#americanhistory

The Woman Whose Suggestion Led 2 College Students to Found Pizza Hut

In the 1950s a woman named Marguerite Mollohan (1902-1980) owned, rented and managed several buildings in Wichita, Kansas. She asked two college students she knew if they would like to open a restaurant, explaining that an article she had seen about pizzarias and they agreed.  Dan and Frank Carney borrowed $600 from their mother and opened the first Pizza Hut, so named because the words fit on the existing sign.

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In the Grip of La Grippe: Spring 1918, the First Wave

Was your family affected by the influenza pandemic that occurred a century ago? Chances are good that it was.  The pandemic occurred in three waves.  The first, from March through July 1918, was the mildest wave with a low number or deaths, but unusual in that it lasted through the early summer.  The second wave began in August 1918 peaking in October and November before dying out in early spring of 1919, while the final wave extended from April 1919 through June 1920.  While scientists believe the three waves were caused by the same virus, they have samples only from the second wave, which caused the greatest amount of death and social chaos.  In genealogical terms this means that our ancestors may have died from the specific virus scientists call H1N1 that caused the two year pandemic, but the death certificate, newspaper notice or family memory may not include the facts.

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Spanish Influenza Provides Lessons for Coronavirus

For more than twenty years I worked on national security policy with a decided emphasis on diseases and natural disasters. Even with my shift into genealogy in 2014, I can’t resist following the news of the novel Coronavirus.  I am constantly looking for the signposts of pandemic and following information from health officials I trust.  Named COVID-19 by the World Health Organization, the Coronavirus outbreak began in December 2019 and so far, the virus has followed a somewhat traditional path of ebb and flow of transmission; it has not yet reached pandemic proportions, even with multiple outbreaks in countries across the globe. 

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161 Year-Old Article Covers All Aspects of Life

I was researching yesterday on newspapers.com  when I found an article in the Kansas National Democrat on Jan 27, 1859, 161 years ago to the day. It details the efforts of the Kansas Territorial Legislature from Thursday, January 20th. In a single day the number of major issues considered was astounding; many of which would dramatically affect the future of the Territory and later State of Kansas.  

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Uncle Bud (Part 1)

Although he was born Lewis Arthur Mothersbaugh (1875-1941), our family knew him affectionately as “Uncle Bud.” Bud was married to my great-grand aunt, Maria Magdalena Raiffeisen. I never had the chance to meet him but I have gotten to know him through his own words written in a diary and letters he sent home when he served in the U.S. Marine Corps. This is the beginning of our shared story…

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