The Year was 1916

Thanks to Steve Ellis for this idea! Should we blame farmers? What about school bus drivers? No. For Daylight Savings Time, we must blame World War I. Making optimal use of daylight was an idea that was used even in ancient times. The Romans adjusted their water clocks for every month. In 1895, a New…

The Year was 1884

From 60 million buffalo in 1830 to 23 free-ranging animals in 1884 – 54 years. How did men accomplish this? They slaughtered and slaughtered and slaughtered. Some states and territories passed laws to try to save the American buffalo. Idaho in 1864. Too late. There wasn’t a single buffalo left in Idaho. In 1871, Wyoming…

The Year was 2019

What was the pin Nancy Pelosi was wearing during the State of the Union Address? It was a mace. So what is a mace? Way back when people weren’t the kind, thoughtful human beings we are today (!), men – and maybe women – settled their disagreements by clubbing each other over the head with…

The Year was 1095

They started in 1095 and ended in 1271, but the word we use today only came into existence after 1760. The word? Crusade. In 1570 France, it was croisade. It comes from the Latin cruciare, “to mark with a cross.” In this case, Cross. The Latin base is crux. At the Council of Clermont, Pope…

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 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 1873

Margaret was four and Emma was fourteen when the U.S. Congress passed Anthony Conmstock’s 1873 Comstock Law, the “Suppression of Trade in, and Circulation of, Obscene Literature and Articles of Immoral Use.” It would put both Emma and Margaret in jail. Both women ended up in New York City. Emma came from Russia and then…

The Year was 1917

This was the year the unthinkable happened – a woman ran for Congress. And won! The state was Montana and the woman was Republican Jeannette Rankin. Her achievement was monumental because she was a lobbyist for the suffrage movement. In fact, because she had pushed Montana to give women the vote in 1914, they could…

The Year was 2007

Both prime ministers met death at the hands of their countrymen. The astounding thing is that they were father and daughter. Zulfikar Ali Bhutto was born in the Raj of the British Commonwealth and went to college in California and then in England, where he studied law. In 1953, Bhutto married and Iranian beauty. Two…

The year was 1745

Sophie von Anhalt-Zerbst was supposed to change her language, her religion, and even her first name to be suitable for her prospective husband’s family. While he stayed in his rooms playing with his massive collection of tin soldier armies, Sophie, alone and friendless in her new country, was studying, often pacing her suite of rooms…