Daylight Saving Time Expires ….

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Daylight Saving Time ends at 2:00 AM tomorrow. Clocks will need to be set back an hour for most of the country, Canada and Mexico’s northern border cities.

The practice of setting clocks ahead in the spring and back in the fall first occurred during the First World War to reduce evening usage of incandescent lighting, formerly a primary use of electricity. The practice has been both praised and criticized. Adding daylight to evenings benefits retailing, sports and other activities that exploit sunlight after working hours. But it can cause problems for evening entertainment and other occupations tied to the sun. (from me and Cute Calendar)

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the bra invented ….

The Dresden-based German Christine Hardt invented the first modern brassiere this date in 1899.

The term brassiere was used by the Evening Herald in Syracuse, New York, in 1893. It gained wider acceptance in 1904 when the DeBevoise Company used it in their advertising copy—although the word is actually Norman French for a child’s undershirt. Early versions resembled a camisole stiffened with boning.

Vogue magazine first used the term brassier in 1907 and by 1911, the word had made its way into the Oxford English Dictionary. On November 3, 1914, the newly formed U.S. patent category for “brassieres” was inaugurated with the first patent issued to Mary Phelps Jacob. In the 1930’s brassiere was gradually shortened to bra.

Wearing a garment to support the breasts may date back to ancient Greece. Women wore a strip of cloth called a “breast-band,” a band of wool or linen that was wrapped across the breasts and tied or pinned at the back

Fragments of linen textiles found in East Tyrol in Austria dated to between 1440 and 1485 are believed to have been bras. Two of them had cups made from two pieces of linen sewn with fabric that extended to the bottom of the torso with a row of six eyelets for fastening with a lace or string. One had two shoulder straps and was decorated with lace in the cleavage.

From the 16th Century, the undergarments of wealthier women in the Western world were dominated by the corset, which pushed the breasts upwards. In the later 19th Century, clothing designers began experimenting with alternatives, splitting the corset into multiple parts: a girdle-like restraining device for the lower torso, and devices that suspended the breasts from the shoulder to the upper torso. (from Wikipedia)

Halloween!

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Halloween (or Hallowe’en, a contraction of All Hallows Evening) also known as All Hallows’ Eve or All Saints’ Eve, is a celebration on the eve of the Western Christian feast of All Hallows’ Day. It begins the three-day observance that is dedicated to remembering the dead, including saints (hallows), martyrs, and all the faithful departed.

It is widely believed that many Halloween traditions originated from the ancient Celtic harvest festival Samhain, and that this Gaelic observance was Christianized by the early Church, thus having Christian and pagan roots.

Historians tell us that throughout Ireland there was an uneasy truce existing between customs and belief associated with Christianity and those associated with religions that were Irish before Christianity arrived. Samhaim (pronounced SAH-win or sow-in), which comes from the Old Irish for “summer’s end,” was the first and most important of the four quarter days in the medieval Gaelic calendar and was celebrated in Ireland, Scotland and the Isle of Man. It was held on or about October 31st through November 1st  (All Souls’ Day), and a kindred festival was held at the same time of year by the Brittonic Celts in Wales, Cornwall and Brittany.

Samhain marked the end of the harvest season and beginning of winter or the darker half of the year. It was seen as a luminal time, when the boundary between this world and the otherworld thinned. This meant the spirits or fairies could more easily come into our world and were particularly active. Most scholars see these spirits as degraded versions of ancient gods, who power remained active in people’s minds even after they had been officially replaced by religious beliefs.

At Samhain, it was believed that the spirits needed to be propitiated to ensure that the people and their livestock survived the winter. Offerings of food and drink or portions of the crops were left outside for the spirits. The souls of the dead were also said to revisit their homes seeking hospitality. Places were set at the dinner table and by the fire to welcome them. The belief that the souls of the dead return home on one night of the year seems to have ancient origins and is found in many cultures throughout the world. After this, the eating, drinking and games would begin. Special bonfires were lit and there were rituals involving them as well. It is suggested that the fires were a kind of imitative or sympathetic magic—they mimicked the Sun, helping the “powers of growth” and holding back the decay and darkness of winter.

Halloween activities include trick-or-treating, carving pumpkins into jack-o’-lanterns, lighting bonfires, playing pranks and visiting haunted attractions. In many parts of the world, the Christian religious observances of All Hallows’ Eve, including attending church services and lighting candles on the graves of the dead, remain popular, although elsewhere it has become a more commercial and secular celebration. (from Wikipedia and cutecalendar.com)

New York Stock Exchange crash

The New York Stock Exchange crashed on what came to be known as “Black Tuesday,” which signaled the beginning of the ten-year Great Depression in 1929 that affected all Western industrialized countries.

The Roaring Twenties, the decade that followed World War I and led to the Crash, was a time of wealth and excess. Building on post-war optimism, rural Americans migrated to the cities in vast numbers in hopes of finding a more prosperous life in the expansion of America’s industrial sector. While the American cities prospered, overproduction of agriculture produce created widespread financial despair among American farmers throughout the decade. These are key factors that led to the 1929 stock market crash.

Despite the dangers of speculation, many believed that the stock market would continue to rise forever. On March 25, 1929, after the Federal Reserve warned of excessive speculation, a mini-crash occurred as investors started to sell stocks at a rapid pace, exposing the market’s shaky foundation. Stop-gap measures were taken to halt the slide, but the American economy showed ominous signs of trouble: steel production declined, construction was sluggish, automobile sales went down, and consumers were building up high debts because of easy credit (sound familiar?)

The stock market had been on a nine-year run that saw the Dow Jones Industrial Average increase in value tenfold, peaking at 381.17 on September 3, 1929. Optimism and financial gains of the great bull market were shaken after a well-publicized early September prediction from a financial expert that “a crash was coming.” This was the beginning of the crash.

On September 20th, the London Stock Exchange crashed when top British investors were jailed for fraud and forgery. The London crash weakened the optimism of the American investment in overseas markets. Selling intensified through mid-October. On October 24th (“Black Thursday”), the market lost 11 percent of its value at the opening bell on heavy trading. The huge volume meant that the report of prices on the ticker tape in brokerage offices around the nation was hours late, so investors had no idea what most stocks were actually trading for at that moment, increasing panic.

Again, attempts were made to halt the slide, tactics similar to the one that ended the Panic of 1907. The Dow Jones recovered and closed only a little over six points down for the day. The rally continued on Friday, but the respite was only temporary.

Over the weekend, events were covered by the newspapers across the United States. On October 28, “Black Monday,” more investors facing margin calls decided to get out of the market, and the slide continued with a record loss in the Dow of 13%. The next day, “Black Tuesday,” October 29, 1929, panic selling reached its crescendo. The Dow lost an additional 12%. The volume of stocks traded that day was a record that was not broken for nearly 40 years. The market had lost over $30 billion in the space of two days; $14 billion was lost on October 29th alone.

More stop-gap measures managed to help the market recover for several months. But the following year, the Dow embarked on another, much longer and steady slide from April 1931 to July 8, 1932 when it closed at 41.22—its lowest level of the 20th Century, which translated to an 89% loss rate for all of the market’s stocks. The market would not return to the peak closing of September 3, 1929 until November 23, 1954.

(me and Wikipedia)

Statue of Liberty

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The Statue of Liberty was presented by France to the U.S. this date in 1886.

The Statue of Liberty is a neoclassical sculpture on Liberty Island in New York Harbor in New York City. The copper statue, designed by Frederic Auguste Bartoldi, a French sculptor, was built by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower fame). It was a gift to the United States from the people of France that harkened back to the fact that France supplied troops and leadership in the American War of Independence and, following the American example, the French undertook their own fight for independence from their monarchy.

The statue is of a robed female figure representing Libertas, the Roman goddess, who bears a torch and a tablet evoking the law upon which is inscribed the date of the American Declaration of Independence. A broken chain lies at her feet. The statue is an icon of freedom and of the United States. It stands 151 feet from the statue base to the torch; from ground level to the torch is 305 feet 1 inch.

It was proposed that the French finance the statue and the Americans provide the site and build the pedestal. Fundraising proved difficult, especially for the Americans, and by 1885 work on the pedestal was threatened due to lack of funds. Publisher Joseph Pulitzer of the New York World started a drive for donations to complete the project that attracted more than 120,000 contributors, most of whom gave less than a dollar. The statue was constructed in France, shipped overseas in crates, and assembled on the completed pedestal on what was then called Bedloe’s Island. The statue’s completion was marked by New York’s first ticker-tape parade and a dedication ceremony presided over by President Grover Cleveland.

The statue was administered by the United States Lighthouse Board until 1901 and then by the Department of War. Since1933 it has been maintained by the National Park Service. Public access to the balcony surrounding the torch has been barred for safety reasons since 1916.

(me and Wikipedia)