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    Police raid stops big dogfight

    April 28th, 2012

    SOCIAL HISTORY: stories of life and times in Canada past

    Hundreds of spectator from as far as Albany and Montreal had gathered near a tavern east of Hamilton, Canada West, to witness a dogfight when the mayor and 20 police dashed up on sleighs to put a stop to things. Read the rest of this entry »


    Vaclav Havel experiences uncertainty

    April 27th, 2012

    I suffer more and more from stage fright; every day, I am more afraid that I won’t be up to the job, or that I’ll make a hash of it. Read the rest of this entry »


    Social active kids are better kids

    April 26th, 2012

    Children who participate in social activities such as sports, Brownies and dance classes, perform better academically, have higher self-esteem and more developed social skills, Read the rest of this entry »


    Don’t drink when you gamble

    April 25th, 2012

    “My hobby is spending money,” said Philadelphia businessman Leonard Tose (1915-2003). Tose acquired a fortune by building the family trucking business, then gave generously to charities, and lost his fortune at gambling casinos. Read the rest of this entry »


    Robert Frost steals President Kennedy’s big show

    April 24th, 2012


    When [U.S. Interior Secretary] Stewart Udall suggested that America’s most popular poet read at John F. Kennedy’s inauguration, the president-elect’s first reaction was: “Oh, no. You know that Robert Frost always steals any show he is part of.” Read the rest of this entry »


    Saving capitalism from its biggest enemies

    April 23rd, 2012

    Capitalism’s biggest enemies are not the firebrand trade unionists spewing vitriol against the system, but the executives in pinstriped suits extolling Read the rest of this entry »


    A tavern in the backwoods of Upper Canada

    April 21st, 2012

    SOCIAL HISTORY CLIPPINGS: stories of life and times in Canada past

    Towns, villages and farms hugged ocean, river and lake from St. John to Niagara Falls in the 1830s while settlers were pouring into Upper Canada to hack out the forests and establish farms farther inland. In taverns and their own first rough shelters, new arrivals faced grim accommodation. Read the rest of this entry »


    Rockefeller’s dime

    April 20th, 2012

    Exploring the country around Sleepy Hollow, New York, I found a golf course on John D. Rockefeller Sr.’s Pocantico Hills estate. He and I sat on a bench Read the rest of this entry »


    Writing triumphs cancer pain and paralysis

    April 19th, 2012

    Surprising how things turn out better than feared when we meet adversity and pain with courage, resolve and effort. Read the rest of this entry »


    Origin of writing lost in Iraq looting

    April 18th, 2012

    In those two lost tablets were all future writings: the Book of Job, superman comics, King Lear, the Sherlock Holmes stories, all mathematical and scientific treatises, Sappho and Whitman, and the very newspaper you are holding in your hand. Read the rest of this entry »


    Naval officers and gentlemen

    April 17th, 2012

    A gentleman of liberal education, refined manners, punctilious courtesy, and the nicest sense of personal honour. Read the rest of this entry »


    Poor Astor, afflicted by his great fortune

    April 16th, 2012

    “He seems, poor man, afflicted by the possession of a fortune.” Read the rest of this entry »


    Scandal when Lady Aberdeen drinks tea with servants

    April 14th, 2012
    SOCIAL HISTORY CLIPPINGS: life and times in Canada past
    Lady Aberdeen, an aristocratic feminist who championed social causes.

    Lady Aberdeen caused a social scandal in Ottawa when she joined her servants to take high tea, according to Toronto Saturday Night.

    Read the rest of this entry »


    Hot furs

    April 13th, 2012

    I have been enjoying the cold weather because it is the first chance I have had to wear my new collection of mink, sable and fox fur coats. It makes me sad Read the rest of this entry »


    How to fire your mistress

    April 12th, 2012

    Even in their vices, overseas Chinese often demonstrate fiscal prudence. When changing mistresses, Read the rest of this entry »


    Nelson Mandela: power of self-worth

    April 12th, 2012

    An abiding conviction in universal human self-worth and fulfillment lay at the core of the remarkable fortitude and accomplishments of Nelson Mandela (1918- ). Read the rest of this entry »


    The jail breaker

    April 10th, 2012

    I’ve been in prison all my life, except for the times I’ve broken out. Read the rest of this entry »


    Get rich quick

    April 9th, 2012

    My first job in London, in 1934, was as a foreign-exchange trader. Read the rest of this entry »


    Oil company shares are worthless when Calgary bubble bursts

    April 8th, 2012

    Calgary investors line up to buy worthless oil company shares, June 13, 1913.

    Calgarians in 1913 and 1914 were gripped for months by oil fever as a “wildcat” well drilling in the Rocky Mountain foothills at Turner Valley, 30 miles southwest of the city, teased speculators with tantalizing indications that this could be Alberta’s first real oil field. Read the rest of this entry »


    A cat ranch to skin Calgarians

    April 7th, 2012

    When Calgarians stampeded in 1913 and 1914 to buy what became largely worthless shares in fly-by-night oil companies, those thought to be  unlucky enough to miss out were offered an alternative investment opportunity — shares in a cat and rat ranch — in this spoof by a reader, published in the Albertan. Read the rest of this entry »