AMERICAN PATRIOT AUGUST 18, 2010
SUMMER FUN AT THE
IOWA STATE FAIR VERNON BAKER’S LONG OVERDUE MEDAL THE WEST’S BEST
FULLSCREEN CLICK ABOVE
AMERICAN PATRIOT SUMMER FUN AT THE
IOWA STATE FAIR
6 VERNON BAKER’S LONG OVERDUE MEDAL
8 HISTORY IS KIND TO
THE EGG-CELLENT SUCCESS OF
GREEN EGGS AND HAM
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THE WESTâ€™S BEST
14 QUOTE OF THE WEEK
15 THIS WEEK IN AMERICAN HISTORY
SUMMER FUN AT THE
IOWA STATE FAIR 4 AMERICAN PATRIOT
“Summer’s Not Over ‘til the Pig Gets A Ribbon” When USA Weekend named the Iowa State Fair the #2 choice for summer fun in America, locals were unsurprised; topping Disneyland and Times Square, this ranking reinforced what all Iowans already knew. Founded in 1854, the Iowa State Fair now attracts over one million visitors annually from all over the globe. Iowa’s State Fair is the largest event to take place in the entire state of Iowa. The fair showcases Iowa’s best in entertainment, agriculture, and industry in true Hawkeye State style. The very first fair was held on a 6-acre tract of land in the little town of Fairfield; it cost only $323 to produce, and the main attraction was a small equestrian exhibit. Last year, the budget was $13.5 million. After several trials in different towns across Iowa, the fair settled in Des Moines in 1886. The grounds now cover a whopping 240 acres. In the early years the favorite activities included staged locomotive collisions, horse racing, and the 4-H baby beef shows. Originally the event ran on eight days, but with the increased interest it has now been extend to ten days. Before the days of “America’s Got Talent” was broadcasted on TV, the Bill Riley Iowa State Fair talent search was the best way to find young Midwestern talent. This is a preserved presence at the fair along with many other traditional attractions. One of the many draws of the fair is how true the event remained to its original days. This year the Iowa State Fair is up now and runs through August 22. Keith Urban, Colbie Caillat, and Pat Benatar are making appearances at the 2010 fair, just to name a few of the many celebrities. And of course the traditional entertainment will return to Iowa: a cow carved out of butter will be on display, the best grocery bag will be judged, and prize pigs and beef cattle will be shown and judged. Everyone loves the non-stop fun of the Iowa State Fair. CHECK OUT THE FAIR’S WEBSITE FOR VISITOR INFORMATION
VERNON BAKERâ€™S LONG OVERDUE MEDAL
A true American hero has fallen. Vernon Baker, the last living African American soldier to earn a Medal of Honor during World War II, died this summer at age 90. Family and friends mourned Bakerâ€™s passing with a touching memorial service near his home in St. Maries ID. Hundreds of people packed the church to pay their respects.
6 AMERICAN PATRIOT
to complete Officer Candidate School. He entered World War II as a second lieutenant. In 1944, Baker led a group of black soldiers into combat in Italy; the Army then was largely segregated. The mission was dangerous; to make their way through a maze of German bunkers and machine gun nests to capture the German stronghold of Castle Aghinolfi. It was later described as a “suicide mission.” Baker’s platoon came under heavy attack, but fought back valiantly. He personally killed several German soldiers and, dePresident Bill Clinton congratulating Medal of Honor recipient Vernon Baker in the East Room.
spite being wounded, led his injured men to safety. Baker then returned to the action and led a group of men through a minefield
Baker’s life was a lesson in determination.
and enemy fire to complete the mission.
Born in 1919 in Cheyenne WY, Vernon was orphaned at the age of 4 when his parents
For these actions, Baker earned a Medal of
were killed in a car accident. Their grand-
Honor, the highest military decoration. How-
parents raised him and his two older siblings.
ever, even the Medal did not come easily.
A poor family, Vernon’s grandfather taught
Baker did not receive it until 1993 when the
him how to hunt at an early age in order to
Army undertook a study which found that
provide food for the family.
black soldiers had not been fully honored for their service. Indeed, during WWII itself,
After his grandfather died in 1939, Baker
no black soldiers had received a Medal of
worked menial jobs until he decided to enlist
Honor. To help make things right, President
in the Army in 1941. At his first attempt to
Bill Clinton awarded the medal to seven
enlist, the army recruiter turned him away. A
African American World War II veterans. Baker
few weeks later he returned, and this time was
was the only recipient still living.
successful. Assigned to the infantry, Baker
CLICK HERE FOR A 1997 INTERVIEW WITH VERNON BAKER
trained at Camp Wolters TX and then went on
AMERICAN PATRIOT 7
The most dangerous animals in the forest donâ€™t live there.
ONLY YOU CAN PR E VE N T W I L D FIRE S. w w w. s m o k e y b e a r. c o m
HISTORY IS KIND TO
HARRY TRUMAN Perhaps our most unlikely President, Harry Truman faced an ebb and flow of public defeats and improbable victories throughout his life. A humble upbringing, failures in business, witness to the ravages of war and poverty gave him a near-perfect pedigree for a failed life. Instead, Truman excelled in the art of politics with a candor and plainspoken demeanor of a man with nothing to prove and nothing to lose. 8 AMERICAN PATRIOT
It is to the Truman Model that modern Presidents
was wary of celebrated generals. As McArthur’s and
aspire, and sometimes pander — a mix of rural
Truman’s views became increasingly conflicted,
wisdom and shrewdness, confidence of experience,
and as McArthur began to defy orders, Truman
stalwart decision making. The blunt, outspoken
sacked him. With trademark candor, Truman told
man from Missouri was no stranger to unpopular
Time: “I fired him [MacArthur] because he
yet principled decisions. Nearing the end of his
wouldn't respect the authority of the President . . .
first presidential term, Truman was set for a land-
I didn't fire him because he was a dumb son of a
slide loss to Thomas E. Dewey, and a revolt from
bitch, although he was, but that's not against the
southern Democrats. Party bosses wanted the
law for generals. If it was, half to three-quarters
President to placate so-called “dixiecrats” by
of them would be in jail.”
supporting the continuance of racial segregation as a legal doctrine. Committing apparent political
Truman also sought a judicious course through the
suicide, Truman signed Presidential Order 9981,
“Red Scare” of the forties and fifties. Though he
fully integrating the U.S. Armed Services. It was
supported measures such as investigating espi-
a matter of principle: he knew the sacrifice and
onage charges, he refused to give in to the grand-
bravery of minority soldiers. Facing the full force
standing of opportunistic politicians. Loyalty
of criticism by the media and his own party,
oaths, to Truman, seemed un-American. Public
American voters reelected Truman in the greatest
trials and blacklists, Truman believed, were meth-
upset in Presidential history.
ods of slander. Though his public image suffered,
AMERICANS NOW RANK TRUMAN IN THE TOP TEN OF ALL PRESIDENTS. Truman would continue to challenge the status
Truman would not waver, stating “These slander
quo on racial issues. On his convictions: “My
mongers are trying to get us so hysterical that no
forebears were Confederates . . . But my very
one will stand up to them for fear of being called
stomach turned over when I had learned that
a communist . . . That is not fair play. That is
Negro soldiers, just back from overseas, were
being dumped out of Army trucks in Mississippi and beaten.” Truman would sign numerous bills
Truman proved endlessly controversial and left
and executive orders to advance voting rights and
office with an abysmally low popularity rating.
fair employment for African-Americans, boldly
History has been kind to Truman, however. The
acting despite the creation of political rifts with
publishing of a memoir and spoken word history
the south that remain to this day.
near the end of his life would give Americans a window into his decisions. History would prove
Truman’s most controversial decisions came from
Truman’s actions on race and foreign policy to be
his command of the Armed Services and National
right and ahead of his time. When asked to rank
Security apparatus. His dismissal of General
to their Presidents, Americans now place Truman
McArthur in the darkest period of the Korean con-
in the top ten, and he is viewed in equal favor by
flict would set off a firestorm of outrage. Truman
liberals and conservatives. AMERICAN PATRIOT 9
THE EGG-CELLENT SUCCESS OF
GREEN EGGS AND HAM 2010 marks the fiftieth anniversary of the release of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. Recently, the children’s classic was recognized as the fourth bestselling English-language children’s book of all time. Green Eggs and Ham was published in 1960 by Random House and has been a favorite ever since. 10 AMERICAN PATRIOT
The author, Ted Seuss Geisel, was born in Springfield MA in 1904. Geisel graduated from Dartmouth and then was awarded a fellowship to Oxford University. He had the goal of one day becoming a professor. However, when he returned to America, a doodler at heart, he tried his hand at cartooning to make a living. A member of Standard Oil saw one of his cartoons in The Saturday Evening Post and hired him to create their advertisements. He spent 15 years in advertising. When WWII broke out, he tried to join the Naval Intelligence. Instead, he ended up in Frank Capra’s Signal Corp, which made propaganda movies supporting the war effort. There he was introduced to the power of animation. When he finished serving, Geisel was offered a job illustrating children’s books, which he did with some success at the Viking publishing house. He then tried his hand at writing as well as il-
“I DO NOT LIKE THEM SAM-I-AM”
lustrating his own books. After being rejected 27 times — that is not a typo! — he caught a
A half-century later, Green Eggs and Ham and
lucky break through an old connection that got
Dr. Seuss have worked themselves into American
a publisher at Vanguard to look at his books.
culture. Every school child across the country
The rest is publishing history.
picks up a Dr. Seuss classic at one time or another. With bright colors, funny rhymes, and now
Green Eggs and Ham became an instant classic.
a rich history, adults and children alike love
It spoke to all the picky eaters out there and to
his books which also include The Cat In The
their parents. The lessons in the charming
Hat and How the Grinch Stole Christmas.
rhyming taught the importance of persistence and trying new things. The text is perfect for
CLICK HERE TO WATCH THE ANIMATED VERSION OF GREEN EGGS AND HAM
beginner readers since it only includes 50 words. This was actually done on a bet from his publisher that Dr. Seuss could not write a successful book using just 50 words. AMERICAN PATRIOT 11
THE WESTâ€™S BEST
There is a chill in the air even in the warm California days, as visitors stroll the deserted streets of Bodie. This gold mining boomtown once had a population of over 10,000. What has survived looks pretty much the same as when the last inhabitants abandoned it over 50 years ago. 12 AMERICAN PATRIOT
The town was named for prospector William
an occasional boom and bust in the 1890’s, but
Bodey, but misspelled in the transition leading
it was never a truly stable community again.
to everlasting confusion. Bodey was among the
The last Bodie newspaper was printed in 1912.
first to discover gold in Eastern California and
In 1913, the Standard Company closed their
start a stampede into this area of the Sierra Ne-
mines in the region as profits disappeared. The
vada mountains. Standard Company, a mining
railroad was abandoned and the tracks were
company, bought up the land in 1877. People
scrapped. Bodie held onto a loyal population
swarmed in and transformed little Bodie into a
of about 120 people into the 1940s and then
boomtown. Success followed for the next decade
everyone drifted away.
or so and, over the years, Bodie produced over $34 million worth of gold.
As early as 1915, Bodie started became a mecca for automobile tourists. Fearing vandalism, the
At its peak, the town prospered with over 2,000
Cain family, who owned much of the land the
buildings including two banks, sixty-five saloons,
town is situated upon, hired caretakers to pro-
and four volunteer fire stations. It even had a
tect and to maintain the structures. Bodie
section called Chinatown with hundreds of
today is considered the largest and best-pre-
Chinese settlers and a Taoist Temple. The local
served ghost town in the western United States.
newspaper went from a weekly publication to
It is celebrated as favorite American relic from
a tri-weekly publication. Telegraph lines were
the days of the Wild West. A National Historic
installed, connecting the citizenry with the rest
Landmark and a California State Park, it con-
of the country.
sists of 170 remaining buildings and hosts nearly 200,000 visitors a year who walk the
When the California mining industry began to
decline in the 1880’s, Bodie was hit hard. Min-
CLICK HERE TO WATCH A 1950’S DOCUMENTARY ABOUT BODIE’S HISTORY
ers were lured away to Montana and Arizona in search of greater profit. Bodie went through
AMERICAN PATRIOT 13
QUOTE OF THE WEEK
Yesterday is not ours to recover, but tomorrow is ours to win or lose." —
PRESIDENT LYNDON B. JOHNSON INAUGURAL ADDRESS, 1965
14 AMERICAN PATRIOT
THIS WEEK IN
1969. WOODSTOCK The Woodstock Music and Art Fair takes place on Max Yasgurâ€™s dairy farm in upstate New York. 450,000 people met to watch two-dozen bands play music and to party for 3 straight days. It was the largest event of its kind and a cultural landmark of the 1960s youth and anti-establishment era. JIMI HENDRIX LIVE AT WOODSTOCK AND GREAT CROWD SHOTS AMERICAN PATRIOT 15
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