Not only are there dozens and dozens of bicycles hanging from the ceiling here at the American Treasure Tour, but there are also advertisements dedicated to the selling of bicycles. Today, we would like to talk a little bit about one of those ads, specifically for a seller of Schwinns. Oddly, the advertisement does not include the name of the actual company that sells the bikes, but it does remind us of the importance of the Schwinn name in creating and selling affordable bicycles.
Ignaz Schwinn was a German-born American who settled in Chicago and saw a ready market for bicycles in 1895. Timing is often the key to success, and Schwinn's timing was impeccable. With the financial backing of meat packer Adolph Arnold, Schwinn could not produce them fast enough, at least for a time. Soon enough, automobiles would take over for bikes, and they became a niche business by 1905, but Schwinn bought up the competition and remained independent for decades, riding the trends of popular culture through the years. Ignaz's grandson Richard kept things going into the 1990's, but poor bike sales and labor disputes took their toll on the company. 2001 was a bad year for the company, though, and they declared bankruptcy. Shortly afterward, the company was purchased by a national conglomerate known as Dorel Industries, who owns them to this day.
QUESTION: What does BMX stand for?
A) Bicycles, Motors, Crosstrainers
B) Bradley Monoghan Corporation
C) Bicycle Motocross
D) Barnacles Managing Xylophones
HARDLY HARDING! Politics, it is said, rarely is conducted on the floor of the Capitol Building. Rather, it occurs in backrooms, perhaps at bars, perhaps hotel lobbies, but generally behind closed doors. On this day in 1920, the "smoke-filled room" description of where deals were negotiated took a new meaning, when Republican Party leaders selected the man they determined would take the presidency that November. His name was Warren Harding, and he was not known to be a strong or effective politician, but he was regarded as quite likable and, possibly, quite malleable. Well, things fell into place and Harding did win the election this year. Unfortunately, the two years he spent in office prior to his unexpected death in San Francisco during a national tour proved far more controversial than successful. Corruption within his Cabinet and scandal in his private life dominated the newspapers, and historians today rank his as one of the least effective presidencies in the nation's history.
RAYMON!!!! He was born Raymon Lee Cramton on this day in 1937, but ambitions at becoming a famous actor compelled his name change to Chad Everett. Well, his dream was achieved, and Chad's became a household name as a star of the 1969 to 1976 airing of the television show Medical Center. He also starred in over forty movies and other television programs, with highlights including Airplane II: The Sequel, Murder, She Wrote, and Castle. In a side note, Everett also voiced the animatronic character of John Wayne in Walt Disney World's Hollywood Studios' "The Great Movie Ride." Everett passed away in 2012.
QUOTE: I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies in a fight. But my friends, my g***d friends, they're the ones who keep me walking the floor at night. - Warren Harding
ANSWER: C) Bicycle Motocross. This is a type of dirt bike racing that is very challenging and, some parents would say, too dangerous for their kids to take part in. Young whippersnappers!