Interesting Christmas Trivia

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The holidays are here and that means Christmas is just around the corner, but as you most probably know, Christmas is more than just shopping, baking and eating. Christmas is the time of year when Travels with Harley takes a moment to remember family, friends, and the magic of the season. With that being said, Travels with Harley would like to share some Christmas trivia that you probably don’t know.

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Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer started as a Montgomery Ward store promotion back in 1939. Robert May was hired to write a story about Christmas that could be given away to shoppers. Mays brother in law was so impressed that he wrote a song in 1949 prompting Burl Ives to record it 10 years later in 1949.

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The very first Grinch who Stole Christmas TV special was released in 1966 with Boris Karloff narrating the series. Dr. Seuss’s creator, Theodor Seuss Geisel, originally thought that Mr. Karloff would be too scary for the special, but the network won out and proved that Boris and the Grinch were a perfect fit.

According to legend, the real St. Nicholas was born around 280 A.D. in modern day Turkey. Apparently he gave away all of his wealth to the unfortunate throughout the country, which grew into the legend of Santa Claus.

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Egg Nog would have to be the beverage that is most associated with Christmas. Historians track the Nog back to 1607 when Captain John Smith consumed it in the settlement of Jamestown. Nog refers to Grog that refers to any beverage made with rum.

Mrs. Santa Claus first hit the scene when she was mentioned in, “A Christmas Legend,” in 1849. Christian missionary James Rees who told the story of an old man and an old woman who carried bundles on their backs before given shelter on Christmas Eve wrote the short story.

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The Germans are responsible for the world’s first artificial Christmas tree crafting them out of dyed goose and duck feathers.

According to data collected by the social media website Facebook, the most popular time for a couple to break up is 14 days before Christmas. However, Christmas Day is the least favorite break up day.

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Quite a few countries in Europe believe that good and evil spirits were quite active during the period leading up to Christmas. The spirits became Santa’s elves thanks to Clement C. Moore’s classic tale, “The Night before Christmas.”

Every year more than 20,000, “Rent a Santa’s,” share the Christmas joy across the United States. These Santa’s receive mandatory seasonal training in order to maintain the jolly old St. Nick attitude that Santa is known for. Practical advice is also given including avoiding onions, garlic and beans during their tenure as Santa.

Next week we’ll share more interesting Christmas tidbits in another Travels with Harley blog.

The Harley Davidson Owners Group

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If you own a Harley Davidson and are not a member of the Harley Davidson Owners Group, you are missing out. Jim and I are both H.O.G members and love the benefits that you get when you belong to the Harley Davidson Owners Group.

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Created in 1983, the Harley Davidson Owners Group was started to build stronger and longer lasting relationships with Harley Davidson customers. The ties created by the consumers, the employees and the Harley Davidson company have helped boost the brand while focusing on the pride and authenticity of being American made. Harley Davidson Owners Group members will typically spend about 30 percent more on Harley Davidson clothing and accessories and Harley Davidson sponsored events.

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Every Harley Davidson dealership, both in the United States and overseas, has the opportunity to become a sponsor for a local Harley Davidson Owners Group chapter. Not all dealerships do, but a Harley Davidson Owners Group cannot start a chapter without a dealer sponsorship. Until 2014, only one chapter per Harley Davidson dealership was allowed. This was expanded to two chapters per Harley Davidson dealership. Should the dealership that is sponsoring a chapter close, the chapter can continue as long as there is permission from Harley Davidson.

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Harley Davidson Owners Group members organize events throughout the year, produce a newsletter, and usually elect officers from within their own chapter. Most of the events that are organized by H.O.G are ride related. Harley Davidson Owners Group chapters are managed by members who volunteer to collect dues in order to subsidize event and administrative running costs.

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Most of the Harley Davidson Group Owners events are for members only with guests of the chapter members required to sign a waiver. Some H.O.G chapters host rallies annually both collectively and individually.

The Harley Davidson Owners Group offers several benefits to its chapter members including roadside assistance.

Travels with HarleyA chapter member will receive H.O.G roadside assistance with the standard package when joining the Harley Davidson Owners Group. H.O.G. members will also receive a copy of the most popular motorcycle magazine in the industry, HOG®. If you are a member of the Harley Davidson Owners Group, you will also get a copy of the official Harley Davidson Touring Handbook and admission to any of the H.O.G. events sponsored by chapters from around the world.

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Other benefits of the H.O.G. include Harley Davidson insurance, Best Western Rides Rewards, motorcycle shipping, and monthly wireless savings with AT & T. The H.O.G Mileage Recognition incentive is another benefit that allows members to earn patches and pins for racking up miles on their Harley Davidson.

Jim and I love our Harley Davidson chapter and encourage other riders to find a Harley Davidson Owners Group chapter close by.

Never an End to Harley Davidson History

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2008 was a big year as far as Harley Davidson history was concerned with the beginning of the year seeing an all-new frame for the Harley Davidson touring family. Not only did this provide a longer wheelbase, but it also lowered the seating position making it easier to maneuver.

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On July 12, the new Harley Davidson Museum opened displaying hundreds of classic and custom motorcycles. The sixth and Canal Street museum also featured exhibits and never released photos and films from Harley Davidson history.

That same year saw thousands head to Milwaukee for the 105th Harley Davidson Anniversary. That same weekend the Harley Davidson Owners Group celebrated its 24th anniversary.

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In 2009, Harley Davidson history continues with its expansion into India. 2009 also saw the first three-wheeler available to the public with the new FLHTCUTG Tri Glide Ultra Classic.

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In 2010 the XL Forty-Eight Harley Davidson was introduced which recalled the custom Sportsters reminiscent of earlier days. That same year Seth Enslow broke the world’s record for the longest motorcycle jump on a Harley Davidson XR1200. Bubba Blackwell in 1999 and Evel Knievel previously held the 183.7-foot jump title in 1975.

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Harley Davidson history continues when the company streamlined the H-D1. This allowed riders to take possession of a factory built custom motorcycle with personalized customization. Later that year in 2012, Harley Davidson introduced the new Seventy-Two and Softail Slim.

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In 2013, Harley Davidson opened a new exhibit at the museum, further solidifying Harley Davidson history with Project Rushmore allowing visitors to get a behind the scenes look at the original drawings and prototype of Project Rushmore touring bike.

2013 was the year that Harley Davidson turned 110. The anniversary saw thousands of people celebrating Harley Davidson history, with Travels with Harley’s own Jim and Demea Loyd participating in the parade proudly carrying their H.O.G. chapter’s flag.

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Another new exhibit at the Harley Davidson Museum opened on April 10, 2014 and sees James Cameron’s classic film, The Terminator, come to life in the Terminator 2 Judgment Day exhibit. The special display includes a motorcycle used in the film along with costumes and props featured in the movie.

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To this day Harley Davidson history continues to grow with new and exciting chapters to add to Harley Davidson history, and you can bet that Travels with Harley will be right there to share Harley Davidson history with you as new chapters begin to develop.

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Harley Davidson history is fascinating, and if you have a story that you would like to share with Harley enthusiasts all over the world, send us your story here and you may be featured in one of our popular Travels with Harley blogs. We can’t wait to hear about your adventures making your very own Harley Davidson history.

More Problems in the History of Harley Davidson

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Over the past few weeks Travels with Harley has shared the History of Harley Davidson coming up with some amazing facts and stories that you probably weren’t aware of. This week we will take you from the late 1990’s to 2007 in the History of Harley Davidson

The first overseas Harley Davidson factory opened in the free economic zone in Manaus, Brazil in 1998. The location positioned Harley Davidson in the Southern Hemisphere motorcycle market, securing another notch in the History of Harley Davidson.

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During the 1990’s and early 2000’s, the History of Harley Davidson saw its demand peak and began a program that expanded its dealerships throughout America. During that same period, existing dealers were waiting for new inventory for up to 12 months for some of its more popular models.

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Just like car manufacturers, Harley Davidson will record a sale when it is delivered to the dealer, not when a customer buys the product making it possible for a manufacturer to inflate the sales numbers. This requires Harley Davidson dealers to accept more motorcycles than they want or need. Known as channel surfing, it means that there could be a dramatic decline in stock prices, which is exactly what happened to Harley Davidson.

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In April of 2004, Harley Davidson Owners Group shares fell from $60.00 to under $40.00. Just before the decline, CEO Jeffrey Bluestein saw a profit of $42 million prior to his retirement. This was followed by a class action suit filed by Harley Davidson stockholders, who claimed that they were intentionally duped and defrauded by directors and management.

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In 2000, several United States Police departments began reporting problems when it came to instability at high speeds. In fact, the California Highway Patrol reported weave and wobble instability while testing on a track in 2006. This problem was quickly dealt with at the factory providing another interesting chapter in the History of Harley Davidson. However, Highway Patrols across the country started to go with BMW instead of Harley Davidson.

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In January of 2007 more than 2,700 Harley Davidson employees from the York, PN plant embarked on a strike after the company failed to agree on health benefits and wages. The company shut down the plant after negotiations broke down. In February of that same year, an agreement was reached. However, the strike disrupted the national production of Harley Davidson causing a layoff of 440 employees. This also affected suppliers who were forced to lay off Harley Davidson workers because of the Harley Davidson strike.

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Next week Travels with Harley will share the last chapter of the compelling History of Harley Davidson from 2008 to today.