Friday, August 28, 2009

Upcoming Contest on

Starting Monday 8/31, will be running a trivia contest on their website.

I've been told it won't be that tough, and they'll actually give you the answers before they ask the questions.

So what's the incentive? CASH and PRIZES!

There will be a prize given away each day, including a grand prize of a $50 gift card to Amazon for one lucky participant!

The rules are simple, it's free to participate, and you can find more details here:

The winner for the day will then be chosen at random from the correct answers and will be announced the following morning. Prizes include the books State by State: A Panoramic Portrait of America, and How the States Got Their Shapes, and a few others.

The blog is pretty cool too... so check it out.


Saturday, August 22, 2009

100 Twitter Feeds That Teach You History

Some people don't understand Twitter. Part of that problem comes with its original intent. But what Twitter has become is so much more. Twitter is a great place to find information... just choose a few good people to follow and suddenly you're inundated with more cool links than you can handle.

Here are some Twitter feeds that offer all sorts of historical facts ranging from American history to European and everything in between. Labeled, the 100 Twitter Feeds that Teach You History.

This blogs feed was included.... now check out the other 99.

And if you haven't already, sign up for my feed... - I post information about cool websites and articles that are appropriate for my audience.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Links to History: World War II Comic Books

I receive great information via email and love to that information with you...

This one comes from the editor of America in WWII magazine... and it reads:

"While preparing the current issue of AMERICA IN WWII magazine (available at Barnes & Noble, Borders), we found two gutsy, fun, high-quality World War II comic books produced by, believe it or not, the US government!

America was desperate for high-octane warplane fuel early in World War II. But sagging morale slowed refinery construction. The US government's Petroleum Administration for War (PAW) searched for a solution and decided the answer was...comic books! PAW published two comic books for petroleum refinery construction workers in 1943.

We ran a photo essay on the comic books in our current issue. But the comic books are so cool that we decided to post both of them in their entirety on our website,, as downloadable PDFs.

Here are the urls for the comic books: and

Both comic books are in the public domain. The copies we scanned are housed in the National Archives II in College Park, Maryland.

Please feel free to share the links and pass the comics around. Who knows, they may just raise morale nationwide!"

There... I just did.


Saturday, August 15, 2009

What would Teddy Roosevelt think about Michael Vick?

Many of you may know I live and breathe Philadelphia. I was born and raised in the outskirts of this town and I'm proud to now live within it's boundaries. With that, comes a love for the Philadelphia Eagles.

For the record, I support the franchise and it's signing of Michael Vick. Many outsiders probably don't understand head coach Andy Reid and the problems his two oldest sons have had with drugs and run-ins with the law. To make a long story short, they've made some terrible decisions, and they've been given a second chance. Michael Vick deserves that chance too.

And as it turns out, the day after the Eagles' shocked the world by signing Michael Vick, was a day I was able to look into the past and find out what Teddy Roosevelt might think about what Michael Vick did. Douglas Brinkley's book The Wilderness Warrior, gives us a glimpse of Roosevelt's views on animal cruelty.

Roosevelt, an avid hunter, had no problem defending his seemingly hypocritical beliefs. It would be a difficult task to find someone who loves hunting - and eating game - more than Roosevelt. His defense? Darwinism. Stay with me here... In the wild, the death of the hunted was very violent, where prey were often torn to pieces by their predators. Hunting, if done correctly, was a more human way of killing the animal. Roosevelt insisted that hunters follow an ethical code to make it a true gentleman sport. He didn't like traps or abusive treatment of wild or domestic animals. Even cattle and lambs brought to slaughter should be handled with dignity. The Roosevelt family, firmly believed that animal shelters and sterilization methods needed to be established in major cities. So I think we can conclude that Roosevelt would not have approved of dog fighting.

As a child a horse being flogged or a dog being kicked made Roosevelt sick.
President Roosevelt believed that all animals could feel pain, and therefore deliberate infliction of pain had to be stopped. Roosevelt also believed that some animals had emotions and thought similar to humans. To quote him...

"I believe that the higher mammals and birds have reasoning powers, which differ in degree rather than kind from the lower reasoning powers of, for instance, the lower savages."

Roosevelt's grandfather, Cornelius V.S. Roosevelt and his grand-uncle John J. Roosevelt both played integral parts in the establishment and incorporation of the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).


Saturday, August 08, 2009

Theodore Roosevelt: The Wilderness Warrior - A Man Before His Time

What's amazing about the quote below, is not the eloquence of the statement, but the idea behind it. A man before his time, often criticized for his desire to preserve land, Theodore Roosevelt's quotes are even more special today. Our new found desire for greenness, and the reality of environmental awareness as a true virtue and the destruction of it as a true problem, make Teddy's words that much more important.

Used as in introduction to the The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America - it's a quote that really sets the scene for what appears to be a great book - a book I can't wait to continue reading...

"Defenders of the short-sighted men who in their greed and selfishness will, if permitted, rob our country of half its charm by their reckless extermination of all useful and beautiful wild things sometimes seek to champion them by saying the 'the game belongs to the people.' So it does; and not merely to the people now alive, but to the unborn people. The 'greatest good for the greatest number' applies to the number within the womb of time, compared to which those now alive form but an insignificant fraction. Our duty to the whole, including the unborn generations, bids us restrain an unprincipled present-day minority from wasting the heritage of these unborn generations. The movement for the conservation of wild life and the larger movement for the conservation of all our natural resources are essentially democratic in spirit, purpose, and method."
- Theodore Roosevelt, A Book-Lover's Holidays in the Open (1916)

The picture here shows Roosevelt hiking Yosemite with Sierra Club founder John Muir. Roosevelt should be commended for setting aside so much land. The land TR saved for the National Forests was greater than France, Belgium and Holland combined.

Roosevelt is a gem, and we are very lucky that he took the initiative to make conservation a national endeavor.

A book I'm reviewing now focuses on exactly this...

Roosevelt's role as the "naturalist president". The book, entitled The Wilderness Warrior: Theodore Roosevelt and the Crusade for America, pulls from never-before-published material to paint a picture of Roosevelt, that not only evokes masculinity, but a sense of both concern and pride for the nature and beauty of the United States. In the little bit I've read thus far, Roosevelt uses his network of naturalists, mountaineers, hunters, ornithologists, museum experts and the elite to save the country he loves and leave a legacy for which we should be forever grateful.

I'm enjoying this book so much - you'll probably see several blog entries from me concerning this book... great research, great read.

Click here to check out the book and read some reviews.

More Roosevelt Quotes:

John Muir Quotes:


Thursday, August 06, 2009

How to... embed a link into the comment field

First and foremost, thanks to all of those who chimed into the roll call. It's always good to get a sense of who's reading this thing and to find out how I can improve.

I gave you guys the opportunity to promote your blogs and websites - and many of you took advantage of that. However, I noticed that a lot of you with blogs and websites, didn't take the time, or maybe don't know how to actually link to your site.

So I took the time to show you how...

I used a cool tool called Jing to record my computer movements and show you how... Check it out below. The video is embedded, but it's much easier to see if you click the link below the video.

Click this link to see it full screen:


Sunday, August 02, 2009

Roll Call: Who's Reading this blog?

Because of my curiosity and my desire to continuously improve this blog and the sites that accompany it, I'm gathering information. Another call to arms so to speak.

Once again, I'd like my readers to check in - and tell me a little about themselves. When I first did this, about a year ago, I had about 50 RSS subscribers/readers. I now have over 200. I also have close to 30 blog followers and a dozen email subscribers. Thank you all for wanting to receive my information, it's a pleasure providing it.

What I'd like is for some of you to chime in and give all of our readers a quick note about yourself. As a guideline, maybe you can answer the following questions.

- age, occupation - or you can be anonymous
- how you heard about/stumbled upon USHistoryBlog
- what part of history is your favorite
- which features you like about this blog - what else you'd like to see
- and if you have a blog/site of your own, feel free to plug it... this is a community

Thanks in advance for your time. And thank you for reading...