Anyone who has visited the American Treasure Tour knows we have far more cool and amazing items on display than any bit the most aware person could possibly see on one trip through the collection. Members of our staff will even notice something that has been here since we first opened back in 2010 and ask if it was newly added. We feel that is part of our charm, and it's also one of the reasons we have created this blog - to highlight pieces that visitors may not notice on the first time around. Today's piece is one that is so effectively tucked away that very few people have ever seen it. If they did, they may not have even known just how cool it is.
You will see the image of a United States map to the top right. There are shiny metal shapes nailed into each of the 48 contiguous states. They are dog tags. The earliest dog tags were given out to soldiers in the Prussian Army at the beginning of the Franco-Prussian War,in the early 1870's, inspired in part by the devastation of the American Civil War. There were so many unidentified bodies in the war that the Prussian leaders determined to give their soldiers identifying tags. Unfortunately, this happened around the same time that the dogs in the principality's capitol city of Berlin were required to also wear tags, hence the derogatory name.
Now, every military around the world has them. May there come a day when none of them actually need them anymore. But the dog tags we have are really cool, we think.
QUESTION: What is the official phrase used to describe dog tags in the United States military today?
A) Dog tags
B) I.D. tags
C) Personnel badges
D) Military Codes
TRUMAN ON TV. Although television was first invented in the 1920's, the Great Depression and World War II kinda slowed it down. Today in 1947 was a landmark day, though, because it was the first time a United States President appeared on the new technology. Way to go, Harry!
LARRY & RAY. Two men born on this day in 1902 had an impact in completely different spheres in American life. Larry Fine would become one of the Three Stooges. The balding man with frizzy hair, the 'middle' stooge. And then there's Ray. Ray Kroc would do more to create the modern fast food nation we all live in today with his development of the McDonald's restaurant chain. Kroc was a businessman beyond compare, and turned one restaurant into hundreds, then thousands.
QUOTE: You're only as good as the people you hire. - Ray Kroc
ANSWER: B) I.D. tags. But we all know what they really are....