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Category: History

Required Reading for Black History Month: Streetcar to Justice

One hundred years before Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat on a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, a black schoolteacher named Elizabeth Jennings was violently removed from a segregated streetcar in Manhattan, setting into motion a major civil rights court case in New York City. The story, famous in its day, was all-but-forgotten until HarperCollins published a new book, Streetcar to Justice: How Elizabeth Jennings Won the Right to Ride in New York. The author of the book, Peabody Award-winning journalist Amy Hill Hearth, researched the topic for more than twenty years. Hearth wrote the book, which is...

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Chocolate for Valentine’s Day: The Food of Love?

Shakespeare suggested that music was the food of love, but judging by the tens of thousands of heart-shaped boxes presented to wives and sweethearts on Valentine’s Day, that honor should be shared with chocolate. Not only is chocolate delicious, it has been celebrated as a food that holds the promise of significant health benefits similar to those in red wine and green tea. Like wine and green tea, cocoa beans are rich in flavonoids–phytochemicals (plant compounds) with powerful antioxidant properties. While the research on chocolate’s benefits may be relatively new, it has had a long and distinguished history. Ancient...

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Island Time, Ohio style

Most people, even residents of the Midwest, are incredulous when they hear there are islands in Ohio, I was born and raised in Chicago and I’m embarrassed to admit I knew nothing of their existence. I had to look at a map for proof, but it wasn’t until I actually visited the area that my doubts were dispelled. Known as the Lake Erie Islands, these bodies of land are clustered together in the lake’s western basin, north of Ohio’s mainland. Easily accessible from the metropolitan centers of Cleveland, Columbus and Toledo, they’re regarded as the Jersey Shores of the...

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Unknown Titanic of the Pacific

“For God’s sake, hurry. The water is coming into my room!” (One of the last dispatches from the telegraph operator aboard the Princess Sophia.) S.S. Princess Sophia The steamship SS Princess Sophia was a steel-built coastal passenger liner in the coastal service fleet of the Canadian Pacific Steamship Line. Built in 1911, the vessel was known as a coastal class “pocket liner.” Named after Princess Sophia, granddaughter of Queen Victoria and daughter of Emperor Frederick III of Germany, the ship entered service in 1912 and plied the coastline of British Columbia from Vancouver and Victoria up to Skagway, Alaska as a...

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Rozvadov – The Spiritual Home Of Poker

No one can be sure when gambling first started. It is just known that the ancient Greeks, the Romans, and the Chinese have played games of chance for centuries. In China, evidence has been found of gambling dating back as far as 2300 BC, and in Egypt, dice dating back to 1500 BC have been discovered. Most gambling took place covertly in gambling dens or in the back rooms of saloons, and there was not anywhere designated for this pastime until 1638. Then the local council in Venice opened a building for trouble-free gambling during the carnival season. The...

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16 UK Pubs That Changed History

There are many reasons to love the Great British pub: good beer, silly jokes and comforting snacks. Our favourite establishments have been graced by the presence of many famous faces over the years. Well-known names have stopped for refreshments, whilst others used pubs as a setting for planning their devious schemes. The Star Tavern in Belgravia, London, is one such place. The gang behind the Great Train Robbery used to meet here while planning their daring heist. It seems they were as attracted by the pub’s semi-glamorous clienteleas by the privacy! Lucien Freud, Diana Dors, and Bing Crosby were...

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Glamorous Old Hollywood Tour

In the 1910s people flocked to Hollywood, CA to find fame, fortune and success. It was similar to the 1840s Gold Rush when people from all over streamed into San Francisco to get rich panning for gold. “Unfortunately, there were too many people coming into Hollywood and not enough movies being made to accommodate all the people,” said our stylish tour guide April Brooks Clemmer, while enjoying an Old Hollywood Walking Tour. We learned from Clemmer that some of the first founders of Hollywood were H. J. Whitley and H. H. and Daeida Wilcox. They bought land and built beautiful...

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Historically Inspired Modern Luxury Lamps

Lamps are a necessity that often intrigue me. When I see one that is interesting, I’ll frequently do a double take. When I saw the handcrafted iconic historically inspired table lamps from Pendulux, that combine functionality and modern luxury, I was really taken. An elegant tabletop or desk space is often a dream. More often than not, at least for me, the surface becomes a “function-only” zone. At one point, I had a glass table so I would be sure to clean my desk before leaving town. Now I have a beautiful desk in dire need of help. These...

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Celebrating St. Patrick

On March 17th, it seems as if the whole world is Irish, with parades, fireworks and other celebrations throughout North America, Europe, Asia, South America, Australia, the Caribbean and beyond. However, it is Ireland that throws the world’s most important party, a four-day festival this year, featuring carnival-style parades, concerts, visual arts and dance events, outdoor theater, exhibitions and even a treasure hunt. Yet though the day is known for revelry, merrymaking and drinking, it began as a solemn religious holiday marking the death of Ireland’s patron saint. Patrick, whose given name was Maewyn, was born in Wales about...

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USA Wins the 30th Bocuse d’Or

Thirty years ago in 1987, Paul Bocuse created what is considered to be the most prestigious cooking competition in the world. There are twenty-four countries that are fortunate to make it to participate in the grand finale of the Bocuse d’Or, which is at the heart of the Sirha trade exhibition. These young chefs are some of the most promising in the world and experiencing two days of intense competition. They had to first earn their qualifications via various continental events (Bocuse d’Or Europe, Bocuse d’Or Asia Pacific and Bocuse d’Or Latin America), individual qualifications, or attributed one of...

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Boston Tea Party: December 16, 2016

Historic 243rd Anniversary Boston is gearing up to celebrate the 243rd Boston Tea Party Anniversary and Annual Reenactment on December 16, with actual tea from London to be thrown into Boston Harbor!  This event only happens once a year. London’s East India Company, the same company from which the original tea came that was thrown into Boston Harbor during The Boston Tea Party in 1773, is shipping from London 220 pounds of expired loose tea to be again thrown into Boston Harbor. On December 16, 1773, more than 5,000 colonists met at Old South Meeting House to decide the...

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