Wednesday, June 23, 2010

This Day in History-June 23, 1944

June 23, 1944

Tornadoes hit West Virginia and Pennsylvania

A spate of tornadoes across West Virginia and Pennsylvania kills more than 150 people on this day in 1944. Most of the twisters were classified as F3, but the most deadly one was an F4 on the Fujita scale, meaning it was a devastating tornado, with winds in excess of 207 mph.

It was a very hot afternoon when atmospheric conditions suddenly changed and the tornadoes began in Maryland. At about 5:30 p.m., an F3 tornado (with winds between 158 and 206 mph) struck in western Pennsylvania and killed two people. Forty-five minutes later, a very large twister began in West Virginia, moved into Pennsylvania, and then tracked back to West Virginia. By the time this F4 tornado ended, it had killed 151 people and leveled hundreds of homes.

Another tornado that afternoon struck at a YMCA camp in Washington, Pennsylvania. A letter written by a camper was later found 100 miles away. Coal-mining towns in the area were also hit hard on June 23. There were some reports that a couple of tornadoes actually crossed the Appalachian mountain range, going up one side and coming down the other.

This remarkable series of twisters finally ended at 10 p.m., when the last one hit in Tucker County, West Virginia. In all, the storms caused the destruction of thousands of structures and millions of dollars in damages.

1930s Farm Life: Drought, Depression & Determinism‏

1930s Farm Life: Drought, Depression & Determinism

In the story, The Crossroads, farmer Eben Smith is distraught by government efforts to destroy his crops in a misled attempt to balance economic strife while countless people starved.

The Crossroads was originally published in 1941, shortly after L. Ron Hubbard went to serve as a Lieutenant in the Navy in the North Pacific during World War II. The tale, which may be surprising to some of you young sprouts out there, is based on real events that happened in the 1930s.

The Great Depression of the 1930s was not only longer and harder than any other in American history because of the stock market fallout on Wall Street, but it was exacerbated by one of the longest droughts on record, that by 1934 covered almost 80 percent of the United States.

Without rain, farmers couldn't grow crops, and without crops, bare soil was blown high into the air creating dust storms (canceling school in some cases).

This economic train wreck actually started during World War I. Agriculture was severely disrupted in Europe by the war, and farmers in America dramatically increased production and were therefore able to export surplus food to European countries. By the 1920s European agriculture had recovered and many American farmers continued to produce more food than could be consumed, making prices fall, causing many farmers difficulty in paying their mortgages...

Read the rest of the story here!

Friday, June 18, 2010

"The Apron Book" Giveaway!

Stir family memories with The Apron Book. Features heartwarming stories, 100+ photos and illustrations, instructions for four aprons and a bib apron pattern. Hardcover, 172 pages.



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Thursday, June 17, 2010

This Day In History-June 17, 1885

The Statue of Liberty, a gift of friendship from the people of France to the people of the United States, arrives in New York City's harbor.

Originally known as "Liberty Enlightening the World," the statue was proposed by French historian Edouard Laboulaye to commemorate the Franco-American alliance during the American Revolution. Designed by French sculptor Frederic Auguste Bartholdi, the 151-foot statue was the form of a woman with an uplifted arm holding a torch. In February 1877, Congress approved the use of a site on New York Bedloe's Island, which was suggested by Bartholdi. In May 1884, the statue was completed in France, and three months later the Americans laid the cornerstone for its pedestal in New York. On June 19, 1885, the dismantled Statue of Liberty arrived in the New World, enclosed in more than 200 packing cases. Its copper sheets were reassembled, and the last rivet of the monument was fitted on October 28, 1886, during a dedication presided over by U.S. President Grover Cleveland.

On the pedestal was inscribed "The New Colossus," a famous sonnet by American poet Emma Lazarus that welcomed immigrants to the United States with the declaration, "Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, / The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. / Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me. / I lift my lamp beside the golden door." Six years later, Ellis Island, adjacent to Bedloe's Island, opened as the chief entry station for immigrants to the United States, and for the next 32 years more than 12 million immigrants were welcomed into New York harbor by the sight of "Lady Liberty." In 1924, the Statue of Liberty was made a national monument.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This Day In History! June 15, 1904

More than 1,000 people taking a pleasure trip on New York City's East River are drowned or burned to death when a fire sweeps through the boat. This was one of the United States' worst maritime disasters.

The riverboat-style steamer General Slocum was built in 1890 and used mostly as a vehicle for taking large groups on day outings. On June 15, the St. Mark's German Lutheran Church assembled a group of 1,360 people, mostly children and teachers, for their annual Sunday School picnic. The picnic was to take place at Locust Point in the Bronx after a cruise up the East River on the General Slocum.

At about 9 a.m., the dangerously overcrowded boat left its dock in Manhattan with Captain William Van Schaik in charge. As the boat passed 83rd Street, accounts indicate that a child spotted a fire in a storeroom and reported it to Captain Van Schaik. Reportedly the captain responded, "Shut up and mind your own business." But as the smoke became more obvious, crew members were sent to investigate. By this time, the storeroom, filled with a combination of oil and excelsior (wood shavings used for packing), was blazing out of control. The onboard fire hose, which had never been used, tested or inspected, did not work.

Captain Van Schaik made a fateful decision at this time. Instead of directing the boat to the nearest dock where firefighters could engage the fire, he pointed the boat toward a small island in the East River. He later told investigators that he did not want to risk spreading the fire to the dock and the rest of the city, but the strategy proved deadly for the passengers. Instead of grounding the boat on the sand, the boat crashed onto the rocks of the island s shore.

At this point, other factors also combined to exacerbate the situation. The lifeboats were so firmly tied to the steamer that they could not be released. The life preservers had not been filled with cork, but a non-buoyant material that made them weighty. The children who used them sank to the bottom of the river. Other children were trampled to death in the panic. More people were killed when the raging fire collapsed some of the decks, plunging them into the fire.

In all, 630 bodies were recovered and another 401 were missing and presumed dead. A cannon was brought to the scene and fired over the river the next day to loosen bodies from the river mud. The boat s crew, and officers in the Knickerbocker Company, owner and operator of the General Slocum, were charged with criminal negligence. However, only Captain Van Schaik received a prison sentence. He was supposed to serve 10 years, but was pardoned due to old age in 1908. President Theodore Roosevelt fired the chief inspector of the U. S. Steamboat Inspection Service in the aftermath of the accident; wholesale changes in the industry followed. A mass grave was set up in Queens for the victims and a yearly memorial was held to honor their memory.

General Slocum Disaster

What Is It? What's It Worth?

Written by Helaine Fendelman

Q My flask is marked on its cap with sterling, B & F, an anchor, a lion, and a small b in a square. Is it valuable?

—S.F., Feeding Hills, MassachusettesWhat it is: CUT-GLASS PERFUME BOTTLE

A What you have is a lay-down perfume bottle, not a flask. Amethyst crystal was cut in a pattern to reveal clear glass beneath. Both the bottle and its domed sterling cap are in perfect condition. Perfume bottles, which came in a variety of sizes, shapes, and materials, were luxury items produced by fine craftsmen: Women would bring their bottles to the store to have them filled with their favorite fragrance. The lion and anchor markings indicate that the piece was made in Birmingham, England, while the small b in a square signifies that it was crafted in 1901. Silversmiths in the town stopped indicating the names of glass manufacturers in 1850, so there is no way to identify the maker, although the glass is both elegant and of high quality.

What it's worth: $400

Thanks to

Monday, June 14, 2010

This Day In History!

Jun 14, 1777:

Congress adopts the Stars and Stripes

Previous Day June 14 Calendar Next Day

During the American Revolution, the Continental Congress adopts a resolution stating that "the flag of the United States be thirteen alternate stripes red and white" and that "the Union be thirteen stars, white in a blue field, representing a new Constellation." The national flag, which became known as the "Stars and Stripes," was based on the "Grand Union" flag, a banner carried by the Continental Army in 1776 that also consisted of 13 red and white stripes. According to legend, Philadelphia seamstress Betsy Ross designed the new canton for the Stars and Stripes, which consisted of a circle of 13 stars and a blue background, at the request of General George Washington. Historians have been unable to conclusively prove or disprove this legend.

With the entrance of new states into the United States after independence, new stripes and stars were added to represent new additions to the Union. In 1818, however, Congress enacted a law stipulating that the 13 original stripes be restored and that only stars be added to represent new states.

On June 14, 1877, the first Flag Day observance was held on the 100th anniversary of the adoption of the Stars and Stripes. As instructed by Congress, the U.S. flag was flown from all public buildings across the country. In the years after the first Flag Day, several states continued to observe the anniversary, and in 1949 Congress officially designated June 14 as Flag Day, a national day of observance.


Sunday, June 13, 2010


June is upon us, and that means it is wedding season. In the United States, June is the most popular month for weddings (in case you are curious, the least popular is January). There are a number of reasons why June is so frequently chosen for weddings, ranging from weather to custom to some surprising practicalities.

The weather in June is certainly one of its' most appealing aspects. It is a time of year when it is reliably warm in the North, but not blazingly hot yet in the South. However, the heritage of June weddings is much older than this country, dating back at least to the Romans. The month of June was named for Juno, the Roman goddess of marriage, hearth, and home. It was only natural that a couple would want to start their life together under her protection.

A funny and practical reason for the popularity of June weddings was that back when bathing was infrequent, people took their annual bath in May (yes, I did say annual!). You may wonder why May did not become the leading month for weddings, what with everyone being at their freshest then. May has long been considered to be an unlucky month for marriages, in part because it was the month when the Romans held the Feast of the Dead as well as the Festival of the Goddess of Chastity. Apparently, very few people felt that death or chastity were auspicious omens for their marriages. In fact, there is even an old saying, "Marry in May, rue the day!"

There are many beautiful flowers in bloom in June, with roses being chief among them. Brides have always loved roses, and they come in an incredible array of shapes, sizes, and colors. From the tiniest minature rose to the lushest grand floribunda, there is a rose that is right for almost every taste. They also hold up well in heat and humidity, which makes them a practical choice for a summer wedding. Other wonderful flowers for June bouquets include hydrangea, peonies, lavender, and lisianthus. If you select flowers than are in season, they will be more affordable and more spectacular.

Pearl bridal jewelry has always gone hand in hand with June weddings. For one thing, the pearl is the June birthstone. In addition, there is an ancient belief that if a bride wears pearls on her wedding day, she will shed fewer tears during the marriage. Pearl bridal jewelry has been worn by many famous brides, including Queen Elizabeth II and Jacqueline Kennedy, which adds to the appeal. Brides married at any time of the year love pearls for their lustrous glow and soft radiance. Like roses, pearls are available in many shapes, sizes, and colors. There is the classic round white akoya pearl, the gray baroque pearl, and even unique and informal keshi or coin pearls. With so many variations, there is pearl bridal jewelry perfect for every bride's style.

In celebration of the season, offer your guests the freshest seasonal delicacies at your June wedding. Some of the summer's best flavors include ripe berries, asparagus, sweet corn, zucchini, melon, and tomatoes. Dishes should be light and tasty; avoid heavy sauces and creamy soups. Also keep the weather in mind if your reception will be outdoors. Buttercream frosting will melt and run in the heat, but fondant will hold up beautifully. And don't forget to choose a refreshing signature drink, garnished with fresh fruit.

There are many wonderful reasons to have a June wedding. The weather is lovely, the flowers are abundant, and delicious food is in season. Other reasons to choose June for your special day range from the nostalgic (your mother was a June bride) to the sartorial (you have always imagined floating down the aisle in a chiffon gown). Perhaps you simply like the idea of the goddess Juno smiling down on your wedding day, bringing her blessings to your new life as husband and wife.

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Friday, June 11, 2010

This Day In History-June 11-John Wayne Dies

On this day in 1979, John Wayne, an iconic American film actor famous for starring in countless westerns, dies at age 72 after battling cancer for more than a decade.

The actor was born Marion Morrison on May 26, 1907, in Winterset, Iowa, and moved as a child to Glendale, California. A football star at Glendale High School, he attended the University of Southern California on a scholarship but dropped out after two years. After finding work as a movie studio laborer, Wayne befriended director John Ford, then a rising talent. His first acting jobs were bit parts in which he was credited as Duke Morrison, a childhood nickname derived from the name of his beloved pet dog.

Wayne’s first starring role came in 1930 with The Big Trail, a film directed by his college buddy Raoul Walsh. It was during this time that Marion Morrison became "John Wayne," when director Walsh didn’t think Marion was a good name for an actor playing a tough western hero. Despite the lead actor’s new name, however, the movie flopped. Throughout the 1930s, Wayne made dozens of mediocre westerns, sometimes churning out two movies a week. In them, he played various rough-and-tumble characters and occasionally appeared as "Singing Sandy," a musical cowpoke a la Roy Rogers.

In 1939, Wayne finally had his breakthrough when his old friend John Ford cast him as Ringo Kid in the Oscar-winning Stagecoach. Wayne went on to play larger-than-life heroes in dozens of movies and came to symbolize a type of rugged, strong, straight-shooting American man. John Ford directed Wayne in some of his best-known films, including Fort Apache (1948), She Wore a Yellow Ribbon (1949), Rio Grande (1950), The Quiet Man (1952) and The Man Who Shot Liberty Valence (1962).

Off-screen, Wayne came to be known for his conservative political views. He produced, directed and starred in The Alamo (1960) and The Green Berets (1968), both of which reflected his patriotic, conservative leanings. In 1969, he won an Oscar for his role as a drunken, one-eyed federal marshal named Rooster Cogburn in True Grit. Wayne’s last film was The Shootist (1976), in which he played a legendary gunslinger dying of cancer. The role had particular meaning, as the actor was fighting the disease in real life.

During four decades of acting, Wayne, with his trademark drawl and good looks, appeared in over 250 films. He was married three times and had seven children.

The Baby Snooks Show


The Mail Must Go Through

By Melanie Hennings for Yesteryear

Exactly 150 years ago, a mail company called the Pony Express was born. Created by Alexander Majors, William B. Waddell and William H. Russell, April 3, 1860, was the day it officially began with one rider headed east to St. Joseph, Missouri, and one rider headed west to Sacramento, California. The Pony Express was the fastest means of east-west communication and ran strong for eighteen months. On Oct. 24, 1861, however, the transcontinental telegraph reached Salt Lake City, Utah. It connected Omaha, Nebraska, to Sacramento, California, and the Pony Express was no longer the fastest way to communicate. The company made its final run Oct. 26, 1861.

The Pony Express trail stretched across eight states and was approximately 1,966 miles long. It took an average of ten days for St. Joseph mail to get to Sacramento, or vice verse. Scattered along the trail were 190 stations, anywhere from ten to twelve miles apart. At the stations were fresh horses for the riders and a place to stay after they had ridden their 75- to 100-mile section of the trail.

The riders carried mail year-round. Day and night, no matter the weather, the mail had to go through safely and on time. Riding for the Pony Express was not easy, but the pay was good. At a rate of $25 per week, the position caught the eye of many men, but there was one stipulation: A rider had to weigh 125 pounds or less. If a man met this standard, he took an oath of conduct, was given a small bible and sent out to ride.

One such man was Amos “Mose” Wright. He was born Jan. 11, 1840 in Exeter, Illinois, and at age ten, he and his family walked across the plains to Utah. There he served The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints faithfully on several missions to the Indians before he started riding for the Pony Express. During his employment, he rode different sections of the 500-mile stretch between Salt Lake City, Utah, and Carson City, Nevada.

Amos was an adventurous and determined man. While working for the “Pony,” the superintendent of the line from Salt Lake to Carson City and Amos’ boss Major Howard Egan bought a pair of valuable mules. Shortly after, his mules were stolen. It is said that Amos was given leave to go and retrieve them from a ranch in the Sierra-Nevada Mountains. According to this account, he lay in a bunch of bushes one evening waiting for the mules to come to water, then he roped one and rode off bareback with the other mule following. He never stopped for the next 250 miles except to switch from one mule to the other. Afterward, he rested in the day and traveled by night until he reached Salt Lake — and a very happy Major Egan. When he was asked why he made haste the first 250 miles, he said, “I didn’t have time to stop until I got a safe distance from that watering place.”

After the Pony Express, Amos got married. In 1865 he moved to Bennington, Idaho, in the Bear Lake Valley. There he continued to live an adventurous life helping the Indians, faithfully serving his religion, and participating in political affairs until he died Feb. 24, 1915.

In honor of the Pony Express and Amos “Mose” Wright, a 150th celebration will be held in Montpelier at the National Oregon/California Trail Center, in conjunction with the debut of the traveling Smithsonian exhibit “Journey Stories” and a living history fair outside the museum.


The Pony Express ride will leave the Trail Center parking lot in Montpelier at 10:30 a.m. on July 23 and head to Paris, Idaho. The mail will be official U.S. Mail and will be handed off to a new rider every mile. On July 24 the Pony riders will leave the Paris Post Office at 8 a.m. and ride back to the Trail Center in Montpelier. The public can watch the last rider come in between 10:30 and 11 a.m. Local riders, members from the Montana chapter of the Bunkhouse Outlaws and a direct descendant of Amos “Mose” Wright will carry the mail.

The living history fair will consist of live re-enactors doing hands-on workshops for the public. The public is welcome to “journey through time” at the living history fair after or before exploring the Smithsonian exhibit inside the museum. For more information regarding the weekend of July 23 and 24, its events, and the traveling Smithsonian exhibit, please visit or call toll free at 1-866-847-3800.

Thanks to YesterYear
In 1905, eleven-year-old Frank Epperson left a cup filled with powdered soda, water, and a stirring stick on his San Francisco porch. That night, low temperatures caused the mixture to freeze — and a summertime staple was born. Today, two billion Popsicles are sold every year.

1923: Epperson debuts his "Epsicle" at an Alameda, California, park. His children, who call the creation Pop's 'sicle, persuade him to change the name. Two years later, Epperson partners with the Joe Lowe Company of New York, which distributes the treats around the country.

1939: The brand introduces its mascot, a boy dubbed Popsicle Pete, who appears in ads for the next five decades.

1986: The company retires its two-stick variety (first sold during the Great Depression for a nickel) on the advice of moms, who deem it too messy.

2010 Popsicle — now owned by Unilever and made at plants in Nevada, Maryland, and Missouri — releases new Jolly Rancher — flavored pops, but classic cherry still ranks as the most popular.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Fabulous 50's Vintage Candy-A Blast From The Past!

Fabulous 50's Vintage Candy - Candy From The 50's

Take a walk down memory lane with all your favorite candies from the 50's Candy buttons, Mary Janes,Marshmallow Cones, Kits, BB Bats,Slap Stix Suckers just to name a few. Planning a 50's party, we can help. We have all your favorite Nostalgic Candy to make your party guests remember when.

The 50s were a great era, it was a time of happiness, individuality,and plain old fun. The fabulous fifties recaptures a time of the good ole days, when things seemed simpler and times were good.