Time Capsule Thursday: October 8, 1926

Newspapers around the country were covering this riveting story on October 8, 1926.  However, the original crime for which mob justice was rendered on that day hadn’t received much more than regional coverage the year before when three members of the Lowman family were accused of murder.  On April 25, 1925 Sheriff Henry H. Howard of Aiken County, South Carolina had been shot and killed while he and his deputies were executing a liquor raid at the home of Sam and Annie Lowman.  Although the following story is detailed and long, it’s important to give an adequate account of what happened that day in 1925 which led to the tragedy which occurred on October 8, 1926. Accounts varied as to exactly what happened that day.  Here is a sampling of reported details, beginning with the one told in Toward the Meeting of the Waters: Sam Lowman had arisen early that Saturday morning in April 1925 and set off for nearby Monetta with a load of corn.  His son Damon and nephew Clarence were plowing a field; Annie was making soap and Bertha his twenty-seven year old pregnant daughter was sweeping the backyard with her cousin Naomi.  Another cousin, Eleanora, was cleaning the back porch and Damon’s wife Rosa was preparing lunch while her sister-in-law Bridie fed Rosa’s newborn child. This riveting article will be published in the October 2018 issue of Digging History Magazine.  A preview will be posted when...

Time-Capsule Thursday: Those Dang Saucers Appear Everywhere

This week in July 1952 was filled with headlines about the strange phenomenon of so-called “flying saucers” or UFOs (unusual or unidentified flying objects).  The term had been around since the summer of 1947 when hundreds of incidences of unexplained objects in the sky were reported, many observed by commercial and Air Force pilots. The Air Force began an investigation, but by late 1947 had found nothing that could have caused these sightings.  However, sightings continued despite government reports.  Some of these sightings occurred around nuclear power or atomic energy facilities.  Sightings continued and the Air Force re-opened the investigation in the fall of 1951.  By March of 1952 the project was officially named “Blue Book”. This article has been updated and enhanced (more to the story) and published in the October 2018 issue of Digging History Magazine.  Preview the issue here or purchase...

Time Capsule Thursday: 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 The Times of Philadelphia reported. 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 One Hundred Thousand Dollars”.  Around one o’clock on the afternoon of the Fourth, some boys fired off a cannon salute which ignited a pile of chips behind a flour mill.  Within fifteen minutes the entire block was engulfed in flames. “A Dynamite Horror” occurred around the same time elsewhere in Philadelphia.  A druggist, Dr. H.H. Bucher, was apparently experimenting with explosives in an attempt to create his own pyrotechnics: This article has been enhanced and published, complete with sources, in the July  2018 issue of Digging History Magazine.  Preview the issue here or purchase...

Time Capsule Thursday: June 11, 1924

What was happening on this day in June of 1924?  The big front-page headlines were buzzing about the Republican National Convention, on the verge of nominating their man Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge.  The only concerns were over certain contentious planks in the Republican platform and who would be named as Coolidge’s running mate. “Sulky delegates” were threatening to withdraw support for Coolidge if their platform demands weren’t met.  Herbert Hoover (better luck next time – or as it turned out, not so much) was the top choice for the vice presidential nomination, but it didn’t appear that anyone really wanted the job.  The man who eventually became the nominee, Charles G. Dawes, was described as an “aggressive Illinoisan” “struggling to prevent the vice presidency from coming his way.”1 Life was good and the “Roaring Twenties” were in full swing. Frank Mondell of Wyoming called Coolidge a “courageous chief”. Apparently, Coolidge’s budget-busting tactics were working. The Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution had been ratified five years earlier, giving women the right to vote. Increasingly, women were taking greater roles in politics. Some “pretty girls” found Republican delegates easy marks as they raised campaign cash for Coolidge: Pretty girls, with come hither eyes and a linger-a-while smile, are raising money for the campaign to elect President Coolidge. And as the saying goes: “Take it from me they can take it from you.” If they don’t get you for $10 they’ll get you for $1. Small change doesn’t go. A man’s got to pay dearly for a chat with one of these ladies. Siren-like, they lure you into conversation about Calvin Coolidge’s...