Wednesday, October 24, 2012

America the Beautiful

On April 30, 1789, George Washington, standing on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York, took his oath of office as the first President of the United States. "As the first of every thing, in our situation will serve to establish a Precedent," he wrote James Madison, "it is devoutly wished on my part, that these precedents may be fixed on true principles."

Many of us feel like this upcoming election is futile, incapable of producing any useful results. That kind of thinking wasn't a factor in the minds of any of the following Americans who made their dreams come true no matter the mountains they had to climb.

Henry John Heinz (October 11, 1844 – May 14, 1919) In 1869 ,Heinz began packing foodstuffs on a small scale in Sharpsburg, Pennsylvania. It was there he founded Heinz Noble & Company with a friend, L. Clarence Noble, and began marketing horseradish.The company went bankrupt in 1875, but the following year Heinz founded  F Heinz, with his brother and a cousin. One of this company’s first products was tomato ketchup.

William Wrigley Jr. (September 30, 1861–January 26, 1932) Wrigley was a salesman and industrialist. Wrigley started his own business in 1891, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company in Chicago selling Wrigley’s Scouring Soap. In 1892 Wrigley got the idea of offering two packages of chewing gum with each can of baking powder. The idea was such a huge success that he began marketing chewing gum under his own name.

Edison's To-Do List... AWESOME!

Theodore Roosevelt, then U.S. Vice President, delivered a speech at the Minnesota State Fair on September 2, 1901 in which included the famous phrase…”Speak softly and carry a big stick; you will go far”. He was referring to the idea of negotiating peacefully, but carry a “big stick”, or the military, for political power.

Presidents with direction and abilities to lead our country...

June 29, 1956, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the Federal Aid Highway Act, know as the Interstate Highway Act. Ike was convinced of the overwhelming need for safer and speedier highways. He had served as a young Lieutenant Colonel in the Transcontinental Convoy, and had seen the ease of German autobahns during World War II. The President also felt that newer, multi-lane highways were essential to a strong national defense.

October 1, 1890: Yosemite Established as National Park On this day in 1890, President Benjamin Harrison signed a bill into law creating Yosemite National Park. This law decreed that about 1,500 square miles of public land in the California Sierra Nevada would be preserved for the public trust.

...and the foresight to preserve what was important.

“A garden for every child, every child in a garden.” -The United States School Garden Army On May 5, 1917, Herbert Hoover was appointed by President Wilson to be the United States Food Administrator.  The U.S. had just entered World War I, and Hoover mobilized Americans to produce and conserve food supplies.  Among the kitchen war efforts were Meatless Mondays and Wheatless Wednesdays.

Defining moments in our history where we pulled together as a nation, giving us a sense of pride in being an American.

Construction of the Empire State Building

After 14 years of construction, the Brooklyn Bridge in New York was opened to traffic on May 24, 1883. The bridge, originally referred to as the New York and Brooklyn Bridge, is one of the oldest suspension bridges in the United States. It connects the New York City boroughs of Manhattan and Brooklyn by spanning the East River with 1,595.5 feet.

What do all of these people have in common? They were all brave enough to make their dreams come true. It didn't matter that their goals seemed impossible, they just kept trudging on to achieve. Americans are like that, we believe we CAN and that will be our saving grace. We've got a lot of hard work ahead of us in the next 4 years, maybe in the next 20 to correct the mess we are in. But there has to be a starting point, I'm hoping we can begin November 7th.

*All photos and links can be found on America the Beautiful board on Pinterest.


  1. Joy, I do hope you are right! Things must change.

    I still adhere to the principle of "speak softly and carry a big stick"

    1. We are going to do early voting next week, I want to miss out on the crowds that I HOPE will turn out on election day. Our best chance for change is a good voter turnout! I agree Glenda, "speak softly and carry a big stick"...


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