Thanksgiving for the Military

It’s Thanksgiving in America, and Americans certainly have a lot of reasons to give thanks.  Although you may dream of a plump turkey and pumpkin pie, the classic cuisine is just a fraction of this holiday.  After all, this day allows us to do so much more than eat poultry.  This day also gives us the opportunity to show our gratitude for those who make this holiday possible: our soldiers and veterans.


Celebrating Thanksgiving certainly would be different without the brave men and women who defend our country.  In fact, without them, there probably wouldn’t be any celebration at all.  This Thanksgiving, ask yourself how your holiday would be different without them.  What would your country become if you suddenly didn’t have brave souls willing to leave their homes to protect yours?

Remember, your freedom comes at a price.  The men and women who serve – these heroes who fight for your freedom – are the ones paying that price.  For some, it’s cost them their health, their lives, their opportunity to celebrate the way you are now.  This year, as you’re gathered around the dinner table counting your many blessings, make sure that our heroes, past and present, are in your thoughts.

Don’t forget to thank them this Thanksgiving.

The History of Guantanamo Bay Naval Base

Whether we’re military history buffs or not, the name “Guantanamo Bay” probably rings a bell for most of us. It seems to have been in almost every radio talk show, news program, and political conversation since the 90s.

The Guantanamo Bay—also known as “Gitmo”—Naval Base has been around for much longer than a lot of people know. It was established in 1898 when the United States took control of Cuba from Spain. It has had a unique history, including use for much more than just a detention camp.

The graphic below shows the timeline and history of the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base. Feel free to share your thoughts or other interesting Gitmo facts in the comments, and please enjoy!


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History of Guantanamo Bay
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The History of the Home Mortgage

The history of the home mortgage goes back to as early 1190 AD. English common law included a law that protected a creditor by giving him an interest in his debtor’s property. With this law, the creditor held the title to the property, but the debtor could sell the property to recover money in the event the debt was not paid.

When the pilgrims moved to America from England, they brought the system with them. Mortgages became widespread throughout America. Not everyone could afford a mortgage, though. A mortgage usually required a fifty percent down payment for a five-year mortgage. The terms were much less favorable to buyers than they are today and home ownership was limited to roughly forty percent of the population. At the time of the Great Depression, home buyers were typically asked to make a down payment of one-third of the sales price and loans were only extended for periods of five to ten years with interest rate reaching eight percent. The restrictive lending system ran into trouble during the depression and the whole system collapsed, with the number of property loans dropped from 5,778 in 1928 to just 864 in 1933. There were thousands of foreclosures and mortgages became unavailable.

In an effort to prevent foreclosures, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed for the passage of the Home Owners’ Loan Act in 1933. This Bill established the creation of the Home Owners’ Loan Corporation, which made loans to those in danger of losing their homes. The lending terms were much more generous, as loan amounts of up to eighty percent of a home’s value were made and the interest rate was five percent. Also, borrowers could borrow money for up to twenty-five years.

The Home Owners’ Loan Corporation became very popular, with nearly forty percent of all buyers applying for the new loans. Because all of the applicants could not be selected, President Roosevelt established the Federal Housing Administration in 1934. The newly established FHA loans were guaranteed by the government. The FHA extended mortgages to thirty years to make purchasing a home more affordable. The FHA loans prompted the creation of the Federal National Mortgage Association, also known as Fannie Mae, in 1938 to make even more money available for home buyers.  Fannie Mae bought FHA-insured loans and sold them as securities on the financial markets. Fannie Maw also created laws and regulations that lenders had to follow.

World War II shifted the mortgage environment once again. The Servicemen’s Readjustment Act, more commonly called the GI Bill of Rights, was passed by Congress in 1944. Harry W. Colmery, a World War I Veteran, wrote the first draft of the G.I. Bill. The G.I. Bill provided college or vocational education for returning World War II veterans, one-year compensation for out of work veterans and also provided different loan types to Veterans to buy homes or start a business. The G.I. bill provided low interest, zero down payment home loans for servicemen. The GI bill allowed millions of families to purchase their first homes and moved many families out of urban apartments and into suburban homes. It increased demand for mortgages.

In 1970, U.S. Congress chartered the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation, better known as Freddie Mac, to increase the supply of mortgage funds available to commercial banks, savings and loan institutions, credit unions and other mortgage lenders, thus making more funds available to more Americans.

The mortgage industry continues to change and adjust with time. It will be interesting to see what changes will happen in the future of home mortgages.

10 Of The Toughest Warriors in History

1. Viking Warriors

When you picture a Viking warrior, you likely picture a large burly warrior with animal skin clothing, wielding a double-sided ax and a freakish horned helmet. With the exception of the horns on the helmet (which historians claim were strictly for ceremonial purposes), you’d be right. Sailors and pirates by trade and hailing from Scandanavia, these broad-shouldered brutes raided and roamed the region on long wooden boats and considered “hand weapons” to be far more honorable than bows and spears – a much more intimate way to kill.

Primary Weapons: Battle Axe and Shield
Secondary Weapons: Sword and Spears
Era: 800 – 1100AD

Viking warrior

2. Knights

Immortalized by the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, a true knight is a “gentleman soldier” ruled by integrity and honor. They were elite warriors with an unwavering commitment to values, faith, loyalty, courage and stewardship over the weak. Universally skilled horsemen, they wore ironclad armor, enclosed helmets and chainmail as they fought fearlessly with swords and pride.

Primary Weapons: Swords and Shield
Secondary Weapons: Spears and Daggers
Era: Middle Ages (400 – 1400AD)


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