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 Long Play (LP) Vinyl Arrives!

TweetShareShare Today is a big day in the “Vinyl is Final” world, as it’s the day that 33 1/3 rpm records debuted. This format allowed for longer recordings (around 30 minutes per side).   The LP (long play) would be a significant technological innovation for the coming “rock ‘n roll” era that relied upon “singles”…

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The Real Thing: Coke Advertising

TweetShareShareI’ll confess. I’m deeply biased when it comes to my favorite carbonated beverage. If it’s not a Coca-Cola, it’s not a cola. I don’t know if I was born with this affection (some might call it an affliction), but here I am 58 years later still sipping Coke…albeit in more sugar-free varieties. My favorite is…

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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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Network News is Born!

TweetShareShareIf your over 40, you remember a day when the three big networks (ABC, CBS, NBC) dominated the television news landscape. Indeed, the 1960s and 1970s were the “golden age” of network news, featuring personalities like Walter Cronkite, David Brinkley and Howard K. Smith. There were also new emerging (and future) stars like Dan Rather…

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The Age of Television is Launched!

TweetShareShare In the course of human history, there are few technologies that significantly reimagine everything and move culture forward exponentially. Fire. Gunpowder. The Printing Press. The Internet. And television. The world before television–the projection of visuals into the private home–reimagined how we lived. It proved, in the end, more than just an entertainment evolution. In…

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Boomers The First To Get the Point on Polio!

TweetShareShare Polio was a feared disease in the early and mid-1900s. The crippling disease had disabled Franklin D. Roosevelt in the 1930s. But, even more so, polio was epidemic among children (who saw the lion share of the cases). In 1952 there were 58,000 new cases of poliomyelitis (with 3000 deaths). The worst part was…

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Walter Cronkite Debuts!

TweetShareShare If you grew up in the 1960s and 1970s, television anchor news was summed up in a few names…Brinkley, Smith, Rather, Reasoner…and “Uncle Walter” Cronkite. Cronkite proved the most trusted and durable. He was there for Kennedy’s assassination and man’s moon walk. He was there for the civil rights and women’s rights movement. He…

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The First McDonalds Restaurant Opens!

TweetShareShare “Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions, on a sesame seed bun.” This famous 1970s commercial ditty put McDonalds on the map, helped by the clown Ronald McDonald, the Hamburglar and, for the Millennial generation, PlayLands. Today the “golden arches” are one of America’s most iconic visual brands. And it all…

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