GIVEAWAY! Enter to win!

24 July 2014

To celebrate History By Zim’s third birthday, I am having a giveaway! Enter below for your chance at winning these great prizes! Giveaway ends on Saturday, August 2, 2014.

Giveaway includes the following:

The Monuments Men (Blu-ray+DVD+Digital HD)

Moonshine: A Cultural History of America’s Infamous Liquor by Jaime Joyce 

The Greatest Stories Never Told by Rick Beyer

Ken Burns: Prohibition (DVD)

The Greatest Generation & The Greatest Generation Speaks by Tom Brokaw (Barnes & Noble’s Collectible Edition)

History By Zim Tote Bag

Giveaway

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Salem Lions Club Dog Show, 1948-1957

25 July 2014

From left to right: Gloria Bradbury, Delores Buckmiller, Joanne Carr, and Jean Tibbetts at the Salem Lions Club Dog Show in Salem, Oregon between 1948-1957 where there were 40 breeds with a total of 500 dogs.

In Their Words: Martin Luther King Jr.

23 July 2014

Martin_Luther_King_Jr Quote

Book Review: “Moonshine: A Cultural History of America’s Infamous Liquor”

22 July 2014
Cover of Joyce's "Moonshine: A

Cover of Jaime Joyce’s “Moonshine: A Cultural History of America’s Infamous Liquor”

Moonshine: A Cultural History of America’s Infamous Liquor
JAIME JOYCE
Minneapolis, MN: Zenith Press
206 pp. $18.63/Hardcover
ISBN: 978-0-7603-4584-9

Before Pinterest made mason jars the ‘in’ thing at country-chic events or the go-to jars for anything baked, stored or displayed, it was synonymous with alcohol. Moonshine to be exact. Now, this was before moonshine became a hipster thing to drink. No, the time in question, was when the drink could get you thrown in jail, kill or blind you and was considered a heathen drink. Moonshine has had a long and varied place in United States history. From the days of the colonies, to prohibition and lastly to modern times, Moonshine was there throughout it all. “Moonshine: A Cultural History of America’s Infamous Liquor” by Jaime Joyce tells its story. Zenith Press was gracious enough to offer me a book for review.

What is moonshine?

“Moonshine” intrigued me from the beginning as I have never tried it. The only thing I knew about it was that it was illegal and could blind you. Many consider it a southern drink with the big concentration on the Appalachian area. [It should be noted that it is distilled and enjoyed throughout the country.] Growing up in Minnesota, I do not know of anyone who makes or sells it – let alone anyone who drinks it. I am not much of a connoisseur when it comes to alcohol. I can not even tell you what the difference between the different types nor the history behind them. Last summer, on a vacation to Kentucky, we toured the Jim Beam American Stillhouse. I tried bourbon for the first time.

Bourbon is like moonshine. By like, I mean not like it at all. Confused? I would think so. If, like me, your historical knowledge on alcohol is nonexistent then this is the book for you. Moonshine, whiskey and bourbon are like a tree. The tree’s seed is moonshine. The seed then grows into roots and forms the foundation of the tree. This would be the equivalent of whiskey. The trunk and branches are bourbon. What does this long and somewhat incoherent analogy mean? A tree takes time to grow from a seed to a full grown tree. The same goes for the difference in the three alcohols. Moonshine is un-aged whiskey – meaning you can drink it right after you make it. Whiskey is aged in barrels – the amount of years varies. And lastly, bourbon is whiskey that is aged in charred barrels, sometimes for the same or longer periods than whiskey.

As Joyce’s cover above shows, moonshine goes by MANY names. Some of which are familiar (to me at least) – hooch, shine, white whiskey – while others are more, well, unique. Moonshine was created at night, or before dawn, by illegal distillers with only the moon as their light. For the majority of history, moonshine was illegal since the distillers would not pay tax on it. They would smuggle it from their concealed stills to their paying customers all while the government tried to stop them. This struggle, between distillers and the government, makes up the bulk of moonshine’s history.

Book Structure & Content

There are ten chapters with a prologue and epilogue. Joyce also included Notes & Sources and Photo & Music Credits sections in which she breaks down her chapters and where she found what piece of information. It is obvious in reading “Moonshine” that Joyce thoroughly researched this topic. She pulled in many sources – primary, secondary and visual sources in the book. The visual sources were especially helpful in setting the stage.

“Moonshine” is a quick and easy read. Joyce presents it straight up and does not drag out sections – something I think all readers appreciate. She details moonshine’s history and distilling from early America through Prohibition into how moonshine brought on the creation of NASCAR and ends with a summary of modern, legal, moonshine production. Within each chapter, there were side stories in separate boxes that added to the content on hand.

There were only two things that I thought were distracting. I felt that quotations (both inline and block) were overused. On one hand, it does show the variety of sources used. However, on the flip side, too many quotes break up the sentences and the author’s summary of the sources. I enjoy a good quote but it is important to get the most out of your quotes. Placing a quote every paragraph or every other, takes away from the punch of the quotes. This is something a graduate professor once drilled in me and, perhaps, is merely a personal issue.

The other distracting thing did not occur nearly as often as the quotation issue. At times, I thought the paragraph structure could use some work. For example, when listing statistics about rum in various cities within one paragraph the cities were not listed in chronological order. Also, in a few other cases, she ended a topic and began a new one within the same paragraph. Of course neither issue was enough to take away from the book as a whole, but it did make me notice and have to reread certain sections.

Overall Impression

I really enjoyed “Moonshine.” It has always been my stance that if a person learns and takes something away from a book, than it was, on some level, a successful book. If that is the rubric to follow, than “Moonshine” was very successful. I knew very little about the topic. Now I feel I could hold my own in a conversation about it. Joyce’s research was extensive, her chapter breakdown made it easy to follow and, most important, her writing style was unpretentious and inviting. I highly recommend the book to anyone interested in the history of distilling, prohibition or just good ole’ American history.

Where to find “Moonshine: A Cultural History of America’s Infamous Liquor”

Quarto Publishing Group
Amazon
Barnes & Nobles

History By Zim is Three!

21 July 2014

Today marks the 3rd birthday (or anniversary…) of History By Zim!

Birthday

This makes me so happy I could dance!

dancing gifs

But I’ll probably just eat some ice cream instead!

lieutenant-dan-ice-cream_1134

For those of you who have been with me the entire time, I humbly thank you!

modern family

For those of you who are relatively new to all things History By Zim, I welcome you!

welcome to whatever this is.

Not only is it the 3rd year of this website, but we are also hovering right under 5,000,000 total views! All my ‘planning’ has paid off!

catwar

There are still a lot of things I still have up my sleeve!

Theodore Time to get shit doneIncluding a really cool giveaway later this week (so stay tuned here or on the Facebook page)!

Monty-Python

The last three years have shown me that many people out there still care and geek out over history as much as I do. So, thank you my friends, from the bottom of my heart. Your support and encouragement has meant the world to me!

Thank you gif

- Zim
Chief History Geek

Reagan & National Ice Cream Month

20 July 2014
Newlyweds Nancy and Ronald Reagan enjoy ice cream cones during a call she made to the Tropic Zone set.

Newlyweds Nancy and Ronald Reagan enjoy ice cream cones. Photo Credit: Ronald Reagan Presidential Library

On July 9, 1984, President Ronald Reagan issued Proclamation 5219 that designated July as National Ice Cream Month and the third Sunday of the month as National Ice Cream Day.

By the President of the United States of America
A Proclamation
Ice cream is a nutritious and wholesome food, enjoyed by over ninety percent of the people in the United States. It enjoys a reputation as the perfect dessert and snack food. Over eight hundred and eighty-seven million gallons of ice cream were consumed in the United States in 1983.

The ice cream industry generates approximately $3.5 billion in annual sales and provides jobs for thousands of citizens. Indeed, nearly ten percent of all the milk produced by the United States dairy farmers is used to produce ice cream, thereby contributing substantially to the economic well-being of the Nation’s dairy industry.

The Congress, by Senate Joint Resolution 298, has designated July 1984 as “National Ice Cream Month,” and July 15, 1984, as “National Ice Cream Day,” and authorized and requested the President to issue a proclamation in observance of these events.

Now, Therefore, I, Ronald Reagan, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim July 1984 as National Ice Cream Month and July 15, 1984, as National Ice Cream Day, and I call upon the people of the United States to observe these events with appropriate ceremonies and activities.

In Witness Whereof I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of July, in the year of our Lord nineteen hundred and eightyfour, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and ninth.

Reagan, Ronald. “Proclamation 5219 – National Ice Cream Month and National Ice Cream Day, 1984“, The American Presidency Project.

The 28th Division Returns, WWI

19 July 2014

The 28th Infantry Division of the Pennsylvania National Guard returning to Philadelphia from serving in Europe. The 28th Division is the oldest, continually serving division in the United States Army. Because of their courageous fighting during World War I, General Pershing gave the 28th the nickname, the “Iron Division.” Additionally, it is one of the most decorated infantry divisions in the U.S. Army.

Donut Shop, Da Nang, Vietnam, 1969

18 July 2014
Photo Credit: U.S. Marine Corps

Photo Credit: U.S. Marine Corps

Marine Staff Sgt. Ross A. Riepman, Memphis, Tenn., sets out a few of the 200 dozen donuts made daily at Force Logistic Command’s donut shop at Camp Books, Da Nang. In addition to providing units in the field with fresh donuts, the shop, operated by Rations Co., Supply Bn., has a serve-yourself section where U.S. and allied servicemen can help themselves to donuts and a hot cup of coffee or a cold drink. Riepman said, “the Marines that come in here from the field really appreciate the service. They like it so much that we use about 180 gallons of milk each day, along with 80 gallons fo fruit drink and 30 gallons of iced tea.” Over 3,000 paper cups are used daily by patrons of the serve-yourself donut shop.

Tug of War, 1915

17 July 2014
The annual freshman/sophomore class of 1917 and 1918 tug of war was held at Fischer's Mill Race. The class of 1918 won.

Photo Credit: N. Schneider Photographic Collection/Oregon State University

The spirited annual freshman/sophomore class of 1917 and 1918 tug of war. It was held at Fischer’s Mill Race in Benton County, Oregon. The class of 1918 won.

In Their Words: J.R.R. Tolkien

16 July 2014

J.R.R. Tolkien (HistoryByZim)

Mary L. Titcomb & the Bookmobile

15 July 2014

Mary Lemist Titcomb is credited with developing and implementing one of the country’s first bookmobile.

The book deposit station at Green Spring Furnace was a wooden case placed outside a house. Some readers needed to step on a box to reach the books.

The book deposit station at Green Spring Furnace was a wooden case placed outside a house. Some readers needed to step on a box to reach the books. Photo Credit: Washington County Free Library

Mary, an avid reader, stumbled upon library work after reading about it in a church bulletin. Today if one is interested in librarianship, they ideally need multiple degrees. Back in the late 1800s, to become a librarian one had to train as an apprentice. Mary trained at the Concord Public Library in Massachusetts. She then worked as a librarian in Rutland, Vermont and was the secretary of the state’s first library commission.

On February 2, 1901, Mary moved to Hagerstown, Maryland and accepted the librarian position at Washington County Free Library. She easily took the reins at the library, which was the second working county library in the United States. The library had deposit stations outside the town. Within two years there were 22 of these stations. The goal was to get books to more people. The idea took off. The next five years saw the number grow to 66 deposit stations. Not only could a patron check out books at these stations, but they could request and pick up new material. “The functions of a library are manifold,” Mary once said about a library’s purpose, “but still may all be summed up in one word – service.”

The man in the hat next to the books is Joshua Thomas. The man standing next to the book wagon horse is Daniel Beard. His daughter is the girl in the wheelchair - she had suffered from infantile paralysis. Little girl standing next to woman in wheelchair  is Mary Catherine Leather (b. 1900). She, along with her two brothers, was raised by the Beards after her mother died. This photo was taken near Beard's Church, on Beck Road near Smithsburg, 1905-1906.

The man in the hat next to the books is Joshua Thomas. The man standing next to the ‘bookwagon’ horse is Daniel Beard. His daughter is the girl in the wheelchair – she had suffered from infantile paralysis. Little girl standing next to woman in wheelchair is Mary Catherine Leather (b. 1900). She, along with her two brothers, was raised by the Beards after her mother died. This photo was taken near Beard’s Church, on Beck Road near Smithsburg, 1905-1906. Photo Credit: Washington County Free Library

While Washington County saw an increase in library patrons through these deposit stations, Mary realized that the system failed to reach many of the rural residents. So, in April 1905, she loaded up a wagon full of books and brought them to the patrons. Washington County Free Library became one of the country’s first organized bookmobiles or, in this case, a ‘bookwagon.’

The ‘bookwagon’ was a Concord wagon. It was described as a “cross between a grocer’s delivery wagon and the tin peddlers car of bygone New England days.” One farmer thought it resembled a hearse. Shelves lined the outside of the wagon and space inside could hold over 2,500 books. “No better method has ever been devised for reaching the dweller in the country,” Mary insisted. “The book goes to the man, not waiting for the man to come to the book.”

It was driven by Joshua Thomas, the library janitor and Civil War veteran. Since he was a county native, people knew who he was and were comfortable with him. Joshua, in turn, was comfortable driving the two-horse wagon through the countryside with its bumpy roads and lack of road signs. A recorded 31 trips were made in the first six months of operation with an average of 30 miles daily. Joshua was told to take his time. For some of the longer routes, it would take him a day just to get to his destination. Mary informed him that the families and patrons should be allowed to take their time in selecting books and not feel rushed.

Joshua Thomas holds the reins while dispensing books to children gathered around the bookwagon in April 1905.

Joshua Thomas holds the reins while dispensing books to children gathered around the ‘bookwagon’ in April 1905. Photo Credit: Washington County Free Library

The wagon ran until August 25, 1910 when it was hit by bad luck – or, in this case – a train. Joshua was crossing train tracks when a freight train collided and destroyed the wagon.

You might be wondering how a train could sneak up on a person. Joshua could not see the train coming as the trees obscured the tracks. The noise of the train could not be heard over the wagon’s own noisy sounds. Luckily, the horses broke free and ran away (they were caught several hundred yards away). Joshua was thrown from his spot and, except for a bruised back, escaped serious injury. The books were scattered all around and some were destroyed or badly damaged.

After the accident, the library had to wait for a year to have enough money for another bookmobile. The library board decided that a horse and wagon was an outdated mode of transportation and looked at getting something with a motor. In 1912, a motorized bookmobile was introduced.

Mary worked as a librarian for 31 years. Of her patrons, she once remarked that they were a “great army of men and women who use our public libraries to read because it gives them pleasure – because through books they are lifted out of all routine of every-day life, their imaginations are quickened and for the brief space that the book holds them in thrall the colors of life assume a brighter tint.” Mary passed away after a long illness on June 5, 1932. Her idea of bringing the books to the people hit some rough spots with the Great Depression and World Wars. However, bookmobiles rebounded in the mid to late 20th Century. Many people look back on their childhood with nostalgic memories of their time spent in a bookmobile.

How much did the library charge its patrons to use this new ‘bookwagon’ system? It was free. It was a library after all!

The motorized bookmobile that replaced the bookwagon that was destroyed in 1910. This photo was taken between 1912-1913.

The motorized bookmobile that replaced the bookwagon that was destroyed in 1910. This photo was taken between 1912-1913. Photo Credit: Washington County Free Library

Sources
“Library Book Van: Smashed in a Railroad Wreak – Mr. Thomas Escapes Serious Injury,” The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, MD.),August 25, 1910.
“MISS TITCOMB, LIBRARY HEAD, DIES AT HOME: Librarian And Originator Of Book Wagon Expires After Long Illness,” The Daily Mail (Hagerstown, MD.), June 6, 1932.
Nancy Smiler Levinson, “The History of the Book Wagon,” Library Journal vol. 116, no. 8 (May 5, 1991).
Mary Lemist Titcomb,” Maryland Women’s Hall of Fame.

Pinboys in Bowling Alleys

14 July 2014

The game of bowling has been around for a long time. In the 1930s, an Egyptian child’s grave unearthed objects thought to have been a crude form of bowling. If true, then bowling has been around since 3200 BC. A lot has changed in the game. Not just in the materials used to make the balls and pins, but the exact rules for the game have varied.

As immigrants arrived in the colonies, they brought along their versions of bowling. At one time, in the mid-1840s, Connecticut had outlawed bowling since it contained an element of betting and gambling. By the end of the century though most states had seen an increase in bowling enthusiasts. On September 9, 1895, the first standardized rules were established in New York City with the creation of the American Bowling Congress.

In the early 20th century, bowling alleys used teenage boys as pinsetters (also known as pinboys or pinspotters). They would sit behind or to the side of the pit (area containing the pins). Once a customer bowled, the pinboys would leap down and remove the downed pins. If it was the final roll, they would reset the pins. The pinboys would also roll back the ball. This had to be done quickly and efficiently.

Being a pinboy was not an easy job. Besides dodging stray pins, they worked very late in the evenings – midnight or even later. Once source stated that they were paid by the game (the better the bowler’s game, the more the pinboy earned). Generally, pinboy averaged $2-$4 a week for their work.

The 1930s brought on many changes to both bowling alleys and the workplace in general. Gottfried Schmidt invented a mechanical pinsetter in 1936. It would take years to perfect it but, all the while, bowling alleys became to embrace mechanical power over human power. Two years after Schmidt’s invention, President Franklin D. Roosevelt sought to end child labor by signing the Fair Labor Standards Act – which placed limits on it. The sight of pinboys, or even human pinsetters, became less and less before the profession became wholly obsolete.

Pin-boys in a Pittsburgh Bowling Alley. They work until late at night. Location: Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1908 or 1909.

Pinboys in a Pttsburgh Bowling Alley, 1908 or 1909. Photo Credit: Lewis Wilkes Hine/Library of Credit

Photo of boys working in Arcade Bowling Alley, Trenton, N.J. Photo taken late at night. The boys work until midnight and later. I found practically no small boys selling late in the evening and several persons said it was not done except in baseball season. Location: Trenton, New Jersey / Photo by Lewis W. Hine., Dec. 20, 1909.

Boys working in the Arcade Bowling Alley, Trenton, New Jersey, December 20, 1909. Photo Credit: Lewis Wilkes Hine/Library of Congress

Bowling Alleys, connected with Geo. P. Grays, "Bastable Caf " on Genesee St. About 8 very small boys employed here. Work until midnight. Photo taken at 11:30 P.M. Location: Syracuse, New York (State)

Bowling Alleys, connect with George P. Grays, “Bastable Caf” on Genesee St., Syracuse, New York. This photo was taken at 11:30 P.M. in February 1910. Photo Credit: Lewis Wilkes Hine/Library of Congress

1:00 A.M. Pin boys working in Subway Bowling Alleys, 65 South St., B'klyn, N.Y. every night. 3 smaller boys were kept out of the photo by Boss. Location: New York--Brooklyn, New York (State)

Pinboys working at the Subway Bowling Alley located at 65 South St., Brooklyn, New York. It is noted that three smaller boys were kept out of the photo by the boss. This photo was taken at 1:00 A.M. in April 1910. Photo Credit: Lewis Wickes Hine/Library of Congress

Two of the "pin boys" working in Bowling Academy with 3 other small boys until 10 or 11 P.M. some nights. Burlington,. Location: Burlington, Vermont, September 1910.

Two of the pinboys are shown in front of a bowling alley in Burlington, Vermont, September 1910. These two worked alongside three other small boys until 10:00 or 11:00 P.M. Photo Credit: Lewis Wilkes Hine/Library of Congress

Pin boys in Les Miserables Alleys, Frank Jarose, 7 Fayette St., Mellens Court, said 11 years old, made $3.72 last week. Joseph Philip, 5 Wall St., said 11 years old, and works until midnight every week night; said he made $2.25 last week and $1.75 the week before. Willie Payton, 196 Fayette St., said 11 years old, made over $2 last week, works there every night until midnight. Location: Lowell, Massachusetts.

Pinboys Frank Jarose (said he was 11 years old), Joseph Philip (5 years old) and Willie Payton (said he was 11 years old) stand in front of the Les Miserables Alleys. Frank made $3.72 the previous week. Joseph worked until midnight every weeknight and made $2.25 a week. Willie made over $2 a week and worked every night until midnight. The Les Miserables Alleys was located in Lowell, Massachusetts, this photo was taken in October 1911. Photo Credit: Lewis Wilkes Hine/Library of Congress

Pilot Major Cecil Powell and the X-24A

13 July 2014
The Martin Marietta X-24A

Photo Credit: NASA

Air Force pilot Major Cecil Powell stands in front of the X-24A after a research flight. He only flew three flights with the X-24A.

Built for the Air Force by Martin Marietta, the X-24A was a bulbous vehicle shaped like a tear drop, with three vertical fins at the rear for directional control. It weighed 6,270 pounds, was just over 24 feet long, and had a width of nearly 14 feet.

The first unpowered glide flight of the X-24A was on April 17, 1969. The pilot was Air Force Major Jerauld Gentry. Gentry also piloted the vehicle on its first powered flight March 19, 1970. It was flown 28 times in a program which, like the HL-10, helped validate the concept that a space shuttle vehicle could be landed unpowered. Fastest speed in the X-24A was l,036 mph (Mach 1.6). The pilot was John Manke, who also reached the highest altitude in the vehicle, 71,400 feet. He was also the pilot on its final flight June 4, 1971. The X-24A was later modified with a different nose configuration and became the X-24B.

World War I Propaganda Posters

12 July 2014
Photo Credit: August William Hutaf

World War I-era poster shows a black cat with outstretched claws soaring over the tanks below. Poster urges Americans to join the United States Tank Corps. Artist: August William Hutaf, ca. 1917-1919.

Propaganda posters were used by all participating nations in World War I. Not only did these often brightly colored, eye-catching posters justify a particular nation’s involvement, they were also used to recruit soldiers and encourage civilian involvement by financial or other means. Here are some posters used by the United States during the Great War.

Interesting Fact: The United States joined the war rather late, on April 6, 1917, but produced more WWI propaganda posters than any other nations.

M1917 Browning on Hill 717, 1951

11 July 2014
Photo Credit: U.S. Army

Photo Credit: U.S. Army

Company “M”, 7th RCT, U.S. 3rd Infantry Division machine gunners, watch for the movements of Communists forces, as artillery lands on Hill 717, one of the objectives of “Operation Doughnut”, July 3, 1951. The machine gun pictured is a Browning M1917 machine gun that had been used in both World Wars and, later in a limited capacity, Vietnam.

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