Famous & Infamous Gravesites, Tombstones and Monuments
They lived extraordinary lives and I often find no one is around their final resting spots. It might seem like an odd use of a vacation to visit cemeteries but often they are quiet and can be a fun challenge to find a grave among thousands. From names like Lucille Ball, Walt Disney, Mark Twain, Elvis, to country singers like Johnny Cash, George Jones to inventors like the Wright Brothers, Thomas Edison, historical figures like Samuel Adams, Alexander Hamilton to infamous people like Jesse James, Wild Bill and many, many more.
My greatest help in finding the location of graves is the https://www.findagrave.com/ website, for the more famous people, there is often GPS coordinates which along with a GPS and/or smartphone with Google maps can save lots of time.
Arlington National Cemetery
Rear Admiral Robert Edwin Peary Sr. was an American explorer, United States Navy officer and Master Mason, who made several expeditions to the Arctic in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. He is best known for claiming to have reached the geographic North Pole with his expedition on April 6, 1909
Robert Francis “Bobby” Kennedy was an American politician and lawyer who served as the 64th United States Attorney General from January 1961 to September 1964, and as a U.S. Senator from New York from January 1965 until his assassination in June 1968.
Space Shuttle Challenger Memorial
The Space Shuttle Challenger exploded on Jan. 28, 1986, just seconds after take off, killing all seven crew members. It was nearly two months before the remains were recovered from the ocean floor, about 18 miles off the shore of Cape Canaveral.
Matthew Alexander Henson was an American explorer who accompanied Robert Peary on seven voyages to the Arctic over a period of nearly 23 years. They spent a total of 18 years on expeditions together.
Medgar Evers (1925-1963) was an African-American civil rights activist whose murder drew national attention. … After attempting to segregate the University of Mississippi Law School in 1954, he became the NAACP field secretary in Mississippi
Elwood T. Driver, one of America’s first black combat pilots and later a high-ranking safety official with two Federal transportation agencies
Colonel John Herschel Glenn Jr. was a United States Marine Corps aviator, engineer, astronaut, businessman, and politician. He was the first American to orbit the Earth, circling it three times in 1962. Following his retirement from NASA, he served from 1974 to 1999 as a Democratic United States Senator from Ohio.
Audie Leon Murphy was one of the most decorated American combat soldiers of World War II. He received every military combat award for valor available from the U.S. Army, as well as French and Belgian awards for heroism.
Daniel “Chappie” James Jr. was an American fighter pilot in the U.S. Air Force, who in 1975 became the first African American to reach the rank of four-star General. He attended the famous Tuskegee Institute and instructed African American pilots during World War II.
Grace Brewster Murray Hopper was an American computer scientist and United States Navy rear admiral. One of the first programmers of the Harvard Mark I computer, she was a pioneer of computer programming who invented one of the first compiler related tools. Consider the founder of the term “computer bug”, While she was working on a Mark II Computer at Harvard University in 1947, her associates discovered a moth that was stuck in a relay; the moth impeded the operation of the relay. While neither Hopper nor her crew mentioned the phrase “debugging” in their logs, the case was held as an instance of literal “debugging.” For many years, the term bug had been in use in engineering. The remains of the moth can be found in the group’s log book at the Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of American History in Washington, D.C.
Barbara Ann Allen Rainey was the first female pilot in the U.S. armed forces. Rainey received her wings of gold as the first female to be designated a naval aviator in February 1974 and became the first Navy woman to qualify as a jet pilot.
John Fitzgerald Kennedy, commonly referred to by his initials JFK, was an American politician who served as the 35th President of the United States from January 1961 until his assassination in November 1963.
John Edgar Hoover was an American law enforcement administrator and the first Director of the Federal Bureau of Investigation of the United States.
Social Reformer. A Technical Sergeant in the United States Air Force, he was a proud, gay veteran who challenged the Air Force policy on automatically discharging gay service members as “unfit for military service.” In 1975, a decorated veteran of the Vietnam War with 15 years of service, he openly announced his sexual orientation, and the Air Force promptly discharged him. In 1980, he successfully sued the Air Force for reinstatement, and the court ordered the Air Force to allow him to rejoin the Air Force. However, he settled for a one time payment of $160,000 from the Air Force, and did not retire. The case ruling allowed gay men and women to remain in the military as long as they abstained from any form of sexual activity and kept “in the closet.” Later, he lived in San Francisco, California, and became active in the Gay Rights movement.
Washington National Cathedral
Lake View Cemetery – Jamestown, NY
Lucille Desiree Ball Comedienne, Actress. She is best known for the title role in the hit television sitcom of the 1950’s “I Love Lucy.”
Woodlawn Cemetery, Elmira NY
Mark Twain. Author, Humorist. He is remembered not only for authoring many books but also for his humorist maxims, quotations and opinions. Similar to many authors of his day, he had little formal education. Roaming the west, with an unsuccessful attempt at gold and silver mining, he became a newspaper man in Virginia City, Nevada acquiring the pen name Mark Twain (a riverboat term). His most memorable were stories about the Mississippi based on his experiences, “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer and “Adventures of Huckleberry Finn”. Samuel Clemens troubled by bad investments, the loss of most of his family by death, spent his final days in deep depression.
Machpelah Cemetery, New York City, NY
Harry Houdini. Entertainer. A legendary magician and escape artist. On October 22, 1926, while in Montreal, Canada, giving a lecture on spiritualism, he was asked by a college student if he could withstand a blow to the stomach. Before he could prepare himself for the blow, the student suddenly hit him three times, the last blow rupturing his appendix. Harry thought he would recover, and went on to perform several times over the next few days. By the time he was properly diagnosed, it was too late, and he died of peritonitis from a ruptured appendix on October 31. Houdini memorabilia remains popular even today, and commands a good price in auctions.
Lake View Cemetery – Ithaca, NY
Carl Edward Sagan. Scientist. He was an American astronomer and science writer who used his talents not only for scientific research and government space projects but also in mass media. He is perhaps best known for his work (as co-producer and narrator) in his television series “Cosmos” (1980).
Cemetery Of The Gate Of Heaven, Hawthorne, NY
George Herman “Babe” Ruth Hall of Fame Major League Baseball Player, American Legend. His hitting with a heavy 52-ounce bat produced homeruns at a record pace. From 54 in his first Yankee season in 1921 to the record 60 homers in 1927. He won 7 World Series Championships. Three of them with the Boston Red Sox and four of them with the New York Yankees.
Ferncliff Cemetery – Hartsdale, NY
Malcolm X. Social Reformer, Civil Rights Leader. As an activist and black leader, he advocated black pride, economic self-reliance and human civil rights.
Aaliyah Dana Haughton. R&B singer, dancer, entertainer and actress. Aaliyah (Arabic for “highest, most exalted one”) Dana Haughton. Writer of the songs “Are You That Somebody”, “Try Again” and others in the late 90’s and early 2000’s.
Ed Sullivan. Legendary television variety show host. His show featured the American TV debuts of The Beatles, Humphrey Bogart, Jackie Gleason, Maria Callas, Elvis Presley and Rudolf Nureyev, among others. BS renamed the studio he worked in “The Ed Sullivan Theater.” David Letterman taped his late night show in that theater and now the Late Show with Stephen Colbert is there.
Fort Hill Cemetery – Auburn, NY
Harriet Tubman Davis. Social Reformer. A fugitive slave and abolitionist leader during a period of profound racial, social, and economic upheaval in the United States, she became known as the most famous guide of the Underground Railroad, a secret network that during the mid-1800s helped slaves escape to freedom in the northern United States and Canada. Nicknamed the “Moses of her people,” she was never caught and she never lost a slave to the Southern militia. Standing only five feet tall and suffering from sudden sleep seizures because of a head injury received as a child, Tubman nevertheless possessed the courage and resolve to face physical danger many times while pursuing freedom for her people in nineteenth-century America.
Theodore Willard Case. Inventor. An important figure in the development of sound motion pictures. Case was instrumental in helping Lee de Forest create the first workable sound-on-film system, Phonofilm (1923), and in 1926 he joined forces with Hollywood studio mogul William Fox to form the Fox-Case Corporation for the production of talkies. His improved audio process, Movietone, debuted in 1927 with the Fox Movietone newsreels and the feature “Sunrise”, which had a music and effects track.
Mt. Hope Cemetery, Rochester NY
Hiram Bond Everest. Inventor. While an employee at the Vacuum Oil Company (later Mobil Oil) , he discovered that the thick oil which was a by-product of his distilled kerosene was able to stand the high pressures and temperatures of the new internal combustion engine. Previously the oil had been used only by tanners, but when George Selden tried it in his gasoline automobile engine in 1877 he found it to be the perfect lubricant and it was henceforth known as motor oil.
Henry Augustus Ward. Scientist. He collected countless geological specimens from Europe and Africa, specializing in an impressive collection of meteorites. He founded Ward’s Natural Science Establishment, the internationally known supplier of scientific educational materials. He was struck and killed by an automobile while walking across a street. His death was one of the first deaths by automobile. The driver drove away, but the accident was observed by a police officer, and he was later charged with manslaughter.
Susan B. Anthony. Social Reformer. One of the most famous suffragettes, she traveled, lectured and canvassed the nation for the vote for over sixty years while also advocating the abolition of slavery, women’s rights to their own property and earnings, and the right to organize and belong to women’s labor organizations. She dedicated her life to women’s suffrage while encountering hostile mobs, armed threats, objects were hurled while her image was hung in effigy or dragged through the streets of America.
Alfred Wright. Businessman. He was a successful perfume manufacturer and a deeply religious man, who found that many of his employees were not attending church on Sunday mornings because they were too tired after long hours working the other six days a week. As a result, he ordered all his factories to be closed at noon on Saturdays to give his employees a chance to rest and recuperate before attending their weekly church. This was developed into Malcolm Gray’s revolutionary five-day work-week, which was picked up by Henry Ford and set industry labor standards for the future.
Frederick Douglass. Social Reformer, Human Rights Leader. Black American who was one of the most eminent human rights leaders of the 19th century. His oratorical and literary brilliance thrust him into the forefront of the U.S. abolition movement and he became the first black citizen to hold high rank in the U.S government.
Forest Lawn – Buffalo, NY
Rick James. Singer, Songwriter, Musician. Grammy Award-winning R&B and Funk entertainer who attained international stardom in the early 1980s with his hit song “Super Freak.” His other hits include “You and I,” “Bustin’ Out,” “Ebony Eyes,” “Mary Jane,” “Fire and Desire” (with Teena Marie), and “Give It to Me Baby.”
John R. Oishei was a successful businessman who founded wiper blades and Trico products and became one of Buffalo’s wealthiest citizens and philanthropists.
Frederick Albert Cook. Explorer. Born at Callicoon Depot, New York, he was a physician whom became interested in the arctic and accompanied the expedition of Robert E. Peary in 1891, as surgeon. He accompanied the Belgian expedition to Antarctica in 1897 and made other polar voyages in 1898 to 1900. In 1907, he set out with an expedition for the arctic and claimed that he was the first to reach the North Pole on April 21, 1908. A year later Peary announced that he had reached the Pole first in April 1909 and accused Cook of fraud. The argument started one of the most publicized controversies, with Cook filing several libel suits fighting for vindication of his polar claim. He was supported by some well-known explorers as well as some ardent admirers giving him the credit of discovering the North Pole, despite public view.
Willis Haviland Carrier. Businessman, Inventor. Born in Angola, New York, he was engineer, most noted for inventing modern air conditioning.
American Folk Figure. Founder of the holiday “Flag Day”.
Trinity Churchyard Cemetery, Downtown New York City
Alexander Hamilton. Revolutionary War Continental Army Officer, United States Constitution Signer, Presidential Cabinet Secretary. The thirteen states after the Revolutionary War were weak and still separate. Alexander Hamilton was the strong voice calling for a strong united government with a new Constitution and then most instrumental in the formation and convening of the Constitutional Convention at Philadelphia which established the United States of America. Hamilton continued his legal and business activities in New York City, and was active in ending the legality of the international slave trade. Vice President Burr ran for governor of New York State in 1804, and Hamilton campaigned against him as unworthy. Taking offense, Burr challenged him to a duel on July 11, 1804, in which Burr shot and mortally wounded Hamilton, who died the following day.
John Watts. US Congressman. After serving a term in the New York State Legislature, where he was the Speaker of the House from 1792 to 1793, he was elected to represent New York’s 1st Congressional District in the United States House of Representatives, serving from 1793 to 1795.
Robert Fulton. Inventor, Artist. While not the inventor of the steamboat, he was very instrumental in constructing a steamboat named the “Clermont”,and parlaying it into a commercial success with the first permanent commercial route in history on the Hudson River
Silas Talbot. Revolutionary War Continental Navy Officer, US Congressman. He was appointed a Captain in the Continental Navy in 1779, and commanded the privateer “General Washington” until it was captured by the British.
James Lawrence was an American naval officer. During the War of 1812, he commanded USS Chesapeake in a single-ship action against HMS Shannon commanded by Philip Broke. He is probably best known today for his last words or “dying command” “Don’t give up the ship!”, which is still a popular naval battle cry, and which was invoked by Oliver Hazard Perry’s personal battle flag, adopted to commemorate his dead friend.
Sleepy Hollow Cemetery – Sleepy Hollow, NY
Andrew Carnegie. Businessman, Industrialist, Philanthropist. He is best known as the founder of the United States Steel Corporation (known today as the USX Corporation).
Washington Irving. Author. A short story writer, essayist, poet, travel book writer, biographer, attorney, and columnist, he was born in New York City as the youngest of 11 children. He has been called the “Father of the American Short Story”, and is best known for works ‘The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,’ in which the schoolmaster Ichabod Crane meets with a headless horseman, and ‘Rip Van Winkle,’ about a man who falls asleep for 20 years.
Vincent Astor. Financier, Businessman, Philanthropist. The son of Colonel John Jacob Astor IV, he entered Harvard University only to leave after the death of his father in the sinking of the “RMS Titanic”‘. He was the first Astor, in several generations, to take active control of the family investments, with interests in automobiles, shipping and air transportation, as well as the ancestral involvement in Manhattan, New York City, New York real estate. He was the owner of “Newsweek Magazine,” director of Western Union, the Chase Manhattan Bank, and The United States Lines, and was a trustee of the New York Public Library and the New York Zoological Society.
Buried between his parents. William A Brady, Sr was a famous entertainment producer in New York City.
Alice Brady. Actress. Born Mary Rose Brady in New York City, New York, she began her career in the theatre in 1911, at age 18. She appeared in 53 films in the next 10 years, all while continuing to perform on stage, the film industry at the time being centered in New York City. When the silent era ended, she made the move to Hollywood appearing in MGM’s “When Ladies Meet” (1933) and made another 25 films in seven years. She was nominated for an Academy Award for “My Man Godfrey” (1936) and won the Academy award for Best Supporting Actress for “In Old Chicago” (1937). From then on she worked frequently until her death, her final film was “Young Mr. Lincoln” (1939).
William Rockefeller. Industrialist. The younger brother of oil magnate John D. Rockefeller, he served as President of Standard Oil until its antitrust dissolution in 1911.
Worcester Reed Warner. Scientist. Manufacturer of Optical Instruments and Philanthropist. Close friend of next door neighbor John D. Rockefeller. Founded Warner & Swasey a machine tool and precision instrument company in Cleveland which also made astronomical telescopes for the government. He was president of the American Society of Mechanical Engineers and a Fellow of the Royal Astronomers’ Society of Great Britain. The ASME annually awards the Worcester Reed Warner Medal, a gold medal, for outstanding contribution to the permanent literature of engineering.
Edward Bowes. Radio Entertainer. Born in San Francisco, California, he was a popular radio personality best-known as host of the talent show, “Ed Bowes’ Amateur Hour”. Some of Bowes’ discoveries included opera singers Lily Pons, Robert Merrill, Beverly Sills, comedian Jack Carter, plus pop singers Teresa Brewer and Frank Sinatra. During his twelve year rain as the show’s host, it ranked among America radio’s top ten programs.
Thomas Watson. Chairman of IBM. became General Manager in 1914 and President in 1915 of the CTR Company, which later changed its name to IBM, and rescued it from near extinction. He was famous for making his salespeople at IBM attend sing-a-longs. In 1937, Watson received the Eagle with Star medal from the German Nazi regime for helping with tabulating census data. After the outbreak of World War II, Watson returned the medal. He is known for his 1943 statement: “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.”
Walter Percy Chrysler. Industrialist. He was the first President and Founder of the Chrysler Corporation. Walter Chrysler was born in Wamego, Kansas, and shortly afterwards, his family moved to Oelwein, Iowa. His automotive career began when the American Locomotive Company (ALCO) decided to expand into making automobiles. Chrysler’s interest in automobiles had begun in 1908, when he bought his first car.
Dr. Daniel Draper. Director of the Meteorological Observatory in Central Park, New York City 1869-1911; Inventor of Draper’s Self Recording Weather Instruments.
Thomas Paine – New Rochelle, NY
Thomas Paine. Author of “Common Sense.” American Revolutionary War patriot, agitator and pamphleteer.
Woodlawn Cemetery – Detriot, MI
Aretha Louise Franklin was an American singer known as the Queen of Soul, songwriter, civil rights activist, actress, and pianist. Franklin began her career as a child singing gospel at New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit, Michigan
Obie Benson. Singer, songwriter. A founding member of the Motown group The Four Tops.
John Francis Dodge. Automobile Pioneer and Manufacturer. He, along with his younger brother Horace Elgin Dodge, founded the successful automobile firm Dodge Brothers Company.
Rosa Parks. Civil Rights Pioneer and Social Activist. An African-American working woman, she became most famous for her refusal in 1955 to give up a bus seat to a white man who was getting on the bus, an incident that led to her arrest and inspired Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr to led the Montgomery, Alabama bus boycott, one of his first Civil Rights actions. Because of this action, she was called the “Mother of the Modern Civil Rights Movement.” She was also the first woman to ever lie in state in the United States Capitol, and the United States Flag was flown at half-staff in her honor over all public buildings on the day of her funeral.
DeShaun “Proof” Holton. Rap Musician. Also known as Dirty Harry and Oil Can Harry. A native of Detroit, Michigan, he was a member of the popular rap group, ‘D12.’ The group which usually sang with the likes of Eminem also included the members Swift, Kon Artis, Bizarre, and Kuniva. A longtime friend of Eminem’s Proof along with Bizarre was an original founder of the group in 1990.
Billy Davis. Songwriter, Record Producer, and Singer. He contributed to a number of soul hits and some of the most popular commercial jingles, mostly for Coca-Cola. Davis’ career in music began with an early version of The Four Tops called “The Four Aims” which included his cousin the late Lawrence Payton. Davis sometimes sang with the group as the fifth Aim while they were affiliated with Chess Records (before Motown).
Michael J. Jackson. Buried under the gravestone are two coffins filled with MJ memorabilia, collectibles and trinkets that were left by fans on the steps of the Motown Museum in Detroit not long after Michael passed. Woodlawn Cemetery donated this plot so he could be remembered by the Detroit/Michigan fans that made him & his brothers famous.
Ford Cemetery – Detroit, MI
Henry Ford. Pioneer Industrialist. Founder of the Ford Motor Company. He was a Midwestern farm boy with a grammar school education who rose to become the world’s largest auto manufacturer. In an era when automobiles were hand-crafted luxury items, he developed the mass-produced Model T, the first car the average person could afford. In the process he revolutionized industry and greatly changed the way of life in the United States.
Saint James Episcopal Cemetery, Marietta, GA
JonBenét Ramsey. Murder Victim. She was a 6-year-old Little Miss beauty pageant winner who was murdered in her home on Christmas day 1996, in one of the most high-profile child homicides in recent history. Her numerous award titles include ‘Little Miss Colorado,’ ‘National Tiny Miss Beauty,’ and ‘Little Miss Christmas.’
Patricia Ann Ramsey. Folk Figure. She was the mother of child beauty queen JonBenét Ramsey. She was also crowned Miss West Virginia in 1977. Her daughter’s murder by an unknown person in their home in December 1996 sparked national media attention. She died after a battle with ovarian cancer at the age of 49.
Martin Luther King, Jr. National Historical Park, Atlanta, GA
Dr Martin Luther King, Jr. Social Reformer. He was the recipient of the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize for his work for racial equality in the United States, President of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC), and the most prominent African American leader in the civil rights movement of the 1950s and 1960s. In the eleven-year period between 1957 and 1968, he traveled over six million miles and spoke over twenty-five hundred times, appearing wherever there was injustice, protest, and action; and he wrote five books as well as numerous articles. He organized and led marches for the right to vote, desegregation, fair hiring practices, and other basic civil rights. A few months’s after his murder in Memphis, the United States Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, which prohibited racial discrimination in the sale and rental of most housing in the nation.
Linwood Cemetery, Columbus, Georgia
Dr John Stith Pemberton
American physician and chemist from Georgia who invented the popular soft drink Coca~Cola. After moving to Atlanta, he begin selling his medicines. His best selling product was wine of coca which was sold as a cure for nervous disorders, disturbances of internal plumbing, and impotency. It was in 1885, in the backyard of his home on 107 Marietta St. in Atlanta, that Dr. Pemberton mixed up the syrup that would later become Coca~Cola. The name Coca~Cola came from Frank Robinson, a man he had met. He then sold the drink as a brain tonic for five cents, but it was poorly received. In 1888, sold the formula to Asa Candler for $1,750. Dr. Pemberton died in Atlanta in 1888. It was under Candler that the Coca~Cola Company was founded in 1892 and has never looked back. It was in 1894 when Coca~Cola was put in bottles and sold all over the world for the first time.
Gen Henry Lewis Benning
Civil War Confederate Brigadier General. Though he never rose to high command, his tough war service won him his troops’ esteem and the army nickname “Old Rock.” After the war he remade his law career in Georgia, where he died, in Columbus. The United States Army’s Fort Benning, Georgia, was named in his memory.
Mansfield Cemetery, Mansfield, MO
Laura Elizabeth Ingalls Wilder. Pioneer, Author. In 1932, she began writing the “Little House” books, an 8-part series, hand-written over 11 years, and delightfully illustrated by Garth Williams, based on her pioneer childhood and youth. In her books, Laura stressed the importance of family, faith, simple values, and self-sufficiency. The books have remained enduringly popular, continuing to be published and read worldwide today. After 63 years of marriage, Almanzo died in 1949, Laura continued to live at Rocky Ridge Farm until her passing in 1957, at the age of 90.
Rose Wilder Lane – Author. Known for her short stories, novels, and political essays during the early twentieth century. Daughter of author Laura Ingalls Wilder.
Mount Moriah Cemetery – Kansas City, MO
Russell Stover. Businessman. It was in Omaha that a fellow approached Stover with a chocolate-covered ice cream bar idea. Stover produced and sold it for a year. After the first mad surge for the novelty, sales dropped off and the Stovers bailed out with $25,000. This novelty was the Eskimo Pie. The Stover’s moved to Denver where they began “Mrs. Stover’s Bungalow Candies.” In 1931 they moved their business to Kansas City. Russell Stover candies became a multi-million dollar a year business with world wide sales. Russell Stover died in 1954, but his wife Clara carried on the candy business until selling it in 1960.
Walter Leland Cronkite, Jr Television Broadcast Journalist. His notable reporting accomplishments during his nearly two decade career at CBS News include: Coverage of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the assassination of President John F. Kennedy, the Apollo 11 moon landing, the Vietnam War and the resignation of President Richard Nixon resulting from the Watergate political scandal. Following his retirement in 1981 he hosted the CBS science and space exploration series “Universe” and “Dinosaur” for the Public Broadcasting Corporation. He continued in the news industry appearing periodically as a news analyst and reporter for CBS, Cable News Network (CNN) and National Public Radio.
Barry Winchell. Murder Victim. Private, 101st Airborne Division, US Army. He was beaten with a baseball bat as he slept in Clarksville, TN, and died the next day from his injuries. A movie was made about his life, called “Soldier’s Girl.” It showed his relationship with a transgendered singer in Nashville, TN and his attempt to hide his private life from the military, and his murder.
Calvary Cemetery, Concord, NH
Christa Corrigan McAuliffe. Astronaut, Educator. She was a teacher, and was slated to be the first civilian in space, assigned to fly about the ill-fated space shuttle “USS Challenger”. The image of her jaunty stride and exuberant wave as she entered Challenger spacecraft shortly before the ill-fated mission ended in tragedy has become an icon of the 20th century.
Forest Hill Cemetery – East Derry, NH
Alan Bartlett Shepard, Jr. American Astronaut. The first American into space, he is currently the oldest man to have walked on the moon. His flight on Apollo 14, and at age 47, made the third trip to the moon, and becoming the oldest man to step foot on the moon, as well as setting the current (as of 2006) record for the longest stay on the moon (33 hours). Shepard is also remembered for sneaking a golf club and several balls to the moon, becoming the first to play golf there; although he hooked his first shot, his second hit went for several miles in the moon’s lesser gravity.
Greggory W. Smart. Murder Victim in one of the most sensational crime/love triangle stories of the twentieth century. Gregg and Pam Smart married in 1989 and lived in a condominium in Derry, NH. Gregg was 24-year old insurance agent, and Pam was the director of media services at Winnacunnet High School in nearby Hampton. It was at the high school that Pam met and seduced 15-year old student Billy Flynn. In order to sustain the relationship and not lose possession of her dog, furniture, and condo in a divorce, Pam conspired with Flynn to murder her husband. The case received international media coverage and combined the elements of sex, violence, crime, and youth. The case inspired the made for TV movie “Murder in New Hampshire,” which stars Helen Hunt as the villain.
Cave Hill Cemetery – Louisville – KY
Muhammad Ali. American Professional Boxer. He is generally considered to be the greatest heavyweight boxer in the history of the sport.
Mildred Jane Hill. Musician. She was a concert pianist, organist, author and teacher most noted as co-writer with her sister Patty Smith Hill of the familiar tune “Happy Birthday to You.” She also was a student of her father, Calvin Cody and Adolp Wedig. Louisville, Kentucky native Mildred Jane Hill along with her sister originally composed what later became known as “Happy Birthday to You” as a classroom greeting. It was first published in 1893 as “Good Morning to All” with the lyrics later amended in 1924 after Hill’s death to include a stanza beginning “Happy Birthday to You.”
John Colgan. Inventor. Druggist at Tenth and Walnut Streets, was the first to manufacture chewing gum by adding chicle, a new chewing substance, to the extract of balsam tolu, which he used in making cough syrup. With his son, William, marketing Colgan’s Taffy Tolu, the Cogan Chewing Gum Company prospered and sold out in 1911.
The Lexington Cemetery, Lexington, KY
Jim Varney. Actor. A comic figure, his best remembered role was that of the character ‘Ernest P. Worrel’ in the various “Ernest” movies from 1983 to 1998, as well as in numerous television commercials.
Henry Clay. US Congressman, US Senator. One of the Founders of the Whig political party, he was known as “The Great Compromiser” for his skillful forging of political compromises between the interests of free states and slave states, thus averting Civil War for several decades. Favoring the end of slavery, he soon was involved in the expansion of free states vs. slave states in the growing west. Desiring to keep the Union together, he orchestrated the “Missouri Compromise of 1820” which provided for some slavery expansion, but more importantly, opened up the West in a more organized fashion, and avoided an early threat of succession by some pro-slavery states.
Bardstown City Cemetery, Bardstown, KY
James Beauregard “Jim” Beam. Business Magnate, Folk Hero. James Beam turned the family bourbon business into an American industry. Under Jim, the business thrived despite prohibition. Jim left the distilling business to grow citrus in Florida, among other things. When prohibition ended in 1934 Jim was ready to fire up the still. He built and moved to a new distillery near his home which is the current location. From this point forward, the bourbon was called “Jim Beam.”
Frankfort Cemetery – Frankfort, Kentucky
Daniel Boone. Frontiersman. After his death, the legend which began with the 1784 book, continued to grow with the publication of such best-selling works as ‘The Biographical Memoir of Daniel Boone, the First Settler of Kentucky,’ released in 1833, a sensationalized account of Boone’s life. In 1845, in a controversial move, the remains of Boone and his wife were relocated from Missouri to Kentucky. There is some controversy surrounding the final disposition of the Boones’ remains. Some claim Daniel and Rebecca’s remains are still in Missouri, and that the wrong bodies were removed and re-buried. Others have demanded the return of the bodies to Missouri.
Paul Sawyier. Kentucky Artist whose watercolors of scenes in and around Frankfort remain popular to this day. In his last years he moved to New York, where he died in 1917.
Presley Neville O’Bannon. United States Marine Corps Officer. He most remembered for being the first man to plant the American Flag on a foreign soil, which was done on April 27, 1805 during the Barbary Wars.
Mount Olivet Cemetery – Frederick, MD
Francis Scott Key. Lawyer, poet who penned the national anthem of the United States of America. After a long night of battle where they were assured by the ongoing shelling that Fort McHenry had not surrendered. Long before dawn there was a sudden and mysterious silence and waiting in the darkness that anxiety was finally broken when daylight came, the flag was still there! This led the amateur poet to write on the back of a letter in his pocket the lines that would become central to our national anthem. Later that same month the Baltimore Patriot published the completed verses under the title “Defence of Fort M’Henry” with the added note “Tune: Anacreon in Heaven.” A Baltimore actor sang the new song in a public performance the next month as “The Star-spangled Banner” and it became a popular patriotic song. In 1931 Congress enacted legislation that made this the official national anthem.
Old Saint Marys Catholic Church Cemetery – Rockville, MD
F. Scott Fitzgerald. Author. One of the most celebrated of American writers, famed for his evocative stories of the 1920s and his most brilliant novel being The Great Gatsby. He is usually credited with coining the term “The Jazz Age” to describe that era, which he defined as “a new generation grown up to find all Gods dead, all wars fought, all faiths in man shaken”.
Westminster Burial Ground – Baltimore, MD
Edgar Allan Poe. Author, Poet. Most remembered for his influence on other writers and poets through his imaginative use of literary style and for his near flawless use of rhythm and sound in his poetry. He is considered the father of the modern detective story and the psychological thriller. Popular lore states that he died of alcoholism, however, some claim that he died from exposure or from encephalitis.
Fairview Cemetery, Westfield, NJ
Whitney Houston. Singer, Actress. Regarded as one of the finest female vocalists of her generation. She is credited with inspiring the successful musical careers of Mariah Carey, Beyoncé and Jennifer Hudson among others. She was the recipient of two Emmy Awards and six Grammy Awards. Her other notable accomplishments included 30 Billboard Music Awards, seven consecutive number one hit single releases, 22 American Music Awards and several platinum selling albums. By the end of 2009 she had sold an estimated 170 million records.
Bobbi Kristina Brown. Singer and Reality Television Star. The only child of entertainers Bobby Brown and the late Whitney Houston, she was thrust into the spotlight at an early age when she appeared with her parents, who had a tumultuous 14-year marriage, tarnished by rumors of infidelity, drug use, and domestic violence, on the widely criticized 2005 reality show ‘Being Bobby Brown’.
Princeton Cemetery – Princeton, NJ
Aaron Burr, Jr. United States Vice President. After serving as a Major in the Continental Army under General George Washington in the Revolutionary War, he became a successful lawyer and politician. Nearing the end of his term as vice president, he challenged Alexander Hamilton to a duel for besmirching his reputation. On the morning of July 7, 1804, it ended when Burr shot Hamilton to death. Though the public cried murder, Burr was let off and was able to complete his vice-presidential term. In 1807, he was brought to trial on charges of conspiracy for leading a military charge against Spanish Territory and for trying to separate territories from the United States. He was acquitted of the charges but the conspiracy scandal ended his political career.
Rev John Witherspoon. Declaration of Independence Signer. On July 2, 1776, the day of the vote on independence, another delegate claimed that America wasn’t yet ripe enough for independence. Witherspoon immediately declared “It is not only ripe for the measure, but in danger of rotting for the want of it.” Witherspoon became the only clergyman to sign the Declaration of Independence. Between 1776 and 1782, Witherspoon would serve on more than 100 committees, wearing his minister’s robes in Congress to remind the delegates that God was on their side. Despite personal setbacks Witherspoon never lost his belief that America would prevail in the struggle for independence. In 1777, his son was killed at the Battle of Germantown, and later that year, the British burned their home.
Edison National Historic Site
West Orange, New Jersey
Thomas Alva Edison. Inventor. He was born in Milan, Ohio. His total formal school education was three months. He obtained his last (1,093rd) patent at age 83. He was an American inventor and businessman, who has been described as America’s greatest inventor. He is credited with developing many devices in fields such as electric power generation, mass communication, sound recording, and motion pictures
Lee Chapel – Lexington, VA
Robert E. Lee. A very controversial figure in recent time. Civil War Confederate General. He is remembered for leading the Army of Northern Virginia to the brink of victory in the Civil War. When Virginia declared its secession from the Union in April 1861, Lee chose to follow his home state, despite his desire for the country to remain intact and an offer of a senior Union command. During the first year of the Civil War, Lee served as a senior military adviser to Confederate President Jefferson Davis. Once he took command of the main field army in 1862 he soon emerged as a shrewd tactician and battlefield commander, winning most of his battles, all against far superior Union armies. Lee’s strategic foresight was more questionable, and both of his major offensives into Union territory ended in defeat. Lee’s aggressive tactics, which resulted in high casualties at a time when the Confederacy had a shortage of manpower, have come under criticism in recent years. Lee surrendered his entire army to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox Court House on April 9, 1865. By this time, Lee had assumed supreme command of the remaining Southern armies; other Confederate forces swiftly capitulated after his surrender. Lee rejected the proposal of a sustained insurgency against the Union and called for reconciliation between the two sides.
In 1865, after the war, Lee was paroled and signed an oath of allegiance, asking to have his citizenship of the United States restored.
Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery – Lexington, VA
Thomas Jonathan “Stonewall” Jackson. Civil War Confederate Lieutenant General. After receiving his nickname “Stonewall” at Bull Run because of his battlefield demeanor, he continually impressed the Confederacy with his skill on the battlefield distinguishing himself in the Valley campaign, the Battle of second Manassass and the Battle of Fredericksburg to become a Southern hero.
Hollywood Cemetery – Richmond, VA
Jefferson Finis Davis. Confederate States of America President, Author. Former burial location. Jefferson Davis was the unrepentant highest ranking Confederate leader of the South. The only Southern leader shackled in a dungeon and sacrificed as atonement for the sins of many. He refused to apply for a pardon because, he said, “I have not repented.”
Fitzhugh Lee. Civil War Confederate Major General. He was the nephew of Robert E. Lee, graduated from West Point in 1856 and served as a cavalry officer in Texas. At the start of the Civil War he resigned his commission and organized 1st Virginia Cavalry as Lieutenant Colonel. After the war, he was appointed consul general in Havana and served in the Spanish-American War as a Major General in the US Volunteer Army.
One of the most well-known monuments in Hollywood Cemetery is a cast-iron Newfoundland dog. The statue stands guard over the grave of a little girl who died in 1862.
There are many stories about how the Iron Dog came to be in Hollywood Cemetery, including the most popular version that it was moved there to keep it from being melted down into bullets during the Civil War.
Liberty University Campus Lynchburg, Virginia
Rev Jerry Falwell, Sr. Television Evangelist and Pastor. He is best remembered for founding the Moral Majority, using it to influence US national policy. In 1989, Falwell dissolved the Moral Majority, saying that its political aims had been achieved, but in 2004, he formed the Faith and Values Coalition when he realized that a conservative politically active group was still needed. Over the years, Falwell has been honored with a number of awards, including three honorary Doctorates, and has met with four US Presidents (Nixon, Ford, Reagan, and Bush), six Israeli Prime Ministers, and a number of other Presidents and leaders from around the world. He has also written more than ten books, including his autobiography in 1997.
Granary Burying Ground – Boston, MA
Paul Revere. Revolutionary War Patriot, Silversmith. He is best remembered for alerting the Colonial militia of the approaching British forces before the battles of Lexington and Concord in Massachusetts on the night of April 18, 1775, as dramatized in Henry Wadsworth Longfellow’s famous poem, “Paul Revere’s Ride.”. He was one of the ringleaders of the Boston Tea Party that occurred on December 16, 1773, when colonists disguised as Native Americans boarded the ship along with two others and dumped the tea into the harbor.
Burial site for the Victims of the Boston Massacre, March 5, 1770. The five men killed in the incident were Samuel Gray, Samuel Maverick, James Caldwell, Crispus Attucks, and Patrick Carr. At the end of the Seven Years War (known in America as the French and Indian War) between England and France, the British government enacts a series of taxes to pay for the costs of winning the war. This incident is one of the first major events that led to the American Revolution.
Samuel Adams. Declaration of Independence Signer, Massachusetts Governor. The cousin to John Adams, second President of the United States, he was a leading speaker in the cause of American Independence.
James Bowdoin. Massachusetts Governor. In addition to his political interests he was active in scientific pursuits, collaborating with Benjamin Franklin in his pioneering research on electricity. In 1780 he founded and was the first president of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, to whom he bequeathed his library. In 1788 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of London, the first such honor bestowed on an American after the end of the Revolutionary War.
James Otis. Revolutionary War Patriot. He coined the phrase “Taxation without representation is tyranny.” In June 1775, after hearing the news of the battles of Lexington and Concord, he immediately ran away at the age of 50 and joined the colonial militia, to fight at the Battle of Bunker Hill. Returning home after the battle, he moved to Andover, and in 1783, he was struck by lightning while standing in his front door during a thunderstorm, dying instantly.
John Hancock. Declaration of Independence Signer. His signature on the document was so bold that when people sign their names, they are said to have written their “John Hancock.” On April 19, 1775, the British Army marched out of Boston to Lexington, in part to capture Hancock and patriot Samuel Adams, and it was Paul Reveres ride that gave them warning to flee. As President of the Continental Congress, from 1775 to 1777, he was the first person to sign the Declaration of Independence.
Robert Treat Paine. Signer of the Declaration of Independence from Massachusetts. In 1770, Boston hired him to prosecute the British soldiers involved with the “Boston Massacre,” and although he only convicted two of the eight soldiers (who were dismissed from the Army), he became popular among the patriots. In 1775, he was elected to the Second Continental Congress as a delegate from Massachusetts, and supported the move for independence.
Josiah Franklin. Father of Benjamin Franklin. Abiah Lee Folger Franklin. Mother Of Benjamin Franklin.
Josiah Franklin and Abiah his wife lie here interred. They lived lovingly together in wedlock fifty-five years. Without any estae, or any gainful employment, by constant labor and industry, with God’s blessing, they maintained a large family comfortably, and brought up thirteen children and seven grandchildren reputably. From this instance reader, be encouraged to diligence in thy calling and distrust not Providence. He was a pious and prudent man; she, a discreet and virtuous woman. Their youngest son, in filial regard to their memory places this stone.
J. F. born 1655, died 1744 Age 89
A. F. Born 1667, died 1752 Age 85
Increase Sumner. Massachusetts Governor. He served as Governor of Massachusetts from 1797 to 1799. He previously served in the Massachusetts House of Representatives and the Massachusetts State Senate. He was Justice of the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court (1782-1797), and was a member of the Massachusetts Convention which approved the United States Constitution.
Folk Figure. Born the son of Anne Smith and William Hathorne, a magistrate and merchant. In early 1692 when accusations of witchcraft began in Salem Village, he and magistrate Jonathan Corwin were called in to interrogate both accusers and accused to determine if there was cause for a trial. He was said to have been harsh and accusative in his questioning. In May 1692, he was appointed to the panel of the Special Court, and was regularly in favor of convicting those accused. His questioning always seemed to begin with a presumption of guilt. In a departure from tradition, he was known to badger those under examination to confess and to name others as well. The special court was replaced in 1693 by the Superior Court of Judicature, on which he was not seated; it cleared most of the accused. In 1702, he was appointed to the Superior Court, and sat for ten years. His career also included a role in the militia, in which he was promoted to colonel in 1711. He died at the age of 76. His great-great-grand son was author Nathaniel Hawthorne.
Christ Church Burial Ground, Philadelphia, PA
Benjamin Franklin. Declaration of Independence Signer, Continental Congressman, US Diplomat, Printer and Inventor. Published the “Pennsylvania Gazette” and “Poor Richard’s Almanac”. Famous for his confirming lightning is electricity by flying a kite in a thunderstorm. Invented bifocals, Franklin Stove and other inventions. Served as a Delegate from PA to the Continental Congress from 1775 to 1776. Signed the Declaration of Independence in 1776. Served as U.S. Minister to France during the Revolutionary War. Instrumental in encouraging France to side with the U.S. One of the main negotiators of the peace treaty with Britain. Signed the Treaty of Paris in 1783.
Crown Hill Cemetery – Indianapolis, IN
Carl Graham Fisher. Auto Race Car Executive. Indianapolis Speedway co-founder. The developer of automobile headlights.
Oliver Perry Morton. Civil War Indiana Governor, US Senator. He served as Lieutenant Governor of Indiana in 1861, the as 14th Governor of Indiana from January 16, 1861 to January 23, 1867. He then was elected as a Senator from Indiana to the United States Senate, serving from 1867 to 1877. He was a candidate for Republican nomination for President in 1876.
Charles Warren Fairbanks. United States Senator, 26th Vice President. Charles Warren Fairbanks served one term as the 26th U.S. Vice President, after being selected as the running mate of Theodore Roosevelt in 1904. He was sometimes referred to as “the last of America’s log-cabin statesmen.” Since he served as senator on the committee establishing the borderline between Alaska and Canada, the city of Fairbanks, Alaska was named in his honor. Also named in his honor were cities Fairbanks, Minnesota; Fairbanks, Oregon; and Fairbanks Township, Michigan.
John Herbert Dillinger. Criminal. He was made an outlaw hero during the depths of the Depression by Americans mired in financial ruin, loss of hope and simply frustrated by desperation brought on by the times. He was hardly a “Robin Hood” figure envisioned by the public. John was a cold-blooded killer. The Allen County Museum, Lima, Ohio, where the Sheriff was killed, has an exhibit with a reconstructed jail cell showing where Dillinger was held and even Sheriff Sarber personal pistol is there. A gangster theme restaurant called Dillinger’s, thrives in Hudson, Indiana. Plaques and markers are numerous across Ohio and Indiana marking connections to the outlaw. In Chicago alone, more than 50 sites have been tied to him including the Barrel o’Fun Tavern, first meeting place of his girlfriend, and two bordellos run by the madam who had betrayed him. A new word has been coined: Dillinger, a descriptive word indicating a criminal lifestyle.
Forest Lawn Memorial Park, Glendale, CA
Walt Disney. Entertainment Magnate and Film Pioneer. Most remembered for creating Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, and a host of other cartoon characters. He has won 32 Oscars, more than any other person, for his extraordinary achievements in films. His third Mickey Mouse film, “Steamboat Willie,” was the first cartoon to use synchronized sound and became an overnight success. Walt was the voice of Mickey for the first ten years of the cartoon. In 1934, Disney pioneered the first full length cartoon movie, “Snow White”, and again, critics were overcome by the sheer popular response of the public to the movie.
Elizabeth Taylor. Actress. Considered by many to be one of the most glamorous stars to emerge during Hollywood’s fabled “Golden Age”, she was a two-time recipient of the Academy Award for “Butterfield 8” (1960) and “Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?” (1966).
Musician, Entertainer. He was called the “King of Pop,” and is best remembered for his revolutionary videos such as “Thriller” (1982), and “Dangerous” (1991), as well as two Guinness World Records. Michael Jackson’s grave is located in the Great Mausoleum, Holly Terrace, Sanctuary of Ascension, Distinguished Memorial – Sarcophagus 9, Crypt A. This mausoleum is private and locked to the general public.
The Hudson River Chain refers to two chain booms and two chevaux de frise constructed from 1776 to 1778 during the American Revolutionary War across the Hudson River as defenses to prevent British naval vessels from sailing upriver. These defenses along the Hudson River were overseen by the Highlands Department of the Continental Army. The most significant and successful was the Great Chain, constructed from West Point in 1778, and used through 1782 after the war’s end. The huge links for the chains were forged at iron works in Orange County, New York.
Dr John Gorrie, Apalachicola Florida
He invented the first mechanical ice machine (receiving US Patent #8080 on May 6, 1851) and also was a pioneer in early research on refrigeration and air conditioning.
Tom McLaury. Old West Figure. On October 25th, 1881 Tom, with Ike Clanton rode into Tombstone, Clanton began drinking heavily, while the pair played poker with Johnny Behan and Virgil Earp. When the game folded, Clanton was advised to sleep it off by Earp, but he continued drinking, spreading the word around town that his cowboys were gunning for the Earps. The two groups ran into conflict the following day behind the OK Corral. After an exchange of gunfire, three men were dead. The coroner’s verdict concerning events of that day stated: “William Clanton, Frank and Thomas McLowery, came to their deaths in the town of Tombstone on October 26, 1881, from the effects of pistol and gunshot wounds inflicted by Virgil Earp, Morgan Earp, Wyatt Earp and one – Holliday, commonly called “Doc” Holliday.”
Billy Clanton. American Folk Figure. Billy Clanton was a reluctant combatant in the gunfight at the O.K. Corral in Tombstone, Arizona. The gunfight began in a vacant lot in Tombstone after the lawmen open fire on the McLaury brothers Tom and Frank along with Billy Clanton. The brothers were killed but Billy mortally wounded, was taken to a nearby house where he received some medical treatment before passing away.
Lester Moore. Western Figure. In the late 1880s, Lester Moore worked as a Wells Fargo Station Agent in the Mexico-United States border town of Naco, Arizona. One day a man named Hank Dunstan arrived at the Wells Fargo station to pick up a package he was expecting. When Moore handed him a badly battered and mangled package, Dunstan became enraged over the condition of it and an argument ensued. The argument quickly became heated and both men reached for their guns. Moore was shot four times from Hank Dunstan’s gun. Before Moore died, he managed to fire off one shot of his own, hitting Dunstan in the chest and Dunstan died from his injury.
Mountain View Cemetery – Butte, MT
Evel Knievel. Daredevil, Entertainer. Robert Knievel was born in Butte, Montana. He was a motorcycle daredevil whose daring and highly publicized motorcycle jumps, including attempting to jump over the Snake River canyon, made him a household name. Despite suffering a series of major injuries during stunts, he had a long career in stunt riding. He is immortalized in Washington’s Smithsonian Institution as “America’s Legendary Daredevil.”
Mt Moriah Cemetery – Deadwood, SD
James Butler “Wild Bill” Hickok. Western Figure. He served as a Union scout in the Civil War. After the war he became deputy United States Marshal at Fort Riley (1866), Marshal of Hays, Kansas (1869), and Marshal of Abilene (1871). His reputation as a marksman in desperate encounters with outlaws made him a frontier legend. Hickok once shot and killed his own deputy in error, which was the downfall of his career as a lawman. After a tour of the East with Buffalo Bill Cody’s Wild West Show(1872 to 1873), he went to Deadwood, South Dakota where he was murdered by Jack McCall while playing cards at the #10 Saloon. The hand Hickok had held, a pair of Aces and a pair of Eights, thereafter became known as “The Dead Man’s Hand.”
Nicolas Cage’s Pyramid Tomb
When he dies he will be buried inside this controversial New Orleans pyramid. Currently, he stores his career there now.
Bernard Xavier Philippe de Marigny de Mandeville
Politician and Army Veteran. He participated in the framing of the First and Second Constitutions of Louisiana and served in the Louisiana Territorial Legislature. He was President of the Lousiana Senate from 1822-1823, and in 1834, he founded Mandeville, Louisiana. Two streets in New Orleans, Mandeville and DeMarigny are named after him.
Marie Laveau. American Folk Figure. Known to history and popular lore as a legendary “Voodoo Priestess”, the details of her life have proven to historians as elusive and ambiguous. In the nineteenth century, she was the single most storied figure in the substantial New Orleans, Louisiana “voodoo” milieu. To this day, the tomb is the object of adoration and the site of Voodoo offerings, with many visitors marking their pilgrimage by adorning the tomb with at least one large “X”.
Jean Etienne de Boré. A plantation owner who, after a failed indigo crop, pioneered the growing of sugar cane and the processing of granulated sugar in the South in the 1790s. He was also appointed the first Mayor of New Orleans in 1803.
The New Orleans Musicians Tomb. Today, the Musicians Tomb in St. Louis Cemetery #1 is one of the most visited mausoleums in New Orleans’ oldest burial site that is still in existence. For within those six vaults rests some of the most famous New Orleans’ musicians and Mardi Gras Indian Chiefs of the modern era. Bernard “Bunchy” Johnson (1952-2010) Isidore Barbarin (1871-1960)
Oak Lawn Cemetery, Fairfield, CT
Mary Tyler Moore. American Actress, Television Icon. She was a vivacious actress best known for her roles on both the 1960s sitcom “The Dick Van Dyke Show” and the 1970s sitcom “The Mary Tyler Moore Show”.
Tuskegee University Campus Cemetery
George Washington Carver
Scientist, Inventor. He developed three hundred uses for peanuts like Peanut Butter and hundreds more for soybeans, pecans, and sweet potatoes. Born a slave in 1864 on his father’s farm near Diamond Grove, Missouri, as an infant he and his mother were kidnapped by Confederate night-raiders and possibly taken to Arkansas. Only three patents were ever issued to him during his lifetime, but among his numerous listed discoveries are: adhesives, axel grease, bleach, buttermilk, chili sauce, fuel briquettes, instant coffee, linoleum, meat tenderizer, metal polish, paper, plastic, pavement, shaving cream, shoe polish, synthetic rubber, talcum powder and wood stain. Countless products we enjoy today come to us by way of Carver. He did not patent or profit from most of his products, he freely gave his discoveries to mankind.
Booker Taliaferro Washington, Sr
Social Reformer. Born a slave on the James Burroughs’s Plantation in Hale’s Ford, Franklin County, Virginia, he was 9 years old when slavery was abolished. He attended and graduated from Hampton Normal and Agricultural Institute in 1875. In 1881 he was selected to head Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute, which is now Tuskegee University. Booker believed in hard work, self-education and economic independence. He talks about his childhood in his biography “Up From Slavery”, which was published in 1901. April 7, 1940, he was the first African American placed on a United States postage stamp.
Oakwood Cemetery Annex, Montgomery, AL
Irene Williams Smith
Journalist, Country Music Historian. She began her involvement with country music when she served as the booking agent for the “Drifting Cowboy Band,” which was lead by her younger brother Hank Williams. In the very early days, she sometimes served as the band’s back-up singer and ticket-taker. After Hank’s death, she wrote for the magazine Country Song Round-up from 1955 to 1961. Maintaining a vast collection of memorabilia about her brother, she opened a museum in his honor in Nashville for a brief time in the late 1980s.
Audrey Mae Williams
Country Singer. She was the first wife of country music icon Hank Williams, Sr. and mother of country singer Hank Williams, Jr. She often played and sang in her husband’s band,and gained her own fame and popularity singing on a number of his songs. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1952, and after Hank Sr. death in 1953, she paid for the rights to work professionally as “Hank Williams’ Widow”.
Hank Williams, Sr
Singer, Songwriter. He received international acclaim for his traditional-style country music sung with his bluesy, Honk a Tonk voice. Having a dozen singles to reach #1 on the Top Ten, the list of his hits is long, given that he lived only 29 years. A example of early Rock n Roll, “Move It On Over” was released in June 1947 reaching #4 on the American Billboard Chart.
Elmwood Cemetery, Birmingham, AL
A Mary Anderson
November 10,1903:The patent office awards U.S. Patent No. 743,801 to a Birmingham, Alabama woman named Mary Anderson for her “window cleaning device for electric cars and other vehicles to remove snow, ice or sleet from the window.” When she received her patent, Anderson tried to sell it to a Canadian manufacturing firm, but the company refused: The device had no practical value, it said, and so was not worth any money. Though mechanical windshield wipers were standard equipment in passenger cars by around 1913, Anderson never profited from the invention.
People scoffed at Anderson’s invention, saying that the wipers’ movement would distract the driver and cause accidents. Her patent expired before she could entice anyone to use her idea.
In 1917, a woman named Charlotte Bridgewood patented the “Electric Storm Windshield Cleaner,” an automatic wiper system that used rollers instead of blades. (Bridgewood’s daughter, the actress Florence Lawrence, had invented the turn signal.) Like Anderson, Bridgewood never made any money from her invention.
James Robert Messenger
Father of the Information Age, writer, filmmaker. Conceived “The Theory of the Information Age” on December 12, 1982, while working for the American Telephone & Telegraph Company. Per the theory, the world’s telecommunications networks were rebuilt from analog into digital systems to accommodate the interconnection of computers via telecommunications. His film “The Taj Mahal” was winner of two Emmys, and he was nominated for Academy Awards for “OF TIME, TOMBS, AND TREASURES: The Treasures of Tutankhamen,” and “Koryo Celadon.” Other film and video productions include “Defining the Information Age,” “Carry the Fire – The Story of the 1984 Olympic Torch Relay,” and “KOREA: Reflections on the Morning Calm.” As author: The Death of the American Telephone & Telegraph Company – How “Ma Bell” Died Giving Birth to the Information Age.
Robert Frost. Pulitzer Prize Poet, Author. In the modern day, his best-known works are “Mending Wall”, “The Road Not Taken”, and “Stopping By the Woods on a Snowy Evening”.
David Redding. With the conflict under way, Redding chose to maintain his allegiance to King George III and England. In the eyes of the patriots, this pledge made him a ‘Tory’ or ‘Loyalist,’ and therefore an enemy to the American cause. Redding actually joined the British, enlisting in the Queens Loyal Rangers, a loyalist unit. He participated in Gen. Burgoyne’s 1777 campaign that ended in surrender, but Redding evaded capture. He continued to assist the British. On the American Bicentennial, the overdue event occurred. David Redding, member of the Queens Loyal Rangers, received a proper interment in the cemetery of Bennington’s Old First Church, close to where he was executed nearly 200 years earlier.
Mountain View Cemetery Walla Walla, Washington
“Bizarro X Tombstone”
Sterling Hallard Bright Drake died in 2018, although in 2012, in a short documentary about his tombstone, he said he was dying from diabetes. He was a child prodigy, fondly remembered in his hometown of Walla Walla for building rockets (one, “X-Caliber,” is engraved on the tombstone, crossed with a glowing broadsword).
Drake was living in California at the time the film was made, and said he had no living friends and that the uniquely shaped tombstone serves as a placeholder: “X marks the spot.” He also claimed that he had no idea that the cemetery would place it so prominently — it’s just inside the entrance — and that his original idea for his memorial was a drinking fountain.
“Lady Gwinavier,” who is mentioned prominently on the tombstone, was Drake’s beloved Schnauzer.
Famous Canadian Gravesites
Lucy Maud Montgomery OBE, published as L. M. Montgomery, was a Canadian author best known for a series of novels beginning in 1908 with Anne of Green Gables. The book was an immediate success.
Educator, Diplomat. He received bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of London. In 1892 Schurman became President of Cornell University. He was also a noted author in the fields of ethics and philosophy, and the works he wrote or co-wrote include “Kantian Ethics and the Ethics of Evolution,” “The Ethical Import of Darwinism,” “Belief in God,” and “Agnosticism and Religion.” From 1912 to 1913 he was Ambassador to Greece and Montenegro during the Balkan Wars, where he attempted unsuccessfully to prevent the chain of circumstances that led to the start of World War I. In 1920 Schurman resigned from Cornell to accept appointment as Ambassador to China, a post he held until 1925, when he was appointed Ambassador to Germany. He resigned in 1929 and lived in retirement in Bedford Hills, New York. Freetown, Prince Edward Island is the site of Canada’s Jacob Gould Schurman National Historical Monument.
Louis Riel. Led North-West rebellion against Canadian Government. The leader of the Métis during the Red River Rebellion of 1869, Louis Riel played a critical role in the founding of the province of Manitoba, as part of his efforts to protect the rights of the Métis to their land and the rights of the French to their language. Riel’s tombstone is the site of an annual ceremony commemorating his important role in Canadian history.
Louis Bétournay (November 13, 1825 – October 30, 1879), was educated at the College of Monteal, was a lawyer and judge who was born in Saint-Lambert, QC and died at Saint-Boniface, Manitoba. In 1872 Bétournay became a judge in the recently proclaimed province of Manitoba. The appointment was to the Court of Queen’s Bench making him the first French Canadian to be appointed to a superior court in the west. The posting was to Fort Garry (Winnipeg) where he was soon involved in the legal aftermath of the Red River Rebellion. His court-ordered Ambroise-Dydime Lépine’s trial for the death of Thomas Scott. Lepine was Louis Riel’s lieutenant.
Chief Tecumseh. Early 19th Century Native American Leader. He is remembered as the chief of a large tribal Native American confederacy which opposed the United States during Tecumseh’s War (the conflict between the US and Native Americans in the area of the Northwest Territory from about 1809 to late 1811) and the War of 1812. It is believed he was been born along the Scioto River, near the present-day city of Chillicothe, Ohio. In spite of this setback, Tecumseh rallied his confederacy and joined up with British forces at the beginning of the War of 1812. He teamed with British Major General Sir Isaac Brock in the Siege of Detroit, helping to force the city’s surrender in August 1812. In the summer of 1813, with the American Naval victory on Lake Erie and Harrison’s successful defense of Fort Miegs, the British found themselves in an indefensible position and withdrew from Detroit. Harrison continued to pursue the British forces and their Native American allies into Canada and on October 5, 1813, he defeated them at the Battle of the Thames, near Moraviantown, in the present-day Canadian province of Ontario. Tecumseh was killed, and shortly after the battle, most tribes of his confederacy surrendered to Harrison at Detroit. Several in Harrison’s army claimed to have killed him, including Col. Richard Mentor Johnson of the Kentucky Mounted Rifles, and this fame helped him be elected to the US vice presidency in 1837.
Rev Josiah Henson. Literary Figure. He was the inspiration for Harriet Beecher Stowe’s ‘Uncle Tom’ in the work “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”.
Chief One Arrow. First Nations Chief, aka KPEYAKWSKONAM. Chief of a group of Crees, he was present during the violent Canadian rebellion in 1885. He was imprisoned for his role in the Rebellion, was released into Bishop Tache’s custody and died shortly thereafter.