Did You Know?   U.S. Time Zones

Before the 1800’s, people judged the time of day by the position of the sun, but railroad builders saw that the sun’s position changed depending upon what part of the country you were in—thus time zones were established in the U.S.  “The expansion of transport and communication during the 19th century created a need for a unified time-keeping system.”

The program covered railway travel of every kind from city subways to mountain rail lines—from the Atlantic to the Pacific through 4 time zones.   A 3,000-mile journey that was traveled in 6 months, now takes only 5 days.

The program showed how the building of train routes affected everything:  the traveling “towns” which followed the trains, mining, the contributions of the Chinese, the harm to the lifestyle of Native Americans, the effect of the outcome of the Civil War, etc.  In 1846 Truckee, California, there was a winter so bad that the travelers (Donner and Reed wagons) through their mishaps and mistakes (starting late, taking a shortcut, etc.) had to resort to cannibalism to make it.

“Tough Trains:  The Transcontinental Railroad, USA”, traveler Zay Harding, Globetrekker,  http://www.globetrekkertv.com, (2017), WETA UK

Evan Andrews, “10 Things That You Should Know About the Donner Party”, April 14, 2016, http://www.history.com

“Why Do We Have Time Zones?”, http://www.timeanddate.com.

“Railroads Create the First Time Zones”, November 18, 1883, http://www.history.com

Written by Rosa L. Griffin


Did you know? Pocahontas

There are so many stories of Pocahontas, mostly romanticized as in Disney’s Pocahontas movie.

Supposedly, Pocahontas was kidnapped at 17 from the Powhatan tribe and paraded around England.   She is said to have died at 21.   John Smith is said to have started the rumor of her helping him.    www.looper.com/10289/

This Native American woman, Pocahontas, was born Matoaka, known as Amonute, circa 1596-1617. She was notable for her association with the colonial settlement at Jamestown, Virginia.   Pocahontas was the daughter of Powhatan, the paramount chief of a network of tributary tribal nations in the Tsenacommacah, encompassing the Tidewater region of Virginia.  Wikipedia also agrees that the John Smith tale was probably untrue.

In 1613, Pocahontas was captured by the English during Anglo-Indian hostilities, and held for ransom.   During her captivity, she converted to Christianity and took the name Rebecca.  She chose to remain with the English.

In April 1614, she married tobacco planter John Rolfe, and bore him a son, Thomas.

In 1616, the Rolfe’s traveled to London where Pocahontas was presented to English society as the “civilized savage” in hopes of stimulating investment in the Jamestown settlement.

In 1617, Pocahontas died of unknown causes in transit to Virginia and was buried in St. George’s Church, Gravesend.

For more information, check out https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pocahontas.

Submitted by Rosa L. Griffin

Gone with the Wind, book and movie

Posted 9/4/17  to http://www.chicagonow.com/friendly-curmudgeon/2017/09/gone-with-the-wind-banned-in-memphis-actually-indicts-the-confederacy/


I also enjoyed Gone With the Wind because I like movies that are historical, showing how people lived back then–the housing, costumes, songs, etc.

As a Black woman, I agree that things have gone too far when we are trying to ban or get rid of everything historical.   I also agree that no confederate flags should be flying over any municipal or federal buildings anywhere in the U.S.

But I don’t have a problem with white peoples’ showing pride for their own history on their personal belongings.  Remember, the Dukes of Hazzard–a popular tv show–had their General Lee car.  And, remember, the statues were dedicated during a different era.

Museums are the places for the statues, etc. dedicated to slavery and prejudice.  Like I saw engraved on a monument to the Jewish holocaust, “If we forget the past, we may fall prey to these evil things again” (paraphrased).   But, I suspect that U.S. President No. 45 missed the whole point of protesters being able to protest the statues without getting shot or bludgeoned.

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”  George Santayana, 20th century Spanish-American philosopher associated with Pragmatism.


Written by Rosa L. Griffin