Welcome to Agile Writer

Biography and History

 

AgileWriter is a collection of biography and history articles written by Ken Padgett.
 

History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illuminates reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life and brings us tidings of antiquity. 
Cicero (106 BC - 43 BC)

No great man lives in vain. The history of the world is but the biography of great men. 
Thomas Carlyle (1795 - 1881)

 

Thomas Adams
The Man Who Put the Chicle in Chiclets was also the first to introduce vending machines in America.

Arabface! - A History of Racist Arab Stereotypes
The creation and propagation of racist Arab stereotypes and caricatures

Edwin H Armstrong
Edwin H. Armstrong’s story is a cautionary tale about what can happen to an individual when large corporations use their enormous power to steal ideas from small inventors.

The Assassins
History's first terrorists were fed a steady diet of hashish and willing maidens till they were called upon to perform a suicide mission. 

The Rise and Fall of Bank of America
Bank of America's satisfaction rating among its customers is now the lowest by far of any major bank.

The History of Barbecue
Early humans soon realized that meat tastes a lot better cooked than it does raw, and that slow-cooked meat tastes even better and is a lot easier to chew.  

P. T. Barnum
The art of spectacle reached it’s zenith during the Gilded Age in America and PT Barnum was it’s greatest protagonist. He was called " The Prince of Humbugs." 

Blackface! - The History of Racist Blackface Stereotypes
Blackface is more than just burnt cork applied as makeup. It is a style of entertainment that has its roots in minstrel shows and continues to this day.

Brownface! - A History of Racist Hispanic Stereotypes
The creation and propagation of racist Latino/Hispanic stereotypes and caricatures.

The Cherry Capital of the World
Michigan’s cherry production represents about 75 percent of the tart cherries and 20 percent of the sweet cherries grown annually in the United States.

The National Cherry Festival
The National Cherry Festival in Traverse City, Michigan began in 1925 and is held every year in early July. 

Clara Barton
Clara Barton nursed soldiers from both sides during the Civil War. After the war she ran "The Missing Soldier’s Office" and founded the Red Cross in 1881, which today supplies nearly 50 percent of the blood and blood products used in the U.S. 

Nellie Bly
Nellie Bly was the pen name of Elizabeth Jane Cochrane, one of America’s first woman journalists and a pioneer of investigative reporting.

Caligula
The Emperor of Rome from 37 - 41 AD is remembered as a vicious and cruel despot, a sadist and a megalomaniac.

John Dillinger
He was a very colorful Public Enemy Number One for a brief period during the early 1930s. Dillinger once said "Never trust a woman or an automatic weapon" and he should have taken his own advice, because it was a woman, the legendary "Woman in Red" who betrayed him.

Double-crossed by a Dead Man
During World War 2, British Intelligence deceived the Germans prior to the invasion of Sicily by dumping a body off the coast of Spain with fake invasion plans for the Balkans.

The History of Dogs
From Wolf to Woof! How dogs become man’s best friend.

Dr. Charles Richard Drew
Every blood bank in the world is a living memorial to the genius of Doctor Charles Richard Drew, a pioneer in the science of blood preservation.

Thomas Edison's Research Laboratory
Edison's greatest invention was his Menlo Park research lab, because it organized and managed the process of inventing new products. 

John Ford
John Ford was one of Hollywood's most demanding and irascible directors, but he also guided the evolution of the Western from a black hats versus white hats stereotype into a quintessential American story. During a career that spanned over 50 years and 200 films, he won seven Oscars.

A. P. Giannini
The founder of Bank of America was the first to challenge the unwritten rule that banks should only lend money to people who don’t need it.

A History of Guerrilla Warfare
     Part 1: The Beginnings of Army Special Operations
     Part 2: The Civil War
     Part 3: The U.S. Army Rangers during World War II
     Part 4: The Green Berets
     Part 5: Delta Force
     Part 6: Navy SEALs

Jewface! - A History of Racist Jewish Stereotypes
The creation and propagation of racist Jewish stereotypes and caricatures

Jimmy Hoffa
When the former President of the Teamsters became a liability, the Mafia made him disappear.

The House of David
How a Fortune was Built on Hosannas and Hospitality

Walter Hunt
Hunt was a prolific inventor who patented over 100 inventions, including the humble safety pin. Hunt never cashed in on any of his inventions. He just enjoyed tinkering and inventing, and always sold his patents quickly and for very little money.

Michigan's Lumber Boom
During the 19th century, Michigan’s forests yielded more money and created more millionaires than did all the gold mined during California’s Gold Rush.

Mother Jones
"The Miner's Angel" would stand up to anyone; governors, police, corporate executives, strikebreakers and armed thugs. She was denounced in the US Senate as the grandmother of all agitators, but she was a folk hero to many working-class Americans.

Master Juba
All tap dancers today acknowledge William Henry Lane as the creator of tap and celebrate his many contributions to modern dance.

Drs. John & William Kellogg
One brother wanted to fill your bowl, the other wanted to empty your bowel.

The History of Military Identification Tags
Dog tags have evolved from crude wooden discs that were used in the Civil War to today's high-tech "Personal Information Carrier" (PIC) 

Michael Moore
The Oscar-winning filmmaker is an outspoken critic of big corporate greed, America’s gun culture, major-party politics as usual and wartime fear-mongering, as well as a passionate advocate for the rights of the common man.

Akio Morita
The founder of Sony was responsible for the development of the first pocket radio, the Walkman portable cassette player, and the Betamax video recorder.

Eadweard Muybridge
Though Thomas Edison is usually credited with creating the first movies in 1889, it was the work of Eadweard Muybridge, and a $25,000 bet that provided the cornerstone of Edison’s invention and the evolution of motion pictures.

New York City History Before the 20th Century
How the first capital city of the United States evolved from Man-a-hat-ta to modern New York City.

Redface! - A History of Racist Indian Stereotypes
The creation and propagation of racist American Indian stereotypes and caricatures.

Satchel Paige
The most famous Negro League player was as entertaining a personality as he was skillful as a pitcher.

The Phantom Army
How US Intelligence fooled Hitler into believing that the D-Day landings were just a feint--until it was too late.

Gavrilo Princip
The spark that ignited World War I was a radical student who thought he could free Bosnia from the grip of the Austro-Hungarian Empire by assassinating the Archduke.

Jacob Riis
He was known as the "Emancipator of the Slums." Jacob Riis was an investigative reporter and a pioneer in photo journalism at the dawn of the 20th century. He used photography to document the appalling conditions under which the poor were living in New York City.

Paul Robeson
Paul Robeson was a very intelligent, gifted and multitalented man who was never able to reach his full potential because of racial prejudice and his unpopular political beliefs.

Peg Leg Sullivan
Legend has it that Catharine O’Leary's cow started the Great Chicago Fire, but a colorful character by the name of Daniel "Peg Leg" Sullivan is the most likely suspect. 

Jim Thorpe
Jim Thorpe was the greatest athlete of the 20th Century; some say the greatest athlete ever.

Boss Tweed
During the latter half of the 19th Century, William Marcy "Boss" Tweed was the poster boy for political corruption, and he is still considered one of the most notorious politicians in US history.

The Vandals
How the Roman Empire was Vandalized by a Germanic tribe who traveled throughout Western Europe and North Africa laying waste to everyone and everything in their path.

Mary Edwards Walker
The only woman who has ever won the Medal of Honor, Dr. Mary Walker was a humanitarian devoted to the care and treatment of the sick and wounded during the Civil War, often at the risk of her own life. 

Bill Wilson
Bill Wilson founded Alcoholics Anonymous and developed the 12-step program that has helped millions around the world to overcome their addictions.

Yellowface! - A History of Racist Asian Stereotypes
The creation and propagation of racist Asian stereotypes and caricatures.

Sergeant Alvin C. York
The Reluctant Hero, Alvin York was a very humble man who wore the mantle of "war hero" with a quiet dignity, and who used his fame to help the people of Tennessee.

Florenz Ziegfeld
Ziegfeld’s business card read "Impresario Extraordinaire" and that wasn’t an exaggeration. Every one of his shows were opulent events, featuring beautiful women, chic costumes and elaborate sets.

 

 

      
 
     
      

 

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Ken Padgett

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