• History
  • Sep6

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    In my previous post Comforts Committee of the Navy League I spoke briefly of my grandmother May’s involvement in knitting sweaters and such for submariners in World War I.

    Recently I’ve found there are some terrific images and resources online relating to the Comforts Committee and just wanted to share a few favorites here.

    First, to whet your appetite, I suggest this  short series of articles written by David Vergun for the Navy League’s SeaPower magazine written in celebration of their centennial anniversary. (I’ve linked to a Google search as they link to the articles on an older version of the web site. I have been unable to locate them on the newest version of their site.)

    Mr Verdun includes the following poem and description from the time:

    During World War I, Navy Leaguers enthusiastically answered the call to duty by either signing up in the armed forces or volunteering for duty on the homefront. Leaguers in cities and towns across the country recruited shipworkers for the war effort. Others assisted armed forces recruiters. Thousands of women worked with the Navy League’s Comforts Committee to make hand-woven garments for U.S. forces and their allies. The Navy League became so well known for its work that the Hempstead Inquirer of Long Island, N.Y., published a poem of tribute:

    The Navy League

    Baa, baa, black sheep,
    Have you any wool?
    Yes, sir; yes, sir!
    Three bags full!

    When you want a sweater
    What do you do?
    Go to the Navy League
    And they’ll give you two!

    When you want a helmet
    And no one else has any
    Just ask the Navy League
    And they’ll say “How many?”

    If the boys are freezing
    And need 60 mufflers more,
    Go ask the Navy League
    And they’ll give you sixty-four!

    When the cry goes up for help–
    “Have you any wool?”
    “Sure!” says the Navy League
    “Three bags full!”

    –Mary Youngs

    Comforts Committee of Navy League - Ladies Knitting

    At left is a photograph of some ladies volunteering their time to the cause. There are many wonderful images on the Library of Congress site that are both historical and more personal – I suggest you make it a regular destination when working on your own family history research.

  • Aug27

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    As we wait for Hurricane Irene to arrive, I thought I would take some time to peruse the Library of Congress Chronicling America historical newspaper collection. Unfortunately the site is down for hardware maintenance. Drats.

    But, for those who are in the midst of hurricane obsession, here is a very informative site on the Great Hurricane of 1938 – The Long Island Express.

    Best of luck to all of us awaiting the storm – and soon I hope we will all be singing Good Night Irene.

  • Mar2

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    I spend many of my lunch hours reading the papers. In 1880. or thereabouts. Don’t you?

    I’ve been seeing if I can find references to my great-grandfather who was a NYC Policeman from 1885 to 1913, as well try to find connections to other Tierneys in the area since we are not sure if he had any family over here as well.

    As I systematically search for “Tierney” in the NY Times year by year, I find I end up learning more about New York City history than my family, but that’s almost as good to me.

    Yesterday I found an article in the June 15, 1880 edition of the Times entitled Life in Baxter-Street – A Census Enumerator in an Unsavory Neighborhood. Read More | Comments

  • Dec1

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    Town gathering in Simanek home town of Predmir, Czechoslovakia.

    For wordless Wednesday: A photo of the Prague Sokol XI Slet exhibition in 1948 from our family album. Some interesting related information can be found at The History of Sokol.

  • Oct28

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    Another very good podcast from the BBC that I highly recommend – the historical context should be of much interest to genealogists as well.

    My only complaint is that older podcasts aren’t available; I’d love to hear more!

    BBC Making History Podcast Logo

    Making History

    Making History explores ordinary people’s links with the past. The programme is presented by Vanessa Collingridge and is broadcast on Tuesday at 3pm for 26 weeks a year in two series.