The Year was 1924

The first woman to be elected governor of state in U.S. history was Nellie Tayloe Ross. Her husband was elected governor of Wyoming but died in office about a year later from complications after having had his appendix removed. By law, the Secretary of State succeeded him as governor. Nellie decided to run for office…

The Year was A Date Lost in Antiquity

It was a pagan holiday. Now, the first day of November is called All Soul’s Day. According to various religions, this is the day to pray for the dead. In the Roman Catholic Church tradition, those who have gone to Heaven are Saints. Those who still have a chance to get into Heaven, who have…

The Year was 1969

You have seen him on TV. Maybe thousands of times. He has done more than 4,000 shows. But you would not recognize him. If he was introduced to you, you would not recognize his name. It is Caroll Spinney. He just retired this week as, yes, Big Bird. Caroll met fellow puppeteer Jim Henson at…

The Year was 1618

It was 400 years ago almost to the day (Oct. 29, 1618) that Sir Water Raleigh joked, “This is sharp medicine indeed.” He was talking about an axe. Raleigh had done the impossible – born a commoner, he had been knighted. In Elizabethan England, Raleigh did it with daring, intelligence, talent, and not the least,…

The Year was 1942

That year, 22-year-old Eddie Slovik fell in love and changed his life. Born in Detroit, Eddie was a tough kid in a tough city. At 12, he quit school and got a job in a store. For helping himself to his boss’s gum, he spent a year in jail. Two years later, Eddie and some…

The Year was 1983

After nearly choking to death as a child, Tennessee Williams had a fear of dying in that way, Tennessee was a brilliant publicist – his own.  His name was not Tennessee. And he was not even born in Tennessee. But those lies were necessary for him to be eligible to enter a playwriting contest. So…

The Year was 800

It was a power struggle. Who was the most powerful man in their world? Pope Leo III? Or Charlemagne? The Pope, to keep his position as head of the world, said he would crown Charlemagne emperor. Charlemagne, believing himself to be the head of the world, said no way. Charlemagne was tall, maybe as tall…

The Year was 1998

Someone else’s mistake eventually thrust Patricia Hunt into the spotlight. It was something the research geneticist never wanted – and certainly never expected. The result of the mistake is something we all know and are concerned about and has changed an entire world-wide industry. Hunt, with a PhD in reproductive biology from the University of…

The Year was 1171 [maybe]

Until that year, when he was nine, Temujin had a wonderful life. He was the oldest son of the chief. Then his father was poisoned. Temujin, his mother and his little brothers were kicked out of the tribe. It was a desperate existence. To stay alive, they ate rats. No surprise, Temujin grew into an…

The Year was 588

Khadijah was the daughter of an extremely successful caravan merchant. When she was 32, her father died and she inherited the business. Khadijah, now wealthy, received endless marriage proposals, but she had already buried two husbands. Not wanting to go through that a third time, she swore she would never marry again. A few years…