Browsing: February 5

A Brief History On February 5, 1917, the Congress of the United States overrode a veto by President Woodrow Wilson and enacted the Immigration Act of 1917, a law that targeted Asians to prevent their immigration to the US. Today, while immigration reform remains a hotly debated and racially charged topic, we are reminded that the subject of immigration policies based on race or national origin is not unique to this particular point in time. Digging Deeper Sometimes referred to as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act, or even the Literacy Act, the point of the Immigration Act of 1917 (we…

A Brief History On February 5, 1869, prospectors Richard Oates and John Deason of Australia found the incredibly large alluvial gold nugget known as “Welcome Stranger,” a rock weighing almost 300 pounds! Digging Deeper Found just 1.2 inches under the ground in a place called Bulldog Gully outside Moliagul, Victoria, Australia, the lucky prospectors dug out the giant rock that weighed (before trimming of non-gold matter) 293 ½ pounds and 1 ½ ounces.  The men did not know exactly how big the nugget was at first, because no scales capable of weighing such a huge nugget were available, so the…

This Just In! This past week has been a doozy for controversial remarks by high-profile world leaders! First, on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, Pope Francis said, “One time, I heard a father say, ‘At times I have to hit my children a bit, but never in the face so as not to humiliate them.’ That’s great. He had a sense of dignity. He should punish, do the right thing, and then move on.”  This comment has been taken as an endorsement by the Head of the Catholic Church of parental spanking within reason.  Most Americans seem to agree with his comment.  Do…

A Brief History On February 5, 2008, a date known as “Super Tuesday,” a series of powerful tornadoes hit the Southern United States, leaving 57 people dead.  An astounding 86 twisters hovered over Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Arkansas and Mississippi, bringing with them terrific thunderstorms, winds peaking between 166 and 200 mph and hail that caused massive damage.  Even hail the size of softballs (4 inches) was reported! Digging Deeper The hardest hit areas were in the vicinities of Memphis, Tennessee and Jackson, Tennessee.  The 57 deaths and hundreds of injuries were the second worst human life toll from a February tornado…

A Brief History On February 5, 1909, New Yorker Leo Baekeland presented his invention of Bakelite, the first synthetic plastic, to the American Chemical Society. Digging Deeper Digging deeper, we find the Belgian-born Baekeland trying to invent a replacement for shellac, a product made by processing lac insects. Shellac was used for many diverse purposes, such as dye for clothing, make-up and a variety of coatings such as varnish and lacquer paint.  Of the several different lac insect species, thousands and thousands were required to harvest enough of the lac resin to produce even a small amount of shellac, making…