Wednesday, May 24, 2017
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When I was growing up, pistachios were red. They were dyed and your fingers and tongue were always red after you ate them. Pistachios (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Why were they red? In 1912, brothers John and Frank Germack, ages 12 and 7, immigrated from Syria to New York, where they started a food wholesale business, importing foods from the Middle East to satisfy a large and growing immigrant population from Greece, Turkey and Eastern Europe. Eventually, the company expanded to Detroit, where they set up the Germack Pistachio Company in 1924, specializing in Turkish pistachios. During the Depression,... (Read More ...)

On August 6, 1945, the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima, Japan, killing between 90,000 and 166,000, half on the first day. Col. Paul W. Tibbets, Jr., pilot of the ENOLA GAY, the plane that dropped the atomic bomb on Hiroshima, waves from his cockpit before the takeoff, 6 August 1945. 208-LU-13H-5. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) On August 9, 1945, we dropped an atomic bomb on Nagasaki, Japan, killing 60,000 to 80,000 people. You can argue, as we did, that there would have been more than a million American casualties, including at least 400,000 deaths, if we invaded Japan, as we were preparing... (Read More ...)

Ralph Nader (1975) (Photo credit: Wikipedia) Ralph Nader’s book, Unsafe At Any Speed: The Designed-In Dangers of the American Automobile, smashed into bookstores on November 30, 1965. The auto industry’s initial reaction was to try to dig up dirt on the author, Ralph Nader. But, since he drove an old car and lived modestly, they failed. Nader accused auto manufacturers of favoring comfort over safety. It’s likely they were reading their audience correctly. But, Nader claimed we could have both. The car model Nader focused his attention on in the book was the Chevrolet Corvair. A lawyer, he... (Read More ...)

On November 11, 1982, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall was dedicated. Visitors to the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall, take rubbings of the name, of a family member. The names of 57,939 men and women who died or were missing in action from the War are etched on the Wall to honor their collective sacrifice. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial is comprised of three components: the Wall of names, the Three Servicemen Statue and Flagpole, and the Vietnam Women’s Memorial. U.S. Navy photo by Chief Warrant Officer Seth Rossman. (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It is sometimes called simply, the Wall, for its... (Read More ...)

The Beat Generation was born in a 1948 conversation between writers Jack Kerouac, later known for his 1957 book, On the Road, and John Clellon Holmes. Its practitioners were called “beats” or beatniks, a mash-up of Sputnik and the Beat Generation. Jack Kerouac by photographer Tom Palumbo, circa 1956 (Photo credit: Wikipedia) It was defined in a November 16, 1952 article by Holmes published in The New York Times Magazine called, “This Is the Beat Generation,” a generation, not unlike “The Lost Generation” after World War I, that was a disaffected, post-World War II group... (Read More ...)