Sunday, August 30, 2009

August 30, 1986: Shirley Booth was born

Born on August 30th, 1896, Shirley Booth was born as Marjory Ford in New York City. She bagan her career early in her teenage years in stock companies, then known as Thelma Booth Ford. Shirley had her debut in Broadway in the play Hell's Bells. She took on her stagename "Shirley Booth", and ran a number of comedies, dramas, and later musicals. She acted with Katherine Hepburn in The Philadelphia Story and with Ralph Bellamy in Tomorrow the World. Shirley soon moved onto bigger roles on Broadway. One of the most famous plays she starred in was the drama Come Back, Little Sheba that was presented by the Theatre Guild at the Booth Theatre. Her dynamic career won two Tony awards before going to Hollywood and to recreated her Tony Best-Actress Award winning drama, Come Back, Little Sheba. After her brief departure to Hollywood, however, she quickly returned back to Broadway. In 1953 she became the first actress to have ever received both Tony and Oscar, winning the Best Actress Oscar Award for her performance in the film Come Back, Little Sheba.

After a very prolific career in both Broadway and Hollywood, Shirley performed voices for Mrs. Santa in The Year Without a Santa Clause (1974), her last public performance before retiring. Shirley Booth died in 1992 at the age of 94, in Northern Chatham, Massachusetts. ☆

Jin Shin, EVHP Staff

Saturday, August 29, 2009

August 29, 1896: Origin of Chop Suey

For those who have never heard, had, or seen Chop Suey until today like myself, please refer to the image. Really, Chop Suey's a simple American-Chinese dish consisting of meat (or seafood, increasingly), vegetables and some other ingredients of your choice, poured hot over rice. There are countless types of different Chop Suey today. When in doubt, please visit your local Chinese restaurant.

According to one legend, Chinese ambassador Li Hung Chang's cooks invented the dish for his American guests at a dinner on August 29th, 1896. During the service it is believed that the Chinese diplomat exclaimed "The way to a person's heart is through his or her stomach!" Although the story is doubtful by numerous standards, it is nonetheless true that Ambassador Li Hung Chang's visit to the New York City in 1896 resulted in a great number of Chinese food fans among Americans. His oriental fashion, marked by the yellow jacket he was seen many times wearing, and grand manner grabbed the nation's attention at once. Scholars believe the restaurant owners fabricated the urban myth to borrow this famous ambassador's name as a marketing strategy, and thus there is no truth to the story. Yet, there is no doubt that it was during this time Chinese cuisine enjoyed its heightened popularity more than ever before. ☆

Jin Shin, EVHP Staff

Friday, August 28, 2009

August 28, 1917: Jack Kirby was born on the Suffolk Street!

Today we talk about the King of comics.

YES, on this very day 1917, perhaps one of the most influential figure in the history of comics, the creator of Captain America, Fantastic Four, the original X-man, and Hulk, Jack Kirby was born on the Suffolk Street in Lower East Side of Manhattan.

Jacob Kurtzberg, better known to us by his penname Jack Kirby, started his career as a cartoonist at Fox Feature Syndicate, where he met Joe Simon. They became legendary partners in comic history. Kirby moved to Timely Comics (which later became the Marvel Comics), where he created the patriotic superhero Captain America. The first Captain America issues became million sellers almost instantly. The partners, however, moved to National Comics (the future DC Comics). In 1958 Kirby returned to Atlas Comics (a title Timely Comics took before becoming the Marvel) and in 1961 produced the well-known Fantastic Four series, landing Kirby on stardom. During this period he also created characters such as: the Hulk, Iron Man, the original X-man, Silver Surfer, Galactus, Magneto, Black Panther, and many more. Kirby's legacy leaves us comic lovers all in awe. Jack Kirby died on February 6th, 1994 at the age of 76 in his home and was buried at the Pierce Brothers Valley Oaks Memorial Park, Westlake Village, California. ☆
Jin Shin, EVHP Staff

Thursday, August 27, 2009

August 27, 1776: The Battle of Long Island

Today in 1776 (as picture above describes) the Battle of Long Island took place. Major General George Washington's American Continental clashed on this now peaceful part of the city.
On July 3rd, the Bitish fleet landed on Staten Island. The congress declared independence the next day, on the celebrated July 4th. On August 26th the British received information about few unguarded areas on the northern side of Long Island, where they launched their attack. The battle lasted through 27th and into 28th; depite the reinforcements General Washington brought, the American troops were forced to withdraw from Brooklyn the next day.
Due to this unexpected attack, the American troops were driven out of Brooklyn and eventually evacuated out of New York State, into New Jersey and Pennsylvania. The British used Manhattan and rest of New York City as its military base until the Evacuation Day (November 25th, 1783) when the last vestiges of British authority in the U.S. departed from Manhattan. ☆

Jin Shin, EVHP Staff

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

August 26, 1970: Women's Equality Day

On January 9th, 1918, President Wilson announced his support for the suffrage, followed by the passing of Susan B. Anthony Amendment in the congress the next day. On June 4th 1919 the senate passed the amendment by one vote. Finally, On August 26th, 1920, the Amendment became the Nineteenth Amendment to the Constitution, after Tennessee became the 36th state to ratify.
On the fiftieth anniversary of the Nineteenth Amendment, August 26th, 1970, over 20,000 marchers gathered on the streets of Manhattan to demonstrate for equal rights for women. It was the largest women's rights rally since the suffragists, and the Strike succeeded beyond expectations. As the marchers gathered in Battery Park and marched down the Fifth Avenue, thousands gathered in Washington D.C. to walk down the Connecticut Avenue in demonstration. In L.A., 500 marchers gathered to march down, although confined to the sidewalk. Among the leading marchers were Gloria Steinem, a journalist and founder of the New York Magazine and social and political activist; Betty Friedan, a primary founder and the first president of the National Organization for Women, also the author of The Feminine Mystique; and congresswomen Bella Abzug, who a year later securely declared August 26th as the 'Women's Equality Day'. ☆

Jin Shin, EVHP Staff

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

August 25, 1835: The Great Moon Hoax

On August 25th 1835, this eye-catching headline was printed on the New York Sun:


The article described various fantastic lifeforms on Moon, such as bison, unicorns, goats, winged humanoids building temples and more. Forests and oceans were observed, under a supposed 'new principle' and 'telescope'. Supposed narrator was Sir Andrew Grant, describing himself as the companion of, then the most influential astronomer, Sir John Herschel.

The Great Moon Hoax, appearing in six articles on the New York Sun starting on August 25th, drew the New York Sun paper circulation higher than ever, and established the paper as a successful paper. The New York Sun never issued a retraction, and enjoyed its high circulation. The supposed discoverer of these fantastic animals, Sir John Herschel, was at first amused by these articles; however, was annoyed by a few who took the hoax as serious.
Richard A. Locke, a Cambridge-educated reporter, is attributed to the authorship of this article. While working for the New York Sun in 1835 he never publically admitted his authorship. Some others were also speculated to be involved in these articles, but there is no good evidence that indicated anyone but Locke was the author of the story. What was his reason for writing the articles? Probably to increase the paper circulation, or to ridicule some extravagant astronomical theories of the time, some say. Whichever was his reason, the author was extremely successful in both ways. ☆

Jin Shin, EVHP Staff

Monday, August 24, 2009

August 24, 1857: The New York Branch of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company Failed

On August 24, 1857, the New York Branch of the Ohio Life Insurance and Trust Company failed due to widespread embezzlement, precipitating the Panic of 1857.  Following this large trust company’s collapse, New York banks placed restrictions on transactions.  Investors interpreted the restrictions as signs of an impending economic disaster and withdrew as much of their money as they could.   

The Panic of 1857 contributed to a sharp economic downturn that lasted for eighteen months and spread to Europe and the Middle East.  Other factors that contributed to the larger downturn included the failure of the overbuilt railroads and the sinking of the SS Central America, a large steamship carrying 30,000 pounds of gold intended for eastern banks.  The loss of so much gold the second major blow to a financial system where banks still dealt in specie.  Economic recovery was slow and uneven and was not complete until the United States had entered the Civil War. 

Laurel Billings, EVHP Staff