Soap Box Derby - May 30, 2014

The American Treasure Tour is a place where you can see virtually everything.  We have made that point for a long time.  People who have taken the tram around the Toy Box know of what we speak.  Well, in a little corner across the tram route from the 1905 Franklin sits a small collection of soap box derby cars.  Today, the blog will discuss some of these tiny transports.

Soap Box derbies can be traced almost as far back as the beginning of the automobile era.  As the fascination with driving hit American adults, so too did it hit children.  Young boys did something about it in 1933.  Led by Dayton, Ohio photographer Myron Scott, a movement was founded for kids to race in cars made out of various scraps and pieces.  Some people make their cars out of orange crates, used tin, saloon bars, and of course, old soap boxes.  They can be made from practically anything, so long as motors are not included.

In 1973, 14 year-old Jimmy Gronen and his uncle fixed a soap box derby by installing electromagnets into his car.  As a direct result of his action, what city has been banned from participating in the All-American Soap Box Derby?

a)  St. Augustine, Florida

b)  Santa Fe, New Mexico

c)  Santa Clara, California

d)  Boulder, Colorado

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

Here at the ATT blog, we are always happy to offer our readers free advice. Today, we are going to encourage anyone with a time machine to avoid upsetting former U.S. President Andrew Jackson.  On this day in 1806, before he became president, Jackson killed a man in a duel.  Charles Dickinson accused Jackson's wife Rachel of bigamy, which offended Jackson. (Technically, Dickinson was right, but that's neither here nor there.)  Regardless, that was a mistake Dickinson didn't repeat after the duel.  Jackson, meanwhile, carried a bullet in his chest for the rest of his life after that.

And here is some more advice:  it is worth confirming the truth behind a rumor before causing a panic.  On this day in 1883, only six days after it officially opened to the public, a rumor spread that it might collapse under the weight of its traffic.  The sturdy bridge was holding strong, but the panic was still there.  Twelve people were crushed in the ensuing chaos.  The next year, famous promoter P.T. Barnum had 22 elephants walk the bridge to show its safety.  After that, there were no more doubts about it.

BIRTHDAYS:

The day of May 30th will forever more be known as "May Mel Blanc Day."  The ATT blog LOVES Mr. Blanc. Born Melvin Jerome Blanc today in 1908, he would grow up to have one of the most important voices ever.  He created the now-familiar voices of Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Porky Pig, and all the other characters from Warner Brothers cartoons, as well as Barney Rubble of The Flintstones and Woody Woodpecker from his show.  Happy birthday, Mel!

Wynnona Judd turns fifty today.  The country singer started singing in her teens, when she and mom Naomi formed The Judds.  By 1991, mom had to retire after contracting hepatitis C; however, Wynnona continues to perform to this day.  And she has plenty of time to continue sharing her talents with the world.

QUOTE:  That's all, folks! - Mel Blanc

Answer:  d)  Gronen's home town of Boulder, Colorado.  One family's crime has made an entire community suffer.