Monday, January 19, 2009

Presidential Message from Theodore Roosevelt

The design on this postcard was copyrighted by The Cogswell Company in 1909, the year Roosevelt left office. The publisher was The Hiawatha Company, Minneapolis. With a new President taking office 100 years later in 2009, it is good to remember the words of this message.

This postcard is interesting not only for its message, but also for its typographic design. Looking closely, it appears that the type is hand drawn — no two letters are exactly the same, and the baselines are not straight. The first two words overlap the image in an unusual way, and dingbats are used on the right to make the text justified.

The message here was originally part of some remarks made by Roosevelt at Mitchell, South Dakota on April 6, 1903. The following is how it appeared in A Compilation of the Messages and Speeches of Theodore Roosevelt, 1901-1905, By Theodore Roosevelt, edited by Alfred Henry Lewis:

You can lift up a man if he stumble, if he lies down you cannot carry him. If you try to, it will not help him and it will not help you. So, fundamentally, it must rest upon yourself to win success. As I said, law can do something, wise legislation, wise administration of government can do something.

If you have bad laws, badly administered, they will spoil any prosperity. It is easy enough to get a bad law that will stop the whole business, but to get a good law is not so easy. It is easy to sit outside and say how the man inside should run the machine, but it is not so easy to go inside and run the machine yourself.

This prosperity to which we have attained, has been reached under a series of economic moves included in a system through carrying out certain ideas in the currency and in the tariff. We cannot afford to reverse the system.

Improvements can be made. In the tariff, for instance, schedules are not sacred, and as the needs of the nation change and shift it will be necessary to change certain schedules to meet those shifting needs.

[The Minneapolis Tribune, April 7, 1903.]

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Martin Luther King Poem: One Day

I am showing this postard of Martin Luther King in honor of his birthday — actually January 15, but now celebrated in the United States on the third Monday of January.

One day …

Youngsters will learn words they will not understand.

Children from India will ask:
What is hunger?
Children from Alabama will ask:
What is racial segregation?
Children from Hiroshima will ask:
What is the atomic bomb?
Children at school will ask:
What is war?

You will answer them.
You will tell them:

Those words are not used any more.
Like stagecoaches, galleys or slavery.

Words no longer meaningful.

That is why they have been
removed from the dictionaries.

This postcard was published by Leeds Postcards of England. The text on the back of the postcard is as follows:

Martin Luther King was born 1929 in
Atlanta, Georgia. He first attracted national attention in the struggle to desegregate (sic) the American South with the 1955 bus boycott in Montgomery, Alabama. Over the next decade he supported and helped organise many other actions and campaigns.

His prophetic and inspiring vision of equality and dignity for American blacks ('I have a dream…') has echoed down the years. He was assassinated - with the apparent complicity of the FBI amd CIA - in 1968.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Snowy Alaska Roadside Grocery

This is a view of Howard & Hazel's Grocery & Lodge, at "Mile 99½ New Fairbanks Highway." Owners are listed as Howard & Hazel Kennerson.

At first, I couldn't figure out where this location is, because I was confused by the highway name. There is more than one highway to Fairbanks, and none are actually named Fairbanks Highway.

I discovered that the Kennersons owned land recorded at Talkeetna. Talkeetna is reached via George Parks Highway, originally known as the Anchorage-Fairbanks Highway — it is the main route between Anchorage and Fairbanks. This highway was completed in 1971, and was given its current name in 1975. Mileposts along the George Parks Highway indicate the distance from Anchorage.

Talkeetna is near Denali National Park and Mount McKinley. Directions for driving to Talkeetna are as follows: go North from Anchorage on Glenn Highway, take George Parks Highway to Wasilla (Governor Sarah Palin's hometown), then through Wasilla to Milepost 98.7 on George Parks Highway, and turn right onto the Talkeetna Spur Road.

How cold is it in Talkeetna? It's much warmer than Minnesota!

Talkeetna, Alaska weather January 15, 2009:
Max Temperature 36 °F
Min Temperature 33 °F

Minneapolis-St. Paul, Minnesota weather January 15, 2009:
Max Temperature -7 °F
Min Temperature -20 °F

Summer might be a better time to visit Talkeetna, however. On July 11 and 12, 2009 the Talkeetna Historical Society will host the 37th Annual Moose Dropping Festival. "It's a family event you can not miss!"

Paul Bunyan Statue, Bemidji Winter Carnival

This is an early real photo postcard of the Paul Bunyan statue in Bemidji,Minnesota, circa 1937-38. The statue was built in 1937, and is about 18 feet tall. The sign, which is partially hidden by the man standing next to the statue, appears to be advertising "Paul Bunyan Bemidji Winter Carnival." At the top of the sign is "…E RIGHTS / …ERVED / WS EXCEPTED." The photo is by "HAK" (Hakkerup).

The Bemidji Winter Carnival was held in the middle of January. The 1937 winter carnival attendance was estimated at 15,000 and the 1938 winter carnival attendance was extimated at 100,000.

According to information at Bemidji Online, the statue's measurements were based on those of the Chamber of Commerce president, but the head and shoulders ended up out of proportion because of low light at the top of a tarpaulin teepee used to keep the statue and its builders warm. Personally, I think it is these odd proportions that make the statue so appealing.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Gloom Chaser: Buy a New Automobile

This postcard is "Gloom Chaser No. 1," published by E. C. Kropp during the depression era. Who was still buying new automobiles ?

"Well, they are the sort of people who are unshaken in spirit and who still have something in their purse. Not only buying automobiles and not necessarily fools, they refuse to live in a blue fog and gloom…Yes, reckless and improvident, the fools are still buying new automobiles, and some day, when enough of them get together, they'll tow America out of this mess."

With the economy in another big mess, and with car sales down so much that the American car manufacturers are begging for a bailout, we could use a lot of fools like these.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

New Year Greetings Around the World

This Russian New Year card (copyright 1978) has New Year greetings in five languages: English, Russian, French, Spanish, and German.

The space vehicles, Salyut and Soyuz, are lettered in the Russian alphabet. The abbreviation (USSR) for Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, however, is lettered in the Latin alphabet.

Happy New Year 1909

This hundred-year-old 1909 year date New Year card is copyright '07 by P. Sanders, N.Y.

A variety of designs were used for New Year year date postcards published in the early 1900s during the years of the postcard craze. Some relied primarily on typography, either simple or ornate, like this one. Some just added a date to a typical holiday design. Others filled large number outlines with pictures or used pictures shaped like numbers.

This postcard wishes "A Happy Newyear to my dear Aunt Elsie from her littel(?) Walter and a lot of kisses."
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