more than fifteen hundred years by more than forty authors in three separate Continents, Asia, Africa, and Europe, all men of different backgrounds and ages, there are non-believers who question the first-hand accounts, the teachings of Christ, the motives of those who wrote it, and of course the very message of Christ "to do justly, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God." (Micah 6:8).

As stated in the Holy Bible, Easter celebrates his death on a cross as a redemptive sacrifice, as the source of humanity's salvation. The Resurrection of Jesus Christ is the very foundation of our Christian faith. Through our faith in the working of God, we Christians are spiritually resurrected with Jesus. We are redeemed so that we may walk in a new way of life.

On Easter Sunday, Christians celebrate the resurrection of the Lord, Jesus Christ. It is typically the most well-attended Sunday service of the year for Christian churches. As a Catholic, as a Christian, I know that Christianity is about believing. According to Scripture, Jesus came back to life and was raised from the dead -- three days after his death on the cross. As part of Easter, the death of Jesus Christ by crucifixion is commemorated on Good Friday, always the Friday just before Easter.

The word "Easter" is derived from the Hebrew word "Pesach" for "he passed over." In Spanish and Italian, the word for "Easter" is "Pascua. " In French, it is "Paques." In Portuguese, it is "Pascoa,"

In the year 325AD, the Catholic Church declared in a proclamation that Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday after the first full moon on or after the Vernal Equinox. This date was determined by noting that the Last Supper, as Christians know it, was actually a Passover seder, and Jesus's resurrection occurred on that Sunday. Jewish Passover occurs on the 14th day of the Hebrew month of Nisan on the first full moon on or after the Equinox. A further connection to Jewish Passover is the fact that it celebrates the angel of death passing over the houses where the doors were marked with the blood of a sacrificial lamb. Remember, the lamb symbolizes Jesus. As I said before, while the lamb embodies purity and goodness, it also represents sacrifice.

Jesus is seen by Christians as the sacrificial lamb whose blood was shed so that we would have everlasting life. God has given Christians "a new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead."

As for the true meaning of Easter? It is a day when Christians celebrate the miracle of God who "so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life." His resurrection established Jesus as the powerful Son of God and is proof that God will judge the world in righteousness.

The New Testament teaches that the resurrection of Jesus, which Easter celebrates, is a foundation of the Christian faith. Christians, through faith in the working of God, are spiritually resurrected with Jesus so that they may walk in a new way of life. Through his death, burial, and resurrection, Jesus paid the penalty for our sins, thus purchasing for all who believe in him, eternal life in Christ Jesus.

So now, did I mention how eggs have long been associated with Easter as a symbol of new life and Jesus' resurrection? Don't you hate it when someone repeats himself over and over again to hammer a point home? Yes, even when that point concerns how some folks have a very hard time understanding symbolism such as how an egg can represent new life. Yes, the exact same way that some so-called "educators" would say something as dumb as "people relate the Easter Bunny to religion." 

So, while the resurrection of Christ is what Christianity is based upon, Easter Sunday commemorates Jesus Christ's resurrection from death, as written in the Holy Bible. But, throughout the Holy Bible, Scripture never mentions an Easter Bunny. While rabbits are often used as a symbol of fertility and rebirth, that rabbit is never mentioned in the Holy Bible.

Tom Correa

Wednesday, April 13, 2022

Blacks Too Profited From The Slave Trade

I received an email recently from a reader wanting to know if former slaves were ever hired to go after runaway slaves? The short answer to that is yes. There were bounty hunters, also known as "slave catchers," who were Black just like there were Black slave owners. 

Historians agree that Black bounty hunters did exist. Also, there were freemen, former slaves, who actually worked together with other bounty hunters to catch runaway slaves. Bounty hunters were not always White. They were White, Mexican, and some were Blacks. Some Black slaves were also used as "trackers" and slave catchers by their owners. As surprising as it sounds, there were instances when slaves were used by their owners to assist in the capture of runaways.  

As with the Whites and Mexicans who hunted people for a living, most Black bounty hunters found it very profitable. From the letters that I've gotten on this subject, it seems there is this myth that freed African slaves would never hunt other African slaves -- profitable or not. Some believe that slaves saw it as "morally wrong" to hunt fugitive slaves. 

These same people who write and tell me this seem to forget that African slaves were provided to European and Muslim slave traders for hundreds of years before our nation ever existed by other Africans. Africans did not see it "morally wrong" to round up and sell their own people to Muslim slave traders for hundreds of years before selling them to European slave traders for a couple of hundred years. Morals did not stop Blacks from making a profit off of selling their own people. So really, why should any of us assume that somehow morals played a part in stopping Blacks from profiting off of the return of runaway slaves? 

We somehow neglect to see history as to how it really took place. For hundreds of years before African kings and chiefs captured and sold slaves to the Portuguese, French, and British, they were capturing and selling their own people to Muslims. The legacy of Africans profiting off of the selling of their own people may have been "disgraceful" -- but it was also extremely profitable for African Blacks who saw the lives of their own people as a commodity to make them wealthy. 

Today, we have people attempting to re-write what took place by saying such things as the following: "August marked 400 years since the first documented enslaved Africans arrived in the United States. In 1619, a ship reached the Jamestown settlement in the colony of Virginia, carrying some 20 and odd Negroes who were kidnapped from their villages in present-day Angola." 

The problem with that is that's all a lie. First, the United States did not exist in 1619. The United States was not formed, it did not exist, for another 157 years after what took place in Jamestown, Virginia. We forget that Virginia was a British Colony in 1619. No, not part of the United States.

Second, the Spanish brought the first documented African slaves to North America when they shipped African slaves to what is today South Carolina and Florida in the early 1500s. Florida was a Spanish Colony that had a huge slave trade going on there for almost 100 years before 1619. We also forget that the Spanish, Portuguese, and French took African slaves to the Caribbean, Mexico, Central America, and South American countries such as Brazil and Peru in the 1500s. 

Third, the 20 African slaves that landed in Jamestown, Virginia, in 1619 were not kidnapped by the British. They were among more than 300 Africans who were rounded up by African chiefs in what is today Angola -- and then sold to Portuguese merchants for transport to Brazil. A British raider ship stole them from that Portuguese ship while at sea.
Lastly, the 20 "African slaves" who arrived at Jamestown were not "slaves" and were in fact considered "Indentured Servants" the same as the Irish and German "Indentured Servants" in Jamestown at the time. The fact is, in 1619, slavery was not codified by law. Slavery did not yet exist in Virginia at the time. It is a fact that most Africans in the British Colonies were held under contracts of limited "indentured servitude." They were released after a contracted period ended. The exception was those indentured for life. And by the way, there were also Whites who were "indentured for life."

The status of "Indentured Servants," Black or otherwise, in the British Colonies changed with the passage of the Virginia Slave Codes of 1705. Those series of laws effectively stripped away legal rights and legalized slavery. What's ironic is that the first legally acknowledged slave owner in the American British Colonies was a Black man who got rich on owning Black slaves. He profited heavily from owning slaves. His name was Anthony Johnson.

It is a sort of shame that Americans mistakenly focus on England and the British Colonies as though they were the start of Europeans in North America. The British Colony of Virginia was founded in 1607. We somehow ignore, or simply don't realize that the French and Spanish established Colonies in North America almost 100 years before the British did. 

As for Parris Island, South Carolina, history tells us that the French had troops there in 1562. Of course, St. Augustine, Florida, was founded by Spanish explorers in 1565. In fact, St. Augustine became the center of the Spanish slave trade in North America long before Britain established its first settlement of Jamestown in North America in 1607. Sadly, we tend to ignore the colonization of the Americas by other European nations. Sadly, schools don't teach about what took place in North America prior to the British arriving.

It's the same as with the history of Black freemen, freed Black slaves, who hunted runaway Black slaves. We don't teach how the lives of Black slaves did not matter to them -- especially when there was big money to be made catching them and returning them to their owners. Just as there was huge profitability to be made in selling Africans in Africa, or owning African slaves as freedman Anthony Johnson and other Black slave owners found out, catching them and returning them to their White, Black, and Native American slave owners made Black bounty hunters, also known as "slave catchers," a lot of money. 

As one historian put it, "You could buy a farm for $400 and feed your family and live a good enough life. All you'd have to do was go out and capture one or two runaway slaves and you were set." 

Let's keep in mind that many of the Northern states outlawed slavery either before or right after the Revolutionary War. Many provided refuge for escaped Black slaves. Many slaves who reached those states believed they were safe. Of course, Southern slave owners pressured Congress to help them retrieve fugitive slaves and indentured servants. In 1793, Congress passed the first Fugitive Slave Law.

The first Fugitive Slave Law left it up to the slave owners to hire slave catchers to capture and return runaway slaves and indentured servants. Slave owners hired both freed Blacks and White bounty hunters. Many of the freed Black slaves were extremely useful in retrieving runaway slaves. The reason for that had to do with the "Underground Railroad." Let's remember that at the same time, there were freed Blacks and anti-slavery Whites organizing a system to help slaves escape their bondage. That system became known as the "Underground Railroad."

During that time, President Thomas Jefferson was successful in stopping the importation of African slaves into the United States. The law forbidding the importation of African slaves into the United States took effect on January 1st, 1808. With the passing of that law, slaves already in bondage here became expensive commodities. Subsequently, slave owners put even larger bounties on the heads of escaped slaves. Among the bounty hunters who chased them down were other former Black slaves. 

The irony of the Underground Railroad is that even though it involved safe-houses, escape routes, and guides called "conductors" to help escaped slaves reach refuge in the Northern states, there were a few freed Black slave bounty hunters who themselves used the Underground Railroad to escape to freedom. They knew the secret routes, the houses where slaves were hidden, and they knew where to ferret out runaways. Those Black bounty hunters were extremely good at hunting fugitive slaves, and are said to have profited greatly by catching and returning escaped slaves because they knew where to look for them. It was all about making a lot of money. 

Tom Correa

Wednesday, April 6, 2022

1895 -- 8th Grade Final Exam & Answers -- Subject Grammar

A Completed 8th Grade Final Exam 
Salina, Kansas, 1895

Here is a completed 8th Grade Final Exam -- Subject: Grammar

1. Give nine rules for the use of Capital Letters. 
  1. Capitalize the first word in a sentence. 
  2. Capitalize the pronoun I and the interjection O
  3. Capitalize the first word in a quotation. 
  4. Capitalize the first word in a direct question falling within a sentence. 
  5. Capitalize all nouns referring to the deity and to the Bible and other sacred books. 
  6. Use a capital letter for President and Presidency when these refer to the office of President of the United States. 
  7. Use a capital letter for official titles before the names of officials. 
  8. Capitalize proper nouns and adjectives formed from proper nouns. 
  9. Capitalize every word, except conjunctions, articles, and short prepositions in the titles of works of literature, music, art, books, etc. The first word of a title is always capitalized. 
2. Name the Parts of Speech and define those that have no modifications. 
  1. Noun 
  2. Verb 
  3. Adjective 
  4. Adverb 
  5. Pronoun 
  6. Preposition 
  7. Conjunction 
  8. Interjection 
  9. Article Articles, interjections, conjunctions, and prepositions have no modifications. 
3. Define Verse, Stanza, and Paragraph. 
  1. Verse - A sequence of words arranged metrically according to some system of design; a single line of poetry. 
  2. Stanza - A group of lines of verse forming one of the divisions of a poem or song. It is typically made of four or more lines of verse and typically has a regular pattern in the number of lines and the arrangement of meter and rhyme. 
  3. Paragraph - A distinct section or subdivision of a chapter, letter, etc. usually dealing with a particular point. It is begun on a new line, often indented. 
4. What are the Principal Parts of a verb? Give Principal Parts of do, lie, lay and run. 

For verb forms regarded as regular and not normally indicated include: 
  1. Present tenses formed by adding -s to the infinitive (or -es after o, s, x, z, ch, and sh) as waits, searches; 
  2. Past tenses and past participles formed by simply adding -ed to the infinitive with no other changes in the verb form, as waited, searched; 
  3. Present participles formed by simply adding -ing to the infinitive with no other changes in the verb form, as waiting, searching; 
Principal Parts - do, does, did, doing; lie, lies, lied, lying; lay, lays, laid, laying; run, runs, ran, running. 
These are all irregular verbs. 

5. Define Case, Illustrate each Case. 
  1. a.) In English syntax the term "case" refers to the subjective (or nominative), objective, and possessive forms of pronouns and the possessive form of nouns. 
  2. I is the subjective (or nominative) case of the personal pronoun, me is the objective case, and my or mine are the possessive case. 
  3. Example: Mary's is the possessive case of Mary showing ownership by Mary herself. 
6. What is Punctuation? Give rules for principal marks of Punctuation. 
  1. Punctuation - the act, practice or system of using standardized marks in writing and printing in separate sentences or sentence elements, or to make the meaning clearer. 
  2. The Period [.] - use a period at the end of declarative sentences, indirect questions and most imperative sentences, after most abbreviations. Do no use a period at the end of a title of a book, article, poem, etc.; In a typed manuscript, abbreviations and the initials of names do not have spacing after the periods, i.e., U.S.A., T.S.Eliot, e.g. 
  3. The Question Mark [?] - use a question mark at the end of a direct question, after each query in a series if you wish to emphasize each element. Use a question mark enclosed in parentheses to express doubt about a word, fact or number. Do not use a question mark at the end of an indirect question. 
  4. The Exclamation Mark [!} - use the exclamation mark after a particularly forceful interjection or imperative sentence. 
  5. The Semicolon [;] - Use a semicolon between two independent clauses when they are not joined by a coordinating conjunction; to separate clauses joined only by conjunctive adverbs. 
  6. The Colon [:] - Use a colon before a long formal quotation, formal statement, or a list of items. Use a colon after a main clause when the succeeding clause or clauses explain the first clause. 
  7. The Dash [-] - Use a dash to indicate an abrupt break in the structure of the sentence or an unfinished statement. Use a dash to set off a summary or a long appositive. 
  8. Parentheses [()] - Use parentheses to enclose material that is explanatory, supplementary, or exemplifying. Use parentheses to enclose cross-references. 
  9. Quotation Marks [" "] - Use quotation marks to enclose all direct quotations. Use single quotation marks [' '] to enclose a quotation within another quotation. Use quotation marks to enclose words spoken of as words, words used in special senses, or words emphasized. 
  10. The Apostrophe ['] - Use the apostrophe to indicate the possessive case of the noun or pronoun. Use the apostrophe to indicate the omission of letters or figures. Use the apostrophe to indicate the plurals of figures, letters, and words referred to as such, i.e., Watch your p's and q's. There are too many "and's" in your sentence. 
  11. The Hyphen [-] - Use the hyphen to divide a word at the end of a line. Use a hyphen between parts of a compound modifier preceding a noun. 
7-10. Write a composition of about 150 words and show therein that you understand the practical use of the rules of grammar. 

Language can be thought of as articulate mind, as the means of becoming human, as the record of wit at play, as the right hand of thought, or as a great reservoir of symbol, but as a working tool it results from the use mankind has made of it. 

Literally, no one can discover how a language is being employed, since language is always changing, and the shifts and appearances only become apparent later. Practically, however, we have devices for discovering what a language has been, what it is now, and even what it is becoming. 

Not always has man improved his language. As more widespread communication between peoples comes to pass, most languages are losing their "purity", becoming a polyglot of the many. This is not all bad. Each people and language have something to give, something to share, and something to take, to enrich the lives of all mankind.

--- end of 1895 8th Grade Final Exam and Answers in Grammar.

Time to take this exam: 1 hour

Editor's Note:

First, after reading these questions and answers, I realized how much was expected of children in the past. Second, while I've been able to determine that the test is real and from 1895, I have not been able to find out who wrote these answers. And yes, my friends, I had to look them up to make sure they are correct -- and they are. 

As for the questions that we all must have regarding how well we would do taking this 1895 8th Grade Final Exam? Well, I would have failed. And do I think a 4-year college student today can pass this exam? Or do I think teachers today would pass this exam? Frankly, I don't know if they would be able to pass this test.

The reason that many would fail this test today has to do with our focus in regards to priorities in education today versus years ago. We used to say the basics were vital. Today, the notion of what constitutes "the basics" has changed. It's doesn't seem as though reading, writing, and arithmetic are the focus. Instead, the focus today has to do more with what the government believes children should be taught in the way of social changes.  

Lastly, I have to wonder why 8th Grade children in 1895 were able to pass this test versus 8th Graders today? Have we allowed things to change for the worst? Is it because the government had no input in the education system in 1895 versus their control over what children are learning today?

Just some things to think about. 

More to come! 

Tom Correa

Friday, April 1, 2022

The Day Wyatt Earp Was Knocked Out With Single Punch

San Francisco Call, Volume 87, Number 161, 30 April 1900


Wyatt Earp Floored by a Single Blow From Tom Mulqueen.

Engaged in a Saloon Row Over the Recent Turf Scandal and the Gambler Gets the Worst of It. 

Wyatt Earp, gunfighter and all-around bad-man, was knocked down and out late Saturday night by Tom Mulqueen, the well-known racehorse man. 

The trouble occurred in a Market street resort, near Stockton street, and was precipitated by Earp. Both men had been drinking at the bar, when Earp brought up the subject of the recent scandal at the Tanforan track. He made several disparaging remarks about a jockey who is on very friendly terms with Mulqueen. 

When called down he became belligerently indignant and threatened to wipe the floor with the horse owner. Instantly Mulqueen grabbed him and after throwing him against the bar landed a blow on the gunfighter's face, knocking him out. 

John Farley, the proprietor of the saloon, fearing serious trouble between the two men, managed to induce Mulqueen to leave the place. Earp, after recovering from the effects of the blow, was also led from the saloon and placed aboard a passing streetcar. Earp was not armed at the time, having left his trusted "gun" with a friend shortly before the occurrence. 

Mulqueen was around as usual yesterday but refused to discuss the affair. He gained considerable notoriety several years ago by calling down Bob Fitzsiminons, the prize-fighter. They were in a saloon drinking, when the ex-champion referred to Jim Corbett as a looking-glass fighter. Mulqueen promptly resented the remark and threatened to break Fitzsimmnns' head if he repeated it. 

Fitzsimmons, scenting trouble, left the place, not caring to mix it with the plucky horseman. Earp first came into prominence in this city when he officiated as referee in the fight between Fitzsimmons and Sharkey several years ago and gave the decision to the sailor on an alleged foul after he had been knocked out, a decision that created general dissatisfaction.

--- end of the article as published in the San Francisco Call, Volume 87, Number 161, 30 April 1900.

San Francisco Call, Volume 87, Number 161, 30 April 1900

This incident above is not spoken of too often by Wyatt Earp historians who make all sorts of excuses for Earp's shady character. Besides their claims of him being the bravest of the brave, fearless, bold, unafraid at the 30-second gunfight that he's famous for today, his fans claim he was as honest, a champion pugilist, a fist-fighter who never lost, and contend that Earp never drank -- and was never known to be drunk. But that Hollywood myth doesn't hold water when looking at a couple of well-known incidents when he was drinking, was noted to be obnoxious, and paid the price for it.

The above incident where he got his clock cleaned by a single punch from a racehorse owner made the newspapers because he was, just a few years earlier, found to have been part of a plan to fix the Fitzsimmons versus Sharkey Heavyweight Championship boxing match. Wyatt Earp was the referee who awarded the fight to Sharkey after Fitzsimmons knocked Sharkey to the mat.

Earp ruled that Fitzsimmons hit Sharkey below the belt, but no one witnessed the supposed foul. The fans at the December 2, 1896 fight in San Francisco booed Earp and some called for a rope, especially since Earp made the call and then skedaddled out of the ring and out an exit before anyone knew that he ran off. It was Wyatt Earp's involvement in the match between Bob Fitzsimmons and Tom Sharkey, and the investigation afterward, that made Earp infamous from coast to coast. It was after that that he was seen as a notorious individual who was anything but honest.

Of course, a couple of years before he was involved with fixing a fight or when Earp was knocked out by Tom Mulqueen, there was an incident that embarrassed him. That took place one day when he was drinking heavily in a saloon in Alaska. Witnesses say Earp was bragging about how he was a bad hombre in Arizona. He is said to have drawn a pistol with some speed, and said, "That's how it's done down Arizona way!"

Nearby was U.S. Marshal Albert Lowe. He stepped in, slapped Earp, and disarmed him. Then, according to witnesses, Marshal Lowe supposedly told Earp, "That's how we do it in Alaska!"

According to one eyewitness, "U.S. Marshal Albert Lowe took his (Earp's) gun away, slapped his face, and told him to go home and go to bed or he would run him in."

Another eyewitness said, "Wyatt got a drink or two too much and got the idea he was a bad man from Arizona and was going to pull some rough stuff when U.S. Marshal Albert Lowe slapped his face and took his gun away from him."

U.S. Marshal Albert Lowe told Earp that he was checking his pistol in at his office and could pick it up in the morning. Wyatt Earp was in Alaska off-and-on for four years. He did not stay during the rough winter months, instead always traveled south to California for the winter -- where he worked on his autobiography.

As I've said before, after years of reading about Wyatt Earp, I really believe that he was a lot like a lot of those who self-promoted themselves as being badest of the bad. Wyatt Earp had been mostly a saloon-keeper, a bartender, a gambler, an opportunist, and yes a confidence-man. Remember that he was arrested in 1911 for running a crooked faro game to bilk money from an unsuspected sucker. The Los Angeles police did their job even though they knew he was a notorious badman with a reputation as a killer who was charged but never tried for the murder of Frank Stilwell.

His time as a peace officer was relatively short, sporadic, and interrupted with firings over dishonorable conduct such as not turning in taxes and fines collected, fighting with superiors, hiding behind his badge to skirt the law. And yes, using his badge to commit murder when he felt the courts wouldn't side with him as they usually did.

But let's not get the facts in the way of the legend. After all, as I've said before, there are people out there who want the legend to survive even when the facts disprove what many are still today being made to believe. There are books to be sold. And thus, there are some folks who have a vested interest in perpetuating the legend and promoting the lies, no matter what the truth about him really is.

Tom Correa

Saturday, March 26, 2022

West Texas Wildfire Relief Fund Needs Our Help

Story by Julie Tomascik
Editor/ Texas Farm Bureau

Wildfires have swept across Central and West Texas this month, burning over 86,000 acres. Some of those fires are still not fully contained. The damage from the burning fires sparked Gov. Greg Abbott to issue a disaster declaration for 15 counties. Those counties include Brooks, Brown, Coleman, Comanche, Eastland, Grayson, Mason, Potter, Randall, Williamson, Blanco, Erath, Hood, Runnels and Starr.

In an effort to help farmers and ranchers impacted, Texas Farm Bureau (TFB) established the West Texas Wildfire Relief Fund.

“Although we don’t know the full extent of the damage caused by the fires, we do know the losses will be staggering,” TFB President Russell Boening said. “Farm Bureau members have always stepped up to help their neighbors in need, and this wildfire relief fund will collect tax-deductible donations to meet the needs in affected areas.”

The program will collect and distribute monetary contributions only. TFB will match 50% of any donation to the West Texas Wildfire Relief Fund made by a county Farm Bureau up to $2,000. Other efforts are ongoing by various organizations to collect donations of hay, feed, and fencing supplies for those impacted by the fires.

Burning Situation

Fueled by dry, windy conditions, the fires swept across Texas in March. The Eastland Complex wildfires consisted of seven fires and spanned more than 54,000 acres. It was considered a Southern Plains Wildfire Outbreak (SPWO) and began on March 17. This event supported the rapid growth and extreme fire behavior in Eastland County.

SPWO events, according to the Texas A&M Forest Service, have caused some of the most destructive wildfires in Texas history. While SPWO fires account for 3% of reported wildfires, Texas A&M Forest Service officials noted they account for 49% of the acres burned.

SPWO events are extremely dangerous fire weather phenomenon characterized by an environment of dry vegetation, dry west-southwest winds across an area with low relative humidity, above-average surface temperatures, an unstable atmosphere, and clear, sunny skies. 

Another SPWO fire was the Perryton fire located in the Texas Panhandle in 2017 that burned 318,156 acres. Fires also burned in West Texas, devouring acres of pastureland and farmland, as well as livestock, homes, barns, and equipment.

Farmers and ranchers sprang into action — moving cattle, packing up families, and building fire breaks. They worked alongside state agencies to try to contain the fires.

“During this tragedy, we saw neighbors helping neighbors, lending trailers to haul livestock and housing livestock, horses and pets,” Boening said. “Texas is doing what Texas does best—helping one another, and Farm Bureau is doing its part, too.”

Some rain has since fallen, helping the charred countryside begin to heal. But it will take time, rain, and more help from Mother Nature, but Texas farmers and ranchers will rise from the ashes.

How To Donate

Credit card donations may be made via PayPal on the TFB website at

Checks may be made out to: 
Texas Farm Bureau Agriculture Research and Education Foundation 

and mailed to: 
West Texas Wildfire Relief Fund, 
P.O. Box 2689, 
Waco, Texas 76702-2689. 
Attention: Chris Daughtery 

Please include this information on donation envelopes.
The charitable donations are tax-deductible.

How To Apply

Farmers and ranchers with unreimbursed agricultural losses are encouraged to apply. The application form is available on the West Texas Wildfire Relief Fund webpage.

Applications are due May 31.

Wildfire Updates

For more information on the relief fund and the latest update on supplies needed, visit the West Texas Wildfire Relief Fund webpage.

To view the Texas A&M Forest Service statewide active fire response map, navigate to

Note From The American Cowboy Chronicles

To my dear readers, my friends, 

It is not every day that I ask for your help in an emergency. So please understand that the wildfires which swept across Central and West Texas in March have burned over 86,000 acres and are still not out. This has hurt all Americans. No, no just the good folks in Texas. 

I remember being evacuated and not knowing if my home was still there during the 2015 Butte Fire. I remember thinking about what would happen, where would I start to pick up the pieces. I thank God every day that my home, my property, my family were spared. We did not have to go through the horrible task of rebuilding. That's not the case in Texas right now. Sadly, many have lost everything and now need our help.

So yes, this is your chance to do so. If you are looking for ways to help farmers and ranchers devastated by the wildfires, the Texas Farm Bureau Agriculture Research and Education Foundation established the West Texas Wildfire Relief Fund to facilitate getting financial assistance to those in need.

And remember, help is there for farmers and ranchers who have been hit hard by this. If you are a farmer or rancher affected by the wildfires and need help covering unreimbursed agricultural-related losses, please contact the Texas Farm Bureau’s West Texas Wildfire Relief Fund for help.

Download the application to help cover unreimbursed agricultural losses. Return completed applications to your county office or the address below by May 31.

Texas Farm Bureau Agriculture Research and Education Foundation
West Texas Wildfire Relief Committee
P.O. Box 2689
Waco, TX 76702-2689
Attn: Chris Daughtery

Get the application here!

The link above should take you to a PDF Application that looks like below:

I hope the above example helps. Of course, you can make a tax-deductible donation today. 

Texas Farm Bureau’s Agriculture Research and Education Foundation is accepting tax-deductible donations to aid in the relief effort following the devastation from the wildfires in Central and West Texas. This fund will collect and distribute monetary contributions only.

Do not hesitate to contact Chris Daughtery at with monetary donation questions.

Allow me to go over this information again. If you prefer to pay by check, it should be made out and sent to:

Texas Farm Bureau Agriculture Research and Education Foundation
West Texas Wildfire Relief Fund
P.O. Box 2689
Waco, TX 76702-2689
Attn: Chris Daughtery

If you live in the area and want to help with hay, feed, and fencing supplies. Those are needed and are appreciated. Hay, feed, and fencing supplies can be dropped off at the address below from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.:

Gorman Milling Co., Inc.
Fiber Plant 1200 E Townsend
Gorman, TX 76454
Contact: Luke Fritts,
Phone 254-485-9193

Texas A&M AgriLife Extension
Contact: 979-314-8200

The relief fund is accepting monetary donations only. So please, make your tax-deductible donation at

I'm donating what I can along with sending my prayers to our fellow Americans who are in trouble. And yes, I know full well that these are tough times. And frankly, we all understand that we can only do what we can to help others. But really, big or small, any help that those folks can get is useful and grateful.

God bless you and yours for helping.

Thank you,
Tom Correa