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Category: american history

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…

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…

An Open Letter From Your Refrigerator

Hello. It’s me, your refrigerator. We need to talk. Every day I’m working hard to keep things cold, while simultaneously trying to look attractive in your kitchen. (Which if I might add, is not always neat and often smells like bacon grease.) ¬†Well, I’m here to tell you I’m really not feeling the love. I have needs too you know. I mean, would it be so hard…

Corsets Smorsets: Take Your Tradition And Shove It!

Are you the guardian of any traditions? Perhaps you have a recipe or two handed down from a grandmother or great-grandmother. Things like that make us feel connected to our past, don’t they? We can imagine grandma’s weathered hands as she stood by the counter in her apron, happily mixing away. Then there was the fun of sharing the meal that came out of her labor. I think we&#8217…

Washing Gold Mountain: Chinese Hand Laundries in the mid 1800’s

  Imagine a mountain made of gold: would you go there despite having to leave your country, your wife, your children? Would you be willing to undertake the trials and hardships that you knew awaited you? If you said yes, you’re not alone, because that’s exactly what many people did in the mid 1800’s. It was the beginning of the California gold rush, and many Chinese men went to…