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Life IS history in the making. Every word we say, everything we do becomes history the moment it is said or done. Life void of memories leaves nothing but emptiness. For those who might consider history boring, think again: It is who we are, what we do and why we are here. We are certainly individuals in our thoughts and deeds but we all germinated from seeds planted long, long ago.

Friday, May 9, 2014

Join, or Die!

This Day in History: May 9



Benjamin Franklin created the first political cartoon. On May 9, 1754, the image initially appeared in Franklin's newspaper, Pennsylvania Gazette, Philadelphia, PA.

Franklin's cartoon was an illustration of a snake with a severed head and body accompanied by the printed words "Join, or Die." The cartoon was intended to goad the different colonies into joining what was to later become the United States.

The severed body symbolized the feelings that Franklin had toward the colonies: dangerously fragmented. It was his hopes that the cartoon would impress upon the colonists the importance of becoming and remaining united. That by doing so, they would have a greater power against threats of British and French expansion in North America.



The Chatham Theatre, a playhouse, opened on the east side of Chatham Street in New York City. It was the first gas-lit theatre in America. It was located between Roosevelt and James streets, a few blocks south of the Bowery. At its opening in 1839, the Chatham was a neighborhood establishment, which featured big-name actors and drama. By the mid-1840s, it had become primarily a venue for blackface minstrel shows. Frank S. Chanfrau restored some of its grandeur in 1848.




Woodrow Wilson with His Wife and
Three Daughters
, c1912.
Prints & Photographs Online Catalog
President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation on May 9, 1914, recognizing the first national Mother's Day on the second Sunday in May "as a public expression of love and reverence for the mothers of our country."

Credit for the idea for a "Mother's Day" is divided between Julia Ward Howe (1872) and Anna Jarvis (1907). Each suggested celebration of a day of peace. 

By 1911, Mother's Day was being celebrated. Carnations have come to represent the day as they were distributed at one of the first commemorations honoring the mother of the founder of Mother’s Day.




Americans Richard Byrd (explorer) and Floyd Bennett (pilot) became the first men to fly an airplane over the North Pole. The flight took 15 hrs 44 mins according to the pilot's records. A controversy ensued. It was questioned whether the flight actually took place as reported since it was expected to take about 18 hours, given the ground speed of the aircraft.


What was then has become the now impacting generations to come - Embrace the Past, Empower the Present, Enrich the Future!