Between 1760 and 1800
occurred one of the most significant events in the history of the United
States; The American Revolution (Allison 2011). During this time, the American
people shook free of British control and started their own independent
government. Although much has changed since then, it was the start of what we
now call our nation.
The photo was taken by Martha Swope and the article was written on January 4, 1982 in New York, NY.
Dreamgirls was a Broadway show that premiered on December 20, 1981. In 1982, the show would go on to earn 13 nominations, winning six of them. The original cast starred Loretta Devine, Jennifer Holliday, Sheryll Lee Ralph and Cleavant Derricks. (Dekic and Cox 2013). The musical, which takes many elements of the stardom of the Supremes, is much more than just catchy tunes.
The Big Boy was the biggest locomotive in the world in 1940, weighing 560 tons and going up to 80 mph (“Big Boy No. 4014”, n.d.). Before the 1940’s the railroads in America were struggling to move large freights over the mountains and treacherous landscapes throughout the United States. Then in 1940, the Union Pacific gathered mechanical engineers and teamed them up with the American Locomotive Company to build one of the world’s largest steam locomotives. The name of this new locomotive was the Big Boy (Franz 2018). Providing jobs was one of the main benefits of the railroad. Jobs ranged from unskilled freight handlers to engineers. Unfortunately, the jobs tended to segregate the workers due to their ethnicity. The majority of the engineers were American or native-born men, while immigrants were used to build the trains and tracks. Even among the immigrants there were separations and classifications depending on where they came from. At first, Chinese, Irish and Italian immigrants were used for the most brutal work. Then in the 1900’s Romanian and Mexican immigrants as well as African Americans became the primary day laborers on the railroad (Thale 2005).
Women, no matter where we are in
history, and how little agency we are given, will always find a way to drive
social reform, and in few places is this ability to persevere, to create agency
rather than to wait to be given it, shown as well as in the women’s clubs
movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Women’s
clubs, such as Jane Cunningham Croly’s Sorosis,
which formed the origin of the Federation of Women’s Clubs, were first borne
out of consternation at exclusion (Scheer, 2002). These clubs were originally
literary clubs, full of predominantly upper- and middle-class women, but as the
concept grew, and spread across the country, the purpose bloomed into a vehicle
for social reform. As well – as perhaps somewhat of an ironic legacy of Sorosis
– these clubs were often unpopular, or merely tolerated by men, while women
flocked to them in droves, driven by the prospect of social life and work.
Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein II wrote many successful Broadway plays in the 1940s and 1950s, including The King and I, South Pacific, Oklahoma!, and Carousel. Their first musical, Oklahoma!, debuted in 1943 and ran for an unprecedented 2,212 performances – 5 years and 9 months. This was a record that it held for 15 years (Stavropoulos 2019). These four plays share some common societal elements such as marginalization and interracial relationships, but their first musical, Oklahoma!, introduces other disturbing themes. What might seem on the surface to be a lighthearted musical about simple people negotiating their relationship dilemmas, all the while engaging in snazzy dance routines and singing now timeless classic songs, it is in reality a much more complex look at the early American west (Indian Territory) during the Depression.
On May 26, 1827, Edgar Allan Poe, under the alias of Edgar A. Perry, enlisted as a private in the United States Army (Howard 2003, 55). Thus began a curious, lesser known, chapter in the life of one of America’s greatest writers. In less than a year, serving in the 1st Artillery Regiment, Poe was promoted to the unit’s artificer. As artificer, “both officers and gun crews relied on him to craft the artillery bombs properly and oversee the ammunition supply for the battery” (Hecker 2005, xxxiv). Within seven months, Poe would be selected “from the regiments nearly 500 authorized enlisted men to become” (Howard 2003, 56) sergeant major.
In 1949, at a time when few women worked outside of the home, let alone were politicians, Edith Welty became the first female mayor of Yonkers, NY. She remains the only one the city has had since its founding, over a century ago.
In 1885, Samuel Clemens published The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn under the pen name, Mark Twain. The original manuscript resides at the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library where visitors are allowed to view it in the Mark Twain Room.
It is not exactly known when the manuscript was published, but in November of 1885, the manuscript arrived in Buffalo, NY. It was addressed to the Young Men’s Association which would eventually become the Buffalo and Erie County Public Library. Sent from Hartford, Connecticut the package only contained “approximately half the manuscript (487 leaves) of the recently published and controversial novel” (BECPL, n.d.). The two halves wouldn’t be reunited again until more than a hundred years later. On July 28, 1992 the second half of the manuscript finally came home (BECPL, n.d.).
World War I, canning became a way to help the war effort at home. Canning was
seen as a patriotic practice during wartime and led those in the United States
to believe that it would help ensure an Allied victory due to posters that were
being printed (Sullivan, n.d.).
Church was founded in 1826 as the first organization for the
Disciples of Christ located in Caroline County; it is described as
“rather small” but with approximately a 100 living members at the
time of survey (Farmer and George 1937, 1). The survey conducted by
Farmer and George (1937) describes the current church members as
being a prominent part of the community providing a list of names.
Yet, that is all that is known about those members. Without existing
church records there is no supplemental information is available
(i.e. marriages, deaths). The records from the churches are a vital
source of social information that can increase the available
knowledge to the public that might be lacking otherwise (Olson 1942).
However, the records from Emmaus Christian Church were destroyed in
1864 during the Civil War (Collins, n.d.).