Straight from the Scullery

a blog about life, love, and the pursuit of food and happiness...

Sunday, May 31, 2015

Conflicted from the Start

May 31, 1913

May 31, 1913 marks the day that William Jennings Bryan announced the ratification of the Seventeenth Amendment to the United States Constitution. From this point forward, United States Senators would no longer be elected by their respective state legislatures. Instead, they would be elected by popular vote. 

Looking back from our vantage point, the change seems simple enough...logical enough. The controversy surrounding the Seventeenth Amendment, however, caused a "few" years to pass from the initial conversations to the actual ratification. In fact, it was debated first somewhere around the year 1787 by a Scottish-born man named James Wilson. Mr. Wilson was not only a member of the Constitutional Convention, he was one of the first six Supreme Court Justices appointed by George Washington.

Friday, May 29, 2015

Profit by Example

May 29, 1765

The Stamp Act of 1765 was not turning out to be a popular agenda in the colonies of North America. British Parliament had created the Stamp Act as a way to fund British troops stationed in the colonies at the close of the Seven Years' War. Americans argued that we didn't need any troops here; we would have no trouble defending ourselves against Native Americans without the aid of the Redcoats. If the British wanted troops here, they should be funded by London.

The Stamp Act required any printed material (including playing cards, magazines, newspapers, legal documents, etc.) in America to use the special stamped paper produced in London, and that it be paid for with British currency rather than the colonial American paper money. 

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Manhattan for a Song

May 24, 1626

The borough of Manhattan has been described as the "economic and cultural center of the United States." Wall Street, which can be found in Lower Manhattan, is arguably the financial capital of the world. The cost of living in Manhattan is the highest of anywhere within the USA.

Ironic, then, that the entire island was purchased for a mere 60 Dutch guilders.

Friday, May 22, 2015

The Reno Gang in Scott County

May 22, 1868

The Reno brothers were born and raised in southern Indiana during the mid-1800's. "Honest Clint" and his sister Laura were the two siblings who never involved themselves with the crime sprees of their brothers. Frank, John, Bill (his involvement with the gang is uncertain) and Simeon, however, chose a path that began with cheating travelers out of money in card games and ended with a lynching in Hangman's Crossing, Indiana.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

End of the Occupation

May 20, 1902

The press has always played a part in creating drama; it could possibly be said that the Spanish American War would not have taken place had Joseph Pulitzer and William Randolph Hearst had not been competing for popularity among their readers. This fierce competition among New York's journalists caused the American public to sympathize with Cuba in the late 1800's, comparing the "fierce and dominating" Spaniards conquest of Cuba to the Revolutionary War and the American fight for freedom.