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10 Things You May Not Know About the Pinkertons

10 Things You May Not Know About the Pinkertons


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1. Its founder became a detective by accident.

In 1842, Allan Pinkerton immigrated to the Chicago area and opened a cooperage, or barrel-making business. His detective career began just five years later, when he stumbled upon a band of counterfeiters while scrounging for lumber on an island in the Fox River. The Scotsman conducted informal surveillance on the gang, and was hailed as a local hero after he helped police make arrests. “The affair was in everybody’s mouth,” he later wrote, “and I suddenly found myself called upon from every quarter to undertake matters requiring detective skill.” Pinkerton soon won a gig as a small town sheriff. He went on to work as Chicago’s first police detective and as an agent for the U.S. Post Office. Around 1850, he opened the private investigation firm that became the Pinkerton National Detective Agency.

2. The Pinkertons inspired the term “private eye.”

The Pinkerton agency first made its name in the late-1850s for hunting down outlaws and providing private security for railroads. As the company’s profile grew, its iconic logo—a large, unblinking eye accompanied by the slogan “We Never Sleep”—gave rise to the term “private eye” as a nickname for detectives.

3. They hired the nation’s first female detective.

In 1856, 23-year-old widow Kate Warne walked into Pinkerton’s Chicago office and requested a job as a detective. Allan Pinkerton was hesitant to hire a female investigator, but he gave in after Warne convinced him that she could “worm out secrets in many places to which it was impossible for male detectives to gain access.” True to her word, Warne proved to be an expert at working undercover, once busting a thief by cozying up to his wife and convincing her to reveal the location of the loot. During another case, she got a suspect to feed her crucial information by disguising herself as a fortune-teller. Pinkerton would later list Warne as one of the best investigators he ever hired. Following her death in 1868, he even had her buried in his family plot.

4. The Pinkertons may have foiled an assassination attempt on Abraham Lincoln.

Shortly before Abraham Lincoln’s first inauguration in March 1861, Allan Pinkerton traveled to Baltimore on a mission for a railroad company. The detective was investigating rumors that Southern sympathizers might sabotage the rail lines to Washington, D.C., but while gathering undercover intelligence, he learned that a secret cabal also planned to assassinate Lincoln—then on a whistle-stop tour—as he switched trains in Baltimore on his way to the capital.

Pinkerton immediately tracked down the president-elect and informed him of the alleged plot. With the help of Kate Warne and several other agents, he then arranged for Lincoln to secretly board an overnight train and pass through Baltimore several hours ahead of his published schedule. Pinkerton operatives also cut telegraph lines to ensure the conspirators couldn’t communicate with one another, and Warne had Lincoln pose as her invalid brother to cover up his identity. The president-elect arrived safely in Washington the next morning, but his decision to skirt through Baltimore saw him lampooned and labeled a coward in the press. Meanwhile, none of the would-be assassins was ever arrested, leading some historians to conclude that the threat may have been exaggerated or even invented by Pinkerton.

5. They spied for the Union Army during the Civil War.

Allan Pinkerton was a staunch abolitionist and Union man, and during the Civil War, he organized a secret intelligence service for General George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac. Operating under the name E.J. Allen, Pinkerton set up spy rings behind enemy lines and infiltrated southern sympathizer groups in the North. He even had agents interview escaped slaves to glean information about the Confederacy. The operation produced reams of intelligence, but not all of it proved accurate. A famous misstep came during 1862’s Peninsula Campaign, when Pinkerton reported that the Confederate forces around Richmond were more than twice their actual size. McClellan believed the faulty intel, and despite outnumbering the rebels by a large margin, he delayed his advance and made repeated calls for reinforcements.

6. The Pinkertons created one of the world’s earliest criminal databases.

One of the many ways the Pinkertons revolutionized law enforcement was with their so-called “Rogues’ Gallery,” a collection of mug shots and case histories that the agency used to research and keep track of wanted men. Along with noting suspects’ distinguishing marks and scars, agents also collected newspaper clippings and generated rap sheets detailing their previous arrests, known associates and areas of expertise. A more sophisticated criminal library wouldn’t be assembled until the early 20th century and the birth of the FBI.

7. The Pinkertons warred with Jesse James and his gang.

During the era of frontier expansion, express companies and railroads often employed the Pinkertons as Wild West bounty hunters. The agency famously infiltrated the Reno gang—perpetrators of the nation’s first train robbery—and later chased after Butch Cassidy and his Wild Bunch. The Pinkertons usually got their man, but in the 1870s, they spent months engaged in a fruitless hunt for the bank robbers Jesse and Frank James. One of their agents was murdered while trying to infiltrate the brothers’ Missouri-based gang, and two more died in a shootout.

The hunt came to a bloody end in 1875, when the Pinkertons launched a raid on the James brothers’ mother’s house in Clay County, Missouri. Frank and Jesse were nowhere to be found—they’d been tipped off—but the Pinkertons got into an argument with their mother, Zerelda Samuel. During the standoff, a member of the detectives’ posse tossed an incendiary device through Samuel’s window, blowing part of her arm off and killing the James brothers’ 8-year-old half brother. The botched raid turned public opinion against the Pinkertons. After seeing his detectives denounced as murderers in the papers, Allan Pinkerton reluctantly called off his war against the James gang. Jesse would go on to elude the authorities for another seven years before being killed by an assassin’s bullet in 1882.

8. They played a role in 1892’s infamous Homestead Mill Strike.

Along with their exploits in the Wild West, the Pinkertons also had a more sinister reputation as the paramilitary wing of big business. Industrialists used them to spy on unions or act as guards and strikebreakers, and detectives clashed with workers on several occasions. During an 1892 strike by the Amalgamated Association of Iron and Steel Workers, the Carnegie Steel Company paid some 300 Pinkertons to act as security at its mill in Homestead, Pennsylvania. After arriving at the plant on river barges, the agents squared off with thousands of striking workers in an all-day battle waged with guns, bricks and even dynamite. By the time the outnumbered Pinkertons finally surrendered, at least a dozen people were dead and several more wounded. The fallout from the melee crippled the steel union, but many also branded the Pinkertons as “hired thugs,” leading several states to pass laws banning the use of outside guards in labor disputes.

9. The Pinkertons were once larger than the U.S. Army.

After Allan Pinkerton died in 1884, control of his agency fell to his two sons, Robert and William. The company continued to grow under their watch, and by the 1890s, it boasted 2,000 detectives and 30,000 reserves—more men than the standing army of the United States. Fearful that the agency could be hired as a private mercenary army, the state of Ohio later outlawed the Pinkertons altogether.

10. The agency still exists today.

By the early 20th century, the Pinkertons’ crime fighting duties had largely been absorbed by local police forces and agencies like the FBI. The company lived on as private security firm and guard service, however, and still operates today under the shortened name “Pinkerton.”


10 Things You May Not Know About The Outer Banks NC

You may know a little or a lot about the North Carolina’s Outer Banks, but how much do you REALLY know? Check out some of these lesser-known facts about the OBX.

Hopefully, you’ll learn something new to share with your family and friends on your next trip to the Outer Banks. This makes for great discussion or Q&A to help pass the time in transit to your OBX beach vacation destination.

1. The first beach cottage was built in Nags Head in the 1830s.

Plantation owners longed to escape the long, hot, humid North Carolina summers on the mainland. The first plantation owner came to Nags Head in the 1830s and purchased 200 acres of land where the first beach cottage was built on the Outer Banks.

2. The waters off the coast of North Carolina are deemed the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

Infamous for fierce storms, treacherous waters and plenty of shipwrecks, the local waters off the coastline are often referred to as the Graveyard of the Atlantic.

In fact, there are over 600 ships that have wrecked in this region since the 16th century, making it a hot spot for divers. Who knows how much treasure is still left to be found?

3. The Cape Hatteras Lighthouse stands 208 feet tall and is over 12 stories high.

With spiraling black and white stripes from top to bottom. Cape Hatteras is the tallest brick lighthouse in America.

4. The U.S. Lifesaving Service was founded on the Outer Banks of North Carolina and was the forerunner to the U.S. Coastguard.

The building of a chain of seven lifesaving stations was begun in 1874 along the Outer Banks at points deemed the greatest danger to ocean-faring vessels.

Many of these lifesaving stations worked in conjunction with OBX lighthouses. The rest is history!

5. The Point is the farthest point east on the Outer Banks and closest to the Gulf Stream.

The easternmost part of the OBX is Cape Point on Hatteras Island, home to the Hatteras Lighthouse. It also arguably one of the best, if not the best, fishing spots on the Outer Banks. Speaking of fishing, did you know that according to the International Gamefish Association, the Outer Banks and the Virgin Islands are the most likely places to catch Atlantic Blue Marlin weighing more than 1,000 pounds? Now you do.

6. Part of the mystery (or maybe a clue?) of the Lost Colony on Roanoke Island is that a single word was found carved into a tree: Croatoan.

What does it mean? Well, speculation has it that the missing colony had moved on with, been attacked by, been overtaken by the Croatan Indians. To this day, we still don’t really know.

7. Pirates roamed the Atlantic waters and shores of the Outer Banks—and one of the most famous was Edward Teach, AKA Blackbeard.

Blackbeard has a lot of legend surrounding both him and his ship, the Queen Anne’s Revenge. He is probably the most well-known pirate the Outer Banks has ever seen.

On November 22, 1718, he was slain by Lt. Robert Maynard of the Royal Navy, in Ocracoke Inlet. Ye best brush up on yer knowledge of the legendary Outer Banks buccaneers before yer next trip, ye filthy landlubber.

8. The OBX is 200 miles long and includes 16 towns and villages.

200 miles of sandbars, how bad can that be? Our barrier island includes 16 towns and villages: Avon, Buxton, Corolla, Duck, Frisco, Hatteras, Kill Devil Hills, Kitty Hawk, Manteo, Nags Head, Ocracoke, Rodanthe, Salvo, Southern Shores, Wanchese, and Waves.

9. The first English child born to the New World was born on the Outer Banks.

1597 is the year and Virginia Dare is her name. Virginia was born on Roanoke Island. Dare County is aptly named after her. Her story is a fascinating one, as is the legend that accompanies it, that’s for sure.

(P.S. There is rumors that her ghost still lingers here.)

10. The OBX is known as the Windsurfing Capital of the East Coast.

It sure is! Thanks to steady winds, a temperate climate, shallow sound waters and rolling ocean waves, windsurfers get to perfect their craft (their watercraft, that is) year-round on the Outer Banks.

The wind velocity averages 11-15 miles per hour on a consistent basis, drawing everyone from first-timers to professional windsurfers to our shores. You’ll find plenty of OBX outfitters ready to help you get you started. They offer lessons, clinics, along with both equipment rentals and sales.


Why only cover Black culture and history in France?

Before we begin, let’s be clear:

It’s important to acknowledge that Black people – whether from Africa, the Caribbean, or elsewhere, or born in France – are far from the only minority in France. Many other groups and cultures have influenced French culture, and these groups and cultures have, sadly, also experienced discrimination and, at times, violence. Each group’s history is complex and rich, and we plan to focus on them in future posts.

The reason we’re focusing on Black people in France in this post is because of what’s going on in the world right now. It’s not about erasure of other communities.

If you’d like to get an idea of other groups that face discrimination in France today – whether due to race/ethnicity, religion, or sexual orientation or identity, a good place to start is the SOS Racisme website.

Another excellent resource for learning about the history of groups that have come to France from other countries is the Musée National de l’Histoire de l’Immigration’s website, which offers a number of documents and videos that you can read and watch for free.

And of course, you can also do a general search for organizations or history related to particular groups that interest you, along with the word “France”.

And now, without further ado…


10 interesting facts you may not know about the Miracle on Ice

Well, now and then, that happens in a sportswriter&aposs life. I did a story for SI this week on Bob Costas and Al Michaels. And to research the story, I asked if they could send me a DVD of the 1980 Olympic hockey game between the U.S. and Soviet Union -- the "Do you believe in miracles?" game. And they did. Of course, I have seen bits and pieces of that game many times since 1980 -- we all have -- but I have not seen the actual game, beginning to end (with extra commentary from Jim McKay), since I was 13 years old.

Watching that game (more than once) was incredible. And it inspired me to write up 10 things you may or may not know about the Miracle on Ice. You probably know most of this stuff. But it&aposs fun just to remember.

10. The game was not broadcast live. Well, that&aposs not exactly right. it was broadcast live on Canadian TV, so a few people up near the border saw it live. But most of the country -- almost all of the country, really -- saw it on tape delay, in prime time. The game had ended less than an hour before it was broadcast.

Funny, a lot of people still think they saw the game live. But I know that one of my strongest memories -- confirmed by the tape -- was of McKay saying that it was tape delay and that if even one person did not know the outcome, well, he wasn&apost going to be the one to break the news. I have seen polls through the years that suggested most of the people who watched the game on television did not know the outcome. I know that my father and I did not. That shows you how long ago 1980 was in terms of technology. There&aposs no way you could keep that a secret now.

9. There was one celebrity in the crowd -- or at least only one celebrity that the ABC cameras showed. That was: Jamie Farr. (For those too young to remember, he played Klinger on M*A*S*H.) "Jamie Farr was definitely the biggest celebrity I saw in the crowd," Michaels says. The interesting thing is that the ABC cameras focused on Farr for a good 10-20 seconds, but never said who he was or why the cameras were locked in on him. He was that famous.* These days, you just know they would have sent a sideline reporter up there to talk with him. In many ways, television was better then.

*I once got Jamie Farr really mad. I wrote a column a few years ago poking fun at the relative lack of celebrity star-power they had at a Kansas City "celebrity" golf tournament. One of the celebs -- a last-minute addition -- was Jamie Farr. Well, he seemed to think that I was making fun of his lack of celebrity and left me a series of very angry voice mail messages that, after a while, sounded like his resume (I know now that he was in "Blackboard Jungle" and he has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame). I was, in fact, not trying to poke fun at Farr (after all, he was one of the few celebrities that actually showed up for the tournament) and put that in my column the next day. He called back to say he wasn&apost mad anymore.

8. You may know that Michaels called the game with former Montreal Canadiens goalie Ken Dryden. You may not know that the day before the game -- the day before -- Dryden has a car service drive him up to Toronto where he took the Canadian bar exam. And he passed. Yeah that&aposs right. Ken Dryden passed the bar one day before the Miracle on Ice.

7. Michaels got the job as broadcaster of Olympic hockey because he was the only announcer in the ABC rotation who had ever called a hockey game. The interesting thing: He had called exactly one game. And that one game was the 1972 hockey game between the USSR and Czechoslovakia in Sapporo, Japan. He actually was working for NBC at the time. The Soviets won 5-2 and won gold. And the only reason Michaels called THAT game is because he grew up a hockey fan, and nobody else wanted to do it.

6. Eric Heiden won five gold medals at the 1980 Olympics* (and later became a doctor, and is now team physician for the U.S. speed skating team). But even as the biggest star of the Games, he could not get a ticket for the U.S.-Soviet hockey game. So ABC had him sit behind Michaels and Dryden on a little platform. He could not see very well, but he was in the building, which apparently is all he wanted. And Michaels has this classic image after the U.S. won the game of turning around and seeing the joy on Eric Heiden&aposs face.

*You may not know this but Heiden is also a member of the U.S. Cycling Hall of Fame.

5. The U.S., famously, got a cheap goal with one second left in the first period, when the legendary Vladislav Tretiak gave up a terrible rebound and U.S. center Mark Johnson jammed home the puck. That goal did more than just tie the game 2-2. It so enraged Soviet coach Viktor Tikhonov that he immediately pulled Tretiak. And when he pulled Tretiak, it had a huge impact on the U.S. hopes. "We were in awe of Tretiak," U.S. captain Mike Eruzione said.

But it&aposs interesting. until I saw the game again I did not realize how it happened. There was still one second left in the period, of course, and the Soviets had already headed to the locker room. They did not want to come back out for the pointless one-second face-off. But they had to come back, and eventually they sent out a shell team -- three players and a goalie. And the goalie was backup goalie Vladimir Myshkin. So, at that moment, it appeared that Tikhonov had only pulled Tretiak for that meaningless face-off. Nobody really thought he had PULLED Tretiak for good.

But sure enough, the second period started, and Vladimir Myshkin was in goal instead of Tretiak.

"I don&apost know what was the reason," Tretiak told me more than 20 years after the game. "It&aposs a big secret. Ask my coach. I still don&apost know.

4. Ken Morrow was the glue for the 1980 team. a stay-at-home defenseman who cleared the puck and steadied the ship and so on. You know that as soon as he and the 1980 Olympic team won gold, Morrow went to play for the New York Islanders. And. the Islanders won Stanley Cup. In fact, the Islanders won the next four Stanley Cups. I&aposve gotten to know Morrow just a little bit -- he lives in Kansas City -- and he is one of the great guys in the world. He will talk about what a charmed life he has led.

"It was like why me?" he says. "But in a good way."

3. The memory, of course, is of the U.S. crowd going absolutely crazy. You will hear people say that was one of the loudest buildings in the history of American sports. And, at the end, it definitively was loud. But the truth is that for most of the game the crowd was actually quite quiet. In fact, there&aposs a moment in the third period where Michaels says: "Now, finally, the crowd comes alive."

"You have to understand," Michaels says, "until Johnson scores that tying goal in the third period, there really wasn&apost much to cheer about."

He&aposs right. The second period was utterly dominated by the Soviets. The Soviets scored a goal early in the second period to make the score 3-2. And then they just peppered U.S. goalie Jim Craig. The U.S. managed only two shots on goal the whole period (the Soviets had 12), and the score could easily have been 4-2 or 5-2 by the end of that period. Remember, the Soviets were huge favorites. everyone in the crowd realized that at any moment they could score three or four or five quick goals and make a mockery of the game. So the crowd was subdued until Johnson scored the tying goal with 12 minutes left. And then, it is like the same thought hit every person in the crowd (and the country) all at once: "Holy cow, the U.S. could actually WIN THIS GAME."

2. Michaels says that if he had thought up his famous line earlier -- "Do you believe in miracles? Yes!" -- he never would have said it. The thing you have to understand about Michaels is that he&aposs a pro&aposs pro. Get the names right. Get the action right. Never jump the gun. Never say what you don&apost know. That&aposs his blueprint. That&aposs his life. And Michaels believes that if he had thought up the line earlier, he would have discarded it because in his head it would sound jingoistic or corny or both.

But he did not think up the line earlier. he was calling the game and the word "miraculous" popped into his head. That&aposs what it was. Miraculous. The Soviets were the greatest hockey team on earth. better than NHL teams. The U.S. team was a bunch of college kids. This could not be happening. Miraculous. And as the puck came out with five seconds to go -- "How lucky was I that the puck came out," Michaels would say -- the words just came out of him. Do you believe in miracles? Yes!

Years later, Michaels would re-do the hockey commentary for the movie "Miracle." But when it came to that final, memorable line -- probably the most famous call in the history of American sports -- they used the original recording. "I couldn&apost do that line again," Michaels says. "No way."

1. This is in the Michaels-Costas story, but it&aposs worth repeating here. Michaels did not just leave after the game was over. He called the Finland-Sweden hockey game. So while he, of course, understood just how big the U.S. victory had been, he was unaware of the nation&aposs reaction, unaware of the way Americans had poured into the streets of Lake Placid. When he left the game, he saw all the people celebrating, all the waving flags, and he made it back to the hotel, and someone said to him: "Wow, that was incredible what you said." And for a second Michaels thought, "What did I say?"

It&aposs interesting, Michaels says he never gets tired of people coming up to him to talk about that call or that game. He never tires of hearing people say where they were when they heard the call. I was in our TV room, my father was on the couch, my mother was out playing cards. I remember jumping up and down when Eruzione scored the game-winner. and I suspect that was the first hockey game I had watched, beginning to end, on television (I did go to a Cleveland Barons game once). Of course, it was the first hockey game that many Americans had seen.

"That was the beauty of that game," Michaels says. "You didn&apost have to understand to understand."


10 things you probably don't know about the Space Coast

We launch rockets, we claim Kate Upton as one of our own but we're more than just a pretty face. You bet your next rocket launch scrub we are. JESSICA SAGGIO/FLORIDA TODAY

How much do you really know about the Space Coast? Here are 10 things that might surprise you. (Photo: Google Maps)

Sure, there are things everyone seems to know about the Space Coast.

We launch rockets, we claim Kate Upton as one of our own, and all those bikini billboards on I-95 lead you to the world-famous Ron Jon Surf Shop in Cocoa Beach.

But we're more than just a pretty face, right? You bet your next rocket launch scrub we are!

Here are 10 things you may not know about Florida's Space Coast:

1. We have the nation's first and only resident airport "ambassadog."

Kuma, the 10-year-old black lab, became the first and only "ambassadog" in the nation at the Orlando Melbourne International Airport. (Photo: MALCOLM DENEMARK/FLORIDA TODAY)

Never heard the term ambassadog? Well, that's probably because it didn't exist before last year when the Orlando Melbourne International Airport welcomed Kuma to its terminal. Kuma is a 10-year-old black Labrador that serves the airport and its guests as a "comfort" animal, there to relieve stressors associated with flying. Kuma can offer a furry cuddle or friendly lick to the face for anyone who needs a pick-me-up. Kuma has a unique certification that provided her training for an airport setting.

2. We test missiles off our coast.

In this file photo dated Monday, Dec. 4, 1989, a Trident II missile launched by the U.S. Navy during a performance evaluation from the submerged submarine USS Tennessee in the Atlantic Ocean off the coast of Cape Canaveral. According to Britain's Sunday Times newspaper published Sunday Jan. 22, 2017, an unarmed nuclear test missile fired by a British submarine off the coast of Florida in 2016, misfired and the failure was allegedly covered up ahead of a debate in Parliament on the future of the Trident missile system. British Prime Minister Theresa May has refused to say whether she knew about the reported failure. (AP Photo/Phil Sandlin, FILE) (Photo: PHIL SANDLIN, ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Everyone knows we launch rockets, but did you know we test missiles here, too? Except you probably won't see these launch. The Naval Ordinance Test Unit based right here in Brevard usually tests the SSBN Trident II D5 missile system way out yonder in the Atlantic. Worried about the crazy man in North Korea? Rest a little easier tonight knowing that this unit is ready to knock down any nuclear warhead that could come our way.

“Whose mere presence deters enemies from even thinking about attacking? The Ballistic Missile Submarine," said Command Master Chief Tracy Kuchta at a recent LEAD Brevard session presentation. "In terms of firepower, it’s the fifth most powerful in the world. NOTU provides test and evaluation of the SSBN Trident II D5 missile system, validating these mighty weapons system to ensure continued peace.”

3. Port Canaveral may be the reason you have salt in the pantry. You can thank Port Canaveral. The port plays host to Morton Salt, which annually produces about 200,000 tons of pool, premium water softener, sea salt and agricultural salts. The salt is shipped from the Bahamas to Port Canaveral where it is manufactured at the Morton Salt facility. Morton Salt has had a partnership with the port since 1990 and even expanded its operations in 2015. Although Port Canaveral is the second busiest cruise ship port in the world, it also ships tons of cargo. No, really. Tons. It shipped in more than 6 million tons last year.

4. The vision for the Cape Canaveral Space Port and Kennedy Space Center will blow your mind.

Think we have a lot of launches and launch pads now? Check out the master plan from Space Florida that shows 12 launch complexes, a skid strip and a stratolaunch facility.

Check out these future plans for KSC. Wowza. (Photo: Space Florida, Dale Ketcham)

Compare that to what we have now and your head might spin:

Current facilities at KSC. (Photo: Space Florida, Dale Ketcham)

5. Patrick Air Force base serves more retirees than it does active service members.

Fun fact. There are 43,000 retirees that utilize PAFB, 125,000 if you include their families, and there are only 4,000 military men and women on base. Total personnel is 15,500 if you include civilians, contractors and dependents. Of course, the busiest place on the base is the Manatee Cove golf course, of which 74 percent of golfers are retirees, said Chief Master Sergeant Michael Worden at a recent Leadership Brevard session.

6. One of the greatest archeological discoveries in history happened in . a Titusville subdivision.

Replica of a burial site at the Windover dig. The new expanded exhibit of the Windover Farms archeological exhibit at the Brevard Museum of History and Natural Science is open in Cocoa. (Photo: MALCOLM DENEMARK/FLORIDA TODAY)

One of the greatest archeological discoveries in history occurred in …. get this… a Titusville subdivision. In 1982 backhoe operator Steve Vanderjagt was clearing an area around a pond that would become the Windover Farms subdivision when he stumbled across human remains … very, very old human remains.

“The remains uncovered at the Windover site were between 7,000 and 8,000 years old, making them 3,200 years older than King Tutankhamen and 2,000 years older than the Great Pyramids of Egypt," according to Florida Frontiers. Nearly 200 separate, intact burials were excavated at the Windover site in an underwater cemetery.

Maybe those Titusville "ghost town" accusations a few years back were meant literally.

7. There is an endangered plant that only grows here.

An endangered mint plant, Dicerandra thinicola, also known as Titusville mint, is believed to grow nowhere else in the world. (Photo: MALCOLM DENEMARK/FLORIDA TODAY)

It looks as if Titusville has yet another claim to fame. The city is the only place in the world where a certain type of gangling herb can grow. It's fancy scientific name is Dicerandra thinicola Miller, but experts call it the "Titusville mint" for short. It has a strong minty smell and may have long term medicinal use. It grows along a narrow, 13-mile strip between the Titusville wellfield (between State Road 405 and SR 50) and Mims. The city has taken precautions to preserve the rare and endangered species.

8. A piece of Melbourne will appear in this year's Super Bowl.

Speaking of mint . That shiny piece of metal that flies through the air just before kick off at the Super Bowl comes straight from, you guessed it, Brevard County. The Super Bowl coin is made by a company called The Highland Mint. Of course, not to be confused with the Titusville Mint. The company is based in Melbourne and has designed and manufactured the Super Bowl coin since 1994.

9. The Space Coast doesn't get sinkholes (at least so far).

Every property owner in the county can let out a big sigh of relief, because sinkholes are not among the disasters that will likely haunt our coastline. Yes, it's true. Unlike Central Florida areas such as Apopka that have seen massive sinkholes form overnight, Brevard County's geological makeup doesn't allow for that kind of crazy quick sand.

"We don't have sinkholes in Brevard County," said county spokesman Don Walker. "We've had culverts collapse, washouts and emergency road closings . Because of our geological makeup, we don't have sinkholes."

The Florida Geological Survey shows where sinkholes have popped up across the state, and not a one has ever been in Brevard.

Oh, and we also don't get direct hurricane hits, either. There has never been a major hurricane landfall in Brevard County since records began being kept in 1851, said Phil Klotzbach, a hurricane researcher at Colorado State University. *Knock on wood.*

10. Rock Star Jim Morrison's house is still standing . and you won't believe its value

Jim Morrison's first home is located in Melbourne. Singer Morrison of the Doors was born Dec. 8, 1943, in Melbourne and died July 7, 1971, in Paris. (Photo: Brevard County Property Appraiser)

Among our famous Brevardians is Jim Morrison, the late great rock star and lead singer of The Doors. Morrison was born in Melbourne and his childhood home is still standing, a modest cottage on Vernon Place. Somebody lives there, so don't be weird and stalk the house. Get this, though, according to the Brevard County Property Appraiser the home's latest market value was only $194,550.

Know more one-of-a-kind facts about Brevard?

Contact Saggio at 321-242-3664

Signs you live on the Space Coast (Photo: JENNIFER SANGALANG/FLORIDA TODAY)


Ten Things You May Not Know About Rommel

General Erwin Rommel (1891-1944) was one of the best-known generals of WWII. He became a legend because of his daring in France in 1940 and then later in North Africa. He was a much-admired figure during the war by both the Allies and the Axis powers. After his defeat at El Alamein, he was forced on the retreat. He was later forced to leave North Africa and later was appointed to lead the resistance to any Allied invasion of France. During the Battle of France, he was severely injured and later died in mysterious circumstances.

Rommel was a war hero from the First World War. He received Imperial Germany&rsquos highest military decoration for his conspicuous bravery during battles on the Italian Front.

Rommel in the desert 1941 2.

He was one of the few officers to be retained in the army after WW I. The Versailles Treaty had limited the size of the German army and the officer corps was also limited. However, his brilliance was recognized and Rommel was allowed to keep his commission.

During the inter-war years, Rommel was involved in operations to control public disorders. While stationed in Dresden he wrote a military manual entitled &lsquoInfantry Tactics&rsquo. This book was a best seller and was even read by Hitler.

Romel with Hitler in 1933 (he is on the left)

During the invasion of Poland, he was in command of Hitler&rsquos personal guard. He later organized the German Victory Parade through Warsaw.

Rommel played a pivotal role in the Fall of France. He was in command of the 7th Panzer Division and led it during the fighting in France. He was able to cross the Meuse River, which the French had expected to halt the German advance. Rommel personally waded into the river during its crossing to lead by example.

In February 1941, he was appointed as commander of the Afrika Korps, at first he was only expected to support the Italian army but his role was greatly expanded as the Italian army faced collapse after several defeats by the British.

During the Second Battle of El Alamein Rommel was not on the battlefield but in Germany receiving urgent medical treatment. He later returned to the battle and helped to ensure that the Afrika Korps was not utterly destroyed by the British. Rommel skillfully extricated his units from the aftermath of El Alamein.

Rommel was one of Hitler&rsquos favorite Generals. He had him appointed as one of the commanders of the efforts to prevent an Allied invasion of Europe. Rommel was in charge of creating a defensive wall that would protect France from an allied invasion. Rommel had thousands of miles of mines, obstacles and fortifications built to defend Nazi-occupied Europe from an Anglo-American amphibious attack.

Rommel became involved in the plot against Hitler in 1944. he knew that the war was lost and that Germany needed to change its leadership. However, the plot was discovered and Rommel was implicated in the conspiracy.

It has been established that Rommel was probably ordered to commit suicide by Hitler for his part in the conspiracy against him. Rommel was already badly injured after his car had come under attack by a British plane. Hitler forced Rommel to commit suicide or face a trial for treason. in order to save his family he agreed to commit suicide.


Here professional storyteller Cath Little shares ten things that you might not know about storytelling:

1. Albert Einstein was a big fan of fairy tales

Einstein said, ‘If you want your children to be intelligent, read them fairy tales. If you want them to be more intelligent, read them more fairy tales.’

2. 2017 was the Year of Legends in Wales

If you visited Wales in 2017 you may have been inspired by Welsh myths, legends and folktales. The ‘Year of Legends’ was a chance to find out more about the legends that have come out of the land. You can learn more about Wales, the Land of Legends here.

3. Our Neolithic ancestors knew the story of Beauty and the Beast

By analysing population histories and cultural phenomena such as language, Sara Graça da Silva and Jamshid J.Tehrani have found that many folk tales that are still told today, such as Beauty and the Beast, would have been known and told by our ancestors thousands of years ago.

4. Patron Saint of Storytellers?

National Storytelling Week is always held in the week of 3 rd February, the feast day of St Blaise. St Blaise lived in Armenia in the fourth century. He was a healer of throats and a physician of souls.

5. There is a Professor of Storytelling

The George Ewart Evans Centre for Storytelling is a U.K academic research centre devoted to the study of storytelling and all its applications. Based at the University for South Wales, the centre believes that storytelling creates better understanding between individuals and communities across society.

6. Every culture in the world has a Cinderella story

There are thousands of variants of the Cinderella story found throughout the world. Anna Rooth wrote about this in her book The Cinderella Cycle. The oldest written version, Ye Xian, comes from China in 860. Ye Xian is kind and hardworking and helped by the spirit of her murdered mother who comes to her in the form of a fish.

7. Festival at the Edge is the oldest storytelling festival in England

Festival at the Edge has given some of our best loved professional storytellers their first chance to tell and their first big breaks. In 2017 the festival moved to a beautiful new site near Whitchurch at Dearnford Lake.

8. Shonaleigh is the last Drut’syla

Shonaleigh Cumbers learned her craft from her Bubbe (grandmother). Her Bubbe was a storyteller in the drut’syla tradition, who held a body of twelve interlinked cycles of stories each with hundreds of tales.

9. Anyone can enjoy stories

Storytelling is one of the most accessible art forms that resonates with all cultures, generations and communities.

Given recent events, however, storytellers and organisations which support the storytelling arts have had to adapt and innovate in order to ensure that people can still find ways to come together and share and connect with stories. Stories feel more important than ever!

Beyond the Border, Wales’ International Storytelling Festival, brings stories and people together through an inspirational biennial festival and projects which deepen connection through the power of stories. In addition to the Festival weekend itself, Beyond the Border also promotes a year-round programme of performance storytelling events, as well as a wide range of innovative education and outreach projects. Even in lockdown, they have been running projects so that they can continue to keep working with isolated and at risk groups, such as trialling new ways of connecting with older people by sharing and exchanging stories over the phone.

10. There’s a storytelling club near you!

Find your local storytelling club or storytelling event at The Society for Storytelling.


8. Patrick made God promise

Another legend from around the same time tells how Patrick fasted for 40 days atop a mountain, weeping, throwing things, and refusing to descend until an angel came on God’s behalf to grant the saint’s outrageous demands. These included the following: Patrick would redeem more souls from hell than any other saint Patrick, rather than God, would judge Irish sinners at the end of time and the English would never rule Ireland.

We know how that last one worked out. Perhaps God will keep the other two promises.


10 Things You Might Not Know About the Making of Wizard101

The Spiral is a magical place with Wizard City at the center of all the worlds that are or could be. But, the Spiral had to come from somewhere. Who conjured Merle Ambrose? How did Ravenwood School come to be? What evil genius summoned the diabolical Malistaire and Morganthe? It all began with an idea, but that idea was brought to life by our talented KingsIsle team.

In the last KI Live, we brought in some members who have been with the team throughout Wizard101’s development to reminisce about their favorite moments and to reveal some interesting development trivia. To celebrate our 10 th anniversary, we’re updating and expanding this post to bring you 10 things that you might not know about the creation of Wizard101!

It started out as a real card game

Believe it or not, the premise behind the game didn’t magically appear. The team spent a long time physically playing with a deck of character cards, some dice, and beads that symbolized the power-up and other boosts. They scribbled down rules, ideas, and notes about what worked and didn’t. They knew that the core of any good game, no matter how amazing the graphics and effects, is that it is fun to play. Fun fact: our design team still uses this strategy today for designing new mini games! You can see more in this video:

Wizard101 Wasn’t meant to fit in with other MMOs

When the heroes mentioned above came together, they thought about all the other games out there, like World of Warcraft, and realized there were not many games designed for parents and kids to play together. Quests in most MMOs are filled with violent battles and weapons that are not appropriate for children, so the creators wanted to come up with a game that was suitable for the whole family. In addition, the chat feature within the game is filtered to be safe for players of all ages.

Finding Nemo, Toy Story, and Wizard101

Turns out Pixar’s model played into the inspiration behind Wizard101. Like the team behind Pixar, the heads at KingsIsle wanted to create a world that would be engaging and safe for children, but still interesting and challenging for adults.

It was made in record time

The team of heroes had an ambitious goal: They wanted to launch their new game within three years, which is a pretty short video game development time in the gaming industry. By keeping the initial features compact and focused, they imagined, designed, tested and programmed the game on time!

Built with Grandma’s computer in mind

The creators realized that many kids and families don’t have the latest technology, so the game was meticulously designed to run well and look great on any system, even the older systems. The specs that this game requires were actually thought out with a purpose. The designers knew casual users without huge gaming rigs and kids on hand-me-down computers would be playing Wizard101, so the focus needed to be on the game being easily accessible and able to run on minimal RAM and processing power.

Wizard City’s design came from multiple concepts.

The team reached out to a variety of artists with the same ask: a floating city with a huge tree in the middle and a crystal incorporated somewhere within. Each artist came up with a unique piece of concept art, which we’ve compiled here:


Ten Things You May Not Know About Black History Month

Questia’s Facts Behind the February Celebration

February marks the celebration of Black History Month, a time to honor the achievements of African Americans and recognize their role in U.S. history. Throughout the month, we often read about the many men and women who’ve played an integral role in history, but how much do you know about Black History Month and how it was started? Here are ten things you may not have known about Black History Month, all found using Questia (www.questia.com), the premier online research tool for students.

  1. Carter G. Woodson founded Black History Month in 1926 to highlight the often overlooked role that African Americans played in both American and world history. Woodson went on to be the second African American to receive a Harvard degree.
  1. Black History Month started as a week-long celebration called “Negro History Week.” It was eventually expanded to the entire month of February, getting a boost in the 1960s by the blossoming civil rights movement.
  1. The month of February was chosen to coincide with the birthdays of Abraham Lincoln and Frederick Douglass, who both played a significant role in African American history.
  1. It wasn’t until 1976 that every President started designating February as Black History Month.
  1. Black History Month is celebrated in other countries like Britain and Canada , but in Britain it’s in October.
  1. Schools started observing the holiday in the 1930s when it was still the week-long celebration of Negro History Week.
  1. Every year the holiday has a different theme. Examples include “From Slavery to Freedom: Africans in the Americas ” and “Celebrating Community: A Tribune to black Fraternal, Social, and Civic Institutions.”
  1. The 2012 National Black History Month theme is “Black Women in American Culture and History.”
  1. Black History Month inspired other holidays even before it was a month-long celebration. “Juneteenth,” the June celebration of the abolition of slavery, is one such example.
  1. February has long been a month of important dates in African American history:
  • February 3, 1870: The 15th Amendment was passed, granting blacks the right to vote.
  • February 25, 1870: The first black U.S. senator, Hiram R. Revels (1822-1901), took his oath of office.
  • February 12, 1909: The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded by a group of concerned black and white citizens in New York City .
  • February 21, 1965: Malcolm X, the militant leader who promoted Black Nationalism, was shot to death by three Black Muslims.

Questia saves students valuable time on research papers and projects. With Questia, students can accurately cite sources, format papers in seven different styles, and organize their notes, research and sources all in one place. Librarians have specially selected Questia’s 77,000 academic books and 4 million journal articles—many of which are peer-reviewed. Since Questia is accessible 24/7, students can research any time of day from anywhere, with the confidence that they’re using credible content from trustworthy sources.


1 They Are From Another Timeline

The Redguards are from a different timeline in Tamriel. In the Elder Scrolls series, there are time periods known as Kalpa Cycles. These cycles are repetitive and when Satakal, the Redguard God of Everything, ends the world, a new one is born.

In the book from The Elder Scrolls Online, The Hunger of Sep, it is revealed that some of the Yokudans were able to cross through the Far Shores, the afterlife of Redguards, to avoid the end of the previous timeline. They were able to cross into Tamriel and eventually ended up in Hammerfell.


Watch the video: 10 Things You May Not Know About the Pinkertons (December 2022).

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