The History of “Spring Forward, Fall Back”

Ever the thinker, Benjamin Franklin first mused about of the idea of daylight saving time (DST).  While in Paris, he published an essay, “An Economical Project for Diminishing the Cost of Light”.  In the essay he essentially proposed that instead of using candles or oil lamps for light in the mornings that natural sunlight be used instead.   Franklin, on the night previous, had seen a demonstration of an oil lamp and he began to think in terms of economy and thrift.  Was the price of the oil to fuel the lamp worth the cost? When he posed the question to his hosts at the demonstration of the oil lamp, he apparently gave them something to ponder: I was pleased to see this general concern for economy, for I love economy exceedingly. After the meeting, he retired to his apartment and bedded down at 3:00 or 4:00 in the morning.  A noise awakened him about 6:00 in the morning and he was surprised to see the room filled with light.  At first he thought that perhaps several of the lamps he had seen demonstrated the night before had been brought in.  However, upon rubbing his eyes he realized the light was coming through the windows.  In somewhat disbelief, he arose to look out the window and realized that the domestic help had forgotten to close the shutters. He looked at his watch, knowing that it worked very well, and found that it was still an early hour, only 6:00 a.m.  He checked the almanac because he thought it “extraordinary” that the sun rose that early.  In fact, he discovered that...

The Most “Haunting” Event in U.S. History

Tune in the rest of this week for blog articles on one of, if not the, most haunting event in U.S. history.  Topics include: Tombstone Tuesday – The Tale of Two Sarahs Ghost Town Wednesday – Alcove Springs, Kansas Book Review Thursday – The Indifferent Stars Above FFF (Facts, Fallacies and Facetiousness) Friday – The World’s Longest Graveyard I doubt these tales will scare you, but I promise you will find them fascinating and informative. Everyone have a great day — some day it will be history! Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new...

Sports History Saturday — Controversial Team Mascots (and related history)

Washington Redskins Since we are in the middle of football season (my favorite time of the year, sports-wise!), I thought I’d do a little research on a topic that’s in the news today – the controversy about the use of the name “Washington Redskins”.  I found some interesting information. First, a bit of history about the football team.  On July 9, 1932 the city of Boston, Massachusetts was awarded a football franchise, owned by George Preston Marshall, Vincent Bendix, Jay O’Brien and Dorland Doyle.  In the beginning the team took on the same name as the baseball team, the Boston Braves (a common practice back then to share team names apparently).  After a losing first season all investors except Marshall dropped out.  Under his sole ownership, the team moved to Fenway Park, sharing the field with the Boston Red Sox. Lone Star Dietz It has been said that Marshall changed the name of the team to “Redskins” to honor then-coach Lone Star Dietz, who was thought to be at least part Sioux Indian.  Here is where the story gets interesting – Dietz, as it turns out, was quite a colorful character – and not without controversy himself. I ran across an author, Tom Benjey, who wrote a book about Lone Star and I will check to see if I can find a copy or at least find a good synopsis of the book.  I will do more research this coming week and hopefully finish (or at least continue) the story of Lone Star Dietz next Saturday. So this week’s Saturday blog is a “teaser” – stay tuned and I’ll...

Monday Musings

Okay, so today is the first official day of blogging, so let’s just call it “Monday Musings” today.  Eventually I’d like to blog about military history, so maybe I’ll alternate between “Musings” and “Military History”.  Mining history is fascinating as well. Ancestry – What’s in a Name? I ran across this a few weeks ago when I was researching family history in Pulaski County, Kentucky (click on image to enlarge): If you’ve ever wondered what happened to the three Hebrew children (Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego from the Book of Daniel),  apparently they ended up in Kentucky! I have ancestors named Telitha, Ellinder, Noah Seburn, Singleton, Okle, Ona, Roosevelt, Maud, Lillie Belle, Willie Ophelia, Hulon Ezra, Jemima (two or three), Wettenhall, Moses Solomon, George Washington (George Washington Rupe was his full name).  What are some of your ancestors’ unique or unusual names? T.E.A. (Taxed Enough Already?) Here’s a momentous (yea right) event that took place just this last Friday, October 4.  The income tax turned 100 years old … thanks so much Woodrow (definitely not one of my favorite presidents and not just because of the income tax — more on him later on Book Review Thursday). In 1913 the tax code was a mere 400 pages long.  Last year’s tax code was a whopping 73,608 pages .. yikes!  I’m sure with all the added regulations to enforce with “healthcare” that will balloon again… enough already! What Interests You? I’d love to hear what interests you, the reader.  I’m always on the lookout for obscure and interesting pieces of history to research and blog about.  Drop me an email any...