The Day Television Lost Control: “The Heidi Game”

TweetShareShareIt was the football game that changed the rules of broadcasting. It was the game that showed how the democratic, decentralized people’s voice could overrule the authoritative, centralized control of network brass. It was the game where a little girl in the Swiss Alps and superstar athletes toppled how we would watch live sports forever.…

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The Day Teddy Made America a New Global Nation

TweetShareShare In our global culture and shrinking world–thanks to cyber communications–it’s hard to believe there was a time (120 years ago) when few people ventured more than a day’s walk (20 miles) from home.    That was the significance of this day in 1906. It was the first time a U.S. President visited another country…not…

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First World Series: How Baseball Opened the American Century

On This Day in History October 1, 1903 First World Series

TweetShareShareNo sport framed 20th century American culture more than baseball. In fact, America’s story–how we worked, what we believed, the battles we fought and the glory we shared–is found in the game. From the rise of a new industrialized economy to racism (against Jew, Italian, blacks) to celebrity culture, baseball was there. And every time…

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Six Months That Changed The World

TweetShareShare You could call it the Great Cultural Earthquake. Within a brief span of six months, three separate historical events happened that completely reshaped America. If you are over 62 years of age, you might remember them: 1. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech (8/28/1963) 2. The assassination of John F. Kennedy (11/22/1963)…

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The Model T Defined an Era

TweetShareShareThe Model T was not Henry Ford’s first car, but it might’ve been his best. Also known as the “Tin Lizzie” or “Leaping Lena” or “Jitney” or “Flivver,” the Model T was the first truly affordable automobile. In 1999, it was honored as the “most influential car of the 20th century.” Manufactured between 1908 and…

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The Race of the First Kentucky Derby

TweetShareShareToday is the 146th anniversary of America’s most storied horse race: the Kentucky Derby. The winning jockey was Oliver Lewis aboard a horse name Aristides. We have forgotten how black Americans, in the beginning, not only ran these thoroughbreds but also cared for them. In this first running of the Kentucky Derby, thirteen out of…

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America Embraces Debt

TweetShareShare“Put it on my card!” It’s the American way. We buy now, pay later.  The history for card purchases is nothing new. In fact, it was first described in an Edward Bellamy utopian work titled Looking Backward (1887). Bellamy employed the term “credit card” in his work as a way for a person to spend…

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The Hindenburg Disaster

TweetShareShare Nobody knew it at the time, but the Hindenberg disaster was the beginning of the end for air travel by blimp. For decades, the rich used blimps to travel to new locales, still somewhat faster than the automobile of that day. But as the airplane–a new air tech–found its wings, old-school blimps no longer…

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The Monkey Trial of the Century

TweetShareShare It was one of the most influential, transformative court cases of the 20th century. The Scopes Trial–or “Monkey Trial” as some called it–focused on a Tennessee high school teacher named John Scopes. He was charged with teaching evolution. The only problem? He didn’t know if he actually taught the origins theory. Nevertheless, to force…

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