Welcome to Glewwe's Historical Archive

Do you remember?

Did you know?

January 7 1789 First Presidental election in the USA.  They voted for a electorial collage that selected George Washington to be the first President of the United States of America.
January 16 St. San Antonio's Eve.  Traditionally, in Italy, the patron saint of pigs will come to the barns and grant the animals the ability to speak for the one night. Children will hide in the barns on this night per chance to witness this miracle.
January 24 1935 - Birthday of the Beer Can. For more info, check out the BCCA (Beer Can Collectors of America)
January 27 1756 -  Birthday of musical composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (died 1791).
February 15 1584 Birthday of Galileo Galilei (died in 1642)
February 22 1630 -  American Indians introduced popcorn to the Pilgrims.
March 4 1678 - Birthday of musical composer Antonio Vivaldi (died 1741).
March 16 St Urho's Day.  Legendary Patron Saint of Finland celebrated for chasing out the snakes.
March 17 St. Patrick's Day. 
March 21 1871 Mr. Stanley leaves in search for the beloved missionary Dr. Livingston.
April 15 1865 President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, is assassinated. 
April 18 1775 - On the evening of April 18, 1775, Paul Revere was sent for by Dr. Joseph
Warren and instructed to ride from Charlestown to Lexington, Massachusetts,
to warn Samuel Adams and John Hancock that British troops were marching to
arrest them.  Story as told at the Paul Revere House.  Another telling of the story.
April 23 1564 -  Birthday of the bard William Shakespeare.
August 12 1600 Birthday of Maria Celeste (Virginia) Galilei (Galileo Galilei's eldest child) (died 1634)
October 1 1908 -  Henry Ford introduced the Model T - the car that revolutionized automotive transportaion worldwide. Ford pioneered the modern assembly line for mass production and could bring the price down as low as $245.  At one car rolling off the line every 24 seconds, the Model T went on to sell 15 million cars.
August 12 1600
October 5 1892 -  Four members of the Dalton Gang and four townspeople die in a shoot-out after the Daltons try to rob two banks in Coffeyville, Kansas.
October 6 1866 First Train Robbery in the USA.  The Reno gang made off with $10,000 in Seymour, Indiana 
October 8 1871 -  A fire erupted in a barn on the West Side of Chicago.  Fueled by closely packed wood tenements, the blaze eventually destroyed 18,000 buildings and left 100,000 people homeless.
October 12 1492 -  Native Americans discover Christopher Columbus, a European, lost on their shores.
October 14 1978 - On October 14, 1978, President Carter signed House Resolution 1337. Senate Amendment 3534 to that resolution called for equal treatment of home beer brewers and home winemakers. This law allowed that brewing up to 100 gallons per adult or up to 200 gallons per household per year was permitted for home use. The amendment was proposed by Senator Cranston of California, Senator Schmitt of New Mexico, Senator Bumpers of Arkansas and Senator Gravel of Alaska.
October 18 1859 -  Col. Robert E. Lee and young George A. Custer arrest John Brown at Harper's Ferry.
October 20 1947 -  The House Un-American Activities Committee began witch-hunts within the motion picture industry.
October 22 1797 - French balloonist Andre-Jacques Garnerin safely descends 3,000 feet in the first parachute jump.
1962 -  Cuban Missle Crisis begins - U.S. President Kennedy orders quarantine of the island in 6 day nuclear standoff.
October 23 4004 BC -  Reformation Christians pegged the moment of creation at 9 am this date.
1915 -  25,000 women march in New York City, demanding the right to vote.
October 28 1886 -  The statue of Liberty was inaugurated in New York Harbor.  The idea for Lady Liberty was conceived in 1861 by France's Edouard de Laboulaye to honor the United States' 100 years of independence.  About 22 million immigrants passes by in the next 40 years.
Novermber 2 1949 -  By a vote of 422,294 to 358,310, Kansas defeats prohibition - 15 years after the rest of the nation.
November 19 1863 -  Abraham Lincoln delivers the Gettysburg Address.
December 6 1933 -  Celebrate the Repeal of Prohibition.
December 10 1815 -  Birthday of Lady Augusta Ada Lovelace (died 1852).

Uncommon Knowledge

Cannon Balls

Back in the heyday of sailing ships, all war ships and may freighters carried iron cannons. Those cannons fired round iron cannon balls.  These earlier cannon balls rainged in weight f rom 5 pounds to 22 pounds, depending on the size of the cannon. It was necessary to keep a good supply of cannon balls near the cannon, but how could they prevent them from rolling about on the deck?

The best way to store them was a square based pyramid with one ball on top, resting on four resting on nine which rested on sixteen. Thus, a supply of 30 cannon balls could be stacked in a small, neat area right next to the cannon. There was only one problem, how to prevent the bottom layer from sliding or rolling out from under the weight of the others.

The solution was a metal plate called a "Monkey" with 16 roundedindentations. But if this plate was made of iron, the iron balls would quickley rust to it, since cannons were not fired that often. Thus, to correct this problem, the solution was to make the plate out of Brass, thus calling it a "Brass Monkey."

Few landlubbers realized that brass contracts much more and muchfaster than iron when chilled. Consequently, when the temperature dropped too far, the brass indentations would shrink so much that the iron cannon balls would come right off the monkey. Thus, it was quite literally, "Cold enough to freeze the balls off a brass monkey!" (And all this time, you thought that was an improper expression, didn't you?)

Railroad Rails

Hot Cross Buns

Although they have been a Lenten and Good Friday tradition for centuries, Hot Cross Buns were not always associated with Christianity. Their origins lie pagan traditions of ancient cultures, with the cross representing the four quarters of the moon. During early missionary efforts, the Christian church adopted the buns and re-interpreted the icing cross. In 1361, a monk
named Father Thomas Rockcliffe, began a tradition of giving Hot Cross Buns to the poor of St Albans on Good Friday.
In years that followed, many customs, traditions, superstitions, and claims of healing and protection from evil and were associated with the buns. In the 16th century, when Roman Catholicism was banned in England but the popularity of Hot Cross buns prevailed, Queen Elizabeth I passed a law limiting their consumption to religious festivals such as Easter, Christmas
and funerals.

Small cakes were baked and offered to goddesses at the beginning of spring in a number of ancient cultures including the Assyrians, Babylonians and Egyptians. The goddess being honoured was Ishtar, or Hathor, the goddess of the moon, associated with fertility and renewal. These cakes were marked with a curved shape representing the horns of an ox, the animal connected with the moon. The Greeks and Romans also made cakes for their moon goddesses, and again marked them with ox horns. In fact, it is thought that the Greek word for these cakes, 'boun', meaning 'ox', may have given us our word 'bun'. Soon, Europe was full of variations on these little buns to mark the start of spring and they eventually ended up in Britain via the pagan cultures of northern Europe. The Saxons worshipped Eostre, the goddess of dawn and spring, this word deriving from the Norse 'eostur' meaning the season of the growing sun. The English word 'Easter' is actually derived from the name of the pagan goddess of spring, Eostre.  Eostre gave her name to Easter, the month-long festival to honour the arrival of spring and the passing of winter, and during this festival the Saxons made buns to offer the goddess.

The cross, it seems, comes from the pagan cross long used to represent the four phases of the moon.  The cross was the symbol of choice for the Saxons wanting to honour their goddess Eostre, and so they marked their wheaten buns accordingly. When the Christians gained a firm foothold in Britain, their leaders banned the pagan Easter rites, and it was not until 782 AD,
having found a way to incorporate some of these rites into the Christian ones held at this same time of year, that they decided that substitution was easier than fully-fledged conversion. The cross on the buns conveniently echoed the traditional Christian cross and the Easter festival became dominated by Christian traditions, the original pagan rites slowly sliding into obscurity. Nowadays, we all associate hot cross buns with Good Friday, and it is said that if made on this day they will never grow mouldy.   Much of this came from the Eras of Elegance.

Armored Tanks

Greek warriors, and sometimes their horses, wore armor.  Florentine artist and scientist Leonardo da Vinci designed a crank-operated covered chariot in 1482, but development of an effective, track-laying armored vehicle was only possible after the invention of the internal-combustion engine.

During World War One (1914-1918) the British developed and used the first armored track-laying vehicles.  To maintain secrecy, the vehicles were shipped to the battle zone in crates marked “tanks,” hence the origin of the name.  The first battle in which these tanks were employed was the Battle of the Somme, on September fifteen, 1916, when the British used forty-nine tanks with disappointing results.

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