October 31, 2014

Friday / Weekend Open Lines

There’s an excellent chance that today is an occasion deeply revered by young children and the nation’s candy makers. According to ancient Celtic tradition, Halloween — the evening before All Saints Day — is a time of haunting by ghosts. Halloween has come a long way from pagan practices to “trick or treat!” Today’s prank […]

Thursday Open Line

A technological breakthrough that has led to remarkable changes in American and global society occurred 45 years ago today … or yesterday, depending on your point of reference. While Americans in the Eastern and Central time zones entered October 30, 1969, it was around 10:30 p.m. Pacific time on October 29 that the first connection […]

Wednesday Open Line

The scene on this date in 1945 at Gimbel’s department store in New York City was shopping chaos. Big ads the day before had trumpeted the first sale in the U.S. of a new writing instrument that guaranteed it would write for two years without refilling — the ballpoint pen. By the end of the […]

Tuesday Open Line

One of the nation’s enduring symbols, the Statue of Liberty, was dedicated on Bedloe’s Island in New York Harbor on this date in 1886. A gift from France, the statue’s full name is “Liberty Enlightening the World,” and is the work of sculptor Frédéric Auguste Bartholdi. France also was the country of origin of a […]

Monday Open Line

One of the great engineering achievements of New York City began operation on this date 110 years ago. The city’s famous subway system was inaugurated amid speeches, bands, a ribbon cutting, and throngs of riders. The original line was just over nine miles long and connected City Hall to West 145th Street. Today, the system […]

Friday / Weekend Open Lines

One of the nation’s most successful brand names went on sale for the first time this month in 1913–Camel cigarettes, the first pre-blended, packaged cigarettes. While machine-rolled cigarettes had been around since 1881, Camel was the first brand to become nationally popular. Coincidentally, Camels pioneered the now almost universal 20-cigarette pack. By 1919, with increasing […]

Thursday Open Line

Everyone is a potential crime victim, and October is when government agencies, civic groups, schools, businesses, and youth organizations join in trying to reduce the threat. This is National Crime Prevention Month, with special awareness and education events planned across the country. During this time, we are all encouraged to help reduce violence, drugs and […]

Tuesday Open Line

An invention was demonstrated on this date in 1879 that lit the way for a dramatic change in the rhythm of Americans’ daily lives. At his Menlo Park, New Jersey laboratory, Thomas Edison set up the first incandescent light bulb, which burned for almost 14 hours. Within a few years, some cities had installed electric […]

Monday Open Line

Hotels and motels have long competed for customers on the comfort and amenities of their rooms. Long before cable, Wi-Fi, coffeemakers and hair dryers entered the picture, more basic things were offered as lures. This month in 1829, the 170-room Tremont hotel in Boston became the first in young America to be considered a modern, […]

Friday / Weekend Open Lines

One of the foundations of modern business and science– the accessibility of accurate calculations — was reinforced this month in 1887 when a patent was granted to Dorr Eugene Felt for the first adding machine known to be absolutely accurate at all times. Felt called his machine the “comptometer,” and some models were still in […]

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