Shannondell - March 13, 2014

We continue our series "Signage of the Treasure Tour" today with a large blue and white lit sign that hovers over the trucks in the Toy Box, mere yards away from our duel Wurlitzer 165s, that reads "Shannondell Retirement Community."

Shannondell at Valley Forge is a Continuing Care Retirement Community  located just a few miles from the American Treasure Tour in Oaks, Pennsylvania.  We obtained the sign that is now part of our tour route during a renovation of the residential community a number of years ago, and we are very happy to have it.  We love it when groups come to visit us from Shannondell because they have the rare opportunity of being able to boast of actually being a part of the tour, while also being visitors.  But we certainly hope other retirement community residents don't feel left out.  We love when you come, too!  For us, there is nothing better than seeing our visitors light up when they see a car, poster, store animation, or any other piece we have on display that triggers a happy memory or creates a new one.  Keep coming, Shannondell residents - and everyone else! - to see what new items have been added to the tour!

QUESTION:

In its name, Shannondell claims to be located in Valley Forge, but it is actually in the town of Audubon, Pennsylvania.  A famous immigrant born in Haiti moved to the area in the early 19th century to avoid getting drafted into Napoleon's army.  What was his name?

a)  The Marquis de Lafayette

b)  Alexis de Toqueville

c)  John James Audubon

d)  Maurice Chevalier

e)  Pierre Beaumarchais

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

Most Americans have heard of Thomas Edison, Guglielmo Marconi, and Nikola Tesla, all famous inventors with claims to advancing technology in ways that improved the quality of life for all people.  Lee de Forest's name is known by very few people today, although many of his inventions stand among the most important:  he invented a way to make weak sound signals stronger, coined the word "radio" for his improvements on sound transmission, and developed the "phonofilm," one of the earliest patents for sound-on-film technology that would replace silent movies with the talkies.  In fact, it was on this day in 1923 that de Forest would first present his phonofilm technology to members of the press in New York City.

1969:  At this point in the space race between the United States and the Soviet Union, things were close but the Americans were pushing ahead.  Their Apollo 9 mission landed returned to Earth on this date, after ten days in space.  The astronauts had conducted a number of experiments, including two spacewalks, the docking of two manned spacecraft, and work with the lunar module they hoped to use to land on the Moon.  It would not be long now until NASA sent another Apollo mission back into space, closing in on the deadline John Kennedy placed at the beginning of the decade.  The question was: would NASA get Americans on the Moon before 1970?  We don't want to spoil it for you....

BIRTHDAYS:

We at the ATT blog admit to how we suffer.  All we really want to do is honor the birthdays of the First Ladies of our great nation.  The only problem is that we have to wait until it is their actual birthdays until we can do so. Fortunately, today is one of those very special days, and so we honor Abigail Powers.  She married one of her students in 1826.  To be fair, Abigail was only one year older than her husband-to-be, Millard Fillmore.  A lifelong lover of learning, Abigail had no interest in fulfilling the obligations of the First Lady after her husband took the job upon the untimely death of Zachary Taylor, so she left the job to her daughter while she often opted to read in isolation.  Abigail was there at the inauguration of Franklin Pierce in 1853 on a rainy day.  She caught pneumonia at the ceremony and died 26 days later.  Millard re-married five years later.  (You will have to wait until October to learn about his second wife.)

QUOTE:

While theoretically and technically television may be feasible, commercially and financially it is an impossibility, - Lee de Forest

Answer:  c)  John James Audubon would become one of the most famous early naturalists in the United States.  He stayed at his father's old plantation home, Mill Grove, which is preserved as a museum and park in his honor minutes from the American Treasure Tour.  Check it out after your next visit to ATT!