Apparently the sight of a scantily clad man engrossed in his knitting fired up the imaginations of our readers! We made a cup of tea and settled down to knit one, purl two our way through your many caption submissions. Leg warmers! Greek mythology! Puns! Poor fashion sense!
We became so tangled that we turned to guest judge Lynn Bassanese, the Acting Director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library, to decide which captions to cast off.
Congratulations to James! (Check your email for a code for 15% off in your eStore.) Lynn chose your caption as the winner. “Eleanor Roosevelt was a knitter and we have many of her knitting needles and projects in our museum collection,” said Lynn. ”She would applaud this young man’s efforts!”
This photograph comes from the holdings of the FDR Library, but its World War II context is not quite so sunny as the stoop in the picture. The original caption reads: ”Believed to be Italian nationals in a U. S. Detention camp.”
Today’s photo also features men, but they seem to be engaged in a more traditionally masculine activity! Give us your wittiest caption in the comments below!… [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on March 1, 2012, under - Presidents, - World War II, Photo Caption Contest.
Tags: captions, Elanor Roosevelt, FDR, knitting, Lynn Bassanese, Roosevelt Library, U. S. Detention camp
As Prohibition commenced in 1920, progressives and temperance activists envisioned an age of moral and social reform. But over the next decade, the “noble experiment” produced crime, violence, and a flourishing illegal liquor trade.
The roots of Prohibition date back to the mid-19th century, when the American Temperance Society and the Women’s Christian Temperance League initiated the “dry” movement. In 1917, Congress passed a resolution calling for a constitutional amendment to implement nationwide Prohibition.
After the 18th Amendment was ratified in 1919, Congress followed with the National Prohibition Act. Commonly referred to as the Volstead Act, the legislation outlawed the production, distribution, and transportation of alcohol. Prohibition officially went into effect on January 16, 1920.
But while reformers rejoiced, famous gangsters such as Al Capone capitalized and profited from the illegal alcohol market.
From Los Angeles to Chicago to New York, organized crime syndicates supplied speakeasies and underground establishments with large quantities of beer and liquor. These complex bootlegging operations used rivers and waterways to smuggle alcohol across state lines. Eventually, other criminal enterprises expanded and diversified from the bootlegging profits.
As organized crime syndicates grew throughout the Prohibition era, territorial disputes often transformed America’s cities into violent battlegrounds. Homicides, burglaries, and assaults consequently increased significantly between 1920 and 1933.
In the face of this crime wave, law enforcement struggled to keep up. Although three Federal agencies were … [ Read all ]
Posted by Gregory Marose on January 17, 2012, under - Great Depression, - Presidents.
Tags: 18th Amendment, 21st Amendment, Al Capone, American Temperance Society, bootlegging, December 5 1933, FDR, gangster, National Prohibition Act, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Prohibition, Volstead Act, Women’s Christian Temperance League
In the early afternoon of December 7, 1941, Franklin D. Roosevelt was just finishing lunch in his oval study on the second floor of the White House, preparing to work on his stamp album.
The phone rang, and he was informed that the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, shortly before 1 p.m. Washington time, 8 a.m. Hawaii time.
“It was just the kind of unexpected thing the Japanese would do. At the very time they were discussing peace in the Pacific, they were plotting to overthrow it,” he remarked to his assistant.
For the rest of that afternoon, Roosevelt and his advisers were busy at the White House receiving fragmentary reports about the damage to U.S. installations, ships, and planes in Hawaii.
Security was increased around the White House, and plans were under way for a bomb shelter for the President underneath the nearby Treasury Department building. Across the nation, news of the attack spread by radio and word of mouth, and Americans began thinking about what life in a nation at war was going to be like.
A First Draft
Roosevelt decided to go before Congress the next day to report on the attack and ask for a declaration of war. In early evening, he called in his secretary, Grace Tully. “I’m going before Congress tomorrow, and I’d like to dictate my message,” … [ Read all ]
Posted by Jim on December 5, 2011, under - World War II.
Tags: attack, day of infamy, FDR, Franklin D. Roosevelt, Hawaii, Japanese, Pacific, Pearl Harbor, Robert Sherwood, Roosevelt, Samuel Rosenman, speech
Today marks 100 years since the Triangle Shirtwaist Factory fire—a blaze that lasted 18 minutes and left 146 workers dead.
Among the many in New York City who witnessed the tragedy was Frances Perkins, who would later become FDR’s Secretary of Labor, making her the first woman to serve in a Presidential cabinet.
As Secretary of Labor, Perkins was instrumental in creating and implementing the Social Security Act—but she was also intensely interested in the safety and rights of workers. “I came to Washington to work for God, FDR, and the millions of forgotten, plain common workingmen,” she said.
Perkins had a degree from Mount Holyoke College, where her coursework included touring factories. She later earned a master’s degree in in social economics from Columbia University. She had been working as factory inspector in New York at the time of the fire.
The fire started in a wastebasket on the eighth floor, and the flames jumped up onto the paper patterns that were hanging from the ceiling.
In an oral history, blouse operator Mary Domsky-Adams recalled that “My own machine was located near the locked front doors, and I often looked with fear at the darkness that loomed through the half-glassed door, which made me feel as if some secret force were peering out from there. And it was before this door that the … [ Read all ]
Posted by Hilary on March 25, 2011, under - Great Depression, - Women's Rights, News and Events, Rare Photos.
Tags: 146 dead, Committee on Safety, FDR, fire, Frances Perkins, labor relations, Secretary of Labor, Social Security Act, Triangle Shirtwaist Factory
When the sweeping laws of President Franklin Roosevelt’s New Deal were enacted, it did not take long for the laws to get challenged in the courts. From Social Security to a spate of other laws meant to revamp an economy deep within the Great Depression, the New Deal was not an easily won victory for Progressives, and sometimes not a victory at all.
On what has come to be called “Black Monday”–May 25, 1935–the Supreme Court unanimously ruled on two cases that each struck down major portions of Roosevelt’s New Deal. The first case to be ruled unconstitutional was the Frazier-Lemke Emergency Farm Mortgage Act, part of the New Deal designed to prevent debt-ridden farmers from losing their land. In a second ruling, the National Industrial Recovery Act, a major cornerstone of the New Deal, was struck down by a vote in the courts, ruling that the Legislative had given too much unchecked power to the Executive, and violated the due process clause of the Fifth Amendment.
Roosevelt was having a bad day, but would not go down without a fight.
Roosevelt introduced the Judiciary Reorganization Bill in his first Fireside Chat following his reelection in 1936. More New Deal laws had been declared in the interim, and by 1937, Roosevelt was ready to hit back. “We have,” Roosevelt spoke, “reached the point as a nation where … [ Read all ]
Posted by Rob Crotty on August 16, 2010, under - Great Depression.
Tags: 1937, FDR, Hughes court, judicial reorganization bill, NARA, national archives, National archives and records administration, odd history, Pieces of History, prologue blog, Prologue magazine, random history, Robinson, Roosevelt, supreme courtamerican history, weird US history