Category: History

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.

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.

Best Books on Founding Fathers

There were seven Founding Fathers who deserves the tribute of heroism, namely George Washington, Benjamin Franklin, John Adams, James Maddison, Thomas Jefferson, John Jay, and Alexander Hamilton. It is good to read about this group to learn about the history of the United States.

One of the best ways to understand them with greater depth is to read books written by people who have made it their life’s work to better known these men.

Best Books on Founding Fathers

The Autobiography of Benjamin Franklin

Benjamin Franklin was one of the key Founding Fathers, and he wrote a book about himself in 1770. It is fascinating to read the writings of a person who left his mark on history in their own words. The autobiography offers insight into his life, actions, and reasons behind his many choices. 

Washington: The Indispensable Man 

This biography is authored by James Thomas Flexner, who tells the story of George Washington and his guilty romance with his best friend’s wife. The book has four volumes and has won several accolades.

John Adams

The book, John Adams, was written by David McCullough and details the politics around the time and ongoing war with England and within the country’s borders. You will also find valuable insight into human nature and emotions.

The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers 

Thomas Fleming writes in The Intimate Lives of the Founding Fathers about heroism and the women who were behind much of the country’s success. It is a story about the struggles, challenges, and the women who earnestly played their parts in birthing this great nation. This book is a must-read for all. 

These books offer great insight into the Found Fathers. Anyone with interest in history or would like to know more about the reasons why the country operates how it does today will find a lot to enjoy with any of the above books. If you are a fan of Civil War books, you will find so much more to enjoy our collection of the best Civil War novels.

Why The Pepperoni Roll is a West Virginia Tradition

Pepperoni rolls, a simple food that consists of baked pepperoni wrapped in cooked yeast and white flour. A delicious delight and West Virginia tradition. This food offers a unique flavor, either hot or cold, the dissolved fat gives the roll a spiced, oily seasoning, and they keep fresh for a long time.

But did you know that pepperoni rolls were first invented, cooked, and sold in West Virginia? This is why the divine snack is a West Virginia tradition.

The Origin of Pepperoni Rolls

It all began in 1927, when the baker and coal miner Giuseppe “Joseph” Argiro, from Country Club Bakery in Fairmont, West Virginia, invented this recipe for fellow-laborers who worked the coal mines. The rolls were a simple snack that stayed fresh and provided a good source of protein and fat. The meal was a hit because not only do it provide a high value of energy, but it was pre-cooked, required no refrigeration, and could be tucked into a pocket or bag wrapped in paper. Today, the heart of the rolls remains true, with only minor modifications being made to spruce up the recipe. 

Pepperoni Rolls and The Tradition

West Virginia takes pride in inventing one of the most popular snacks of the state. Country Club Bakery, now owned by Chris Pallotta, bakes pepperoni rolls fresh using the same recipe from the day the shop opened. The bakery ships out parcels to as many as 50 states where pepperoni roll fans can’t get enough of them. It can be said that this is one of the reasons we would add this food to the list of what makes America inspirational.

Since 1927, the people of Fairmont, West Virginia, have been feasting on this food for as long as they have lived. While other cities of the region have recreated the food, stuffing more ingredients, improvising the shape, and adding to the bread, the original pepperoni roll rules the land. 

If you have a friend or an associate that is an avid fan of the pepperoni roll, you would know who is responsible for its creation. Although for many of us with more unique diets, a carb-heavy and fat-filled item isn’t on all of our dietary lists. However, you can take a probiotic from brands like Klaire Labs, Bioray, or Protocol for Life Balance to help support digestions so you can keep on enjoying your pepperoni rolls! 

What was the Main Purpose of the Declaration of Independence?

The great revolution in the history of man, past, present and future, is the revolution of those determined to be free.” – John F. Kennedy

The Declaration of Independence is one of the most important documents in American history. 

It was the first formal statement given by the Continental Congress signers representing the American people, demanding their right to choose their own government, rather than accepting British rule. 

In 1776, Congress chose to break its ties from Great Britain permanently. A five-man committee was assigned to write the demands for freedom, in black and white. This committee included Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Franklin and John Adams as potential signers, however Jefferson is credited with writing the document. 

Main Purposes of The Declaration of Independence

The signers had a few but very potent purposes to achieve in writing the Declaration of Independence, other than merely announcing their freedom, and include the following:

  1. To get reluctant colonists on-board and to make them realize that loyalty to Britain was not in their favor anymore.
  2. To clarify the position of Congress for the welfare of mankind; since they believe that humans are born free and have certain rights, including the right to choose their own government that will protect their human rights through law.
  3. To prove their valid point through pointing out all the violation of rights done to colonists by King George III, including various unfair tax imposition on Americans, as well as the Molasses Act, the Proclamation of 1763, the Sugar Act, the Currency Act and the Stamp Act, which tightened its grip over the colonies.
  4. To create a theoretical statement that perfectly depict their condition, to justify their action of uprising against government for foreigners to help them with their freedom movement.

The Document Served As A Formal Declaration Of War:

Since Jefferson beautifully presented the idea of democracy in his document by stating that “All humans are created equal, they are gifted with certain unalienable rights by their creator, these include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.”

The violation of basic human rights would, therefor, not be acceptable from then onwards. This call of rebellion served as an open declaration of war between the American colonies and Great Britain. 

The Outcome

All in all, the hard work paid off since the Declaration of Independence served as the most imperative tool that gifted the colonists with freedom. They were now free to practice religion, pay taxes within the country to benefits its development, and so much more. 

When we look at the world today, we understand why it was so important to have a free life!