November marks the time of year when many normally clean shaven men grow out a winter beard and or mustache. Additionally, the Movember foundation who’s goal is to “change the face of men’s health has also successfully promoted the growing of a mustache in November to bring awareness to several men’s health issues including cancer and suicide prevention.
So before the month of Movember comes to a close let us take a moment to recognize the first president of the National Rifle Association, the mustachioed civil war general, U.S. Senator and governor of Rhode Island Ambrose Burnside.
As significant as his accomplishments were, he became most famous for his outstanding and uniquely styled mustache and side whiskers which became known as “sideburns” an anagram of his name Burnside. As a Union general who experienced his fair share of defeats, he was known to say of the Union troops, “Out of ten soldiers who are perfect in drill and the manual of arms, only one knows the purpose of the sights on his gun or can hit the broad side of a barn”. This statement reflected the recognition of the need for more modern rifle training leading to the opening of the first modern rifle range in Queens NY.
How very very much has changed in a 150 years!