June 3, 2015

Wednesday Open Line

This is National Rose Month, celebrating America’s favorite flower, grown in all 50 states. One of the world’s biggest floral celebrations is going on now and will pack in its greatest activity through June — the Portland, Oregon Rose Festival, founded in 1907. Portland is called the City of Roses, and its many rose-themed celebrations […]

Tuesday Open Line

On this date 91 years ago, Congress passed — and President Coolidge signed — the Indian Citizenship Act, which stated “all noncitizen Indians born within the territorial limits of the United States be, and they are hereby declared to be, citizens of the United States: Provided that the granting of such citizenship shall not in […]

Monday Open Line

The first public phone booth was installed on this date in 1880 in New Haven, Connecticut, just four years after the telephone was invented. These first public telephones were supervised by attendants, while those operated by coins came along nine years later. Today, it’s rare to see a pay phone beyond transportation terminals, but the […]

Friday / Weekend Open Lines

Friday, May 29th. This date 11 years ago was the Saturday before Memorial Day, and thus appropriate for the dedication ceremony for the National World War II Memorial in Washington, D.C. Authorized in 1993, the memorial honoring the 16 million Americans who served in the global conflict, including the 400,000 dead, received nearly $2 million […]

Thursday Open Line

The first recorded automobile accident involving two vehicles occurred on this date in 1896 in New York City. Henry Wells of Springfield, Massachusetts was driving a new Duryea Motor Wagon, the first automobile model to be made and sold in the U.S. Unfortunately, he collided with Evelyn Thomas of New York, riding a bicycle. Thomas […]

Wednesday Open Line

The summer season ahead will see many backyard parties among friends and neighbors. In addition to grilled chicken, hamburgers and hot dogs, there will be baked beans and potato chips, often joined by a salad. Most grocery stores now carry a wide variety of greens, where some years ago, the standard all across America was […]

Tuesday Open Line

The first public high school in the U.S. was founded this month in 1820. The English Classical School opened in 1821 with 101 male students in Boston, which also was the seat for America’s first high school of any kind, the Boston Latin Grammar School. Boston Latin, beginning in 1635, sought to prepare young men […]

Monday Open Line

Today is Memorial Day, looked on as the start of the summer season, and a time for family gatherings and sporting events. But the true meaning of the day is underlined by the continuing sacrifices made by U.S. forces in Afghanistan and other tense areas. The first official observance of Memorial Day was on May […]

Friday / Weekend Open Lines

Friday, May 22nd. We take for granted the many entertainment options so readily at hand because of the World Wide Web. Yet it can bring you up short when you realize how new this experience is. It was just 22 years ago on this date that a movie was digitized and loaded onto the Internet. […]

Thursday Open Line

One of the most versatile and gifted people in American history revealed the invention of bifocal eyeglasses this month in 1785. Benjamin Franklin had been using one pair of glasses to read with and another for distant vision. Writing of this from France to an acquaintance, Franklin said he had the two pairs of lenses […]

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