Friday / Weekend Open Lines


Friday, January 29th. A social milestone was reached this date in 1907 when Congressman Charles Curtis of Kansas was seated in the U.S. Senate to complete the few weeks remaining in the term of a resigned senator. He was the first person with Native American blood to serve in the Senate, as his mother was descended from three tribes. He was elected to that office four times, serving for 20 years. He remained until March 3, 1929, when he left the Senate to serve as vice president under Herbert Hoover. There are about 5.4 million Native Americans and Alaska Natives of single or mixed race, as was Vice President Curtis. Twenty-six percent of those over the age of 16 in the civilian workforce are in management, business, science and arts occupations. You can find more facts about America’s people, places and economy, from the American Community Survey, at <www.census.gov>.

Saturday, January 30th. Modern American election cycles engage campaign managers in almost all levels of political races. The man usually credited with being America’s first campaign director, John James Beckley, operated decades before the advent of the news cycle and social media. He directed campaigns on behalf of the Democratic-Republicans in the late 18th century. After Thomas Jefferson won the presidency in 1800, the Library of Congress was founded. Beckley was appointed the first librarian of that world-renowned institution this week in 1802. At lower levels, states employ 438 full-time and 273 part-time librarians, while more than 271,000 staffers across the U.S. hush patrons in local public, institutional and school libraries, museums and archives. Profile America is in its19th year as a public service of the U.S. Census Bureau.

Sunday, January 31st. Richard Drew of the 3M Company was working on another problem when he ended up inventing one of the world’s most practical items. He noted that workers painting two-tone cars were having trouble keeping the colors separated along a straight line, so he developed an easy-to-peel, glue-backed masking tape to ease the job. Then, Drew expanded the use of the tape by introducing a clear, cellophane backing. The result was Scotch Tape, first marketed on this date in 1928, and found today under many names in nearly every home and office across the country. Such items are among the many articles stocked in the nation’s nearly 7,000 office supply and stationery stores, which sell around $17 billion worth of merchandise annually. You can find more facts about America from the U.S. Census Bureau online at <www.census.gov>.