Leaving Daylight Saving Time

For those who don’t know the rhyme we spring ahead an hour in the spring and fall backward one hour, in the fall. Some people mistakenly call it Daylight Savings Time, but it is Daylight Saving Time. In 2007 with the Energy Policy Act of 2005 that President George Bush signed into law in 2005, the new dates for Daylight Saving Time will begin on the second Sunday of March and end the first Sunday of November.

Daylight Saving Time is not a modern idea. Benjamin Franklin first mentioned it in a letter to the Journal of Paris in 1784. He didn’t really say that the clocks should be changed, but that to take advantage of the extra daylight, one should arise from bed earlier.

It wasn’t put into practice until the German government put it in place in 1916 between April 30 and October 1. In the same year the United Kingdom adopted it from May 21 to October 1.

The U.S. Congress established it at the same time they formally adopted the Rail Road Time Zones in 1918, observing it for seven months in 1918 & 1919 It became so unpopular that the law for DST was repealed in 1919.

In 1942, during World War II, DST was reinstated in the U.S. although from the end of the war in 1945 until 1966, there wasn’t a Federal Law that addressed DST.

In 1966 DST was established and has been in place since, although the law gave states the capability to exempt themselves and a few, such as Arizona and Hawaii have. Many countries follow some sort of DST plan.

A Little About Halloween

Halloween has many different names such as: All Hallows Eve, Samhain, All Hallowtide, The Feast of the Dead, Haloween and All Saints Eve.

All Hallows Eve has its origins as a pagan celebration that dates back over 2000 years to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain. The Celts believed that on the night before the new year, the boundary between the worlds of the living and the dead became blurred and on the night of October 31 the ghosts of the dead returned to earth. The tradition of wearing masks deals with hiding from the dead.

Orange and Black are used as Halloween colors. Orange represents the fall harvest while black is for the coming dark winter.

When the Irish immigrants came to America in the 1800s They brought with them the traditions of Halloween and the use of Jack-O-Lanterns. The lantern, carved from a turnip, potato, or beet and lit with a burning lump of coal or a candle, represented the souls of the departed loved ones and were placed in windows or set on porches to welcome the deceased. They also served as protection against malevolent spirits or goblins freed from the dead. Since turnips and gourds were not as readily available in the Americas the pumpkin was used as a replacement.

One possible origin of Trick-or-Treat may come from the Druids who believed that the dead would play tricks on mankind and cause panic and destruction. They had to be appeased, so country folk would give the Druids food as they visited their homes. Another is an old Irish practice of going door to door to items in preparation for the festival of St. Columb Kill.

Candy doesn’t have to be the only treats given out to those young ghouls and goblins that come knocking on the door. A couple of welcomed but not ordinary treats are packages of Hot Chocolate (great for those cool night) and small bags of microwave popcorn.

Vaudeville Becomes Less Vulgar

Photo: A promotional poster for the Sandow Trocadero Vaudevilles (1894), showing dancers, clowns, trapeze artists, costumed dog, singers and costumed actors
A promotional poster for the Sandow Trocadero Vaudevilles (1894), showing dancers, clowns, trapeze artists, costumed dog, singers and costumed actors.
Vaudeville was a style of entertainment, popular in the late 19th and early 20th Centuries, that took the form of a series of separate, unrelated acts. The performance could include all or some of the following; musicians, dancers, comedians, animal acts, magicians, impersonators, acrobats, one-act plays or scenes from plays, athletes, lecturing celebrities, minstrels, or later short films.

Prior to 1880 Vaudeville was thought to be vulgar. Tony Pastor cleaned it of its obscenity to make it more wholesome to the general public. On October 24, 1881 he staged the self-proclaimed “clean” vaudeville in New York City. It was an effort to lure more women into the male dominated saloon and variety halls.

Vaudeville’s popularity increased when B.F. Keith built a chain of Vaudeville stages in various east coast cities. This was the beginning of the Vaudeville Circuit, a single booking system contracting acts for regional and national engagement that could be from a few weeks to two years.

It was common for the performers to term a theatre by how much they were paid to perform at them. The three most common were the “small time”, the “medium time,” and the “Big Time”. When a performer reached the “Big Time” they were considered the best and most famous. The Big Time found its home in 1913 at New York City’s Palace. The Palace featured the best and brightest on its bill and many would consider playing there to be the apotheosis of their careers.

While Vaudeville never really died it just seemed to fade away as cinemas and radio gain popularity. Many of the early radio and cinemas stars, such as Marx Brothers, Three Stooges, Bob Hope, Edgar Bergen and Abbott and Costello began on the Vaudeville circuits

Even though vaudeville as entertainment is dead, it lives on in popular culture and entertainment. Many of the ‘entertainment slang’ came from vaudeville, such as “a flop” (an act that does badly) and “the limelight” (from the lime-green color of phosphorus lights). It’s not unusual to see common techniques and gags of vaudeville on television and in films today.

The Louisiana Purchase

Department of the Interior. General Land Office. Surveying Division 1903 Map of the Louisiana Purchase. - National Archives
Department of the Interior. General Land Office. Surveying Division 1903 Map of the Louisiana Purchase. – National Archives
President Thomas Jefferson was unsure whether the United States Constitution gave him the right to negotiate with a foreign government for the purchase of territorial rights in the area west of the 1803 United States. In fact he was under the impression that it didn’t, but he did understand the value of the Port of New Orleans and wish for it to be part of the United States.

The American negotiators, Robert Livingston and James Monroe were allowed to offer as much as $ 10 million dollars for New Orleans. France under the rule of Napoleon had at one time a plan to build a new French Empire in America, but with a defeat of his armies in present day Haiti and a possibility of war against Great Britain were in need for monetary resources. Livingston and Monroe were offered the entire region for $ 15 Million.

A treaty was signed on April 30, 1803 and the process began for what has become known as the Louisiana Purchase. The territory would double the size of the United States for a cost of less than 3 cents per acre. The total area was 529,911,680 acres with 523,446,400 acres of land and the rest water.

The ratification of the Louisiana Purchase treaty was by the Senate vote of 24 to 7 on October 20, 1803. On December 20, 1803 France formally turned New Orleans over to the United States at Cabildo, the seat of the colonial government in New Orleans. A ceremony at St Louis transferred the entire territory over to the United States.

Most of the territory was populated by Native Americans and in reality all that was accomplished with the treaty was the transfer of European territorial rights from France to the Unite States.

In the end the total paid to the French was $ 23,213,568. This figure included interest. The original cost was $ 11,2500,000 plus the cancellation of debts worth $ 3,750,000.

An American Playwright – Eugene O’Neill

Alice Boughton -  from the United States Library of Congress
Alice Boughton – from the United States Library of Congress
Recently I was talking with an old college friend discussing Historical Figures. We had taken a number of theater classes, both of us are still doing theater work and while in that conversation we discussed who we may want to do a history theater performance. He would want to be Abraham Lincoln. I mentioned that I had always thought about working on a play with the Playwright Eugene O’Neill narrating the story of his life. He was an American Playwright, who many felt was the Shakespeare of the American Theater of the first part of the 20th Century. In the ’70’s Jason Robards Jr was in a few revivals of his plays.

O’Neill was born into show business. His father James O’Neill was considered a matinee idol as a stage actor in the later half of the 19th Century, his most famous role was that of The Count of Monte Cristo. Eugene O’Neill was born in a hotel room on October 16, 1888, the third of three children of James O’Neil and his wife, Mary Ellen Quinlan O’Neill.

It wasn’t until after he spent much of 1912 and 1913 in sanatorium recovering from tuberculosis that he decided to write plays. Prior to this he had spent time at sea. Quite a few of his early plays cold be classified as Sea Plays.

His career as a playwright can be seen as divided in 2 parts. The first from 1914-1936. His plays were a standard on Broadway during this period winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama (1920, 1922, 1928,) and in 1936 the Nobel Prize for Literature, the second American to win. The second part begin in 1946 after a 10 year period where no new plays of his were produced. Then Ice Man Cometh an autobiographical play was produced. It was the first of a number of autobiographical plays he wrote during this second phase of his career. Long Day”s Journey into Night is thought by many to be his best.

He was married 3 times; Kathleen Jenkins (1909–12), Agnes Boulton (1918–29) and Carlotta Monterey (1929–53). He had three children, Eugene Jr with Jenkins and with Boulton Shane and Oona. Oona married Charlie Chaplain at the age of 18. Chaplain was 54. O’Neill disapproved of the marriage and he never saw her again.

After a long illness, which for many years made it difficult to write, O’Neill died in Room 401 of the Sheraton Hotel on Bay State Road in Boston, on November 27, 1953. It is said that while he was dying he whispered “I knew it. I knew it. Born in a hotel room and died in a hotel room.”

Lillian Gish

When Lillian Gish died on February 27, 1993, at the age of 99, the world lost a great actress. She was born in Springfield, Ohio on October 14, 1893 with the birth name of Lillian Diana de Guiche.

Miss Gish’s career started on the stage when she was just six years old. She had a very successful stage career before she found herself making films. She would have a second stage career beginning in the late 1920’s where she was well received by critics and the public.

In 1912 she met D.W. Griffith. Her first film was the Griffith directed The Unseen Enemy. She played the older of two orphaned sisters. The younger sister was played by her real life sister, Dorothy Gish. In 1912 alone she would appear in 12 films for Griffith. By 1915 she had become one of the top stars in the industry and was the star for two of Griffith’s most ambitious projects, The Birth of a Nation and Intolerance.

Miss Gish, from the beginning of ‘sound’ movies until her last film appearance in The Whales of August released in 1987, would appear in many films. Her appearances were always of quality but would be irregular, with long gaps between appearances.

She would receive only one Academy Awards nomination. Her major work was prior to their first ceremony. That nomination came in 1946 for Actress in a Supporting Role in Duel in the Sun. She lost to Anne Baxter in The Razor’s Edge. She would receive a Honorary Award in 1970.

On June 11, 1976, Bowling Green University dedicated The Gish Film Theater and Gallery. Lillian Gish accepted the honor in person for herself and her sister. Bowling Green University is in Ohio near where the two sisters were born. Lillian Gish received on the next day the honorary degree of Doctor of Performing Arts. Upon her death items from her estate were set to the University, where they are on display.

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Author’s Note:
When it comes to doing things one enjoys, it’s often said that ‘Life gets in the way’. I would say that is exactly what has happened with View From the Shore and 6 Things to Consider. I have been very busy these past couple of months and often doing only the things that I have blocked off time to do on my calendar.

I have now blocked off time for this blog and hope you enjoy. I know that 6 Things to Consider will continue. And I am also looking to post a Photo of the Week of my View from the Shore on Thursday.

Thanks
Steve Atkinson

A Fellowship Published

The classic book by J.R.R. Tolkien The Lord of the Rings was first published as three volumes; The Fellowship of the Ring, The Two Towers and The Return of the King on July 21, 1954, on November 11, 1954 and on October 20, 1955 respectively in the United Kingdom.

The book was created as a single volume and was broken up into sections by the publisher.

When The Fellowship of the Ring was published, an index was promised. However that complete Index and Appendices were not complete until the 1966 revised edition was printed. These Appendices gave a view of the World of Middle-Earth and it’s three Ages that Tolkien began in 1917.

While recovering from “Trench” fever in 1917 Tolkien began work on a tale he called The Fall of Gondolin part of a larger project he would name The Book of Lost Tales. The Lord of the Rings would become part of this world.

While his children were young he began telling them a fairy tale of a Hobbit by the name of Bilbo Baggins who lived in a hole in the ground. With the encouragement of his friend C.S. Lewis, (Lewis would later create his own children tales The Chronicles of Narnia), Tolkien finished The Hobbit tale in 1933. In 1936 the manuscript was shown by a family friend to publisher Stanley Unwin. The Hobbit was published in 1937.

The Lord of the Rings was begun as its sequel in 1937 and took until 1953 to complete. Tolkien was exacting in the writing of his tales and would work his Middle-Earth mythology his entire life, with The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit being the only major works of this mythology published during his life.

A Big Summer Event in Delaware

Harrington, Delaware is the home of one of the biggest events to be held in Delaware during the summer. The Delaware State Fair draws folks from all around the Delmarva Peninsula for an annual trip of fun and entertainment. The annual fair begins on July 19th and runs through July 28th 2018

The fair began with a meeting of men in 1919 who were interested in starting an event for “promoting and encouraging agriculture”. It was incorporated as the Kent/Sussex Fair in January 1920. After 30 acres were purchased a month later it was all go for the first fair that opened on July 27, 1920.

The fair has grown over its nearly 100 year history to include New Castle County becoming the Delaware State Fair in 1962.

One highlight of the fair is their concerts with a a number of famous acts performing each year. One of this year’s shows is Southern Uprising with Travis Tritt, Charlie Daniels, The Marshall Tucker Band and The Outlaws performing live Wednesday, July 25th, 2018. (Click HERE for more Information on this Concert)

It may seem as if the Delaware State Fair, which expects to see 300,000 attendees, is a place for entertainment. The fairgrounds includes a large carnival area as well as the Harrington Raceway and Casino for adult entertainment. But its roots were in agriculture and those roots are still there with the Delaware 4-H showcasing their accomplishments.

The City of Harrington was named for Samuel M. Harrington, President of the Delaware Railroad in 1859, although the town was a settlement as early as 1730. The Clark family had established an inn, tavern and a store in the area and was known as Clark’s Corner. Even though it a hub of activity, it wasn’t until the arrival of the railroad that the town grew and became a key hub of the area as a transportation hub.

4-H

The website for 4-H 4-h.org says that, “4-H is a community of young people across America who are learning leadership, citizenship and life skills.” It is administered by the Cooperative extension System of the United States Department of Agriculture.

The 4-H’s are Head, Heart, Hands and Health.

The organization serves over 6 million members in the United States from ages 5 to 21 reaching kids throughout America from urban neighborhoods to suburban schoolyards to rural farming communities.

The 4-H started as youth program in Clark Count, Ohio in 1902 and with the passage of the Smith-Lever Act of 1914 Congress created the Cooperative Extension Service of the USDA. Included within the CES charter the work of various boys’ and girls’ clubs involved with agriculture, home economics and related subjects. By 1924 these clubs became organized as “4-H” clubs and the clover emblem was adopted.

The organization is often associated with summer camps, county fairs and state fairs.

National 4-H Council is the national, private sector non-profit partner of 4-H and the Cooperative Extension System. National 4-H Council focuses on fundraising; brand management; communications; legal and fiduciary support to national and state 4-H programs; and operation of the full-service National 4-H Youth Conference Center in Chevy Chase, Md., and the National 4-H Supply Service the authorized agent for items bearing the 4-H Name and Emblem.

Friday the 13th

A Friday that occurs on the 13th day of any month is considered to be a day of bad luck in many cultures around the globe. Any month that begins on a Sunday will contain a Friday the 13th. Every year has at least one and some may have as many as three Fridays the 13th. There will be 48 occurrences in 28 years cycle of years. This is an average of 1.7 times per year.

There has not been a historical date identified as the origin of the superstition. Before the 20th century, although there is evidence that the number 13 was considered unlucky, and Friday was considered unlucky, there was no link between them.

Friday the 13th doesn”t even merit a mention in E. Cobham Brewer’s voluminous 1898 edition of the Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. There is and entry for “Friday, an Unlucky Day” and “Thirteen Unlucky.”

Paraskevidekatriaphobics is the name for people afflicted with a morbid, irrational fear of Friday the 13th. The Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute estimates that more than 17 million people are affected by a fear of this day.

On May 9, 1980 an independent film independent slasher film directed by Sean S. Cunningham and written by Victor Miller with the title Friday the 13th was released. The film’s budget was less than $ 600,000. While not a critical hit is was a box-office success.

In 2018 there will be two Friday the 13th. The first was in April and the second in July. The next Friday the 13th is more than a year away in September of 2019. 2019 will also have two with the other being in December.