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Home Front Teen Slang (Yank Magazine, 1945)

A 1945 Yank Magazine article concerning American teen culture on the W.W. II home front in which the journalist/anthropologist paid particular attention to the teen-age slang of the day.

"Some of today's teenagers ---pleasantly not many --- talk the strange new language of "sling swing." In this bright lexicon of the good citizens of tomorrow, a girl with sex appeal is an "able Grable" or a "ready Hedy." A pretty girl is "whistle bait." A boy whose mug and muscles appeal to the girls is a "mellow man," a "hunk of heart break" or a "glad lad."

To read about one of the fashion legacies of W.W. II, click here...

50,000 Klansmen March in Washington, D.C. (Literary Digest, 1925)

A report on the August, 1925 KKK march in Washington, D.C.:
"The parade itself marshaled 'from 50,000 to 60,000 white-robed men and women' as the correspondent of the The New York Times estimates, and H.L. Mencken tells us in the New York Sun":

"The Klan put it all over its enemies. The parade was grander and gaudier, by far than anything the wizards had prophesied. It was longer, it was thicker, it was higher in tone. I stood in front of the treasury for two hours watching the legions pass. They marched in lines of eighteen or twenty, solidly shoulder to shoulder. I retired for refreshment and was gone an hour. When I got back Pennsylvania Avenue was still a mass of white from the Treasury down to the foot of Capitol Hill - a full mile of Klansmen..."

Click here to learn about the origins of the term "Jim Crow".

Trying to Understand Learning Disabilities (Pathfinder Magazine, 1937)

The kids who are discussed in this article would be called "LD" today - you don't want to know how they were referred to in the early Twenties. Back then there were no Federally-funded commissions thronging with sympathetic PhD candidates to ramble on about "convergence issues", "processing concerns", "the-classroom-learning-environment" and the "Learning Disabled". There were only frustrated kids, frustrated teachers and broken-hearted parents. This 1937 news article reports on the pioneering teachers at Seward Park High School in New York City and the earliest attempts to address the needs of students who suffered from language processing disorders, dyscalculia, dyslexia, dysgraphia and America's favorite - good ol' ADHD.

Miscegenation (Time Magazine, 1923)

The Crackers of old hated miscegenation (i.e.race-mixing). Sadly, they seemed to have removed the concept of love from the equation - and happily this article reminds us that not everyone felt the same way in 1923. The attached column concerns U.S. Senator Arthur Capper (1865 1951) and all the hot water he got into when he sponsored a bill that would have, among other things, criminalized race-mixing.

Mahatma Gandhi on Prayer (Liberty Magazine, 1941)

"I am a firm believer in prayer. Of all things, it has been the most important to me in my life, the surest staff on which I lean. It is my advice to any who come to me in confusion or weakness or with a problem that is driving them to despair. For I believe that it has not only a spiritual but also a concrete, practical value."

Disaster at the Bay of Pigs (Sir! Magazine, 1962)

"The fiasco at the Bay of Pigs, began ten months earlier on a hot June [1960] morning in room 125 of the plush Commodore Hotel in midtown Manhattan. It was born in the classical fashion of the cloak and dagger intrigue. Five prominent former residents of Cuba, all anti-Castro and untainted by former dictator Batista, were instructed to arrive at the Commodore separately. There they were confronted by Roy Bender, a high-ranking agent of the CIA."

Why the Japanese Didn't take Prisoners (Liberty Magazine, 1942)

Hallett Abend (1884 - 1955) was an American journalist who lived in China for fifteen years. He covered the Sino-Japanese War during its early years and had seen first-hand the beastly vulgarity of the Japanese Army. After Pearl Harbor, the editor at Liberty turned to him in hopes that he would explain to the American reading public what kind of enemy they were fighting:

"In four and a half years of warfare [in China], the Japanese have taken almost no prisoners... Chinese prisoners of war are shot."

''Making the Immigrant Unwelcome'' (Literary Digest, 1921)

To read this 100-year-old article is to understand that the inhumane conditions of today's alien detention centers on the Southwest border are a part of a larger continuum in American history. This article addressed the atrocious conditions and brutality that was the norm on Ellis Island in the Twenties.

"But it is not the stupidity of the literacy test alone that is to be condemned. It is its inhumanity."

A Bewildering American Phenomenon (Scribner's Magazine, 1937)

This well-read writer recalls the great novels leading up to the publication of Gone With The Wind (1936). Along the way, she lists some of the many foibles of The Great American Reading Public - in the end she recognizes that she shouldn't have been surprised at all that the historic romance was an all-time-best-seller and that Margaret Mitchell was awarded a Pulitzer.

The Backdrop of the Harlem Renaissance (The Independent, 1921)

The excitement that was 1920's Harlem can clearly be felt in this article by the journalist and Congregational minister, Rollin Lynde Hartt:

"Greatest Negro city in the world, it boasts magnificent Negro churches, luxurious Negro apartment houses, vast Negro wealth, and a Negro population of 130,000..."

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