“Old soldiers never die, they just fade away.”

On April 19, 1951, General Douglas MacArthur made a high-profile “farewell address” to a joint meeting of both houses of Congress. Eight days earlier, he’d been fired as the top commander of the American forces in the Korean War by President Harry Truman, essentially for having the gall to publicly criticize Truman’s denial of his … Read more

Oh, the irony! Tax Day is also a legal anniversary of “Plop, plop, fizz, fizz…”

America’s federal income tax was first created by Congress in 1861, to help fund the Union Army during the Civil War. The original deadline set for paying the tax was June 30. In 1895, that first Federal income tax law was declared unconstitutional and overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court. This little legal problem was … Read more

Wayne LaPierre’s (in)famous “jack-booted government thugs” quote…

For many decades after the National Rifle Association was founded in 1871, a main focus of the group was on urging and teaching gun safety, to help reduce gun-related accidents. In fact, the famous slogan associated with the NRA — “Guns don’t kill people. People kill people.” — was once used as a cautionary safety … Read more

“A statesman is a politician who’s been dead ten or fifteen years.”

During Harry S Truman’s years as President of the United States, from 1945 to 1954, he was known as a feisty politician. It earned him the nickname “Give ‘em Hell Harry.” That nickname emerged during his 1948 campaign as the Democratic presidential nominee, when supporters began yelling “Give ‘em Hell, Harry!” at his campaign events. … Read more

The story behind “Dixie,” the blackface minstrel song that may have been stolen from black musicians…

The American Civil War is bracketed by two songs with lyrics that are familiar to most people. The metaphorical end of that war has become associated with The Band’s 1969 song, “The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down.” The song that became the Confederate states’ anthem at the beginning of the Civil War is popularly … Read more