google-site-verification: googlee20fcd946adc59a7.html Out of the Past: November 2012

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Mackay and Evans Expedition

If Spain had fared better in its 1796 war with Great Britain, or if Napoleon's fortunes hadn't soured in 1803, the team of Mackay and Evans might be celebrated today instead of Lewis and Clark.

Like the Mercury astronauts who rode rockets into space in the 1960s following in the wake of test pilots like Chuck Yeager who had braved the edges of the atmosphere months earlier, the 1804-6 Corps of
Discovery led by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark followed a course previously blazed by James Mackay and John Evans.

The first 700 miles of Lewis and Clark's journey, in fact, was made following a detailed map of the Upper Missouri River surveyed by the 25-year-old Evans. And much of the Corp's knowledge of Indian tribes and their customs came from Mackay, the most widely traveled and experienced fur trader in America at the time.

Continued in ... The Mackay and Evans Expedition

Corps of Discovery Opens the West
Lewis & Clark Overwinter at Fort Clatsop
History and American West Titles
Out of the Past

Sunday, November 18, 2012

The First Thanksgiving

When and where did the first Thanksgiving occur in the Americas? The 1621 feast held by Pilgrims and Wampanoag Indians at Plymouth Plantation is the common answer.

Chronologically speaking, Plymouth's Thanksgiving was not first... by a long shot.

Spanish explorer Don Pedro Menendez de Aviles landed in what is now St. Augustine, Florida, on September 8, 1565. On that day he held Mass and shared a feast of Thanksgiving with the Timucua Indians. The Timucua brought corn, beans, squash, nuts and shellfish, while the Spanish made a pork, bean and onion stew.

In 1598, another Spaniard by the name of Juan de Onate took a company of 600 people, 83 wagons and 7,000 animals across the Rio Grande. When they arrived, just south of El Paso, they held a feast of Thanksgiving with the Manso Indians.

Jamestown, Virginia settlers also held a Thanksgiving ceremony in 1610 and the Berkeley Plantation on the James River in Virginia held its first Thanksgiving held on December 4, 1619.

Continued in ... Holidays and Notable Events

Savage Barbecue
History and American West Titles
Out of the Past
Artwork: The First Thanksgiving 1621

Sunday, November 11, 2012

1953: Major League Monopoly

Fifty-nine years ago this week, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled Major League baseball exempt from the nation's anti-trust law.

Since the National League joined forces with the American League in 1903, the union of the two leagues has held a virtual monopoly on the professional game and its players, effectively preventing other competitive leagues from succeeding.

Early in the 20th century, a minor league called the Federal League of Base Ball Clubs developed major league ambitions and, in 1915, sued the Major League for interfering with their attempts to hire players that were between contracts (Federal Baseball Club v. National League). The court did not render an immediate opinion, but took the case under advisement long enough for the Federal League to have financial problems and disband.

The U.S. Supreme Court ultimately ruled that the Sherman Antitrust Act did not apply to Major League Baseball.

Since then, the only time the Major League’s anti-trust exemption was seriously challenged or reached the Supreme Court was Curt Flood's suit for free agency in 1972.

The Roster
Curt Flood in the Media
Artwork: Fielder Jones, manager and player, St. Louis Federal League baseball 1914