I found this at a used book sale. Originally copyrighted in 1874, this edition was printed in 1910. Wonderful, just wonderful.
On July 2, 1776, the Continental Congress voted to declare independence from Great Britain. That was the real American Independence Day. Two days later on July 4, 1776 they voted to approve the wording of the final draft copy of the Declaration of Independence.
Therefore, Independence Day is something of a misnomer for the fourth of July. On the second the founders committed treason. On the fourth they dotted the proverbial “I”.
Just a thought.
On March 30, 1937 a mass of Chicagoans numbering between one thousand and twenty-five hundred was stopped by two hundred and fifty members of the city’s police department. The violence that ensued would go down in history as, “[…] one of the most violent [episodes] in the history of U.S. labor organization.”
The workers of Republic Steel had been struggling to gain ground with mill owner Tom Girdler for over a year. U.S. Steel had recognized both the CIO (Committee for Industrial Organization), and SWOC (Steel Workers Organization Committee) in 1936. Republic Steel was holding out.
As part of their effort a large group of workers, as well as their families and conscientious community members, decided to form a picket line outside the factory gate on Chicago’s Southeast Side.
They never made it there.
Girdler had hired a veritable army of strikebreakers, including a large number of local police. Even Police Chief John Pendergast was under the employ of the mill. The company provided the police with headquarters inside its gates. They also fed three shifts of ninety officers each, with 38 in reserve. In a final astonishing act, this private firm armed their police cohort with tear gas and hatchet handles to accost the strikers. For their part, the police brought their own guns.
The protestors and police met at a field north of the factory gate. Protesters threw rocks and sticks. Police fired into the crowd.
Panic ensued. The crowd of strikers ran for their lives.
As workers fled, the police continued to fire and used tear gas and hatchet handles to assault anyone they could. The injured were refused medical attention, as the police dragged them behind their lines, isolating them from help.
In total 10 ten protestors were killed, and 90 were injured. Of those, 7 were shot in the back. There were 30 bullet wounds.
The coroner ruled the deaths as, “justifiable homicides,” and President Roosevelt unbelieveably condemned both sides.
A year later, the National Labor Relations Board thought otherwise. They found the company responsible for the strike. As a result, they forced Republic Steel to recognize the unions, rehire striking workers, and pay reparations for the death they had caused.
One has to ask: What would happen if these circumstances were repeated today?
Keyes, Jonathan J. “Encyclopedia of Chicago.” Accessed May 27, 2012. http://www.encyclopedia.chicagohistory.org/pages/810.html.
Doll, Susan. “Memorial Day massacre.” In Campell, Ballard C., Ph.D., gen. ed. Disasters, Accidents, and Crises in American History. New York: Facts On File, Inc., 2008. American History Online. Facts On File, Inc. http://www.fofweb.com/activelink2.asp? ItemID=WE52&iPin=DACH0129&SingleRecord=True (accessed May 27, 2012).
How can Americans have lost their way when New Jersey Transit can take you there for just a single zone fare?
Welch’s Grape Juice was originally a teetotaler’s dream, serving exclusively as a non-alcoholic, sacramental wine. That puts it squarely on my list of intriguingly repurposed items; right next to Kleenex’s make-up removal tissues.
First real-time digital computer developed in 1944 by MIT to aid the war effort. From MIT News:
In the years during and after World War II, MIT played a prominent role in developing technologies that helped the U.S. military defeat Nazi Germany and imperial Japan, and later in creating systems used to track aircraft during the Cold War. In the process, the Institute created the world’s first real-time digital computer and the first electronic navigation system — a forerunner of today’s GPS.
These pioneering developments were among those recognized Wednesday at the Boston-area dedications of three commemorative plaques from the IEEE recognizing the projects as “Milestones” in the field.
MIT’s Project Whirlwind computer, developed beginning in 1944 in a building at 211 Massachusetts Ave. in Cambridge, was the first computer ever to use magnetic-core memory — a system that went on to dominate the computer industry for two decades. It was also the first to use a CRT display to show its output, and the first that was fast enough to provide real-time computations, allowing it to be used to control an aircraft simulator for bomber pilots.
Awesome piece of technology history!
Housed at the Smithsonian, this is the hat that Lincoln wore to Ford’s Theater on the night of his assassination.
According to the Smithsonian:
Abraham Lincoln’s hat, while not marked, equates to a modern hat size of 7 1/8. It is made of silk fibers over a paper base and fabric lining, trimmed with a silk 3” grosgrain ribbon band (presumably a mourning band added after purchase) and a silk 3/8” ribbon with small metal buckle.