Inspection Station - Tuesday, June 23, 2015

One of the coolest things about discovering history is the fact that everything has story. Regardless of whether it's something we celebrate - like automatic music machines and classic automobiles - or maybe something not quite as exciting - like Official Inspection Stations.  Funny we mention that, because Official Inspection Stations for the Pennsylvania Department of Revenue are the next subject for our blog.

The Pennsylvania Department of Revenue was established in 1927 - at the height of the Roaring Twenties.  It began operation two years later - the year that the stock market crash happened.  Nowadays, they concentrate on taxation and other such pleasantries, but in '29, the inspection of automobiles to ensure they were safe to drive was one of their responsibilities.  The PA Department of Transportation would not come along until 1970, and PENNdot has been a presence in the state ever since.  It also makes an appearance in the Toy Box at the American Treasure Tour.  Here's a challenge for you:  the next time you come to visit us, see if you can locate the sign among the collection.
QUESTION:  Which state established the first (voluntary) car inspections in 1926?
A)  Alaska
B)  Maryland
C)  Ohio
D)  Massachusetts
ANSWER BELOW

COLD BUT COOL.  It was the height of the Cold War in 1959.  Politicians were struggling to get along around the world, but they could agree on one thing.  Notably, to maintain the complete neutrality of Antarctica.  In the Antarctic Treaty, it was agreed that the coldest continent would never be claimed by the people of any country.  It was implemented on this day in 1961.

OH SHER, YOU BETCHA.  Turning 58 today, Frances McDormand has developed a highly unusual and impressive reputation as one of the nicest people to be involved in Hollywood.  This veteran actor won the Best Actress Academy Award in 1996 with the Coen Brothers film Fargo.  McDormand made a number of films with the Coens, not too difficult to understand considering her marriage to Joel Coen.  Well, make sure Joel treats you well today!

QUOTE:  The only power youhave is the word no. - Frances McDormand

ANSWER:  D)  Massachusetts