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Archive for February, 2010

125 years ago, on February 28, 1885, the American Telephone and Telegraph Company was incorporated in New York State as the subsidiary of American Bell Telephone. The photograph below, courtesy of Southern New England Telephone Company Records collection, part of a larger Connecticut History Online digital collection, shows two electric engineers working with equipment at the American Telephone and Telegraph Company’s Hartford (Connecticut) office in 1914.

American Telephone an Telegraph Company (Hartford, 1914)

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On February 26, 1919, an act of the U.S. Congress established most of the Grand Canyon as a United States National Park (Grand Canyon National Park). The map of the Grand Canyon National Park map below, published in 1919, is courtesy of the Library of Congress Map Collections, 1500-1999.

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On February 22, 1924, President Calvin Coolidge became the first President of the United States to deliver a radio broadcast from the White House. Coolidge actively used the new medium of radio and made radio history several times while President. During the election campaign of 1924, radio equipment was installed on the automobiles used by Calvin Coolidge. The photograph below, courtesy of the Library of Congress, National Photo Company Collection, shows President Coolidge standing next to one of these radio-equipped automobiles.

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Mark Twain’s Adventures of Huckleberry Finn was published for the first time 125 years ago, on February 18, 1885. Commonly recognized as one of the Great American Novels, this work inspired many other works, for example the one featured below — a song “Huckleberry Finn” (“There was a rascal, in the town where I came from…”) by Joe Young, Cliff Hess, and Sam M. Lewis. Notated music, published in New York in 1917, courtesy of University of Indiana, Sam DeVincent Collection of American Sheet Music. Click on the cover image below to read the notes.

One of the digital collections in Opening History aggregation, Mark Twain’s Mississippi, provides a fully searchable and indexed digital library of Mark Twain’s Mississippi novels and reminiscences (The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, Life on the Mississippi). These works serve as lenses through which the public may explore additional text, image, and sound materials, describing the Mississippi Valley that Mark Twain remembered and imagined in writing his classic works of literature.

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Voting machine, Hartford (CT, 1912)


Voting machines were approved by the U.S. Congress for use in federal elections on February 14, 1899.
The photograph above, courtesy of Connecticut History Online, is the close-up of the voting machine used for mayoral elections in Hartford, Connecticut, in 1912.
The photograph below, courtesy of Historic Pittsburgh Image Collections, shows a practice voting machine used in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, in late 1940s-early 1950s.

Practice poll: voting machine on table surrounded by five people, including two workers for the Rev. Talley campaign for Pittsburgh City Council

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The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) was founded on February 12, 1909. The mission of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People is to ensure the political, educational, social, and economic equality of rights of all persons and to eliminate racial hatred and racial discrimination.
The Opening History aggregation includes two digital collections of photographs and documents created by the NAACP:
1. National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, West Coast Region Photographs, ca. 1946-1970, and
2. Records of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Region I.

The photograph below, courtesy of The Bancroft Library, University of California, Berkeley, National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, West Coast Region Photographs, ca. 1946-1970 digital collection, features Velma Aiken presenting the weekly television program “Your NAACP Reporter” over station KTVF TV, Fairbanks, Alaska, in 1960.

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YWCA founded 140 years ago

The YWCA (Young Women’s Christian Association) was founded 140 years ago, on February 10, 1870, in New York City. Originally the services provided by the association includes access to educational and religious classes, hostels for young women, and opportunities for both service and recreation. Today YWCA is a movement of women working for social and economic change around the world, and is present in over 120 countries.
The photograph below, taken in 1918, courtesy of Utah State Historical Society, Shipler Photograph Collection, illustrates the recreation mission of the YWCA.

Young Women's Christian Association (YWCA) Group (1918)

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