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The Revolution in 1920s Fashion (Saturday Review of Literature, 1925)

A clever observer of the passing scene typed these words about the social revolution that he had been witnessing for the past six years:

"Tight-laced corsets, high collars, innumerable layers of petticoats, and what not else, may have (problematically) made the female form a thing of attractive mystery, but they made the average female herself very inapt for the action, which she was beginning to claim the right to, of leaping on moving omnibuses. In those dark ages before the war women's fashions changed from year to year, but generally speaking at the dress-makers word of command...The first short skirt sounded the knell of his dictatorship, and since then womanhood has never looked back...I say again that [today's fashion] is a phenomenon which the social historian appears to be passing over. We do not realize that a tradition of centuries has within a decade been stood its head..."

Click here to read about the fashion coup of 1922.


The Interior Design of the ''Hindenburg'' (Creative Art Magazine, 1937)

This article from a 1937 issue of THE MAGAZINE OF ART addressed the over-all aesthetic appeal of the "Hindenburg". Written by Blanche Naylor, no stranger to all matters involving industrial design of the Thirties and Forties, the article goes into some detail as to the color scheme, upholstery, paintings and the names of the assorted German designers responsible for the beauty of the air-ship. The article is accompanied by seven photographs and one diagram of the public rooms accessible to the "Hindenburg" passenger's.


Alternative Lyrics for the National Anthem (Pathfinder, 1941)

Do you fail to recall the words to our national anthem time and again? You're not alone - a quick glance at Google's records indicate that in the silence of their rooms, thousands of your fellow Americans suffer from the same malady (and smirk at others who make their memory loss public). To say that the Americans of today are not as patriotic as they used to be is an understatement to be sure - but some of you will no doubt be relieved to know that the Americans of yore, vintage 1941, didn't know the lyrics to The Star Spangled Banner any better than we do - as you can tell by the attached verses which were penned over seventy years ago about his fellow Americans and their inability to keep the words of Francis Scott Key in their heads.


A Southern View of Integration (Pageant Magazine, 1959)

In this 1959 article Alabama wordsmith Wyatt Blasingame did his level-headed best to explain the sluggish reasoning that made up the opinions of his friends and neighbors as to why racial integration of the nation's schools was a poor idea. He observed that even the proudest Southerner could freely recognize that African-Americans were ill-served by the existing school system and that they were due for some sort of an upgrade - they simply wished it wouldn't happen quite so quickly. The journalist spent a good deal of column space explaining that there existed among the Whites of Dixie a deep and abiding paranoia over interracial marriage.

Their line of thinking seems terribly alien to us, but, be assured, Southern white reasoning has come a long way since 1923...




Karl Marx Reviewed (NY Times, 1887)

To be sure, the book review of Das Kapital by Karl Marx that appeared in the NEW YORK TIMES in 1887 was very different from the review that same paper would give that book today. For this reviewer, Marx was one of the "advocates of chaos", and a "militant political economist":

"If he is anything, Karl Marx is a man in a towering rage. His paragraphs are replete with kicks and cuffs. He wants to slap your face if you are a bourgeois; to smash your skull if you are a capitalist."


The Okies and the Dust Bowl (Ken Magazine, 1938)

"The other half of California's 200,000 migratory workers are farmers who trekked from the dust bowl area; they found work on farms, but not farming; it's seasonal piecework, like in a mill. Each Oklahoma nomad dreams of a cottage and a cow, but he's just sitting on a barbed wire fence. With the publicity over, the government has forgotten the dust bowl refugees. At Depression depth, a man might make $8 a week; now, $5 is lucky. They are the bitterest folk in America; blood may flow..."

Click here if you would like to read a 1940 article about the the finest movie to ever document the flight of the Okies: "The Grapes of Wrath".


The Birth of Airline Food (Coronet Magazine, 1945)

"Newton Wilson, a modest, quiet, somewhat academic man who never leaps before he looks through, in and around a situation, became the 20th Century innovator of precise recipes; a sort of Fanny Farmer of flying."

Click here to read about the earliest airline stewardesses...




Eating Dogs (Literary Digest, 1897)

This article originally appeared in a French magazine and it lists numerous cultures, both ancient and modern, that eat dogs regularly:

"We do not know the edible dog or the edible cat, in France, and probably since the siege they have been little served (openly at least) on the tables of Paris restaurants. At Peking, and throughout China, there is no dainty repast without its filet or leg of dog; the cat is rather a dish of the poorer classes."


Spiritual Warfare (Newsweek Magazine, 1942)

For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. - Ephesians 6:12

For the believers in this world, it is very easy to see World War II as a spiritual conflict waged against the righteous by the evil forces of darkness. The atheist Nazis were truly having their way with the lukewarm Christians who filled the ranks of the European Armies - up until the arrival of a particular North American army whose motto is "In God We Trust". Even to this day, the U.S. Military holds the record as having built more chapels than any other institution (every base, fort and naval installation had one). This article reports that the U.S.Army did not simply deliver weaponry to our Chinese allies, they delivered millions of Bibles, too.


American Weed Goes to War (Newsweek Magazine, 1943)

With the loss of Asian sources for rope fiber, the Department of Agriculture requested American farmers harvest marijuana to make up for the dearth.

Some years earlier (and later), weed was a nuisance to society; click here to read about it...


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