April 13th National Peach Cobbler Day

There use to be a favorite dessert made in the 1800’s called suet pudding. It was made from a number of different fruits and other ingredients that were not available to the settlers moving west in America. So, using what they could find they took peaches and mixed in dough and cooked it to replace the suet pudding they were use to. The peach cobbler was born. In fact, you can use practically any fruit and make a cobbler but then the Georgia Peach Council who created today back in the 1950’s would be as happy. And neither would a lot of people who love peaches, served warm and sweet with dough mixed in it and better still, a scoop of vanilla ice cream! It has become one of America’s favorite desserts and has made scores of people happy when served to them.

How to celebrate – Have some peach cobbler. Visit Georgia, where peaches are readily available. Create your own version of a peach cobbler.

July 28th National Day of the Cowboy

Yee-haw, today is the National Day of the Cowboy! It’s created by the National Day of the Cowboy group in 2005. Who doesn’t like a cowboy? Rough, rugged and always polite.  It’s a really hard job but someone’s got to do it.

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Cowboys do live by a code. They are to be honest and have courage, Take pride in what they do, be curious about life, finish what one starts, keep any promise made, be tough but fair, maintain clean thoughts and deeds, always be tolerant, be a steward of the land and animals and stand up for what you believe in.

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And, of course, the unspoken rule made by the ladies… be a beef-cake. For most cowboys this isn’t too hard because the work they do makes them stay fit. They may not always be real clean and smell good, but looking good is half the battle!

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Cowboys have always been around, in one form or another. There job was to bring the animals in their charge to where they are needed. Along the line they had weather, other animals and people they had to protect the herd from. With many learning the art of horseback riding during the Civil War, they went west to ply their trade, settling a wild land as they did.

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So go ahead, and make their day by celebrating their heritage with them. They have never been perfect, but they never tried to be. They just did the best they could with what they had.

How to celebrate – Live by the code of the cowboy. Read about the cowboy.  Take a vacation, living the life of a cowboy.

June 8th National Name Your Poison Day

Name Your Poison Day June 8th, 2018

National Name Your Poison Day

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Name your poison has long been referred to from old pirate or old west days in historical legend. It is a bartenders way of asking what sort of drink do you want, since alcohol was considered poison. However, the truth of name your poison actually falls on making choices.

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In many cases, no matter which choice you make you might end up losing. So the idea of choosing your poison means, since neither choice is a good one, which way will you go.

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It falls right in with choosing between a rock and a hard place or choosing to teach by tough love.

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How to celebrate – Go to a bar and “Name your poison”. Take the day to make some of tough decisions you have been waiting to make. Dress up like an old west pirate.

February 25th Pistol Patent Day

 

Pistol Patent Day

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Feb 25th falls on the day the patent for Samuel Colts revolver (patent #138) was awarded in 1836 in the US. Ironically it was awarded in Europe first in 1835. The pistol has proven itself to be a good and bad invention for the world.

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It helped win the West and saved many during war, but it also has become a weapon of choice by robbers, thieves, and thugs. Remember it is not the gun that kills, it is the person behind the gun that pulls the trigger.

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How to celebrate – Study the evolution of handguns. Take the day to clean any pistol you may own. Make sure you have properly locked up any pistol you may own.

July28th Buffalo Soldiers Day

One of the most famed cavalry units of the old west was the 10th US Cavalry, an African-American Regiment formed on September 21, 1866.

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The term “Buffalo Soldiers” was given to the 10th Cavalry by the Native Americans. Though we don’t know the exact reason for the name, there are a couple of tales on how they received the moniker.

The first story tells of a private named John Randall coining the term. He was sent out to protect 2 hunters who quickly came under attack by 70 Cheyenne Warriors. The 2 hunters fell quickly but Randall continued to fight, armed with only a pistol and 17 rounds of ammunition. He was rescued when troops from a nearby fort found him with 1 gunshot wound and 11 lance wounds. Private Randall survived and was described by Native Americans on the scene as fighting like a trapped buffalo.

The next story tells of a Colonel laying claim to the name – Benjamin Grierson, a hero in the Civil War who was one of the commanders of the 10th. He clams the term was given to his troops by Apache Warriors in 1871.

It is also noted, that while the term “Buffalo Soldier” originally referred to the 10th Cavalry, it eventually was a term used to encompassed several Regiments during 1866, the 9th US Cavalry, the 24th and 25th US Infantries.

However the name came about, by 1877 “Buffalo Soldier” was firmly ingrained into the Native American language.

They honored the soldiers for fighting so well.

The job of the 10th Cavalry was to protect the settlers moving west, the mail lines, train lines, and to break up gangs of outlaws and raiders, including Mexicans who threatened the US territories.  When war broke out with Spain in Cuba, they were among the first to be sent to fight and continued to serve in the Philippine-American War in 1899. They served in the Mexico Expedition in 1916 and in the First World War in 1918.

They fought the last Native American uprising in Arizona at the Battle of Bear Valley in 1918 and served as peacekeepers during the Johnson County War in Wyoming.  They were among the first forest rangers to serve the US, Smokey Bear actually being patterned after the World War 1 Buffalo Soldiers.

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Originally the “Buffalo Soldiers” were led by white officers. As time passed, they were also led by black officers, including the first African-American to graduate West Point, Henry O. Flipper.

In the 40’s and 50’s, the US Army decided to integrate black and white units. This did not mean everything was equal but it was a start.

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July 28th, was established as a day to honor the Buffalo Soldier by the US Congress in 1992. A monument was built to commemorate their service to this country and stands in Ft.Leavenworth, Kansas, dedicated by Colin Powell.

These men were true heroes in every sense of the word. The last of their unit, Mark Matthews, lived to be 111 year old, dying in 2005 and being buried in Arlington Cemetery.

How to celebrate – Read about the “Buffalo Soldiers” and their accomplishments. Visit their monument at Ft. Leavenworth. Study the service of the African-Americans in defense of America.

July 23rd National Day of the Cowboy

When the American Civil War came to and end the west opened up to all sorts of people. Many were settlers, some miners, many just looking to start life over again. A lot of men, and women, came west with some unusual skills. Some of them joining the cavalry during the Civil War, learning how to ride hard and long, a skill the Old West could use.

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Texas was overflowing with cattle and the northern states were craving beef. The problem was getting the cattle to the people who wanted to eat. Thus, the cowboy was born. Vaqueros had long been in use in Mexico, driving cattle to the markets since 1519, but there had never been a particular need in the US until after the war. So many of those unable to find work in the east moved west and proceeded to drive over 5 million cattle north.

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A cowboy’s life was hard work, starting before sun up,  and more often than not stopping only after the sun had set. Food was bad, the weather brutal, and at times it was the loneliest job in the world. Constantly in the saddle with no real place to call home, a cowboy’s imagination could run wild.

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Many grew tired of the trail and decided to look for a better way to make a living.  Since the army had taught them how to move fast and shoot, it seems only natural that they often turned to lawlessness. The cowboy, turned outlaw, would roam the west spending what they had stolen on wine, women, and song. If they lived long enough, without getting caught, most would look for a home to settle in. At that point, what better job was there for a cowboy turned outlaw but that of the local town sheriff or marshal. After all, they new what the outlaw would do since they had done it themselves, and they knew the cowboys that would turn to the outlaw life since they had done that themselves as well.

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Oh and I mentioned women. Well, many outfits hired women to drive their herds north. In many ways they were more reliable and honest. Since most of them had been abandoned by the men in their lives they had to learn a trade of their own. If they could ride a horse, throw a rope and read a map, they were qualified. Shooting and fighting wasn’t all that important on cattle drives. Native Americans normally did not bother the cowgirls and their war had turned further northwest.

The 4th Saturday in July was designated the National Day of the Cowboy by the National Day of the Cowboy Organization. It was begun in 2005 and is celebrated in 11 states currently.

How to celebrate – Dress up like a cowboy and ride around the neighborhood on your bike rounding up cats. Watch an old cowboy movie. Serve beans for dinner tonight.

April 3rd Pony Express Opened for Business

On April 3rd, 1860, the Pony Express opened for business delivering mail from St. Joseph, Missouri to Sacramento, California.  William H. Russell, William Bradford Waddell and Alexander Majors added a governmental contract to their freight and Drayage business to deliver mail in 10 days or less, 1,800 miles in all.  Their route would take them through Missouri, Kansas, Nebraska, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah and Nevada ending up at California before starting the return trip.

The company started with 120 riders, 184 stations and 400 horses.  Each rider would make a run of 75-100 miles, each horse 10 to 15 miles.  Riders were paid $25.00 a week, the horses got all the food and water they could eat and drink.  The biggest celebrity to work for the Pony Express was “Buffalo Bill” Cody.

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The fastest trip on record was the deliver of President Lincoln’s inaugural address which made the trip in 8 days.  $5.00 a half-ounce was charged for mail delivered.  Each rider carried 20 pounds of mail, a water sack, a Bible, a horn to tell of the riders approach and a revolver.

Each rider was forced to sign an oath for their pay, $25.00 a week was pretty good pay back then considering the average pay was between 43 cents and $1.00 a day in 1860.  Here is the oath, “I (name) do hereby swear, before the Great and Living God, that during my engagement, and while I am an employee of Russell, Majors and Waddell, I will, under no circumstances, use profane language, that I will drink no intoxicating liquors, that I will not quarrel or fight with any other employee of the firm, and that in every respect I will conduct myself honestly, be faithful to my duties, and so direct all my acts as to win the confidence of my employers, so help me God.”

We have to wonder how many of these rules were forgotten when a rider was on the plains, in the rain and being chased by Indians. They didn’t have long to deal with their oath though as the Pony Express went out of business in October of 1861 when the 1st transcontinental telegraph went into use.