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N.Y. Court Ruled That Women Can Smoke in Public
(Hearst's Sunday American, 1917)


A brief notice from 1917 reported on the arrest of three women for smoking in the Times Square subway station in New York City.

When the socially astute, forward-thinking judge recognized that no real crime had been committed they were released, but in the high fashion world feminine tobacco abuse, these women are often said to be the Rosa Parks of nicotine:

Mary Driscoll, Edna Stanley and Elsie Peterson

let their names live ever more!

Click here to read about feminine conversations overheard in the best New York bathrooms of 1937.


The Mid-Century Look in Fashion (Pathfinder Magazine, 1950)

"Hair as short as a boy's and feathered into wisps about the face... Accented waist... Long slim look... Spread-eagle effect about the shoulders obtained by deep armholes, bloused backs, big collars or little capes... Mostly narrow skirts but still plenty of full ones."

- so begins the attached two page Spring fashion review that was torn from the Women's Page of the January 25, 1950 issue of PATHFINDER MAGAZINE. Judging from the six photographs that illustrate the column, Christian Dior continued call the tunes that other fashion designers had to dance to if they expected to attract a following. The New York designers whose efforts were singled out for praise were Lilly Daché, Hattie Carnegie, Ben Reig, Ceil Chapman and Vera Jacobs of Capri Originals.

More about 1950s hairstyles can be read here...


Anything for the Smoking Doughboys (America's Munitions, 1919)

Cigarette smoking was far more prevalent in the United States after the First World War than it was in earlier days; this is largely due to the free cigarettes that were widely distributed among the nations soldiers, sailors and Marines during that conflict - and this is the subject of the attached article. It was written by Benedict Crowell (1869 - 1952), who served as both the Assistant Secretary of War and Director of Munitions between 1918 and 1920 - and although his column informs us that numerous tobacco products were dispersed throughout the ranks on a seemingly biblical scale, he does not touch upon the tragic topic of the addictions that soon followed (contrary to popular belief, the American medical establishment had their suspicions about tobacco long before the war).

"Probably 95% of of the soldiers of the American Expeditionary Forces used it in one form or another. In May of 1918 it was decided... to allow each soldier a certain amount of tobacco per day... The daily ration of four-tenths of an ounce was given to every man overseas who desired it. The soldier had the choice of cigarettes, smoking tobacco or chewing tobacco."

Click here to read about the A.E.F. love for candy...




Cold War Politics and People of Color (Pageant Magazine, 1959)

This well-illustrated article appeared in a middle class American magazine in 1959; it reported on the rising international sentiments that indicated to the dominate Western power structure that the old racial politics of the majority white nations had to change.

"After 400 years of domination by the white world, black, yellow and brown peoples are engaged in a great struggle for freedom. The struggle makes the Cold War between the West and Communism seem almost provincial."

The Department of State hated it when Radio Moscow would depict Americans as simply a bunch of "lynch-happy bigots"...




Why Is God So Silent? (Jesus People, 1973)

Frederic W. Farrar (1831 - 1903), Dean of Canterbury Cathedral during the last eight years of the Victorian era saw fit to examine God's silence and seeming indifference while humanity struggles:

"Look at all the myriads of mankind who have lived only as the beast live, and have died as the fool dies".

"God makes no ado. He does not defend Himself. He suffers men to blaspheme. His enemies make a murmuring but he refrains. And much of what is said is awfully true - for those who utter it. To men, to nations, God is silent; there is no God. Their ears are closed so that they cannot hear. They who love the darkness have it. To those who will not listen, God does not speak."


The Two Lincoln Inaugurations (Inaugural Program, 1949)

Callously torn from the binding of the 1949 inaugural program were these pithy paragraphs describing the somber moods of both Lincoln inaugurals. The anonymous author noted that

"when Lincoln delivered his Inaugural Address, four future Presidents of the United States stood on the platform near him: Hayes, Garfield, Arthur and Benjamin Harrison."

To read the text of Lincoln's Second Inaugural Address, click here .


FDR: The First One Hundred Days in Office (Literary Digest, 1933)

Here are the "Chief accomplishments of the special Session of the 73rd Congress, March 9 - June 16, 1933"

These fifteen pieces of legislation were called "the Honeymoon Bills" - his critics pointed out that not one of them originated in Congress and added to their argument that Congress had been marginalized during the earliest period of his presidency.

FDR's critics had a thing or two to say about the first year of "The New Deal"...




F. Scott Fitzgerald at Twenty-Five (The American Magazine, 1922)

At the peak of his fame, F. Scott Fitzgerald penned this opinion piece for a popular U.S. magazine:

"For one thing, I do not like old people - They are always talking about their "experience," and very few of them have any! - But it is the old folks that run the world; so they try to hide the fact that only young people are attractive or important."


The Age of Disillusionment in Literature (Atlantic Monthly, 1923)

Not long after the Great War reached an end, literary critic Helen McAfee found that she had a good deal to say concerning the books of that war and the new spirit in literature that that had been created:

"The last five years have seen an acute spiritual deflation. Most of us who had not been previously so affected were swept off our feet by the terrible spring of 1918 into an apocalyptic state in which an intense idealism mounted to meet the tragedy of the last great Allied retreat."

If you would like to read another 1920s article about the disillusioned post-war spirit, click here.

Click here to read a 1916 article about life
on the German home front.




New York Exhibit for Le Corbusier (Art Digest, 1946)

A brief art review from 1946 announcing an exhibition of paintings, drawings, photographs, architectural plans and models by the modern architect Le Corbusier (né Charles-Édouard Jeanneret-Gris, 1887 – 1965) at the Mezzanine Gallery in Rockefeller Center.

"Along with Ozenfant, Le Corbusier invented Purism. The earliest painting in the collection, and the only one of that period (1920), which is familiar to art audiences as part of the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art."


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