Friday, January 29, 2010

Young Historians: 1933 and Rag Rugs

This week’s timeline is 1933. In March of that year, President Roosevelt became President of the United States. He brings in new ideas to help people. This is called “The New Deal.” Taking advantage of the radio, he talks to the public in his “fireside chats.”

Many people are still looking for work and times are hard. If you lived in a farming community, such as Cavendish, you would be able to eat what you grew and canned, as well as what you could hunt.

As we’ve talked about, everything was reused as much as possible. This week we’re going to learn what was done when the bed sheets were no longer usable.

Gloria Leven told us that her mother would take worn out bed sheets and cut out the bad parts and sew them together to make a new one. Sometimes bed sheets can’t be fixed. They could then be used for rags. Another way to use them was to make a “rag rug.”

This week we will be learning how these rugs were made. We will show different ways the rugs were made, and teach you how to make one by braiding. Below are some links you might enjoy on rag rug making.

How to make a rag rug with a toothbrush

Rag Rug Instructions

History Timeline 1933

Movies: King Kong starring Fay Wray; Duck Soup by the Marx Brothers; The Three Little Pigs produced by Walt Disney; 42 Street starring Julian Marsh; She Done Him Wrong starring Mae West

Songs: Stormy Weather by Ethel Waters; Sophisticated Lady by Duke Ellington; Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by Paul Whiteman Orchestra; Who’s Afraid of the Big Bad Wolf by Harry Resor and His Eskimos with Loretta Clemons

Books: God’s Little Acre by Erskine Caldwell; The Thin Man by Dashiell Hammett; Lost Horizon by James Hilton; Ulysses by James Joyce

• Former President Calvin Coolidge dies. Coolidge was the only president from Vermont. You can see where he grew up in Plymouth VT. He also went to school in Ludlow.
• Sir Malcolm Campbell sets land speed record of 272.1 mph at Daytona Beach Florida.
• Charles Darrow invents Monopoly
• Adolph Hitler becomes chancellor of Germany

• An attempt is made to assassinate (kill) Franklin Roosevelt, who is about to become the President

• Inauguration of Franklin Roosevelt as President
• Roosevelt begins the first of his “fireside chats.” He spoke to the country via radio about the banking crises. You can listen to this radio broadcast at
• Reports of Nazi mistreatment of Jews in Germany

• It is legal to drink beer after 15 years of Prohibition
• The Senate passes a bill limiting 5-day workweek and a six-hour workday. The goal is to offer work to more people.

• President Roosevelt outlines his program for “The New Deal,” A chicken in every pot.

• The Chicago Fair opens “A Century of Progress. Learn more about the fair by going to
• Hitler outlaws all political parties other than the Nazi party.

• The National Recovery Administration is formed
• Wiley Post completes solo flight around the world in 7 days, 18 hours, 49 minutes

• Dictograph Products and Sonotone each announce improvements in hearing aids.

• Scientists determine the cause of Dutch Elm Disease

• Alcatraz opens to house the nation’s worst criminals
• 2,000 rural schools do not open for the fall semester. 2.3 million children are not in school.
• Marconi announces discovery of microwaves
• The New York Giants (National League) defeat the Washington Senator (American League) in the World Series

To learn more about 1933, go to

Listen to 1933 Year in Review at

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Young Historians: Calder inspired 1930's Cavendish

We are working on creating scenes (person, place or event) of Cavendish in the 1930s, using the techniques that the artist Alexander Calder used in his Circus from the same time period. We will be watching a clip of Calder Circus and have books available in the library.

In keeping with the times of the 1930s, Calder used scraps of wire, clay, material, cork, wood to create his ringmaster, lion, horse and other circus people. Using this same idea, we will start today to create a 1930’s style Cavendish.

We are inviting the community to participate in this project and have set time aside for the next three Fridays (Jan. 27 and 29, and Feb. 5) from 2:45 to 4 pm. Please bring odds and ends to help with the project.

This week's timeline is 1932.

1932 History Timeline

Life Expectancy: Male 58.1 years; Female 61.6 years. Today’s life expectancy 75.6 for males and 80.8 for females

Average Salary: $1,368. In 2005, the average American salary, including benefits, was $31,410

Food Prices: Milk 14¢ a quart; Bread 9¢ a loaf; round steak 42¢ a pound. Today the same amount of milk sells for $1,70; a loaf of bread $1.70; and ground beef is $3.

Movies: Horse Feathers featuring the Marx Brothers; The Mummy starring Boris Karloff; A Farewell to Arms, starring Gary Cooper

Books: “Little House in the Big Woods” by Laura Ingalls Wilder; “Brave New World,” by Aldous Huxley

Songs: “Brother Can You Spare a Dime” by Rudy Vallee, “All of Me” by Louis Armstrong; “Dinah” by Bing Crosby and the Mills Brothers; “Chin Town My China Town”

• Franklin Roosevelt enters the presidential race. His campaign song is “Happy Days are Here Again.”
• Hattie Carraway becomes the first women elected to the US Senate. She is from Arkansas.

• In the Lake Placid, NY Winter Olympics, the US wins 10 gold medals

April 14: The atom is split. This sets the path for the development of the atomic bomb in World War II
• The Toronto Maple Leafs win the NHL Stanley Cup by defeating the New York Rangers
• Jack Benny has his first radio program sponsored by Canada Dry Ginger Ale

• Amerlia Earhart becomes the first woman to make a solo flight across the Atlantic Ocean
• Pearl S. Buck wins the Pultizer Prize for “The Good Earth.”

• Federal gasoline tax takes effect
• Lou Gerhig ties record with four straight homeruns

• The Democratic Party nominates Franklin Roosevelt as its presidential candidate. In his acceptance speech, he introduces the phrase “New Deal.”
• The Summer Olympics open in Los Angeles

• The US Olympic teams win 16 gold medals
• Hitler predicts the Nazi Party’s “total victory.”

• Jimmy Doolittle is the first person to fly over 300 mph
• Wisconsin passes first unemployment insurance law

• Franklin Roosevelt urges five-day work week and federal aid for unemployed
• Einstein places age of Earth at 10 billion years
• The New York Yankees defeat the Chicago Cubs in win 29th World Series.
• Iraq joins League of Nations

• Franklin Roosevelt wins the presidential election
• The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is dedicated in Arlington National Cemetery
• Buck Rogers airs on CBS radio

• Telephone service established between Hawaii and US
• Radio City Music Hall Opens
• Academy Award given to Walt Disney for inventing his character Mickey Mouse.
• Army beats Navy in football game held every year since 1890
• 70,000 killed in massive earthquake in China

For more timeline information for 1932, go to

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Young Historians Movies/1931 Timeline

We are pleased to have Gloria Leven working with the Young Historians. Gloria was seven years old in 1930 and she has been sharing her memories of her childhood in Huntington West VA. The students are just thrilled to see Gloria walk into the classroom.

It’s all about the movies this week.

One of America’s favorite movie characters was introduced in the 1930’s, Steamboat Willie, better known today as Mickey Mouse.

Last week Gloria Leven, who was eight years old in 1931, told us all about the games she played as a child. We’ve asked her about the movies. She said that they went to the local movie house just about every weekend. “You could see 3 or 4 movies for a dime,” she said. “We went together without our parents.”

Gloria’s favorite movies were those featuring the dance team of Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers. She went to see every musical, as she wanted to be a dancer.

This week’s timeline is 1931. It was the depression and times were hard for many people. Gloria was going to Meadow’s School, a small three room school house for grades 1-6. She lived in Huntington West Virginia. There was just one room for the class. Each row of kids was a different grade. There were about 30-40 kids in her school. The other two rooms at the school were used for bathrooms and a place for them to hang their coats.

Gloria described the gray clothing that the poorer children had to wear. The clothes were given to kids by a relief organization. “You knew who the poor one’s were.”

Historical Time Line 1931

Films: City Lights by Charles Chaplin; Frankenstein starring Boris Karloff; Monkey Business starring the Marx Brothers; and Dracula starring Bela Lugosi

Books:The Good Earth” by Pearl Buck

Songs: The Peanut Vendor by Don Azpiazu; Goodnight Sweetheart by Guy Lumbardo; You Came to Me Out of Nowhere and Star Dust by Bing Crosby; Blue Again by Louis Armstrong

January: President Hoover’s Emergency Committee for Unemployment Relief claims 4 to 5 million unemployed

February 11: Inventor Thomas Alva Edison dies. He invented the phonograph (record player), the electric light bulb, and “kinetoscope” (motion pictures or movies). He also founded General Electric (GE).

March: President Hoover signs law that makes the “Star Spangled Banner” the national anthem.

• Scientist Ernest Goodpasture grows viruses in chicken eggs, making it possible to make vaccines against flu and other illnesses.

April: James Henigan of Medford, MA wins the 35th Boston Marathon in the time of 2:46:45

May: Fiberglass is introduced

• The Empire State Building, the world’s tallest building, dedicated in New York City

• Robert Frost wins a Pulitzer Prize for “Collected Poems.”

June: Wiley Post and Harold Gatty begin first single-plane, round the world flight. Takes 8 days, 15 hours, 51 minutes.

July: The Yellow River (Huang He/Hwang Ho) in China floods killing between 1- 4 million people. It is thought to be the worst natural disaster in history to date. The Yellow River is the second longest river in China (after the Yangtze River) and the sixth largest in the world.

August: Kansas farmers produce bumper crop of wheat

September: 827 banks close in the United States.
• Fist non stop flight across the Pacific Ocean from Saishiro, Japan to Wenatchee, WA, completed in 41 hours, 13 minutes.

• George Washington Bridge, linking New Jersey to Manhattan, opens

• St. Louis Cardinals (National League) defeat the Philadelphia Athletics (American League) to win 28th World Series.

October: Creation of the National Credit Corporation, a last-ditch attempt at relief of the Depression through voluntary business action.

November: Cimarron wins Academy Award for Best Picture, Lionel Barrymore Best Actor in A Free Soul; Marie Dressler as Best Actress in Min and Bill

December: Hundreds of "hunger marchers" are turned away from the White House after trying to petition for employment at a minimum wage

• President Hoover seeks the creation of an emergency reconstruction finance corporation to lend money to lending institutions to bolster industry; he recognizes the need for more public works to provide jobs

For more information about 1931, go to

Monday, January 4, 2010

Young Historians Games/1930 Timeline

Happy New Year.

Our Young Historian's program on January 6 will feature board games played by children in the 1930’s. During this decade some of the games we still play today were introduced:

• Monopoly 1933
• Anagrams 1934
• Sorry! 1934
• Scrabble 1938

Many children played Pick Up Sticks, Marbles, Tidily-Winks and Jacks.

After school, there were chores to be done and homework to finish. If it was light out, maybe you would have time to go sledding in winter, or play baseball with some friends in the warm weather. Other popular outdoor games were hopscotch, jump rope, and tag.

At night, the family would often listen to the radio. If you lived on a farm, the radio might be hooked up to a car battery. Since many farms didn’t have electricity until the 1940s or later, oil lamps would have provided the light to read or play games by.

Read more about Fun and Games in the 1930’s

For the next several months, we will provide you timelines of events that took place each year during the 1930’s. Below is the timeline for 1930.

Historical Events of 1930

World Population: 2 billion. Note: As of 2008, the population was almost 6 billion.

United States Population 122.7 Million Note: As of 2008 was over 304 million..

Songs Released: Ain’t Misbehavin’ by Fats Waller; I Got Rhythm and Embraceable You by George Gershwin; On the Sunny Side of the Street by Dorothy Fields and Jimmy McHugh; Dreamy Blues (known today as Mood Indigo) by Duke Ellington; Georgia on My Mind by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell; and Body and Soul by Louis Armstrong

January 6: The first diesel automobile trip is completed
• Charles Lindbergh arrives in New York, setting cross country flying record of 14.75 hours.
• New York City starts installing traffic lights

February 24: President Hoover tells Congress to economize or face 40% tax hike.
• President Hoover says the worst effects of the Depression will be over within 90 days: "Prosperity is just around the corner"

• 513 individuals file as millionaires on their tax returns

March 8: Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Az discovers the ninth planet (Pluto). Note: In 2006 Pluto was re classified as a “dwarf planet” or minor planet.

April 3: Telephone service from the United States to South America is available for the first time.

April 11: New York Scientist predicts man will reach the moon by 2050. Note: The first human made object to reach the surface of the moon was the Soviet Union’s Luna 2 mission on September 13, 1959. The United States’s Apollo 11 was the first manned mission to the moon on July 20, 1969.

May 28: The Chrysler Building opens to the public in New York City.

June 6: Frozen food (developed by Clarence Birdseye) becomes available in stores.

July 20: Washington’s head is dedicated on Mt. Rushmore.

July 31: The Shadow is broadcasted the first time on radio

August 13: A giant meteorite lands deep in the Amazon rain forests. The explosion is equal to 10 of the bombs dropped on Hiroshima.

September 1: First electric passenger train is tested between Hoboken and Montclair, NJ by Edison.

September 14: Nazis become second-largest party in Germany over communists; Hitler claims he would scrap Versailles treaty if in charge.

October 5: CBS Radio begins live Sunday radio broadcasts of the NY Philharmonic

October 8: Athletics (then in Philadelphia) win the world series

October 17: President Hoover establishes Committee for Unemployment Relief

November 5: All Quiet on the Western Front wins Academy Award for Outstanding Motion Picture.

December 10: Sinclair Lewis wins Nobel Prize for Literature for Babbitt, becoming the first American to do so.

December 11: U.S. Bank goes under; 60 branches in New York and more than 1300 close nationwide by year's end

December 31: President Hoover urges Congress to provide up to $150 million for public works to create jobs. Emphasizes U.S. is better than rest of the world.

For more timeline information for 1930