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Entrepreneurs & Inventors

Will Rogers (1879-1935): His Wisdom Still Applies Today

Will Rogers was a part-Cherokee American who grew up in Indian Territory and began his career in vaudeville doing rope tricks; he went on to... continue »

The True Inventor of Blue Jeans

  No article of clothing better represents America than a pair of denim jeans. The birth of this ubiquitous apparel took place almost 150 years... continue »

Before the Rose Bowl There was the Tournament of Roses

What we know as the Rose Bowl Parade dates to 1890 and was conceived by the Valley Hunt Club of Pasadena. Members decorated their horse-drawn... continue »

Times Square Ball Drop and the Story Behind this New Year’s Eve Tradition

At one minute before midnight on December 31, people from around the world will welcome the year 2020 when the sparkling New Year’s Eve Ball... continue »

The White House and Holidays Past

Even in the 1920s, the economy had quite an effect on the holidays, starting with changes for the president and his family. In 1928 Herbert... continue »

Santa’s Village: The First Franchised Amusement Park

Children today are much more sophisticated in their entertainment taste than children of the 1950s and ‘60s, but in our culture, the Santa story is... continue »

Stimulating Retail Sales in Stores 100 Years Ago

At holiday time, a special treat for the family often involved a trip downtown (or to the nearest big city) to see the store windows,... continue »

Wrapping Paper and Gifts: The Story Behind It

There is nothing new about wanting to surprise a friend or family member with the gift you have chosen…but it used to be much harder... continue »

The Woman Behind the Salvation Army Bell Ringers

The Salvation Army bell ringers, introduced in the U.S. by Evangeline Booth in the early 1900s, can still be found on city streets at holiday... continue »

The Inventors of Crayola Crayons: Binney & Smith

Binney & Smith, now Crayola LLC, was an outgrowth of a chemical company that made pigments. The company started in 1864 in Peekskill, New York,... continue »

World War II and Hollywood: Participating in the War Effort

During World War II the movie-making business in Los Angeles continued but was changed by the fact that the nation was at war. Like other... continue »

The First Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

Today the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree is a worldwide symbol of opulence and the grand life of those who live in New York City, but... continue »