Saturday, November 16, 2013

Saturday Serendipity (November 16, 2013)

Saturdays often allow a more leisurely approach to life than work days. I can more easily post links to some blog posts or other materials I have discovered during the week, or even to those discovered during a Saturday morning coffee and extended surfing of the blogosphere/internet.

Here are a few recommendations for inclusion on your reading list.

1.  As a related read to the one posted here recently about criminal slang . . . if you have letters or diaries from family members who wrote home during WWII and some of it does not exactly make sense, then maybe the wording includes some slang in use during the war.  The Vault at Slate provides a list of WWII military slang and some translations.  It also provides links to where you can find more.

2.  Do you remember telegrams?  You surely have seen references to telegrams in movies and plays even if you never sent or received one yourself.  Well if you live in the U.S. or India or a number of other countries you are too late to send or receive a telegram now.  The last telegram in India was sent this past July.  The last one in the U.S. was sent in 2006.  To see a nice telegram example and learn more about the demise of telegrams, check UpFront at NGS and the links provided there.

3.  Did you ever wonder about how dating cemeteries is accomplished when there are no explicit documents to tell when a cemetery was first founded and used?  Midge Frazel at Granite in My Blood explains AND provides a very rare photo example of a then and now comparison of a preserved headstone.

4.  Many of us have special needs members of our families or know others who do.  This is just a "feel good read" here about how people can react positively to try to undo the ugliness others create when stressed out and wrapped up only in their own needs and desires. [A hat tip to Wegman's in Liverpool, NY!]

5.  Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings muses on 11 benefits that a "traditional" local genealogical society could/should provide for members -- and can also be a roadmap for why and how to start such an organization if one does not exist near you.    

6.  I have noted before that Diane Boumenot is a very thoughtful and careful researcher who always writes interesting and informative posts that are roadmaps to how to approach and methodically tackle a genealogy research project.  When she offers a new post it is always worth reading, whether you have Rhode Island connections or not, because they are generically instructive.  Diane's November 11th post, On Poverty, Records, and Chicken Thieves is no exception and it is well worth the read.       

7.  And speaking of Rhode Island, which is often referred to as "Little Rhody,". . .  there is a new site brought to us by the Rhode Island Historical Society (RIHS) called "RHODI" -- the Rhode Island History Online Directory Initiative.  As the October 2013 project launch notice stated, RHODI is intended to be  "
A comprehensive list of history and heritage organizations within the state, RHODI is designed to be a one stop portal for visitors looking to research genealogy, visit a historic house, or to learn more about their local history."  This site is a true cornucopia of links to all things Rhode Island.  Visit it and feast yourself on its bounty!

8.  The Weekly Genealogist newsletter by NEHGS provided this link to a fascinating story about Hart Island at the western end of Long Island Sound.  The island is the final resting place of almost a million New Yorkers, but few people have ever set foot on the island.  The public has been banned from the island for over three decades. Read about this "potter's field" for New York, its varied history, and view some photographs and satellite maps.   

9.  The most dramatic and horrifying images that almost everyone associates with the assassination of John F. Kennedy 50 years ago next Friday (whether or not they lived through the events), are not some of the many static photographs that emerged in the aftermath.  It is the images of the color video of the actual shooting as captured by Abraham Zapruder, a 58-year-old, Russian-born garment manufacturer.  He co-founded a women's clothing company called Jennifer Juniors, Inc. that produced brands known as Chalet and Jennifer Juniors. His offices were directly across the street from the Texas School Book Depository from which the shots that killed the president were fired.  Mr. Zapruder filmed with an 8mm, hand-held Bell & Howell camera.  He captured in 486 frames lasting 26.6 seconds the moving images of the motorcade passing through Dealey Plaza.  Those 26.6 seconds captured the actual assassination and became perhaps the most famous "home-made" movie in history.  The story of how the film was purchased by LIFE magazine and how it came to be seen by countless millions is told in text and video here on TIME magazine's LightBox feature for November 13, 2013.  It is well worth reading and viewing. 

10.  And finally, as an update to the November 4th post here at The Prism  ("The Godfather, John M.T. Godfrey"), I was quite surprised to learn this week about the disturbing fact that service in the military makes our veterans TWICE as likely to die from ALS (Lou Gehrig's Disease) as those in the general population.  
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Copyright 2013, John D. Tew
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  1. Thank you for mentioning my post! That cemetery is a great place and totally landlocked.

  2. Thanks for the kind words, John. And thanks for mentioning the RHODI launch. There sure are a lot of historical entities in this little state!