Sombreros - June 6, 2014

If you have visited the American Treasure Tour, you know how difficult it is to see everything. There is something here for everyone, and that includes people with a fashion sense!  Not only are there Mummers costumes on display, but there are also plenty of sombreros hanging above the route the tram takes.  (Many people neglect to look up as they are driven through the rooms, so they may never even notice them.)

One accoutrement that people have used to protect themselves from harsh weather on the open plains or the desert is hats.  Big hats.  Hats with wide brims that shield their faces from the sun. Flat brims have been most effective for this, and the people of Mexico have used sombreros for centuries.  Of course, Americans call theirs cowboy hats, but they were intended to serve the same function.  It's just that the sombrero has since become ornamental as well.  All of the flourishes on them make them more appealing for mariachi musicians and tourists.

QUESTION:  History finds the earliest traces of wide-brimmed hats used to help shield people from the elements in what part of the world?

a)  Mongolia

b)  Italy

c)  New York City

d)  Texas

Answer Below

HISTORY TODAY:

If you ever wondered which United States President was the first to ride on a train, wonder no more!  In fact, we will even tell you when it happened!  Today, in 1833, only three years after the Tom Thumb rode thirteen miles along the Baltimore and Ohio track.  It would not be long before the new technology would dominate transportation and surpass canals as the means to move merchandise.  And Andrew Jackson, the nation's seventh president, was there for the start of it.

Another first for Americans happened today exactly one hundred years later.  A lot had changed since 1833, but one of the more important innovations was the development of film.  And to complement that, the creation of the first drive-in movie theater, which opened in Camden, New Jersey.  Built by Richard Hollinshead, Jr, it encouraged families to bring their children - it didn't matter if they were loud, since they could stay in their cars.  Although Hollinshead's theater lasted only three years, his idea took off and many more were built aroung the country.

BIRTHDAYS:

"I only regret that I have but one life to live for my country."  Those words were famously said by Nathan Hale shortly before the British executed him for spying during the Revolutionary War.  He was born today in 1755 in Coventry, Connecticut and became a teacher upon his graduation from Yale College in 1773.  Two years later, he volunteered to go into enemy-occupied New York City on a fact-finding mission.  Things did not go well there, but Hale will forever be remembered for his heroic efforts.

Levi Stubbs (birthname Stubbles) came into the world in 1936.  Born in Detroit, Michigan, Stubbs was only twenty years old when he and some friends formed a band they named the Four Tops. They did quite well for themselves, selling over fifty million albums during their tenure, and Stubbs became their most famous member.  Despite the fame, he remained loyal to his band mates.  He declined many offers to start his own career.  One of his few forays into solo work was starring as Audrey II in the popular movie musical Little Shop of Horrors.

QUOTE:  Shun all vice, especially card playing. - Nathan Hale

Answer:  a)  Mongolia.  There is evidence to support that Mongolian horsemen wore these hats as early as the 13th century.