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Articles Categorized History American

Summer Ferris Wheels

Today, June 21, is the Summer Equinox, the first official day of summer, and also the longest day of the year in the Northern Hemisphere. It’s true. Summer vacation has arrived. Whether you vacation elsewhere or staycation near your home base, it’s time to get outside and enjoy the sun — with sun protection, of

Leftovers: Once Virtuous, Now Annoying

Except for point number 5 advising less wheat and meat products, this 1917 poster for about the acquisition, preparation, and consumption of food is similar to advice we receive today. Number 6, “use what is left” is  tricky, because it refers to the dreaded food category of “leftovers.” One 1948 cook book observed, the word

Jumping Frogs In Calaveras County

This is a story about jumping frogs, a mining camp, and an unknown American writer later known as Mark Twain. During the winter of 1864-1865 Twain accepted an invitation from the Gillis brothers to stay with them at their cabin at the top of Jackass Hill in Tuttletown, a mining town in Calaveras County. Jackass

Hamburgers + Car Hops = Fast Food

At its most basic version, a hamburger is a sandwich featuring one or more patties of ground meat served inside a bread roll. From here variations begin. Besides meat, hamburgers come with other ingredients inside the bun from lettuce to pickles; tomatoes to onions, and then there’s the sauce. Mustard, ketchup, mayo, or the so-called

It’s Administrative Professionals Week: From Secretary to Administrative Professional

In 1957, Time Magazine observed a national shortage of secretaries.  With over 21 million women in the workforce, only 2 million were employed as secretaries which meant that every day there were 250,000 unfilled secretarial positions. To make matters worse, employers were caught in a dilemma. Women over age 35 were considered to set in

Pecans: An American Nut

Pecans (carya illinoisensis) are an edible nut most often associated with desserts, particularly pecan pie, an extraganza of added sweetness. [Recipe Below] Pecans are also found in praline candy, cakes, cookies, and candied nuts. But this is misleading association, because, in fact, raw pecans are loaded with healthy monounsaturated fat and fiber, as well as

White House Easter Egg Rolls from Yesteryear

There are several ways to roll eggs. This Russian postcard shows children placing individual eggs, possibly hard-boiled, on an incline to see which would roll the furthest. In another custom, children roll hardboiled, decorated eggs down grassy hills in a competition to see whose egg rolls the farthest without breaking. The latter competition usually took

First Ladies Move into a Post-War World

When Franklin Delano Roosevelt took the oath of office on March 4, 1933, unemployment was 25 percent; homes and farms were lost to foreclosure, and people were hungry. Hobos rode the rails looking for work. Farmers from the Great Plains migrated to California, a journey described by John Steinbeck in the Grapes of Wrath.  Incumbent

First Ladies in the “Roaring Twenties”

For various reasons, we are more aware of some First Ladies than others. Last week, I skipped over Edith Roosevelt and Helen Taft in favor of closing the blog with Edith Wilson. This week, I intended to begin with Lou Hoover, but I started thinking about 1920 as a pivotal year.  The United States had

First Ladies in Unusual Circumstances

After the civil war, American First Ladies were women with direct experience in the social movements of their time. As young women, none had any expectation of the office they would hold, but their role as presidential spouses continued to bring change to the White House. The Election of 1876 After eight years in the