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Edward Zane Carroll Judson, aka "Ned Buntline," is sometimes called "The Father of the Dime Novel" because he wrote so many stories that entertained nineteenth-century Americans. He was prolific -- wrote some 400 stories -- but was also a serial bigamist and prone to violence. America's brightest symbol of the American West--Buffalo Bill--came from one of its darkest minds. (Book in progress.)

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Thomas Brigham Bishop contributed many tunes that still resonate with us today, ex. "Shoo Fly, Don't Bodder Me," written during the Civil War. A composer, an impresario, and a con man, Bishop often took a bit more credit than he needed to. (Civil War Times December 2013)

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Lafayette Charles Baker was head of the United States's first Secret Service corp. But was he a master spy, or was he a scoundrel, or both? And, did he die of natural causes, or was he murdered, as some scholars have claimed? (Civil War Times December 2015)

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An 18th century lottery in New York proves the colonists could raise money without direct British oversight (Financial History Summer 2013).

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After serving as an erstwhile photographer and popular composer and entertainer during the Civil War, Thomas Brigham Bishop decided to enlarge his fortune by offering women an opportunity to invest in the stock market. The only problem was, their money rarely made it past his own coffers (Financial History Winter 2013).

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Before he became an attorney, Los Angeles resident Claude Parker became its first head of income tax collection. He was unique among a new federal army of professional revenue collectors near the end of the first decade of the 1900s, partly because of his personality and drive, and partly because he understood that southern California's mixed economy needed to be carefully pruned and managed to keep growing. Parker's appointment signaled the end of the "Wild West" of tax collection (California History Fall 2014).

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Before Oprah Winfrey, before Tony Robbins, there was Orison Swett Marden, founder of Success magazine in the late 1800s. Given his humble beginnings and his bad luck, Marden's success was remarkable. His writings are still used in self-help and inspirational books and courses today (Financial History Winter 2014).

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The "Pingree Plan" was New York's response to hunger and unemployment during the devastating Depression of 1893. Inspired by Mayor Hazen Pingree's success in Detroit, New York City and State began turning vacant lots into gardens tilled by the starving poor for their own benefit. (Financial History Spring 2015).

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"How to Steal a Wild West Show" recounts the tactics used by Denver Post owners Harry H. Tammen and Frederick G. Bonfils to get William "Buffalo Bill" Cody to turn over his beloved Wild West (True West March 2016).

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By reinventing herself as an Indian, Lillian Frances Smith --one time rival to Annie Oakley--created a wild west sensation and escaped an unhappy past (Smithsonian Magazine/Zocala Square May 2017).

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While Annie Oakley is well known as the demure darling of the lady sharpshooters of the Wild West shows of old, only the more ardent Western aficionados recall Lillian Frances Smith.  Better known as “Wenona,” Smith often outshined—and outshot “Little Sure Shot”—while starring with the top showmen of the era, including Buffalo Bill, Pawnee Bill, and the Miller Brothers.

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CH9501Georgia Ann Hill Robinson was not just LAPD's first African American policewoman - - she was the first officially sworn one in the United States (California History Spring 2018 -- click CH9501 above to read article.)