July 4, 1876: It Was a BLAST!

July 4, 1876 – The United States was celebrating its first centennial eleven years following the end of the Civil War. In Philadelphia, soldiers from the North and South, “the Blue and the Gray”, marched together. There were lively and soul-stirring festivities held throughout the country, speeches galore, fireworks – or “Gunpowder and Glory”.  As cannons were fired and firecrackers lit, explosions and costly fires marred the festivities for some. In Philadelphia one headline read “A Salute That Cost Several Hundred Thousand Dollars.”  “A Dynamite Horror” occurred around the same time elsewhere in Philadelphia.  In Brooklyn headlines read: FIREWORKS DESTRUCTION:  What the Centennial Cost Brooklyn It was America’s 100th anniversary and it was time to celebrate!  All the celebrating rattled more than a few nerves, however.  The Fourth was truly a blast (after blast, after blast)!  For more on this story, see the July issue of Digging History Magazine on sale here or celebrate the Fourth with a subscription...

Victorian Fashion: Bicycles, Bloomers and Suffrage

“Let me tell you what I think of bicycling. I think it has done more to emancipate women than anything else in the world. It gives women a feeling of freedom and self-reliance. I stand and rejoice every time I see a woman ride by on a wheel…and away she goes, the picture of free, untrammeled womanhood.” So declared Susan Brownell Anthony, social reformer and women’s rights activist, in 1898. For hundreds of years women had been dependent on a man to take them wherever they needed or wanted to go. Suddenly, with a little practice on the new-fangled two-wheeled machine, they were free to go wherever and whenever they pleased. It truly was liberating! Young and old alike, women were discovering the joys of bicycling. At the age of fifty-three, following her mother’s death, Frances Willard – activist, social reformer, suffragist and one of the founding members of the Woman’s Christian Temperance Union – decided she had new worlds to conquer. She would learn to ride a bicycle. The rest of the story (plus all the controversies and perceived detriments to women’s health – what exactly was “bicycle face“!?!) can be found in the June issue of Digging History Magazine.  Subscriptions are also available (month-to-month, 3-month, 6-month and 1 year) — easy to subscribe and receive an issue every month in your inbox (60-70 pages of colorful graphics, history and genealogy focused articles and virtually ad free.  In other words, just history!).   Keywords: Amelia Bloomer, bicycle face, bloomers,Digging History Magazine,Frances Willard, safety bicycle, Susan B. Anthony, Women’s Christian Temperance Union, women’s suffrage, bloomerism. Mary Gove Nichols, Victorian...

Road-Tripping Across America (with everything but the kitchen sink!)

The June issue of Digging History Magazine features stories on road-tripping (as it’s called today).  These road trips, however, were a far cry from the ones we take today.  The early ones took weeks to cross America from coast-to-coast — shovels, shotguns and lots of patience were required!  Automobile races had been around for awhile and another one — possibly the most audacious of all — was to take place in the dead of winter.  This one would begin in New York and end in Paris, via Alaska and Siberia.  It’s been called The Great Race of 1908. Yet, when J.M. Murdock decided to drive his family home to Johnstown, Pennsylvania from Pasadena, California in 1908 his hometown newspaper thought the Murdock trip could very well exceed interest for the planned race around the world later that year.  By the time the Murdock family had packed their car it was a good thing the maps were of the vest-pocket size, as they likely couldn’t have fit one more thing.  The description of what they took along on their trip reminds one of the I Love Lucy episode when the Ricardos and Mertzes were headed to California.  The article, entitled “Rolling Along in an Automobile:  America’s Love Affair with the Road Trip”, traces the history of family road trips, including early travelers hitting the road with their new-fangled machines and “everything but the kitchen sink”, earning them the somewhat pejorative nickname “Tin Can Tourists”.  From Tin Can Tourists came the auto camps which morphed into motor courts and then roadside motels. The story of the Murdock family’s trek across the...

Digging History Magazine: June 2018 Issue on Sale Now!

This month’s issue of Digging History Magazine is out and available for sale — or better yet, start your subscription with this “Road Trip!” issue.  Articles include: On a Whim and a Bet:  America’s First Coast-to-Coast Automobile Trip Rolling Along in an Automobile:  America’s Love Affair with the Family Road Trip The Great Race of 1908:  New York to Paris (via Alaska and Siberia) Victorian Pastimes:  Girdling the Globe Victorian Fashion:  Bicycles, Bloomers and Suffrage Appalachian Histories & Mysteries:  Edith Bolling Wilson – Virginia’s Ninth President Genealogical Head-Scratcher:  Stumbling Across Hidden Cousins Are Emerging Technology and Shifting Societal Norms Changing the Rules of Genealogical Research? Ghost Towns of the Mother Road Nineteenth Century Rainmaking: Part I The Dash:  Henry P. Ewing, Blind Miner Subscriptions are easy and affordable.  A new month-to-month option has been added recently for the budget-conscious.  Purchase a single issue (this month’s or search the archives) in the magazine store.  Save even more by applying this discount code at checkout when purchasing a one-year subscription:  “2OFFSUM18”. Summer is just around the corner (at least when the calendar says it’s summer!).  Be safe out there! Sharon Hall, Publisher and Editor, Digging History...

Digging History Magazine: Why Subscribe?

Why should you subscribe?  Quite simply, you’re missing out!  Each issue has increased in size and content (January-40; May-70 pages) with virtually no ads — just stories:  Here are some recent comments from subscribers: I started reading the first issue of Digging History yesterday. (It’s been a busy week.) I’ve already learned a great deal and am having a great time doing it. Your very well written articles are a joy. I especially appreciate your use of family stories to both engage a reader and at the same time emphasize and illustrate what to look for while researching. Your combination of extensive knowledge, experience, love of stories and sense of humor are a winning mix. Each of your articles has been a great read. Time and money well spent.  Many thanks, Ginny Read the April issue and really enjoyed it.  Thank you so much for your hard work. — Lin Thank you for sharing these issues, Sharon! You are right about their size increasing. They are packed full of articles I can’t wait to read! Just thumbing through them has brought some of my own genealogy adventures and discoveries to mind. Very thought provoking. I love that.  Thanks, again! — Tami Subscribe in the Digging History Magazine Store.  Now offering month-to-month, 3-month, 6-month and 1-year subscriptions.  Purchase a one-year subscription before 11:59 p.m. May 31 and use the “2DHMAY” discount code applied at checkout for an extra $2.00 off PLUS receive the first FOUR issues of the magazine (January-April) absolutely FREE.  That’s 16 issues for the price (and a REDUCED one at that) of 12.  Special contest offer details...