Category Archives: Uncategorized

America Enters WWI — Finally

Even though family ties united much of Europe and Asia (Kaiser Wilhelm, King George V, and Czar Nicholas were first cousins,) squabbling over territorial claims had been going on for some time. France, at odds with Germany, aligned itself with … Continue reading

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12-year-old Jewish Violinist Gets Revenge on the Nazis

In 1930, in the stetl of Karsnovka (then Byelorussia; now Belarus,) a boy named Mordechai “Motele” Schlein was born. At that time, there were only two Jewish families living in Karsnovka; the Schleins were flour grinders and eked out a … Continue reading

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The Louisiana Purchase Doubles the Size of the Country

Thomas Jefferson was greatly concerned about retaining control of the Mississippi River, because, in the days before canals and railroads, rivers were the only way to ship goods from one point to the other, Further, the port city of New … Continue reading

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Halloween 2015: Tribute to Ghosties, Ghoulies, and Long-Leggedy Beasties

It may come as a surprise to younger readers, but once upon a time radio meant more than Top 40 and Golden Oldies (aka last week’s Top 40). It meant drama, comedy, westerns, science fiction, soap operas and quiz shows … Continue reading

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Coins that Never Really Caught On — The 3ȼ Piece

Second in an occasional series. My article, A Platinum Coin to Pay Down the Debt, was written with tongue firmly in cheek, but the US Treasury has come up with some real coins almost as ridiculous. Our first example was … Continue reading

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An Unhurried Look at Smoking

While smoking in one form or another was known both in Central and South America a few years before Christ, Europeans first discovered it when Christopher Columbus found the Native Americans puffing on twisted tobacco leaves wrapped in corn husks. … Continue reading

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Prohibition, Part 3 — Bathtubs, Bootlegging, and Benzene

“Prohibition is an affront to the whole history of mankind.”— Winston Churchill “I think this would be a good time for a beer.” — FDR, just before signing the legislation to abolish prohibition Prohibition brought with it The Roaring Twenties, … Continue reading

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Prohibition, Part 2 — Time to Board the Water Wagon

“It’s bootleg when it’s on the trucks, but when your host hands it to you on a silver tray, it’s hospitality…They say I violate prohibition. Who doesn’t?” — Chicago “businessman” Al Capone. New Year’s Eve, 1920. As they had for … Continue reading

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The Naming of Hurricanes

Technically speaking, a hurricane is any storm producing winds reaching 12 on the Beaufort Scale, or, at least 74 mph. To make things more interesting, by definition hurricanes today are strictly an Eastern Pacific, Atlantic and Caribbean phenomenon. If it … Continue reading

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Another Salute to Ghosties, Ghoulies and Long-Leggedy Beasties

As I mentioned last time, it may come as a surprise to younger readers, but once upon a time radio meant more than Top 40 and Golden Oldies (aka last week’s Top 40). It meant drama, comedy, westerns, science fiction, … Continue reading

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