Mickey Gilley - March 4, 2014

Before we honor Mickey Gilley's "best of" album that hangs in our Music Room, we must first acknowledge the talents of early rock star Jerry Lee Lewis.  Why?  Because a young Mickey had to climb out of the shadow of his famous cousin to get any sort of recognition in his own right. To make his climb even more challenging, another famous cousin also has a tendency to overshadow him: the televangelist Jimmy Swaggart, with whom Gilley once played music when they were growing up together.

Mickey sang straight country in the 1970s, and was one of the first to incorporate pop stylings to his tunes in the 80s.  This broadened his appeal to a wider audience, and started a trend that continues to this day.  Then, his interpretation of the soul hit "Stand By Me" was included in the soundtrack for the popular 1980 movie Urban Cowboy, which skyrocketed Gilley to stardom. Today, he has 26 studio albums to  his name and a career that lasted over four decades.  He had plenty of popular songs to choose between for his 1982 compilation All My Best, which includes his first hit "Room Full of Roses" and seventeen other early tracks.  If you want more than to just listen to his music, and are interested in seeing Gilley perform, you had best go to Branson, Missouri, where he currently stars in his own show!


Not only is Mickey Gilley an accomplished musician, but he also has a license that allows him to legally do what?

a)  Pilot a tugboat

b)  Train military personnel on high-powered weapons

c)  Fly numerous types of aircraft

d)  Teach history to secondary education students

e)  Provide medical assistance in emergency situations

Answer Below.

We at the American Treasure Tour blog love history.  Moreso, we love honoring dates important to the beginning of our country, and very few dates could be considered more important than today. It was today in 1789 when the first Congress of the United States met in New York City. This simple act heralded the official start of the new republic, maybe even more than the inauguration of George Washington the same day!  It was also the day when the Bill of Rights was introduced to the new legislature, fulfilling a promise made to the people in order to achieve the necessary votes for ratification. (NOTE: The current Congress is the 113th, and it has the dubious distinction of being the most unpopular Congress since 1974, with an approval rating of 15%.  The good news is that it has improved since the government shutdown last October!) 

Another notable event in the early history of our country:  the first new state was added to the Union after the original thirteen, on this day in 1791. Vermont had become its own Republic during the American Revolution and waited until the new government of the United States was prepared to accept it as its own state.  It all worked out. Welcome, Vermont!  (And thank you for the cheese and ice cream!)

We at the blog had a challenge keeping our historic events down to two today, since many important things happened on March 4th in history, not the least of which the inauguration of the President of the United States until the 20th Amendment pushed it up to January 20th in 1933.  I guess that means you'll just have to stay tuned for next year to see what other things we discuss!


Rebecca Gratz was born today in 1781! The famed educator and philanthropist resided in Philadelphia for much of her life, and did a lot of good for the city. Just a few of her substantial accomplishments include helping to found the Female Association for the Relief of Women and Children in Reduced Circumstances (that was its real name!), the Philadelphia Orphan Asylum, and the Female Hebrew Benevolent Society.  Jewish Americans were rarely treated with great respect at the time of her life, but Ms. Gratz was an exception.  It is said that the character Rebecca from Sir Walter Scott's novel Ivanhoe was modeled after the comely lady.

Few football coaches have more-recognizable names than did the Norwegian-born Knute Rockne.  He was born today in 1888, and emigrated to Chicago with his family at the age of five.  The young Rockne rarely left the American Midwest after that.  He earned a degree in chemistry from the University of Notre Dame in Illinois, but never used it.  Instead, he was offered a job with the football team.  He is accredited with developing the forward pass for the game of football and led the team to many victories, for which he received accolades and credit for being one of, if not the, best college football coach of all time. He tragically died at the age of 43 in 1931 when one of the wings separated from the plane he was on in mid-flight, and crashed soon after.  This beloved sports figure has been remembered in monuments and memorials around the country, though, and also every time a football player throws a forward pass....


I'm not the sharpest knife in the drawer, but I do know how to count. - Mickey Gilley

Answer:  c)  Fly numerous types of aircraft