Monday, April 16, 2007

History Tag

I was just tagged by Tristi at her blog with this history meme. You know me, I love these things. After I'm done, I'll tag five more bloggers. Here we go:
1. Go to Wikipedia and type in your birth date only -without the year.
February 4
2. List 3 events that occurred that day:
1789 - George Washington is unanimously elected to be the first President of the United States by the U. S. Electoral College. (I love George.)
1933 - Senator Huey Long of Louisiana gets the Governor to declare a bank holiday. The reason cited in the holiday declarationwas that the US broke diplomatic relations with German on February 3 and February 4 in 1917. February 3 was not declared a bank holiday. (What happened to this very important holiday?? I think both the 3rd and the 4th should continue to be banking holidays. Please write your congressman.)
1974 - The Symbionese Liberation Army kidnaps Patty Hearst in Berkley, California. (And to think I let getting a promise ring on my 18th birthday take precedence over this!!)
3. List 2 important birthdays:
1677 - Johann Ludwig Bach, German composer d. 1731 (Ahh, Bach)
1947 - Dan Qayle, 44th Vice President of the United States
1948 - Alice Cooper, American musician ( I cheated and picked three, but I really liked the contrast between Quayle and Cooper)
4. List 1 death:
2006 - Betty Friedan, American feminist, b. 1921 (Interestingly, she was also born on Feb 4. So is it her lucky day or not?)
5. List a holiday or observance:
World Cancer Day (Odd sort of holiday, isn't it? Let's call it "Day of the Framed" instead.)
Now I get to tag five other bloggers. Hmmmm, let's go with:
If I didn't tag you, please feel free to take part anyway. Thanks, Tristi, this was fun

Friday, April 13, 2007


I received the following article from a friend and decided to share it all with you. I think visiting the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier was one of my most memorable experiences while visiting Washington D.C. Learning more about the ritual and the men who volunteer for this duty was very fascinating and moving for me.

On Jeopardy the other night, the final question was How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the Tomb of the Unknowns ------All three missed it .

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
1. How many steps does the guard take during his walk across the tomb of the Unknowns and why? 21 steps. It alludes to the twenty-one gun salute, which is the highest honor given any military or foreign dignitary.
2. How long does he hesitate after his about-face to begin his return walk and why? 21 seconds for the same reason as answer number 1
3. Why are his gloves wet? His gloves are moistened to prevent his losing his grip on the rifle.
4. Does he carry his rifle on the same shoulder all the time and if not, why not? He carries the rifle on the shoulder away from the tomb. After his march across the path, he executes an about face and moves the rifle to the outside shoulder.
5. How often are the guards changed? Guards are changed every thirty minutes, twenty-four hours a day, 365 days a year.
6. What are the physical traits of the guard limited to? For a person to apply for guard duty at the tomb, he must be between 5' 10" and 6' 2" tall and his waist size cannot exceed 30. Other requirements of the Guard: They must commit 2 years of life to guard the tomb, live in a barracks under the tomb, and cannot drink any alcohol on or off duty for the rest of their lives. They cannot swear in public for the rest of their lives and cannot disgrace the uniform {fighting} or the tomb in any way. After two years, the guard is given a wreath pin that is worn on their lapel signifying they served as guard of the tomb. There are only 400 presently worn. The guard must obey these rules for the rest of their lives or give up the wreath pin. The shoes are specially made with very thick soles to keep the heat and cold from their feet. There are metal heel plates that extend to the top of the shoe in order to make the loud click as they come to a halt. There are no wrinkles, folds or lint on the uniform. Guards dress for duty in front of a full-length mirror. The first six months of duty a guard cannot talk to anyone, nor watch TV. All off duty time is spent studying the 175 notable people laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. A guard must memorize who they are and where they are interred. Among the notables are: President Taft, Joe E. Lewis {the boxer} and Medal of Honor recipient, Audie Murphy, {the most decorated soldier of WWII} of Hollywood fame. Every guard spends five hours a day getting his uniforms ready for guard duty.


In 2003 as Hurricane Isabelle was approaching Washington, DC, our US Senate/House took 2 days off with anticipation of the storm. On the ABC evening news, it was reported that because of the dangers from the hurricane, the military members assigned the duty of guarding the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier were given permission to suspend the assignment. They respectfully declined the offer, "No way, Sir!" Soaked to the skin, marching in the pelting rain of a tropical storm, they said that guarding the Tomb was not just an assignment, it was the highest honor that can be afforded to a service person. The tomb has been patrolled continuously, 24/7, since 1930.

God Bless and keep them.