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01

Dec

"People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in."

"People always say that I didn’t give up my seat because I was tired, but that isn’t true. I was not tired physically, or no more tired than I usually was at the end of a working day. I was not old, although some people have an image of me as being old then. I was forty-two. No, the only tired I was, was tired of giving in."

22

Nov

On a fiftieth anniversary.

On a fiftieth anniversary.

21

Nov

31

Oct

fuckyeahamericanhistory:

"Claiming to be able to talk to the dead is a skill that can instantly turn you into a celebrity. This was especially true in 1848, when Ouija boards and seances were all the rage.  That’s how the Fox sisters became notorious in New York. Growing up in Rochester, word spread that Katherine and Margaret Fox, then 12 and 15, could communicate with spirits.  How? They would snap their fingers, and this would elicit rapping sounds from the deceased that could be decoded into a message.

Within a few years, the sisters, along with their older sister and manager, Leah, were invited to the city by showman P.T. Barnum.
They quickly became the talk of pre-Civil War New York, serving as mediums for high society.
Among the bold-face names they attracted to their hundreds of seances were journalist and poet William Cullen Bryant, writer James Feinmore Cooper, and Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune.
Though thousands of people believed the sisters and followed their quasi-religion ‘spiritualism,’ skeptics publicly doubted them. The girls eventually quarreled and became alcoholics.
In 1888, Margaret confessed in the New York World that their medium powers were a hoax; the rappings sounds that supposedly came from dead people were created by cracking their joints.
They died before the century’s end, as paupers."
Pictured: The Fox Sisters, 1852. Clicking the picture will take you to the original post on a great blog, Ephemeral New York.



Happy Halloween!

fuckyeahamericanhistory:

"Claiming to be able to talk to the dead is a skill that can instantly turn you into a celebrity. This was especially true in 1848, when Ouija boards and seances were all the rage. That’s how the Fox sisters became notorious in New York. Growing up in Rochester, word spread that Katherine and Margaret Fox, then 12 and 15, could communicate with spirits. How? They would snap their fingers, and this would elicit rapping sounds from the deceased that could be decoded into a message.

Within a few years, the sisters, along with their older sister and manager, Leah, were invited to the city by showman P.T. Barnum.

They quickly became the talk of pre-Civil War New York, serving as mediums for high society.

Among the bold-face names they attracted to their hundreds of seances were journalist and poet William Cullen Bryant, writer James Feinmore Cooper, and Horace Greeley, editor of the New York Tribune.

Though thousands of people believed the sisters and followed their quasi-religion ‘spiritualism,’ skeptics publicly doubted them. The girls eventually quarreled and became alcoholics.

In 1888, Margaret confessed in the New York World that their medium powers were a hoax; the rappings sounds that supposedly came from dead people were created by cracking their joints.

They died before the century’s end, as paupers."

Pictured: The Fox Sisters, 1852. Clicking the picture will take you to the original post on a great blog, Ephemeral New York.

Happy Halloween!

18

Oct

From the Writer’s Almanac:
"It was on this day in 1933 that Albert Einstein officially moved to the United States to teach at Princeton University. He had been in California working as a visiting professor when Hitler took over as chancellor. His apartment in Berlin and his summer cottage in the country were raided, his papers confiscated, and his bank accounts closed. He returned to Europe and handed in his German passport, renouncing his citizenship. He considered offers from all over the world, including Paris, Turkey, and Oxford. Einstein eventually decided on Princeton, which offered him an attractive package teaching at its Institute for Advanced Study — but he had his hesitations about the university. For one thing, it had a clandestine quota system in place that only allowed a small percentage of the incoming class to be Jewish. The Institute’s director, Abraham Flexner, was worried that Einstein would be too directly involved in Jewish refugee causes, so he micromanaged Einstein’s public appearances, keeping him out of the public eye when possible. He even declined an invitation for Einstein to see President Roosevelt at the White House without telling the scientist. When Einstein found out, he personally called Eleanor Roosevelt and arranged for a visit anyway, and then complained about the incident in a letter to a rabbi friend of his, giving the return address as ‘Concentration Camp, Princeton.’ In 1938, incoming freshmen at Princeton ranked Einstein as the second-greatest living person; first place went to Adolf Hitler.”

From the Writer’s Almanac:

"It was on this day in 1933 that Albert Einstein officially moved to the United States to teach at Princeton University. He had been in California working as a visiting professor when Hitler took over as chancellor. His apartment in Berlin and his summer cottage in the country were raided, his papers confiscated, and his bank accounts closed. He returned to Europe and handed in his German passport, renouncing his citizenship. He considered offers from all over the world, including Paris, Turkey, and Oxford. Einstein eventually decided on Princeton, which offered him an attractive package teaching at its Institute for Advanced Study — but he had his hesitations about the university. For one thing, it had a clandestine quota system in place that only allowed a small percentage of the incoming class to be Jewish. The Institute’s director, Abraham Flexner, was worried that Einstein would be too directly involved in Jewish refugee causes, so he micromanaged Einstein’s public appearances, keeping him out of the public eye when possible. He even declined an invitation for Einstein to see President Roosevelt at the White House without telling the scientist. When Einstein found out, he personally called Eleanor Roosevelt and arranged for a visit anyway, and then complained about the incident in a letter to a rabbi friend of his, giving the return address as ‘Concentration Camp, Princeton.’ In 1938, incoming freshmen at Princeton ranked Einstein as the second-greatest living person; first place went to Adolf Hitler.”

24

Sep

On September 24, 1869, the original “Black Friday” occurred, i.e., the day on which a conspiracy caused the price of gold to drop so drastically that it wouldn’t exceed the highest price written on this board for another 100 years. Clicking the photo will allow you to read the whole story.

On September 24, 1869, the original “Black Friday” occurred, i.e., the day on which a conspiracy caused the price of gold to drop so drastically that it wouldn’t exceed the highest price written on this board for another 100 years. Clicking the photo will allow you to read the whole story.

04

Jul

Fireworks for the centennial.

Fireworks for the centennial.

08

Jun

The song is well known for its cryptic lyrics that have long been the subject of curiosity and speculation. Although McLean dedicated the American Pie album to Buddy Holly, none of the musicians in the plane crash are identified by name in the song itself. When asked what ‘American Pie’ meant, McLean replied, ‘It means I never have to work again.’

03

Jun

"The U.S. Camel Corps (possibly a retronym) was a mid-nineteenth century experiment by the United States Army in using camels as pack animals in the Southwest United States.
While the camels proved to be hardy and well-suited to travel through the region, the Army declined to adopt them for military use. Horses were frightened of the unfamiliar animals, and their unpleasant dispositions made them difficult to manage.”
pictured: a drawing of camels being unloaded along the Mississippi River.

"The U.S. Camel Corps (possibly a retronym) was a mid-nineteenth century experiment by the United States Army in using camels as pack animals in the Southwest United States.

While the camels proved to be hardy and well-suited to travel through the region, the Army declined to adopt them for military use. Horses were frightened of the unfamiliar animals, and their unpleasant dispositions made them difficult to manage.”

pictured: a drawing of camels being unloaded along the Mississippi River.

22

May

Contrary to popular belief, Grant Wood intended the figures in his painting to be a father and his spinster daughter. Wood used his own sister and their family dentist as his models (pictured).

Contrary to popular belief, Grant Wood intended the figures in his painting to be a father and his spinster daughter. Wood used his own sister and their family dentist as his models (pictured).