Tag Archives: stories

Hello Dolly!

By Mark Bowser

In many respects, Dolly Madison is America’s forever First Lady. Her infectious personality captured her contemporaries with love and affection. Dolly has done the same thing for generations to come as she came alive to us through our history books.

Who could forget her courage and determination during the War of 1812? As the British were marching on the White House in 1814, Dolly wouldn’t leave the White House without the famous portrait of George Washington that was painted by Gilbert Stuart. Over her dead body would she allow the British to destroy the beloved first president’s image.

As nervous servants wanted the first lady to evacuate, she refused until the painting was safe. As nerves were fraying, they desperately tried to unscrew the eight-foot frame from the wall. The frame stubbornly held fast. With the British only moments away, Dolly ordered that the glass be broken and the canvas painting be taken out. She and the painting then made their escape just in the nick of time.

But, if it were not for a bum of a man she would have never met her husband James Madison and she would have never become our first lady. Some would even refer to this bum as a criminal … or even a traitor. And, who was this evil man who made such a historic introduction between lovers? That man was Aaron Burr.

Aaron Burr? The one and the same. Yes, the man who was Thomas Jefferson’s vice president who attempted to steal the presidency from under Jefferson as his running mate. Yes, the same Aaron Burr who killed Alexander Hamilton in a dual. So, how did he bring Dolly and James together?

Earlier, Burr had served in the senate as the senator from New York. At that time, Washington D. C. hadn’t been established as of yet and the nation’s capital was in Philadelphia. When he was in town, Burr often would stay at a boarding house that was run by Mary Payne.

While staying at Mary Payne’s boarding house, Burr had the opportunity to make an acquaintance with her widowed daughter Dorothea “Dolly” Payne. Just like most everyone, Burr was taken in by her infectious personality. Though Dolly and Burr never got romantically involved, they became friends. Burr then introduced Miss Dolly to his friend James Madison who was a never married, shy single man of the age of forty-two who happened to be a congressman from Virginia.

And, as the say, the rest is history …

Subscribe Now to Mark’s popular podcast at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google, and other podcast platforms. This article, “Hello Dolly” is Episode 62 in the audio podcast.

As Iron Sharpens Iron

By Mark Bowser

The shadowy figure sailed toward the unsuspecting craft. What was it? A sea monster? Maybe a ship? It was a ship. The Merrimack opened up its cannons and in short order obliterated the wooden Union vessel.

The Merrimack then continued on its journey taking out any Union vessel it came across. The Civil War had been raging for a year and now the Confederates had a vessel which seemed to be invincible.

But how did the Merrimack come into existence? Earlier in the war, the Confederates had sunk a wooden Union vessel. After some time, the Confederates decided to try to salvage the sunken enemy vessel.

After bringing it to the surface, they discovered that the hull was in pretty good shape. They decided to cover it with iron. They placed slanted sheets of iron at the top making a metal shield that would repel cannon balls like rain to an umbrella. The Merrimack had vengeance in it’s iron heart and was ready to ravage the Union forces.

After a day of glorious victory after victory, the Merrimack and its crew settled in for a well deserved night’s sleep dreaming of a similar adventure for the next day. But, they would soon find out that they were in for a surprise of their own.

The next day, the Merrimack set sail on its course again, but in the near distance they saw a very odd looking vessel. It sat very low in the water and had a very flat, dark deck. In the middle of the craft was a little rounded box that butted up a few feet from the deck. What on earth was that? Oh well, the Merrimack would take care of it too.

The odd looking craft sailed directly towards the Merrimack like an alligator sneaking up on its prey. It was the Monitor. The Union’s own iron fortress of the sea. The Merrimack soon found out what that box was on the top. It was a gun turret that could swivel in any direction. No matter what invasive maneuver the Merrimack would attempt, the Monitor could aim its humongous guns upon her.

The battle waged on and on with both iron vessels holding their own. Finally, the Merrimack gave up and sailed away. With the Monitor on patrol, the Confederate Merrimack would think twice before venturing back up through the Union forces again.

Ingenuity and inventiveness are two of the human beings most admirable traits. Wake yours up today and go to battle against your most pressing challenges.

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Get Fired Like Edison

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The Seed of Impact

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Episode 54: The Seed of Impact

If not for Farmer Fleming … the history of the world would be different. Find out what the good farmer did that impacted history in such a dramatic way.

Mark Bowser is the author of several books including Sales Success with Zig Ziglar, Jesus Take the Wheel, Nehemiah on Leadership, and Some Gave It All with Danny Lane which was endorsed by Chuck Norris.

Mark Bowser is one of the best Professional Business Speakers in the United States. He has presented seminars to Southwest Airlines, Ford Motor Company, Sony Music, United States Marine Corp., FedEx Logistics, Purdue University, Delta Faucet, and many, many more. For more information or to inquire about booking Mark for your next conference or event, then please visit http://www.MarkBowser.com.

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A Visit From The Mailman

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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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Episode 28: Start Small & Build Huge Success the Disney Way

Sneak Preview of upcoming podcast episode of “Let Me Tell You a Story with Mark Bowser” https://youtu.be/zP086dp5T3A

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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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….

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