Bluestocking Journal

Real history, through the eyes of a fictional person

Tag: holidays

Wednesday, January 1, 1913

Today is New Year’s Day, and there is no newspaper.

Since taking up reading the papers daily in September of last year, I have learned so much. I have been appalled by acts of violence and hatred; I have been saddened by news of terrible accidents and loss; I have delighted in human ingenuity and wit. I know that 1913 will bring more of all of those things. Here’s hoping that the tales of wonder outshine the tales of woe in the coming year.


Wednesday, December 25, 1912

Today is Christmas, and so of course there is no newspaper. Santa brought me apples, oranges, raisins, a smart new suit, and a lovely pillow embroidered in lilacs (my favorite flower). Cousin Elsie sent a pair of kid gloves, and dear Aunt Miriam gave me a subscription for the Forerunner, a monthly magazine produced by Charlotte Perkins Gilman!

Of course I know that “Santa” is really Mother and Papa.

The Finest Gift

no other Christmas gift so appreciated

This ad appeared in the Urbana Courier-Herald on Friday, December 20, 1912.

Tuesday, December 17, 1912

Once again I am disinterested in the stories in the newspaper. Instead, I’ve clipped this advertisement from the Courier-Herald. It shows the many wonderful things that may be done about the household using electricity, although it seems that they are prone to having silly names. (“Good afternoon, ladies. Allow me to introduce you to my chafing dish, El Eggo!”) It is all still quite wondrous; why, you could even light your Christmas tree by electricity.

don't forget the useful and handsome El Stovo

You Need a Victrola Right Now


And if someone you know is an early adopter and already has a Victrola, why not give them some random recordings for Christmas?

oh, the round kind, my favorite

You’ll Shoot Your Eye Out

Uncle Jim smells funny and talks real loud

This ad appeared in the Urbana Courier-Herald on December 3, 1912.

Thursday, November 28, 1912

As today is Thanksgiving, there is no newspaper. I am thankful for my family, whom I love very much. I am thankful for my kitten Benjamin, who is trying to teach me how to purr. I am thankful for the work of the “suffragettes,” as I don’t see how it’s at all fair that only men can vote. And I am thankful that this newspaper-reading task I have set myself has turned out to be quite interesting after all.

Friday, November 8, 1912

Today is a day for terse, single-sentence reports.

A street car was derailed at the sharp turn at Lincoln and Oregon streets, knocking down a telephone pole and giving the passengers a bad fright.

President Taft has issued a proclamation declaring the last Thursday of November to be an annual holiday of Thanksgiving.

The famous tragedienne Sarah Bernhardt was attacked by a bear in a London museum.

Wednesday, October 30, 1912

Forty different kinds of tobacco will be chewed by 125 enlisted men at the New York navy yard over the next six weeks, to decide which kind shall be bought for use in the navy. A year’s supply of tobacco for the navy is 200,000 pounds.

In Lincoln, Illinois, Aldred Whitaker spent eight years working on a perpetual motion machine while afflicted with locomotor ataxin and lying on his back. He died as he was completing the last section of his model.

Finally, the chief of police issued a proclamation this morning. “Only innocent fun will be tolerated on Thursday night, which is Hallowe’en. Any persons who are found destroying or in any way molesting property will be arrested and prosecuted,” Already several complaints have been made regarding young men hurling rocks through windows, tearing up cabbages and flower beds, and throwing bottles and other refuse against houses. “Without words of caution from the father or mother,” says the article, “the boy may well be expected to act the rowdy.”

Sunday, September 15, 1912

It is Sunday once again, which means it is time to read Every Woman’s Encyclopaedia. The next article is on how one may construct shades for electric lights and candles. I must confess that I have no interest in this topic, and so I merely paged through it until arriving at the next one, which is about ideas for children’s fancy dress parties. I rather like the idea of dressing up as a Pantomime Fairy. I will show this to Mother, and maybe she can help me construct it in time for Hallowe’en. Curiously, the article makes no mention of that holiday; evidently in Britain, children instead dress up for Christmas.