“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it” — George Santayana During the Great Depression, the Federal Government instituted a number of programs to provide employment and boost the economy. Perhaps best remembered were the public-works projects like building roads, dams, and bridges that created desperately-needed blue-collar jobs. However, white-collar workers needed jobs, too.
Category Archives: Historical
Wilhelm Grimm, a writer and story collector who, along with his brother Jacob, were known as the “Brothers Grimm” was born in Hanau, Germany on February 25, 1786. According to The Writer’s Almanac: “…The brothers complemented each other: Jacob was quiet, a better scholar than his brother, and preferred to be alone; Wilhelm was an
“Fools say that they learn by experience. I prefer to profit by others experience.” — Otto von Bismarck We study history to learn about the past, to learn about the mistakes others have made so we can avoid them. For example, our Congress today is about as dysfunctional as it has ever been. Relations have
COVID-19 has clearly become a world-wide challenge. To vanquish it will require a long-term commitment to a coordinated international effort. But so far, it seems many countries are prioritizing protecting their own populations before sharing vaccine doses and resources. This does not bode well for hundreds of millions of people living in the Third World.
One of the secrets of the Allies’ victory in World War II was the ability to break our enemies’ codes. There were multiple heroes in this effort and they all make for exciting reading. But since this is a sensitive subject involving national security, many of the details have never been publicized. A good example
As bad as this pandemic is, and as bad as the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic was, there was an epidemic you probably have never heard of that almost brought the economy to its knees. You wouldn’t be aware because it didn’t affect people. Its victims were horses. So why was this so serious? It came
I have always known Alfred Nobel was a Swedish chemist who invented dynamite, and later used the wealth his work created to found the Nobel Prizes (https://www.nobelprize.org/alfred-nobel/). What I never realized was why. It may have all started with a case of mistaken identity. In 1888, Nobel’s brother Ludvig died in France from a heart
My favorite law is the Law of Unintended Consequences. In the 19th and early 20th centuries, as today, private companies were doing a brisk business delivering packages. The Post Office’s answer to this competition was Parcel Post, shipping packages through the mail, which began on January 1, 1913. It was a major innovation. Now almost
I’ve found another unknown chapter in the sordid U.S. history of systemic racism — in the 1830s until the Civil War, neither runaway slaves nor free Blacks were safe in New York City. This story actually begins with the Constitution. Article IV Section 2 contains the (now obsolete) “Fugitive Slave Clause” — “No Person held
We know there were no women in the Continental Congress. And yet, when the Declaration of Independence was printed with the signatures (actually the second printing), at the very bottom is the line “Baltimore, in Maryland: Printed by Mary Katharine Goddard”. How did that happen? Things were not going well for the rebellion in the