This is not from the latest Paul Krugman column. It’s from William Jennings Bryan’s famous “Cross of Gold” speech (1896), which you might have come across in high school history class. “Trickle down economics” is a much older idea than you might suppose.
It’s funny how goldbuggery is still lingering at the edges of U.S. politics and how it’s still strongly associated with a belief that prosperity is mainly generated by the wealthy.
When women began transitioning from homemade or seamstress-made clothing to ready-to-wear, sizing was problematic from the start. Back then, many women’s sizes were centered around the hourglass ideal of a 36-inch bust, 26-inch waist and 36-inch hips. One frustrated department store executive told The New York Times in 1927, “I don’t know who the mythical size 36 is who forms the basis of sizing, but average, tall, short, thin and plump women come into a department store and the 36 size fits none of them.”
Oh this makes so much sense now:
Finally in the late 1930s, the U.S. government decided to get scientific about women’s clothing sizes and undertook the first, large-scale study of female body measurements. Employees from the U.S. Home Economics Bureau took 59 different measurements from 15,000 different women around the country. However, the data set ultimately used by the National Bureau of Standards was all-white, as measurements from participating women of color were discarded, and skewed thin since the volunteers tended to be poorer and thus, at that time, likelier to be underweight. Moreover, in the late 1940s, measurements from military women were added to the data pool, further distorting the results toward the thinnest and fittest women in the nation. In 1983, the Commerce Department finally tossed out the standardized women’s clothing sizes.
Normandy landing that you didnt see. 1944
Red Cross workers.
That is seriously the most badass thing I’ve ever seen.
… i hate to feel like asking: this is for real right?
From the Red Cross page.
LET’S TAKE A MOMENT TO ACTUALLY THANK THE PEOPLE WHO GAVE US THIS FREEODM.
I don’t care what your political beliefs are, these men and women are heroes
Nope. My mother and the universe gave me freedom. These people are pawns of imperialism, and regularly destabilize the growth and happiness of much of the world.
LET’S TAKE A MOMENT TO ACTUALLY THANK THE PEOPLE WHO GAVE US THIS FREEODM (SIC).”
YEAH LET’S DO THAT
At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed. O! had I the ability, and could reach the nation’s ear, I would, to-day, pour out a fiery stream of biting ridicule, blasting reproach, withering sarcasm, and stern rebuke. For it is not light that is needed, but fire; it is not the gentle shower, but thunder. We need the storm, the whirlwind, and the earthquake. The feeling of the nation must be quickened; the conscience of the nation must be roused; the propriety of the nation must be startled; the hypocrisy of the nation must be exposed; and its crimes against God and man must be proclaimed and denounced.
What, to the American slave, is your 4th of July? I answer; a day that reveals to him, more than all other days in the year, the gross injustice and cruelty to which he is the constant victim. To him, your celebration is a sham; your boasted liberty, an unholy license; your national greatness, swelling vanity; your sounds of rejoicing are empty and heartless; your denunciation of tyrants, brass fronted impudence; your shouts of liberty and equality, hollow mockery; your prayers and hymns, your sermons and thanksgivings, with all your religious parade and solemnity, are, to Him, mere bombast, fraud, deception, impiety, and hypocrisy-a thin veil to cover up crimes which would disgrace a nation of savages. There is not a nation on the earth guilty of practices more shocking and bloody than are the people of the United States, at this very hour.
Frederick Douglass, The Meaning of July Fourth for the Negro, delivered at Rochester, New York, July 5, 1852
This is one of the most brilliant pieces of American oratory ever written. People always quote that second paragraph, but I think the key to understanding the speech is in the previous one. Besides being beautifully written (despite his moment of mock humility near the beginning) and stirring, this speech is bitterly funny. His “scorching irony” is really the only way a man in his position could have remarked on the murderous hypocrisies of the social, political, economic, and religious establishment (his comments on the church remain entirely relevant today) that sustained slavery.
Every July 4th celebration ought to follow the obligatory reading aloud of the Preamble to the Declaration of Independence with Douglass’ speech.
“Known as the Motorcycle Queen of Miami, Bessie Stringfield started riding when she was 16. She was the first African-American woman to travel cross-country solo, and she did it at age 19 in 1929, riding a 1928 Indian Scout. Bessie traveled through all of the lower 48 states during the ’30s and ’40s at a time when the country was rife with prejudice and hatred. She later rode in Europe, Brazil, and Haiti and during World War II she served as one of the few motorcycle despatch riders for the United States military.”