Three cheers for sweet 16, the Chuck Ealey story…

Three cheers for sweet 16, the Chuck Ealey story…

By Don Radebaugh  — Who wants to be a millionaire? Any takers? If the answer’s yes, then write the script for one of the greatest, yet relatively untold sports stories in American history. Actually, the script is nearly written; in fact the hard part’s already done…done by the real life players who brought the true story to life. All you have to do is arrange the words in such a way that would turn it into the major motion picture…

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Code duello anyone? Ready, fire, aim…the great Hamilton is dead

Code duello anyone? Ready, fire, aim…the great Hamilton is dead

By Don Radebaugh – Imagine this. Vice President Mike Pence challenges one of the greatest Statesman in American history to a duel. The two characters meet, and in accordance with the protocol of the code duello, Pence pulls the trigger and kills his opponent in cold blood. I know, I know…a similar scenario is too far-fetched and would never happen, except that it did. In the early morning hours of July 11, 1804, Aaron Burr, the Vice President under Thomas…

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The American experiment endures…rock on red, white and blue…

The American experiment endures…rock on red, white and blue…

By Don Radebaugh – The American experiment in democracy has proven exceptionally resilient over the centuries; in fact we know the United States is the longest enduring republic in world history. If the creation of America is a foregone conclusion now, it certainly wasn’t during the tumultuous times of the American Revolution when a ragtag, untrained American military somehow, someway defeated the most powerful military superpower (at that time) on earth. Even if America could win the war, most experts…

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Major-league salute to American hero, stock car racer Wayne Peterson

Major-league salute to American hero, stock car racer Wayne Peterson

By Don Radebaugh – He served several tours of duty during the Vietnam War, marched as part of Special Forces in the Kennedy funeral procession, interpreted foreign languages for President Nixon, went to Cuba during the Bay of Pigs, and performed missions in Iran and all over the world. He literally went into the military a mere boy, and came out a man, completely transformed through his life experiences shaped by the ravages of war. Through it all, he maintained…

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Friends and foes, Adams and Jefferson…divine intervention?

Friends and foes, Adams and Jefferson…divine intervention?

By Don Radebaugh – If there was ever an example of “divine intervention” in American history, one could arguably make the case around the deaths of John Adams and Thomas Jefferson. The two men, most responsible for the contents of the Declaration of Independence, died about five hours apart on July 4, 1826. It wasn’t just any Independence Day celebration…it was the 50th anniversary of the signing of America’s independence from Great Britain. Jefferson, 83, slipped away first, an hour…

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Meet the parents of Abraham Lincoln

Meet the parents of Abraham Lincoln

By Don Radebaugh – Ever wonder where Abraham Lincoln got his amazing mind? Evidence suggests it came from the maternal side of the equation. Meet Thomas and Nancy Hanks Lincoln, the parents of the 16th President. The image of Thomas is from an actual photo whereas the image of Nancy is an artist’s rendition of what she may have looked like. No photo of Nancy exists because she, at the age of 34, died on Oct. 5, 1818, before photography…

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“The day the music died”… remembering Buddy Holly

“The day the music died”… remembering Buddy Holly

By Don Radebaugh – It’s one of the most bizarre historical markers I’ve ever seen…giant eyeglasses mounted in the middle of an Iowa cornfield. But there’s no mistaking who they belong to. They are the iconic eyeglasses of Buddy Holly. They also mark the spot where on Feb. 3, 1959 a four-seat, single-engine Beachcraft Bonanza airplane fell from the sky and crashed into a frozen farm field in Clear Lake, Iowa. Holly and three others perished. According to singer, songwriter…

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Welcome to “The Hill” … would-be residents beware, the Edgar Lee Masters story

Welcome to “The Hill” … would-be residents beware, the Edgar Lee Masters story

By Don Radebaugh – In 1915, the world-renowned “Spoon River Anthology” was published and its author revealed. Edgar Lee Masters’ life, good and bad, would never be the same, nor would the small town folks he exposed inside the Anthology. Despite the wide fame and narrow fortune the Spoon River Anthology brought the Illinois Prairie Poet, the firestorm the book created would haunt him for his remaining years. Although he could never duplicate its success, Spoon River Anthology dominated the…

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“Master in the go-ahead” … we’re full-ahead, Captain

“Master in the go-ahead” … we’re full-ahead, Captain

By Don Radebaugh – It was always the most unlikely pair…the maritime industry and me. I just wasn’t built for it. I mean, I only played football in high school because my girlfriend was a varsity cheerleader. In hindsight, it would have been less embarrassing to not play, because I never played anyway. I just wasn’t mean enough, or tough enough, and mowing down humans in mid-flight held no appeal for me. Besides, the collisions hurt. I like to watch…

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Letters about Lincoln…here’s what his friends and neighbors are saying…

Letters about Lincoln…here’s what his friends and neighbors are saying…

By Don Radebaugh – One of the best ways to get to know Abraham Lincoln is through his friends, family, neighbors and business associates. Thanks to his third law partner, William Herndon, there are hundreds of personal accounts available regarding our 16th President, reminiscences that were collected by Herndon over a 27-year span (1865 – ’92) following Lincoln’s death. Herndon, in collaboration with Jesse Weiks, interviewed hundreds of people who, not only knew Lincoln as President, but old friends that…

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