Tag Archives: History

Yankee Doodle Came To Town

By Mark Bowser

“Yankee doodle came to town riding on a pony, stuck a feather in his hat, and called him macaroni.”

We all know the words but do we know the heritage? How a song that was designed to ridicule became a victory cry of triumph.

The famous tune Yankee Doodle was written by Dr. Richard Schuckburgh. He was a British surgeon during the time of the French and Indian war.

Dr. Shuckburgh, as well as many British, loved to make fun of the American cousins. During the French and Indian War, the rustic Americans fought on the side of the British. The Americans would march alongside the sharp dressed, well trained British Redcoats. The good doctor took this contrast and made it a joke.

British soldiers had great fun making up their own versus for this little song. But things changed on the way to Lexington. On April 19, 1775, the British troops were singing Yankee Doodle as they were marching from Boston towards Lexington and Concord.

All of a sudden, the now tone deaf British found themselves in a battle against the rebels. The colonials hid behind trees and under rocks and pummeled the Redcoats as they marched by. The American War for Independence had begun.

As the Redcoats retreated hastily from the battlefield, they could hear that old familiar tune again … but, this time it was sung by the Americans. And, on that day, the Americans captured the song as their own and it became a patriotic classic to this day. The Americans began to refer to the song as the Lexington March.

During the war, the Americans found great joy in playing this song as the British surrendered at key battles such as Saratoga and the war ending Yorktown. At the surrender at Saratoga,Tom Anbury, a British Army officer said, “It was not a little mortifying to hear them play this tune, when their army marched down to our surrender.”

Not bad for a bunch of rebels. This is Mark Bowser. Thanks for reading.

*Mark Bowser is the author of several books including “Some Gave It All” with Danny Lane (endorsed by Chuck Norris), “Sales Success” with Zig Ziglar, and “Jesus, Take the Wheel.” As a Professional Speaker, he has presented prestigious seminars at Southwest Airlines, Ford Motor Company, United States Marine Corp., Princeton University, Purdue University, Kings Daughters Medical Center, USDA, FedEx Logistics, and many more. Mark can be reached at http://www.MarkBowser.com or http://www.LinkedIn.com/in/markbowser.

The Corporal’s Lesson on Greatness

By Mark Bowser

In her wonderful volumes on American history, Mara Pratt shared a story about George Washington that we should all take to heart.

One day during the American Revolution, General George Washington rode upon a number of soldiers who were working to raise a beam up to the top of a military structure. The men somehow didn’t recognize Washington.

All the men were working except one. That one man continued to bark out orders. He yelled at the other men, “Now you have it! Already! Pull!”

Washington guided his horse a little closer to the order barking soldier. He quietly asked the soldier why he wasn’t helping the others. The young man looked up at Washington and angrily said, “Sir, don’t you know that I am the corporal?

Washington said, “I did not realize it. Beg pardon, Mr. Corporal.”

Washington then got off his horse, walked over to the soldiers and began helping them move the heavy beam. The General continued until the beam was put in place on top of the structure. Then, with sweat pouring down his face, he turned to the corporal and said, “If ever you need assistance like this again, call upon Washington, your commander- in-chief, and I will come.”

What is it that makes a great leader? Simply, a servant’s heart.

Thanks for reading today!

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Was George Washington Bulletproof?

By Mark Bowser

Is it possible for a person to be bulletproof? Protected beyond all measure of human understanding? America’s foremost historian, David Barton, shared a story that used to be found in almost every American history text book for one hundred and fifty years. Today, most students and Americans have never heard this story.

The story takes place twenty years before the American War for Independence. George Washington was a young man of twenty-three years old when he was called to duty in the French and Indian War. The war was between the United Kingdom and France. Both sides had claimed ownership of the land around the Ohio and Mississippi Rivers. A peaceful agreement couldn’t be made so war broke out between the two European powers.

The Americans joined the British side and most of the Native Americans joined with the French. At the time, George Washington was Colonel of the Virginia Militia.  George Washington and one hundred of his militia joined with General Braddock to kick the French out of Fort Duquane which is now the city of Pittsburgh.

On July 9, 1755, they walked right into an ambush.  The British were still about seven miles from the fort marching in the midwestern wilderness when all of sudden they began taking on fire from both sides of their path. The French and Indians shot at them from all angles: from behind trees, underneath logs, sheltered from rocks, and even from above in the top of trees.

 The British were some of the world’s best and most experienced soldiers. Unfortunately, it was at European style of warfare.  In that style, both armies would line up in straight lines on opposite sides of a field and bravely fire at each other.

So, in the middle of a wilderness, the British did what they had been trained to do. They  lined up shoulder to shoulder neatly as if they were marching in a parade. They were easy pickings for the enemy. The Indians and French protected by their hiding places took out the British with ease. In only two hours, over 700 of the 1,300 British and Virginia Militia troops were slaughtered. Only thirty of the French and Indians had been shot. 

George Washington was the only officer who was not shot off of his horse. This twenty three year old militia leader found himself in command of what was left of the British army. What should he do? Continue to fight?  Washington knew what he had to do. He must save what was left of his men.  Washington gathered up the remaining troops and retreated back to Fort Cumberland.

 During the battle, several horses had been shot from underneath Washington. Later, Washington found four bullet holes in his jacket, but he had not been touched by one bullet. He told his family in a letter that,“By the all powerful dispensations of Providence, I have been protected beyond all human probability or expectation.” Washington knew he was protected by Almighty God. There was not a doubt in his mind about that. 

Fifteen years later in 1770, George Washington and a close friend returned to those same woods where the battle had been fought.  An Indian Chief heard that Washington was there and traveled far to meet with him.  The Native American Chief told Washington that he had been a leader in that great battle and that he had instructed his braves to single out all the officers, including Washington.  The Chief himself had shot at Washington seventeen times without success.  Believing that Washington was under the protection of the Great Spirit, the Chief told his braves to quit firing on Washington.

 On that day in 1770, the Chief told Washington, “I have traveled a long and weary path that I might see the young warrior of the great battle.  I have come to pay homage to the man whose is the particular favorite of Heaven and who can never die in battle.”  

There was a time when most American children were taught that story in school about our first President. Today, most Americans have never heard that story. A recent poll stated that only 40% of Americans have a basic knowledge of American history. That is very sad … and dangerous. Philosopher George Santayana said, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

That lesson goes both directions. Today, there are ignorant cries to tear down statues in an attempt to erase part of our history. But, if we don’t remember the mistakes of the past then we are condemned to repeat them.

There is evil in parts of history. We must never repeat the sins of the past. So, we must understand history.  We must understand how the Hitler of the 1930’s became the Hitler of the 1940’s and killed over eleven million Jewish people. We must understand the history of slavery and how one man, Abraham Lincoln, led the fight to end that scourge in the United States in 1863.

History is not without evil … but we must remember it. History is also filled with stories of good and we must remember them too. We must walk on the shores of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina and remember the Wright Brothers and man’s leap into a bigger world. We must remember that first shaky flight and how it shined a light onto the path that led us to Tranquility Base on July 20, 1969 where Neil Armstrong took “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.” So, is it possible to be bulletproof and protected beyond all measure of human understanding? Oh yeah!

ANNOUNCING! A New Podcast Gaining Attention — Let Me Tell You A Story with Mark Bowser

Stories are everywhere! We all love them! We love them in books, at the movies, and in our favorite podcasts. But, what if a story could be — more? What if a story could change your life in a substantial, positive way? What if a story could take you to the pinnacles of success and show you how to scale life’s mountains too?

Well, that is what Let Me Tell You a Story podcast with Mark Bowser is all about. Professional Speaker & Author Mark Bowser will take you behind the scenes of some of history’s greatest feats and unknown achievements so that their stories can be a city on a hill shining like a beacon in the night inspiring us to live our best! Come join us every Monday and Thursday! Please subscribe now so that you won’t miss one exciting episode. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, etc….

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The Forgotten President – StoryCam View

This video is a compliment to my recent article. This is a behind the scenes look as I record the podcast “Let Me Tell You a Story with Mark Bowser” podcast. I hope you enjoy it!

Have a great day. Thanks for listening. God bless you!

Mark Bowser

The Forgotten President

By Mark Bowser

Was George Washington really the first President of the United States? Are you sure?

George Washington became President of the United States in 1789, however, we won the War for Independence in 1781 to earn our freedom from Great Britain. So, what happened during all those intervening years? Were we leaderless? Did we have a functioning government in those years?

After we won the war at Yorktown, the Congress met and drafted a document called the Articles of Confederation. In essence, this was the first Constitution for the United States. And on March 1, 1781 it was ratified by all thirteen colonies making it the law and guiding principles for the infant nation.

At that time Congress elected unanimously a President of the United States. The official title was President of the United States in Congress Assembled. The man the Congress unanimously elected was John Hanson.

John Hanson served for only one year. During that pivotal year, Congress established the Treasury Department. Two other prominent establishments during the Hansen administration included the adoption of the Great Seal of the United State. This seal is still in use to this day. Another prominent accomplishment was that the fourth Thursday of every November would be a day of thanksgiving.

But, did this really make Hanson the first President of the United States? How come we didn’t learn about him in our history classes in school?

George Washington considered Hanson the first president. He addressed him in his correspondence by that title and he congratulated Hansen by saying, “I congratulate your Excellency on your appointment to fill the most important seat in the United States.”

After Hanson’s term was up, Congress elected another president. This went on until the Constitution was adopted in 1789. That is when George Washington was elected President of the United States. So, if we want to get technical about it, Washington was the eighth president, not the first.

But, it is very proper and fitting that George Washington is considered the father of our country and the first President of the United States. He is the first president under the Constitution of the United States. A document that is revered for its wisdom and rights to the people.

So, next year when we celebrate Presidents’ Day, let’s not forget Mr. Hanson and the other six forgotten presidents under the Articles of Confederation. And, let’s celebrate all of the presidents and future presidents that have helped lead the greatest nation in the history of the world. So, now you know. Thanks for reading today.

Episode 9: Let Me Tell You a Story Podcast

Episode 9: Let Me Tell You a Story Podcast

Have you ever wanted to see how something was recorded behind the scenes? Now is your chance.

Join Mark Bowser as he records his podcast “Let Me Tell You A Story”

We call it the StoryCam view — It is informal, personal, and inspiring. Enjoy!

Subscribe to “Let Me Tell You A Story” at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, etc…

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Coast to Coast in Sixty-three Days

By Mark Bowser

In 1903, Horatio Nelson Jackson was visiting the University Club of San Francisco. While he was there, someone wagered fifty dollars that it would be impossible to drive a horseless carriage, or automobile, from San Francisco to New York in less than ninety days.

Horatio immediately excepted the bet. Now, he had to figure out how to do it. Let’s take a look for a moment at the challenges that Horatio had in front of him.

• At that time, the United States only had about 150 miles of paved roads in the entire country. And, most of them were in the cities.

• It had never been done before.

• Horatio didn’t know that much about the mechanics of cars.

• And to top it off, he didn’t even own a car.

So as you can see, Horatio may have bit off a little more than he could chew. Or, did he?

The first item on the to do list was to get a car. So, he purchased a used, very small twenty horsepower car and commissioned it into his service as theVermont in honor of his home state.

The next challenge on the list was to overcome not being very mechanically minded. That is where Sewall Crocker comes into the story. Horatio hired this talented mechanic to go on the adventure with him.

Horatio and Sewall loaded up the Vermont with supplies and on May 23, 1903, they disembarked on their journey. Waving goodbye to San Francisco and an anticipated hello for the Big Apple.

Saying this coast to coast journey was hard would be an understatement. What roads there were weren’t more than a couple of worn patches on the ground. Horatio and Sewall got stuck in mud more times than Pinocchio told lies. They blew tires, broke springs, and had more sounds coming from the engine block that would have even made A.J. Foyt nervous. But, they kept the car together and continued to forge forth towards New York. At one point, they received bad directions and got lost hundreds of miles off course. But not even that could keep them discouraged.

In Idaho they took on another passenger. His name was Bud and he was a bulldog. They fitted the dog with driving goggles and the journey continued. On July 26, our trio sped into New York City. Despite all the setbacks, they had completed the journey in only sixty-three days.

So, the next time you go on a road trip, think about Horatio, Sewall, and Bud. Because without them, your adventure wouldn’t be possible. Who’s ready to hit the road?

ANNOUNCING! A New Podcast Gaining Attention — Let Me Tell You A Story with Mark Bowser

Stories are everywhere! We all love them! We love them in books, at the movies, and in our favorite podcasts. But, what if a story could be — more? What if a story could change your life in a substantial, positive way? What if a story could take you to the pinnacles of success and show you how to scale life’s mountains too?

Well, that is what Let Me Tell You a Story podcast with Mark Bowser is all about. Professional Speaker & Author Mark Bowser will take you behind the scenes of some of history’s greatest feats and unknown achievements so that their stories can be a city on a hill shining like a beacon in the night inspiring us to live our best! Come join us every Monday and Thursday! Please subscribe now so that you won’t miss one exciting episode. Available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, etc….

Subscribe Now!

The Miracle That Saved Three Future American Presidents

By Mark Bowser

A ferocious storm battered the tiny ship. Those on board weren’t confident that the wooden sides could hold up to this type of punishment. But, the Mayflower continued on its journey and what a journey it turned out to be. Particularly, for young John Howland.

During the storm, John came up from the lower deck and onto the exposed top deck. Why he came up in the middle of the storm, we may never know.

John wasn’t on the top deck very long before the violent storm swept him overboard. Those who saw it, thought he was dead for sure. For John sunk below the waves and they thought that was the last time they would ever see him. But, a few seconds later, John appeared from beneath the waves and he had hold of a rope that was attached to the ship. It is a miracle in and of itself that a rope attached to the ship was dangling in the water … and an even greater miracle that John’s outstretched hand was able to grasp it as his body hit the cold sea.

The men on board the Mayflower quickly came to John’s rescue. They pulled and heaved at the rope and were able to pull John alongside the ship. They then lowered a boathook and scooped John up like ice cream being put in a cone.

Watching the scene play out in front of her as if it was a modern-day horror movie, twelve year old Elizabeth Tilley stood on the deck as her emotions convulsed with anguish. What a relief when they pulled John on board.

In the not-too-distant future, Elizabeth and John developed a budding romance. A romance for the ages. They eventually married and had ten children, eighty-two grandchildren, and their descendants sprinkled the American countryside like lilies on the prairie.

Some of their descendants included the actors Humphrey Bogart and Alec Baldwin. Their most famous and influential descendants include three United States presidents: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

What would’ve happened if John Howland had died that day? Just what would have happened to America during World War II if FDR wasn’t in the White House? What would’ve happened if Saddam Hussein was able to continue his rampage against tiny oil rich Kuwait? And, what would’ve happened if we had not had the strong leadership of George W. Bush after September 11, 2001? We will never know.

The Bush family faced a second miracle saving in the 1940’s. During World War II, the senior Bush was the pilot of a three-man torpedo bomber in the Pacific. This was an extremely dangerous job during the war.

Bush flew 58 combat missions during World War II. One of the more stressful missions happened in June 1944. Bush and his crew took on anti-aircraft fire which forced them to make an emergency landing – in water. An emergency landing is harrowing at any time, but in water under those circumstances it is nearly impossible. Little did they know, that experience was a cakewalk compared to what was to come.

On September 2, 1944, they were again hit by anti-aircraft fire during a bombing run on a Japanese island. It was as if a giant boxer had hit the underside of the plane. Bush described it this way, “Suddenly there was a jolt as if a massive fist had crunched into the belly of the plane. Smoke poured into the cockpit, and I could see flames rippling across the crease of the wing, edging toward the fuel tanks.”

His plane was on fire, but Bush managed to finish his bombing run. He then made his way out to sea. His two companions, already dead, may have been the lucky ones.

His plane was crippled and not flyable. Bush’s only choice was to bail out of the plane. As he disembarked, his body hit the tail before finding clear air. The impact ripped a gash into his forehead and his parachute.

Somehow, Bush made it to the ocean surface still conscious of his surroundings. He was losing a lot of blood and being stung by incessant jellyfish which caused noxious vomiting. Despite all of this, Bush managed to swim to his inflatable lifeboat.

The hours felt like days as he floated there on the ocean surface. The Japanese were searching for him and torture was in his future. If not for the American fighter planes which drove off the Japanese boats looking for Bush, his name would be just a footnote in history books. Bush was finally rescued by an American submarine, the USS Finback, and the future 41st president of the United States lived to see another day.

Every day, we face certain doom if not for a miracle from God. How many times have we crossed over death without even a inkling of its existence? We will never know on this side of heaven.

I don’t know about you, but I’m not going to take this day for granted. I hope you will do the same. Thanks for reading today.

ANNOUNCING! A New Podcast Gaining Attention — Let Me Tell You A Story with Mark Bowser

Stories are everywhere! We all love them! We love them in books, at the movies, and in our favorite podcasts. But, what if a story could be — more? What if a story could change your life in a substantial, positive way? What if a story could take you to the pinnacles of success and show you how to scale life’s mountains too?

Well, that is what Let Me Tell You a Story podcast with Mark Bowser is all about. Professional Speaker & Author Mark Bowser will take you behind the scenes of some of history’s greatest feats and unknown achievements so that their stories can be a city on a hill shining like a beacon in the night inspiring us to live our best! Come join us every Monday and Thursday! Please subscribe now so that you won’t miss one exciting episode.

Subscribe now at your favorite podcast location!

https://let-me-tell-you-a-story-with-mark-bowser.castos.com/

Let Me Tell You A Story – Episode 1

ANNOUNCING: A New Podcast Gaining Attention

Friends,

I am thrilled to say that time has finally come. We have launched my new podcast Let Me Tell You A Story.

The link below is to our StoryCam view. It is a behind the scenes look as I record the podcast episode. Check it out and please subscribe on your favorite podcast platform. Apple and Spotify is up now. Google and other to follow shortly.

Benjamin Franklin’s Rules For Failure – Your Hidden Roadmap To Success

By Mark Bowser

I can imagine that the title of this article wasn’t what you were expecting when you turned to this page. You might be wondering why anyone would come up with their own rules for failure?   Particularly, if that person was Benjamin Franklin. Franklin was one of the most successful individuals in American history.  After all, his many achievements included being the inventor of the  lightning rod, the Franklin Stove, and bifocals. He was the nation’s first Postmaster General, the author of Poor Richard’s Almanack, and a member of the Committee of Five along with Thomas Jefferson which drafted the Declaration of Independence. Franklin was a wise ole soul who didn’t do too many things without intention.  So, what would be the value of knowing how to fail?

The late Jim Rohn who was known as America’s Foremost Business Philosopher used to say that losers should give seminars. Why? Where else could one safeguard their life for success. Think about it. If a loser taught us everything they knew about living a life of failure, all we would have to do is stay away from what they did and do something different.

Ben Franklin’s strategy for success by avoiding the rules of failure is actually pretty astute. In fact, in his autobiography, Franklin admitted that he learned this the hard way by following the rules of failure at one point in his life.

So, let’s explore what this wise old gent discovered about being a loser so that we can lead ourselves and our organizations to success. On November 15, 1750, Benjamin Franklin wrote in the Pennsylvania Gazette his Rules for Making Oneself a Disagreeable Companion. Franklin knew what failures thought.  Failures arrogantly  believe that “Your Business is to shine; therefore you must by means prevent the shining of others…” In order to accomplish this dubious distinction, here are Franklin’s rules.

1. “If possible engross the whole Discourse; and when other Matter fails, talk much of your-self, your Education, your Knowledge, your Circumstances, your Successes in Business, your Victories in Disputes, your own wise Sayings and Observations on particular Occasions….”

I think we all have known a person like the one Franklin describes. The self-centered soul who arrogantly drops names as they pursue their know it all life.  How do you like spending time with such a person?  You wished you could be with them everyday, right? Not likely. Usually, we try to avoid those people like snow on a summer day.

Now, the big question is when did we behave like the person Franklin described? Notice the word “when.” If we are honest with ourselves, I believe most of us have been that person multiple times in our lives.  It is time for us to walk a different path. Next time you are in a conversation, ask questions instead of talking. Listen instead of debating. And, serve instead of taking. Some one hundred and fifty years later, Dale Carnegie gave very similar advice in his classic bestseller How to Win Friends and Influence People. Hmmm, we would be wise to take this to heart.

2. “If when you are out of Breath, one of the Company should seize the Opportunity of saying something; watch his Words, and, if possible, find somewhat either in his Sentiment or Expression, immediately to contradict and raise a Dispute upon. Rather than fail, criticize even his Grammar.” 

Years ago, I had to work on occasion with a very disagreeable business associate. This fellow worked hard to find areas in which to criticize me.  In fact, one time he even did criticize my grammar. How did it make me feel? It ticked me off…but I remind you (as well as myself) the reason why people are disagreeable souls. It is usually because they feel bad about themselves. They feel inferior, lacking, and not worthwhile. They, themselves have a poor self-image. So, the next time you come across one of these disagreeable individuals, instead of defending yourself, feel pity for them instead.  Understand they themselves are hurting and forgive them for their rude behavior. And…commit yourself to never, ever behaving likewise.

3. “If another should be saying an indisputably good Thing; either give no Attention to it; or interrupt him; or draw away the Attention of others; or, if you can guess what he would be at, be quick and say it before him; or, if he gets it said, and you perceive the Company pleas’d with it, own Locke, Bayle, or some other eminent Writer; thus you deprive him of the Reputation he might have gain’d by it, and gain some yourself, as you hereby show your great Reading and Memory.”

In a nutshell, don’t be an arrogant, egotistical pain in the butt who nobody ever wants to be around.

4. “When modest Men have been thus treated by you a few times, they will chuse ever after to be silent in your Company; then you may shine on without Fear of a Rival; rallying them at the same time for their Dullness, which will be to you a new Fund of Wit.”

In delusion, the disagreeable individual takes their comrades’ silence as victory, when in reality, it is the ultimate in defeat when it comes to human interactions.

So, we can choose success by doing the opposite of Franklin’s rules. The wise old gent leaves us with a final warning, “Thus you will be sure to please yourself. The polite Man aims at pleasing others, but you shall go beyond him even in that. A Man can be present only in one Company, but may at the same time be absent in twenty. He can please only where he is, you where-ever you are not.” Hmmm, let us both chew on those words for awhile.