This is the 87th Post on My What American History Is About Blog: Let's Talk 87s.

This is the 87th Post on My What American History Is About Blog: Let's Talk 87s.

May 31, 2024

Random inspiration as a prompt: 87s in American History.

As a blogger, I love prompts. Sometimes I create my own from random inspiration. I'm doing a little workcation. (What is that? Click here and learn about it on my Free At 50 blog). If you've followed along on my social media, or even on this blog, you might know that this blog is growing and I've decided to create more focus on it. Last night and this morning has been a big brainstorm/organize/WORK night for me.

All in.

Disclaimer: As a blogger, I use affiliate links sometimes! I may receive commission from purchases I share; it does not change your price but sometimes you might get a discount.

One task I've completed: creating a list of every blog post I've written on this blog since launching it last summer. The total 86.

So knowing my next post would be number 87, I thought I'd do a nod to the number 87 in a quick and short burst of history. My "year 24s" post is actually getting Google clicks so why not!? As blog coach and dear friend Margaret Bourne would say: if its' working for Google do more posts like it!

Click here to read the "year 24s" post. No worries I'll keep this post short- grab your coffee and read on!

My planner for this blog with notes about history surrounding it.


The Connecticut Charter Oak.

King James II wanted to remove Connecticut's charter and colonists there are said to have hid it in an oak tree. The story is fascinating and really goes to the heart of us Americans in my opinion. What speaks to the strength, character, and hope we feel more than holding onto our history with the goal of ensuring our future? Read the story here.

A search was on to find the mouth of the Mississippi River.

But then in March: MURDER! French explorer Robert Cavlieier, Siere de La Salle's men started a mutiny and one man called Pierre Duhaut murders him in what is now East Texas. Read more here about the expedition.


Our United States Constitution (U.S.) is adopted.

In May, the U.S. Constitution is drawn up by delegates and it's adopted in September! All of this happened in Philadelphia. The Virginia plan for three branches of Government had been presented to the Continental Congress by James Madison (who became our 4th President) and Edmund Randolph (the first U.S. Attorney General, appointed by Washington, later serving as Secretary of State).

This my friends, was the beginning of the Republic we know today under a legislative, executive, judicial system.

If you want to dive deeper, you can start here with this playlist on Ben Franklin's World, Colonial Williamsburg's (CW) official podcast. (and P.S. - we celebrate Constitution Day here in CW)

2021 Constitution Day: Tent set up for USAF Band.


Punxsutawney Phil became an American tradition.

German settlers brought us their tradition and slightly modified to our environment (yes, that's the groundhog bit). The first Groundhog Day happened on February 2, 1887 in Punxsutawney, Pennsylvania. The holiday has been inspiration for movies like this 1994 classic starring Bill Murray and my humble blog post affirming my decision to leave 9-5 life behind.

Learn more about Groundhog Day's roots by clicking here.

Abraham Lincoln's body was moved.

Yes, I found this one and had to include it. In fact there's a whole timeline about his remains and final resting place in Springfield, Illinois. Why were his remains moved in 1887? To be secure in a more stable brick vault.

Click here to see the timeline.

Have you visited Lincoln's Tomb in Springfield? I haven't. But I have been to the Lincoln Memorial in Washington D.C. and highly recommend it. Strangely enough, we stumbled upon a Lincoln Memorial while traveling through Redlands, California. I wish it'd been open! Clearly, he is remembered everywhere and one family saw fit to ensure a place for this remembrance on the west coast.

Click here to learn the details.

Lincoln Memorial, Redlands, California, 2015.


The Tower Commission Report on Iran-Contra was released.

This was a big news story in the 80s. It was all over TV (the few channels we had back in the 80s!) and Oliver North became a household name. In short, it was about selling arms to Iran to utilize the money to support the Contras in Nicaragua.

Strategy? Politics? U.S. interest? It's easier to look back on historical situations like this one than it is to dissect it in the moment, is it not?

Lesson: there will always be Presidential scandals of some sort. Learn more about this "scandal" by clicking here.

Removal of the "fairness doctrine" sets the stage for media as we know it today.

The Federal Communications Commission rescinded the Fairness Doctrine. Essentially and to sum it up, the doctrine was created over concerns about major broadcasters having the ability to create bias by having monopolies in such a small market early on in the 20th century.

There was debate and disagreement between Congress and President Reagan, with the FCC decision ultimately standing. Click here to read more.

Reagan Library, Simi Valley 2012

Closing words from history.

James Madison's October, 1787 letter to George Washington sharing concerns of states slow to ratify the new U.S. Constitution- and very telling in his feelings towards Mason and Henry, as they oppose it. This excerpt is the opening paragraph; read the letter, with citations, in full here.

From James Madison to George Washington, 28 October 1787

To George Washington

New York Octr. 28. 1787.

Dear Sir

The mail of yesterday brought me your favor of the 22d. instant. The communications from Richmond give me as much pleasure, as they exceed my expectations. As I find by a letter from a Member of the Assembly,1 however, that Col. Mason had not got down, and it appears that Mr. Henry is not at bottom a friend, I am not without fears that their combined influence and management may yet create difficulties. There is one consideration which I think ought to have some weight in the case over and above the intrinsic inducements to embrace the Constitution, and which I have suggested to some of my correspondents. There is at present a very strong probability that nine States at least will pretty speedily concur in establishing it. What will become of the tardy remainder?

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There is a huge practical disclaimer to the content on this blog, which is my way of sharing my excitement and basically journaling online.

1) I am not a historian nor an expert. I will let you know I’m relaying the information as I understand and interpret it. The employees of Colonial Williamsburg base their presentations, work, and responses on historical documents and mainly primary sources.

2) I will update for accuracy as history is constant learning. If you have a question about accuracy, please ask me! I will get the answer from the best source I can find.

3) Photo credit to me, Daphne Reznik, for all photos in this post, unless otherwise credited! All photos are personal photos taken in public access locations or with specific permission.