Sunday, February 22, 2009

Confederate States Marine Corps
Company "A" Pensacola

By Land or Sea, the Confederate States Marine Corps Was a Force to Reckon With.
There has been much written about the United States Marine Corps throughout its history, yet, not much is known, let alone written, about the Confederate States Marine Corps. Historians that research the Confederate Marine Corps have to go back to the US Marine Corps for comparisons because the Confederate Marine history has deep roots with the United States Marines.

On March 16, 1861, just one month after the creation of the Confederate Provisional Government, the Navy Department was authorized to create the Confederate States Marine Corps. Initially intended to be a battalion of 6 companies commanded by a major, this organization benefited by "old corps" officers who resigned their U. S. commissions and offered their services to the South. An amendatory act was passed on May 20, 1861 to enlarge the Corps to 10 companies commanded by a colonel with an end strength of 1,072 Marines.

This is in comparison with the size of the USMC at the opening shot of the Civil War was 1,768, which included the President's Own (Marine Band). The peak strength of the US Marines would reach 3,881 in February 1865 whereas the Confederate Marines mustered less than 600 at its zenith. Despite its relatively small size, the CSMC distinguished itself in many ways throughout the war by defending shore installations, embarking on ships, and engaging in numerous battles with enemy land forces when the need arose. Due to a lack of able-bodied seamen in the Confederate Navy, rebel Marines were called upon to maintain discipline and man the deck guns of the ship more so than in the US Marines. In addition, the CS Marines was seen as a unique organization that could be relied upon to take on special assignments when the need arose and carried out these varied duties with a high degree of success despite its small numbers.

As an interesting note, Black Americans were also employed in the Confederate Navy and Marines. The marines were a part of the Navy Department and at the time, Navy regulations authorized one black for every five whites. Dr. Edward Smith, Dean of American Studies at American University, estimates that by February 1865, 1,150 Black Americans had served in the Confederate States Navy. This number would equate to approximately 20 percent of this branch of the Confederate military. Smith is currently researching the names and compiling a list of those blacks that served in the CS Marines and is meeting with some success by looking through the pension records.

Origins of the CSMC
The bulk of the Confederate Marines officer corps were seasoned veterans from the USMC who tendered their resignations in order to offer their services for the cause of the South. Fifty-six officers were appointed to the CSMC throughout the Civil War and 19 of these were former USMC officers. An interesting note is that the Confederate Commandant was actually a former U.S. Army officer.

Col. Lloyd J. Beall, a West Point graduate, was a paymaster in the U.S. Army stationed at St. Louis, MO when he tendered his resignation and headed south. Although born at Fort Adams, RI, he was a Marylander who married the daughter of a South Carolina senator, and his loyalties were with the South. On May 23, 1861, Confederate Secretary of the Navy, Stephen R. Mallory, appointed Beall a colonel in the Confederate States Marine Corps and served in that capacity throughout the war. An administrator during the Civil War, Beall's military knowledge and experience remained an untapped resource. Beall worked hard to have the Confederate Marine Corps receive the personnel, supplies and other benefits accorded to other branches of the military. The training of officers and enlisted Marines took place at the Marines barracks named Camp Beall in honor of the Commandant just a short distance to the south of Richmond at Drewry's Bluff overlooking the James River. By the end of the war, he had succeeded in helping improve the resources available to the Confederate Marine Corps and established separate marine training camps in Charleston, South Carolina; several permanent stations on the Mississippi River and Atlantic Coast. Thanks, in part, to Beall's efforts; the Confederate Marines gained a reputation for distinguished combat service, on the sea and land. After the Civil War, Beall lived in Richmond, Virginia, and kept most of the Confederate States Marine Corps records at his home. Much of this history, along with Beall's personal history, was destroyed in a fire. Perhaps a final irony of Beall's life was his death on November 10, 1887, the official birthday of the United States Marine Corps.

The organization of the CSMC into companies under the nominal control of a regimental headquarters was different from the organization of the USMC at that time. The USMC was organized under Marine barracks, and ship detachments and were sent out accordingly from those barracks near the ship's homeport. The intent of the CSMC was to train officers and enlisted Marines at Drewry's Bluff (similar to the USMC training at Marine Barracks, Washington DC) and then send them out to man ship detachments or 'barracks' at designated ports or installations. The captains were responsible for recruiting their own companies and not until later in the war were recruiting offices established throughout the South. Initial enlistment's were for 4 years, but later changed to 3 when recruiting goals were not met.

By late April 1861, when war was declared and new states were joining the Confederacy, Secretary of the Navy Stephen Mallory reported to President Davis that Marine Corps recruiting stations were looking for a few good Southern men in the capital city of Montgomery, Alabama, and in the bustling port of New Orleans, Louisiana. Most of the new detachments went first to Pensacola, Florida, where Southern forces were besieging a Union garrison in Fort Pickens on Santa Rosa Island. On July 26, 1861, the 300 man Marine battalion, made up of 3 companies, was attached to the 3d Brigade of the Army of Pensacola and a fourth company of 150 Marines was sent to New Orleans in defense of the harbor. Upon the Federal bombardment of Pensacola, the battalion transferred its companies piecemeal to Virginia and completed the movement, with a small detachment remaining at Mobile, AL around February 24,1862. Other Marine detachments served with the Naval battery attached to General Johnston's army at Centreville, Virginia, and scattered stations along the coast of Georgia and South Carolina.

During the Union offensives in the spring of 1862, the Southern Marines were involved in a battle on the Mississippi River. The Yankees sailed up the Mississippi on April 24th to challenge Forts Jackson and St Phillip with their ocean going warships; they ran into John Mitchell's River Defense Flotilla, which included the ship, McRae and her Marine detachment. During the swirling river fight, the McRae took on four enemy vessels at once, including the USS Iroquois which suffered twenty-six casualties among her own Marines. This was the first face to face fight between Northern and Southern Marines.

The bulk of the CSMC remained in the Richmond area at Camp Beall on Drewry's Bluff and at the Navy Shipyard, Norfolk, VA with smaller units deploying to Wilmington, NC; Charleston, SC; and Savannah, GA. From these locations, rebel Marines formed ship detachments and embarked on numerous vessels that included ironclads and cruisers to prey upon northern shipping. The largest Marine contingent that served onboard a ship was the detachment of 55 officers and men who served on the ironclad CSS Virginia. Marines served aboard the CSS Sumter, CSS Shenandoah (recruited from Australian stowaways while visiting Melbourne, Australia), CSS Alabama, CSS Atlanta (rechristened the Tallahassee and also known as the Olustee), CSS Tennessee, CSS Chickamauga, and the gunboat Gaines, to name a few.

Roles of Marines
CS Marine regulations prescribed that Marines could be employed on board ship as gun crews under their own officers, or even as individuals assigned to regular gun crews. But such assignments were to be made only in case of necessity. It was pretty well understood that many Marines had been trained as artillerists and many served in heavy fortifications manning the shore battery guns guarding Wilmington, Charleston, Savannah, New Orleans, and Mobile to name a few major Southern ports.

As the war progressed, another function of the Marines developed. Confederate Marines were used as a type of Special Forces unit. Confederate Marines were called upon many times for special missions such as the plan to capture Federal ironclads anchored off of Charleston Harbor in 1863. This plan called for the Marines to board the ships at night and disable the engine by dropping sulfur, gunpowder, and wet blankets down the smokestack. Once this was completed, the Marines would wait for the gassed victims to emerge and surrender or die from suffocation. Training was conducted and the Marines were ready, yet the Union armada of nine ironclads that sailed into Charleston Harbor on April 6, 1863 received such a terrible shelling that the fleet withdrew and the mission was scrubbed when the threat vanished.

Confederate Marines were instrumental in the special operation to take-out the USS Underwriter from the flotilla anchored at New Bern, NC on 2 February 1864. After a brief but violent hand-to-hand fight, the Marines and sailors were successful in capturing and destroying the ship. Their commander commented afterward on the bravery displayed by the Marines that, as a body they would be a credit to any organization, and that I will be glad to be associated with them on duty at any time. The rebel Marines were also successful on June 2, 1864 in capturing the USS Water Witch near Savannah, GA in a 10-minute bloody battle on her decks and adding her to the Confederate Navy complement.

In July of 1864, General Robert E. Lee devised a plan where a battalion of Marines were to slip through the Federal naval blockade and make a amphibious landing at Point Lookout above Washington D. C. to free the Confederate Prisoners of War there. This was to be done in support of General Jubal Early's raid on Washington. The force was led again by Thomas S. Wilson and included 2nd Lt. Henry H. McCune of Missouri. But because of fear that the plan was leaked out, the ships carrying the Marines were called back and the mission aborted.

Exploits of the CSMC
One of the most notable events of the war involved a duel off Hampton Roads, VA between the Union ironclad Monitor and the Confederate ironclad Virginia on March 8-9, 1862. Marines manned several guns during the standoff and performed well enough to be mentioned in Admiral Buchanan's report where he commended the coolness of the Marines that manned the guns on the Virginia. Although the Marines were not able to perform their traditional role of sniping and boarding enemy ships or repelling boarders, their skill and daring behind the deck guns was exemplary and showed that the Marines were an integral part of the ship's complement. This type of action would be repeated throughout the Confederate States Navy wherever Marines were present. The Marines redeployed to Drewry's Bluff when the Virginia was trapped in the James River by Union forces and she was scuttled to prevent her capture.

After the Virginia had to be destroyed on May 11, 1862, her crew transferred to the shore defenses at Drewry's Bluff on the James River just in time to battle five Union warships which attempted to ascend the river to Richmond. On May 15,1862, a Federal flotilla comprised of the ironclad USS Monitor, the armor-plated gunboat USS Galena, and the wooden gunboats Aroostook and Port Royal tried unsuccessfully to run the gauntlet at Drewry's Bluff. Along with the accurate cannon fire, Marine sharpshooters were very effective as evidenced by wounding the commanding officer of the USS Port Royal and trading heavy volume of fire with the U.S. Marines embarked on the ships. The Marine battalion at Drewry's Bluff would remain until fighting late in the war caused them to retreat with General Robert E. Lee's army.

Another interesting footnote of history involves Confederate Marine Sgt. George Stephenson of the infamous commerce raider CSS Sumter. After a long career the CSS Sumter was abandoned at Gibraltar and a small force was left behind including a Marine Guard commanded by Sgt. Stephenson. The Commanding officer Midshipman Williams Andrews was killed in October 1862 by a seaman and Sgt. Stephenson became the only Marine Federal or Confederate to command a ship of war in the War for Southern Independence.

The Eclipse of the CSMC
In December 1864, the Confederate Marines were caught up in Sherman's capture of Savannah, Georgia. Most of the station's Marines went ashore to reinforce the army and remained with the army in its retreat to the north. With the South's Atlantic ports now falling like dominoes, Fort Fisher was next. After a three-day bombardment, Union Forces were landed on January 15, 1865, and grappled with the defenders at close range. They overran the main fort, capturing Battery Buchanan and the Mound Battery. In true Marine Corps tradition, the fifty-man company fought a bayonet last stand from gun to gun until they were "all killed or captured."

The Marines who came north from the fallen port cities took post in Richmond's shore defenses, and were overlooked during the first evacuation. Along with displaced and shipless seamen, the Marines were organized into a naval brigade under the overall command of Captain Tucker, CSN, and attached to Custis Lee's division of the Army of Northern Virginia. On April 6, 1865, the Yankees overwhelmed the Confederate rearguard, General Ewell's Corps, at Sayler's Creek, but the Marine brigade fought so hard that the enemy bypassed them to pursue other routed army units. The core of this brigade was a battalion of some 200 marines. It was reported that the Marine battalion fought courageously in savage hand-to-hand combat with the 37th Massachusetts and 121st New York Regiments in rain-swollen marshland and repulsed the attack of the Federals. The 37th Massachusetts regimental commander credited his unit's use of Spencer repeating rifles as the only reason they were able to avoid disaster at the hands of the Marines. Fifteen minutes after General Ewell surrendered, the brigade was still firing away. The remnants of the naval brigade were surrounded at day's end. Only after massed batteries were trained on the Marines did they yield forcing Capt Tucker to surrender his forces. Their conduct in the face of disaster was worthy of the Corp's heritage.

The remains of the Confederate Marines withdrew to Appomattox and surrendered with General Lee on April 9, 1865. Twenty-nine Marines were present when General Lee surrendered Appomattox Court House. 1stLt Richard Henderson (former USMC Commandant Gen. Archibald Henderson's son) was the senior Marine present on that day when the Confederate Corps capitulated alongside the Army of Northern Virginia. The last Confederate Marines to surrender in the war were north of at Hanna Bluff, Al, just north of Mobile on May 10,1865.
By coincidence, the first recruiting for the Confederate Marine Corps in 1861 and the last surrender of an organized unit of the Corps took place in Alabama. Based on the principle laid down by USMC Commandant Gene Archibald Henderson prior to the Civil War, the USMC was to be ready to respond instantly to any emergency. To the credit of Col. Beall and his experienced officers, the CSMC abided by the same principle. With a battalion-sized unit close to the CSMC Headquarters, the Marines were ready and capable of responding in short notice to emerging threats and special operations. Despite its small size, the CSMC distinguished itself numerous times and was constantly called upon and in demand not only by the Confederate Navy, but by the Army as well. On four separate occasions throughout the war, the CSMC received official thanks from the Confederate Congress. Even in the Confederacy's waning days, the rebel Marines did not give up without a fight. One Union soldier after the Battle of Sayler's Creek stated; "Those Marines fought like tigers and against odds of at least ten to one." Whether on land or sea, the rebel Marines fought with valor and tenacity only expected of an elite fighting force.

The CSMC, although short lived, carried itself notably and could be seen as an implicit extension of the principle of a force in readiness as espoused long before the Civil War.The Marines of the South were the foundation of the Marine Corps we know today.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Mickey Mantle Quotes
Baseball Almanac is pleased to present an unprecedented collection of baseball related quotes spoken by Mickey Mantle and about Mickey Mantle.

"All the ballparks and the big crowds have a certain mystique. You feel attached, permanently wedded to the sounds that ring out, to the fans chanting your name, even when there are only four or five thousand in the
stands on a Wednesday afternoon." - Mickey Mantle

Mickey Mantle Quotes
Quotes From & About Mickey Mantle
Quotes From Mickey Mantle

"After I hit a home run I had a habit of running the bases with my head down. I figured the pitcher already felt bad enough without me showing him up rounding the bases."

"All I had was natural ability."

"All the ballparks and the big crowds have a certain mystique. You feel attached, permanently wedded to the sounds that ring out, to the fans chanting your name, even when there are only four or five thousand in the stands on a Wednesday afternoon."

"A lot of people wrote that Roger (Maris) and I didn't like each other and that we didn't get along. Nothing could be further from the truth."

"A team is where a boy can prove his courage on his own. A gang is where a coward goes to hide."

"As far as I'm concerned, (Hank) Aaron is the best ball player of my era. He is to baseball of the last fifteen years what Joe DiMaggio was before him. He's never received the credit he's due." Source: Baseball Digest (June 1970)

"But god-damn, to think you're a .300 hitter and end up at .237 in your last season, then find yourself looking at a lifetime .298 average - it made me want to cry." Source: The Mick (Mickey Mantle)

"Every time I see his name (Dean Chance) on a lineup card, I feel like throwing up." Source: Pitching and Wooing (Maury Allen)

"Heroes are people who are all good with no bad in them. That's the way I always saw Joe DiMaggio. He was beyond question one of the greatest players of the century."

"Hitting the ball was easy. Running around the bases was the tough part." Source: Slick (Whitey Ford)

"I always loved the game, but when my legs weren't hurting it was a lot easier to love."

"I could never be a manager. All I have is natural ability." Source: Great Sports Reporting (Allen Kirschner)

"I don't care who you are, you hear those boos." Source: Look Magazine (March 1969)

"If I had played my career hitting singles like Pete (Rose), I'd wear a dress." Source: The Mick (Mickey Mantle)

"If I knew I'd live this long, I would have taken better care of myself."

"I hated to bat against (Don) Drysdale. After he hit you he'd come around, look at the bruise on your arm and say, 'Do you want me to sign it?'"

"I'll play baseball for the Army or fight for it, whatever they want me to do."

"In 1960 when Pittsburgh beat us in the World Series, we outscored them 55-27. It was the only time I think the better team lost. I was so disappointed I cried on the plane ride home."

"It's unbelievable how much you don't know about the game you've been playing all your life."

"It was all I lived for, to play baseball."

"My dad taught me to switch-hit. He and my grandfather, who was left-handed, pitched to me everyday after school in the back yard. I batted lefty against my dad and righty against my granddad."

"Roger Maris was as good a man and as good a ballplayer as there ever was."

"Somebody once asked me if I ever went up to the plate trying to hit a home run. I said, 'Sure, every time.'"

"Sometimes I sit in my den at home and read stories about myself. Kids used to save whole scrapbooks on me. They get tired of them and mail them to me. I'll go in there and read them, and you know what? They might as well be about (Stan) Musial and (Joe) DiMaggio, it's like reading about somebody else."

"Sometimes I think if I had the same body and the same natural ability and someone else's brain, who knows how good a player I might have been."

"Sorry Mickey, but because of the way you lived on Earth, you can't come in. But, before you leave, would you autograph these baseballs for HIM." - Mantle quoting St. Peter at the Pearly Gates

"The best team I ever saw, and I really mean this, was the '61 Yankees.I never got to see the '27 Yankees. Everyone says that was the greatest team ever, but I think it would've been a great series if we'd have had the chance to play them."

"The biggest game I ever played in was probably Don Larsen's perfect game."

"The only thing I can do is play baseball. I have to play ball. It's the only thing I know."

"They (the Athletics) should have come out of the dugout on tippy-toes, holding hands and singing."

"Today's Little Leaguers, and there are millions of them each year, pick up how to hit and throw and field just by watching games on TV. By the time they're out of high school, the good ones are almost ready to play professional ball."

"To play eighteen years in Yankee Stadium is the best thing that could ever happen to a ballplayer."

"Well, baseball was my whole life. Nothing's ever been as fun as baseball." Source: New York Times (February 5, 1988)

"When I hit a home run I usually didn't care where it went. So long as it was a home run was all that mattered."

"You don't realize how easy this game is until you get up in that broadcasting booth."

Quotes About Mickey Mantle
"Fill in any figure you want for that boy. Whatever the figure, it's a deal." -
Branch Rickey

"He can run, steal bases, throw, hit for average, and hit with power like I've never seen. Just don't put him at shortstop." - Harry Craft

"He has it in his body to be great." - Casey Stengel

"He hit the ball longer. Hit hit it more often, and he hit it from either side of the plate with equal violence." - Gerald Astor

"He should lead the league in everything. With his combination of speed and power he should win the triple batting crown every year. In fact, he should do anything he wants to do." - Casey Stengel

"He's the best prospect I've ever seen." - Branch Rickey

"I'd say (Mickey) Mantle is the greatest player in either League." - St. Louis Browns Manager Marty Marion

"If that guy were healthy, he'd hit eighty home runs." - Carl Yastrzemski

"If you put Willie Mays and Mickey Mantle next to Mark McGwire, they'd look like his grandkids." - Seattle Mariners Shortstop Alex Rodriguez (1998)

"I never saw a player who had greater promise." - Casey Stengel

"I think it's incredible because there were guys like (Willie) Mays and (Mickey) Mantle and Henry Aaron who were great players for ten years... I only had four or five good years." - Sandy Koufax

"I used to dream how good it would be to be Willie Mays or Mickey Mantle. My dreams have died. Even the rotten rings aren't what they're supposed to be. I'll buy my own diamonds. I can afford it now. No one gives you anything, you've got to get it for yourself." - Reggie Jackson

"(Mickey) Mantle had more ability than any player I ever had on that club." - Casey Stengel

"(Mickey) Mantle's greatness was built on power and pain. He exuded the first and endured the second." - Roy Fitzgerald in the Boston Globe

"Mickey's was the longest ball ever whacked into the valley behind Forbes Field." - Sportswriter Chester Smith

"No man in the history of baseball had as much power as Mickey Mantle. No man. You're not talking about ordinary power. Dave Kingman has power. Willie Mays had power. Then when you're talking about Mickey Mantle - it's an altogether different level. Separates the men from the boys." - New York Yankees Manager Billy Martin

"On two legs, Mickey Mantle would have been the greatest ballplayer who ever lived." - Nellie Fox

Plaque on Monument at Yankee Stadium:
WON MVP AWARD 1956, 1957 & 1962
AUGUST 24, 1996

"(Duke) Snider, (Mickey) Mantle and (Willie) Mays. You could get a fat lip in any saloon by starting an argument as to which was best. One point was beyond argument, though. Willie was by all odds the most exciting." - Sportswriter Red Smith

"That boy (Mickey) Mantle is a good one." - Ty Cobb

"That kid can hit balls over buildings." - Casey Stengel

"The thing I really liked about Mickey (Mantle) was the way he treated everyone the same." - Red Sox pitcher Bill Monbouquette

"There is no sound in baseball akin to the sound of (Mickey) Mantle hitting a home run, the crunchy sound of an axe biting into a tree, yet magnified a hundred times in the vast, cavernous, echo making hollows of a ball field." - Arnold Hano in Baseball Stars of 1958

"There isn't any more that I can teach him." - Tommy Henrich

"They ought to create a new league for that guy." - White Sox pitcher Jack Harshman

"Until I saw (Mickey) Mantle peel down for his shower in the clubhouse at Comiskey Park one afternoon, I never knew how he developed his brutal power, but his bare back looked like a barrel full of snakes." - Dale Lancaster in 1957 Chicago Sun Times

"You guys got to see this kid we have in camp. Out of class C ball, hits 'em both ways - five-hundred feet both ways! You've got to see him." - Bill Dickey

"You're going to be a great player, kid." - Jackie Robinson after 1952 World Series

Quotes From & About Mickey Mantle
In 1952 Mickey Mantle hit a home run ball to the facade of Yankee Stadium's roof - an estimated length of six-hundred feet.

Did you know that Mickey Mantle was named after the National Baseball Hall of Fame catcher Mickey Cochrane? Did you know about his "day":

By Harvey Frommer

The line most of those will remember who were there that day is this one by Mel Allen in his introduction: "Ladies and gentlemen, A magnificent Yankee, the great number seven, Mickey Mantle."

June 8, 1969 was all Mickey Mantle ? the Yankee legend had his number 7 retired before 61,157 at the Stadium. At that time the only other retired numbers were three, four and five - for Babe Ruth, Lou Gehrig and Joe DiMaggio.

"When I walked into this stadium 18 years ago," Mantle said in his speech, "I felt much the same way I do right now. I don't have words to describe how I felt then or how I feel now, but I'll tell you one thing, baseball was real good to me and playing 18 years in Yankee Stadium is the best thing that could ever happen to a ballplayer."

The Mick received a 10-minute standing ovation. Kids paraded around the field with posters in tribute to the one-time kid from Oklahoma. And Mantle and Joe DiMaggio exchanged plaques which later were placed on the centerfield wall.
Mantle was driven around the Stadium on a golf cart to the rising roar and cheers of the huge crowd. "And the guy that was driving me," Mantle recalled, "was Danny, one of the ground crew guys who came up at about the same time I did in '51.
"The last time around the park. That gave me goose pimples. But I didn't cry. I felt like it. Maybe tonight when I go to bed, I'll think about it. I wish that could happen to every man in America. I think the fans know how much I think about them - all over the country. It was the most nervous I've ever been but the biggest thrill. "

"The thing I miss the most is being around clubhouse," he continued. " Not the way I played the last four years - that wasn't fun. I've got some guys on this team that are almost like brothers to me - Pepi, Tresh, Stottlemyre. I'm probably their biggest fan. First thing I do very morning is pick up the papers and see how they did."

Source: Harvey Frommer
Mickey Mantle played in twenty All Star games, won three Most Valuable Player awards, and hit for the Triple Crown in 1956.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Theodore S. 'Ted' Williams
Marine Corps Sports Hall of Fame

Baseball - Outfield

Boston Red Sox Theodore Samuel Williams...1939 Rookie of the Year Award... 1942 American League Triple Crown... 1946 Most Valuable Player Award... 1947 American League Triple Crown... 1949 Most Valuable Player Award... 1958 Silver Slugger Award... 1966 Baseball Hall of Fame Induction...Born August 30, 1918, San Diego, CA...Died July 5, 2002 at age of 83...

Career: AVG-.344 HR-512 HITS-2654 RBI-1839

Theodore S. "Ted" Williams was born August 30, 1918, in San Diego, California. He began playing Major League baseball with the Boston Red Sox in 1939 and in 1941 completed a season of batting .406. In January 1942, Williams received a draft notice. Toward the end of the 1942 season, he voluntarily enrolled for naval aviation training.

Williams was commissioned a Marine Second Lieutenant in May, 1944, and following air gunnery training in Jacksonville, Florida, he was transferred to San Francisco and then on to 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing in Hawaii in August, 1945. He was discharged in December of that same year.

After his discharge from the Marines, Williams resumed his career with the Red Sox until he was called back on active duty for service in Korea in May, 1952. After refresher training at Willow Grove, Pennsylvania, and Cherry Point, North Carolina, Williams joined Marine Fighter Squadron (Jet) 311, Marine Aircraft Group 33, 1st Marine Aircraft Wing, in Korea in February, 1953. There he flew 49 combat missions. Discharged as a Captain in July, 1953, Williams returned once again to the Red Sox and baseball.

Williams retired from professional baseball after the 1960 season. In spite of missing nearly five full seasons while serving in the Marine Corps, Williams earned two Triple Crowns, two Most Valuable Player awards, six American League batting titles, 521 home runs, a lifetime batting average of .344, and 18 All-Star appearances. He is also the last player to bat more than .400 in a complete season.

Williams' military decorations include the Air Medal with 2 Gold Stars, Navy Unit Commendation, American Campaign Medal, Asiatic-Pacific Campaign Medal, World War II Victory Medal, National Defense Service Medal, Korean Service Medal with 2 Bronze Stars, United Nations Service Medal, and Korean Presidential Unit Citation.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Presidents' Day
Our first president - GEORGE WASHINGTON 1789-1797

Born February 22, 1732 - died December 14, 1799
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."

Born in 1732 into a Virginia planter family, he learned the morals, manners, and body of knowledge requisite for an 18th century Virginia gentleman.

He pursued two intertwined interests: military arts and western expansion. At 16 he helped survey Shenandoah lands for Thomas, Lord Fairfax. Commissioned a lieutenant colonel in 1754, he fought the first skirmishes of what grew into the French and Indian War. The next year, as an aide to Gen. Edward Braddock, he escaped injury although four bullets ripped his coat and two horses were shot from under him.

From 1759 to the outbreak of the American Revolution, Washington managed his lands around Mount Vernon and served in the Virginia House of Burgesses. Married to a widow, Martha Dandridge Custis, he devoted himself to a busy and happy life. But like his fellow planters, Washington felt himself exploited by British merchants and hampered by British regulations. As the quarrel with the mother country grew acute, he moderately but firmly voiced his resistance to the restrictions.

When the Second Continental Congress assembled in Philadelphia in May 1775, Washington, one of the Virginia delegates, was elected Commander in Chief of the Continental Army. On July 3, 1775, at Cambridge, Massachusetts, he took command of his ill-trained troops and embarked upon a war that was to last six grueling years.

He realized early that the best strategy was to harass the British. He reported to Congress, "we should on all Occasions avoid a general Action, or put anything to the Risque, unless compelled by a necessity, into which we ought never to be drawn." Ensuing battles saw him fall back slowly, then strike unexpectedly. Finally in 1781 with the aid of French allies--he forced the surrender of Cornwallis at Yorktown.

Washington longed to retire to his fields at Mount Vernon. But he soon realized that the Nation under its Articles of Confederation was not functioning well, so he became a prime mover in the steps leading to the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia in 1787. When the new Constitution was ratified, the Electoral College unanimously elected Washington President.

He did not infringe upon the policy making powers that he felt the Constitution gave Congress. But the determination of foreign policy became preponderantly a Presidential concern. When the French Revolution led to a major war between France and England, Washington refused to accept entirely the recommendations of either his Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson, who was pro-French, or his Secretary of the Treasury Alexander Hamilton, who was pro-British. Rather, he insisted upon a neutral course until the United States could grow stronger.

To his disappointment, two parties were developing by the end of his first term. Wearied of politics, feeling old, he retired at the end of his second. In his Farewell Address, he urged his countrymen to forswear excessive party spirit and geographical distinctions. In foreign affairs, he warned against long-term alliances.

Washington enjoyed less than three years of retirement at Mount Vernon, for he died of a throat infection December 14, 1799. For months the Nation mourned him.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Valentine's Day
Every February, across the country, candy, flowers, and gifts are exchanged between loved ones, all in the name of St. Valentine. But who is this mysterious saint and why do we celebrate this holiday? The history of Valentine's Day and its patron saint - is shrouded in mystery. But we do know that February has long been a month of romance. St. Valentine's Day, as we know it today, contains vestiges of both Christian and ancient Roman tradition. So, who was Saint Valentine and how did he become associated with this ancient rite? Today, the Catholic Church recognizes at least three different saints named Valentine or Valentinus, all of whom were martyred.

One legend contends that Valentine was a priest who served during the third century in Rome. When Emperor Claudius II decided that single men made better soldiers than those with wives and families, he outlawed marriage for young men - his crop of potential soldiers. Valentine, realizing the injustice of the decree, defied Claudius and continued to perform marriages for young lovers in secret. When Valentine's actions were discovered, Claudius ordered that he be put to death.

According to one legend, Valentine actually sent the first 'valentine' greeting himself. While in prison, it is believed that Valentine fell in love with a young girl ? who may have been his jailor's daughter - who visited him during his confinement. Before his death, it is alleged that he wrote her a letter, which he signed 'From your Valentine,' an expression that is still in use today. Although the truth behind the Valentine legends is murky, the stories certainly emphasize his appeal as a sympathetic, heroic, and, most importantly, romantic figure. It's no surprise that by the Middle Ages, Valentine was one of the most popular saints in England and France.

While some believe that Valentine's Day is celebrated in the middle of February to commemorate the anniversary of Valentine's death or burial ? which probably occurred around 270 A.D - others claim that the Christian church may have decided to celebrate Valentine's feast day in the middle of February in an effort to 'christianize' celebrations of the pagan Lupercalia festival. In ancient Rome, February was the official beginning of spring and was considered a time for purification. Houses were ritually cleansed by sweeping them out and then sprinkling salt and a type of wheat called spelt throughout their interiors. Lupercalia, which began at the ides of February, February 15, was a fertility festival dedicated to Faunus, the Roman god of agriculture, as well as to the Roman founders Romulus and Remus.

Valentine's Day Features
To begin the festival, members of the Luperci, an order of Roman priests, would gather at the sacred cave where the infants Romulus and Remus, the founders of Rome, were believed to have been cared for by a she-wolf or lupa. The priests would then sacrifice a goat, for fertility, and a dog, for purification.

The boys then sliced the goat's hide into strips, dipped them in the sacrificial blood and took to the streets, gently slapping both women and fields of crops with the goathide strips. Far from being fearful, Roman women welcomed being touched with the hides because it was believed the strips would make them more fertile in the coming year. Later in the day, according to legend, all the young women in the city would place their names in a big urn. The city's bachelors would then each choose a name out of the urn and become paired for the year with his chosen woman. These matches often ended in marriage. Pope Gelasius declared February 14 St. Valentine's Day around 498 A.D. The Roman 'lottery' system for romantic pairing was deemed un-Christian and outlawed. Later, during the Middle Ages, it was commonly believed in France and England that February 14 was the beginning of birds' mating season, which added to the idea that the middle of February. Valentine's Day should be a day for romance. The oldest known valentine still in existence today was a poem written by Charles, Duke of Orleans to his wife while he was imprisoned in the Tower of London following his capture at the Battle of Agincourt. The greeting, which was written in 1415, is part of the manuscript collection of the British Library in London, England. Several years later, it is believed that King Henry V hired a writer named John Lydgate to compose a valentine note to Catherine of Valois.

In Great Britain, Valentine's Day began to be popularly celebrated around the seventeenth century. By the middle of the eighteenth century, it was common for friends and lovers in all social classes to exchange small tokens of affection or handwritten notes. By the end of the century, printed cards began to replace written letters due to improvements in printing technology. Ready-made cards were an easy way for people to express their emotions in a time when direct expression of one's feelings was discouraged. Cheaper postage rates also contributed to an increase in the popularity of sending Valentine's Day greetings. Americans probably began exchanging hand-made valentines in the early 1700s. In the 1840s, Esther A. Howland began to sell the first mass-produced valentines in America.

According to the Greeting Card Association, an estimated one billion valentine cards are sent each year, making Valentine's Day the second largest card-sending holiday of the year. (An estimated 2.6 billion cards are sent for Christmas.)

Approximately 85 percent of all valentines are purchased by women. In addition to the United States, Valentine's Day is celebrated in Canada, Mexico, the United Kingdom, France, and Australia.

Valentine greetings were popular as far back as the Middle Ages (written Valentine's didn't begin to appear until after 1400), and the oldest known Valentine card is on display at the British Museum. The first commercial Valentine's Day greeting cards produced in the U.S. were created in the 1840s by Esther A. Howland. Howland, known as the Mother of the Valentine, made elaborate creations with real lace, ribbons and colorful pictures known as "scrap".
Big Valentine Cookies
This recipe belongs to you:

Your sweetheart will be tickled pink to discover that you've baked up a batch of their favorite cookie dough into what's sure to be an object of their affection, this giant-sized valentine cookie.

1 package (18 ounces) refrigerated cookie dough (any flavor, such as Chocolate Chip, Chocolate Chunk, Chocolate Chip & White Fudge, Peanut Butter Chocolate Chip, Reduced Fat Chocolate Chip or Sugar Cookie Dough)
Decorator icing (optional)
Valentine's candies (optional)
Melted chocolate (optional)

Cooking Instructions
1. SHAPE an entire package of cookie dough into heart shape on greased baking sheet. (Note: Be sure dough is well-chilled before shaping.)
2. BAKE according to package directions, adding 3 to 4 minutes to the baking time on the package. Cool on baking sheet for 1 minute; carefully loosen cookie with spatula. Cool on baking sheet completely.
3. DECORATE with candies, icing and melted chocolate.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Navy amd Marine Pensions
Until after World War I, the army and the navy maintained separate pension plans for their officers. The Continental Navy created a pension plan for its officers and seamen in 1775, even before an army plan was established. In the following year the navy plan was merged with the first army pension plan, and it too was eventually converted to a retirement plan for surviving veterans in 1832. The first disability pension plan for "regular" navy personnel was created in 1799. Officers' benefits were not to exceed half-pay, while those for seamen and marines were not to exceed $5.00 a month, which was roughly 33 percent of an unskilled seaman's base pay or 25 percent of that of a hired laborer in the private sector.

Except for the eventual conversion of the war pensions to retirement plans, there was no formal retirement plan for naval personnel until 1855. In that year Congress created a review board composed of five officers from each of the following ranks: captain, commander, and lieutenant. The board was to identify superannuated officers or those generally found to be unfit for service, and at the discretion of the Secretary of the Navy, the officers were to be placed on the reserve list at half-pay subject to the approval of the President. Before the plan had much impact the Civil War intervened, and in 1861 Congress established the essential features of the navy retirement plan, which were to remain in effect throughout the rest of the century. Like the army plan, retirement could occur through one of two ways: Either a retirement board could find the officer incapable of continuing on active duty, or after 40 years of service an officer could apply for retirement. In either case, officers on the retired list remained subject to recall; they were entitled to wear their uniforms; they were subject to the Articles of War and courts-martial; and they received 75 percent of their base pay. However, just as with the army certain constraints on the length of the retired list limited the effectiveness of the act.

In 1899, largely at the urging of then Assistant Secretary of the Navy Theodore Roosevelt, the navy adopted a rather Byzantine scheme for identifying and forcibly retiring officers deemed unfit to continue on active duty. Retirement (or "plucking") boards were responsible for identifying those to be retired. Officers could avoid the ignominy of forced retirement by volunteering to retire, and there was a ceiling on the number who could be retired by the boards. In addition, all officers retired under this plan were to receive 75 percent of the sea pay of the next rank above that which they held at the time of retirement. (This last feature was amended in 1912, and officers simply received three-fourths of the pay of the rank in which they retired.) During the expansion of the navy leading up to America's participation in the World War I, the plan was further amended, and in 1915 the president was authorized, with the advice and consent of the Senate, to reinstate any officer involuntarily retired under the 1899 act.

Still, the navy continued to struggle with its superannuated officers. In 1908, Congress finally granted naval officers the right to retire voluntarily at 75 percent of the active-duty pay upon the completion of 30 years of service. In 1916, navy pension rules were again altered, and this time a basic principle – "up or out" (with a pension) - was established, a principle which continues to this day. There were four basic components that differentiated the new navy pension plan from earlier ones. First, promotion to the ranks of rear admiral, captain, and commander were based on the recommendations of a promotion board. Prior to that time, promotions were based solely on seniority. Second, the officers on the active list were to be distributed among the ranks according to percentages that were not to exceed certain limits; thus, there was a limit placed on the number of officers who could be promoted to a certain rank. Third, age limits were placed on officers in each grade. Officers who obtained a certain age in a certain rank were retired with their pay equal to 2.5 percent multiplied by the number of years in service, with the maximum not to exceed 75 percent of their final active-duty pay. For example, a commander who reached age 50 and who had not been selected for promotion to captain, would be placed on the retired list. If he had served 25 years, then he would receive 62.5 percent of his base pay upon retirement. Finally, the act also imposed the same mandatory retirement provision on naval personnel as the 1882 (amended in 1890) act imposed on army personnel, with age 64 being established as the universal age of retirement in the armed forces of the United States.

These plans applied to naval officers only; however, in 1867 Congress authorized the retirement of seamen and marines who had served 20 or more years and who had become infirm as a result of old-age. These veterans would receive one-half their base pay for life. In addition, the act allowed any seaman or marine who had served 10 or more years and subsequently become disabled to apply to the Secretary of the Navy for a "suitable amount of relief" up to one-half base pay from the navy's pension fund (see below). In 1899, the retirement act of 1885, which covered enlisted army personnel, was extended to enlisted navy personnel, with a few minor differences, which were eliminated in 1907. From that year, all enlisted personnel in both services were entitled to voluntarily retire at 75 percent of their pay and other allowances after 30 years' of service, subsequently reduced to 20 years.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

U.S.M.C. War Memorial
On Feb. 19, 1945, the 4th and 5th Marine Division stormed ashore on the island of Iwo Jima.

The Marine Corps War Memorial stands as a symbol of this grateful Nation's esteem for the honored dead of the U.S. Marine Corps. While the statue depicts one of the most famous incidents of World War II, the memorial is dedicated to all Marines who have given their lives in the defense of the United States since 1775.

The small island of Iwo Jima lies 660 miles south of Tokyo. One of its outstanding geographical features is Mount Suribachi, an extinct volcano that forms the narrow southern tip of the island and rises 550 feet to dominate the area. By February 1945, U.S. troops had recaptured most of the territory taken by the Japanese in 1941 and 1942; still uncaptured was Iwo Jima, which became a primary objective in American plans to bring the Pacific campaign to a successful conclusion.

On the morning of February 19, 1945, the 4th and 5th Marine Divisions invaded Iwo Jima after a somewhat ineffective bombardment lasting 72 hours. The 28th Regiment, 5th Division, was ordered to capture Mount Suribachi. They reached the base of the mountain on the afternoon of February 21, and by nightfall the next day had almost completely surrounded it. On the morning of February 23, Marines of Company E, 2nd Battalion, started the tortuous climb up the rough terrain to the top. At about 10:30 a.m., men all over the island were thrilled by the sight of a small American flag flying from atop Mount Suribachi. That afternoon, when the slopes were clear of enemy resistance, a second, larger flag was raised by five Marines and a Navy hospital corpsman: Sgt. Michael Strank, Cpl. Harlon H. Block, Pfc. Franklin R. Sousley, Pfc. Rene A. Gagnon, Pfc. Ira Hayes, and PhM. 2/c John H. Bradley, USN.

News-photographer Joe Rosenthal caught the afternoon flag raising in an inspiring Pulitzer Prize winning photograph. When the picture was later released, sculptor Felix W. de Weldon, then on duty with the U.S. Navy, was so moved by the scene that he constructed a scale model and then a life-size model of it. Gagnon, Hayes, and Bradley, the three survivors of the flag raising (the others having been killed in later phases of the Iwo Jima battle), posed for the sculptor who modeled their faces in clay. All available pictures and physical statistics of the three who had given their lives were collected and then used in the modeling of their faces.

Once the statue was completed in plaster, it was carefully disassembled and trucked to Brooklyn, N.Y., for casting in bronze. The casting process, which required the work of experienced artisans, took nearly 3 years. After the parts had been cast, cleaned, finished, and chased, they were reassembled into approximately a dozen pieces--the largest weighing more than 20 tons--and brought back to Washington, D.C., by a three truck convoy. Here they were bolted and welded together, and the statue was treated with preservatives.

Erection of the memorial, which was designed by Horace W. Peaslee, was begun in September 1954. It was officially dedicated by President Dwight D. Eisenhower on November 10, 1954, the 179th anniversary of the U.S. Marine Corps.

Memorial Statistics
The 32-foot-high figures are shown erecting a 60-foot bronze flagpole from which a cloth flag flies 24 hours a day in accordance with Presidential proclamation of June 12, 1961. They occupy the same positions as in Rosenthal's historic photograph. Hayes is the figure farthest from the flag staff; Sousley to the right front of Hayes; Strank on Sousley's left; Bradley in front of Sousley; Gagnon in front of Strank; and Block closest to the bottom of the flagstaff. The figures, placed on a rock slope, rise about 6 feet from a 10-foot base, making the memorial 78 feet high overall. The M-l rifle and the carbine carried by two of the figures are 16 and 12 feet long, respectively. The canteen would hold 32 quarts of water.

The base of the memorial is made of rough Swedish granite. Burnished in gold on the granite are the names and dates of every principal Marine Corps engagement since the founding of the Corps, as well as the inscription: "In honor and in memory of the men of the United States Marine Corps who have given their lives to their country since November 10, 1775." Also inscribed on the base is the tribute of Fleet Adm. Chester W. Nimitz to the fighting men on Iwo Jima: "Uncommon Valor was a Common Virtue."

The entire cost of the statue and developing the memorial site was $850,000--all donated by U.S. Marines, former Marines, Marine Corps Reservists, friends of the Marine Corps, and members of the Naval Service. No public funds were used for this memorial.

The U.S. Marine Corps War Memorial and the Netherlands Carillon are administered by the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. Inquiries should be addressed to the Superintendent, George Washington Memorial Parkway, Turkey Run Park, McLean, VA 22101. Telephone 703-289-2500 for further information about scheduled events.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Rush Limbaugh
Limbaugh, the talking fathead said, "I hope Obama fails." Judging from the "no-vote" recently in the US House of Representatives, the Republicans feel the saome way.

Political commentator, radio host, college drop-out, alleged closet homosexual, and, as recently revealed, synthetic heroin drug addict, Rush Hudson Limbaugh III is probably the best known neocon personality in American radio.

Rush Hudson Limbaugh III (born January 12, 1951) is an American radio host and conservative political commentator. His nationally-syndicated talk show, The Rush Limbaugh Show. airs throughout the United States on Premiere Radio Networks. He has been credited with reviving AM radio in the United States, and is also considered to have been a "national precinct captain" for the Republican Party's Congressional victories in 1994. The National Review magazine, in a 1993 cover story, called him "The Leader of Conservative Principles" during the Clinton administration.

Early life
Limbaugh was born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri the son of Mildred Carolyn "Millie" (n?e Armstrong), originally from Searcy, Arkansas, and Rush Hudson Limbaugh, Jr. His father was a lawyer and a World War II fighter pilot who served in the China-Burma-India theater. The name "Rush" was chosen for his grandfather to honor the maiden name of family member Edna Rush. His family is filled with a number of lawyers including his grandfather, father and his brother David. His uncle, Stephen N. Limbaugh, Sr. is a Ronald Reagan appointed federal judge in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Missouri and his cousin, Stephen N. Limbaugh, Jr., is Judge on the Supreme Court of Missouri. Rush Limbaugh, Sr., Limbaugh's grandfather, was a Missouri prosecutor, judge, special commissioner and served on Missouri's state House of Representatives from 1930 to 1932. Limbaugh's grandfather was very well respected as one of the "patriarchs" of the Cape Girardeau community. Rush, Sr., died at age 104, and was still a practicing attorney at the time of his death. The Federal Courthouse in Cape Girardeau is named for Limbaugh's grandfather. Limbaugh began his career in radio as a teenager in 1967 in his hometown of Cape Girardeau, using the name Rusty Sharpe.

Limbaugh graduated from Cape Central High School, in 1969. His father and mother wanted him to attend college, so he enrolled at Southeast Missouri State University. He dropped out after two semesters and one summer; according to his mother, "he flunked everything", even a modern ballroom dancing class. As she told a reporter in 1992, "He just didn't seem interested in anything except radio."

Draft status
Limbaugh's birthdate was ranked as 175 in the Vietnam War draft lottery. No one was drafted above 125. However, he was classified as "1-Y" (later reclassified "4-F") due to either a football knee injury or a diagnosis of Pilonidal disease.

Professional career and rise to fame

After dropping out of college, Limbaugh moved to McKeesport, Pennsylvania. There he became a Top 40 music radio disc jockey on station WIXZ, a station that covered the Pittsburgh area. In October 1972, he broadcast over Pittsburgh station KQV under the name "Jeff Christie".
For the rest of the decade Limbaugh moved around to several radio stations before settling in Kansas City, Missouri. In 1979, after several years in music radio, he took a break from radio and accepted a position as director of promotions with the Kansas City Royals baseball team. Retired Kansas City Royals star George Brett is one of his best friends.

In 1984, Limbaugh returned to radio as a talk show host at KFBK in Sacramento, California, where he replaced Morton Downey, Jr. The repeal of the Fairness Doctrine — which had required that stations provide free air time for responses to any controversial opinions that were broadcast — by the FCC in 1987 meant stations could broadcast editorial commentary without having to present opposing views. Daniel Henninger wrote, in a Wall Street Journal editorial, "Ronald Reagan tore down this wall (the Fairness Doctrine) in 1987...and Rush Limbaugh was the first man to proclaim himself liberated from the East Germany of liberal media domination."
On August 1, 1988, after achieving success in Sacramento and drawing the attention of a former president of ABC Radio, Edward F. McLaughlin, Limbaugh moved to New York City and began his national radio show. His show debuted just weeks after the Democratic National Convention, and just weeks before the Republican National Convention. Limbaugh's radio home in New York City was the talk-format station WABC, 770 AM, and continues to this day as his flagship station.

The program gained in popularity and moved to stations with larger audiences eventually growing to over 650 radio stations nationwide. When the Republican Party won control of Congress in 1994, one of the first acts by many freshmen (calling themselves the "Dittohead Caucus") was to award Limbaugh the title of "honorary member of Congress" in recognition of his support of their efforts during this period.
Humor columnist and journalist Lewis Grossberger acknowledged that Limbaugh had "more listeners than any other talk show host" and described Limbaugh's style as "bouncing between earnest lecturer and political vaudevillian".

The Rush Limbaugh Show
Limbaugh's radio show airs weekdays for three hours daily, beginning at 12 noon Eastern time in the U.S. It also is carried worldwide over the Armed

Forces Radio Network, and in some markets is carried on FM stations.
Radio broadcasting shifted from AM to FM in the late '70s because of the opportunity to broadcast music in stereo in FM, with better range and musical fidelity. Limbaugh's show was first nationally syndicated in August 1988, in a later stage of AM's decline. Limbaugh's popularity paved the way for other conservative talk radio programming to become commonplace on the AM radio. As of 2006. Arbitron ratings indicated that The Rush Limbaugh Show had a minimum weekly audience of 13.5 million listeners, making it the largest radio talk show audience in the United States. In 2007, Talkers magazine again named him #1 in its "Heavy Hundred" most important talk show hosts. Limbaugh frequently mentions the EIB (Excellence In Broadcasting) network, but this is a mythic construction, as he told the New York Times in 1990. In reality, his show was co-owned and first syndicated by Edward F. McLaughlin, former president of ABC who founded EFM Media in 1988, with Limbaugh's show as his first product. In 1997, McLaughlin sold EFM to Jacor Communications, which was ultimately bought up by Clear Channel Communications. Today, Limbaugh owns a majority of the show, which is syndicated by the Premiere Radio Networks. According to a 2001 article in U.S. News & World Report Limbaugh had an eight-year contract, at the rate of $31.25 million a year. On July 2, 2008, Matt Drudge reported that Limbaugh signed a contract extension through 2016 that is worth over $400 million, breaking records for any broadcast medium — television or radio.


Michael J. Fox incident
On the October 23, 2006 edition of his radio show, Limbaugh imitated on the "DittoCam" (the webcam for website subscribers to see him on the air) the physical symptoms of actor Michael J. Fox, who has Parkinson's disease and has appeared in political campaign ads for candidates who support a form of embryonic stem-cell research, and has stated that he sometimes doesn't take his medicine explicitly to show the effects of the disease. Limbaugh imitated Fox's Parkinson's symptoms as displayed on the commercial, stating that "(Fox) is exaggerating the effects of the disease. He's moving all around and shaking and it's purely an act.... This is really shameless of Michael J. Fox. Either he didn't take his medication or he's acting."
Fox was offended, as were people on both sides of the political spectrum who felt Limbaugh's parody of Fox was unfair or in poor taste. The possibility of a reasoned and civil discussion of stem-cell research was quickly overshadowed by dueling website and blog attacks. Proponents of stem-cell research immediately used this incident to raise funds for several Democratic candidates running for Congress, while detractors accused Fox of being just another partisan of Democratic candidates. Fox himself appeared on numerous news programs to explain his condition and to defend his advocacy for stem-cell research.
Michael J. Fox later appeared on CBS with Katie Couric and stated that he was actually dyskinesic, at the time, a condition that results from overmedication. The National Institute of Neurological Disorders states that dyskinesia results from overmedication and the first step to reduce those effects is to stop or reduce medication

Phony soldiers controversy
Another controversy occurred during the September 26, 2007 broadcast of Limbaugh's radio show, when he used the term "phony soldiers", allegedly referencing a September 21 Associated Press story about individuals falsely claiming to be veterans in order to receive benefits. A caller, after saying he was currently serving in the Army and has been in 14 years, said, "They never talk to real soldiers. They like to pull these soldiers that come up out of the blue and spout to the media." Limbaugh interrupted, "The phony soldiers." The caller continued, "The phony soldiers. If you talk to a real soldier, they are proud to serve. They want to be over in Iraq. They understand their sacrifice, and they're willing to sacrifice for their country." Several minutes later, after the caller had hung-up, Limbaugh read from the AP story describing the story of Jesse Macbeth. Macbeth joined the Army but did not complete basic training, yet claimed in alternative media interviews that he and his unit routinely committed war crimes in Iraq. On June 7, 2007, Macbeth pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs and was sentenced to five months in jail and three years probation. Media Matters noted Limbaugh's use of the term "phony soldiers" in an article on their website. The article suggested that Limbaugh was saying that all soldiers who disagree with the Iraq War were "phony soldiers", and their article received substantial press coverage after it was discussed in speeches by Presidential candidates John Edwards and Chris Dodd. Limbaugh argued that, when he had made the comment about "phony soldiers", he had been speaking only of Macbeth and others like him who claim to be soldiers and are not, and that "Media Matters takes things out of context all the time". Media Matters disputed the accuracy of Limbaugh's claim and defended its story.
Among Limbaugh's detractors were members of who produced a series of ads that ran on their website and on YouTube taking Limbaugh to task for insulting veterans who opposed the war. Several of these ads can be seen here: and here: The members of VoteVets, a number of whom asserted they were conservative politically, told reporters that protesting the current war policy should not be a partisan issue, but most of the support they received after the Limbaugh controversy came from congressional Democrats.
On October 19, 2007, Limbaugh announced the winning bid in an eBay auction of a letter sent to Clear Channel Communications Chief Executive Officer Mark Mays by U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. "We call on you to publicly repudiate these [phony soldier] comments," the letter said, ". . . and to ask Mr. Limbaugh to apologize for his comments." The auction's high bid of $2,100,100 by Betty Casey of the Eugene B. Casey Foundation set a new eBay record for largest charity bid. Shortly before the auction closed, Senator Reid addressed the Senate, saying, "I don't know what we could do more important than helping to ensure that children of our fallen soldiers and police officers who have fallen in the line of duty have the opportunity for their children to have a good education." In his radio broadcast later in the day, Limbaugh was critical of Reid's speech, saying Reid had tried "to horn in and act like he's part of this whole thing, folks." Limbaugh also said, "Senator Reid, you did not mention that I am matching whatever the final total is." Matching funds from Limbaugh would increase the total donation to the charity benefiting children of Marines and law enforcement personnel killed in the line of duty to $4,200,200.

Operation Chaos
Limbaugh has stated that there is nothing wrong with Republicans voting in the Democratic primary, as Democrats voted for John McCain in Vermont, New Hampshire, Florida, and other states. "This is getting absurd. If it weren't for independents and Democrats crossing over, Senator McCain would not be our nominee!"
Dubbing the effort "Operation Chaos," Limbaugh says he intends to continue to encourage his listeners to vote for whoever is behind in the Democratic primary, to sow chaos and disunity among Democrats during a divisive primary battle. Limbaugh then began to advocate that his Republican listeners vote for Clinton, something the rules of the Texas primary permitted. According to a county volunteer, one voter declared "Rush Limbaugh sent me", another "I am voting for Hillary Clinton but I want to see the Democrats implode," and a great many others mentioning Limbaugh.
In Ohio, Limbaugh similarly encouraged his listeners to re-register as Democrats and vote for Clinton. Although Ohio does not use an open primary, voters who change their registration must attest that they support the principles of the party to which they switch. About sixteen thousand Ohio Republicans switched parties for the election. The Cuyahoga County Board of Elections announced that, at the urging of Democrat Sandy McNair, the cross-overs would be investigated. Later, the Ohio Attorney General's office stated that it would be hard to prosecute anyone for falsifying a change of registration, because of the difficulty of proving a voter's fraudulent intent.
Limbaugh has said that "The dream end of this [of Operation Chaos] is that this keeps up to the Convention, and that we have a recreation of Chicago 1968 with burning cars, protests, fire, and literal riots and all of that, that is the objective here."

"Magic Negro" Comments
On March 19, 2007 Limbaugh referred to Barack Obama as a "magic negro," citing an L.A. Times editorial by David Ehrenstein which claimed that Obama was filling the role of the magic negro, and that this explained his appeal to voters. Limbaugh then later played a song by Paul Shanklin, "Barack the Magic Negro," sung to the tune of Puff the Magic Dragon. Limbaugh had previously referred to Obama as "Halfrican American", a term which he also applied to actress Halle Berry. Limbaugh cited the Ehrenstein editorial, and said that the point of the comment was to highlight "race-obsessed Democrats", who had questioned whether Obama was black enough.

"I hope Obama fails"
On January 16, 2009 Limbaugh read a letter on his radio show that he had received a request from a national print outlet:... "If you could send us 400 words on your hope for the Obama presidency, we need it by Monday night, that would be ideal." He responded, "I don't need 400 words, I need four: I hope he fails." He explained that he didn't want "absorption of as much of the private sector by the US government as possible, from the banking business, to the mortgage industry, the automobile business, to health care. I do not want the government in charge of all of these things. I don't want this to work." He continued, "what is unfair about my saying I hope liberalism fails? Liberalism is our problem. Liberalism is what's gotten us dangerously close to the precipice here."
He also remarked that Obama's status as the first black U.S. President was part of the reason why there was pressure to accept his policies.
Limbaugh later stated that it is President Obama's policies that he wants to
see fail, not the man himself. Speaking of Obama, Limbaugh said, "He's my president, he's a human being, and his ideas and policies are what count for me."

On January 27, 2009, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) created an online petition to express outrage at Rush Limbaugh for his comment, "he wanted President Obama to fail".
On January 29, 2009, he followed-up his commentary with an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal expressing concern about the Obama Administration's government intervention, proposing the "Obama-Limbaugh Stimulus Plan of 2009".

Television show
Limbaugh had a syndicated half-hour show from 1992 through 1996, produced by Roger Ailes. The television show discussed many of the topics on his radio show, and was taped in front of a live audience.

Other media appearances
Limbaugh's first television hosting experience came March 30, 1990, as a guest host on Pat Sajak's CBS late-night talk show, The Pat Sajak Show: ACT UP activists in the audience heckled Limbaugh repeatedly; ultimately the entire studio audience was cleared. In 2001 Sajak said the incident was "legendary around CBS".
On December 17, 1993, Limbaugh appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman Limbaugh also guest-starred (as himself) on a 1994 episode of Hearts Afire. He appeared in the 1995 Billy Crystal film Forget Paris, and in 1998 on an episode of the The Drew Carey Show.
Most recently, in 2007, Limbaugh has made cameo appearances on Fox News Channel's short lived The 1/2 Hour News Hourr in a series of parodies portraying him as the future President of the United States. In the parodies, his vice president is fellow conservative pundit Ann Coulter. He also made a cameo in the Family Guy episode "Blue Harvest". In the episode, a parody of Star Wars, Limbaugh can be heard on the radio claiming that, among other things, the "intergalactic liberal space media" was lying about climate change on the planet Hoth, and that Lando Calrissian's administrative position on Cloud City was a result of affirmative action.
His persona has often been utilized as a template for a stereotypical conservative talk show host on TV shows and in movies, including an episode of The Simpsons (as a conservative talk radio host named Birch Barlow), as "Gus Baker" on an episode of Beavis and Butt-head as "Lash Rambo" (host of "Perfection in Broadcasting") on an episode of The New WKRP in Cincinnati and as "Fielding Chase" in the Columbo Mystery Movie Butterfly in Shades of Grey (played by William Shatner).
As a result of his television program, Limbaugh became known for wearing distinctive neckties. In response to viewer interest, Limbaugh launched a series of tiesdesigned primarily by his then-wife Marta. Sales of the ties reached over five million dollars (U.S.) in their initial sales year, but were later discontinued.

Pro football
Limbaugh has long been a fan of American football, specifically the NFL. During Limbaugh's time in Pittsburgh in the early 1970s, the Pittsburgh Steelers began to rise to dominance in the NFL in football-hungry Western Pennsylvania, where they would become "Team of the 1970's" and win four Super Bowls by the end of the decade, with Limbaugh becoming a fan of the team during this time. Limbaugh has remained a Steelers fan since and has often mentioned the team's praise on his radio show.
In 2000, ABC considered adding Limbaugh to their Monday Night Football broadcast team before deciding on comedian Dennis Miller instead.
In July 2008, Limbaugh mentioned in an interview with the St. Louis Business Journal that he would like to buy his hometown St. Louis Rams and keep the team in St. Louis as opposed to the team possibly moving back to Los Angeles.

Sunday NFL Countdown controversy
On July 14, 2003, ESPN announced that Limbaugh would be joining ESPNs Sunday NFL Countdown show as a weekly analyst when it premiered on September 7. Limbaugh would provide the "voice of the fan" and was supposed to spark debate on the show. On the September 28 episode of Countdown, Limbaugh commented about Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Donovan McNabb's role in his team's 0-2 start to the season, as well as the media's coverage of McNabb:

"Sorry to say this, I don't think he's been that good from the get-go. I think what we've had here is a little social concern in the NFL. The media has been very desirous that a black quarterback do well. There is a little hope invested in McNabb, and he got a lot of credit for the performance of this team that he didn't deserve. The defense carried this team."

On October 1, 2003, Limbaugh resigned from ESPN with the statement:
"My comments this past Sunday were directed at the media and were not racially motivated. I offered an opinion. This opinion has caused discomfort to the crew, which I regret. I love Sunday NFL Countdown and do not want to be a distraction to the great work done by all who work on it. Therefore, I have decided to resign. I appreciate the opportunity to be a part of the show and wish all the best to those who make it happen."

Balance and point of view
In his first bestseller, Limbaugh explicitly describes himself as conservative, and is sharply critical of broadcasters in all media for claiming to be objective. He has loudly criticized political centrists, independents, and even moderate conservatives, claiming they are responsible for Democrat Barack Obama's victory over Republican John McCain in the 2008 U.S. Presidential Election and inviting them to leave the Republican party altogether, while calling for the adoption of hard-line far-right philosophies in order to ensure the survival of the Republican party.
Limbaugh is highly critical of environmentalism and climate science. He has disputed anthropogenic global warming, and the relationship between CFCs and depletion of the ozone layer, claiming the scientific evidence does not support them. Limbaugh has argued against the scientific opinion on climate change by stating that the alleged scientific consensus "is just a bunch of scientists organized around a political proposition. You can't have consensus in science... they think consensus is the way to sell it because, 'Oh, but all these wonderful people agree.'" Limbaugh has used the term "environmentalist wacko" as a reference to left-leaning environmental advocates. As a rhetorical device, he has also used the term to refer to more mainstream climate scientists and other environmental scientists and advocates with whom he disagrees.

Limbaugh is sharply critical of feminism, saying that "Feminism was established so as to allow unattractive women easier access to the mainstream of society." He also popularized the term "feminazi", referring to radical feminists "to whom the most important thing in life is ensuring that as many abortions as possible occur."[72] He credited his friend Tom Hazlett, a professor of law and economics at George Mason University, with coining the term.

Limbaugh has always taken a hard-line stance on illegal immigration.

Limbaugh supports capital punishment, having said "the only thing cruel about the death penalty is last-minute stays."
On the Abu Ghraib torture and prisoner abuse scandal, Limbaugh said, "This is no different than what happens at the Skull and Bones initiation... And we're going to ruin people's lives over it and we're going to hamper our military effort, and then we are going to really hammer them because they had a good time. You know, these people are being fired at every day [referring to the U.S. Military service members]. I'm talking about people having a good time, these people, you ever heard of emotional release?"
Limbaugh has asserted that African-Americans, in contrast with other minority groups, are "left behind" socially because they have been systematically trained from a young age to hate America through a vast conspiratorial movement headed by figures such as Jeremiah Wright William Ayers, and Barack Obama.

Entertainment props
Limbaugh utilizes props to introduce his monologues on various topics. On his radio show, news about the homeless has often been preceded with the Clarence "Frogman" Henry song "Ain't Got No Home." For a time, Dionne Warwick's song "I Know I'll Never Love This Way Again" preceded reports about people with AIDS.These later became "condom updates" preceded by Fifth Dimension's song, "Up, Up and Away (in My Beautiful Balloon)." In 1989, on his Sacramento radio show, Limbaugh performed "caller abortions" where he would end a call suddenly to the sounds of a vacuum cleaner and a scream, after which he would deny there was ever a caller, explaining that the call had been "aborted". This gag has never been used on his nationally syndicated show. According to his book The Way Things Ought To Be he used it to illustrate "the tragedy of abortion".

Alleged inaccuracy
Some groups and individuals have criticized Limbaugh's accuracy. The July/August 1994 issue of Extra!, a publication of the progressive group Fairness and Accuracy in Reporting (FAIR), alleges 50 different inaccuracies and distortions in Limbaugh's commentary. Others have since joined FAIR in questioning Limbaugh's facts. Al Franken, a liberal comedian-turned-politician, wrote a satirical book (Rush Limbaugh is a Big Fat Idiot and Other Observations) in which he criticized Limbaugh's accuracy. Media Matters for America, a not-for-profit progressive media watchdog group, has also been critical.
Limbaugh has also been criticized for inaccuracies by the Environmental Defense Fund. A defense fund report authored by Princeton University endowed geosciences professor Michael Oppenheir and Princeton University professor of biology David Wilcove lists 14 significant scientific facts which, the authors allege, Limbaugh misrepresented in his book The Way Things Ought to Be The authors conclude that "Rush Limbaugh ... allows his political bias to distort the truth about a whole range of important scientific issues."
James Rainey of the Los Angeles Times quoted Limbaugh as saying after the 2008 election of Barack Obama as the 44th President of the United States that the Democrats will "take your 401(k), put it in the Social Security trust fund." MSNBC claimed there is no Democratic plan to do so.

Personal life

Limbaugh was first married on September 24, 1977 to Roxy Maxine McNeely, a sales secretary at radio station WHB in Kansas City, Missouri. They were married at the Centenary United Methodist Church in Cape Girardeau, Missouri. In March 1980, McNeely filed for divorce, citing "incompatibility." They were formally divorced on July 10, 1980.
In 1983, Limbaugh married Michelle Sixta, a college student and usherette at the Kansas City Royals Stadium Club. They were divorced in 1990, and she remarried the following year.
On May 27, 1994, Limbaugh married Marta Fitzgerald, a 35-year-old aerobics instructor. They were married at the house of U.S. Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas, who officiated. They were separated on June 11, 2004. Limbaugh announced on the air, "Marta has consented to my request for a divorce, and we have mutually agreed to seek an amicable separation." The divorce was finalized in December 2004.