1849

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A Man in Uniform and a Woman in Pants

The New York Knickerbockers become the first baseball team to wear a uniform during official play. According to the National Baseball Hall of Fame, it consists of "a white flannel shirt, blue wool pants and a straw hat." The term "Knickerbocker" refers to a New Yorker who is descended from Dutch immigrants who had founded New Amsterdam. "Knickerbockers" also refers to a popular type of pants called "knickers" that tie below the knee. FYI, "bloomers" for women are also popular this year. They are flowing pants worn under a skirt and tied below the knee. In Great Britain "knickers" refers to women's underwear. An Englishman might say, "Don't get your knickers in a twist." Americans would express that same sentiment differently. (I am struggling not to make an off-color joke. I have my dignity to think of.) [1] [2]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
Men's and women's fashions were undergoing a monumental shift during the 1840s and early 50s. A man's shirt became plain without all those ruffles and flourishes. He made a statement about his manliness with his accomplishments rather than his clothing. Easy travel by train forced people to adopt a more informal dress. Women were more concerned with impressing other women. Thus "Bloomers" made a statement about women's rights since Amelia Bloomer fought for women's rights and she approved of them. However, women were still interested in attracting the attention of men. Waists became lower, shoulders narrowed, and hat pins were used more often after a machine process lowered the costs. And finally, the safety pin was invented in 1849 by Walter Hunt. He didn't realize what he had, so he sold the rights to a company and used the money to pay off a $15 debt. He is the same guy who invented the street sweeper, the snow plow and an early version of the American sewing machine. (He didn't take the sewing machine seriously either.) [3] [4]

The View of Yosemite

In the course of human events Dr. Lafayette Bunnell has done his part. He worked in a hospital during the Mexican-American War and after the war was over he heard rumors of gold in California. As he follows the Merced River he glances toward the Sierra Nevada mountains and sees something spectacular... Half Dome... a chunk of granite rising over 4,000 feet high with one side looking as if it has been chopped off. When he asks the miners about it, none of them have ever seen it before, so he can claim to be the first white man to have seen it. In 1851, he will join a the Mariposa militia in fighting the Indians that are attacking the local miners. His battalion will visit the valley where Half Dome is located and Bunnell will ask for a vote of the men to name the valley. They choose the name Yosemite. It means "killer" in the local Indian language and refers to the Indian tribe that the militia are looking for in that area. The local Indians call the place "Ahwahnee" which means "Big Mouth". If you look down the valley it seems as if it will swallow you. It is worth a look. [5] [6] [7]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
I visited Yosemite National Park a few times when I was younger. It is strikingly beautiful, but the term "Park" can be misleading. 12 to 15 people die there every year amongst the splendor and beauty. The obvious way to die is to climb the rock faces. People who are equipped to do that sort of thing know the dangers involved, but there are less obvious dangers in the Park. The Ponderosa pines tend to shed their branches in a strong wind. It's not a big problem unless you are the one standing there when it happens. In August of 2015 a grizzly bear killed and ate an experienced hiker. Mountain lions can carry away children. Drought leading to starvation forces the animals into public areas looking for food. You are better off in a group. Disease is also an issue. (I'm talking about Plague, the Black Death.) Do not feed the animals. The Rangers are looking for outbreaks of disease amongst the ground squirrels, but they are not guaranteeing anything. Even a pet will occasionally take a nip out of you if you hand feed them. I'm not trying to frighten anyone but use your head. [8] [9] [10]

The Memory of 13 Martyrs

The Hungarians recently rebelled against their Austrian masters and the war has been hard and bloody. The rebels seemed to be winning until the Russians stepped in. Now it looks hopeless, mostly because it is. In a last ditch effort, the Hungarian rebels turn to General Artúr Görgey. If anyone can do it he can, but he can't do it. He surrenders. The Austrians want to hang him and so do a few Hungarians, but the Russians spare his life. Instead, the Austrians hang 12 other generals and one colonel. Many others will be put to death, but these men will be remembered as martyrs to the cause well into the modern day. [11] [12]

My Take by Alex Shrugged
You cannot keep a memory like that alive unless you have regular reminders of the loss. That usually involves some sort of custom or regular ritual. It is rumored that the Austrians had been raising their beer glasses and clicking them in celebration at the deaths of these men. That is why the Hungarians stopped clinking their glasses when drinking beer. However, the custom started falling away in 1999 with the millennials and is maintained only by the older generation of patriots now.

In Other News

  • Patrick Kennedy escapes the Great Famine in Ireland and lands in Boston. He is the great-great grandfather of President John F. Kennedy and Senators Robert and Ted Kennedy. [13] [14]
  • Edgar Allan Poe dies in Baltimore at the age of 40. " Quoth the Raven 'Nevermore.'" Newspapers report he died of alcoholism but in truth no one really knows. [15]
  • Elizabeth Blackwell becomes the first woman physician in the United States. She had gained entrance to medical school at Hobart College through the unanimous vote of the 150 male students then enrolled. [16]


This Year in Wikipedia

Year 1849, Wikipedia.

See Also

References

  1. A History of the Baseball Uniform - Introduction. National Baseball Hall of Fame (2007). Retrieved on 8 June 2015. “The first official baseball uniform, adopted in 1849 by the Knickerbocker Base Ball Club of New York City, was a simple outfit consisting of a white flannel shirt, blue wool pants and a straw hat.”
  2. Knickerbocker - definition of Knickerbocker. The Free Dictionary (2015). Retrieved on 8 June 2015. “Full breeches gathered and banded just below the knee; knickers.”
  3. Wilkinson, Alec. Ice Balloon: S. A. Andree and the Heroic Age of Arctic Exploration, The. Alfred A. Knopf. “One of the Eskimos, who had two guns, gave Tyson one. 'He says he don't like the look out of the men's eyes,' Tyson wrote. 'Setting aside the crime of cannibalism--for if it is God's will that we should die by starvation, why, let us die like men, not like brutes, tearing each other to pieces--it would be the worst possible policy to kill the poor natives. They are our best, and I may say only, hunters.'” 
  4. Walter Hunt (inventor) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 August 2016. “Walter Hunt did not realize the significance of many of these when he invented them; today, many are widely used products. He thought little of the safety pin, selling the patent for $400[4] to the company W R Grace and Company, to pay a man to whom he owed $15. He failed to patent his sewing machine at all, because he feared it would create unemployment among seamstresses.”
  5. Lafayette Bunnell - Wikipedia, 2014 [last update]
  6. Half Dome - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 August 2016. “Half Dome is a granite dome at the eastern end of Yosemite Valley in Yosemite National Park, California. It is a well-known rock formation in the park, named for its distinct shape. One side is a sheer face while the other three sides are smooth and round, making it appear like a dome cut in half.”
  7. Yosemite National Park - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 August 2016. “The name 'Yosemite' (meaning 'killer' in Miwok) originally referred to the name of a renegade tribe which was driven out of the area (and possibly annihilated) by the Mariposa Battalion. Before then the area was called 'Ahwahnee' ('big mouth') by indigenous people.”
  8. "Yosemite deaths illustrate a tragic but not uncommon risk in nature", Los Angeles Times, August 15, 2015. Retrieved on 15 August 2016. “Noting that a grizzly bear killed and partially consumed an experienced backcountry hiker in Yellowstone Park last week, Wade said that even every precaution cannot protect someone from nature being nature.” 
  9. "Deaths of 2 teens show Yosemite still holds its dangers", San Francisco Chronicle, August 15, 2015. Retrieved on 15 August 2016. “On Friday, a tree limb smashed into a tent at Yosemite’s Upper Pines campground, killing the two boys inside. Earlier this month, a child tested positive for the plague after visiting Yosemite, and another park campground will be closed Monday after plague was discovered in two dead squirrels.” 
  10. Search and Rescue: Lessons from the Field - Yosemite National Park. U.S. National Park Service (OFFICIAL SITE) (2016). Retrieved on 15 August 2016. “Each year, park rangers and search and rescue (SAR) personnel respond to approximately 250 emergency incidents in Yosemite National Park. The park's Preventive Search and Rescue (PSAR) program posts selected SAR incident reports on this blog in the hopes that readers can learn from the experiences of others.”
  11. The 13 Martyrs of Arad - Wikipedia (2015). Retrieved on 27 February 2015. “The Thirteen Martyrs of Arad (Hungarian: Aradi vértanúk) were the thirteen Hungarian rebel generals who were executed by the Austrian Empire on 6 October 1849 in the city of Arad, then a part of the Austrian Empire, after the Hungarian Revolution (1848-1849). The execution was ordered by the Austrian general Julius Jacob von Haynau.”
  12. Surrender at Világos - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 15 August 2016. “On 6 October 1849, at Arad (now Arad, Romania), the Austrians executed twelve Hungarian generals and one colonel, who are known as the 13 Martyrs of Arad. The same day, they executed Lajos Batthyány, the first Hungarian Prime Minister, by firing squad.”
  13. Grun, Bernard. The Timetables of History: A Horizontal Linkage of People and Events. Simon and Schuster, 416-417. 
  14. Patrick Kennedy (1823–1858) - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 August 2016. “He was born in New Ross, Ireland. He was the father of businessman/politician P. J. Kennedy, paternal grandfather of businessman/politician Joseph P. Kennedy Sr., and patrilineal great-grandfather of World War II casualty Joseph P. Kennedy Jr., President John F. Kennedy, Senator Robert F. Kennedy, and longtime Senator Ted Kennedy.”
  15. Edgar Allan Poe - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 August 2016. “Newspapers at the time reported Poe's death as 'congestion of the brain' or 'cerebral inflammation', common euphemisms for deaths from disreputable causes such as alcoholism. The actual cause of death remains a mystery.”
  16. Elizabeth Blackwell - Wikipedia (2016). Retrieved on 12 August 2016. “In October 1847, Blackwell was accepted as a medical student by Hobart College, then called Geneva Medical College, located in upstate New York. Her acceptance was a near-accident. The dean and faculty, usually responsible for evaluating an applicant for matriculation, were not able to make a decision due to the special nature of Blackwell's case. They put the issue up to vote by the 150 male students of the class with the stipulation that if one student objected, Blackwell would be turned away. The young men voted unanimously to accept her.”

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