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Skittles Arrive in New York and Texas

Ninepins is a bowling game from the Middle Ages with its origins in Germany. A version of this game called "skittles" is played in Great Britain. Sometimes it is a lawn game. Other times it is a tabletop pub game played indoors. Ninepins is brought to New York by the Dutch and played for the first time this year. By 1895 the game will be standardized after being outlawed in Connecticut. The game will be replaced by the 10-pin bowling game when a machine for resetting 10-pins is developed. [1] [2] [3]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
A quick search of the Internet shows a tabletop version of ninepins available for less than $10. The only place that ninepins is played seriously any more is in Central Texas. The game came to Texas along with German immigrants. You can still find it played in Fredricksburg (the hometown of Fleet Admiral Chester Nimitz) and New Braunfels. Personally I've never played the game, but I was intrigued that such an ancient game remains popular here. Fredricksburg and New Braunfels are popular tourist destinations. [4] [5]

Poor Richard's Almanac and Modern PR

The word "almanac" comes from the Arabic word meaning "calendar." Such calendars have grown from a simple list of religious reminders to include the phases of the moon, information on bloodletting and predictions from Nostradamus. Print shops love almanacs because like any calendar, you need a new one every year. Thus they are a steady source of income. Benjamin Franklin has been printing two popular almanacs, but he has had a falling out with the authors so he writes his own under the pen name of Richard Saunders. Along with the normal information expected in almanacs, "Poor Richard" provides his thoughts on life in the form of proverbs. Some of these proverbs are original, and others are well-known but reworked. [6] [7]

* Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.
* He that lies down with dogs shall rise up with fleas.
* Haste makes waste.
* No gains without pains.
* God helps them that help themselves.
* None preaches better than the ANT, and she says nothing.
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Franklin knew what to do to get free publicity. For example: He predicted the date and hour of death of his main competitor, Titan Leeds. It was a prank, and Leeds responded by calling Franklin a "conceited scribbler," a liar and a fool. Thus Leeds mentioned Franklin and Poor Richard in his own almanac. The exchange became a running joke. When Leeds finally died, Franklin, in the name of Poor Richard, claimed to be receiving letters from Leed's ghost. This was outrageous... and thus quite popular.

George Washington and So-called Presidents Day

Adjusting the date to the Gregorian calendar, George Washington is born on February 22, 1732 into a Virginia plantation family of "middling rank" as they put it. He will live at what he later calls "the Old Mansion" where Pope's Creek meets the Potomac. They will move to Ferry Farm in 1738. He will receive an elementary school education, and then his father will die. His mother, Mary, will push him hard to succeed and he will listen carefully to her guidance. Many of the stories about his youth have no documentation, or are recollections that are misremembered by relatives or are simply wrong. He could not possibly have skipped a silver dollar across the Potomac, but other rivers were possible. The story about the cherry tree came from Parson Weems who was looking for inspirational stories about George Washington. The story was known and the relatives never denied it, but actual hard evidence is lacking. [8] [9] [10] [11] [12]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
There is NO FEDERAL HOLIDAY named "Presidents Day". There is Washington's Birthday which is celebrated the third Monday of the month of February. Individual states have named this holiday variously, "Washington and Lincoln's Birthday," "Presidents Day," and even "Washington and Jefferson's Birthday." FYI, Jefferson's birthday is in April but who cares? If you can switch around a man's birthday celebration so that it gives you a three-day weekend, then the actual month is meaningless. I don't like celebrating a day just for any President, because frankly, I despise some Presidents. (I'm looking at you Woodrow Wilson!) Also, I remember when holidays used to be celebrated in the middle of the week. When that happened, we were forced to discuss WHY we were celebrating. When such holidays fell on a Monday or Friday, we just partied. [13] [14] [15]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1732, Wikipedia.

See Also


  1. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 336-337. “Ninepins played for first time in New York” 
  2. nine-pins. louisiana101.com (2003). Retrieved on 16 February 2016. “Ninepins has been a popular sport in North America since the Dutch settlers brought it with them to the Hudson River Valley in the 17th century. It is one of many forms of bowling games played in Europe since the time of the ancient Greeks and Romans. In colonial America men and women of all ages enjoyed the popular pastime of ninepins.”
  3. ninepins - game. Britannica.com (2016). Retrieved on 16 February 2016. “Ninepins, bowling game that probably originated in continental Europe during the Middle Ages. Many regional variations of the game developed. Early German ninepins lanes were made of clay or cinders; later a single long plank about one foot wide was added, on which the ball was rolled. The pins were set up in a square formation with one corner toward the bowler.”
  4. New Braunfels, Texas - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 February 2016.
  5. Fredericksburg, Texas - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 February 2016.
  6. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 336-337. “Benjamin Franklin: 'Poor Richard's Almanack' issued (-1757)” 
  7. Isaacson, Walter. Benjamin Franklin: An American Life. Simon & Schuster. ISBN 0684807610. “Years later, Franklin would recall that he regarded his almanac as a 'vehicle for conveying instruction among the common folk' and therefore filled it with proverbs that 'inculcated industry and frugality as the means of procuring wealth and thereby securing virtue.' At the time, however, he also had another motive, about which he was quite forthright. The beauty of inventing a fictional author was that he could poke fun at himself by admitting, only half in jest, through the pen of Poor Richard, that money was his main motivation.” 
  8. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 336-337. “George Washington b. Feb. 22 (d. 1799)” 
  9. Lady Day - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 February 2016. “In the western liturgical year, Lady Day is the traditional name in some English speaking countries of the Feast of the Annunciation (25 March), known in the 1549 Prayer Book of Edward VI and the 1662 Book of Common Prayer as 'The Annunciation of the (Blessed) Virgin Mary' but more accurately (as currently in the 1997 Calendar of the Church of England) termed 'The Annunciation of our Lord to the Blessed Virgin Mary'.”
  10. Calendar (New Style) Act 1750 - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 February 2016. “It reformed the calendar of England and British Dominions so that the new legal year began on 1 January rather than 25 March (Lady Day); and it adopted the Gregorian calendar, as already used in most of western Europe.”
  11. Old Style and New Style dates - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 February 2016. “Old Style (O.S.) and New Style (N.S.) are sometimes used with dates to indicate whether the Julian year has been adjusted to start on 1 January (N.S.), even though documents written at the time use a different start of year (O.S.), or whether a date conforms to the Julian calendar (O.S.), formerly in use in many countries, rather than the Gregorian (N.S.).”
  12. George Washington: Life in Brief. millercenter.org (2016). Retrieved on 16 February 2016. “Although he never received more than an elementary school education, young George displayed a gift for mathematics. This knack for numbers combined with his quiet confidence and ambition caught the attention of Lord Fairfax, head of one of the most powerful families in Virginia. While working for Lord Fairfax as a surveyor at the age of sixteen, the young Washington traveled deep into the American wilderness for weeks at a time.”
  13. "Why Presidents' Day is slightly strange", Washington Post, February 16, 2014. Retrieved on 16 February 2016. “Some states do in fact honor both Washington, who was born Feb. 22, and Abraham Lincoln, who was born Feb. 12. But other states honor Washington and Thomas Jefferson, but not Lincoln, on this holiday and some states honor all the presidents. Then there are a handful of states, including Illinois, that have declared Lincoln’s birthday a state holiday — whatever day of the week Feb. 12 happens to fall — while also marking the federal holiday. In Virginia, Washington’s home state, the holiday is called George Washington’s Day. In Alabama, it is called 'Washington and Jefferson Day' (although Jefferson was born on April 13).” 
  14. Washington's Birthday - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 February 2016. “Washington's Birthday is a United States federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February, meaning it can occur the 15th through the 21st inclusive, in honor of George Washington, the first President of the United States, who was born on February 22, 1732. Colloquially, it is widely known as Presidents Day and is often an occasion to remember all the presidents, not just George Washington or Abraham Lincoln, whose birthday is also in February.”
  15. Thomas Jefferson - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 16 February 2016. “Thomas Jefferson (April 13 [O.S. April 2] 1743 – July 4, 1826) was an American Founding Father who was principal author of the Declaration of Independence (1776).”

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