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W T James TR - History

W T James TR - History



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W. T. James

(TR: t. 267 (gross); 1. 150'; b. 22'; dr. 8'5" (mean);
s. 13 k.; cpl. 38; a. 13", 2 .30-cal. mg.)

W. James-a "Menhaden fisherman" built in 1912 at Wilmington, Del., by Harlan and Hollingsworthwas acquired by the Navy in the spring of 1917 from the Taft Fish Co., of Tappahannock, Va.; ordered delivered on I April; and accepted on 28 May for service as a minesweeper. Navy General Order No. 314 shortened the ship's name to James on 28 July, and the erstwhile fishing craft was commissioned in the 5th Naval District on 10 August 1917, Ens. E. R. Burr, USNRF, in command.

Designated SP-429, James was fitted out for "dis
tant service" at the Norfolk Navy Yard and, near the
end of August, departed the Tidewater area, bound
for Boston. There, with other sister ships which had
made the passage from Hampton Roads, James pre
pared for the voyage to European waters. Accordingly,
after shifting from Boston to Provincetown, Mass.,
on 25 August, James got underway for the Azores two
days later, on the first leg of the Atlantic cross , ing.

Reaching Ponta Delgada, Azores, on 6 Septembeir, James and her sister ships remained for fivp days, awaiting the tardy arrival of coal and water. On 11 September, the group departed the Azores on the last leg of the passage.

Disbanded as a mine squadron almost immediately after arriving at Brest, France, on 18 September, the vessels of the group soon were busy escorting convoys into and out of port. Between these missions, they spent long weeks. awaiting delivery of winches and French minesweeping gear. In November, the mine squadron was reconstituted under the command of Capt. Thomas P. Magruder. James, among the second group to be fitted out for minesweeping service, soon shifted to Lorient, Franed', where she would base for the remainder of the war.

From Lorient, James not only conducted minesweeping operations but covered coastal convoys, cleared important passages near Belle Isle, undertook night antisubmarine patrols using her crude listening gear, and assisted vessels in distress in her area. In July ,1918, James and two sister ships swept a minefield south of Belle Isle and, despite - the heavv weather in which the ships were forced to operate, accomplished their mission in such exemplary fashion that the three mine vessels received commendations from Vice Admiral Aubry, the French Prefet Maritime. During this operation, James cut out four mines in. the space of 17 minutes.

James remained in European waters through the winter of 1918-1919. She departed Brest on 27 April 1919, bound for the United States, but soon began encountering "boisterous weather" with increasing northwesterly winds and a choppy sea. At 1422, the escort commander, in Marietta (Gunboat No. 15). ordered the group to return to Brest.

When it became evident that James was taking on more water than usual, she was directed to proceed to Brest without delay. Unfortunately, the "Menhaden fisherman" worked so much that her scams opened, allowing water to flood the engine rooms and affect the boiler fires-an occurrence that severely limited the ship's capacity to deal with the rising flood waters.

James-her predicament grave-signalled the nearby MacDonough (Torpedo Boat Destroyer No. 9) and Rambler (SP-211) for aid. The former closed swiftly and attempted-unsuccessfully-to take the foundering minecraft in tow. The tug Penobscot (SP-982) managed to get a towline across to James the following morning and towed the ship for about 20 minutes before the line parted.
By that point, the heavy seas were nearly swamping the ship. Marietta closed as close as was practicable in the gale and put over a line. Rigging up a ferry arrangement with a liferaft from James, the trawler's entire crew reached safety on board the gunboat by shortly after 0800 on 28 April. Two hours later, James sank, six miles off Armen Light.

W. W. Burns

(Sch.)

W. Burns-a wooden-hulled Chesapeake Bay schooner-was acquired by the Navy on 13 August 1861 at Baltimore, Md., for use as a stone-laden blockship. The purchase of W. Burns was one of 22 made at Baltimore in the summer of 1861, and she and the other 21 ships were slated to be loaded with stone, taken to the North Carolina coast, and sunk off the entrances to the major inlets leading to North Carolina sounds-Albemarle, Pamlico, and Okracoke. The project was the first of its nature undertaken by the Navy; and, due to delays and other problems, it failed. Some of the ships seem to have remained at their anchorages in Hampton Roads and deteriorated late that summer and into the autumn. Burns' ultimate fate as part of the first "stone fleet" venture is unrecorded.


W T James TR - History

Baptist History Homepage

BAPTIST BIOGRAPHIES
[Scroll down for additional Bios.] There are more than 650 bios in this section there are several bios of some who were prominent historically. The writings of some are included with the bio. Some Baptists who are included here are virtually unknown in our day, but they 'plowed faithfully in their small field' and are included.
____________

Additionally early Delaware bios thirty-two brief Illinois bios fifty-four from Ohio & more early Ohio and more early Ohio. Also from Spencer's Kentucky Baptists: vol. 1 and sixty-seven Missouri bios from Duncan's history. Early Oklahoma bios here. There are also seventeen bios by Ben Bogard here. Thirty-three short North Carolina bios. There are 1400 short Florida Baptist Bios here. Also see under Boone County (KY), and the British section. And more than twenty early KY Emancipationist Baptist bios here.

The section below includes all of the above bios. It also has essays / sermons by the person.

American Baptist Missionary Report
"Abstract of the 33rd Annual Report"
From the Tennessee Baptist newspaper, 1847
Early Baptist Missionaries to China
Eleven missionaries + five essays.
The American Baptist Ministry of One Hundred Years Ago
The Baptist Quarterly, 1875
By John A. Broadus,
Biographical Sketches of the Pastors
of Grassy Creek Baptist Church (NC)
By Robert I. Devin, 1880
There are seventeen bios.
Sandy Creek Association Bios
A History of the Sandy Creek Baptist Association
By Elder George W. Purefoy
Biographies of Early Pastors of Elkhorn Baptist Association
J. H. Spencer's History of Kentucky Baptists
Biographies of Early Pastors of Long Run Association
A History of Kentucky Baptists
By J. H. Spencer, 1886
Early Prominent Leaders of the Northbend Baptist Association
Spencer's History of Kentucky Baptists
There are seven.
Prominent Baptists in Southwestern Ohio
in the Early 19th Century
By A. H. Dunlevy, 1869
Early Baptist Preachers in Virginia
History of Baptists in Virginia
By Robert B. Semple, 1894
Missouri Baptist Biographies
By Robert S. Duncan, 1882
[Sixty-seven bios here]
Early British Bios
J. M. Cramp's Baptist History
There are twenty-two bios.

Baptist History Homepage


W T James TR - History

Futuramic Slimline Design!

Powerful as a Radio 10 Times its Size!

Futuramic! Nice use of verna cular improvisation from the atomic age and it rather aptly describes this radio. The above was taken from a 1961 ad in the Hutchinson News. These two Realtone ‘Comets’, model number TR-1088, were manufactured in Japan circa 1960. They are great examples of the fine art of transistor radio design. The Comet was on the market for at least six years. The earliest example I’ve seen was sold on the 14th of December 1960 and they were still being sold in April 1966! (1a). This has to be one of the longest production runs for any Japanese radio from this era.

Realtone Electronics was co-founded in 1956 by hardworking brothers Saul and Ely Ashkenazi. Saul was born to Mexican parents living in Louisiana on July 4th 1920 and Ely was born two years later. Shortly after his birth Saul’s parents made the decision to move their family back to Mexico. They remained there for a number of years until the Great Depression when Saul’s father was injured in a machinery accident. Aged just 14 and 12 at the time, Saul and Ely began searching for work in order to support their family and move them back to America. Eventually they did return across the border and settled in Arkansas before moving on to Texas where Saul and Ely worked as peddlers. They struggled to make sales due to their lack of proficiency in the English language but soon chanced upon a Mexican neighborhood and prospered. From Texas, Saul’s family moved on to Georgia and then North Carolina where he and his brother managed a retail and wholesale business. The brother’s strict work ethic was really beginning to pay off and in the mid 1950’s they set up offices on Fifth Avenue in New York and began importing transistor radios and cigarette lighters from Japan. They re-branded and sold the radios as Realtone and the lighters as ‘Realite’ (1b). Realite lighters sold for a buck and apart from traditional designs they also featured some with racy 'ladies' posed on them.

By 1956 there was a music revolution taking place. Rock n Roll had entered the American consciousness and young men and women all over the country were going crazy for artists like Elvis Presley and Jerry Lee Lewis. They wanted to bop and hop on the go they wanted to carry their new music heroes with them everywhere , to be able to listen to them day and night an d t iny new shirt pocket transistor radios finally gave them the means to do so. Rock n roll artists were on the rise and so were the brothers Ashkenazi. The young entrepreneurs ditched the cigarette lighters and began concentrating on meeting the growing demand for portable music players.

Realtone Electronics quickly established themselves as innovators in a new and highly competitive market. They introduced a number of impressive new transistor radios with an emphasis on modernistic design influenced by popular culture and America’s growing fascination with the ‘Space Race’. The company went from strength to strength it was incorporated in 1959 and in 1961 , in order to support its growth initiatives , it went public for the first time on the American Stock Exchange (1c).

The Investment Dealers Digest, 1961 gives an insight into Realtone Electronics from an industry perspective stating that the company was formed to “engage in the marketing and distribution of consumer electronic products manufactured for it in Japan and elsewhere”. The digest adds that “sales now consist of portable, transistorized radio receivers in a variety of types and models including standard, multiband and AM/FM broadcast reception and related items. Nationwide distribution is effected usually under the registered trademark 'Realtone' (1d).

In 1963 Realtone launched the Soundesign brand to market more upscale audio products including clock radios, and stereo systems. In 1968 it was noted in the SEC News Digest that the company "designs, imports and distributes transistor radio receivers and other related products manufactured for it in Japan and Hong Kong. It maintains facilities for the design, engineering and evaluation of its products in Tokyo" (1e). This answers the age old question as to whether Realtone had any input into the design of its radios and emphasizes that they were a true multinational manufacturing company and more than just a clever importer and re-brander.

In 1968 the company changed its name to Soundesign and through the 1970’s and 1980’s they survived in the cutthroat world of electronics by making clocks for Timex that sold in drugstores and by creatively combining devices. Soundesign made the world’s first cassette tape player-clock radio and the first telephone-clock radio (1f). In 1994 the company changed its name to SDI Technologies. That same year Saul and Ely were honoured at the Consumer Electronics Association’s 50th Anniversary for their historic achievements in the industry (1g). SDI now makes Apple compatible audio products and in 2012 they reintroduced the Realtone brand as clock radios and headphones.


The Tennessee Politician

In 1825, Tennessee voters elected James Polk to the U.S. House of Representatives, where he would serve seven terms and act as speaker of the House from 1835 to 1839. In Congress, Polk was a protégé of America’s seventh president, Andrew Jackson (1767-1845), a fellow Democrat and Tennessean who was in the White House from 1829 to 1837. Polk favored states’ rights and supported Jackson’s plan to dismantle the Bank of the United States and replace it with a decentralized government banking system. Polk later earned the nickname “Young Hickory,” a reference to his mentor Jackson, who was dubbed “Old Hickory” for his toughness.

Polk left Congress in 1839 to become governor of Tennessee. He ran for reelection in 1841 and lost another run for the governorship in 1843 also ended in defeat


The Best Biographies of Theodore Roosevelt

After reading 121 biographies of the first 26 presidents, Theodore Roosevelt easily stands out as one of the most fascinating and robustly-spirited chief executives in our nation’s history.

He almost makes Andrew Jackson look tame.

Roosevelt was a prolific author, part-time science nerd, rancher, conservationist, legislator, reform-minded police commissioner and government bureaucrat, soldier, governor, naval enthusiast, thrill-seeking adventurer, Nobel Peace Prize winner…and the youngest president in American history.

Theodore Roosevelt is easy to caricature, but extremely difficult to study, unravel and adequately interpret. At once he could be both brilliant and insane, logical and yet completely delusional. He was remarkably self-confident, a quick study in the art of politics, a gifted communicator, extremely sociable and enormously devoted to his family and his country.

Unfortunately, his incredible life story has a less-than-perfect ending. After letting go the reins of political power and concluding that his successor wasn’t quite up to the task, Roosevelt worked himself into a perpetual state of agitation and, eventually, became almost unhinged.

Over 18 weeks I read 14 books on Roosevelt: Edmund Morris’s three-volume series and 11 one-volume biographies, totaling about 7,000 pages. Among other things, I walked away absolutely convinced it would be difficult to write an uninteresting book about Teddy Roosevelt.

* I began with Edmund Morris’s beloved three-volume series on Roosevelt. Published between 1979 and 2010, this series remains enormously popular – and for good reason.

The trilogy’s first volume “The Rise of Theodore Roosevelt” covers TR’s pre-presidency and is filled with adventure, discovery and political maturation (to the extent Roosevelt ever really “matured”). This volume won the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for biography and fully captures TR’s spirit and soul spirit. It demonstrates the author’s affinity for Roosevelt, is a bit lengthy, and doesn’t exhibit the smoothest style…but it is hard to imagine a better introduction to this larger-than-life character. (Full review here)

The second volume, “Theodore Rex,” is more sober and serious and focused on Roosevelt’s presidency. Although less lively and exciting than the first volume, Morris’s writing style in this volume is more fluid and natural. I was surprised Morris didn’t have more to say about Roosevelt’s political legacy, but this volume is clearly intended more as a historical narrative than a political analysis. It performes its task admirably. (Full review here)

The final volume “Colonel Roosevelt” covers the last decade of Roosevelt’s life. This period offers an author a panoply of wonderful topics to cover: TR’s African safari, his journey through the Amazon forest, his third-party presidential campaign and his vitriolic attacks on Taft and Wilson. Morris proves up to the task, and this volume exhibits the vitality and engagement of the first volume along with the literary sophistication of the second volume. (Full review here)

* Next I read Henry Pringle’s Pulitzer Prize winning “Theodore Roosevelt: A Biography.” Published in 1931, this was long considered the definitive study of Roosevelt. I found this biography both frustrating and rewarding: it spends too much time knocking TR off his pedestal but is liberally infused with thought-provoking insights and observations. In the end, its non-linear journey through TR’s life, its over-weighted focus on TR’s political career and its distracting negativity wore me down. But it makes a very good “companion” book to a more modern, and balanced, biography. (Full review here)

* John Blum’s “ The Republican Roosevelt ” was my next biography. Published in 1954, this comparatively brief review of Roosevelt helped establish TR’s reputation as a president of consequence. Far less a biography than a 161-page analysis of TR’s moral and political core, readers new to Roosevelt will not find his complete portrait here. But anyone interested in this complex political figure will find this an intriguing study. (Full review here)

* William Harbaugh’s 1961 “Power and Responsibility: The Life and Times of Theodore Roosevelt” is considered by many scholars the best single-volume biography of TR. I’m inclined to agree. Despite some shortcomings – the book focuses far more heavily on TR’s political career than on the numerous other fascinating events of his life – it is a careful, penetrating and thoughtful study of Roosevelt. Harbaugh is a careful observer and an excellent writer. But as good as this biography was, some readers may prefer to first digest a biography of TR that more fully captures his early years (and his family life) before moving on to this excellent book. (Full review here)

* David McCullough’s 1981 “Mornings on Horseback” is a colorful and engaging account of the first twenty-eight years of Teddy Roosevelt’s life and was the 1982 Pulitzer Prize finalist for biographies. This book provides a fascinating window into the young TR and should prove entertaining to even the most picky reader. While much of TR’s life is uncovered, the years of focus are explored with uneven intensity. And, regrettably, the book is not able to fully capture the soul of this future president. But while this may not be McCullough at his very best, “Mornings on Horseback” is endlessly colorful and entertaining, if not interpretive and revealing. (Full review here)

* Nathan Miller’s “Theodore Roosevelt: A Life” was the first comprehensive biography of TR in over three decades when it was published in 1992. It is well-balanced between Roosevelt’s personal and professional lives and provides a thorough introduction to nearly every aspect of TR’s life. But it lacks a sense of vitality and, compared to other TR biographies, feels somewhat lifeless and antiseptic. More a matter-of-fact review than a colorfully descriptive or keenly insightful review of his life, readers can do better elsewhere. (Full review here)

* “TR: The Last Romantic” is H.W. Brands’s 1997 comprehensive review of Roosevelt’s life. This biography is both detailed and exceptionally readable. Brands offers a sober, penetrating perspective on TR’s life and provides a far less complimentary view of Roosevelt than many other biographers. But the author’s theme of TR as a philosophical “romantic” eventually feels forced, and there is no escaping that the book’s first half is far better than its second half. (Full review here)

* Kathleen Dalton’s 2002 “Theodore Roosevelt: A Strenuous Life” was next. Unlike most biographies of TR, Dalton’s book is extremely balanced in its opinion of Roosevelt. But in order to avoid over-dramatizing TR’s most bombastic, dramatic and adventurous moments, she abbreviates or extricates too many of the most important events in his life. As a result, the book often feels austere and bland – and Roosevelt almost certainly would not recognize himself in these pages. In an effort to reveal the real TR and avoid the caricature, Dalton fully conveys neither. (Full review here)

*Next up was Candice Millard’s “The River of Doubt: Theodore Roosevelt’s Darkest Journey.” This enormously popular 2005 narrative follows Roosevelt on his post-presidential adventure through the Brazilian rainforest. Millard’s writing style is vivid and gripping and there appear to be no details of TR’s journey that were overlooked in her research. Although it is not a comprehensive biography of Theodore Roosevelt and only briefly reviews TR’s earlier life, it is a dramatic and compelling tale of adventure and perseverance. Anyone fascinated by TR, or just enchanted by a great story, will want to read this book. (Full review here)

* Jean Yarbrough’s 2012 “Theodore Roosevelt and the American Political Tradition” proves to be, at best, a semi-biography of Roosevelt. Although it proceeds chronologically through Roosevelt’s life, touching at least briefly on each event of significance, the emphasis is always on TR’s political philosophies. But while readers seeking a thorough introduction to Roosevelt will do better to look elsewhere, Yarbrough provides a great service to TR scholarship with this book and its analysis. (Full review here)

* I looked forward to Doris Kearns Goodwin’s 2013 “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft and the Golden Age of Journalism” above all other TR biographies. Often described as three biographies in one (of Roosevelt, Taft and the journalists of their era) “The Bully Pulpit” is heavier on facts than on colorful description or keen insight. But it proves very well-written, often extremely interesting, and quite clever in in the way it follows TR and Taft in parallel throughout their early lives.

Fans of Goodwin’s “Team of Rivals” will recognize much of her style in this book. But although it offers a unique and compelling way to weave together the lives of TR and Taft, Goodwin probably tries to cover too much ground in one place…and I was eventually annoyed by its heavy use of embedded quotes and phrases. Nevertheless, this is a great book and a must-read for anyone interested in Theodore Roosevelt, William Taft or this period of American history. (Full review here)

*At the end of my TR journey I read Patricia O’Toole’s 2005 “When Trumpets Call: Theodore Roosevelt after the White House.” Published five years before the final volume of Morris’s three-volume series (and covering nearly the same ground), this biography is relatively lively and fast-paced. To her credit, O’Toole takes the time to expertly review the huge portion of TR’s life which falls outside the book’s primary scope. And while there seemed to be little new about TR in this biography, O’Toole tells a mostly-familiar story in a new and interesting way. If not for the final volume in Morris’s series, O’Toole’s “When Trumpets Call” would perform a unique and invaluable service. (Full review here)

Best Biography of Theodore Roosevelt: Edmund Morris’s three-volume series

Best Single-Volume Bio of TR: “Power and Responsibility” by William Harbaugh

Best “Unconventional” Bio of TR: Doris Kearns Goodwin’s “The Bully Pulpit”

Most Exciting Read about TR: Candice Millard’s “The River of Doubt“


The Chihuahua and Independence Periods (1832–1848)

James Wiley was very active in arranging for trade caravans back and forth between Chihuahua, Santa Fe, and Missouri. He worked with many other well-known merchants, including Josiah Gregg, James Harrison, and the Glasgow brothers. James Wiley had other business interests as well. He employed or partnered with several of his family members including his brother Samuel and brother-in-law Gabriel Valdés. Though his motives are unknown, Magoffin purchased a farm from Harmon Gregg (father of merchant Josiah Gregg) near Independence, Missouri and moved his family there in 1844. Unfortunately, his wife María died on the Missouri farm in 1845. Supposedly one reason James Wiley bought the farm was to raise mules, which he could then sell to merchants and others planning to depart from Independence down the Santa Fe Trail. His Missouri farm was also a popular stopover for merchants and troops starting down the trail. So although James Wiley was living in the U.S., he still had business dealings in the Republic of Texas and in Mexico.

In May 1846, James Wiley met with President James K. Polk, who asked him to be an envoy for the U.S. government in the forthcoming campaign by the U.S. Army to invade Mexico. James Wiley was to be a secret envoy opening the way for American troops. He hurried to catch up with Col. Stephen Watts Kearney and his U.S. troops at Bent’s Fort, Colorado near the end of July. He went ahead of the caravan to speak with Nuevo Mexico Gov. Manuel Armijo. Although the specifics of the conversation are not known, Armijo ordered his troops to abandon Santa Fe and withdraw south. Thus, James Wiley is credited with facilitating what some historians have called the “bloodless conquest of Santa Fe.” After about a month, the caravan started south. James Wiley again went ahead into El Paso del Norte and Chihuahua. In November 1846, he was taken into custody by Mexican authorities, along with other members of his party. He was arrested but the specific charge is unknown (it may have been for treason against Mexico). He was sent to a prison in Chihuahua City, where he was held until the end of the Mexican-American War in 1848.


James Jones

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James Jones, (born November 6, 1921, Robinson, Illinois, U.S.—died May 9, 1977, Southampton, New York), American novelist best known for From Here to Eternity (1951), a novel about the peacetime army in Hawaii just before the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor in 1941.

The strongest influence on Jones’s literary career was his service in the U.S. Army from 1939 to 1945, during which he received the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart after actions in the South Pacific. He used his knowledge of day-to-day life in the military to advantage in his first novel, From Here to Eternity, which described the experiences of a charismatic serviceman who dies shortly after the outbreak of war in the Pacific. (A film in 1953 adapted from the book won eight Academy Awards and several other awards.) In his second novel, Some Came Running, published in 1958, the same year that he moved to Paris, Jones drew on his Midwestern life in Illinois after the war. His next two novels, however, returned to his wartime experiences: The Pistol (1959) and The Thin Red Line (1963). Jones remained an expatriate in Paris until 1975, when he returned to the United States. He settled in Long Island, where he remained until his death in 1977. None of his later works attracted the public or critical attention that his first novel had.

The Editors of Encyclopaedia Britannica This article was most recently revised and updated by Amy Tikkanen, Corrections Manager.


Theodore Roosevelt

With the assassination of President William McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, not quite 43, became the 26th and youngest President in the Nation’s history (1901-1909). He brought new excitement and power to the office, vigorously leading Congress and the American public toward progressive reforms and a strong foreign policy.

With the assassination of President McKinley, Theodore Roosevelt, not quite 43, became the youngest President in the Nation’s history. He brought new excitement and power to the Presidency, as he vigorously led Congress and the American public toward progressive reforms and a strong foreign policy.

He took the view that the President as a “steward of the people” should take whatever action necessary for the public good unless expressly forbidden by law or the Constitution.” I did not usurp power,” he wrote, “but I did greatly broaden the use of executive power.”

Roosevelt’s youth differed sharply from that of the log cabin Presidents. He was born in New York City in 1858 into a wealthy family, but he too struggled–against ill health–and in his triumph became an advocate of the strenuous life.

In 1884 his first wife, Alice Lee Roosevelt, and his mother died on the same day. Roosevelt spent much of the next two years on his ranch in the Badlands of Dakota Territory. There he mastered his sorrow as he lived in the saddle, driving cattle, hunting big game–he even captured an outlaw. On a visit to London, he married Edith Carow in December 1886.

During the Spanish-American War, Roosevelt was lieutenant colonel of the Rough Rider Regiment, which he led on a charge at the battle of San Juan. He was one of the most conspicuous heroes of the war.

Boss Tom Platt, needing a hero to draw attention away from scandals in New York State, accepted Roosevelt as the Republican candidate for Governor in 1898. Roosevelt won and served with distinction.

As President, Roosevelt held the ideal that the Government should be the great arbiter of the conflicting economic forces in the Nation, especially between capital and labor, guaranteeing justice to each and dispensing favors to none.

Roosevelt emerged spectacularly as a “trust buster” by forcing the dissolution of a great railroad combination in the Northwest. Other antitrust suits under the Sherman Act followed.

Roosevelt steered the United States more actively into world politics. He liked to quote a favorite proverb, “Speak softly and carry a big stick. . . . ”

Aware of the strategic need for a shortcut between the Atlantic and Pacific, Roosevelt ensured the construction of the Panama Canal. His corollary to the Monroe Doctrine prevented the establishment of foreign bases in the Caribbean and arrogated the sole right of intervention in Latin America to the United States.

He won the Nobel Peace Prize for mediating the Russo-Japanese War, reached a Gentleman’s Agreement on immigration with Japan, and sent the Great White Fleet on a goodwill tour of the world.

Some of Theodore Roosevelt’s most effective achievements were in conservation. He added enormously to the national forests in the West, reserved lands for public use, and fostered great irrigation projects.

He crusaded endlessly on matters big and small, exciting audiences with his high-pitched voice, jutting jaw, and pounding fist. “The life of strenuous endeavor” was a must for those around him, as he romped with his five younger children and led ambassadors on hikes through Rock Creek Park in Washington, D.C.

Leaving the Presidency in 1909, Roosevelt went on an African safari, then jumped back into politics. In 1912 he ran for President on a Progressive ticket. To reporters he once remarked that he felt as fit as a bull moose, the name of his new party.

While campaigning in Milwaukee, he was shot in the chest by a fanatic. Roosevelt soon recovered, but his words at that time would have been applicable at the time of his death in 1919: “No man has had a happier life than I have led a happier life in every way.”

The Presidential biographies on WhiteHouse.gov are from “The Presidents of the United States of America,” by Frank Freidel and Hugh Sidey. Copyright 2006 by the White House Historical Association.

Learn more about Theodore Roosevelt’s spouse, Edith Kermit Carow Roosevelt.


James West

Electrical engineer James Edward West was born on February 10, 1931 in Farmville, Virginia to Samuel Edward and Matilda West. At various points, his father worked as a funeral home owner, an insurance salesman, and as a porter on the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad. His mother was a school teacher and worked at Langley Air Force Base during World War II, later losing her job because of her involvement in the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. West has one brother, Nathaniel. West’s interest in electricity resulted from his work with his cousin to put electrical wiring into homes in rural Virginia when he was twelve years old. After graduating from George P. Phoenix High School, West went on to attend Hampton University in Virginia with plans of attending medical school. Nevertheless, West was drafted and sent to serve in the Korean War, where he was awarded a Purple Heart. West later became a pacifist and transferred to Temple University in Philadelphia. He decided to change his concentration and went on to receive his degree in physics in 1957.

West was hired at Bell Laboratories, where he began his studies to obtain his Ph.D. degree. During the second year of his doctorate program, West and a colleague, Gerhard Sessler, constructed a small microphone that did not require the use of a battery. This electret microphone replaced the carbon microphone and revolutionized communications technology. West’s invention was used in such devices as hearing aids and space technology. Even in 2011, 90% of microphone technology had its foundation in West’s development of the electret microphone. In addition to his research, West co-founded the Association of Black Laboratories Employees (ABLE) at Bell Labs in 1970. West retired from Lucent Technologies as a Bell Laboratories Fellow in 2001. He has continued to do research, joining the Whiting School of Engineering at Johns Hopkins University in 2002. His research interests include, among other things, finding new technology that will replace the electret microphone.

West’s inventions and contributions in electrical engineering have garnered him a great deal of recognition. In 1999, West was the fourth African American selected to join the National Inventors Hall of Fame for the invention of the electret microphone. He also received the U.S. National Medal of Technology in 2006. He has forty-seven U.S. patents, over 200 foreign patents, and has written over a hundred academic papers. West and his wife Marlene have four adult children, Melanie, Laurie, James and Ellington.

James E. West was interviewed by The HistoryMakers on September 10, 2012.


Legends of America

James Marshall’s discovery of gold at Sutter’s Mill in California in 1848, started the California Gold Rush.

Born in 1810, Marshall followed in his father’s footsteps by becoming a skilled carpenter and wheelwright. When his father died in 1834, he headed westward, spending some time in Illinois and Indiana before settling in Missouri. There, he contracted malaria and at the advice of his doctor, he moved westward again.

In July 1845, he arrived in the Sacramento Valley and began to work for John Sutter as a carpenter. Fairing well there, he improved his economic prospects, purchasing a ranch, and began to raise cattle. In 1846, he joined John C. Fremont’s California Battalion and participated in the Bear Flag Revolt, a bid to seize control of California from Mexican control.

When he returned to his land, he found his cattle had been stolen and he was forced to sell his land. He then formed a partnership with John Sutter to build a sawmill. It was at the sawmill that, on January 24, 1848, he discovered gold in the water flow through the mill’s tailrace. He immediately advised Sutter, who swore all his employees to secrecy. But, the “news” was just too big, and in no time it leaked out.

James Marshall at Sutter’s Sawmill, Coloma, California, 1851.

As word quickly spread, some 80,000 miners flooded the area, extending up and down the length of the Sacramento Valley, and overrunning Sutter’s domain. Ironically, neither Sutter nor Marshall ever profited from the discovery that should have made them independently wealthy. Though Marshall tried to secure his own claims in the goldfields, he was unsuccessful. His sawmill also failed, as every able-bodied man took off in search of gold. Soon, the area surrounding Sutter’s Mill became the first mining boomtown in California – Coloma.

Embittered, Marshall left the area, drifting from place to place in California, looking for yet another rich strike. In 1857, he returned to Coloma and started a vineyard in the early 1860s. Initially profitable, his endeavors as a vintner would also fail when, by the end of the decade, increased competition and less demand put him out of business once again.

Marshall then returned to prospecting and wandering about the state. He soon partnered up with another miner in a gold mine near Kelsey, California. However, the development of the mine proved expensive and yielded nothing, leaving the unlucky Marshall once again close to bankruptcy.

Coloma, California 2009 by Kathy Weiser-Alexander

In 1872, Marshall had a turn of luck when the California State Legislature awarded him a two-year pension in recognition of his role in an important era in California history.

The pension was renewed in 1874 and 1876 but lapsed in 1878. According to the legend, Marshall then went to visit the legislative assembly in person to get the pension renewed again. However, when a brandy bottle dropped from his pocket and rolled on the floor, no additional pension was awarded.

Marshall continued to live in Kelsey, in a spartan homesteader’s cabin, earning money from a small garden until his death on August 10, 1885. His body was then taken to Coloma and buried on the property where he had owned his vineyard. Overlooking the south fork of the American River, a monument was erected over the grave site in 1890. Atop the monument is a bronze statue of Marshall, pointing to the spot where he changed California history.


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