The birth of the U.S. dollar, in 1792, has a rich history

Dara Elasfar, The Washington Post

Before 1792, most Americans had money troubles. Goods and services could be exchanged for pieces of gold or silver if people had them. Some would use British or Spanish coins. Tobacco leaves, shells and pieces of land were other options. Colonies issued their own type of paper currency, but it wasn’t reliable to use when trading and traveling. But on April 2, 1792, Congress established what is now one of the most widely recognized symbols in the world: the dollar.

“In America, they used whatever they could get their hands on,” said Frank Noll, a historical consultant for the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing. “But the Coinage Act established the dollar as a unit of currency for the United States.”

The Coinage Act of 1792 created the U.S. Mint, an institution dedicated to producing coins and controlling their movement around the world. The first official American currency was…

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https://www.sfgate.com/lifestyle/article/The-birth-of-the-U-S-dollar-in-1792-has-a-rich-13735110.php

A primer on those little ole wooden shacks out back

M

Blue Lake Ranch outhouse horse

Linda Nipp stands in front of the outhouse on the century farm known as Blue Lake Ranch where she and her husband board horses. She says the privy “is 100 years old at least and still in use.” It stands 8-feet high and is about 4-foot-square with a tin roof. The farm was once the Central Pike Dairy, operated by her grandfather, Dr. Lee Wright, a physician who also had a mule trading center and a tobacco farm in the community once called Dodoburg.

Many of you young whippersnappers may never have had the challenge of stepping into an outhouse to take care of business.

But for most of us in our seventh decade or more, spotting one of these vintage wooden structures along a stretch of country road may revive memories that do not carry the scent of nostalgia or sentimentality.

A century ago, practically every farmhouse, rural schoolhouse and church house had one or maybe two of these utilitarian sheds somewhere out back. The small building bore other names such as toilet, privy and latrine.

These often held a Sears and Roebuck catalog in lieu of toilet paper. If a catalog was not handy, then fresh, soft corn cobs would make do.

The 1950 census tallied 50 million outhouses in the U.S. By 2000, the number had trickled to…

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https://www.wilsonpost.com/community/a-primer-on-those-little-ole-wooden-shacks-out-back/article_0c3b5f8a-46a7-11e9-bd4b-1fafc4204246.html

Forget Trump’s Border Wall. Let’s Build F.D.R.’s International Park.

A joint U.S.-Mexico park along the Rio Grande would send a message of cooperation when the loudest words are of division.

By Dan W. Reicher

Mr. Reicher was a member of the first reported expedition to navigate the 1,800-mile-plus Rio Grande.

Big Bend National Park, on the border of Texas and Mexico. There has long been interest in creating an international park in the area.CreditCreditDavid Hensley/Moment, via Getty Images

Nearly 75 years ago, an American president was eyeing a grand project along our southern border, not to divide the United States and Mexico but to bring the two nations together. On June 12, 1944, a week after D-Day, President Franklin Roosevelt signed legislation establishing Big Bend National Park, almost a million acres along the Rio Grande in West Texas.

He followed up with a grand challenge to President Manuel Ávila Camacho of Mexico: “I do not believe that this undertaking in the Big Bend will be complete until the entire park area in this region on both sides of the Rio Grande forms one great international park.” Mr. Camacho agreed.

Still, the building of a great international park along our southern border, rather than a grim medieval wall, remains an elusive goal. But if there ever was a moment for it, this is it, and particularly in a place where time and the flowing river have already carved truly great walls along thousand-foot-deep canyons.

There was a compelling precedent for President Roosevelt’s idea. In 1932, the United States and Canada…

Read more at:

https://www.nytimes.com/2019/03/14/opinion/trump-wall-big-bend-park.html

These Photos of a Segregated U.S. Navy Unit Were Lost for Decades. They Still Have a Story to Tell

February 22, 2019
 

Sailors assigned to work as laborers at the U.S. Naval Supply Depot on Guam.
Wayne Miller—Magnum Photos

There are many ways to photograph a black person, and it’s easy for things to go horribly wrong. America’s long history of racist imagery makes that quite clear. Wayne Miller, a white man, was notable for doing it right. In the mid-20th century, a time when American visual culture was suffused with photographs that reinforced demeaning notions about black people, Miller created deeply empathetic images with a understated, yet unmistakable anti-racist intent. He made his best known photographs of African Americans on Chicago’s South Side, between 1946 and 1948. But they were not his first.

In 1944 and 1945, while serving as a U.S. Navy photographer, he created a photographic series about a segregated all-black unit that was assigned to the Naval Supply Depot on Guam. The men called their unit “Pot Luck,” and that was the name that Miller gave to the book that he planned to publish about them. The book never appeared; its maquette, or mock-up, was lost until 2018, when one of Miller’s daughters rediscovered it. And what she found, images from which are published here for the first time, reveals…

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http://time.com/longform/wayne-miller-pot-luck/

The Real Value Of Course Correction (Use It Early And Often)

What Would Eleanor Roosevelt Do? A New Book Has the Answer

Eleanor Roosevelt

“If You Ask Me: Essential Advice from Eleanor Roosevelt”
by Eleanor Roosevelt, edited by Mary Jo Binker
c.1946, 1974, 2018, Atria Books
$25.00 / $34.00 Canada
245 pages

What should you do?

When relationships break down, what then? Or you lose your job and your bank account is depleted, your home is in foreclosure, you’re a victim of discrimination, what do you do? You ask yourself “What next?” then you reach for help, and with the new book “If You Ask Me: Essential Advice from Eleanor Roosevelt,” edited by Mary Jo Binker, the advice you get might be decades old.

Arguments on immigration, world issues, patriotism, and messy politics. Minority issues, equal pay, family problems, and Constitutional matters. Though these may seem to be problems strictly of the modern age, from 1921 until 1962, Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of our 32nd president, also tackled these same topics in her books and magazine articles. In those 41 years, she ultimately penned more than 600 pieces.

People from every walk of life consulted Mrs. Roosevelt for advice: politicians asked her and women sought her out. Men looked toward her wisdom and, says Binker, she had a particular affection for…

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https://rebelliousmagazine.com/what-would-eleanor-roosevelt-do-book/