Monday, August 15, 2016

History: The Year is 1849

I've uploaded year 1849 to the TSP Wiki...

Here are some one liners...

A Man in Uniform and a Woman in Pants -- The first baseball uniform and I talk about how men's and women's fashions are changing.

The View of Yosemite -- Yosemite is seen by a white man for the first time. I talk about the dangers of Yosemite today.

The Memory of 13 Martyrs -- The Hungarian rebellion is lost and 13 men are hanged. They will be remembered by the custom of not clinking one's beer glass.

In Other News -- The Kennedys have landed, Poe is dead and we have the first Woman physician in America

A Man in Uniform and a Woman in Pants

The New York Knickerbockers become the first baseball team to wear a uniform during official play. According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, it consists of "a white flannel shirt, blue wool pants and a straw hat." The term "Knickerbocker" refers to a New Yorker who is descended from Dutch immigrants who had founded New Amsterdam. "Knickerbockers" also refers to a popular type of pants called "knickers" that tie below the knee. FYI, "bloomers" for women are also popular this year. They are flowing pants worn under a skirt and tied below the knee. In Great Britain "knickers" refers to women's underwear. An Englishman might say, "Don't get your knickers in a twist." Americans would express that same sentiment differently. (I am struggling not to make an off-color joke. I have my dignity to think of.) [1] [2]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
Men's and women's fashions were undergoing a monumental shift during the 1840s and early 50s. A man's shirt became plain without all those ruffles and flourishes. He made a statement about his manliness with his accomplishments rather than his clothing. Easy travel by train forced people to adopt a more informal dress. Women were more concerned with impressing other women. Thus "Bloomers" made a statement about women's rights since Amelia Bloomer fought for women's rights and she approved of them. However, women were still interested in attracting the attention of men. Waists became lower, shoulders narrowed, and hat pins were used more often after a machine process lowered the costs. And finally, the safety pin was invented in 1849 by Walter Hunt. He didn't realize what he had, so he sold the rights to a company and used the money to pay off a $15 debt. He is the same guy who invented the street sweeper, the snow plow and an early version of the American sewing machine. (He didn't take the sewing machine seriously either.) [3] [4]

The View of Yosemite

In the course of human events Dr. Lafayette Bunnell has done his part. He worked in a hospital during the Mexican-American War and after the war was over he heard rumors of gold in California. As he follows the Merced River he glances toward the Sierra Nevada mountains and sees something spectacular... Half Dome... a chunk of granite rising over 4,000 feet high with one side looking as if it has been chopped off. When he asks the miners about it, none of them have ever seen it before, so he can claim to be the first white man to have seen it. In 1851, he will join a the Mariposa militia in fighting the Indians that are attacking the local miners. His battalion will visit the valley where Half Dome is located and Bunnell will ask for a vote of the men to name the valley. They choose the name Yosemite. It means "killer" in the local Indian language and refers to the Indian tribe that the militia are looking for in that area. The local Indians call the place "Ahwahnee" which means "Big Mouth". If you look down the valley it seems as if it will swallow you. It is worth a look. [5] [6] [7]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
I visited Yosemite National Park a few times when I was younger. It is strikingly beautiful, but the term "Park" can be misleading. 12 to 15 people die there every year amongst the splendor and beauty. The obvious way to die is to climb the rock faces. People who are equipped to do that sort of thing know the dangers involved, but there are less obvious dangers in the Park. The Ponderosa pines tend to shed their branches in a strong wind. It's not a big problem unless you are the one standing there when it happens. In August of 2015 a grizzly bear killed and ate an experienced hiker. Mountain lions can carry away children. Drought leading to starvation forces the animals into public areas looking for food. You are better off in a group. Disease is also an issue. (I'm talking about Plague, the Black Death.) Do not feed the animals. The Rangers are looking for outbreaks of disease amongst the ground squirrels, but they are not guaranteeing anything. Even a pet will occasionally take a nip out of you if you hand feed them. I'm not trying to frighten anyone but use your head. [8] [9] [10]

The Memory of 13 Martyrs

The Hungarians recently rebelled against their Austrian masters and the war has been hard and bloody. The rebels seemed to be winning until the Russians stepped in. Now it looks hopeless, mostly because it is. In a last ditch effort, the Hungarian rebels turn to General Artúr Görgey. If anyone can do it he can, but he can't do it. He surrenders. The Austrians want to hang him and so do a few Hungarians, but the Russians spare his life. Instead, the Austrians hang 12 other generals and one colonel. Many others will be put to death, but these men will be remembered as martyrs to the cause well into the modern day. [11] [12]
My Take by Alex Shrugged
You cannot keep a memory like that alive unless you have regular reminders of the loss. That usually involves some sort of custom or regular ritual. It is rumored that the Austrians had been raising their beer glasses and clicking them in celebration at the deaths of these men. That is why the Hungarians stopped clinking their glasses when drinking beer. However, the custom started falling away in 1999 with the millennials and is maintained only by the older generation of patriots now.

In Other News

  • Patrick Kennedy escapes the Great Famine in Ireland and lands in Boston. He is the great-great grandfather of President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy. [13] [14]
  • Edgar Allan Poe dies in Baltimore at the age of 40. " Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore.'" Newspapers report he died of alcoholism but in truth no one really knows. [15]
  • Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman physician in the United States. She had gained entrance to medical school at Hobart College through the unanimous vote of the 150 male students then enrolled. [16]

This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1849, Wikipedia.

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