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Month: September 2017

The Shoe-Fitting Flouroscope

The Shoe-Fitting Flouroscope

Nowadays many of you probably order your shoes online, or you take the kids into Walmart or the shoe store and have them try on shoes while you check them for size with your fingers. Did you know that at one time you had another, “scientific” way to fit shoes? It was the shoe-fitting flouroscope, which not only let you see the insides of the shoe to make sure little Johnny’s feet fit, but gave him, you, and the shoe…

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You Want Fries With That?

You Want Fries With That?

It’s well known that President Richard Nixon resigned in August, 1974, when it was apparent that he was going to be impeached by the House of Representatives over his cover up of the Watergate break-in. But did you know that had the impeachment proceeded, one of the reasons that Nixon might have lost his office involved a McDonald’s cheeseburger? Count 21 of the Articles of Impeachment accused Nixon of accepting a campaign contribution of $200,000 from McDonald’s founder and then-chairman,…

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Let’s Get Cleaned Up!

Let’s Get Cleaned Up!

Here’s another reason why you should be thankful we emerged from the Dark Ages. A substance called lant was used as a cleaning agent, especially in preparing food. You could order lant-glazed pastries, double-lanted ale and, to make your mouth all sparkly clean afterward, you could swish and gargle with lant-based mouthwash. In fact, something like lant was even used in Roman times as a mouthwash, so it had to be good stuff, right? Lant is aged urine. Have a…

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Boston Corbett

Boston Corbett

Photo by Mathew Brady, Library of Congress. History records that Sergeant Boston Corbett of the U.S. Army was the man who shot John Wilkes Booth as the barn he was holding out in was burning to the ground. But Sergeant Corbett’s story was much more than that. In fact, this man lived the lives of 10 men. Today, Steve and Gena tell the Untold History of Boston Corbett, and it’s one not to miss. You can subscribe to the podcast…

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I Need A Drink

I Need A Drink

The origin of the word “teetotal” for someone who totally abstains from alcohol has a couple of stories behind it. The most repeated story is that a fish-seller in Lancashire, England, with a stammer originated the word. Dick Turner was said to have stammered “I’ll have naught to do with the moderation botheration pledge; I’ll be reet down t-total, that or naught.” This story is now believed to be a legend and not fact. It seems that those who used…

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Gloria City

Gloria City

Today we present our first official podcast! Right after the Spanish-American War, the newly formed Cuban Land and Steamship Company began selling lots to Americans, Canadians and Europeans interested in settling in the island of Cuba. With a lot of hard work, this settlement started to prosper until the forces of nature decided otherwise. Today, we tell the story of Gloria City, a twentieth century American colony in Cuba. You can subscribe to the podcast at Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Google…

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The Foot-O-Scope

The Foot-O-Scope

While working on the podcast that’s going to be going along with this website, my co-host texted me with another bit of history she had come up with that I wasn’t aware of, so I wanted to share it with you. World War I was known for it’s medical advances in treating soldiers’ wounds. One of those advances was developed by a Boston doctor by the name of Jacob Lowe. You see, oftentimes medics couldn’t get the men’s boots off…

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The Rabbit Battle

The Rabbit Battle

The first Treaty of Tilsit in July, 1807, ended a war between France and Russia. Soon after peace was established between the two countries, Emperor Napoleon decided that the best way to celebrate would be to hold a hunt. The prey? Rabbit. Napoleon approached his Chief of Staff, Alexandre Berthier, about getting the rabbit hunt set up. And Berthier decided that nothing would satisfy the Emperor of France but the biggest rabbit hunt of all time. And he got things…

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Mark Felt

Mark Felt

COINTELPRO was a secret FBI program targeting left-wing terrorists in the 1970’s, including the infamous Weather Underground. Mark Felt, who oversaw the COINTELPRO program, ordered “black bag” jobs against suspected terrorists and their family and friends. These “black bag” jobs were basically warrant-less break-ins at these suspects homes to plant surveillance devices, much like what President Nixon did at the Watergate Hotel a few years earlier. The case of United States v. U.S. District Court, 407 U.S. 297 (1972) had…

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President Einstein

President Einstein

Less than three years before his death in 1955, Albert Einstein received a letter from Israeli prime minister David Ben-Gurion. In this letter, Ben-Gurion offered Einstein the presidency of Israel, since the first president of the country had recently passed away. Professor Einstein replied as follows: “I am deeply moved by the offer from our State of Israel, and at once saddened and ashamed that I cannot accept it. All my life I have dealt with objective matters, hence I…

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