#OnThisDay: The US Constitutional Amendment that Put an End to Poll Taxes

I majored in political science in college, but I’d be hard pressed off the top of my head to tell you  what the 24th Amendment to the United States Constitution is about. Its ratification was completed on January 23, 1964 when South Dakota became the 38th state to ratify it. The 59th anniversary of its ratification prompted me to blog about the amendment today.

What the 24th Amendment prohibits

It prohibits the United States Congress and any state in the union from basing a person’s right to vote for US President, US Vice President, US Senate, or US House of Representatives in a primary or other election based on the payment of any tax.

Photo by The New York Public Library on Unsplash

Why the 24th Amendment came about

In the late 1890s and until just after the turn of the 20th century, former Confederate States adopted so-called poll taxes. The laws varied from state to state, but they were created as a way to prevent many black people and poor white people from voting. This was a way the states circumvented the 15th Amendment to the US Constitution, which prohibits a person being prevented from voting based on “race, color, or previous condition of servitude.” The 15th Amendment said nothing about taxes.

The constitutionality of poll taxes was upheld by the US Supreme Court in Breedlove v. Suttles in 1937. In that case, Nolan Breedlove, a 28-year-old white man refused to pay the $1.00 per year poll tax in Georgia. By not paying the poll tax, Mr. Breedlove was not allowed to register to vote in any election in the state.

Mr. Breedlove filed a lawsuit against Mr. T. Earl Suttles, the Fulton County, Georgia Tax Collector, arguing that the poll tax was in violation of the 14th and 19th Amendments to the US Constitution. Hence, the name of the US Supreme Court case. The Breedlove v. Suttles decision was eventually overturned, but the case serves as an example of the US Supreme Court making wrong decisions sometimes

The Breedlove v. Suttles decision was unanimous! The Court concluded that the “privilege of voting is not derived from the United States, but is conferred by the state, and, save as restrained by the Fifteenth and Nineteenth Amendments and other provisions of the Federal Constitution, the state may condition suffrage as it deems appropriate.”

It was a case, like we’ve seen in other cases as recently as 2022, where the US Supreme Court took the easy way out and clung to the “states’ rights” doctrine.

How the 24th Amendment became the law of the land

After decades of some politicians ignoring the issue of poll taxes and a few politicians pushing for the abolishment of such taxes, Congress finally proposed the 24th Amendment at the prompting of President John F. Kennedy. The amendment was submitted to the states on September 24, 1962 after a vote of 295 to 86 in the US House of Representatives and a vote of 77 to 16 in the US Senate.

Illinois was the first state to ratify the amendment in November 1962 and South Dakota was the 38th state to ratify it on January 23, 1964. That 38th vote was all that was needed.

The aftermath of ratification of the 24th Amendment

Some states were slow to ratify the amendment even after its national ratification was final in 1964. Some states were slow to amend their constitutions to be in compliance with the federal amendment. Always looking for ways to get around the law, some states continued to require racial minority citizens to pass senseless tests in order to earn the right to vote.

People who want to keep other US citizens from voting have turned to more subtle (and some not-so-subtle) forms of voter intimidation. They’ve felt emboldened over the last seven years and the pendulum is swinging toward bolder attempts to scare certain people away from the voting booth. This is an attack on our democracy.

Our democracy depends on each of us defending the right of all citizens to vote.

Since my last blog post

As my new website has transitioned from the design phase to the development phase, I continued to write new content for the site.

It seemed like I had to learn some new technology every day. There is still more I will have to learn. I hope this is good for my brain cells. It isn’t good for my emotional stability or my disposition.

It’s been gratifying to see how well received my local history book, Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1 has been on Amazon and in the local bookstore, Second Look Books. Thank you to everyone who has purchased it! Don’t be shy about rating it or even leaving a short review of it on Amazon!

My sister and I took a much-needed break on Saturday afternoon and went to see the movie, “A Man Called Otto.” Tom Hanks was perfect in the role of Otto. The movie is based on the book, A Man Called Ove, by Fredrik Backman. I read the book back in 2017 and I’ve remembered it ever since. Here’s the link my June 2, 2017 blog post in which I wrote about the book: You Need to Read These Books!  I recommend the book and the movie.

Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read. While you’re at it, please read one for me. I haven’t had much time to read lately.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.

Remember the brave people of Ukraine.

Janet

How to Write Better Attention-Grabbing Blog Post Titles

A couple of months ago I found a free online headline improvement program. Have you noticed? The jury’s still out, though, as to how it’s working.

Funny thing is, “they” used to tell bloggers to never give a blog post a title containing more than five words. I’ve tried to follow that for years. Lo and behold, now we’re supposed to have seven- to 12-word titles. It’s hard to keep up with what’s acceptable. Who knew blogging would be so complicated and have so many rules?

This free program I’ve started using analyzes headlines and gives each one a numeric score. I’ve had some fun playing around with it and taking its “advice.” I don’t know that my higher-scoring blog post titles have attracted attention or not.

In fact, as my posts have turned more toward publicizing my writing and concentrating less on the art and craft of writing, my blog has lost some popularity. I continued to attract new followers at a slow but steady rate, but my posts are getting fewer “likes” from other bloggers.

My subtle change in direction was a decision I had to make. Was my purpose as a writer to attract the attention of other writers or was it to attract readers?

I hope to continue to attract the attention of other writers but, if I’m going to establish myself as a writer I must find and attract readers.


Headline Studio by Co-Schedule

This isn’t an ad for Headline Studio by Co-Schedule, and I’m getting no compensation for writing about the program in my blog. This is the program I’m using. It’s been a real eye opener.

The program analyzes the headlines or titles you enter and gives you a score from 0 to 100. Today’s blog post title rated a moderately good score of 67, whereas the blog post title I used on January 9, 2023 was my all-time high at 80.

Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

Things taken into consideration in rating title include strength of words, number of characters, number of words, use of emotional words, and readability. The readability aspect is the one that troubles me enough. Some blog post titles I’ve created receive low scores because I used words that someone reading on a fifth-grade level would not understand. How sad is that?

Even sadder is the rating I got when I plugged in today’s blog post title. Read it again. Do you find it difficult to understand? The Headline Studio program gave me the following analysis for this title: “Your headline reads at a 10th grade or higher reading level, which may make it difficult for many readers to comprehend. Switch out the complex words in your headline to improve readability.”

To that, I say, “You must be kidding!” If you can’t understand the title, you probably wouldn’t be able to read my blog. It’s a sad commentary on the state of education.


#OnThisDay:  Operation Desert Storm Began in 1991


Since my last blog post

My book sales are going well on Amazon and at Second Look Books in Harrisburg, NC. Here’s a photo I took one day of my book on the shelf with books by other local authors.

I took the picture the only day I visited the store and it wasn’t sold out! Notice that my book was displayed next to Teachers are Amazing: The ABCs of Teachers, by Tierney Fairchild.

Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1 on the shelf at Second Look Books in Harrisburg, NC!

If you’re a teacher, know a teacher, or aspire to be a teacher, I recommend Tierney’s book to you. In addition to Second Look Books, her book is also available on Amazon. Tierney is a lifelong educator and is dedicated to the profession.

Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1, by Janet Morrison, next to Teachers are Amazing! The ABCs of Teachers, by Tierney Fairchild at Second Look Books in Harrisburg, NC!

I’ve been busy this week writing content for the “Home,” “Books,” and “History in Photographs” pages on my website that’s being redesigned. I continue to learn more technology. I created a folder on Google Drive to house the media kit for Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1. I know this sounds easy to many of you, but it was another milestone for me. I can’t wait to unveil the new website… soon!

I want to offer a free e-novelette to people who sign up for my email list when the new website goes live. My next hurdle is learning how to do that!


Until my next blog post

I hope you’re reading a good book. I’m reading The Shadow Box, by Louanne Rice for Rocky River Readers this month. I’ve also started reading Raven Black, by Ann Cleeves.

Thank you to each and every one of you for supporting me and my new local history book!

Remember the freezing people in Ukraine.

Janet

The Sauline Players Theatrical Troupe Thrilled Audiences in 20th Century

Did you ever see the Sauline Players perform? Chances are you did if you went to school in the piedmont of North Carolina in the early- to mid-1900s.

As I write that, though, it occurs to me that I don’t know if they performed at the schools for black children. I hope they did, for their performances were a real treasure for those of us who lived in rural areas and didn’t have easy access to live theatrical performances.

Two of the 91 local history articles in my new book, Harrisburg, Did You Know?  Cabarrus History, Book 1, are about the Sauline Players. I’ll share some highlights from those articles in today’s blog post.

When I researched the Sauline Players for Harrisburg Horizons newspaper in 2011, I was surprised to learn that the theatrical troupe was based in the small Gaston County town of Belmont, North Carolina. I have fond memories of their performances in the auditorium at Harrisburg High School in the early 1960s when I was in elementary school.

In 2010, I learned that Joseph Sauline was with another traveling acting troupe in Charlotte in the 1920s when that company went broke. Not to be outdone, Mr. Sauline stayed in the area and organized his own acting group — the Sauline Players.

An online search in 2010 led me to a Sauline Players listing on the acting resume of Ms. Joan McCrea. I was able to get in touch with her agent, who in turn gave Ms. McCrea my contact information. Imagine my surprise one day when I answered the phone and found actress Joan McCrea in Los Angeles on the other end of the line!

The ensuing correspondence with Ms. McCrea turned my single newspaper article about the Sauline Players into a two-part series.

If you want to know more about the Sauline Players and other local history articles I wrote for Harrisburg Horizons newspaper, look for my book, Harrisburg, Did You Know?  Cabarrus History, Book 1.


Harrisburg, Did You Know?
Cabarrus History, Book 1,
by Janet Morrison

Where to purchase Harrisburg, Did You Know?  Cabarrus History, Book 1

Paperback available at Second Look Books, 4519 School House Commons, Harrisburg, NC

Paperback and e-book available from Amazon:  ­­­­­­­­­­https://www.amazon.com/Harrisburg-Did-You-Know-Cabarrus/dp/1888858044/.


Since my last blog post

My book received a lot of positive and well-placed publicity last week. The proprietor of Second Look Books in Harrisburg tells me sales have been brisk.

I took a long enough break from formatting Harrisburg, Did You Know?  Cabarrus History, Book 2 to design the cover for the paperback. Then, it was back to formatting. I’m pleased to have the cover designed so I could mark that task off my to-do list.


Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read. I’m reading a couple of books now. It’ll be interesting to see how many I get read in January.

Remember the brave, freezing people in Ukraine.

Janet

I absorbed history, poetry, tidying, and craft of writing books last month

“They” say a writer must read a lot if they aspire to be good at their craft. I can’t argue with that, but the last couple of months have not been conducive for me t,o get a lot of reading done. I’m learning that some months a writer has to concentrate on their writing and the business or being a writer. Otherwise, no one will know I’ve written anything.

I hope you’re not on book marketing overload from my recent blog posts and Facebook postings. There’s more to come for I have more projects in the works. You’ve been warned!

Since it’s the first Monday in the month, I’ll tell you about the books I read in December. Unfortunately, there wasn’t a novel in the bunch.


Threshold: Poems, by Ray Griffin

Threshold: Poems, by Ray Griffin

I received this book of poetry early in December. In such a busy month, I was grateful to have an excuse to steal away every night for some quiet moments to read poetry.

In this collection of poetry, Mr. Griffin touches on many facets of life. Some poems embrace the beauty of the natural world as it is observed and enjoyed today, and some stem from the writer’s reflections on a life well lived.

Many of those memories are also rooted in special times in the Appalachian Mountains and the beaches on the east coast of America, but there are also pieces that bring to life memories of trips in the western states and the unique wonders that part of the that area hold. There are sweet poems of the love of a life partner as well as verses that pay tribute to and bring to mind memories of departed parents. One poem reveals the poet’s feelings of guilt for not being with his parents when they died.

There are poems that express one’s feelings after a cancer diagnosis. There are poems about the current war in Ukraine and wars in the past.

This collection of heart-felt poems will pull at your heartstrings. Some bring a smile, while others bring a tear to your eye. However, the poet almost always brings you to a positive state of mind in the final lines of each. I regretted coming to the end of the book. I wanted more poems, but at least for the time being I’ll have to be satisfied with re-reading a few of the poems each day until Mr. Griffin graces us with additional verses from his heart.

Threshold is Ray Griffin’s third book of poetry. His second book, Winsome Morning Breeze, was published in 2020. Both books are available on Amazon or look for them or request them at your favorite bookstore. Here’s the Amazon link to Threshold: Poems by Ray Griffin: https://www.amazon.com/THRESHOLD-RAY-GRIFFIN/dp/B0BLQYMR11/ .


Writing Vivid Dialogue: Professional Techniques for Fiction Authors, by Rayne Hall

Writing Vivid Dialogue, by Rayne Hall

I tend to have more trouble writing narrative than writing dialogue. At least that’s what I think. I found this book helpful, though.

One issue briefly addressed in this book was that of authenticity versus political correctness. When writing dialogue for someone in the 18th or 19th and even in the 20th century, some characters, to be authentic to their time and place, would use words that are offensive to our 21st century ears. This most often comes into play in racist remarks, but it is also an issue when writing the words of a character who is misogynistic. Should the writer shy away from such words because they are not politically correct today? That is something each writer has to decide for herself or himself.


The Battle of Cowan’s Ford: General Davidson’s Stand on the Catawba River and its place in North Carolina History, by O.C. Stonestreet IV

The Battle of Cowan’s Ford, by O.C. Stonestreet IV

This little book about our regional history in the southern piedmont of North Carolina made me aware of some details about the Battle of Cowan’s Ford in the American Revolutionary War. I recommend it to anyone interested in the American Revolution or North Carolina history.

In case you didn’t know, General William Davidson was killed in the battle. The nearby town of Davidson and Davidson College are named for him.

When Duke Power Company created Lake Norman in 196_, the site of the battle was covered by the lake. As a tip of the hat to history, I suppose, Duke’s hydroelectric dam near the site of the ford and the battle was named Cowan’s Ford Dam. That’s little consolation to history buffs.


How to Write Short Stories and Use Them to Further Your Writing Career, by James Scott Bell

How to Write Short Stories and Use Them to Further Your Writing Career, by James Scott Bell

This book was a tremendous help to me in my writing career status. Until reading it, I planned to publish a book of four or five short stories in 2023. It was going to be my way of introducing you to my fiction writing.

A few months ago, I started reading advice for novice fiction writers that/which said I needed to give away my writing in order to attract readers. No one wants to be told to give away things they’ve worked hard to create. I’m no exception. However, in reading James Scott Bell’s book, I finally had an epiphany!

I started thinking in terms of making my historical short stories available free of charge as e-books. The more I researched my options and the length of the stories I’ve written, a new plan materialized. My current plan is to self-publish Slip Sliding Away as an historical novelette in February.

Mr. Bell’s book prompted me to look into Kindle Direct Publishing’s “Select” program. That program will give me the opportunity to publish Slip Sliding Away on Amazon for 90 days. The novelette will be free for five of those days and probably for 99 cents the other 85 days.

I will alert you to that publication and it’s five free days in a blog post in February, so stay turned!


Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life, by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein

Joy at Work, by Marie Kondo and Scott Sonenshein

You’re probably familiar with Marie Kondo’s bestseller, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up:  The Japanese Art of Decluttering and Organizing. Joy at Work: Organizing Your Professional Life, is the third book in her “The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up” series.

Much of this book didn’t apply to my situation since I work at home and I’m basically my own boss. The main thing I took away from the book was how to go about tidying up my emails and my electronic and paper documents.

It remains to be seen if I’ll follow through and put those recommendations into practice. I need to give it a try.


#OnThisDay: As a result of the oil crisis that started in 1973, the US Congress enacted the 1974 Emergency Highway Energy Conservation Act. The act imposed a 55 mile-per-hour speed limit nationwide in an effort to decrease gasoline usage. It was not well received.


Since my last blog post

I’ve formatted more than 62,000 words for Harrisburg, Did You Know?  Cabarrus History, Book 2. It’s on schedule for self-publication on Amazon later this month. Watch for an announcement.

Harrisburg, Did You Know?  Cabarrus History, Book 1 can be purchased in Harrisburg at Gift Innovations (4555 NC Hwy. 49) or Second Look Books (4519 School House Commons.) If those locations aren’t convenient for you, look for the paperback and the e-book on Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Harrisburg-Did-You-Know-Cabarrus/dp/1888858044/

While you’re at Gift Innovations, look for my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. (It’s also available in paperback and e-book from Amazon at https://www.amazon.com/Ridge-Mountains-Carolina-Postcard-History-ebook/dp/B00NB5FJIO/.)

My website is being redesigned. Watch for an announcement about it soon.

I’ve designed the cover for my historical e-novelette, Slip Sliding Away, and will decide soon if I should also publish it in paperback.


Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read. I hope to read at least one novel this month.

Make time for family, friends, and a hobby.

Remember the freezing but very brave people of Ukraine.

Janet

2022 is in the Rear-View Mirror

2022 has been a good year for me. Coming out of the worst days of the Covid 19 Pandemic has given me a chance to try to get back into my normal routine.

Being able to once again go out in public (except to medical facilities) without wearing an N-95 mask is a nice change from 2020 and 2021. It still feels odd to eat inside a restaurant or travel. All the things I used to take for granted are more appreciated now.

2022 was a year of accomplishment for me as I published Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1 the last week in November. It’s been exciting to see it well-received and appreciated.

Publishing the book gave me a sense of accomplishment I didn’t expect as I was able to format it and design the cover. I even learned how to make a QR Code that will take people to my website! I still have trouble remembering what the “Q” and the “R” stand for, but I’m making progress. Those are small technological accomplishments in the big scheme of things, but they are huge for me!

The formatting of Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 2 is coming along nicely, so watch for it perhaps in February. I’m on my own schedule for that, so that lessens the pressure of meeting someone else’s deadline.

I hired a company to redesign my website. I’ve now seen the home page and the “about” page, so it’s coming together. I look forward to unveiling the new website in a few weeks. The URL will still be JanetMorrisonBooks.com.

I’ve made progress working on my family genealogy and putting the information in a software program that will allow me to easily share the information with others in the family. They might not appreciate it now, but I’d like to think they will later.

The decluttering I did early in the year is but a distant memory now. (Why did I keep this stuff?) My writing projects sidetracked me. I must make time for more decluttering in the new year.

I’ve read some good books this year, but my writing has derailed my reading list the last several months. Too many books, not enough time!

The historical short stories I’m writing have taken a back seat to the Harrisburg local history books, but I look forward to turning my attention back to them now that Book 1 is out. In fact, I edited one of my stories on Saturday.

The older I get, the more I realize I’m racing against the clock to get all my projects finished. Too many interests and projects, not enough time!

As you look back over 2022, I hope you remember the good times and all your blessings. I can’t forget the sad times or the difficult times but, when I stop and think, I know I’ve been truly blessed this year. I hope you feel the same way about 2022 as we prepare for a new year.

Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read! I’m reading a book of poetry by Ray Griffin. The name of it is Threshold. I’ll write more about it in my next blog post.

It’s been an unusually cold past week here in the United States. I hope you’ve stayed safe and warm wherever you are.

Remember the cold and brave people of Ukraine.

I hope you’re having a nice holiday season, no matter your beliefs.

Janet

#OnThisDay: 8 Valley Forge facts that will actually surprise you on this 245th anniversary

The encampment of the Continental Army at Valley Forge began 245 years ago today. We’re all familiar with the image of George Washington leading his troops across the frigid Delaware River. We know that it was a bitterly cold winter, but there are some interesting facts I hope to surprise you with today.

            1,700 to 2,000 soldiers died of disease at the six-month encampment.

            Food for the troops was scarce. The Oneida delegation, allies of the Patriots, arrived in May 1778 with white corn. Polly Cooper of the delegation instructed them on how to safely prepare the corn for consumption and stayed after most of her fellow Oneidans had left. She received a shawl from Martha Washington in thanks for her assistance.

            In December it went down to 6 degrees F., 12 degrees F. in January, 12 degrees F. in February, and 8 degrees F. in March.

            It was the last time United States soldiers served in a racially-integrated army until the Korean War in the 1950s.

            The volunteer drill master was Baron von Steubon, a Prussian military commander. The Prussian military drills and tactics he taught the troops were used by the United States military for the next 30 years.

            It is thought that 250 to 400 women were in the encampment, serving as cooks, nurses, laundresses, and menders of clothing.

            Mary Ludwig Hayes, a.k.a., Molly Pitcher, was at Valley Forge with her husband. She is remembered for jumping into service to help load a cannon at the Battle of Monmouth Courthouse after her husband was wounded.

            Hannah Till was an enslaved cook for George Washington at Valley Forge. She purchased her freedom a few years later and became a salaried cook.

            We hear a lot about our “forefathers” but not enough about our “foremothers!”


Since my last blog post

Look who’s reading my book! He must have found it on Amazon or in Harrisburg, NC at Second Look Books or Gift Innovations! It’s in short supply in Harrisburg until I get my next shipment. If you prefer an e-book, remember it’s available for e-book and in paperback from Amazon.

Until my next blog post

I hope you have a wonderful Christmas or whatever holidays you are celebrating.

I hope you enjoy time with family and friends.

Remember the suffering people of Ukraine.

I’ll see you again here at my blog on December 26 – the last Monday in 2022!

Janet

What I Tried to Read in November and How to Buy My Book

On the first Monday of the month I usually blog about the books I read the previous month. There was a good reason that didn’t work out this month. My local history book, Harrisburg, Did You Know?  Cabarrus History, Book 1, had been published and I couldn’t wait to announce it on my blog last week.

It was a good month for that to happen because I didn’t have any earth-shattering news about the books I read in November. Working toward getting several books published in the coming days and months left me little time to read.

Most of my reading time was spent on books about the craft of writing and history books I needed for research. Those aren’t necessarily the type books my blog readers want to know about.

Those books included Sketches of Virginia, by Henry Foote and Artisans of the North Carolina Backcountry, by Johanna Miller Lewis. The “Artisans” book was especially helpful as I worked on my novel.              

I tried to read some fiction. It just didn’t work out well – partly because of my time constraints and partly because the books I chose didn’t grab my attention enough for me to make time for them.

I started reading Less is Lost, by Andrew Sean Greer. I really enjoyed his earlier book, Less. It was humorous. Less is Lost is probably humorous, too. I only got to page 12 in the large print edition. I’ll check it out again later.

I started reading The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry, by Rachel Joyce. It is an odd story about a man who sets out one morning to walk to the mailbox. He’s worried about a former co-worker who has cancer and lives far away. Instead of stopping at the mailbox to mail a letter to her, he just keeps walking. I got to page 66 in the large print edition. He was still walking. I didn’t have time to read the next 381 pages to see if he made it to his destination.

I started listening to Mad Honey, by Jodi Picoult. After falling asleep too many times to count and having to re-listen to the first several discs, when I got to disc number four I seriously questioned why I was trying so hard. I don’t know if it was me or the book. It just didn’t work out. I’ve enjoyed other Jodi Picoult books I’ve read, but this one just didn’t work for me.


Until my next blog post

Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1 is available on Amazon in many countries. Here’s the link to it in the United States: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1888858044/ for e-book; https://www.amazon.com/dp/1888858044/ for paperback. (Thank you, Rebecca Cunningham for cluing me in that there’s a way to shorten those outrageously long URLs Amazon gives a book.! This looks much better. I hope the links work!)

In case you live in the Harrisburg area and prefer to purchase Harrisburg, Did You Know?  Cabarrus History, Book 1 locally instead of ordering it online, it is now available in limited numbers in Harrisburg at Second Look Books at 4519 School House Commons and at Gift Innovations at 4555 NC Hwy. 49. I’m pleased to announce that those local small businesses will have my book!

I hope you have a good book to read. If it happens to be Harrisburg, Did You Know?  Cabarrus History, Book 1, then all the better!

Remember the brave people of Ukraine.

Janet

My Book is Published!

When I posted my blog on November 28, I didn’t expect to be able to submit my local history book, Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1 to Amazon for publication that afternoon!

I’m thrilled to announce in today’s blog post that Harrisburg, Did You Know?  Cabarrus History, Book 1 is now available as an e-book and in paperback on Amazon! It contains the first 91 local history columns I wrote for Harrisburg Horizons newspaper. The paperback is indexed and the e-book, of course, is word searchable on your electronic device.

Many of my blog readers live in other parts of the United States, as well as in other countries around the world. You might not think you’d be interested in reading a book about Harrisburg, a town in Cabarrus County, North Carolina. You might be surprised, though.

Topics covered in the book include newspaper article series I wrote about the cotton economy, early mail service, the coming of the North Carolina Railroad in 1854, early telephone service, and the memories of a World War II US Army veteran who shared his memories from being trained for D-Day through the end of the war in Europe. Those series, as well as other articles should be of much wider interest than Cabarrus County or even North Carolina.

For instance, any railroad enthusiast or World War II history buff will enjoy reading those two series of articles. For Revolutionary War history buffs there’s an article about a local man who was a Minuteman and there’s a series of articles about a group of local young men and teenage boys who disguised themselves and blew up a shipment of the Royal Governor’s ammunition that was on its way from Charlotte to Rowan County, NC to put down the Regulator Movement in 1771.

There are articles about the one-room schools of the 1800s and early 1900s, as well as the three Rosenwald Schools that served the black students in this area in the early 20th century.

The Harrisburg area was served for decades until 1960 by a physician from Russia. Anyone who likes to read about the days of the country doctors who made house calls will enjoy the series of articles I wrote about Dr. Nicholas E. Lubchenko.

NASCAR fans will enjoy the articles I wrote about the first World 600 stockcar race held at Charlotte Motor Speedway, which is actually in the Harrisburg community. Some articles on other subjects have a connection with the property where the speedway is, including a visit by George Washington in 1791.

I had the pleasure of interviewing some of my community’s oldest residents and preserving their memories through the local weekly newspaper (which ceased publication a decade ago) and now I’m happy to see their memories in this book. I also drew from old newspapers in Charlotte and Concord, genealogies, US Census records, and other sources.

There are sad stories and there are funny stories. Isn’t that what life is like? Some of our local history and our history as a nation and as human beings in general is sad. Some of it is embarrassing to future generations. What one generation knew as cutting-edge technology makes the 21st century reader laugh.

Something that comes through all the articles is how we’re all alike. Everyone is doing the best they can with what they have. There are people who overcame tremendous odds to accomplish the things they did.

The people I had the privilege to interview were all “salt of the earth” people. They didn’t brag about anything they’d done in their lives. They were all just good, hard-working people who quietly did what they could to make our little corner of North Carolina a great place to live.

Since my last blog post

In addition to getting Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1 published, I continues to format Book 2 for publication in 2023. So, if you like Book 1, you can start looking forward to Book 2 in a couple of months if all goes as planned.

By the way, I noticed on Saturday that Amazon had dropped the price of the e-book version of my vintage postcard book, The Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina from $12.99 to $2.99. I’m not sure what’s going on there, but I have no control over the price of that book since I wasn’t the publisher. For all I know, they’ll change the price again by the time you’re reading this.

Until my next blog post

Thank you for indulging me today for blowing my own horn. This is really exciting for me!

Happy reading!

Remember the brave people of Ukraine as they suffer from the war and bitter cold.

Janet

Reflections on America’s Thanksgiving Day

There are many things that make the United States of America a special place. One of those is the Thanksgiving holiday we celebrated last Thursday.

Thanksgiving Day is a wonderful concept. It’s a holiday most workers get to enjoy as businesses close for the day. It’s a day set aside to reflect on the things you’re thankful for. It’s a day to gather with friends and relatives. It’s a day on which many of us eat more than we should.

Photo by Diliara Garifullina on Unsplash

It’s a day most of us think back on the Thanksgiving Days in the past. We remember loved ones who are no longer here. We remember the aromas in the kitchens of our childhoods.

Even in the chaos that sometimes accompanies large family gatherings on Thanksgiving Day, most of us are prompted to take a moment to think about our blessings.

Life is hard. Things – good and bad – happen. Illness and loss set us back, change our plans, and sometimes change the trajectory of our lives. The life we envisioned isn’t how things turned out.

One of the things I was thankful for on Thanksgiving Day last Thursday was the opportunity life has given me to pursue whatever interests I’ve had. Illness derailed my professional life when I was a young adult, but God has continued to open doors for me. I’ve learned from every experience.

There’s an old adage that says “you can’t teach an old dog new tricks,” but I’m living proof that you can.

I’ve heard it’s good for one’s brain to learn new skills. My brain must be about to explode. I’ve really been stretching its limits lately.

Photo by Diliara Garifullina on Unsplash

Since my blog post last week, I created a cover for a paperback nonfiction book. And it’s not just any old cover. The back cover sports a QR Code I created for my website! Not bad for this 69-year-old non-techy person.

Those of us fortunate to reach that age need to keep reinventing ourselves for as long as physical and mental health and our life circumstances permit. It’s easy to take those things for granted until they aren’t there.

Since my last blog post

I continued to work toward the publication of Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1. I continued to format and proofread Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 2.

I revisited a short story I wrote several months ago. It’s beneficial to let a piece of writing rest for a while and then read it with fresh eyes and tweak it where it can be improved. I hope to publish a collection of short stories in 2023.

Until my next blog post

I hope you have a good book to read. If I finish reading a book in November, I’ll blog about it next Monday. Writing and learning technology left little time for reading this month.

Remember the brave, freezing people of Ukraine.

Photo by Blake Dunn on Unsplash

Janet

Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Books 1 & 2

By Thursday I usually have the next Monday’s blog post well in hand. The operative word is “usually.”

Last Thursday, I not only didn’t have a post well in hand for today. I didn’t even have a topic.

Here’s the thing. I’ve been burning the candle at both ends lately, trying to meet a number of self-imposed writing deadlines and goals. Therefore, today I’ll just catch you up on two writing projects I’ve been working on lately.


Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 1

I wrote a local history column for Harrisburg Horizons weekly newspaper from May 2006 through 2012. It’s been my desire ever since to publish those articles in a book. The time has come!

I’ve formatted the first 91 articles, the introduction, and the back matter for Book 1. My sister is helping me with the indexing. With the index, it looks like the paperback book will be about 500 pages.

Formatting and proofreading of the first 91 articles were tedious tasks. My sister is a fantastic proofreader and has been a tremendous help.

A photographer friend of mine took the photograph for the cover on Friday. By Friday night I had created the cover for the e-book. Creating a book cover was a new experience for me and gave me an unbelievable sense of accomplishment. Technology doesn’t come easy for me.

There are still a few details to finish, including the creation of the paperback book cover. I expect that task to be more challenging than the e-book cover, but I’m excited to start on that today.

I hope to be able to announce a publication date in the next couple of weeks I’ll announce on my blog and on Facebook when the e-book and the paperback are available. I hope that’s before Christmas!

Be on the lookout for that surprise blog post!

Photo by Nick Morrison on Unsplash

Harrisburg, Did You Know? Cabarrus History, Book 2

I’m formatting and proofreading the second book of local history newspaper columns, which will not only include the last 84 history articles.

I hope to include some of my research done about topics I didn’t get to write about when the newspaper suddenly ceased publication. It depends on how many pages Book 2 is after a get the 84 articles formatted.

It’s been fun rereading the columns because I’ve forgotten some of the details. I anticipate this book will also be available in paperback as well as for Kindle, perhaps in March 2023.


My Website

My website, http://www.janetmorrisonbooks.com is being redesigned. I’ll make an announcement on my blog when the new site is up and running. It will have the same address with the addition of that important “s” after “http” to indicate my site has SSL certification.


Until my next blog post

Thank you for dropping by my blog and lending moral support to this struggling writer.

Keep reading books.

Give thanks for all you have.

Remember the people of Ukraine.

Janet