The Year was 1902

Will there be any little Sweetheart candy hearts for Valentine’s Day this year? No! The first Valentine candy heart with a saying was made by two brothers, Oliver and Silas Chase. They invented and patented a candy-making machine and were in business in 1847. One of them made a new machine that would stamp sayings…

The Year was 2018

What a park! Originally called Greensward, it is Central Park, New York City; 750 acres, commissioned by the New York State legislature in 1853. By 2017, it had everything – almost. To let people know where they were in the park, 21 gates were designated. To avoid competition, in 1862, the Board of Commissions decided…

The Year was 1582

Or was it 45 BC? Or 1752? Or 1929? Or… This was the year that January 1st became New Year’s Day. The first person to decree this was Julius Caesar in 45 BCE. He was disgusted with the mess the lunar calendar had created over time. And emperors weren’t averse to added or taking days…

The Year was 1955

Santa! Quick! Where is he??? NORAD knows? What? If you call this number, 877-HI-NORAD, someone will answer and give you an update. How did the military in the United States and Canada start this, now operated by some 1,500 military personnel and volunteers? They didn’t. In 1955, someone at Sears got a brilliant idea. Why…

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…