Showing posts with label Civil War. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Civil War. Show all posts

Apr 13, 2013

The Booth Brothers

On April 14, 1865, just days after the end of the American Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln attended a play at Ford’s Theater in Washington, D.C. and was shot. He died the next day.

Before the assassination, John Wilkes Booth was well known as a stage actor. He was the son of a famous actor, Junius Brutus Booth, and two of his brothers, Edwin and Junius, Jr., were also actors. Edwin was more famous than John Wilkes, before the assassination.

Months before the assassination of Lincoln, Edwin Booth was on a train platform in New Jersey. A young man was waiting in line to buy a ticket. He was pushed up against the idle train car and as the train began to move, the lad fell into the gap between the platform and the train. Booth grabbed him by his coat collar and brought him safely back onto the platform.

The young man knew who Edwin Booth was, but it was a few months later that Edwin Booth learned that the young man, whose life he saved was Robert Lincoln, the oldest son of Abraham and Mary Todd Lincoln. History suggests that Edwin was comforted by his deed as he was a staunch supporter of the North.

Jun 12, 2012

What's in a Name, Moxie

This word takes its name from a soft drink, rather than the other way. The word is not used as much these days. It means 'the ability to face difficulty with spirit and courage'.

The soft drink was invented by Dr. Augustin Thompson, a Maine native and Civil War veteran who worked in Lowell, MA. He patented a nostrum called Moxie Nerve Food in 1876. He eventually reformulated his drink and shortened the name to Moxie, in 1884.

An aggressive marketing campaign helped the brand grow into one of the first mass-produced soft drinks in the United States. One early advertisement for the drink read, “It nourishes the nervous system, cools the blood, tones up the stomach, and causes healthful, restful sleep. The family who orders a case from their grocer feels better and happier; the man who buys it in town at the druggists by the glass can accomplish more work.”

Maine declared Moxie its state soft drink in 2005 and the beverage is celebrated with a festival in Lisbon Falls, ME, every year.

Nov 29, 2011

Honest Abe

As election seasons go on, many like to quote the great presidents from the past. Here is something about Abraham Lincoln. He delivered his Gettysburg Address on November 19 1863. The speech was considered so insignificant at the time that coverage was not even front page news.

A few months before, the fields outside Gettysburg, Pennsylvania had one of the bloodiest battles in the Civil War between the states. The Union forces held their positions against Confederate advances. The Confederates, under Robert E. Lee, retreated to Virginia, ending their attempt to invade the North. The battle was the turning point of the war.

President Lincoln traveled to the site of the battle to designate it as a national cemetery. While on the train, he wrote his speech on a small piece of paper. It only took three minutes to deliver the entire speech, which is now considered one of the greatest speeches in American history.

“Four score and seven years ago, our fathers brought forth upon this continent a new nation: conceived in liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

Now we are engaged in a great civil war - testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated - can long endure. We are met on a great battlefield of that war.
We have come to dedicate a portion of that field as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that this nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this. But, in a larger sense, we cannot dedicate - we cannot consecrate - we cannot hallow this ground.

The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember, what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.

It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us - that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion - that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain - that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom - and that government of the people - by the people - for the people - shall not perish from this earth.”

Jul 1, 2011


It happened on this day in 1862. It started with the the high cost of the the US at war with itself. To help pay for the Civil War, Congress established the Bureau of Internal Revenue. President Abraham Lincoln signed the bill into law, for the  feds to collect a three percent tax on incomes ranging from $600 to $10,000, and five percent on incomes over $10,000. It was passed as a temporary law.

The Bureau became the Internal Revenue Service in 1913 when the 16th amendment was added to the Constitution permitting the Government to collect a tax on income. How ironic that a few days before we celebrate our independence, they took away our independence from taxes.