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The_Lady_A

Saint Denis Armchair Historian's Society

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Welcome ladies and gentlemen to the inauguration of this Armchair Historical Society, Saint Denis Chapter! Here in these comfortable surroundings we can pool our experiences and our knowledge in this exciting time! 

The vetting process for becoming a society fellow is tremendously straightforward! All that is needed is a curious heart and an open mind! For example: If you spot something within this world of ours that makes you wonder when that was first created, or whether it even exists, simply post a question here. Perhaps you know the answer to a question that has been asked already - well our society is an open forum! You are welcome to present an answer any question put fourth! 

With a dash of luck, we will all learn some wonderfully interesting things and have some titanic debates about the natural, the mechanical, the political, the sociological, and the philosophic!

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A meteorological question to start with. The year is 1899, and according to one of the characters it is the month of May, yet it has incredibly heavy snow. 

I had a look and found all kinds of articles about a great blizzard that year, so great it led to snowfall in Florida. But that happened in February. I had a look but couldn't find more precise records. So, did R* fudge the date or was there another late great snowfall that year?

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1 hour ago, The_Lady_A said:

A meteorological question to start with. The year is 1899, and according to one of the characters it is the month of May, yet it has incredibly heavy snow. 

I had a look and found all kinds of articles about a great blizzard that year, so great it led to snowfall in Florida. But that happened in February. I had a look but couldn't find more precise records. So, did R* fudge the date or was there another late great snowfall that year?

Wow the fact that they almost got fully historically accurate is impressive. I did find this.... "Many of North America’s worst blizzards have swept in during February, March, or even later in the year."

Source:  https://www.farmersalmanac.com/the-great-blizzard-of-1899-deep-south-deep-freeze-14826

Edited by Con
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A geography question. Where abouts is the start of the game set, in terms of the real United States? It seems to be east of the Appalachian mountains but I have no idea how far north or south it is.

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In fact the more I play the more confused about geography I become! The starting location, the 'Grizzly Mountains' are at the very north on RDR2's map, and Blackwater is south of these. But Blackwater is very clearly on the Great Plains (there is a real town called Blackwater in Missouri and seems to serve as the inspiration for the in game one). So assuming some videogame space compression is going on, my best guess right now is that North and North East are the Appalachians, the Valentine region is sort of Ohio/Indiana/Illinois, and then south of that is the Eastern Great Plains like Missuri and Iowa. 

Any US members care to help?

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How I look at some of it.

Gators are a southern US animal. Add the swamps and the name St. Denis and you have Louisiana. 

Grizzly Mountains are most likely the Rocky Mountains. I would put the snow stuff in Colorado.

The big river is the Mississippi River which divides (not equally) the US.

Once I see the entire map it should make more sense. I'm not googling anything to stay away from spoilers and such so it will take time :)

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I found Mt Rushmore under construction. Took a pic. Will post it when I remember to upload it to rsc

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1 hour ago, SINISTER120 said:

How I look at some of it.

Gators are a southern US animal. Add the swamps and the name St. Denis and you have Louisiana. 

Grizzly Mountains are most likely the Rocky Mountains. I would put the snow stuff in Colorado.

The big river is the Mississippi River which divides (not equally) the US.

Once I see the entire map it should make more sense. I'm not googling anything to stay away from spoilers and such so it will take time :)

I did wonder about them being the Rockies but they just seem too westerly, especially with the characters at the start saying they went east from Blackwater to try and escape. 

@JustHatched northern midwest is your country isn't it? You hiding any mountain ranges nearby?

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10 minutes ago, The_Lady_A said:

I did wonder about them being the Rockies but they just seem too westerly, especially with the characters at the start saying they went east from Blackwater to try and escape. 

@JustHatched northern midwest is your country isn't it? You hiding any mountain ranges nearby?

The real thing is northwest of me. No mountains in my area. Just corn, rednecks and @Dodge

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I see a Cumberland Falls which in the real world is in Western Kentucky.

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Mexico to the South, and "New Austin" there as well. Seems to include most of the country excluding the Pacific and Atlantic coastal regions. The first rdr looked like Texas and New Mexico, and a lot of that is here as well.

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25 minutes ago, JustHatched said:

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Wow....that's amazing. 

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That's also a huge anachronism, apparently construction of mount Rushmore didn't start until 1925 and wasn't finished until 1941.

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On ‎10‎/‎26‎/‎2018 at 9:15 PM, The_Lady_A said:

A meteorological question to start with. The year is 1899, and according to one of the characters it is the month of May, yet it has incredibly heavy snow. 

I had a look and found all kinds of articles about a great blizzard that year, so great it led to snowfall in Florida. But that happened in February. I had a look but couldn't find more precise records. So, did R* fudge the date or was there another late great snowfall that year?

I had a look into this using some historical climate data I have used in the past for work and it doesn't look like May 1899 in the US was unusually cold, so even if snow fell it would have melted fairly quickly. Maybe up in the mountains it could have been different, but this doesn't show that much detail.

Map of average air temperature May 1899 if anyone's interested https://i.imgur.com/gKizQr8.png. I also looked at their average for all May's 1890-1910 and 1899 is a little below average, but not by much. 

 

The map is in Kelvin, 273K = freezing point, 1K is same as 1 degree Centigrade. Basically blues are close to or below freezing. It's average so obviously middle of the night would have been colder but middle of the afternoon warmer. It was made, as I understand it, from set of actual observations at various places with an algorithm filling in in-between; a bit like a weather forecast. I'd guess they don't have a lot of observations from 1899, but I think it would have to be a long way out to be cold enough for snow.

Edited by djw180
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I wonder if Mumbley Peg will be an online mini-game. :D  A popular game in 1899. 

hTvTe3P.jpg

Versions of mumbley peg (also known as mumblety-peg, mumblepeg, mumble-the-peg, mumbledepeg or mumble-de-peg) have been around as long as jackknives have been in the pockets of boys and men who had time to kill. The game gets its name from a stick driven into the ground by the winner of the game, which the loser must pull out of the ground with his teeth. Mumbley peg was an insanely popular schoolyard game in the 19th century among boys. It was right up there with marbles and jacks. In fact, Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer, Detective, mentions “mumbletypeg” as being a favorite game with the children at old Tom’s school.

The game continued in popularity well into the first half of the 20th century. If you’re an old timer who participated in Boy Scouts or went to summer camp, there’s a chance you played a version of mumbley peg. 

Mumbley peg wasn’t just popular with boys. Men played the game, too. Cowboys would often circle around the campfire after a night of calf wrestling and play a few rounds of mumbley peg. Soldiers in both World Wars also passed the time throwing their knives in the ground.

The game waned in popularity starting in the 1970s as over-protective adults put a kibosh on the game at summer camps and as pocket knife-carrying became less prevalent among the male population.

How to Play Mumbley Peg

There are different variations of Mumbley Peg. One version involves two opponents who stand opposite from one another, feet shoulder-width apart. The first player takes his pocket knife and throws it at the ground, so that it sticks into the ground as close as possible to his own foot. The second player take his knife and does the same. The player who sticks his knife closest to his own foot wins. A player could automatically win if he purposely stuck his knife into his own foot. What can we say, this was a time before Xbox 360. Kids needed something do...

Source: https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/mumbley-peg/

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6 hours ago, Con said:

I wonder if Mumbley Peg will be an online mini-game. :D  A popular game in 1899. 

hTvTe3P.jpg

Versions of mumbley peg (also known as mumblety-peg, mumblepeg, mumble-the-peg, mumbledepeg or mumble-de-peg) have been around as long as jackknives have been in the pockets of boys and men who had time to kill. The game gets its name from a stick driven into the ground by the winner of the game, which the loser must pull out of the ground with his teeth. Mumbley peg was an insanely popular schoolyard game in the 19th century among boys. It was right up there with marbles and jacks. In fact, Mark Twain’s Tom Sawyer, Detective, mentions “mumbletypeg” as being a favorite game with the children at old Tom’s school.

The game continued in popularity well into the first half of the 20th century. If you’re an old timer who participated in Boy Scouts or went to summer camp, there’s a chance you played a version of mumbley peg. 

Mumbley peg wasn’t just popular with boys. Men played the game, too. Cowboys would often circle around the campfire after a night of calf wrestling and play a few rounds of mumbley peg. Soldiers in both World Wars also passed the time throwing their knives in the ground.

The game waned in popularity starting in the 1970s as over-protective adults put a kibosh on the game at summer camps and as pocket knife-carrying became less prevalent among the male population.

How to Play Mumbley Peg

There are different variations of Mumbley Peg. One version involves two opponents who stand opposite from one another, feet shoulder-width apart. The first player takes his pocket knife and throws it at the ground, so that it sticks into the ground as close as possible to his own foot. The second player take his knife and does the same. The player who sticks his knife closest to his own foot wins. A player could automatically win if he purposely stuck his knife into his own foot. What can we say, this was a time before Xbox 360. Kids needed something do...

Source: https://www.artofmanliness.com/articles/mumbley-peg/

I have played this IRL when in high school. Never stabbed myself but seen it happen. We didn't mess with any sticks though. Just threw knives

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On 10/28/2018 at 2:40 PM, JustHatched said:

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I originally thought that this was the birth of Mt. Rushmore in RDR2 but after some research, I don't think this is what it is...unless R* is playing loosely with timelines. Here is what I learned.

Mt. Rushmore

The southeastern face of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest is the site of four gigantic carved sculptures depicting the faces of U.S. Presidents George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln and Theodore Roosevelt. Led by the sculptor Gutzon Borglum, work on the project began in 1927 and was finally completed in 1941. Over that time period, some 400 workers erected the sculpture under dangerous conditions, removing a total of 450,000 tons of rock in order to create the enormous carved heads, each of which reached a height of 60 feet (18 meters). In sculptor Gutzon Borglum’s original design, the four presidents were meant to be represented from the waist up, but insufficient funding brought the carving to a halt after completion of their faces. Known as the “Shrine of Democracy,” Mount Rushmore welcomes upwards of 2 million visitors every year, and is one of America’s most popular tourist attractions.

The Birth of Mount Rushmore

Mount Rushmore, located just north of Custer State Park in South Dakota’s Black Hills National Forest, was named for the New York lawyer Charles E. Rushmore, who traveled to the Black Hills in 1884 to inspect mining claims in the region. When Rushmore asked a local man the name of a nearby mountain, he reportedly replied that it never had a name before, but from now on would be known as Rushmore Peak (later Rushmore Mountain or Mount Rushmore).

Seeking to attract tourism to the Black Hills in the early 1920s, South Dakota’s state historian Doane Robinson came up with the idea to sculpt “the Needles” (several giant natural granite pillars) into the shape of historic heroes of the West. He suggested Red Cloud, a Sioux chief, as a potential subject. In August 1924, Robinson contacted Gutzon Borglum, an American sculptor of Danish descent who was then working on carving an image of the Confederate General Robert E. Lee into the face of Georgia’s Stone Mountain. Luckily for Robinson, the headstrong Borglum was on the outs with the group that had commissioned the Lee sculpture, and would soon abandon the project. Borglum suggested that the subjects of the South Dakota work be George Washington and Abraham Lincoln, as that would attract more national interest. He would later add Thomas Jefferson and Theodore Roosevelt to the list, in recognition of their contributions to the birth of democracy and the growth of the United States.

Did you know? A bill introduced in Congress in 1937 proposed that a carving of Susan B. Anthony's head be included among the luminaries at Mount Rushmore, but fell through due to a rider on the existing appropriations bill mandating that federal funds be spent only on those carvings already begun.

Sculpting the Presidents at Mount Rushmore

During a second visit to the Black Hills in August 1925, Borglum identified Mount Rushmore as the desired site of the sculpture. Even as local Native Americans and environmentalists voiced their opposition to the project, deeming it a desecration of the natural landscape, Robinson worked tirelessly to raise funding for the project, aided by Rapid City Mayor John Boland and Senator Peter Norbeck, among others. After President Calvin Coolidge traveled to the Black Hills for his summer vacation, the sculptor convinced the president to deliver an official dedication speech at Mount Rushmore on August 10, 1927; carving began that October. In 1929, during the last days of his presidency, Coolidge signed legislation appropriating $250,000 in federal funds for the Rushmore project and creating the Mount Rushmore National Memorial Commission to oversee its completion. Boland was made the president of the commission’s executive committee, though Robinson (to his immense disappointment) was excluded.

To carve the four presidential heads into the face of Mount Rushmore, Borglum utilized new methods involving dynamite and pneumatic hammers to blast through a large amount of rock quickly, in addition to the more traditional tools of drills and chisels. Some 400 workers removed around 450,000 tons of rock from Mount Rushmore, which still remains in a heap near the base of the mountain. Though it was arduous and dangerous work, no lives were lost during the completion of the carved heads.

Mount Rushmore as a “Shrine of Democracy”

On July 4, 1930, a dedication ceremony was held for the head of Washington. After workers found the stone in the original site to be too week, they moved Jefferson’s head from the right of Washington’s to the left; the head was dedicated in August 1936, in a ceremony attended by President Franklin D. Roosevelt. In September 1937, Lincoln’s head was dedicated, while the fourth and final head–that of FDR’s fifth cousin, Theodore Roosevelt–was dedicated in July 1939. Gutzon Borglum died in March 1941, and it was left to his son Lincoln to complete the final details of Mount Rushmore in time for its dedication ceremony on October 31 of that year. Mount Rushmore National Memorial, known as the “Shrine of Democracy,” has become one of the most iconic images of America and an international tourist attraction. In 1959 it was made even more famous as the scene of a climactic chase scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s “North by Northwest.” (In fact, South Dakota did not allow filming on Mount Rushmore itself, and Hitchcock had a large-scale model of the mountain built in a Hollywood studio.) In 1991, Mount Rushmore celebrated its 50th anniversary after undergoing a $40 million restoration project. The National Park Service, which maintains Mount Rushmore, records upwards of 2 million visitors every year.

Source: https://www.history.com/topics/us-presidents/mount-rushmore-1

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The cancan! But how appropriate was it to be on the stage in St Denis? And how's about when some masculine types in cow country danced it in a bar? 

Oddly enough... perhaps the stranger of those two things is it being performed on stage as a star attraction most likely. The cancan had been introduced to the US in 1867. While that was by professional dancers, it had began in France as a dance done by ordinary folks and was imitated (kind of the twerking of it's day I suppose). But it was danced by both women and men, and there were apparently troupes of all male cancan dancers. By 1899 the salacious dance done on stage by female dancers in places like New York was the 'hoochie coochie', a style of belly dancing. This is the style of dancing done by the Fire Dancer on stage in Saint Denis, in the same show as the cancan.

So a bunch of drunk cowboys doing the cancan, while played for laughs by the game, is more historically accurate than it's appearance might suggest!

 

@Con I read in one of the in game newspapers that the carving was of a woman being undertaken by a single man. So it really does seem like it was not meant to be Mt Rushmore.

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Found a Ku Klux Klan rally. Kkk 1st clan was founded in 1865 and technically ended in 1871 with the 1nd clan coming about in 1915

 

Even thoigh clan was "disbanded" in 1871 it is likely many southern whites were secretly meeting in 1899

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8 hours ago, JustHatched said:

Found a Ku Klux Klan rally. Kkk 1st clan was founded in 1865 and technically ended in 1871 with the 1nd clan coming about in 1915

 

Even thoigh clan was "disbanded" in 1871 it is likely many southern whites were secretly meeting in 1899

Thanks for the dates. The dialogue and meeting minutes note from that scene did imply that they weren't a real force at that time. The role of "stereotypical hick racist thugs" largely seems to be filled by the Lamont Raiders. I'd be very interested to hear if there were militia gangs like that so long after the (un)Civil War.

Also my favourite line from the Klan meeting minutes: "Would it be possible to make the robes less flammable?"

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Reading about possible parachuting in RDR2 Online had me look up some data at the time...

GARNERIN AND PARACHUTES

From Adventures in the Air: Being Memorable Experiences of Great Aeronauts
by Wilfrid Fonvielle (1877)

Pr4qoV4.jpg

During the first French Revolution, ascents were frequently made to celebrate great national events. Indeed, the new Constitution of the French Republic was magniloquently proclaimed to the sun and the clouds from a balloon at the height of 12,000 feet.

André Jacques Garnerin (born 1769), the most celebrated of the aeronauts of this period, was a pupil of the physical class of M. Charles. He was only about nineteen years old when he first tried his fortune in the air. His first experiment was made at Metz in 1787. He made a fortunate ascent with a lady of Turmerman, and descended at a distance of nine miles. In 1790 he set out with a simple montgolfiere from the gardens of Ruggieri. It appears that he had attempted captive ascents at the Luxembourg with an air balloon, and that it was partly the success of his experiments which led to the organisation of the corps of military balloonists, of whose fortunes we have given some account. But the accomplished aeronaut was sent on a political mission which prevented him from having any share in the work of that corps.

Garnerin's elder brother had rendered Government [p.103] some service, and was rewarded by receiving the appointment of Commissary to the French Armies. Young Garnerin was soon sent on a similar mission. The division of the army that young Garnerin had been sent to inspect was in a most precarious position, and shortly after his arrival was defeated (1793), and Garnerin fell into the power of the English. The latter handed him over to the Austrians, by whom he was imprisoned in the fortress of Buda, in Hungary, where he was kept for about two years.

Ln3l2pe.jpg

On his return to France he betook himself again to aeronautics, and associated his brother with himself in making great public experiments. In order to secure public interest, he made night ascents in which he carried a lamp to light up his balloon. Garnerin states in his memoirs that while in prison he thought of making use of the parachute for the purpose of escaping. Garnerin and his elder brother subsequently disputed bitterly the honour of inventing this apparatus, which, as we have seen, was years before made use of byBlanchard. Garnerin, however, was the first human being, so far as authentic accounts go, who made the first descent in a parachute. The first public experiment was to have been made on June 15th, 1797, in the garden of the Byron Hotel, now the Convent of the Sacred Heart. The balloon in which Garnerin was to ascend was ready, and he was about to step into the car, when a squall of wind tore the balloon into shreds. The spectators were indignant, and the balloonists had to take to flight to escape the public [p.104] fury. One of the spectators accused the two brothers of swindling, and of extorting his money from him under false pretences, and it was with some difficulty they obtained their liberty on bail. Three days later young Garnerin did make a descent in his parachute in the Gardens of Tivoli....

[Don't want to fill up the page with the text so to continue reading please click link below]

Source: https://todayinsci.com/G/Garnerin_Andre/GarnerinAndreBio.htm

 

From the Library of Congress:

Technical illustration shows four stages of André Garnerin's parachute: apparatus for inflating a balloon with hydrogen, a balloon in flight, parachute attached to ascending balloon, and parachute deployed in descent

This is the pic I found of what parachutes looked like in 1860...I could not find any specific images for the year 1899.

ThtuL7V.png

Technical illustration shows four stages of André Garnerin's parachute: apparatus for inflating a balloon with hydrogen, a balloon in flight, parachute attached to ascending balloon, and parachute deployed in descent] / Fauchery, del. et sc.

Source: https://www.loc.gov/resource/ppmsca.02509/

 

And here is an article on a parachute accident from 1899 it happened about 22 miles from where i live...

Danbury, CT Parachute Accident, 1899

Submitted by Linda Horton

Connecticut Air Disasters 1899

PARACHUTE FAILED TO WORK

Dangerous Flight of Miss Hasbrook in a Balloon.

INCIDENT OF THE DANBURY FAIR

She Was Obliged to Remain with the Balloon Until It Finally Settled to Karth---Results of the Horse Racing on Yesterday's Card.

Danbury, Oct. 5.---An unusually large Wednesday crowd was in attendance at the Danbury fair yesterday, 8,000 person being present during the day. While the number of fakirs on the grounds is as large as usual there is but little gambling going on. Two or three shoestring gamblers operated during the day but were very circumspect. Several law and order league spotters were on the grounds but did nothing. It is said that the league does not intend to make any arrests.

An exciting incident of the day was the perilous adventure of a female aeronaut, who is making parachute jumps. At 3 o'clock Miss Laura Hasbrook made a balloon ascension from the fair grounds. The balloon rose to an immense height. Miss Hasbrook was unable to free the parachute from the big bag and was compelled to ride out the flight of the balloon, which ascended far above the height which hot air balloons commonly reach. The spectators were firmly convinced that the daring young woman would lose her life. The balloon floated over the city to a point four miles from the fair grounds before it settled to the earth. It landed in a tree and Miss Hasbrook was taken from its branches none the worse for her misadventure save for the result of the nervous strait. She made another ascension today.

Source: New Haven Evening Register, New Haven, CT 5 Oct 1899

Con Note: The Danbury Fair ran from 1869-1981. Growing up 22 miles away from Danbury, CT the only reason we would travel to Danbury was...their amazing mall. It's called Danbury Fair Mall, and today I learned why the mall is named that...it used to be an outdoors but today the "fair" is just indoors. 

anmsKVj.jpg

 

Here is another parachute story of 1899....

1899 Hot Air Balloon Flight and First Parachute Jump in Trinidad

yZFNLYa.jpg

By Darrell Lou-Hing

In 1899, a man rose in a hot air balloon, the launching took place from Victoria Square and then he descended in the Savannah with a parachute! Victoria Square is next to Corbeaux Town (Woodbrook) and is located in City of Port of Spain, Trinidad and Tobago. Victoria Square has a length of 0.59 kilometres. The New Era Newspaper reported on 8 November 1899 that the “Stickey and Donovan’s Great American Circus” had arrived direct from New York on the 4th November 1899. “Professor” Coby achieved his aim by descending from a Hot Air Balloon by parachute.

Donovan’s circus arrived in Trinidad on 4th November 1889 after a performance in the French island of Martinique. They set up in a pasture known as Shine’s Pasture (now Victoria Square) in Port of Spain. “Professor” Colby carried out his first aeronautical operation the following Thursday but as in Martinique the first attempt was aborted, but on the 11th November 1899 the balloon reached a height of 500ft and there was a successful parachute jump. The exploit and song was recalled by Patrick Jones in recorded remissness of past carnival songs made in 1956. His performance is directly related to the Martinique song about Colby’s bravura.

Lord Executioner composed an appropriate carnival song/calypso entitled “Colby”. The chorus was:

Jusqu’ Colby que le’ badine’nous!

Jusqu’ Colby que le’ badine’nous!

Colby monte’, Colby descende,

Colby tombe’ dans l’eau,

Colby monte’, Colby descende,

Colby tombe’ dans lan me!

Even Colby is teasing us,

Colby goes up, Colby goes down,

Colby falls into the water,

Colby goes up, Colby goes down,

Colby falls into the sea.

Darrell Lou-Hing is a retired pilot and avid aviation history buff.

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At breakfast I decided to look up my birth date in 1899...and came across newspaper archives and thought I should share them here:

https://newspaperarchive.com/this-day-in-history/sep-17-1899-p1/

But I didn't forget about our European members and friends and here is your link:

https://libguides.bgsu.edu/c.php?g=227439&p=1507130

 

These are the "newsboys" of 1899....

At the turn of the century, newsboys were essential to newspaper distribution. While morning editions of the paper were often delivered directly to subscribers, the afternoon editions relied almost exclusively on newsboys to sell. Most of the newsboys came from poor immigrant families and sold papers in the afternoons and evenings, after their school finished. They bought papers at 50¢ per hundred, and sold them at 1¢ each for a profit of half a cent per paper.

There were newsboy strikes several years before the events of 1899, including those in 1884, 1886, 1887, and 1881.The last notable strike that the newsboys held against the World and the Journal was in May 1894.

ZBVM6u8.jpg

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