Roosevelt’s Picnic or When the King Ate Hotdogs

  In the twilight of the 1930’s President Franklin D. Roosevelt sat at his desk pondering the crisis in Europe. “Is this war to be, or not to be? But that’s really not the question. The question is; how do I convince America that England will need us? ” And so, the President sat, rapping his fingers on the wood of his desk while starring blankly at the stamp collection…

Shopping Through History: Wedding Rings

Ah June. It ‘s a time of singing birds, dancing pollen and loads of money spent on weddings. Of course for there to be a wedding there needs to first be a ring. There are loads of choices, but if you want something really cool, you better ask History. Option 1 Ancient Egypt: Eco-Friendly and Affordable About 5000 years ago rings made of braided hemp or reeds were all the rage. However, if…

The Island Whose History was Changed by a Nose

Ahh, the nose, the center of olfactory pleasure and pain. Raise it in defiance or wrinkle it in disgust. There’s the Roman nose and the hawk nose; the Nubian nose and the snub nose. Only once, however, did a nose change the course of history. Put your P.J.’s on and snuggle up, while I tell you the true tale (more or less) of Greeks, Arabs, and the island of Sicily…

The crazy connection between Spam and . . . Hobbits?

Surprise! SPAM is celebrating its birthday today! On May 11th, 1937, Hormel officially registered the trademark. And Guess what, JRR Tolkien published the Hobbit in September of that same year.  That means both are celebrating their 80th birthday! If only Tolkien had the foresight, he could have come up with something like this: “They distributed the packages as fairly as they could, though Bilbo thought his lot was wearisomely heavy, and did not at…

Turkish Delight: How Tulips Came to Holland

Sometimes, the things that shape history come in small packages. Take the tulip for example. The Dutch went crazy over them  causing a  tulip mania in the 1600’s. People bought and sold bulbs at prices beyond  all reason. It was a national obsession–until the market suddenly crashed faster than a blind tightrope walker during an earthquake. Forever after, however, the tulip has been synonymous with Holland. But…  Tulips Aren&#8217…