History's first "rebrand" was by...Frederick the Great?

You probably already noticed…the rebrand.

We decided to simplify our multi-platform branding, the US Army’s WWII 6888th Postal Batallion is still impacting us today, and documenting the death of JFK was no small feat…here is why.

Why the rebrand?

Did you know that Frederick the Great is cited with one of the first successful “rebrands” in history? For most of his record 46-year rule of Prussia, Frederick was known as “the potato king” — a reputation that lasts until this day.


During his rule, his nation was starving, and bread (a diet mainstay) was expensive; he needed a new staple food that could stock easily and be reproduced on farms. Frederick preached the benefits of the potato to his people but no one believed him.

They thought it was poisonous as it looked and was dirty.

Eventually, he had an idea. Frederick changed his tune. He declared the potato to be “a royal vegetable.” He planted a field in his palace and stationed guards around it. He even sent guards to the field in the village.

Suddenly, people took notice. “What’s growing there?” they wondered. “Whatever it is, it must be valuable.”

This is where it gets interesting: Frederick told his guards to “take lots of naps.” They should turn a blind eye to people stealing from the fields.

Lo and behold, a few bold villagers snuck into the fields and grabbed some potatoes. Were they surprised? Maybe. But if it’s the king’s personal property, it must be valuable. Better make the most of it after all the hassle.

Soon, there were potatoes in every household — and what better way of avoiding having to steal more than to just grow them in your own garden?

Changing the name of this newsletter from “Hashtag Historic” to our already established “Walk with History” simplifies how people can talk about Walk with History products. Ideally, this brings our established trust from our 12,000+ subscriber YouTube Channel community, 2+ years and running.

While brainstorming this potato rebrand, Frederick the Great also came up with a famous quote that is used to this day.

What the peasant doesn’t know, he will not eat.

Frederick the Great

Modern usage of this quote is often in reference to public skepticism of a new product.

We hope that we are only making it easier for you to share our passion project with your fellow history buffs or that family member at the dinner table. 😉

If this newsletter rebrand doesn’t work…perhaps we should read more of the below:

US Army Renames a Base After the WWII 6888th Postal Batallion Leader

Speaking of rebranding, Fort Lee, a U.S. Army post named after the leader of the Confederate army during the Civil War, was renamed Fort Gregg-Adams in honor of two Black U.S. Army trailblazers during a redesignation ceremony, on April 28th, 2023.

Fort Gregg-Adams is named after Lt Gen Arthur Gregg, the first black officer in the Army to reach the 3-star rank, and Lt Col Charity Adams, the first African American woman to be an officer in the WAAC.

Talk about history and current events merging!

We recently visited the home of the woman who, through her connection to Eleanor Roosevelt, was able to advocate for African American women to serve in the US Army. Mary McLeod Bethune hand-selected the first 40 women to serve in the 6888th Postal Batallion.

Bethune played a pivotal role in getting African American women the ability to serve their country…but the rest of her life story is one amazing accomplishment after another.

Tyler Perry is working on a movie about the amazing service of this unit too.

Other links of interest:

John Wayne, by name Duke, original name Marion Michael Morrison was born May 26, 1907, in Winterset, Iowa. He died June 11, 1979, in Los Angeles, California. 🎥

🎉 Happy Birthday to one of the greats.

If you prefer to listen to podcasts vice watching a video …we have you covered this month. We also rebranded our Talk with History podcast. 😉🎙

Documenting the Death of a President

On Thursday, December 15th, 2022, the National Archives posted 13,173 documents containing newly released information subject to the President John F. Kennedy Assassination Records Collection Act of 1992

We saw this headline a few months ago and promptly fell down the rabbit hole of reading other articles and materials out there surrounding the documentation of this historic and horrific event.

More books and articles have been written about the shooting than any other single event in the history of the country. Numerous motion pictures and television documentaries have recounted that day or used it as a backdrop for another story line.

And conspiracy theories continue to abound as the number of Americans who were alive in 1963 dwindles and later generations express questions about the Warren Commission’s findings.

It probably shouldn’t be any surprise that there were multiple commissions, committees, Acts, board reviews…and on and on. Eventually, these commissions ran out of money but ended up with over 5 million pages of material and 319,000 individual documents.

the same document redacted…then not

Bottom line - there is literally almost too much to go through, but perhaps the answer is there.

Other links of interest:

History gear for our fellow history nerds.