Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter Z

We've come to the end of another year in the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I hope you'll let me know if you enjoyed these posts. The history refresher sure did me some good.

Freedom of the press has its origins in the Bill of Rights, but decades before the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights were ever drafted, the trial of publisher John Peter Zenger, would prove a milestone in the struggle for freedom of the press.

Born in Germany in 1697, Zenger emigrated to New York City at the age of 13 to work as an indentured apprentice to printer William Bradford. Financially backed by chief justice Lewis Morris and others who opposed William Cosby, the corrupt royal governor of New York, Zenger started the New-York Weekly Journal in 1733. The publication accused Cosby of rigging elections and a list of other crimes.

Even though Zenger never wrote the articles, as publisher, he was legally responsible for the paper's content. This led to his arrest for seditious libel in 1734. He spent ten months in jail and his wife, Anna, kept the paper going. It was Anna's reports that led to the replacement of the first jury in Zenger's trial, which was stacked with people on Cosby's payroll.

Andrew Hamilton, a famous lawyer from Philadelphia, defended Zenger. Hamilton argued Zenger had not committed seditious libel because the printed material was true. Though the court refused to accept evidence submitted to prove the truth of the articles, the jury acquitted Zenger, which paved the way for other publishers to feel free sharing their honest views.

Monday, April 29, 2013

Alexander Drake by Elizabeth Parkinson-Bellows Book Blast Giveaway

Alexander Drake new coverAlexander Drake's Extraordinary Pursuit

Meet Alexander Drake, a curious young man living in a drab, oversized mansion with his secretive father. He spent his days playing alone. In the back of his mind he wondered what happened to his mother, and why his father was tight-lipped about the past; but secrets have a way of getting out.

It all started with a stay at his grandmother’s cottage. Alexander found strange clues tucked away in his father’s old bedroom. With a mysterious key and several maps in his pack he set off on an innocent search for answers about his family.

When he discovered a secret passageway the search took a dramatic turn. He suddenly worried about what was searching for him. Alexander was being hunted by a sorcerer from his father’s past. Answers lead to more questions and the journey of his life.

Join Alexander for a thrilling adventure in Azra’s Pith, a place of beauty and magic… but beware—something evil lurks in the shadows.


General drake new coverThe Return of General Drake

When Alexander arrived in Verhonia, something went terribly wrong. A dark spell delivered from the mountains of Acadia sent him on a dangerous journey in the middle of the night. As he marched into the mountains, the great city of Verhonia was ambushed and burned to the ground by Roman's army of vicious giant murks.

With the safety of the realm in jeopardy, General John William Drake was asked to come back to Azra's Pith. He swore he would never return. But after discovering his son was under a spell and in the grips of a dark sorcerer, he had no choice.

Things take a wild turn in the mountains, with runaways, a hungry wolf and a mysterious, young empyrean wizard thrown into the adventure. A tight race against time and evil is in full swing. With faith and a little magic, they just might come out on top.


alexander tour

Tour Schedule

lizzieAuthor Elizabeth Parkinson-Bellows

Being the frizzy-haired tomboy with buck teeth gave me a slight case of shyness as a kid. A colorful imagination meant escape and adventure at the drop of a hat.

Over the years I learned that the insecurities I carried around were a waste of time. I still prefer a football game to a manicure any day of the week. That indispensable imagination has found its way into my writing providing a sense of joy and a true purpose.

Website * Twitter * Facebook

Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 5/15/13

You've Got Mail Monday

We'll it sure was an exciting week as far as mail and packages goes. In addition to my May 24th issue of All You magazine, a Summer 2013 Gardener's Supply Company catalog arrived. I've been planning the vegetable garden and the potato tubers are due to be shipped to us this week. I'm not sure if I'm going to use my potato growing bag or just sow them into my raised beds. The last time I sowed them directly into the garden, the critters ate them. The winter rye has been turned over and the raised beds are in good shape for planting. I think we're finally done with frost (hope I didn't just jinx it) so the early spring crops will be going in this week.

The new plants arrived for the flower bed I am putting in to the right of the entryway. When we moved here, I had little gardening knowledge. I don't have much more now, but I can follow a garden plan and put in purchased plants where it tells me. This is the one I'm using: http://www.bhg.com/gardening/plans/seasonal/summer-garden-plan/. All except four of the plants arrived this week. Cold weather delayed some of the shipment. I'll share before and after photos once I get all the plants in.

As far as books go, Last Chance for Justice by Kathi Macias arrived. I'll be reviewing it at my Christian book blog: http://cherylschristianbookconnection.blogspot.com/ on May 8th. I also received God's Special Forces: A Manual for Becoming a Young Woman of Quality by Darlene Laney. That review is for Christian Children's Authors, where I blog the first and third Fridays of each month.

That's it for this week's edition of You've Got Mail Monday. Hope you have a great week.

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter Y

These are the last two days of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. It's been another fun year, even if it did cut into my writing time. Today I'm hoping to finish writing my fourth picture book of the year, so keep your fingers crossed. That's another challenge I put myself up to--participating in 12 x 12: writing one picture book a month for twelve months.

The Yalta Conference to plan the defeat and occupation of Germany took place in February 1945 between the three chief Allied leaders: British prime minister Winston Churchill, Soviet premier Joseph Stalin, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt. The conferees had already decided on Germany's unconditional surrender and planned to set up four zones of occupation to be run by their three countries and France. In addition, Germany's military would be abolished and major war criminals would be tried before an international court.

Stalin agreed to free elections in Eastern Europe and was secretly promised if they entered the war against Japan that lands they lost to Japan in the Russo-Japanese War (1904-1905) would be returned. They scheduled another meeting in April to create the United Nations.

Yalta proved to be controversial once the details were made public in 1946. As the Soviet Union and the United States headed into cold war, Stalin broke his promise of free elections and installed governments dominated by the Soviet Union. Critics charged that Roosevelt, who had died in office two months after Yalta, had sold out to the Soviets.

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Blogging From A to Z April Challenge - Letter X

The last three days of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge are upon us. That went by fast.

The letter X is so underutilized. There is only one listing in my reference book for this letter. The XYZ Affair nearly brought the United States to war with France in 1798. Since it's in my favorite time period--Colonial America through the Civil War Era--one would think I recalled the details. Nope. Forgot all about I read up on it. Then it came back to mind.

America's relationship with France was rocky. Though the United States had signed the Treaty of Alliance with France in 1778, promising military support in case of attack by the British, America offered little assistance during the French revolutionary wars. In 1793, the careless involvement of France's minister to the U.S., Edmond Charles Genet, made matters worse. So by the conclusion of the Jay Treaty between the U.S. and Great Britain in 1795, which undid some of the agreements America made with France, tensions were at a new high.

French privateers began seizing American ships. The French foreign minister, Charles Maurice Talleyrand, refused to receive the new U.S. minister to France, Charles Pinckney. So, President John Adams appointed John Marshall and Elbridge Gerry to join Pinckney and negotiate a new treaty with France. Three of Talleyrand's agents told the commissioners that before a new treaty could be discussed, the United States had to loan France $12 million (approximately $159,520,326.24 today). The commissioners refused and reported to President Adams that the mission had failed. The agents were designated as X,Y, and Z in the commissioners' correspondence.

When news of the failed mission was released to the public, it led to calls for immediate war against France. Though the countries engaged in naval conflicts for the next two years, no war was ever declared. In 1800, Adams negotiated the Treaty of Morfontaine, which restored peace between America and France.

Friday, April 26, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter W

We're in the home stretch of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I hope you've enjoyed traipsing through history with me.

As an annual visitor to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, I would be remiss if I didn't talk about the Wright Brothers. Orville and Wilbur Wright were the sons of a bishop in the Church of the United Brethren in Christ. Educated in Ohio, Iowa, and Indiana, neither attended college.

In 1889, the brothers launched a print shop. Though they continued with the printing shop, the brothers entered the bicycle trade in 1892 and were manufacturing bicycles by 1896. The Wrights became interested in flight after the death of German aeronautical experimenter Otto Lilienthal in a glider crash. 

Wilbur and Orville constructed seven aircraft between  1899 and 1905. Their failures led them to perform a series of experiments which would propel them toward success. On December 17, 1903, the brothers made the world's first powered, sustained, and controlled flights with a heavier-than-air flying machine in Kitty Hawk, North Carolina. Returning to Ohio, they continued their experiments. By 1905, they had transformed their 1903 flying machine into the first practical airplane. 

On November 22, 1909, the brothers founded the Wright Company to build and sell aircraft in the United States and licensed manufacturers to produce their machines in Europe. 

As you can see by the above picture, the sand dunes of North Carolina would be a perfect place for test flights. This shot is taken across from Jockey's Ridge State Park, which is a few miles away from the Wright Brothers Memorial that is administered by the National Park Service. The museum located near the memorial is filled with tons of interesting artifacts and photos. When I checked out their website, I learned that the Wright Monument is the largest monument in this country built to a living person. 

Hang gliding, kiteboarding, and parasailing are popular activities on the Outer Banks.

Book Blast and Giveaway: Meg the Egg by Rita Antoinette Borg

Little Meg finds the outside world a bit too loud and far too scary! So, she’s going to stay inside her safe white shell, thank you very much. But then the Howl breaks into the barn and steals Mother Hen! What is she supposed to do, still holed up in that egg of hers? She can’t run and she certainly can’t fly. Well, never get between a chick and her momma, cause this little bird’s got a can-do spirit and a whole lot of courage that she didn’t know she had before!

A tale of self discovery that speaks to all children’s fears of the unknown, Ms. Borg delivers a great read-aloud resource for parents and teachers alike. With an onomatopoeic construction that gives life to the story and encourages children to participate through repetition of words, noises, and actions, MEG THE EGG is the perfect story for beginning readers.

Rita Borg photo new

Rita Antoinette Borg was educated in New York and now resides on the Mediterranean island of Malta. She performs storytelling and creative writing workshops in schools across the country and works as a freelance writer for local magazines and newspapers. Ms. Borg has published four picture books aimed at early readers as well as an anthology of short stories for older children. Her books have been recognized by the Malta National Annual Literary Awards. Her book “Don’t Cross the Road, Holly!” was chosen as the year’s best Children’s Book in English. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Writers & Illustrators.

Pump Up Your Book and Rita Antoinette Borg are teaming up to give you a chance to win fabulous prizes!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. This promotion will run from April 22 - May 17, 2013. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on May 20, 2013. Each blogger who participates is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. Good luck everyone!

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If the Rafflecopter form doesn’t load, you can visit the Meg the Egg tour page at

http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/04/01/pump-up-your-book-presents-rita-antoinette-borgs%E2%80%99s-meg-the-egg-book-blast-%E2%80%93-win-25-amazon-gift-card-and-free-books/ for your chance to enter and win!

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Wednesday, May 1st
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Friday, May 17th

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work® Day

Can you imagine taking these characters to work with you? Well, that's what my husband did today to help celebrate the 20th anniversary of Take Our Daughters And Sons To Work®. This program is meant to show boys and girls what a parent or mentor does during the work day. It also shows the value of education, helps them "discover the power and possibilities associated with a balanced work and family life," and provides them a forum to share how they envision the future.

To learn more, you can visit www.daughtersandsonstowork.org

Book Spotlight and Giveaway: Bella Saves the Beach by Nancy Stewart

About the book:

Bella and Britt are worried about all the trash appearing on their beautiful beach.  But what can they do?  Britt is leaving on vacation, and Bella can’t solve the problem alone.  Without  adults to lend a hand, can they possibly save their beach?


Bella, Britt and all their friends built sand castles and filled moats with salty sea. But this summer, the girls were worried.

“Look at all this trash, Britt,” said Bella.
She nodded. “Yeah, and I leave on vacation tomorrow. I can’t help pick it up!”
Next morning, Bella walked along the beach alone. “Hello.” Bella said to the old crooked beak pelican, perched on his piling. “Somebody has to help, and I guess it’s me.”
Purchase from:

Nancy Stewart Bio:

Nancy is the bestselling and award winning author of the four Bella and Britt Series books for children:  One Pelican at a Time (eighteen weeks on Amazon Bestselling List), Sea Turtle Summer, (which won the Children’s Literary Classic Gold Award), Bella Saves the  Beach (which won the Gold)  and Mystery at Manatee Key.  The authorized biography, Katrina and Winter:  Partners in Courage, is the story of Katrina Simpkins and Winter, the dolphin. One Pelican at a Time and Nancy were featured in the PBS Tampa special, GulfWatch.   All are published by Guardian Angel Publishing. 

Nancy is a frequent speaker and presenter at writer’s conferences throughout the United States.  She conducts workshops and seminars and speaks to school children on writing and helping save their planet.  A blogger with a worldwide audience, she writes of all things pertaining to children’s literature.

Nancy’s travels take her extensively throughout the world, most particularly Africa. She is US chair of a charity in Lamu, Kenya, that places girls in intermediate schools to allow them to further their education.   She and her husband live in Tampa and St. Louis.

Bella Saves the Beach Tour Schedule

Monday, April 22nd
Tuesday, April 23rd
Book trailer feature at If Books Could Talk
Wednesday, April 24th
Thursday, April 25th
Book spotlight and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily
Monday, April 29th
Book review at Hook Kids on Reading
Guest post at The Pen and Ink
Tuesday, April 30th
Wednesday, May 1st
Book review at LadyD Books
Thursday, May 2nd
Book review at Kid Lit Reviews
Friday, May 3rd
Monday, May 6th
Tuesday, May 7th
Book reviewed at The Picture Book Review
Wednesday, May 8th
Book reviewed at My Devotional Thoughts
Thursday, May 9th
Friday, May 10th
Monday, May 13th
Book review at 4 the Love of Books
Tuesday, May 14th
Book spotlight at Review from Here
Book review at The Jenny Revolution
Wednesday, May 15th
Guest post at Literarily Speaking
Thursday, May 16th
Friday, May 17th

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter for your chance to win a free paperback copy of Bella Saves the Beach by Nancy Stewart. Good luck!

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Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter V

We're fast approaching the end of the final full week of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

The Volstead Act is often referred to as the National Prohibition Enforcement Act of 1919. This act provided for the enforcement of the Eighteenth Amendment, which stated, "the manufacture, sale, or transportation of intoxicating liquors within, the importation thereof into, or the exportation thereof from the United States and all territory subject to the jurisdiction thereof for beverage purposes is hereby prohibited." This act, which classified as alcoholic all beverages containing more than one-half to one percent alcohol by volume, passed over President Woodrow Wilson's veto.

Viewed by many Americans to be the solution to the nation's poverty, crime, violence, and other problems, the act specified the provisions of the Eighteenth Amendment, delineated fines and prison terms for violators of the law, and empowered the Bureau of Internal Revenue to administer Prohibition.

Shortly after the Eighteenth Amendment went into affect, portable stills went on sale around the country. Smuggling quickly developed. Prohibition also led to the widespread corruption of law enforcement agencies and politicians and fostered the growth of organized crime.

Calls to repeal the Eighteenth Amendment began in 1923. Though President Herbert Hoover and others believed it an "experiment noble in purpose," an investigation ordered by Hoover in 1929 confirmed that the Eighteenth Amendment remained largely unenforceable. Repeal organizations formed and grew in membership as people realized that not only had Prohibition failed to live up to its promises, but had actually created disturbing social issues.

The overwhelming victory of Democrats in 1932, who had come out in favor of repealing Prohibition, encouraged Congress to pass the Twenty-first Amendment on February 20, 1933, repealing the Eighteenth Amendment. It is the only Constitutional Amendment that has been repealed.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter U

Trucking along to the letter U during this week's Blogging from A to Z April Challenge posts.

There were more items of interest under the letter U than I thought: Uncle Tom's Cabin, the Underground Railroad, United States Women's Bureau, and urban renewal to name a few. I finally settled on something I knew very little about. My hubby would be so disappointed, since this hails back to one of his favorite interests: the Cold War.

The U-2 Affair took place on May 1, 1960 during the Eisenhower administration. A United States reconnaissance plane flying at high altitudes was downed over the Soviet Union. U. S. officials denied the plane's mission, stating it was a weather plane that strayed off course. When the Soviets produced the pilot and the mostly intact plane, the United States admitted it had been engaged in intelligence activities.

A summit conference scheduled between President Eisenhower, Soviet premier Nikita Khrushchev, Prime Minister Harold Macmillan, and France's Charles de Gaulle, collapsed because Eisenhower, though accepting full responsibility for the intelligence gathering program, refused to apologize for the incident. The pilot, Gary Powers, pleaded guilty and was convicted of espionage. He served almost two years of a ten-year prison sentence before being exchanged for Rudolf Abel, a Soviet intelligence officer, in February 1962.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter T

The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is now up to the letter T.

The Trail of Tears refers to the route followed by 16,000 Cherokee Indians when they were forcibly removed by the United States Government from their homelands in Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina, and Georgia in 1838, and sent to Indian Territory (known today as Oklahoma).

Relations between the Cherokee Nation and the U.S. government had been tense for some time. In 1791, a U.S. treaty recognized the Cherokee territory in Georgia as independent. The Cherokee people created a thriving republic and wrote a constitution. But over the years, the state of Georgia sought to exert its authority over the Cherokee Nation without little effect.

President Andrew Jackson was a supporter of Indian removal. Continued pressure from national and state governments led to the rounding up of the Cherokee by troops in 1838. Forced to abandon everything, the Cherokee were marched to camps in Tennessee. Then during the winter, they were moved another 800 miles into Indian Territory. Hundreds died during the trip west, and thousands more died as a result of being relocated.

The path the Cherokee followed because a national monument in 1987. You can find out more about the Trail of Tears at http://www.nps.gov/trte/index.htm

Monday, April 22, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter S

Today starts the final full week of the Blogging from A to Z April ChallengeThis is the last day I will share the linky code. Hope you get a chance to visit some of the other participants. I learn a lot about a variety of subjects, since I make a point to check out different blogs throughout the month.

I have to admit to being fascinated by the Salem Witch Trials. I've never been to Salem before, which is a shame since we live in Massachusetts. Part of that is because the hubby and I enjoy the history of different time periods. I'm early American history through the Civil War and he's World War II through the end of the Cold War.

In February of 1692, a group of girls in Salem Village began experiencing fits where they thrashed about and shrieked. After repeated questioning by adults, the girls began claiming local residents were witches and wizards. As the circle of people accused of being witches and wizards increased, so did the number of fits. By the end of the summer, hundreds had been accused, twenty-seven put on trial, and nineteen executed.

Growing discomfort over the trials within Salem Village, the wider community, and for some religious and civic leaders, led the governor, William Phips, to forbade further trials. Phips formed a new court in January 1863, that worked under stricter guidelines for evidence of witchcraft. The rest of the residents imprisoned for witchcraft were either acquitted or discharged.

Some historians link the witch trials to the changes that Puritan society was experiencing at the time. This type of mass hysteria has also been used as a cautionary tale about the dangers of isolationism and religious extremism.

You've Got Mail Monday

After a crazy week with the events in Boston and the girls on vacation, I'm hoping to get back to a regular schedule. Today is grocery shopping day--ugh! If I could pay someone to do my grocery shopping, I would. But, the budget doesn't allow for that, so off to WalMart I'll go. The earlier I get there the better.

The mailbox has been filled with a lot of junk mail lately. Thankfully, Killer in Crinolines by Duffy Brown arrived over the last couple of weeks. In addition, tiger tales publishing sent me their Spring 2013 picture book titles for me to review over at The Children's and Teens' Book Connection.

Several fun catalogs have arrived lately, too: The Gardener's Idea Book from Proven Winners, Summer Favorites from Ballard Designs, the Special 10th Anniversary Issue from Grandinroad, the recent L.L. Bean Home catalog, and the latest from Gardener's Supply Company. Now, if I just had more money in  my wallet, I could buy some goodies from these places. The May 2013 issue of Traditional Home magazine also arrived. I love browsing through the pages for ideas.

That's it for this edition of You've Got Mail Monday. Hope you have a great week.

David's Song by A. R. Talley Book Blast & Giveaway

davids tour

David's Song

Taken from the book cover: Annie only ever really loved two men in her life. One broke her heart, the other married her. Four children and fifteen years later, Annie’s marriage is in jeopardy. Money is tight and her husband questions the very foundation of their relationship. When Annie is unexpectedly given the opportunity to see the young man who broke her heart — a man who is now a megastar in the music industry — Annie is faced with choices. Choices that will determine what is of more value — a second chance at lost love and unfulfilled dreams or commitment, trust, and love built on years of experience.

A psychologically subtle, yet compelling tale about how the instinct and need for love overcomes self-doubt and personal inadequacy.

Author A.R. Talley

April R Talley was born and raised in the Rubber City, Akron, Ohio in 1959. She is the youngest of six children. She attended Brigham Young University for a time, but withdrew to work fulltime for Osmond Productions in Orem, Utah as a member of The Osmond production staff. After a brief stint working in television, she returned to Akron to finish her education. She graduated with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Mass Media Communications in 1981. April later worked as vice president and part owner of a dance and sportswear boutique. Married in 1982, she is the proud mother of seven children and is deeply involved in volunteer work for her church. April spends her time working on future projects, caring for home and family, and traveling. David’s Song is her debut novel and the first of a trilogy.

Praise from reviews on Goodreads.com

"Not just your typical romance novel" - Tracy Williams

"David's Song is great read that leaves you thinking about the story and pondering your own relationships". - Anna Pavkov

"Sucked me in from the 1st page" - Jill Walker

"Loved this book . . . could not put it down!" - Dana Vieira

Book Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 5/12/13

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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter R

Today closes out the third week of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I hope you're enjoying these posts.

Ronald Reagan was the 40th president of the United States. Born in Illinois in 1911, he earned a Bachelor's Degree in economics and sociology from Eureka College. After a brief career in radio broadcasting, Reagan moved to Los Angeles and became an actor. A staunch Democrat, he changed political parties in 1962 and delivered a powerful speech for Barry Goldwater's presidential candidacy in 1964.

Reagan was elected governor of California in 1966. In 1968, shortly after beginning his term as governor, Reagan sought the Republican presidential nomination, running unsuccessfully against Richard M. Nixon. Reagan was re-elected as governor in 1970, but declined to run for a third term.

Reagan ran unsuccessfully against Gerald Ford for the 1976 Republican presidential nomination, but Ford went on to lose to Democrat Jimmy Carter for president. Embroiled with domestic problems and the Iran hostage crisis, Jimmy Carter lost his bid for reelection to Ronald Reagan in 1980.

Not even 100 days into his first term, an attempt was made on Reagan's life. He became the first president to survive an assassination attempt. Believing big government to be a problem, Reagan attempted to stimulate the economy with large, across-the-board tax cuts and the slashing of government programs. Reagan's policy of trickle-down economics was criticized as helping the wealthy more than those suffering in poverty, and the 80s soon became known as "The Decade of Greed." His "peace through strength" policy supported a large military build up. Reagan denounced the Soviet Union as an evil empire and during a moving address in Berlin in the summer of 1987, he called for General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev to "tear down this wall." A series of summits with Gorbachev would lead to the signing of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty at the White House. By 1989, the Cold War was over and the Soviet Union collapsed.

The invasion of Grenada, the firing of more than 11,000 striking air traffic controllers, and the Iran-Contra affair tested public support of Reagan, but he would leave office as the most popular president since Dwight D. Eisenhower. Ronald Reagan died in 2004, after battling Alzheimer's Disease for 10 years.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Free for All Friday Giveaway: This Is How Your Get Your Next Job by Andrea Kay

I was going to hold off on announcing a new giveaway this week. Honestly, my heart's been heavy since Monday's bombings at the Boston Marathon. I had planned to share photos of our weekend trip to New York City, but I've been glued to the TV set watching the latest news unfold. I finally had to turn off the television and think of something else, even though I continue to pray for everyone impacted by the terrorist acts of these two men.

Job hunting has been very much on my mind this year. I ended up finding a job; had even accepted an offer. Then when it came right down to it, discovered the rate of pay would mean I would be losing money each week over the summer by sending my kids to camp or paying for childcare.

The reality appears to be that while cost of living has increased, pay rates haven't in the past 10 years. A depressing reality for someone who has been working in some capacity for the better part of 25 years and whose experience in several areas should command a higher rate of pay than when she was 20 years old.

So, I'm renewing the job search and hoping I find what I need.

This is How To Get Your Next Job by Andrea Kay was sent to me by AMACOM, publishers of business books. I've reviewed other titles by them, and when they contacted me about this one, I felt it would be helpful for me in my job search. I haven't dug into it yet, but I keep hearing about so many people out of work and looking for a new job, that I didn't want to wait until my review to offer this as a giveaway.

Looking through the Table of Contents, I see topics that capture my attention right away:

  • 15 Things You Should Never Do
  • 15 Things Your Should Never Talk About or Say
  • 10 Things You Should Never Wear
  • 15 Things You Should Never Do Once You Get a Job or in Your Career-Ever
This isn't all of them, but the reason they immediately caught my eye is because I wonder how many snafus I've made while looking for a job or in my career in general. My mouth is usually my worst enemy. And now that I've seen these topics, I want to read this book right away. 

Here are two endorsements:

"Every word out of Andrea Kay's mouth is gold! No matter who they are, or what their dreams may be, Andrea can find a way for people to navigate this crazy working world of ours."
--Ellen McGirt, Money magazine

"She is bubbly, fun and a good talker."
--CBS News

Andrea Kay helps people get excited about jumping out of bed and raring to go to work. For the past 20 years she has been creating and recreating Andrea Kay/The Art of Self Direction, a career consulting firm whose clients range from rocket scientists and cowboys who want to change careers to accountants and engineers who have trouble relating to people.

Andrea specializes in “Career Therapy.” She is incessantly curious and quickly gets to the heart of an issue, then creates strategies to help people get what they want. She does this for CEOs, millionaires, corporate warriors, writers, real estate moguls, entrepreneurs and people who take their careers seriously. She writes books and the syndicated newspaper column, “At Work” and gives speeches to Fortune 50 companies, professional associations, schools and at special events.

She has worked with people who ended up being CFOs of major companies, sales and marketing executives, artists and successful entrepreneurs and has helped CEOs, financial managers, Hollywood producers and teachers discover new, satisfying careers. She has developed a reputation as a workplace observer and outspoken supporter of taking personal responsibility for your career and is widely quoted and interviewed.

Her books

This Is How To Get Your Next Job: An Inside Look at What Employers Really Want
Work’s a Bitch and Then You Make It Work: 6 Steps to Go from Pissed off to Powerful
 Life’s a Bitch and then You Change Careers: 9 Steps to Get Out of Your Funk and On to Your Future
Interview Strategies That Will Get You the Job You Want
Resumes That Will Get You the Job You Want
Greener Pastures: How To Find a Job In Another Place

Visit Andrea online at http://andreakay.com/ to learn more about her and her work.

Use the Rafflecopter form below to enter the giveaway. Good luck!

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Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter Q

We're closing in on the end of the third week of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I haven't been as good about commenting on other blogs this week because the girls are on vacation. I spent a lot of today running around bringing girls here and there. Hopefully things will settle down this weekend.

The Quebec Act was passed by Parliament in 1774, annexing the Ohio region to Canada. Considered by the Colonists to be one of the Intolerable Acts, this helped spur the colonies into revolution. The Proclamation of 1763 had banned the colonists from the Ohio territory, but they hoped they would eventually be allowed to move there. To defy the proclamation would now make them Canadians. The Continental Congress complained of the Quebec Act in several petitions, calling it "the worst grievance."

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Blogging from A To Z April Challenge - Letter P

Only two more days left in the third week of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I spared you the linky list this week considering the somber feelings in my home state on Monday after the Boston Marathon bombings. The third victim has been identified and officials continue their investigation into locating those responsible for this heinous attack.

Last night, hockey returned to Boston as the Bruins hosted the Buffalo Sabres. The night started out with a moving tribute shown on the big screen, followed by the singing of our National Anthem by all those in attendance. You can watch it in the video below. I watched it last night on TV and I still can't get through it without crying.

At the end of the game, the teams met at center ice and saluted the fans by raising their sticks together.

It seems fitting to discuss another attack on our soil that caught us off guard. On December 7, 1941, Japanese plans attacked Pearl Harbor at 7:55 AM. Another wave hit an hour later. Most of the American planes on Oahu were wrecked. Eight battleships, three cruisers, and three destroyers were put out of action, and the battleships Oklahoma and Arizona were destroyed. We lost 2,323 U.S. servicemen.

A day that President Roosevelt called a "date which will live in infamy," signaled the entry of the United States into World War II. Men signed up to serve this country in droves. I knew two of those men later in life. Uncle Phil told me how he and his brothers rushed to sign up. His older brother, Stanley, was interrogated as a spy during the war. Seems when he signed up, the recruiting officer misspelled his last name, substituting an "i" for an "a". When Stanley was cleared, he legally changed his name to the incorrect spelling.

The emotions have run raw this week as Americans come to terms with the hatred of our way of life. But we, like those in Boston, remain strong. Whether it be at Pearl Harbor, or in New York City, or in Boston, we remain strong. We will not allow terrorists to take that from us. God bless the U.S.A.!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Blogging from A to Z Challenge - Letter O

Today we are tackling the letter O for the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

As a child of the 70s and 80s, I remember the OPEC Oil Crisis. The Organization of Arab Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) declared an embargo on the shipment of oil to those countries who supported Israel in its conflict with Egypt. The effects were felt immediately, as gas prices rose and U.S. imports of oil from Arab countries dropped. A national speed limit of 55 miles per hour was imposed to help reduce consumption. A move towards more efficient automobiles and alternate sources of energy ensued.

A second oil crisis occurred in 1979, during the Carter administration. Remembering the 1973 OPEC Oil Crisis, consumers panicked, causing long lines at gas stations around the country. Carter encouraged Americans to do what they could to reduce their consumption of energy. In 1980, the federal government established the Synthetic Fuels Corporation to produce an alternative to imported fossil fuels.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Teaser Tuesdays - April 16th

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!

"I think I understand what you've been driving at. Are you trying to say that your father might disinherit you? I mean, could something like that happen these days?"

~ page 123, The Passing Bells by Philip Rock

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter N

We're up to the letter N during the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. Hope you're enjoying our trip through history.

Susan B. Anthony, Elizabeth Cady Stanton, and other women founded the National Woman Suffrage Association in May 1869. In addition to suffrage, the NWSA dealt with issues important to women, such as the unionization of women workers. They also supported Victoria Woodhull, the first woman candidate for president of the United States. The American Woman Suffrage Association, however, concentrated solely on securing the right to vote. The AWSA was opposed to Anthony and Stanton's policies that they felt diverted attention from the suffrage issue. Eventually, the two groups would put aside their differences and formed the National American Woman Suffrage Association in 1890. In 1919, the NAWSA would succeed in getting the Nineteenth Amendment passed, giving women the right to vote.

I read a wonderful book about a contemporary of Stanton and Anthony--Martha Coffin Wright, whose neighbors called her "A Very Dangerous Woman." The book is not only a biography of Wright, it provides excellent insight into the times in which these women lived. You can find it here.

Monday, April 15, 2013

Blogging from A to Z Challenge - Letter M

Today is the start of the third week of the Blogging from A to Z Challenge. If I had scheduled this post to run before we left for New York City yesterday, this would have been a very different post. While our family enjoyed a mini-vacation, a tragedy occurred in our home state of Massachusetts. Two bombs were set off during the Boston Marathon. So far, two are confirmed dead (one of them a child) and dozens were injured. In honor of the victims and their families, I offer this post on the history of the Boston Marathon.

The Boston Marathon is the oldest annual marathon in the world. The first Boston Marathon took place in 1897, inspired by the Olympics of the previous year. It coincides with Patriots' Day each year. Patriots' Day is a statewide holiday that commemorates the opening battle of the American Revolutionary War on April 19, 1775. While the Boston Marathon started out as a local event, it now attracts competitors and spectators from around the world. More than 22,000 participants signed up for the 2012 Boston Marathon. Over 24,000 participants started off at Hopkinton this year. The 26.2 mile current route can be seen here.

Latest news reports state the White House believes today's bombing was an act of terrorism, but no one is claiming responsibility, and it is not known if the attack came from a foreign entity or is home-grown terrorism.

My prayers go out to all who have been affected by today's events.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter L

This ends the second week of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. I hope you're enjoying these posts.

The Lawrence Strike began in January 1912 against the textile mills in Lawrence, MA. The owners of a mill lowered workers' pay when a new state law shortened the work week. Within a few days, 10,000 men and women went out on strike.

For weeks the workers held rallies and picketed. The mill owners reached out to the United Textile Workers of America to break the strike, but they were unsuccessful. Local police clashed with striking workers constantly; and when a woman was killed, labor organizers were arrested for her murder (though later acquitted). Another organizer, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, attempted to gain public sympathy for the workers by sending a group of the strikers' children to be cared for in other cities. This turned out to be successful when photos were taken of police beating women and children at the train station.

On March 1, the owners granted a five percent pay raise. The workers continued to hold out, and within weeks, all four of their demands were met.

Friday, April 12, 2013

DVD Review: Wild Kratts: Lost At Sea

Young animal lovers will be thrilled with the latest Kratt brothers show that premiered in January on PBS. Like Zoboomafoo before it, Wild Kratts™ is a blend of real life characters and animation meant to share fun animals facts with young viewers. We received a DVD of Lost At Sea which includes the episodes "Speaking Dolphinese" and "Blowfish Blowout."

In "Speaking Dolphinese," the Kratt brothers (Martin and Chris) are on a mission to decode the secret language of dolphins. Using their newly created Creature Power Suits, the Kratt brothers dive beneath the surface to communicate with the dolphins, while Aviva and Koki help from aboard their craft. When a hungry shark traps a dolphin,the Kratt brothers and their team launch a rescue mission.

In "Blowfish Blowout" the miniaturized Kratt brothers are caught up in a swath of plankton headed for the coral reef. They make friends with a couple of blowfish; and when Donita Donata and her henchman, Dabio, show up with plans to make a crown fit for a fashion queen, the Kratt team works to save their new friend.

Chris and Martin Kratt have been teaching kids about creatures for decades. Their blend of animal facts and adventure make learning fun. Wild Kratts is a perfect addition to the PBS Kids® line. It's also nice to see how they use technology to learn about their animal friends. This is something young people will truly relate to.

This DVD is available for purchase at www.shoppbs.org. Young animals lovers can also visit www.pbskids.org, where they will find fun games and videos, learn even more animals facts, and can download the Wild Kratts Creature Power App with their parents' permission.

Format: Color, NTSC
Language: English
Region: Region 1(U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
Number of discs: 1
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
Studio: PBS (Direct)
DVD Release Date: January 22, 2013
Run Time: 55 minutes

I received a free DVD from PBS. This review contains my honest opinions, for which I have not been compensated in any way.

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter K

It's Friday! It's also almost the end of the second week of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

King Philip's War (1675-1676) was the last major effort of the Indians in Southern New England to drive out the English settlers. "King Philip" was a name the English used to refer to the Pokunoket chief, Metacom, which is why this war is also known as Metacom's Rebellion. These bands, which are now known as the Wamapanoag, joined the Nipmucks, Pocumtucks, and Narragansetts in a bloody uprising that lasted fourteen months and destroyed twelve frontier towns.

Resentment of the English had been building for more than a decade as Indians became more dependent on English goods, food, and weapons. By this time, the fur trade had dried up and some tribal lands had been sold, so Metacom and other leaders were forced to recognize English sovereignty. This caused the Indians to take up arms.

The war ended when Metacom was captured and beheaded. Some supporters escaped to Canada, while others were shipped off as slaves to the West Indies. Those Indians who remained faced servitude and disease while their way of life was disrupted and their lands were confiscated for the greater good.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter J

It's hard to believe the second week of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is almost complete.

Mary Putnam Jacobi was a physician, women's rights advocate, and medical educator.Born in 1842, with the support of her parents, Jacobi received a degree from the New York College of Pharmacy in 1863 and graduated a year later from the Woman's Medical College of Pennsylvania. She then studied clinical medicine at the New England Hospital for Women and Children. Seeking a higher level of training, Jacobi moved to France, where she received a degree in 1871 from the Ecole de Médecine.

When she returned to New York, Jacobi set up a practice and joined the Women's Medical College of the New York Infirmary as a professor of therapeutics and materia medica (a Latin medical term for the body of collected knowledge about the therapeutic properties of any substance used for healing).

Jacobi was the first woman to be admitted to the New York Academy of Medicine and gained admission to many other medical societies. She also published nine books and more than 120 medical articles. In 1873, she married Dr. Abraham Jacobi, later known as the "father of American pediatrics." They had three children, but only one survived to adulthood. Before her death, Jacobi wrote an account of the onset and progress of the meningeal tumor that would claim her life.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter I

We're halfway through the second week of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.

I recently reviewed a book where the widowed female lead was sold by her husband's family into indentured service and whisked away to the colonies. As I traveled the blogosphere over the last few weeks, I also came across a book about a man sold into indentured service. Looks like this might be gaining popularity in historical fiction right now.

The Virginia Company devised this system in the late 1610s to finance recruitment and transport of workers from England to the colony. If you couldn't afford to book Atlantic passage, you could "borrow" the necessary funds. In return for their passage, room and board during service, and "freedom dues" at the end of the term, servants signed contracts to work for their masters for a certain number of years.

According to The Reader's Companion to American History edited by Eric Foner and John A. Garraty, during the colonial era, 200,000 to 300,000 servants came to North America, accounting for one-half to two-thirds of all European immigrants. Many were teenage boys and girls from poor families who went to work for more prosperous farmers until they married. Though not a form of slavery, servitude was a rough life. They had some legal rights, but they couldn't even marry without an owner's consent and had little control over the conditions and terms of their living and working standards.

Servants were crucial to the colonial economy, but as demands for servants grew and prices rose, African slaves replaced servants in the fields, while those servants moved into positions as craftsmen and domestics.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter H

Today is the 8th day of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge. If you're just joining in, this is a blogging challenge where Monday through Saturday bloggers post about a topic that matches a letter of the alphabet. Some of us are using themes, others are just blogging about what comes to mind. This year, I chose history as my theme. I try to be diverse with my topics, but I am partial to early American history.

Hunting has been a popular sport for a long time. Though my family and I don't engage in this activity, we know many people who are avid hunters. According to Old-Timey Sportsmen, hunting for meat, skins, feathers, and bone began before the arrival of Homo sapiens. Early weapons were rocks and sticks, but as time progressed sharpened spears and chipped stone points were useful. The development of the firearm, however, was a huge breakthrough.

In America, buffalo hunting as a profession got underway during the Civil War, aided by large caliber .58 rifles left over from the war. Breechloading weapons soon followed. As white settlers moved west, buffalo hunting as a sport had a negative impact on Native Americans who depended upon buffalo hunting to survive. Tensions rose between Native Americans and the white man leading to violence, while Native Americans fought to hold on to their way of life. By the end of the Frontier era, the population of Native Americans and buffalo had steeply declined.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter G

Today starts the second week of the Blogging From A to Z April Challenge.

The Great Railroad Strike of 1877 began on July 17 in Martinsburg, West Virginia. When the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad cut wages for the second time in a year, protesting workers refused to let any trains move until the pay cut was restored. Militia units sent in to restore train service refused to use force against the strikers, so federal troops were called in to break the strike.

Sympathy strikes broke out along the railroads in every direction. Federal troops were rushed from city to city putting down strike after strike until the great railroad strike was over. While union organizers began planning future campaigns, politicians and business leaders took steps to ensure such chaos would not occur again. States enacted conspiracy statues and new militia units were formed. In addition, National Guard armories were constructed in many cities.

Hope you enjoyed this post. Feel free to visit other participating bloggers.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Know Me Better 4/6


This blog hop is sponsored by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer.

Each week I will pick 5 questions to answer.

I invite you to share your answers to these questions as well. You can share them as a comment on this post or share them on your own blog and link up to this post.

This post goes up sometime during the weekend.

This Week’s Questions

What is your favorite flavor of jelly beans?

The cherry red ones are the best.

What size shoe do you wear?

5 1/2 for dress shoes, 6 for sneakers and boots.

What is your favorite cereal?

Tough choice: Lucky Charms, Apple Jacks, or Golden Crisp, but I rarely eat them.

Have you ever cut your own hair?

Only as a kid and my mom wanted to kill me.

Do you sing in the shower?

Sure. Doesn't everyone?

Blogging from A to Z April Challenge - Letter F

Today ends the first week of the Blogging from A to Z April Challenge

On January 8, 1918, President Woodrow Wilson delivered a speech to a joint session of Congress listing Fourteen Points of Peace as aims that became the basis for a peace settlement at the end of World War I.

Here is a section from that speech that outlines the Fourteen Points:

It will be our wish and purpose that the processes of peace, when they are begun, shall be absolutely open and that they shall involve and permit henceforth no secret understandings of any kind. The day of conquest and aggrandizement is gone by; so is also the day of secret covenants entered into in the interest of particular governments and likely at some unlooked-for moment to upset the peace of the world. It is this happy fact, now clear to the view of every public man whose thoughts do not still linger in an age that is dead and gone, which makes it possible for every nation whose purposes are consistent with justice and the peace of the world to avow nor or at any other time the objects it has in view.

We entered this war because violations of right had occurred which touched us to the quick and made the life of our own people impossible unless they were corrected and the world secure once for all against their recurrence. What we demand in this war, therefore, is nothing peculiar to ourselves. It is that the world be made fit and safe to live in; and particularly that it be made safe for every peace-loving nation which, like our own, wishes to live its own life, determine its own institutions, be assured of justice and fair dealing by the other peoples of the world as against force and selfish aggression. All the peoples of the world are in effect partners in this interest, and for our own part we see very clearly that unless justice be done to others it will not be done to us. The programme of the world's peace, therefore, is our programme; and that programme, the only possible programme, as we see it, is this:

I. Open covenants of peace, openly arrived at, after which there shall be no private international understandings of any kind but diplomacy shall proceed always frankly and in the public view.

II. Absolute freedom of navigation upon the seas, outside territorial waters, alike in peace and in war, except as the seas may be closed in whole or in part by international action for the enforcement of international covenants.

III. The removal, so far as possible, of all economic barriers and the establishment of an equality of trade conditions among all the nations consenting to the peace and associating themselves for its maintenance.

IV. Adequate guarantees given and taken that national armaments will be reduced to the lowest point consistent with domestic safety.

V. A free, open-minded, and absolutely impartial adjustment of all colonial claims, based upon a strict observance of the principle that in determining all such questions of sovereignty the interests of the populations concerned must have equal weight with the equitable claims of the government whose title is to be determined.

VI. The evacuation of all Russian territory and such a settlement of all questions affecting Russia as will secure the best and freest cooperation of the other nations of the world in obtaining for her an unhampered and unembarrassed opportunity for the independent determination of her own political development and national policy and assure her of a sincere welcome into the society of free nations under institutions of her own choosing; and, more than a welcome, assistance also of every kind that she may need and may herself desire. The treatment accorded Russia by her sister nations in the months to come will be the acid test of their good will, of their comprehension of her needs as distinguished from their own interests, and of their intelligent and unselfish sympathy.

VII. Belgium, the whole world will agree, must be evacuated and restored, without any attempt to limit the sovereignty which she enjoys in common with all other free nations. No other single act will serve as this will serve to restore confidence among the nations in the laws which they have themselves set and determined for the government of their relations with one another. Without this healing act the whole structure and validity of international law is forever impaired.

VIII. All French territory should be freed and the invaded portions restored, and the wrong done to France by Prussia in 1871 in the matter of Alsace-Lorraine, which has unsettled the peace of the world for nearly fifty years, should be righted, in order that peace may once more be made secure in the interest of all.

IX. A readjustment of the frontiers of Italy should be effected along clearly recognizable lines of nationality.

X. The peoples of Austria-Hungary, whose place among the nations we wish to see safeguarded and assured, should be accorded the freest opportunity to autonomous development.

XI. Rumania, Serbia, and Montenegro should be evacuated; occupied territories restored; Serbia accorded free and secure access to the sea; and the relations of the several Balkan states to one another determined by friendly counsel along historically established lines of allegiance and nationality; and international guarantees of the political and economic independence and territorial integrity of the several Balkan states should be entered into.

XII. The turkish portion of the present Ottoman Empire should be assured a secure sovereignty, but the other nationalities which are now under Turkish rule should be assured an undoubted security of life and an absolutely unmolested opportunity of autonomous development, and the Dardanelles should be permanently opened as a free passage to the ships and commerce of all nations under international guarantees.

XIII. An independent Polish state should be erected which should include the territories inhabited by indisputably Polish populations, which should be assured a free and secure access to the sea, and whose political and economic independence and territorial integrity should be guaranteed by international covenant.

XIV. A general association of nations must be formed under specific covenants for the purpose of affording mutual guarantees of political independence and territorial integrity to great and small states alike.

In regard to these essential rectifications of wrong and assertions of right we feel ourselves to be intimate partners of all the governments and peoples associated together against the Imperialists. We cannot be separated in interest or divided in purpose. We stand together until the end.

For such arrangements and covenants we are willing to fight and to continue to fight until they are achieved; but only because we wish the right to prevail and desire a just and stable peace such as can be secured only by removing the chief provocations to war, which this programme does remove. We have no jealousy of German greatness, and there is nothing in this programme that impairs it. We grudge her no achievement or distinction of learning or of pacific enterprise such as have made her record very bright and very enviable. We do not wish to injure her or to block in any way her legitimate influence or power. We do not wish to fight her either with arms or with hostile arrangements of trade if she is willing to associate herself with us and the other peace- loving nations of the world in covenants of justice and law and fair dealing. We wish her only to accept a place of equality among the peoples of the world, -- the new world in which we now live, -- instead of a place of mastery.

Wilson attempted to gain acceptance of his Fourteen Points at the Paris Peace Conference in 1919, but ultimately failed; though they approved the proposal to create the League of Nations, whose mission was to ensure war never broke out again. The League of Nations was replaced after World War II with the United Nations.