The Year was 1441

O tannenbaum, o tannenbaum… We know this is Oh Christmas Tree, oh Christmas tree…and in fact the Christmas tree comes from early German Protestant celebrations of Christmas. But where did the Lutherans get this idea of decorating greenery in the middle of winter? The Vikings made green bows part of their celebration of mid-winter, perhaps…

The Year was 2018

A lot of companies are receiving huge tax breaks. Apple – $100 billion Cisco – $25 billion Wells Fargo – $22.6 billion Pepsi – $15 billion* Many more are receiving $10 million or less. What are they doing with this money? The lion’s share will go to stock buybacks and dividends to stockholders. A very…

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 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 1896

What is May Irwin famous for? The very first kiss every filmed. May Irwin was born in Canada and named Georgina May Campbell. When she was 13, her father died. Her mother, in need of money to support herself and her two daughters, Adeline and Georgia, had them do a vaudeville act as “The Irwin…

The Year was 1906

I used to be Snow White but I drifted. Mae West The daughter of a corset model, little Mae was on a vaudeville stage by the time she was five. At 13, billed as the Baby Vamp, she was doing the new dance, the shimmy, to packed houses in New York City. Decades ahead of…

The Year was 2012

  It was Labor Day weekend. Jo Ann and Tom, true loves who had found each other later in life, were having a romantic end of summer weekend with their some of their best friends at one of the favorite places, Block Island, a small, laid back out-of-the-way place just off the coast of Rhode…