Author: Edgar Patterson

5 Most Notable Figures of the Prohibition Era

The Prohibition Era in the United States is one of the most interesting moments of American history.

States ratified the Eighteenth Amendment to the Constitution in January 1919, banning the transportation, manufacturing, and sales of intoxicating liquor. The law went into effect in 1920, and it would stay in place for the next 13 years.

Bootlegging and speakeasies made it challenging for police to enforce the new laws. Increases in liquor’s illegal production led to rises in gang violence, money laundering, and criminal enterprises.

The 21st Amendment would reverse the idea.

Several notable figures came out of the Prohibition Era. Perhaps you recognize many of these names?

Al Capone

Born in Brooklyn, he would rise to lead the organized crime syndicate operating in Chicago during the Prohibition Era. He was tried and convicted for tax evasion in 1931.

Eliot Ness

Ness was part of the “untouchables.” He led a group of federal enforcement officers that tracked liquor movements and manufacturing. Those officials raided breweries in Chicago frequently. Ness would also move on to tackle organized crime in Cleveland.

George Remus

This Cincinnati bootlegger read the laws carefully, exploiting every legal loophole he could find. His empire got build by buying pharmacies and distilleries to make liquor for medical needs.

Bill McCoy

McCoy ran rum from the Bahamas to the East Coast during the Prohibition Era. The reason why we say the phrase, “That’s the Real McCoy,” is because of his efforts to always sell an unadulterated product.

Roy Olmstead

Before the Prohibition Era, Olmstead worked as a police officer in Seattle. After the 18th Amendment’s passage, he became one of the biggest and best bootleggers in the Pacific Northwest. Unlike most of the other people engaged in this enterprise, Olmstead never carried guns or engaged in other vices. He just kept bringing alcohol back from Canada. 

Who are some of your favorite characters from the Prohibition Era?

Civil War Battlefields to See During the Holidays

When you have an extended weekend to enjoy, packing the family into the SUV to see some of America’s historical sites is a lot of fun. If you live along the Mississippi River or to the East, visiting the Civil War battlefields can be an entertaining and humbling experience.

You’re going to need lots of energy for this trip! By bringing along your favorite products by Alaffia, Alba Botanica, and Collagen, you’ll be ready for a full day of exploring.

What stops will you add to your itinerary this year?

List of the Best Places to Visit to Remember the Civil War

The Civil War often pitted brother against brother and neighbor against neighbor in a quest to shape our continent. These battlefields became the places where those arguments got settled.

1. Fort Sumter

This site is where it all began. On April 12, 1861, Confederate soldiers attacked the fort. It took 34 hours for the defenders to surrender, with only two soldiers killed during the battle. Over the next four years, over 600,000 more would eventually die.

2. Manassas

The North hoped for a swift victory to make the Civil War a blip on history’s radar. Those expectations disappeared on this July 1861 battlefield. People were so confident that civilians treated the conflict as a tourist attraction. That quickly ended with a Confederate route and everyone running for their lives.

A second battle happened here in 1862. The Confederates won again, setting the foundation for an invasion of the Union.

3. Shiloh

One of the most massive battles in the Civil War was also one of its costliest. About 110,000 men fought on this battlefield, with approximately one-quarter suffering casualties. It would be an expensive Union victory, but it also helped to reinforce the North’s boundaries.

4. Gettysburg

This national military park is considered hallowed ground for many. The combat sites have been well-preserved to ensure everyone can see what the battle was like when it occurred. When General Pickett ordered a charge into Union forces at Cemetery Ridge, it would become a defining point of the war. Over 50,000 casualties were counted that day.

The lessons learned from the Civil War should help us to avoid these issues today. Visiting the sacred battlegrounds is one way to teach future generations about those circumstances.

The History and Significance of Labor Day

Labor Day occurs on the first Monday of September each year. It is dedicated to the American worker’s economic and social achievements, serving as a tribute to the contributions that people create.

Without workers operating in safe environments, the country’s strength and prosperity would not be where it is today.

The first declarations for celebrating Labor Day happened with municipal ordinances passed in the late 19th century. A movement started after, creating state legislation in New York, New Jersey, Oregon, and more. Five states would create a holiday in 1887.

Who Is the Founder of Labor Day?

No one knows for certain who the first person was that initiated the idea of celebrating Labor Day.

Many people give the credit to Peter McGuire. He was the general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners, as well as the co-founder of the American Federation of Labor.

Matthew Maguire, who worked as a machinist, also receives credit for coming up with the holiday.

What we do know is that in 1882, the Central Labor Union in New York adopted a resolution to celebrate workers. They held the event on September 5 in NYC, and they continued the tradition the next year.

Twenty-three states adopted the holiday by 1894, putting pressure on Grover Cleveland to make it a national event. 

Labor Day became official on June 28, 1894.

How We Celebrated Labor Day

The first Labor Day celebrations involved speeches and parades. The goal was to show the American worker’s strength while providing opportunities for fun and community togetherness. For some time, the Sunday before the holiday was considered a time to review the modern laborer’s spiritual aspects.

Changes in recent years have shifted the emphasis of the holiday. Although union executives and government officials still give speeches, it has become a time when workers relax, pursue family activities, and celebrate in their preferred way.

Indeed, we wouldn’t be where we are today without American workers. When Labor Day comes each year, celebrate your accomplishments!

The Significance of Lord Russell and the British During the Civil War

Lord John Russell was the foreign secretary in Great Britain during the fall of 1862. It was a challenging period internationally as America sank deeper into its Civil War. The Confederates were marching on Washington, a cotton famine was creating economic problems, and the Union was experiencing numerous defeats.

Russell met with Lord Palmerston, who was the Prime Minister, and other European powers to discuss the option of providing mediation to the United States.

The idea was ultimately rejected after three months of intense discussions. Russell and the British decided to maintain their cautious neutrality stance when dealing with both sides in the American war.

Why Did the British Decide Against Intervention?

Early scholars believed that the British decided against mediation because they felt that Lincoln and the Union would reject it. There was widespread support for the North, but the rest of the world needed the economic engine provided by the South.

Any mediation would create new personal rivalries and divisions that could eventually turn into more fuel for the Civil War fire.

When the Union got a much-needed victory at Antietam, it frustrated Palmerston and Russell because it seemed as if the Confederate cause was hopeless.

Attitudes at home helped to convince the British elites that neutrality was necessary. Although the monarchy and nobles generally supported the Confederacy because of their trade ties, the common person in the UK supported the Union.

With France managing its own venture in Mexico, Britain was forced to turn to Greece and Russia for intervention. By 1863, the idea of mediating had died completely.

The British Almost Officially Recognized the Confederacy

Under the efforts of Lord Russell, mediation came to a head in the summer of 1862. Charles Adams, Sr., warned Washington that the British were interested in interfering between the two parties. If that happened, the goal was to give the South what it wanted. 

The issue that faced Russell was simple. If the Confederacy was given full governing authority under secession, the British faced an all-out war with the remainder of the United States. That would mean an invasion in Canada, naval attacks, and no more grain shipments.

With so much on the line to lose, the British stepped back. The Civil War came to its natural outcome, and we can learn from these moments in history.

Medical Innovations Created by Americans

The United States is coming close to its 250th birthday celebration. One of the unique emphasis points in the American economy has been the emphasis on medicine. Since its founding, thousands of unique innovations have come from the pharmaceutical, education, and innovation found in this country.

Many U.S. researchers have helped to advance the study of nutrition. The principles discovered by American innovation trickle into several areas of science, ranging from supplements to surgical techniques.

If you take products from brands like Quicksilver Scientific, Irwin Naturals, or Enzymedica, you are benefitting (at least in part) from the American investment emphasis in medicine.

Here is a partial list of what U.S. research has given the world since 1900.

The United States Created the Public Health Service in 1902

Although Americans rely on a patchwork platform of insurance, in-network providers, and confusing medical access rules, the U.S. was an early adopter of a national emphasis on better care.

The United States was at the forefront of longer average lifespans for several decades during the 20th century.

Austrian-American Karl Landsteiner developed the system of blood typing in 1901. We still use the A, B, and O method today. The first successful transfusion happened in 1907 because of this work.

During the 1920s, Americans introduced numerous vaccines to global medicine, including diphtheria, whooping cough, tuberculosis, and tetanus. In 1922, U.S. doctors because the first to successfully treat diabetes by using insulin.

The first dose of penicillin given to a patient in the U.S. happened in 1942 to treat a case of septicemia. By 1943, over 400 million units were produced. Americans brought that number to 20.5 billion doses before the end of the second world war.

The 1960s and 70s were another time of vaccine innovation in the United States. Options to fight mumps, rubella, chicken pox, pneumonia, and meningitis were developed during this time.

The 21st Century Brought More American Innovation

Medical innovations shifted from reactive to proactive treatment in the 21st century. That transition started when scientists released the rough draft of the human genome to the public. Doctors could see what all 23,000 genes in the human body could do.

That information led to the development of using human skin cells to create embryonic ones for future medical treatments.

As the 21st century continues, new treatments for cancer, Alzheimer’s disease, and other severe health issues are on the horizon. Today, we all have the option to live happy and healthy lives due to the ingenuitive spirit of American medicine.

4 Books About Lewis and Clark’s Expedition Across America

The Lewis and Clark Expedition took place from August 1803 to September 1806. President Thomas Jefferson commissioned the adventure right after the completion of the Louisiana Purchase so that the new territory could get mapped.

Lewis and Clark were also tasked with finding a practical route to reach the western half of the continent.

Jefferson and many Americans were worried about Europe trying to establish new colonies along the frontier border. This investment helped to counter that concern.

The Journals of Lewis and Clark by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Several editors and authors have reworked the journals of Lewis and Clark over the years. Their unprecedented journey from St. Louis to the Pacific Ocean allowed them to explore a vast amount of the Louisiana Purchase, placing their names in history as they recorded the various people, plants, and animals along the way. This option is one of the best.

Lewis and Clark Among the Indians by James P. Ronda

This book about Lewis and Clark is particularly valuable because of the tribal background information it includes. The appendix places the Sacagawea concept within its accurate perspective, attempting to show how the communication between the adventurers led to the positive outcomes during the expedition. 

The Essential Lewis and Clark by Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

Choose this book if you want to take a more nuanced approach to Lewis and Clark’s adventures. The updated version includes the detailed original writing from the journals, archival maps drawn from the journey, and plenty of artwork that the pair developed to describe what they saw. This real-life adventure shows what the experience was like, ranging from mountain crossings to encounters with bears.

Streams to the River, River to the Sea by Scott O’Dell

In this Scholastic book, a young woman experiences the joy and heartbreak of life when she decides to join the Lewis and Clark expedition. The author paints Sacagawea as an abused wife, a caring mother, and a daring adventurer as the group works their way toward the western coast.

Most books that detail the journey of Lewis and Clark are based on their journals. Some fictional stories, including one from the perspective of their dog, add some variety to the mix. If you want to know what really happened, these four books are an excellent place to start.
If you are interested in more books about historical figures, don’t miss these books about Abraham Lincoln.

Best Science Museums to Visit in America

The United States is a large country filled with several geographical wonders and cultural differences. While the East Coast feels more European, the West Coast provides a rustic, laid back personality filled with big skies and open spaces.

You can find farming communities in the Midwest, deserts in the Southwest, and the French/Creole celebrations in the South.


Each region has a different take on how to offer a fantastic science museum. Here are some of the best options to visit.

What U.S. Science Museums Are the Best?

Museum of Science, Boston

Several hands-on activities are available at this museum, making it a delightful stop for all ages. You can explore the science behind colors and light, visit a Butterfly Garden, or enjoy a show at the planetarium. There’s even a 3D ride simulator to bring thrills.

Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

At over 400,000 square feet, this science museum is one of the largest in the world. The facility’s goal is to bring out the genius in everyone, which means you’ll find several activities to enjoy at every age. You can explore the physics of a tornado, see real-time representations of the Earth with the facilities floating glob, and embrace your curiosity.

California Science Center, Los Angeles

If you visit the permanent exhibits at this facility, your entry into the museum is free. You’ll see interactive and time-limited presentations that range from planetary ecosystems to spatial technology. Several programs are hosted throughout the month, including no-cost shows in the IMAX theater. You can even see the shuttle Endeavour during your tour.

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

You’ll find a natural history museum, a planetarium, an aquarium, and a working research lab under the same roof when visiting this fantastic site. They sometimes host pajama sleepovers and fun events with penguins to make learning a blast. Don’t miss the four-story tropical rainforest and the photography exhibits during your stay.

Arkansas Museum of Discovery, Little Rock

With over 90 different interactive exhibits, young children will have plenty of fun at this museum. The spotlight is on mathematical applications and general education, helping everyone learn more about how the universe works.

The best science museums to visit in America often include on-site cafés, modern amenities, and gift shops to help everyone enjoy the experience even more. Where do you plan to travel first?

Lessons From the Great Depression You Can Use in Daily Life

The years around the 1930s were a dark period for America. The era known as The Great Recession was one of the worst worse economic collapses in the country’s history, leading to widespread job losses and poverty. Average wages dropped 60%, and many industries ceased production. This was combined with severe droughts that turned the life of everyone upside down.

These difficult times required people to adapt. While things are much different today, with social programs available to help carry some of the burden until a worker can find a new job, it’s essential not to forget that terrible times can strike almost anytime. Just look at the recession and housing market collapse in 2008, or 2020 with the COVID-19 outbreak.

But we aren’t here to talk about economic loss. Instead, we will study a few lessons that people learned during the Great Depression that you can apply to daily life and during times of hardship.

Recycle and Reuse

Put your creativity cap on! Don’t spend money on new things when you can reuse old fabrics, buttons, furniture, and a lot more to craft new interior decor and clothing, such as rags, furniture upholstery, handkerchiefs, artwork, and so on! Disposable bottles and boxes can be used for storage purposes. Following this can help you to save a lot of money that you can then put into saving. Ideally, you have at least six months of emergency savings; some recommend as much as 12 months!

Check on Your Neighbors

During The Great Depression, communities formed to support one another. People worked to make sure that their neighbors didn’t go hungry or needed something they had lying around and not in use. In times of great crises, these communities provide emotional and financial support. Similarly, it would be best to take care of the ones who are less privileged than you.

Save Money

Everyone’s guilty of spending extra on luxuries, from ordering food from a restaurant to overbuying and throwing out the excess, to paying for conveniences such as washing your car or mowing the lawn yard. It’s time to take responsibility for your actions and think about the savings you could enjoy if you performed the chores for yourself. Not only will it save money, but it will help you to change your relationship with money.

Instill Positivity

One of the greatest lessons from The Great Depression is to stay positive and be proud of where you come from. When life throws lemons at you, make lemonade. During The Great Depression, people found happiness in the smallest of things, be it spending time with their loved ones, watching a movie, reading books, or learning a new skill.

Avoid Debt

You should avoid debt like the plague because once you find yourself in debt, there is no way back. If you think that you can pay off debts in the future, you might be wrong because it takes a lot of patience and effort to get out of it. You need to take charge of your finances and list all the debts you have, starting from the lowest to largest. Know the golden rule: buy only what you need and can afford! 

These are just a few lessons you can apply to daily life. You could call The Great Depression a major failure for America. Thankfully, many people learned from that experience, and the country was able to move forward.

Abraham Lincoln Biography Books

Abraham Lincoln’s political career, married life, speeches, contributions, and leadership qualities have been covered by many researchers and writers. He is a well-regarded figure and often cited by people for why they pursued politics. 

Abraham Lincoln was the 16th President of the United States, and emerged as a prominent figure in helping to abolish slavery and guiding the country through the Civil War.

Lincoln was not only a political leader, but he was the epitome of strong leadership, humility, and honesty. His life is filled with lessons for everyone. If you’re keen to read the biography of Abraham Lincoln, check out some of the excellent books that will leave you stunned.

Lincoln Reconsidered

David Herbert Donald wrote a series of essays on the Civil War and Abraham Lincoln. The author discusses the educational and political background of the great leader who was a lawyer, politician, and worked to stop the Civil War. Some of the issues covered in this book are the Emancipation Proclamation and the overall movement against slavery.

The Complete Papers and Writings of Abraham Lincoln

Straight from Lincoln himself, this book covers the thoughts of Lincoln as a lawyer, politician, and a leader. His writings reflect his life from the time he was a lawyer to his Presidency. He was a man of carefully chosen words who believed that slavery was wrong and thus helped to drive the anti-slavery movement. If you want to read more about his ideas and strategies, get your hands on this book.

Lincoln at Peoria: The Turning Point

This book focuses on the Lincoln delivered on October 16, 1854, in Peoria, Illinois. It was the turning point in the life of Lincoln as he faced political hurdles at the beginning of the anti-slavery movement. His speeches have faced much backlash but were critical to the country at that time. His gestures and words came directly from the heart and are so meaningful to read today.

Lincoln The Biography of a Writer

The author Fred Kaplan digs deep into the life of Abraham Lincoln, particularly his literary career that can’t be separated from his life. He was a keen reader of Byron, Burns, and Shakespeare. His thorough reading of literary works shaped much of his views on human nature and love. No other president had ever possessed the art of thoughtful and profound speeches that he delivered to his audience and much touched the hearts of people. This book shows the literary side of Abraham.

If you wanted to explore the life of Lincoln, then these books are an excellent starting point!

Fun Family Activities You Can Explore at Hershey’s Chocolate World

If you’re visiting Pennsylvania with your kids for the first time and you’re looking for places to explore, you can’t miss out on the chocolate-themed wonderland Hershey’s Chocolate World. From roller coasters to sweet treats, this is Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory come to life.

Here are some of the exciting places you’ll find at the sweetest tourist spot on Earth.

Hershey Park

Hershey Park was built-in 1907, and has over 14 exhilarating roller coaster rides for families, and 20 rides specially designed for kids. What’s impressive is that the park connects with the Boardwalk, which is a water park with slides, breath-taking water coasters, and many other attractions. You’ll find the food area and live stages for entertainment when you want out of the sun. All-in-all, if you’re up for some real adventuring, it’s a must-visit place that you will never forget. You need two days to explore the entire park!

Zoo America

Zoo America is located adjacent to the park and houses around 200 animals belonging to five regions of North America. It’s a seven acre-park that is a perfect getaway for kids who are fond of seeing animals. Kids who are eight and under get free entrance to the zoo on weekends.

Hershey’s Chocolate World

One of the most amazing tourist spots in Pennsylvania that offers much more than sight-seeing. If you’re a die-hard chocolate fan, there are many different activities for you to explore. You can design your own personal Hershey chocolate bar, watch a movie about the origins of chocolate, and grab some sweet treats! Take a tour of the Chocolate Trolley to learn more about the history of Hershey and how it started.

You’ll find bakery, food court, and Dessert creation studio in the area.

The Hershey Story

The Hershey Story is a museum that showcases the rich history of Milton Hershey. It’s a family-friendly museum that shares the story of the man who pioneered the chocolate brand we all know and love today. You can even make your own chocolate in the chocolate lab!

Plan your next family vacation to Hershey, Pennsylvania! But do make sure you are staying safe and healthy. Always practice extra precautions when traveling, speak with your doctor about what more you could be doing, and think about how immune support products from Argentyn 23 or Quicksilver Scientific may provide the additional support that you want each day!