Category History

In the Halls of the Ancients: The Imagined Washington, DC, of Franklin Webster Smith

At the turn of the twentieth century, he had a bold dream of making Washington a museum of world history. Egyptian temples, Assyrian palaces, and the Taj Mahal would complete a landscape out of Rome and Greece. His scheme attracted educators and socialites, senators and major newspapers. Then it all came crashing down.

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The Time the US Senate Debated Crabcakes

Senator Beall hurried back from the Senate dining room to the floor where the Democrats were filibustering. Beall, a Republican, tugged at Senator Hill’s sleeve. “Mr. President,” he thundered, “I rise to defend the fair name of the great Free State of Maryland against an insult.” The insult wasn’t the filibuster. The insult was lunch. 

Back When We Ate Roses

In Victorian America, flower-scented butters were all the rage with morning mocha and afternoon tea.