The New York City subway of today is what one might lightly call “starkly different” from its predecessors. In the 1980s, over 250 felonies were committed every week in the system, making the New York subway the most dangerous mass transit system in the world. Over the course of a decade, New York public transportation would lose over 300 million riders, largely due to its reputation as a hotbed of crime and drug use. In the gallery below, we take a look at what the New York City subways were like in the 1980s:
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The American Revolution was fought on the homefront, which means that women and children were often caught up in the fighting in one way or another. It was their war, too. Remember Rosie the Riveter? She symbolizes the women who worked in the factories and ran the family farms and shops while men were away fighting in WWII.
And there were many women just like Rosie in the Revolutionary War, too. A group of Philadelphia women held the first-ever fundraiser in America; they raised much-needed funds for General George Washington’s Continental Army. Less political wives and mothers even pitched in to sew the army’s uniforms. But some women felt a stronger call of duty; they are the badass women of the Revolutionary War. We begin with a short primer on the art of spycraft in that era.
Then there were the spies, scouts and messengers. Women were useful in that capacity because they were often considered to be above suspicion. Frankly, men of the era usually assumed that women weren’t very bright, which gave them opportunities to listen in on secret meetings. They could also use feminine wiles, disguises, and other ruses to carry out their covert actions. A few members of Gen. Washington’s Culper Spy Ring, operating out of Long Island, were women. Among them were Anna Strong and the unnamed Agent 355. Both names could have come straight out of a James Bond film, but I assure you, this was real life. And death: many historians believe that Agent 355 was caught by the British and died on their fetid prison ship Jersey after giving birth to a son.
Outnumbered and out-resourced, the 1781 Battle of Cowpens was an essential win for the American forces during the War of Independence. Continental Army leader Daniel Morgan’s strategy — to weaken, disorganize and trap British forces “by fire” — proved to be successful. Historians would later praise the general for being the only general in American history “to produce a significant original tactical thought”.
Each year we celebrate National Doughnut Day, a holiday erected in 1938 to honor the Salvation Army’s “Doughnut Lassies.” Today, the doughnut holiday means free doughnuts (and other sweet perks) from many local shops. While it can be hard to imagine a world without maple bacon bars and apple pie cheddar doughnuts, this tasty treat hasn’t been around forever. That’s why we’ve compiled a seriously sweet history of doughnuts that is sure to send you scrambling to Krispy Kreme before the day is over.
While the history of doughnuts in America is relatively short, people have been making similar treats throughout the world for centuries. In Ancient Rome and Greece, cooks fried strips of pastry dough and covered them in various sweet and savory flavors. In Medieval times, Arab individuals dipped fried dough into sugary syrup, and Germans made a savory version in the 1400s when sugar was scarce. These fried dough treats were not the same as today’s doughnut, but they laid the foundation for doughnuts to come.
Dr. Maya Angelou was 86 years old when she passed away this week, but even after eight long decades of life she remained a sharp, passionate woman wise beyond her years. While some devoured her books or found inspiration in her poetry (Angelou was the first female African American poet laureate), she was much more than one of world’s greatest writers. Maya Angelou was a civil rights activist, a speaker, a philosopher and a mother. She changed the lives of many people with her unique ability to describe the dark complexity and intersectionalities of discrimination, racism, sexism and economic hardship. Here are some of Dr. Maya Angelou’s most famous and inspiring thoughts and speeches.
By many accounts George Henry Thomas was one of the greatest military minds in American history. So why isn’t his name mentioned in the same breath as Ulysses S. Grant, Robert E. Lee, George McArthur or George Patton? Thomas graduated in the same West Point class as William Tecumseh Sherman, and commanded over some triumphant victories that bested his former classmate. But even during the Civil War, politics determined who advanced in the ranks, and Thomas had one handicap that he couldn’t change: he was a Southerner fighting for the Union.
As a professional soldier, his loyalty was with the U.S. Army that he served so faithfully. But the decision to turn down a position in the Confederate army was an agonizing one, according to his wife Frances Kellogg Thomas, who was a staunch Unionist, which may have further influenced her husband’s decision.