Sunday, May 31, 2009

Jefferson Davis

“Oh, the muskets they may rattle…And the cannons they may roar…But we’ll fight for you, Jeff Davis…Along the Southern shore.”
The muskets first rattled and the cannons first roared on April 12, 1861. On that day, Jefferson Davis, president of the Confederate States of America, ordered his troops to fire on Fort Sumter, a Union post in South Carolina. With that, the Civil War between the north and the South had begun.

Davis grew up in Mississippi, attended school in Kentucky, and graduated from West Point in 1824. He served with distinction in the Mexican War, but then left the army and became a prosperous Mississippi cotton planter and respected politician. He was elected to the House of Representatives, then served as Secretary of War under President Franklin Pierce, and was elected to the U.S. Senate. An outspoken advocate for states’ rights. Davis believed strongly that Americans had the right to own slaves. By the time the Union broke apart he was the South’s leading statesman, and an obvious choice for the condederate presidency.

After the war, Davis spent two years in prison and lost his U.S. citizenship. In 1978, almost 90 years after his death, the U.S. Congress restored his citizenship.

June 3rd, Jefferson Davis’ birthday, is a legal holiday in nine southern states.

The papers of Jefferson Davis can be found here

Information regarding Jefferson Davis’ home…Beauvoir….here

Friday, May 29, 2009

The Rocky Mountains

The Rocky Mountains are the backbone of North America. Their majestic, towering peaks stretch for 3,000 miles, from northern Alaska to New Mexico. In some areas, the mountain band is hundreds of miles wide.

The Rockies began to form 200 million years ago. Powerful forces in th earth buckled the land surface, creating folds and bumps thousands of feet high. The Rockies reached their greatest height about 100 million years ago. Wind and rain have worn them down since then, but they are still spectacular. More than 50 peaks in the chain are ofer 14,000 feet above sea level. Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado contains 107 peaks more than 10,000 feet high.

In 1804, explorers Lewis and Clark discovered the huge extent of the range that Native Americans called “the shining mountains.” They were followed by trappers and traders, who found the high mountain passes through which settlers later struggled on their way west.

In the 1850s, prospectors struck gold and silver in the Rockies; some of their mining settlements became cities, such as Denver. Today, the mountains attract skiers in winter and hikers and campers in summer.

National and state parks preserve millions of acres of magnificent mountain scenery and protect wildlife, including grizzly bears, bald eagles, and bighorn sheep.

Find the official site for the Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado here and others sites are listed below:

Pikes Peak
Royal Gorge
Rocky Mountain National Park
Yellowstone National Park
Grand Teton National Park
Glacier National Park (U.S.)
Sawtooth National Recreation Area