Friday, May 27, 2016

Memorial Day : Remembering Those Who Served So That We Are Free Americans

Fallen Acorns takes on a new meaning for this blog today.  Normally I post about someone who has a tragedy in their life, or some sort of death has occurred that is of  unusual circumstances.

Memorial Day started as a time when this nation of ours remembered their family members, neighbors and friends who gave selflessly to serve our country at a time of war.  Those that lost their lives while serving in the military are special.  They left their homes and never returned.  Those that came back home had scars....some are seen, and many are not seen.  Scars can lurk in  the minds of those who returned with unspeakable horror etched in their memories. The Veteran's Administration was established to help those who returned home, and the families of those who did not.  The remains of the deceased were buried overseas, and many were shipped home to the families a few years after the war, so that they could be laid to rest on American soil.

Today, I wanted to focus on how our nation kept it's citizens informed of these special soldiers and their status during World War II.  I searched The St. Louis Post-Dispatch issues dated during the 1940s to experience how the journalists wrote about the lives of the soldiers that had homes in and around the city.  Searching, it was not hard to find page after page of stories and articles that must had kept the news writers busy, days on end.

5 December 1944, St. Louis Post Dispatch, page 6,, accessed 27 May 2016
Can you imagine opening your newspaper to view photographs of young soldiers from your neighborhood with their status noted under their names:  Dead, Missing, Prisoner, Wounded....

This is what our nation went through during World War II.  Photos of fresh young faces with their unfortunate status printed below them.  It must have been very depressing for everyone.  That war had affected almost every household.  Everyone knew someone who was serving this nation of ours during a time when we did not have these weapons that could be implemented with remote controls and precision targeting.  This was a war the no one wanted to see repeated.

This Memorial Day weekend, take some time away from the backyard grill.  Visit a church service, a veteran cemetery, anything that makes one remember exactly why we celebrate our heroes.  Look at the faces of these soldiers and say a prayer that their suffering was not in vain, and their courage was exceptional in the eyes of the terror of their time.  We have much to be thankful for.  Let's start with a thanks to these guys. is offering a special FREE SHIPPING event to anyone who would like to read about our military and the wars of our nation.  Buy 3 items from the MILITARY catalog section at, and they will be shipped free. Offer expires 13 June 2016.

Monday, May 23, 2016

New website goes live

My new Improved Website for just went live.

Friday, May 13, 2016

The Black Hand Gets It's Man, image from St. Louis Post Dispatch, 28 February 1908

16 August 1906.....well-off grocer, Damiano Capuano, receives the first of several letters....

"We know you.   We know what money you have.  And you know us.", the note began.  It went on to give directions to place $1000 in a basket and leave it behind a garden fence in an area known as Baden, in the city of St. Louis.  It ended with a warning, if these instructions were not followed, Capuano would be killed. The message was ignored.

20 August 1906...another note is delivered. It contained the same demand. But, this time the note was marked with a red cross, and the sign of the Black Hand (a zig zag mark) with a skull and crossbones.  Again, Capuano ignored the demand.

During the following week, several similar notes were sent, each one becoming more threatening.  Capuano started to become uneasy. He did not contact the police....until a message on the final note read "Capuano will be marked for the knife".  That got his attention.

He reported the incidents to the Carr Street police station, and Sgt. Adreveno was assigned to the case by Captain Johnson. Federal authorities took possession of the threatening notes.

Words overheard late at night by patrolman Tomasso lead to the arrest of five men.  He was tipped off by an anonymous neighbor, who noticed that a group of men were meeting in the back room of a nearby building.  Tomasso listened as the men spoke Italian, and heard a conversation that most certainly had to do with the notes left for Capuano in the previous weeks. They also made several denouncing comments about the government in America.

After their arrest, it was determined that these men were imitators of the Black Hand Society.  All were Italian....because they claimed that they did not know how to speak English.  Handwriting samples were taken of each man, and it was certain that at least one of them closely resembled the writing on most of the notes left for Capuano.

The front page of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported on the initial findings of the police department. It had not been determined that any of these men actually wrote the notes.

In the following few years, many others had received similar notes, referring to the Black Hand, and demanding amounts of money from $500 to $1000 each.  This kept the new "Black Hand Squad" in the St. Louis police department very busy.

Unfortunately, late on the evening of 24 December 1910, Damiano Capuano was shot and killed by three bullets as he was walking home.  He had just finished visiting the homes of several colleagues.  Shots rang out in the night and police were summoned into the dark streets of the city.  Capuano was found deceased, bleeding from his wounds.  The Black Hand finally got their man.