A key scene within Isabella’s Calico Groom (Calico Ball: Timeless Western Collection) is on Independence Day in Evanston, Wyoming Territory (a week shy of Wyoming’s acceptance into the Union as the 44th State). In keeping with the historical favorites when celebrating July 4th, the characters took note of the races–on foot, on bicycles, and in wheelbarrows. Victorian Americans enjoyed a wide range of contests with appealing prizes (cash, clothing, shoes, jewelry, etc.). Would you rather compete in a bicycle race, or in chasing a greased pig?
Harvest Celebrations from the mid- to latter-half of the 19th century, as reported in newspapers in the United States, show the different types of “Harvest Customs” celebrated. Some customs and words were borrowed from various German immigrants, others were simple gatherings after the work of the harvest with time for thanksgiving and gratitude for adequate (or abundant) food to last until next harvest season.
In Part 2 of this blog series, I share 70 newspaper clippings from Victorian America, wherein reports abound that husbands have sold their wives. Prices range from $0.05 (5 cents) to thousands of dollars (US, Victorian). I provided price comparisons, just for impact. Throughout, I provided my opinions regarding TRUTH or JOKE. Ultimately, there had to be some of both. What a bizarre practice!
LABOR DAY was born of the circumstances within our Victorian-era United States Industrial Revolution. Unions wanted safer working conditions and 12- to 16-hour work days shortened to 8- or 9-hours. Strikes and protests lead to reform, and from the first Labor Day parade in 1882 peaceful Labor’s Holidays began to take root state by state until in 1894, Labor Day was declared by the President of the United States as a Federal Holiday. This article contains newspaper accounts from era papers, vintage photographs, and a dash of American history surrounding summer’s last hurrah.