In Austin, The "Welcome, JFK!" Banquet That Never Happened
If all had gone according to plan, John F. Kennedy and his entourage would have shown up in Austin on the night of November 22, 1963, to attend a $100-a-plate fundraising banquet at Austin’s Municipal Auditorium.
"It All Began So Beautifully": Lady Bird's Emotional Memories of November 22, 1963
Two or three days after the Kennedy assassination, Lady Bird Johnson made a tape recording of her memories of November 22—primarily, as she told Time in 1964, “as a form of therapy to help me over the shock and horror of the experience.” The new First Lady submitted a transcript of this tape to the Warren Commission, to serve as her testimony about the events of that day. Lady Bird and Abe Fortas, an LBJ advisor and family friend, made the pencilled notations on this draft document.
The "Wanted For Treason" Flyer Distributed in Dallas Before JFK's Visit
This flyer, around 5,000 copies of which were distributed around Dallas in the days before President Kennedy’s November 22, 1963 visit, accused Kennedy of a range of offenses, from being “lax” on Communism, to “appointing anti-Christians to Federal office,” to lying to the American people about his personal life.
In A Prophetic Letter, A Dallas Citizen Begged JFK Not To Visit
This letter, from Dallas resident Nellie Doyle to White House press secretary Pierre Salinger, would come to seem eerily prophetic after the events of November 22, 1963.
In A Captivating Panoramic Display, 1920s "Bathing Girls" Show How Quickly Fashions Changed
This 1920 image of a gathering of “Bathing Girls” on Balboa Beach, Calif., comes from the book The Big Picture: America in Panorama, by Josh Sapan.
In This Strange 1950 Newsreel Footage, Watch a Texas Mom Throw Knives at Her Daughters
In this 1950 newsreel, mom Louella Gallagher throws knives at her 5-year-old and 2½-year-old in an Austin, Texas, backyard, as a crowd of children looks on. There’s a stark contrast between the suburban setting (mom in a dress, cropped grass, girls in playsuits) and the dangerous display.
Some Choice Bits of Slang From American Soldiers Serving in WWII
Starting as early as 1941, correspondents began reporting and discussing military slang in the pages of American Speech, the journal of the American Dialect Society. Here’s a list of some of the soldiers’ language that they saw emerging during and immediately after the war.
An Illustrated Descent Into a "White Slave Hell" in 1910 Chicago
These illustrations are taken from a 418-page 1910 book, The White Slave Hell, or with Christ at Midnight in the Slums of Chicago. Written by Frederick Martin Lehman, a German-born Midwestern pastor, the book combines florid testimony from the minister’s fact-finding missions to the red light districts of Chicago, sermons on temperance, hand-wringing poems, and first-hand stories from madams and prostitutes.
The Journey to the California Gold Rush Was No Joke. This Map Was a Prospector's Friend.
This 1849 map, printed by Ensign & Thayer, a New York firm, offered advice to prospectors bound for the California gold fields during the rush of 1848-1864. A half-million people flooded into the territory during these years, and many were woefully under-provisioned and ill-informed. Authors both credible and fraudulent stepped into the breach, publishing advice books for prospective miners, complete with maps, packing lists, and guides to telling real gold from the fool’s variety.
Illustrations From An 18th-Century Frenchman's Completely Made-Up Book About Taiwan
Jonathan Swift's A Modest Proposal is the most famous satire in the English language. Yet few remember the man Swift credited with inspiring his darkly ironic plan for solving poverty by feeding Irish babies to the upper classes. Swift claimed that “a Native of the Island of Formosa” (a former name for present-day Taiwan) had regaled him with tales of children who were “put to Death,” then sold “to Persons of Quality, as a prime Dainty.”