It was 151 years ago tonight the President Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a play at Ford’s Theater. Lincoln died the next morning, and in the aftermath, some odd facts seemed to pop up.
After being demolished in last night’s New York primary, it is officially impossible for Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to earn enough delegates to win the GOP presidential nomination outright.
But with Cruz still hoping to steal the nomination in a so-called brokered convention, don’t expect his campaign to be talking about his delegate math problems any time soon.
Cruz was humiliated in New York, where he finished a distant third to billionaire Donald Trump and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. More importantly, he failed to win a single delegate.
Trump won at least 89 of the 95 delegates at stake. John Kasich won at least three, and Cruz was completely shut out.
And that poor performance mathematically eliminated Cruz from being able to accumulate enough delegates to head to the Republican National Convention as the party’s presumptive nominee.
If the process was being run fairly, Cruz and Kasich would be out and headed home.
There aren’t enough delegates left in future contests for either Cruz or Kasich to reach the 1,237 delegates needed to win the GOP nomination.
Their only hope is to block Trump and force a contested convention. The total delegate count stands as: Trump 845, Cruz 559, and Kasich 147.
The nation’s largest private insurer has decided to pull out of ObamaCare in all but “a handful” of markets, a move that is likely to touch off insurance premium spikes that could cost customers over $1,000 a year — and possibly could lead to a collapse of the entire system.
After losing $1 billion over the last two years, the UnitedHealth Group has announced it will no longer provide ObamaCare coverage in virtually all of the 34 state ObamaCare exchanges where it sells health insurance – despite over $1 trillion in pledged support over the next 10 years.
If no other company steps in to fill the unprofitable vacuum, it will leave ObamaCare markets ready to implode in much of the country .
To be able to function, a state exchange must have at least three insurance companies competing for customers, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
If UnitedHealth leaves the ObamaCare exchanges altogether, that will leave 53 percent of Americans – 2.4 million people in mostly small towns and rural areas – with one or two insurers to choose from. It would cause the number of people who have only one insurance provider available to more than quadruple.
In much of the country, people would have only one insurance company to “choose” from.
This isn’t exactly what the president promised when he pitched the Affordable Care Act. In 2013, President Obama said, “This law means more choice, more competition, lower costs for millions of Americans.” Chalk up another one of ObamaCare’s broken promises.
After hearing that UnitedHealth may be heading for the exits, a spokesman for the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services responded by saying, apparently without any hint of irony, “The marketplace should be judged by the choices it offers consumers.”
That would be none.
Obviously, decreasing the supply will trigger price increases – a fact ObamaCare’s defenders are trying their best to minimize. UnitedHealth’s departure, they say, would only cause the premium of the national benchmark plan to rise by one percent.
But people don’t pay the national benchmark’s price. Their rate is based on their local market.
In 13 counties, if UnitedHealth leaves the market, customers will pay more than $100 in extra premiums every single month. In 304 counties, the difference would be between $25 and $100 monthly, or $300 to $1,200 a year for each insurance policy.
The impact will be more catastrophic if any of the other Big Five insurers follows UnitedHealth out the door. Aetna has hinted it may do so. Its CEO, Mark Bertolini, said its ObamaCare “business remained unprofitable in 2015, and we continue to have serious concerns about the sustainability of the public exchanges.”
The companies are the latest, but far from the only, victims of the Affordable Care Act, which President Obama promised would insure more people with more serious health problems while somehow cutting costs. A series of financial tricks and bureaucratic regulations were designed to keep the public from seeing its true price tag.
One of those was to deny insurance companies the ability to charge fees based on the patient’s health and likely burden to others – the only way to remain solvent.
As The Horn News reported, 12 of the nation’s 23 ObamaCare co-ops have already failed, and the entire system appears to entering a “death spiral.”
Desperate to stop the red ink, insurance companies have increased premiums, sometimes by 30 percent or more a year.
For the most part, this has remained hidden to the consumer, because of another ObamaCare gimmick: taxpayer subsidies.
About 85 percent of ObamaCare recipients qualify for some taxpayer funding to offset their premiums. Despite double-digit premium increases, after we all chip in to pay their insurance bill, most consumers have only seen the price they pay increase by four percent.
Of course, that’s a parlor trick. The subsidies are paid for by taxes. So, the Obama administration is just taking money from the consumer’s right pocket and putting it in his left pocket, after taking a hefty bite out of it in transit.
The system has also shifted 68 million people –- 16 million more than anticipated -– onto state health care, either Medicaid or CHIP programs for children. This continues to leach away money from the productive economy into the government’s coffers.
And as time goes on, and ObamaCare becomes more unstable, the amount American taxpayers fork over is only going to increase. According to a new CBO report, ObamaCare subsidies will increase $1.1 trillion over the next decade.
That is, if Aetna or another of the Big Five insurers doesn’t follow UnitedHealth’s lead and leave the ObamaCare exchanges to collapse like a house of cards.
Several Native American tribes, all separated by some distance, have a similar legend: that a race of white giants once walked the Earth but were eventually wiped out.
These are the legends.
Chief Rolling Thunder of the Comanches, a Great Plains tribe, once gave the following account of a race of white giants in 1857:
“Innumerable moons ago, a race of white men, 10 feet high, and far more rich and powerful than any white people now living, here inhabited a large range of country, extending from the rising to the setting sun. Their fortifications crowned the summits of the mountains, protecting their populous cities situated in the intervening valleys.
“They excelled every other nation which was flourished, either before or since, in all manner of cunning handicraft—were brave and warlike—ruling over the land they had wrested from its ancient possessors with a high and haughty hand. Compared with them the palefaces of the present day were pygmies, in both art and arms.”
Rolling Thunder stated that the Great Spirit wiped out the white giants when they forgot justice and mercy and became too proud.
The Navajo also spoke of a race of white giants, called the Starnake people. Their legend describes them as a “regal race of white giants endowed with mining technology who dominated the West, enslaved lesser tribes, and had strongholds all through the Americas. They were either extinguished or ‘went back to the heavens.’”
The Choctaw tribe told of a race of giants that once inhabited what is now Tennessee. Their ancestors fought against them when they arrived in Mississippi during their westward migration. Their tradition talks of the Nahullo, their name for the giant race, and their wonderful stature.
According to the Manta people of Peru, there were once giants that lived among them. According to their legend: “There arrived on the coast, in boats made of reeds, as big as large ships, a party of men of such size that, from the knee downwards, their height was as great as the entire height of an ordinary man, though he might be of good stature. Their limbs were all in proportion to the deformed size of their bodies, and it was a monstrous thing to see their heads, with hair reaching to the shoulders. Their eyes were as large as small plates.” The natives believe that heaven wiped them out due to their sexual habits, which the natives found revolting.
The Paiutes have an oral legend of red-haired, white cannibals that stood about 10 feet tall and lived near Lovelock Cave, Nevada. It’s hard to know for sure if this oral tradition is true or if the truth has been distorted over time and these were just normal sized cannibals that lived near Lovelock Cave.
Some similar Piutes legends feature the same story just without the giants. Archaeologists have found remains of people with red hair in the area, but black hair can turn red with time.
It was 151 years ago tonight the President Abraham Lincoln was shot while watching a play at Ford’s Theater. Lincoln died the next morning, and in the aftermath, some odd facts seemed to pop up.
Why wasn’t General Ulysses S. Grant in the theater box with Lincoln, as scheduled? Where was the President’s bodyguard? How many people were targeted in the plot? And how did all the assassins escape, at least temporarily?
Many of the questions were eventually answered, but some still linger today. And some people have doubts about one of the alleged plotters and her involvement in Lincoln’s murder.
1. Where was General Grant?
He wanted to be in New Jersey! Grant was advertised to be at the event, according to the New York Times, but he declined the invitation so he could travel with his wife to New Jersey to visit relatives.
2. Lincoln almost didn’t go to Ford’s Theater
In that first report of the assassination from the Times, the newspaper said Lincoln was reluctant to go to the play. However, since General Grant cancelled, he felt obliged to attend, even though his wife didn’t feel well. Lincoln tried to get House Speaker Schuyler Colfax to go with him, but Colfax declined.
“He went with apparent reluctance and urged Mr. Colfax to go with him; but that gentleman had made other engagements,” the Times reported.
3. If Colfax had been in the booth with Lincoln, two persons in line to succeed Lincoln would have been in danger.
Vice President Andrew Johnson was also an assassination target, but his assailant lost his nerve and didn’t attack. Colfax was third in line to succeed Lincoln, after Johnson, and Senate Pro Tempore Lafayette Sabine Foster. Secretary of State William Seward wasn’t in the line of succession in 1865.
4. Why wasn’t Vice President Johnson attacked?
John Wilkes Booth had convinced George Atzerodt, an acquaintance, to kill Johnson by setting a trap at the Kirkwood House hotel where the vice president lived. However, Atzerodt lost his nerve and didn’t attempt to kill the vice president, even though he had a rented room above Johnson’s and a loaded gun was found in the room.
5. How did Secretary of State Seward survive despite having his throat stabbed two or three times?
Assassin Lewis Powell gained entry to Seward’s home, where the secretary was bed ridden after a carriage accident. Frederick W. Seward, his son, was seriously injured defending his father during Powell’s assassination attempt. The secretary was wounded, but the metal surgical collar he was wearing protected him.
6. Where was Lincoln’s bodyguard?
The Smithsonian Magazine did a story on this a few years ago. John Parker, the bodyguard, initially left his position to watch the play, and then he went to the saloon next door for intermission. It was the same saloon where Booth was drinking. No one knows where Parker was during the assassination, but he wasn’t at his position at the door to the booth.
7. Where was the Secret Service?
It didn’t exist yet, but Lincoln signed the bill creating it that night before he left for Ford’s Theater.
8. How did Booth stay in hiding for so long?
Booth was able to escape Ford’s Theater alive and he was on the run for 12 days, accompanied by another conspirator, David Herold. The pair went to the Surratt Tavern in Maryland, gathered supplies, went to see Dr. Mudd to have Booth’s broken leg set, and then headed through forest lands and swamps to Virginia. They were also aided by a former Confederate spy operative and by other Confederate sympathizers. Military forces were hot on their trail, and they found a person who directed them to a Virginia farm. At the Garrett Farm, Booth was fatally wounded and Herold surrendered.
9. The original plan was to kidnap Lincoln and not kill him
Booth met with his conspirators in March 1865 and came up with a plan to kidnap Lincoln as he returned from a play at the Campbell Hospital on March 17. But Lincoln changed his plans at the last minute and went to a military ceremony. Booth then thought about kidnapping Lincoln after he left an event at Ford’s Theater. But the actor changed his mind after Lee’s surrender.
10. Was Mary Surratt part of the conspiracy?
That’s a topic still being debated today. Surratt was a Southern sympathizer who had owned land with her late husband in Maryland. She also owned a home in Washington that was also used as a boarding house and she was friends with Booth. She also rented a tavern she owned in Maryland to an innkeeper.
Surratt was with Booth on the day of the assassination, and she allegedly had told the innkeeper to get a pair of guns ready that night for visitors. The innkeeper’s testimony doomed Surratt to the gallows. What was controversial was the decision to hang Surratt – which was personally approved by Andrew Johnson.
The small 1849 Colt Pocket “five shooter” put famed gunmaker Sam Colt in business for keeps.
“You gonna pull those pistols or whistle ‘Dixie?’”
Clint Eastwood’s gunslinger famously brushed off a group of Union soldiers with those sneering words—just before he shot all four of them dead. The line was more than a bit reminiscent of the oft-misquoted line Eastwood said in the 1971 movie that catapulted him to fame: “You’ve got to ask yourself one question: ‘Do I feel lucky?’ Well, do ya, punk?,” his Dirty Harry character asked the bad guy at the mercy of his Smith & Wesson Model 29 .44 Magnum.
When Eastwood’s character ruthlessly killed those soldiers in 1976’s The Outlaw Josey Wales, he chose as his weapons of death the 1847 Colt Walkers from his belt holsters. It’s not surprising that Hollywood would have him draw Colt’s first six-shooter, as much of the credit for taming the Wild West is usually assigned to six-shooters and big-bore rifles. But had he met those soldiers at a poker table, Josey might have reached into his vest pocket for the little five-shot pocket revolver that played its own part in the saga of the American frontier.
That hideout revolver, the 1849 Pocket Colt, was the most produced of all Colt percussion arms. It also became the best selling handgun in the world during the entire 19th century.
Colt’s First Pocket Revolver
During the 1840s, people had a myriad of single shot pistols to choose from for personal portable protection. These guns varied from huge and cumbersome large-bored horse pistols to miniscule, largely ineffective “coat pocket” handguns. As insurance against malfunctions, some of these pistols were actually designed with auxiliary weapons such as affixed knives or heavy club-like handles.
One of the few repeating pistols offered at the time, the multi-barrelled “pepperbox,” was a popular, but somewhat unreliable gun. Named for condiment canisters, a host of these single-action and double-action pepperbox pistols were produced by manufacturers including Allen & Thurber, Blunt & Syms and the English firm Manton. While some considered the pepperbox pistol one of the best pistols of its time, others saw it as unreliable, inaccurate and sometimes downright dangerous for its possessor. In his classic work Roughing It, Mark Twain claimed that the safest place to be when such a contraption fired was in front of it. A justice of the peace in Mariposa, California, agreed with Twain and actually ruled in an 1852 assault case that an Allen’s pepperbox could not be considered a dangerous weapon.
Lacking a truly reliable pocket-sized revolver, the public clamored for a quality, accurate weapon. Sam Colt, an astute businessman, knew he could fulfill the need. He carefully studied his big and heavy Dragoon revolver and determined that certain features deemed necessary in a large belt revolver could be removed from a smaller pocket-type pistol. In crafting his first pocket revolver, Col. Colt eliminated an estimated 85 of the roughly 480 separate operations required to produce his firm’s belt pistol, the .44 caliber Dragoon, reports P.L. Shumaker in Colt’s Variations of the Old Model Pocket Pistol, 1848 to 1872.
Colt’s first pocket revolver began production around 1847, after the collapse of his Patent Arms Manufacturing Company in Paterson, New Jersey. Now called the “Baby Dragoon,” this 1848 revolver was the predecessor to the 1849 Pocket Model. About 15,000 Baby Dragoons were the first pocket pistols produced by Colt’s facility in Hartford, Connecticut.
Colt offered these .31 caliber pocket pistols as an inexpensive repeating firearm designed to compare more favorably to the single-shot handguns then available. To cut costs, Colt replaced the traditional six-shot cylinder with a five loader. The Baby Dragoon also included a recoil shield but no safety cutout to catch a percussion cap. If a cap failed to ignite its chamber’s main charge, the pistol had to be dismantled to replace that faulty cap.
The model also lacked a rammer assembly underneath the barrel, which made loading a Baby Dragoon a cumbersome process. The shooter had to load ammunition by knocking out the barrel wedge and removing the barrel and cylinder. The shooter then charged the chambers of the cylinder with powder before utilizing the cylinder pin to force a lead projectile into each chamber. Next he fitted percussion caps over the nipples, replaced the cylinder and barrel assembly, and securely fastened the barrel wedge. Lastly, he rotated the cylinder so that the hammer rested over a single cylinder “safety” pin located between two of the chambers on the rear facing of the cylinder.
In spite of these drawbacks, Colt’s new pocket revolver still outperformed other available single-firing and multi-shot handguns in design, quality and function. The public’s approval was overwhelming, and the new little “revolving pistol” was a success from the very start.
Pocket Colt Shoots Out Competition
Public opinion spurred Colt to implement additional changes to the Pocket Colt (the first few had an estimated 150 run). Colonel Colt added a rammer assembly for easier loading and a cutout in the recoil shield so that capping could be accomplished without taking the pistol apart. Other improvements included affixing a roller bearing at the base of the hammer, placing tiny “safety” pins between each chamber, as opposed to just a single pin, and replacing rounded stops cutting into the cylinder with rectangular stops. Colt also lengthened the frame and barrel design, and modified the trigger and guard. The most notable cosmetic change made to the gun was engraving a “stagecoach holdup” scene by rolling it onto the cylinder. (Some early models, however, featured the “Ranger and Indian” fight scene as found on the Dragoon and Baby Dragoon models.) These features constitute what has become known as the standard 1849 Colt Pocket Model pistol.
Produced in a wide variety of configurations and barrel lengths, the 1849 Pocket Model Colt became one of the most famous handguns of its time. It outsold all of the company’s other models as well as those manufactured by competitors. City dwellers in the East mainly purchased the five shooters for travel “insurance” and home protection. But many of these Pocket Colts also went west for California’s Gold Rush.
Initially promoted in California in March 1851, as the “New Pattern…with patent lever,” Colt’s improved ’49er quickly became a favorite with miners, express agents and other argonauts who needed a small pocket revolver. On San Francisco’s Barbary Coast, gamblers sometimes referred to such hideout guns as a “fifth ace.” The demand in the Golden State proved so great that Colt’s factory in Hartford was unable to keep up with the orders. The large belt model Colt, which sold for around $16-$18 each in the East, was selling for as much as $250-$500 apiece in the West. Even the less expensive .31 caliber model commanded prices around $100 on the West Coast. The gun proved to be a favorable alternative for folks who found the heavy Dragoon a bit inconvenient.
Many ’49 Colts made their way overseas. Thanks mostly to Colt’s British agency, the pistol reached ports in Canada, New Zealand, South Africa, Ireland, India and Australia. The demand “down under” was particularly strong due to the Australian Gold Rush of 1853-54. During the American Civil War, soldiers on both sides purchased the pistols with their own funds. They carried the 1849 Pocket models for close combat situations. For decades during the mid-19th century, adventurers worldwide praised these little Colts in the highest terms.
The ’49er was so well-regarded that many expressed their admiration for it by embellishing the Pocket Colt with custom stocks, special finishes, engravings and special gun sights. More non-standard Pocket ’49ers exist than any other model in the world, writes Robert M. Jordan and Darrow M. Watt in Colt’s Pocket ’49, Its Evolution, Including The Baby Dragoon & Wells Fargo. Jordan’s research shows at least 26,000 of the 1849 Pocket models were factory engraved and that more Pocket ’49ers are found in presentation cases than any other gun in the world.
The 1849 Pocket Model Colt may have outshot the competition, but it actually didn’t deliver much of a punch. Fortunately, it didn’t need to. The sidearm was perfect as leverage against a touchy situation. A misdealt card, a mining claim dispute, a defense of a lady’s honor or perhaps
an expedited bank withdrawal might all be eased along through the use of a ’49er. The simple brandishing of the firearm could even elicit the desired reaction.
If fired, the Pocket Colt’s efficacy varied at the whim of several factors not necessarily tied to its load. A .31 caliber round ball, or pointed (conical) bullet, weighs in at around 45 grains of pure, soft lead. With a standard charge of about 15 grains of FFFg (3Fg) blackpowder, this loading is capable of traveling at around 590 feet per second (fps) and hitting with a bit under 35 foot-pounds of muzzle energy. In comparison, a little modern .32 Smith & Wesson, when fired from a short-barreled revolver, develops approximately 680 fps and delivers almost 90 foot-pounds of muzzle thump.
By our current standards, the ’49 Pocket Colt is hardly impressive, but in its time, it could do damage. At close range, the length of a card table for instance, the gun could be dangerous. The soft lead of its bullets had the capacity to frustrate the period medical establishment.
Colt made the 1849 Pocket Model in barrel lengths of three, four, five and six inches. The four-inch and five-inch tubes were the most popular, and the six-inch barreled version appears to be the scarcest model produced. Unloaded, a ’49er weighs from 24 to 27 ounces, depending on barrel length. Sold with a blued barrel and cylinder, the frame and loading lever were color case hardened. Grip straps were generally silver plated over brass, although some were made with blued- or silver-plated iron. Factory standard stocks were of the one-piece varnished, straight-grained walnut variety—typical of commercially-produced period Colts. Custom stocks of select burl walnut, ivory and other materials were offered. On an 1849 model, you’ll likely find one of a variety of barrel roll stampings noting the addresses and places of manufacturing.
Although one of the Pocket Model’s improvements was the incorporation of a loading lever assembly, Colt produced a small number of ’49 models without these additions. Modern gun aficionados nicknamed these three-inch rammerless ’49ers the “Wells Fargo,” yet no evidence supports the claim that the famed express firm ever officially adopted this weapon as a sidearm for its drivers, guards and various agents. Wells Fargo employees certainly did carry ’49 Pocket Colts,
both with and without rammers. Many of these were privately purchased, along with other sidearms.
In any event, the rammerless Colt ’49 never sold well. Sometime around 1860, Colt attempted to sell the remaining inventory of his pocket pistols without rammers by fitting these three-inch barreled revolvers with loading assemblies. These were made by crudely modifying loading levers from the standard four-inch barreled pistols. In spite of this modification, the guns still met with public disapproval as the altered rammer lever made it difficult to apply the proper pressure to the rammer itself. Colt manufactured relatively few of these guns, probably around 100. As such, these factory-modified Colts are extremely desirable pieces with today’s collectors.
During its 23 years of production, Colt’s Hartford facility manufactured about 320,000 Colt Pocket Models, while another 11,000 were produced at the plant in London, England. Production of this handgun finally halted in 1873, when Colt began producing self-contained metallic cartridge revolvers. Despite the transition from cap-and-ball to metallic cartridge arms, Colt’s factory records reveal that percussion model ’49ers were still being shipped as late as 1889. This was especially ironic because the 1849 Pocket Model was one of the caplock revolvers that the Colt factory converted during its first stages of producing metallic cartridge handguns as early as 1869. A Colt employee, E. Alexander Thuer, designed a conversion system that allowed specially designed cartridges to be front-loaded. This little revision legally skirted around the Smith & Wesson-held Rollin-White patent for a drilled-through chamber in the revolver’s cylinder.
A Collector’s Dream
Inevitably, newer and stronger designs in pocket handguns and ammunition pushed the ’49 Pocket Colt to the wayside in favor of more modern arms. Today, the ’49 Pocket Model is considered quite collectible, commanding premium prices among discerning arms collectors. Greg Martin Auctions in San Francisco, California, set a record for the highest price paid at auction for a firearm when it sold a cased, gold-inlaid 1849 Pocket Colt engraved by Gustave Young for a $720,000 bid in 2003.
With the original garnering such a commanding price, it’s not surprising that variations of the 1849 Pocket Colts are still manufactured by Italy’s A. Uberti and Company, the world’s largest replica house, and sold by Cimarron Fire Arms, Uberti (Benelli USA), Taylor’s & Company, E.M.F. Company and Dixie Gun Works. The firms offer the standard four-inch barreled 1849 Model, the so-called “Wells Fargo” model (sans rammer assembly) and the rammerless Model 1848 “Baby Dragoon.” The Pocket models can be purchased from either company in a variety of standard finishes that include dark blue, charcoal blue and the so-called “original” antique patina.
Shooting one of these replica 1849 Pocket Model Colts is a true joy. The attached rammer assembly on Cimarron Fire Arms’ replica of the four-inch barreled version makes loading easy and firing the gun delightful. Unlike the big belt model cap-and-ball six-guns of the age, you won’t hear a booming report or see as much white smoke with each shot. Discharging this little spitfire is rather reminiscent of a small vocal dog. The diminutive wheel gun barks sharply, spitting out a .31 caliber ball with the gusto of a feisty little critter. At close range, say within 25 feet, the accuracy is gratifying. At card table distances, the ’49er is deadly, putting its lead pills right where they are aimed.
After handling and firing this pocket revolver, one can easily see why it commanded such respect among the people of the Victorian era. For its time, the 1849 Colt Pocket Model was a modern and practical pocket gun. And no bluecoat whistling “Dixie” in your face would have stood a chance against it.
SOBERING STATISTICS FOR THE VIETNAM WAR
In case you haven’t been paying attention these past few decades after you returned from Vietnam, the clock has been ticking. The following are some statistics that are at once depressing yet in a larger sense should give you a huge sense of pride.
“Of the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam, Less than 850,000 are estimated to be alive today, with the youngest American Vietnam veteran’s age approximated to be 60 years old.”
So, if you’re alive and reading this, how does it feel to be among the last 1/3rd of all the U.S. Vets who served in Vietnam? I don’t know about you guys, but it kinda gives me the chills, Considering this is the kind of information I’m used to reading about WWII and Korean War vets…
So the last 14 years we are dying too fast, only the few will survive by 2025…if any.. If true, 390 VN vets die a day. so in 2190 days…from today, lucky to be a Vietnam veteran alive… in only 6-10 years..
These statistics were taken from a variety of sources to include: The VFW Magazine, the Public Information Office, and the HQ CP Forward Observer – 1st Recon April 12, 1997.
*STATISTICS FOR INDIVIDUALS IN UNIFORM AND IN COUNTRY VIETNAM VETERANS: *
9,087,000 military personnel served on active duty during the Vietnam Era (August 5, 1964 – May 7, 1975).
8,744,000 GIs were on active duty during the war (Aug 5, 1964-March 28, 1973).
2,709,918 Americans served in Vietnam, this number represents 9.7% of their generation.
3,403,100 (Including 514,300 offshore) personnel served in the broader Southeast Asia Theater (Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, flight crews based in Thailand, and sailors in adjacent South China Sea waters).
2,594,000 personnel served within the borders of South Vietnam (Jan. 1, 1965 – March 28, 1973). Another 50,000 men served in Vietnam between 1960 and 1964.
Of the 2.6 million, between 1-1.6 million (40-60%) either fought in combat, provided close support or were at least fairly regularly exposed to enemy attack.
7,484 women (6,250 or 83.5% were nurses) served in Vietnam.
Peak troop strength in Vietnam: 543,482 (April 30, 1968).
Agent Orange is taking a huge toll on Vietnam Veterans with most deaths somehow related to Agent Orange exposure. No one officially dies of Agent Orange, they die from the exposure which causes ischemic Heart Disease and failure, Lung Cancer, Kidney failure or COPD related disorders.
The first man to die in Vietnam was James Davis, in 1958. He was with the 509th Radio Research Station. Davis Station in Saigon was named for him.
Hostile deaths: 47,378
Non-hostile deaths: 10,800
Total: 58,202 (Includes men formerly classified as MIA and Mayaguez casualties). Men who have subsequently died of wounds account for the changing total.
8 nurses died — 1 was KIA.
61% of the men killed were 21 or younger.
11,465 of those killed were younger than 20 years old.
Of those killed, 17,539 were married.
Average age of men killed: 23.1 years
Enlisted: 50,274; 22.37 years
Officers: 6,598; 28.43 years
Warrants: 1,276; 24.73 years
E1: 525; 20.34 years
Five men killed in Vietnam were only 16 years old.
The oldest man killed was 62 years old.
Highest state death rate: West Virginia – 84.1% (national average 58.9% for every 100,000 males in 1970).
Wounded: 303,704 — 153,329 hospitalized + 150,375 injured requiring no hospital care.
Severely disabled: 75,000, — 23,214: 100% disabled; 5,283 lost limbs; 1,081 sustained multiple amputations.
Amputation or crippling wounds to the lower extremities were 300% higher than in WWII and 70% higher than Korea.
Multiple amputations occurred at the rate of 18.4% compared to 5.7% in WWII.
Missing in Action: 2,338
POWs: 766 (114 died in captivity)
As of January 15, 2004, there are 1,875 Americans still unaccounted for, from the Vietnam War.
DRAFTEES VS. VOLUNTEERS:
25% (648,500) of total forces in country were draftees. (66% of U.S. armed forces members were drafted during WWII).
Draftees accounted for 30.4% (17,725) of combat deaths in Vietnam.
Reservists killed: 5,977
National Guard: 6,140 served: 101 died.
Total draftees (1965 – 73): 1,728,344.
Actually served in Vietnam: 38% Marine Corps Draft: 42,633.
Last man drafted: June 30, 1973.
RACE AND ETHNIC BACKGROUND:
88.4% of the men who actually served in Vietnam were Caucasian; 10.6% (275,000) were black; 1% belonged to other races.
86.3% of the men who died in Vietnam were Caucasian (includes Hispanics);
12.5% (7,241) were black;
1.2% belonged to other races.
170,000 Hispanics served in Vietnam; 3,070 (5.2% of total) died there.
70% of enlisted men killed were of North-west European descent.
86.8% of the men who were killed as a result of hostile action were Caucasian; 12.1% (5,711) were black; 1.1% belonged to other races.
14.6% (1,530) of non-combat deaths were among blacks.
34% of blacks who enlisted volunteered for the combat arms.
Overall, blacks suffered 12.5% of the deaths in Vietnam at a time when the percentage of blacks of military age was 13.5% of the total population.
Religion of Dead: Protestant — 64.4%; Catholic — 28.9%; other/none — 6.7%
Vietnam veterans have a lower unemployment rate than the same non-vet age groups.
Vietnam veterans’ personal income exceeds that of our non-veteran age group by more than 18 percent.
76% of the men sent to Vietnam were from lower middle/working class backgrounds.
Three-fourths had family incomes above the poverty level; 50% were from middle income backgrounds.
Some 23% of Vietnam vets had fathers with professional, managerial or technical occupations.
79% of the men who served in Vietnam had a high school education or better when they entered the military service.
63% of Korean War vets and only 45% of WWII vets had completed high school upon separation.
Deaths by region per 100,000 of population: South — 31%, West –29.9%; Midwest — 28.4%; Northeast — 23.5%.
DRUG USAGE & CRIME:
There is no difference in drug usage between Vietnam Veterans and non-Vietnam Veterans of the same age group.
(Source: Veterans Administration Study)
Vietnam Veterans are less likely to be in prison – only one-half of one percent of Vietnam Veterans have been jailed for crimes.
85% of Vietnam Veterans made successful transitions to civilian life.
WINNING & LOSING:
82% of veterans who saw heavy combat strongly believe the war was lost because of lack of political will.
Nearly 75% of the public agrees it was a failure of political will, not of arms.
97% of Vietnam-era veterans were honorably discharged.
91% of actual Vietnam War veterans and 90% of those who saw heavy combat are proud to have served their country.
74% say they would serve again, even knowing the outcome.
87% of the public now holds Vietnam veterans in high esteem.
INTERESTING CENSUS STATISTICS:
1,713,823 of those who served in Vietnam were still alive as of August, 1995 (census figures).
As of the current Census taken during August, 2000, the surviving U.S. Vietnam Veteran population estimate is: 1,002,511. This is hard to believe, losing nearly 711,000 between ’95 and ’00. That’s 390 per day.
The Department of Defense Vietnam War Service Index officially provided by The War Library originally reported with errors that 2,709,918 U.S. military personnel as having served in-country. Corrections and confirmations to this erred index resulted in the addition of 358 U.S. military personnel confirmed to have served in Vietnam but not originally listed by the Department of Defense. (All names are currently on file and accessible 24/7/365).
Isolated atrocities committed by American Soldiers produced torrents of outrage from anti-war critics and the news media while Communist atrocities were so common that they received hardly any media mention at all. The United States sought to minimize and prevent attacks on civilians while North Vietnam made attacks on civilians a centerpiece of its strategy. Americans who deliberately killed civilians received prison sentences while Communists who did so received commendations.
From 1957 to 1973, the National Liberation Front assassinated 36,725 Vietnamese and abducted another 58,499. The death squads focused on leaders at the village level and on anyone who improved the lives of the peasants such as medical personnel, social workers, and school teachers.
Buffalo Bill was born William Frederick Cody on February 26, 1846. He lived until January 10, 1917. Cody grew up on the frontier and loved his way of life. As he got older, some of his titles he earned included buffalo hunter, U.S. Army scout and guide, and showman, as well as Pony Express Rider, Indian fighter, and even author. Whatever Cody’s titles, he was destined for fame.
His track of fame began as with his reputation as a master buffalo hunter. While hunting buffalo for pay to feed railroad workers, he shot and killed 11 out of 12 buffalo, earning him his nickname and show name “Buffalo Bill.” As an army scout, Cody extended his fame by gaining recognition as an army scout with a reputation for bravery. As a well-known scout, he often led rich men from the East and Europe and even royalty on hunting trips. Cody’s fame began to spread to the East when an author, Ned Buntline caught wind of him and wrote a dime novel about Buffalo Bill, called Buffalo Bill, the King of Border Men (1869). To top it all off, Buntline’s novel was turned into a theatrical production which greatly contributed to his success and popularity in the east.
Before long, Cody ended up starring as himself in Buntline’s play. Soon after, he started his own theatrical troop. It wasn’t until 1883 when Cody first got his idea for a Wild West show. That same year, he launched Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show in Omaha, Nebraska. With his Wild West show in hand, nobody could deny Buffalo Bill’s fame. “At the turn of the twentieth century, William F. Cody was known as ‘the greatest showman on the face of the earth’”.Cody had full domination of the Wild West show business.
Out of all of his fame-bearing titles, William F. Cody is most celebrated for being the inventor of the Wild West show. His crown title would be impresario, or manager or producer of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show. His motivation to produce the show was to preserve the western way of life that he grew up with and loved. Driven by his ambition to keep this way of life from disappearing, Cody turned his “real life adventure into the first and greatest outdoor western show”. Cody did not want to see his way of life vanish without remembrance. Consequently, Cody became the first real Westerner to cash in on the western myth, which others had been writing literature, dime novels, and plays about for some time.
In creating the Wild West show, Cody also created the myth of the adventuresome, exciting, and outright wild western frontier. Cody helped pitch-in to give the West its image as we see it today. The legend he fathered became a permanent part in America’s history and is still present today. He also was the first to establish the format and content of Wild West shows.
The shows consisted of reenactments of history combined with displays of showmanship, sharp-shooting, hunts, racing, or rodeo style events. Each show was 3–4 hours long and attracted crowds of thousands of people daily. The show began with a parade on horseback. The parade was a major ordeal, an affair that involved huge public crowds and many performers, including the Congress of Rough Riders. The Congress of Rough Riders was composed of marksman from around the world, including the future President Theodore Roosevelt, who marched through the parade on horseback.
Among the composition of the show were “historical” scenes. “The exact scenes changed over time, but were either portrayed as a ‘typical’ event such as the early settlers defending a homestead, a wagon train crossing the plains, or a more specific event such as the Battle of the Little Bighorn”. In both types of events, Buffalo Bill used his poetic license to both glorify himself or others while heightening the villainous mischievousness of the “bad guys” (outlaws or Indians) and to embellish each situation for theatrical enhancement. “Typical” events included acts known as Bison Hunt, Train Robbery, Indian War Battle Reenactment, and the usual grand finale of the show, Attack on the Burning Cabin, in which Indians attacked a settler’s cabin and were repulsed by Buffalo Bill, cowboys, and Mexicans.
A more specific historical event in the show might have been a reenactment of the Battle of Little Bighorn also known as “Custer’s Last Stand”. This event was made into a famous act performed in the show, with Buck Taylor starring as General George Armstrong Custer. In this battle, Custer and all men under his direct command were killed. After Custer is dead, Buffalo Bill rides in, the hero, but he is too late. He avenges Custer by killing and scalping Yellow Hair (also called Yellowhand) which he called the “first scalp for Custer”.This reenactment is exciting for the audience and also stresses Buffalo Bill’s importance, as it suggests that were he to ride in on time, Custer and his men may have been saved.
Shooting competitions and displays of marksmanship were commonly a part of the program. Great feats of skill were shown off using rifles, shot guns, and revolvers. Most people in the show were all good marksmen but many were experts. Buffalo Bill himself was an excellent marksman. It was said that nobody could top him shooting a rifle off the back of a moving horse. Other star shooters were Annie Oakley, Lillian Smith, and Seth Clover.
The show also demonstrated hunts executed by Buffalo Bill, cowboys, and Mexicans, which were staged as they would have been on the frontier, and were accompanied by one of the few remaining buffalo herds in the worlds. “People throughout North America and Europe who had never seen buffalo before felt the rush of being in the middle of the hunt.”
Animals also did their share in the show through rodeo entertainment, an audience favorite. In rodeo events, cowboys like Lee Martin would try to rope and ride broncos. Broncos are unbroken horses that tend to throw or buck their riders. Other wild animals they would attempt to ride or deal with were mules, buffalo, Texas steers, elk, deer, bears, and moose. Some notable cowboys who participated in the events were Buck Taylor (dubbed “The First Cowboy King”), Bronco Bill, James Lawson (“The Roper”), Bill Bullock, Tim Clayton, Coyote Bill, and Bridle Bill.
Races were another form of entertainment employed in the Wild West show. Many different races were held, including those between cowboys, Mexicans, and Indians, a 100 yd foot race between Indian and Indian pony, a race between Sioux boys on bareback Indian ponies, races between Mexican thoroughbreds, and even a race between Lady Riders.
All in all, the show had a pretty big entourage. It contained as many as 1,200 performers at one time (cowboys, scouts, Indians, military, Mexicans, and men from other heritages), and a large number of many animals including buffalo and Texas Longhorns. Performers in the show were often popular celebrities of the day. Some of the recognizably famous men who took part in the show were Will Rogers, Tom Mix, Pawnee Bill, James Lawson, Bill Pickett, Jess Willard, Mexican Joe, Capt. Adam Bogardus, Buck Taylor, Ralph and Nan Lohse, Antonio Esquibel, and “Capt. Waterman and his Trained Buffalo”. Even more famous were Wild Bill Hickok and Johnny Baker. Wild Bill Hickok was well known as a gunfighter and as a marshal, and he was also an established dime novel hero, like Buffalo Bill. His name on the playbill gave a great draw of audiences because they knew him from dime-novels, and he was a genuine scout. Johnny Baker was nicknamed the “Cowboy Kid” and considered to be Annie Oakley’s boy counterpart. Cody originally took him on in the show mainly because he would have been the same age as his own dead son, but little Johnny Baker turned out to be a great success, was very skilled and ended up becoming the arena director.
The list of famous Wild West show participants was not limited to men. Women were also a large part of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show and attracted many spectators. In fact Annie Oakley, one of the show’s star attractions was a woman. Born Phoebe Ann Moses, Oakley first gained recognition as a sharpshooter when she defeated Frank Butler, a pro marksman at age 15, in a shooting exhibition. She became the star attraction of Buffalo Bill’s Wild West show for 16 years, under the management of Frank Butler, whom she ended up marrying. Annie was billed in the show as “Miss Annie Oakley, the Peerless Lady Wing-Shot”. She was also nicknamed “Little Sure Shot” by Chief Sitting Bull, who was also in the show. Annie was renowned for her trick shots. Annie was able to, from 30 paces, split the edge of a playing card, hit center of ace of spades, shoot down a playing card tossed in air, shatter glass balls thrown in air, hit dimes held between Butler’s fingers, shoot an apple out of poodle’s mouth and shoot off the butt of cigarette from Butler’s mouth. She also performed the last trick shooting the cigarette out of Crown Prince Wilhelm’s mouth in Berlin. Her most famous trick was a mirror trick in which she hit a target behind her shooting backwards using a mirror for aim. These incredible feats of marksmanship amazed and excited people and she generated huge audiences eager to see the display.
Calamity Jane (or Martha Cannary) was another distinguished woman participant of the show. Calamity Jane was a notorious frontierswoman who was the subject of many wild stories- many of which she made up herself. In the show, she was a skilled horsewoman and expert rifle and revolver handler. She also claimed to have a love affair with Wild Bill Hickok (and that she was married to him and had his child), which he denied and there is no proof of.Calamity Jane appeared in Wild West shows until 1902, when she was reportedly fired for drinking and fighting. Other mentionable females in the business were Lillian Smith and Bessie and Della Ferrel
Native Americans were also a part of Cody’s show. The Native Americans who took part in the show were mostly Plains Indians like the Pawnee and Sioux. They participated in staged “Indian Races” and historic battles, and often appeared in attack scenes attacking whites in which their savagery and wildness was played up. They also performed talented dances, such as the Sioux Ghost Dance. In reality the performance of the ghost dance meant that trouble was brewing and about to break out, but it wasn’t portrayed as such in the show. The Native Americans always wore their best regalia and full war paint. Cody treated them with great respect and paid them adequately. The extent of his respect was demonstrated when he named the Native Americans as “the former foe, present friend, the American”. Audiences were impressed by the presence of Native Americans in the show because they were extraordinarily “simultaneously exotic and accessible people”.
Native Americans in the show also had their claim to fame, the best known being Chief Sitting Bull. Sitting Bull joined the show for a short time and was a star attraction alongside Annie Oakley. It was said that he only agreed to join the show because he was fascinated with Annie Oakley and Buffalo Bill assured him that if he joined, he could see her perform all the time.During his time at the show, Sitting Bull was introduced to President Grover Cleveland, which he thought proved his importance as chief.He was friends with Buffalo Bill and highly valued the horse that was given to him when he left the show. Other familiar Native Americans names who performed in the show were Chief Joseph,Geronimo, and Rains in Face (who reportedly killed George A. Custer).
Buffalo’s Bill’s Wild West show continued to captivate audiences and tour annually for a total of 30 years (1883–1913). After opening on May 19, 1883 in Omaha, Nebraska, the show was on what seemed to be a perpetual tour all over the east of America. The show “hopped the pond” in 1887 for the American Exhibition, and was then requested for a command performance at Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee in 1887 at Windsor Castle, in England. The whole troupe including 200 passengers plus 97 Natives, 18 buffalo, 181 horses, 10 elk, 4 donkeys, 5 longhorns (Texas steers), 2 deer, 10 mules, and the Deadwood Concord stagecoach crossed the Atlantic on several ships. They then toured England for the next six months and the following year returned to tour Europe until 1892. With his tour in Europe, Buffalo Bill established the myth of the American West overseas as well. To some Europeans, the Wild West show not only represented the west, but all of America. He also created the cowboy as an American icon. He gave the people of England, France, Spain, Italy, Belgium, Netherlands, and Germany a taste of the wild and romantic west.
In 1893 the show performed at the Chicago World’s Fair to a crowd of 18,000. This performance was a huge contributor to the show’s popularity. The show never again did as well as it did that year. That same year at the Fair, Frederick Turner, a young Wisconsin scholar, gave a speech that pronounced the first stage of American history over. “The frontier has gone”, he declared.
The Lussiure New of England predicted “The Business will degenerate into the hands of men devoid of Buffalo Bill’s exalted simplicity, and much more eager to finger the shillings of the public than to shake the hand of Mother Nature.” By 1894 the harsh economy made it hard to afford tickets. It did not help that the show was routed to go through the South in a year when the cotton was flooded and there was a general depression in the area. Buffalo Bill lost a lot of money and was on the brink of a financial disaster. Soon after, and in an attempt of recovery of monetary balance, Buffalo Bill signed a contract in which he was tricked by Bonfil and Temmen into selling them the show and demoting himself to a mere employee and attraction of the Sells-Floto Circus. From this point, the show began to destroy itself. Finally, in 1913 the show was declared bankrupt. “Cody was forced to take his tents down for the last time”.
Western shows “generated a passion for Western entertainment of all kinds.”This passion is still evidenced in western films, modern rodeos, and circuses. Western Films in the first half of the 20th century filled the gap left behind by Wild West shows. The first real western, The Great Train Robbery was made in 1903, and thousands followed after. Contemporary rodeos also still exist today as major productions, still employing the same events and skills as cowboys did in Wild West shows.
Could this finally be the beginning of the end for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton?
Anonymous internal sources told the New York Post that FBI Director James Comey and leading investigators into the Clinton email set-up have become “increasingly certain that presidential nominee Hillary Clinton violated laws in handling classified government information through her private email server” and that investigators are now in possession of “compelling evidence” proving her guilt.
And sources told the Post that the probe is nearing its end.
Clinton has long faced criticism for using a private, home-brew email system during her tenure as secretary of state. While Clinton has repeatedly denied handling classified information through her private email, several emails had to be held back from public release because information contained in them was deemed classified or too sensitive.
With the FBI reportedly convinced that Clinton mishandled classified information, it’s next task is to convince the U.S. Department of Justice to indict Clinton and prosecute. While that was once considered an unenviable — if not impossible — task, there could be enough political pressure to force the DOJ’s hands, according to former U.S. ambassador John Bolton.
“I think that the pressure is definitely building,” Bolton said Sunday.
Bolton, speaking to radio host Aaron Klein, went on to say that “there’s a real risk for Obama and for the attorney general that the FBI will explode” if an indictment doesn’t occur.
“It may not be the same thing as firing Archibald Cox [the discharged Special Prosecutor] in the Watergate investigation, but if this potential prosecution is tanked for political reasons, it will be a very loud explosion. And it will stain Obama’s legacy forever. It will damage [Attorney General] Loretta Lynch’s professional reputation and I think it will have a profound impact on the presidential election, as well,” Bolton said.
Clinton currently enjoys a lead of more than 300 delegates over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Democratic presidential primary, but Sanders supporters remain hopeful an indictment would help them rally for a historic comeback. With Washington state, Alaska and Hawaii set to hold votes on Saturday and thousands of delegates still at stake, an indictment could ultimately cost Clinton the White House she’s long coveted.
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