November 18, 1883 is when railroads across the United States adopted a uniform system of time, more or less getting all of us in sync with each other. But what was time like before then? Plus: Japan has had cat cafes, hedgehog cafes and bunny cafes. Now there's a minipig cafe!
Lots of music news to go over with you today.
Around the same time John Fitzgerald Kennedy was rising through the ranks of the US Congress, a guy called John Francis Kennedy decided to put his name on the ballot to run for Massachusetts state treasurer. In a few years, there would be other John Kennedys trying to win public office in the state.
It’s Spinach Festival weekend in Lenexa, Kansas, a time for games, crafts, music, the world’s largest spinach salad and a visit from noted cartoon spinach addict Popeye the sailor. That’s fitting, since it was Popeye’s popularity that helped make Lenexa’s spinach famous in the first place.
Summer is through, which means the start of our annual time to consume and/or complain about products flavored with pumpkin spice. It was in the mid-90s that this blend of cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, allspice and cloves started its rise to power, and there's no stopping it now, really. Plus: did you know that hundreds of years ago pumpkin spice may have given us New York City?
An enslaved woman in 18th century Massachusetts overheard all the talk about freedom and equality and decided it should be put to the test. On August 22, 1781, a court found the woman known as Mum Bett, later as Elizabeth Freeman, could not be the property of another human being and therefore was free and equal.
It’s National Rollercoaster Day. The history of the rollercoaster is even longer than the tracks they use to get around.
If you were a royal several hundred years ago, this might be a time when you’d pack up and leave the castle for one of your other castles. This wasn't just because that’s what you do when you’re wealthy; it was because the castle staff needed everyone out so they could clean out all the filth!
The Lee Maxwell Washing Machine Museum in Eaton, Colorado, is facing an uncertain future. Its namesake wants to pass on his collection of some 1,600 machines to the next generation. Hopefully someone takes him up on that offer, because there’s a lot of history here. Plus: the Lumberjack World Championships begin in Hayward, Wisconsin, and we go for the obvious Monty Python reference in describing the event.
Last week the organizers of the 2020 Olympic Games revealed that 100 percent of the gold, silver and bronze used to create the Olympic medals is recycled - the metal comes from used cell phones. But the ancient Olympians got olive branches as prizes. Why is it that we have Olympic medals in the first place?