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Author Topic: The historical January 1 crossword  (Read 1202 times)


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The historical January 1 crossword
« on: January 01, 2017, 04:03:13 PM »
"What happened then" is the theme of today's crossword by Don Gagliardo and C.C. Burnikel. Today is the first day of 2017 and the puzzle includes events that took place one hundred years ago:

Orphanage founded in 1917: BOYSTOWN
Treats inspired by a coal miner in 1917: MOONPIES
Fundraising items first sold in 1917: GIRLSCOUTCOOKIES
Subject of an act passed in 1917: SELECTIVESERVICE
America bought it from Denmark in 1917: USVIRGINISLANDS
American citizenship grantee in 1917: PUERTORICAN
World Series winner in 1917: CHICAGOWHITESOX

The MoonPie consists of two round graham crackers with a layer of marshmallow filling and a chocolate coating. According to legend, Earl Mitchell, the owner of the Chattanooga Bakery in Tennessee began making the treats in 1917 after a coal miner said he'd love to have a snack made of graham crackers and marshmallow, adding that the snack should be "as big as the moon." Is the story true? Probably not. The name likely came from the pie-like snack having a round shape like the moon.

Technically, the United States did not buy the U.S. Virgin Islands from Denmark. When we purchased the islands for $25,000,000 on March 31, 1917, they were not called the Virgin Islands and they certainly did not have "U.S." as part of their name. The first inhabitants of the islands were Arawak, Carib and Ciboney. Christopher Columbus named the islands after the virgins who attended Saint Ursula. The "Ursula Islands" might have been a better name. At least nobody would be making jokes about the islands and their inhabitants if the islands were named Ursula. At various times, the Virgin Islands were owned by Spain, Great Britain, The Netherlands, France and Denmark. When the United States purchased the islands, they were known as the Danish West Indies. We renamed them the Virgin Islands of the United States.

"Bach's east" is OST, which is not used in English. "À votre __!" is SANTE, which is not used in English. It is a toast meaning "To your health!" "Table scrap" is ORT. That is a word I have never seen or heard outside of crossword puzzles. Does a young boy ever ask, "Mom, can I feed these orts to the dog?" Does a woman ever tell her son, "Be sure you clean the orts off your plate before you put it in the dishwasher"? "Tagged without reaching, as home" is OUTAT. In a baseball game, if a runner is tagged out before reaching home, he isn't really "out at home." He is "out on the basepath."

Also in 1917, the first World War was raging and thousands of people lost their lives; 168 people died in an explosion at an ore mine in Butte, Montana; 250 died during a race riot in East St. Louis, Illinois; 70,000 were left homeless by a fire which destroyed one third of the city of Thessaloniki, Greece; 1,963 died and 9,000 were injured in an explosion caused by the collision of two freighters in Halifax Harbor, Nova Scotia. Let us all hope and pray that 2017 is a much better year than 1917 was. In 2008, evangelist Billy Graham wrote a "Prayer for the New Year." It was published in the Saturday Evening Post and is still relevant today:


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