December 30, 2019

Author: Bill Burton

The Maud Adams You Don’t Know

Maude Adams (not Maud Adams the Bond Girl, she doesn’t have the “e”) was an astonishingly successful stage actor who burst onto the New York stage in 1896 with J. M. Barrie’s The Little Minister and in 1905 played the title role in Barrie’s Peter Pan. Alphonse Mucha painted her. She toured with her own troupe and retired in 1918 from the effects of the Great Influenza Epidemic.

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“I Like Ike!”

Dwight Eisenhower never served in combat, but he achieved total victory in World War II. He had no experience running an institution of higher learning, yet he became President of Columbia University. And he never held public office until he was elected President of the United States.

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It’s Old Home Week!

Small towns in New England and the Mid-Atlantic lost population as westward migration and the lure of factory work drew young people away. Old Home Week attempted to lure them back.

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Inside Sing Sing Prison and The Mutual Welfare League

Forty miles north of New York City, “up the Hudson River,” Sing Sing Prison got a new warden in 1915. Thomas Mott Osborne ushered in a wave of penal reform. Out went the lockstep, in came (limited) prisoner self-governance. T. Fred Robbins, a nearby photographer and constable, was allowed to document many of the changes and he published postcards of his photos.

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Shot Towers

Is it some sort of munitions testing facility? Why build it in downtown Baltimore? There’s a reason for everything, and then I found out there were lots of them, and some are still around, almost 200 years and several technological revolutions later.

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