Little Bits of History

The Bangorian Controversy

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 31, 2014
Benjamin Hoadly

Benjamin Hoadly

March 31, 1717: Benjamin Hoadly delivers a sermon entitled The Nature of the Kingdom of Christ to George I of Great Britain. The Bangorian Controversy had roots in the 1716 publication of George Hickes entitled Constitution of the Catholic Church, and the Nature and Consequences of Schism. Hickes had broken away from the Church of England after the Glorious Revolution. Hoadly, Bishop of Bangor, wrote a reply called Preservative against the Principles and Practices of Non-Jurors and his own way to test for truth. And then he was invited to give a sermon to the King.

On this day, he present his sermon based on the Biblical text John 18:36. This verse reads: “My kingdom is not of this world,” and using this documentation, Hoadly posited there was no Biblical justification for any church government of any sort. If the church is to be likened to anything, it is to be aligned as a kingdom of heaven. It is not of this world and Jesus did not delegate any authority to any Earthly representative. At the time, there were two visions of government. One side held that God appointed the king and the bishops to be leaders and imbued them with special grace to serve. The other side held that power flowed from the people to the leaders and that leaders were not intrinsically or innately better than those they led.

The sermon was published immediately and soon the furor of attacks and counterattacks erupted. Hickes, a Non-juror, had been dead for a year before his sermon was published and therefore unable to respond. Andrew Snape, Thomas Sherlock, and William Law all wrote their own treatises in the same year as the sermon’s first appearance. The first two were speaking from the position of the High Church while Law was a non-juror. The following year, Robert Moss’s High Church treatise led to Thomas Herne’s defense of Hoadly. Francis Hare, also High Church, published his Church Authority Vindicated in 1719, provoking Hoadly to one more response in 1720.

Hoadly was born in 1676 and became Bishop first of Bangor and then Hereford, Salisbury, and finally Winchester. He was educated at St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge and ordained in 1701. He dreamed of conformity of rites from the Scottish and English churches and the above debate took place early in his career. He became a leader of the low church and a spokesman for the Whig party. His adversary was Francis Atterbury, a spokesman for the high church and leader of the Tory party. This controversy was the high water mark of his career although afterwards he continued to publish sermons. He died in 1761 at the age of 84.

I love you when you bow in your mosque, kneel in your temple, pray in your church. For you and I are sons of one religion, and it is the spirit. – Khalil Gibran

Really I feel less keen about the Army every day. I think the Church would suit me better. – Winston Churchill

I’m completely in favor of the separation of Church and State. My idea is that these two institutions screw us up enough on their own, so both of them together is certain death. – George Carlin

I like the silent church before the service begins, better than any preaching. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Also on this day: Equality – In 1886, Abigail Adams pleads with her husband to include women as voting adults.
How TALL Are You? – In 1889, the world’s tallest structure was inaugurated.
Spring Forward – Fall Back – In 1918, DST was first used in the US.
Virgin Territory – In 1917, the US takes possession of the Virgin Islands.


Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 30, 2014
Fifteenth Amendment to the US Constitution

Fifteenth Amendment to the US Constitution

March 30, 1870: The Fifteenth Amendment to the US Constitution is adopted. The Amendment prohibits both federal and state governments from denying a citizen the right to vote regardless of “race, color, or previous condition of servitude”. The issue of gender would take a while longer to overcome. As the American Civil War was coming to a close, Congress repeatedly debated what the rights of former slaves should be. In 1863, the Emancipation Proclamation was issued and in 1865 the Thirteenth Amendment was added to the Constitution, formally abolishing slavery. But what should happen with the freed slaves was still under debate.

Part of the issues stemmed from how congressional representation would be changed. The seats in the House of Representatives is calculated based on the population of the area in question. Prior to the War, slaves were counted as three-fifths of a person for this calculation. If freed slaves were going to be counted as whole people, it was imperative to give them a way to cast a vote to fill these newly established seats. The Reconstruction Era was rife with unrest on how to go about solving this new problem. Many Southern states adopted Black Codes to limit the participation of newly freed slaves in any of their own governance.

The Civil Rights Act of 1865 was passed in the hope of mitigating some of the rules from the new laws put in place by the whites controlling Southern state government. Blacks were restricted in their movements, forced into year-long labor contracts, unable to own firearms, and unable to sue or testify in courts. In short, the new laws were legally trying to keep the freed men in a slave-like condition. The Civil Rights Act passed Congress, but President Johnson vetoed it. Three weeks later, Congress overturned the veto and it became law – obviously with much work still to be done.

Next up was the Fourteenth Amendment which guaranteed citizenship to the freed slaves but purposely left out voting rights. Even so, it was bitterly contested and finally was adopted on July 28, 1868. Now the problem with voting was addressed. Worry about native-born and foreign-born citizens was also a concern but the 15th Amendment finally was approved by the House and then the Senate in February 1869. Nevada was the first to ratify it on March 1869 and the last state to ratify it was Tennessee, which finally cast a vote on April 8, 1997 having rejected it on November 16, 1869. While finally able, by law, to cast a vote did not entirely clear up the problem, it did pave the way for African-American men to be considered full citizens in the US.

Section 1. The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. – Fifteenth Amendment of the US Constitution

Section 2. The Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation. – Fifteenth Amendment of the US Constitution

The Fifteenth Amendment does not confer the right of suffrage upon any one. It prevents the States, or the United States, however, from giving preference, in this particular, to one citizen of the United States over another on account of race, color, or previous condition of servitude. – the Supreme Court

[The passage of the amendment] confers upon the African race the care of its own destiny. It places their fortunes in their own hands. – James Garfield

Also on this day: Pencil plus – In 1858, erasers were added to pencils.
Seward’s Folly – In 1867, the US purchased Alaska from Russia.
It’s a Knock Out – In 1842, a general anesthetic was first used for surgery.
Underground – In 1954, Toronto’s Yonge Street subway opened.


Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 29, 2014
Michael J. McGivney

Michael J. McGivney

March 29, 1882: The Knights of Columbus (K of C) is formed. Irish-American Catholic priest Michael J. McGivney founded the fraternal order in New Haven, Connecticut. A group of men from St. Mary’s Parish first gathered on October 2, 1881 and the Order was incorporated under state laws on this day. All the beginning groups were founded in Connecticut but soon after they spread to other New England states and finally to across the nation and eventually, around the globe. Today, it is the largest fraternal order in the world.

McGivney wanted to provide for the poor families of his immigrant-laden parish. When the main income earner died, the entire family suffered and the priest wanted a way to provide for the widows and orphaned children. At the time, Catholics were often barred from joining labor unions or other organizations. Sometimes the groups, like the Freemasons, did not permit Catholics to join and sometimes the Church forbade them from joining a group. McGivney wanted to form a group of men who would be able to secure insurance to keep their families protected in the event of an early death, a dire possibility at the time. He traveled to other places nearby and found groups of collectives who were able to purchase the beneficial life insurance. These other groups were able to offer the insurance, but not across state lines.

The name of Columbus was chosen in part as a rebuke to the Angle-Saxon Protestants who honored Christopher Columbus, a Catholic explorer, as founder of the Americas while excluding other more recent immigrants practicing the Catholic faith. Columbus had not yet been vilified and was actually seen as having done something good and honorable when he landed in the New World. McGivney hoped to name the new group the Sons of Columbus, but James T. Mullen, the first Supreme Knight, convinced him to go with the feudal reference.

The original benefit was to be $1,000 given to a recent widow. Each member was charged $1 when someone died and when there were more than 1,000 members, the charge was lowered to reflect the greater pool of contributors. They also created a Sick Benefit Deposit for members who were ill and couldn’t work. Their families would draw $5 per week for 13 weeks. If they remained unable to work for a longer period, some other sum of money would be allocated. Today, there are over 1.8 million members in over 15,000 councils. In 2012, the K of C donated over $167.5 million directly to charity and performed over 70 million man-hours of volunteer service. They donated over 413,000 pints of blood in 2010. Their life insurance program has more than $90 billion in policies backed by $19.8 billion in assets.

There are worse things in life than death. Have you ever spent an evening with an insurance salesman? – Woody Allen

If a child, a spouse, a life partner, or a parent depends on you and your income, you need life insurance. – Suze Orman

Insurance – an ingenious modern game of chance in which the player is permitted to enjoy the comfortable conviction that he is beating the man who keeps the table. – Ambrose Bierce

For almost seventy years the life insurance industry has been a smug sacred cow feeding the public a steady line of sacred bull. – Ralph Nader

Also on this day: Rationing – In 1948, rationing of items increased to include more food products.
Ice Jam – In 1848, the Falls at Niagara stopped flowing.
Vesta – In 1807, Vesta was discovered.
New Sweden – In 1638, the first Swedish colony was established in the New World.

Majestic Theatre

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 28, 2014
Majestic Theatre

Majestic Theatre

March 28, 1927: The Majestic Theatre opens in New York City. The theater is located at 245 West 44th Street in Manhattan and is one of the largest Broadway theaters with 1,645 seats available. It is the traditional venue for major musical productions including Carousel, South Pacific, The Music Man, Camelot, A Little Night Music, and The Wiz. Majestic Theatre was the second home of 42nd Street and the third home for 1776. It has been the home of The Phantom of the Opera since it opened on January 26, 1988 with a record breaking performance run of over 10,000 performances. This is the longest running production in Broadway history. The theater opened with Rufus LeMaire’s Affairs.

The theater was designed by architect Herbert J. Krapp and built by the Chanin Brothers. Krapp was born in 1887 in New York City. He apprenticed with Herts & Tallent where he was involved in some big name projects. He left the firm in 1915 and began working directly for the Shubert brothers. He would eventually become their primary architect. He also worked for the Chanin brothers, notably when building this theater. He was known for his ability to use the entirety of the space available. In the Majestic, he used stadium seating for the orchestra level and created better sightlines as well as making it possible to have larger lounge and lobby areas.

The Great Depression hit and building boom ceased. The Chanin brothers sold their theater to the Shubert brothers, today called the Shubert Organization. The Shuberts were responsible for the establishment of the Broadway district as the center for live theater in the US. The family emigrated from the Russian Empire to New York. The parents and seven children first settled in Syracuse. The sons broke the theater management monopoly and began their own theater production company. They acquired and then built many new theaters. By 1924 they had 86 theaters in the US alone and by the end of the decade they owned, operated, managed or booked over 1,000 theaters nationwide.

In 1973, the company reorganized and as of 2008 they owned or operated 17 Broadway theaters as well as others off Broadway and outside New York City. Many of the theaters formerly owned or operated by the Shuberts are still known by their old family name, even though they have been sold off. The Majestic is still under their care and they are still running The Phantom. The musical has topped its own previous record. The week ending January 2, 2011 had gross receipts of $1,390,530.53. However, the week ending December 29, 2013 topped it. The nine performances that week had gross receipts of $1,843,296.

Promises are like crying babies in a theater, they should be carried out at once. – Norman Vincent Peale

There were centuries when civilization had no theater. – Orson Welles

Movies are all about plot. Theater, even if it’s story heavy, it’s about ideas. – Harvey Fierstein

If you really want to help the American theater, don’t be an actress, dahling. Be an audience. – Tallulah Bankhead

Also on this day: Ragnar, the Viking – In 845, Ragnar sacked Paris.
Tornado Outbreak – In 1920, a series of devastating tornadoes swept the US.
Three Mile Island – In 1979, a partial nuclear meltdown began in Pennsylvania.
He Changed the Way We Live – In 1897, Victor Mills was born.

Get it Together

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 27, 2014
Ways to tie shoelaces

Ways to tie shoelaces

March 27, 1790: The modern shoe lace along with holes in the shoe is perfected by Harvey Kennedy in England. A book published in 1913 claimed that Kennedy made over $2.5 million from his invention. But the patent he produced was not the first use of a lace to keep a shoe or boot in place. Archeological records are rare since shoes and laces would disintegrate over time. Shoes and laces date back to at least 3500 BC, a sample of which was found in a cave in 2008. These shoes are a one-piece hide place around the foot and tied together by a lace put through slots. The shoes worn by Otzi the Iceman date from 3300 BC.

More modern types of laces date from about the 12th century but these laces again passed through hooks or eyelets. The newest version also included the holes in the shoes to accommodate the laces and help keep the entire product in place. Native Americans also used laces to hold leather thongs in place or to secure moccasins and winter leggings in place. Laces have been made from a variety of different substances from strings of hemp to strips of bark or leather. Placing the hardened tip, or aglet, on the lace to keep it from fraying was a great invention and it made it easier to lace as well.

Today’s laces not only come in a variety of patterns and with a selection of possible aglets, but also in a variety of lengths. Having the right length shoelace or shoestring for the number of holes in the shoe will keep the lace from tripping the wearer. The number of standard holes in shoes/boots ranges from two to 16 and the length of shoelaces ranges between 45 and 200 centimeters or 17.7 to 78.7 inches. Even with the right length of lace, tying or knotting the lace is also important. The usual way to tie one’s shoes is with a simple bow knot. Also available are reef knots, granny knots (which is less secure) or a double slip knot. The finish of the lace itself will also either help or hinder the knot to stay in place.

There are also a variety of way to lace the shoe or place the lace through the hooks, eyes, or holes in the shoe itself. The basic or standard way to lace a shoe is in a criss-cross pattern. This works well with athletic shoes but it isn’t as effective in leather Oxford shoes which need a more straight lacing to help bring the sides of the shoes together. Different lacing styles are used depending on the function of the shoes and what the wearer is hoping for. There are also a number of ways to create patterns from lacing shoes with different colors, textures, or patterns of laces. Usually these latter styles of lacing decrease the actual functionality or ease of use. After all this, one can still add accessories such as charms or use other items to help tighten the laces for the specific use or decorate the laces for a specific style.

You know you’re getting old when you stoop to tie your shoelaces and wonder what else you could do while you’re down there. – George Burns

I do have a blurred memory of sitting on the stairs and trying over and over again to tie one of my shoelaces, but that is all that comes back to me of school itself. – Roald Dahl

Kids can make fun of you for having the wrong shoelaces: that’s just kids. – Mark Ronson

Isn’t one of your first exercises in learning how to communicate to write a description of how to tie your shoelaces? The point being that it’s basically impossible to use text to show that. – Donald Norman

Also on this day: Long Distance Communication – In 1899, the first international radio communication occurred.
Tenerife Disaster – In 1977, the worst aviation disaster took place at Tenerife.
Earthquake – In 1964, Alaska was struck by a powerful earthquake.
Little Blue Pill – In 1998, Viagra was approved by the FDA.

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Inspired Writing

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 26, 2014
Joseph Smith, Jr.

Joseph Smith, Jr.

March 26, 1830: The Book of Mormon is published. Joseph Smith, Jr. was born in 1805 in Vermont and at age seven suffered a bone infection which left the boy crippled and using crutches for three years. He and his family moved to western New York by 1817. The family moved to Palmyra which was created as Swift’s Landing in 1789. By the time the Smith family moved it had changed names and by 1822 the Erie Canal reached this far. The family’s 100-acre farm was mortgaged after three years of crop failures and a failed business venture by Smith senior.

Between 1817 and 1825 was a period know as the Second Great Awakening and there was an increased religious zeal in the young nation. There were several camp meetings in the area of Palmyra and although the Smith family was divided over religious beliefs, they were willing to let their teen son become involved in the movement. Joseph, his parents, and his grandfather all reported visions and dreams where they believed God was delivering messages to them. While praying in a woods near his house, Joseph received a vision from God which altered the course of his life. He was forgiven all sins and was warned that all churches had “turned aside from the gospel”. He was seventeen when the angel Moroni appeared to him.

He was told that a collection of ancient writings were engraved on golden plates and buried on a nearby hill in what is now Wayne County, New York. These writings described the group of people God led from Jerusalem to the Western Hemisphere 600 years before Jesus was born. Moroni was the last prophet of this lost tribe and he had buried the plates and God had promised to bring them up in the latter days. Smith was to meet with the angel every year on September 22 to get more instructions. In 1827 he was finally permitted to take the golden plates and translate them into English. To translate them took divine intervention and there are several tales of how this took place.

The title of the book was, according to Smith, taken from the very last of the golden plates which had been secured together in the form of a book by wires. The purpose of the Book of Mormon was to show the lost tribe what their God had done for them as well as proclaim to both Jews and Gentiles that Jesus Christ was the eternal God. The book is actually a series of books, much like the Bible is a series of books. There are six books to the Small Plates of Nephi; three books which are further subdivided in the Contribution of Mormon; and three books in the Additions by Moroni. There were eleven men who testified to seeing the golden plates before they were returned to the angel, Moroni.

The best way to obtain truth and wisdom is not to ask from books, but to go to God in prayer, and obtain divine teaching.

A man filled with the love of God is not content with blessing his family alone, but ranges through the whole world, anxious to bless the whole human race.

If you do not accuse each other, God will not accuse you. If you have no accuser you will enter heaven. What many people call sin is not sin; I do many things to break down superstition, and I will break it down.

Noah came before the flood. I have come before the fire. – all from Joseph Smith, Jr.

Also on this day: Stella! – In 1911, Tennessee Williams was born.
Cruising Legally – In 1934, Britain began testing drivers.
Dr. Death – In 1999, Dr. Kevorkian was found guilty of second degree murder.
Mother Ship – In 1997, the Heaven’s Gate suicides were discovered.

Richard the Lionheart

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 25, 2014
Richard the Lionheart

Richard the Lionheart

March 25, 1199: Richard I of England is shot. Also known as Richard the Lionheart, he was King of England from 1189 until his death. He was born on September 8, 1157 to King Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine. He was of the House of Plantagenet. He was the third of five sons and by the age of 16 had taken control of his own army and put down rebellions against his father taking place in Poitou. He was the central Christian commander of the Third Crusade. He was able to bring victories against Saladin but was unable to reconquer Jerusalem, leaving it in the hands of the Muslims.

He spoke two different dialects of French and spent most of his time in the Duchy of Aquitaine. Although born in England as the third son he was not expected to ascend to the throne. His oldest brother, William, died even before Richard was born. Henry the Young King was next in line and was actually given the position of King without being given any lands to rule over. He waged a war against his father and his younger brother and lost, dying in 1183. This left Richard as next in line for the English throne. King Henry II wasn’t willing to give any of his sons the lands or resources which could be used to overthrow the father. This was wise and eventually Richard and a younger brother, John, did rise up against their father. Henry named Richard as his successor and died two days later in Chinon after becoming ill.

Richard’s conquests in the Crusade included marrying Berengaria of Navarre. He was still betrothed to Alys back home, but this match gave ties to the King of Navarre, her father. There was much celebrating, but no children were forthcoming. While being victorious in some battles in the Holy Land, Richard was unable to actually win the war. While trying to sail back to England, his ship encountered bad weather and wrecked near Aquileia. He was forced to attempt a return over land, a much more treacherous proposition since he was in hostile territory. He was captured near Vienna by Leopold V, Duke of Austria. Richard was held prisoner at Durnstein Castle. He was handed over to the Holy Roman Emperor and a ransom was demanded. His mother helped secure the funds and he was returned home.

The family, not close knit by any standards, were not all pleased at his return. However, there was some reconciliation. Richard went on another conquest at Normandy and began to search for a new spot to build his castle/fortress. On this day, he was walking around his recently built castle perimeter and not wearing chainmail. A defender of the castle pointed a crossbow at the King but did not fire. Rather, an arrow struck the royal personage near his shoulder/neck region. Although a doctor came to his aid, the wound festered and became gangrenous. The shooter was seeking revenge against the killing of his family. Richard forgave the boy, but after the King’s death on April 6, the crossbowman was found and flayed alive and hanged by one of Richard’s mercenary captains.

I am born in a rank which recognizes no superior but God. – Richard I to Henry VI, Holy Roman Emperor

He was a bad king: his great exploits, his military skill, his splendour and extravagance, his poetical tastes, his adventurous spirit, do not serve to cloak his entire want of sympathy, or even consideration, for his people. – William Stubbs

Everyone likes flattery; and when you come to Royalty you should lay it on with a trowel. – Benjamin Disraeli

Being born into the Royal Family is like being born into a mental asylum. Marrying into it is not something to be taken lightly. – John Lydon

Also on this day: On Your Marks – In 1668, the first horse race was run in the American colonies.
Titan Discovered – In 1655, Christiaan Huygens discovered one of Saturn’s moons.
First Passenger Train – In 1908, the Oystermouth Railway began service.
Jobs – In 1894, Coxey’s Army began their march on Washington, D.C.

You’re in the Army Now

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 24, 2014
Elvis Presley

Elvis Presley

March 24, 1958: Elvis Presley is inducted into the US Army. Elvis was born in 1935 in Tupelo, Mississippi and his identical twin brother was stillborn 35 minutes later. As an only child, Elvis formed a very close bond with both his parents. The family moved to Memphis, Tennessee in 1948 and for almost a year they lived in rooming houses. While in eighth grade, Elvis received a C in music and his teacher told him he had no aptitude for singing. The next day, he brought his guitar to school and sang a popular song in order to change her mind. All she would agree to was that she didn’t like his kind of singing.

By 1950 he was practicing guitar with Jesse Lee Denson, his neighbor, and with three other boys they formed a music group and played frequently in the area. Elvis never had any formal music training and could not read music. However, he was able to listen to and copy the songs he heard played in jukeboxes. In August 1953 he brazenly walked into the offices of Sun Records to record a couple songs. He recorded again in January 1954 and none of these songs went anywhere. He ended up driving a truck instead. Again in the recording studio on July 5, things were going poorly when Elvis grabbed his guitar and played an older song, singing boisterously. This was the sound the studio was looking for.

First came more recording and then Elvis was invited to play on television. His hit, “Heartbreak Hotel” brought him fame and a chance to expand. His first TV appearance on the Milton Berle Show was on April 3, 1956 and he then made appearance with both Steve Allen and Ed Sullivan. His first appearance on Sullivan’s show was seen by about 60 million viewers or 82.6% market share. In his first year recording for RCA, then one of the largest music companies, Elvis’s recordings accounted for half of their singles sales. He was a star.

But when he was 21, he – like every other American male – was up for the draft. His manager worked for more than a year to get him into Special Services, but when the draft notice came, Elvis insisted on being just one of the guys and not getting any special treatment. Elvis assumed his career was already over anyway. During basic training, he was notified that his mother was ill. He was given a pass and made it home just two days before she died. After finishing training he was station with the 3rd Armored Division in Friendberg, Germany. It was there a sergeant introduced him to amphetamines. Elvis thought they not only energized him but also were great for strength and weight loss. His drug use would be a contributing factor in his death. All his army buddies insist that he wasn’t given special treatment but did do special things for his compatriots. He was discharged on March 2, 1960 and got back to his regularly scheduled stardom.

Rock and roll music, if you like it, if you feel it, you can’t help but move to it. That’s what happens to me. I can’t help it.

I don’t know anything about music. In my line you don’t have to.

When I was a boy, I always saw myself as a hero in comic books and in movies. I grew up believing this dream.

The image is one thing and the human being is another. It’s very hard to live up to an image, put it that way. – all from Elvis Presley

Also on this day: Alaska Mess – In 1989, the Exxon Valdez ran aground and began to spill oil.
Cruising – In 1898, the first American built automobile was purchased.
Metropolitan Life – In 1868, the insurance company was formed.
Beating a Killer – In 1882, Robert Koch announced the cause of TB.

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Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 23, 2014
Raines Law saloon/hotel

Raines Law saloon/hotel

March 23, 1896: The Raines Law is passed in New York State. The law was predominantly a liquor tax. There was also included in a line item which limited liquor sales on Sundays. It did not completely ban the sale but instead granted the privilege only to hotels. At the time, most men worked six days a week and Sunday was their day to relax in the saloons. This irritated the prohibitionists and so the law was written to stop this behavior. The luxury traveler could still get a drink either with their meal or served in their rooms. A building was considered a hotel if it had ten rooms for lodging and served sandwiches.

As many poorly written laws, this one was rife for circumvention. Many of the saloons began opening upstairs rooms and applying for hotel licenses. There were many “Raines law hotels” situated directly over working saloons. Creative businessmen also found an added use for the rooms and rather than stopping Sunday drinking, the new law increased Sunday prostitution or extramarital flings. Of course, the rooms were available all week for the other uses, as well. Since the hotels were also able to serve alcohol with meals, there were sandwiches available in the saloons, sometimes just a brick between two slices of bread. Even if the sandwich was real, the patron was not permitted to eat it when ordering his Sunday libation.

There were fourteen upstanding citizens who found this misinterpretation of the law appalling. The Committee of Fourteen demanded that saloons be examined and a city inspection passed before being given the license for hotel keepers. The twelve men and two women worked tirelessly until finally on May 1, 1905 a new law was passed making the inspections law. However, as late as 1917, a protagonist in a novel saw “A Raines Law hotel with awnings, indicating that it was not merely a blind to give a saloon a hotel license but was actually open for business.” The Committee remained active until it ran out of funds in 1932.

Blue laws are written to restrict or ban certain behaviors on Sundays in deference to religious standards. Some Islamic countries may have laws written to ban certain activities on Fridays while Israel celebrates their religious practices on Saturdays. There remain many communities, mostly in the US and parts of Europe, with stores closed on Sundays. The US Supreme Court has often upheld Blue laws as constitutional. Many places in the US are now open for business but still restrict the sale of alcohol – as well as cars. The old assumption that the laws are “blue” because they were written on blue paper is considered to be unfounded and a mistake.

Anyway, no drug, not even alcohol, causes the fundamental ills of society. If we’re looking for the source of our troubles, we shouldn’t test people for drugs, we should test them for stupidity, ignorance, greed and love of power. – P. J. O’Rourke

Alcohol is the anesthesia by which we endure the operation of life. – George Bernard Shaw

Two great European narcotics, alcohol and Christianity. – Friedrich Nietzsche

Alcohol gives you infinite patience for stupidity. – Sammy Davis, Jr.

Also on this day: The Man Who Would Be Pope – In 752, Pope Stephen was elected but he died before taking his seat.
Safety First – In 1857, Elisha Otis installed his first passenger elevator.
Patrick Henry – In 1775, Patrick Henry spoke to the Virginia House of Burgesses.
Row, Row, Row your Boat – In 1889, the free Woolwich Ferry began service.

Elite Golf

Posted in History by patriciahysell on March 22, 2014
Augusta National Invitational Tournament in 1934

Augusta National Invitational Tournament in 1934

March 22, 1934: The first Augusta National Invitational Tournament is held. This was the original name for what is today called the Masters Tournament. It is one fo the four major championships in professional golf with the other three being: the US Open, The Open Championship, and the PGA Championship. Prior to this, the majors were four tournaments: two British – The Open Championship and The Amateur Championship; and two American – the US Open and the US Amateur. There was a substantial rise in the number of golfers in the 1940s and 50s and eventually the “major championships” came to mean those first listed above.

There is no real definitive line for the change, but it was around Arnold Palmer’s 1960 season. He won both the Masters and the US Open and claimed if he could win the Open Championship and the PGA Championship to finish, he would have won a grand slam that would rival Bobby Jones’ 1930 wins. Other serious games were also considered “big” wins, such as the Western Open and the North and South Open as well as the British PGA Matchplay Championship. During the 1950s the World Championship of Golf was also considered a big win and the first place purse was nearly ten times any other event. However, the sponsor pulled the plug and the last game was held in 1957.

Bobby Jones built Augusta National after he retired from golf. He and Clifford Roberts found a spot in Augusta, Georgia which had been an indigo plantation in the early 1800s and plant nursery since 1857. Alister MacKenzie was hired to help with the design and work began in 1931 with the course formally opening in 1933. The course was sensitively designed in MacKenzie’s signature style and the 18 holes have a 72 par rating, measuring 7,435 yards today (6,800  yards when built). Since 1949, a green jacket has been awarded to the winner who must return it to the clubhouse one year after his victory. Usually only first-time winners remove the jacket from the club’s grounds and repeat winners usually use the same jacket from previous wins.

Horton Smith won the first championship in 1934 at four under par. Jack Nicklaus has won the most Masters (six) as well as being the oldest player to win when he took the jacket in 1986. Tiger Woods has been the youngest player to win and in that initial game he also had the widest winning margin and the lowest winning score. His score of 270 was eighteen under par and twelve strokes ahead of the second place golfer. Gary Player has made the most appearances at the Masters with 52 and made the most successive cuts at 23. Nick Price and Greg Norman share with lowest round scores of 63. There have been three times when a winning score was actually one above par: 1954, Sam Snead; 1956, Jack Burke, Jr.; and 2007, Zack Johnson. The current champion is Adam Scott who had a nine under score in 2013. This year’s tournament is scheduled for April 10 through the 13.

I guess there is nothing that will get your mind off everything like golf. I have never been depressed enough to take up the game, but they say you get so sore at yourself you forget to hate your enemies. – Will Rogers

It is impossible to imagine Goethe or Beethoven being good at billiards or golf. – H. L. Mencken

If you are caught on a golf course during a storm and are afraid of lightning, hold up a 1-iron. Not even God can hit a 1-iron. – Lee Trevino

Don’t force your kids into sports. I never was. To this day, my dad has never asked me to go play golf. I ask him. It’s the child’s desire to play that matters, not the parent’s desire to have the child play. Fun. Keep it fun. – Tiger Woods

Also on this day: Laser – In 1960, the laser was patented.
Hockey is Rough – In 1989, Clint Malarchuk was hurt during a hockey game.
Flying Wallendas – In 1978, Karl Wallenda died from a fall.
Preschool Predicament – In 1984, the McMartin Preschool indictments were brought.