Zenith Porthole - March 19, 2014

I think it's fair to say that people love television.  It helps us laugh, it shows us places we may never get to visit ourselves, and it describes products we never knew we needed (but definitely do)!  The American love affair with this technological marvel began, for all intents and purposes, in the late-1940s.  When our GI's got home from World War II, they wanted to start their families and relax.  How better, than in front of the tv?  And Zenith offered a beauty.

The Zenith Electronics Company released their Porthole Television in 1949. They were available with a few different-sized screens - 12", 16" and an astounding (at the time) 19" - with a variety of models that may have included a radio and large speakers, or could have just been designed to rest on top of a table. The one the American Treasure Tour has, currently in the Toy Box near our dual Wurlitzer 165s, is the tabletop version. The black-and-white image might have been a little distorted because of the round screen (check it out on YouTube),  but it must have been a true marvel to see the very first time!  Now, televisions may come as large as 110", but few houses could easily accommodate one of those, and the magic simply isn't the same as it was when these Zenith models first hit the shelves.


The Zenith Electronics Company was established in 1918, in Chicago, Illinois, but was bought out by LG Electronics.  In what country is the LG Electronics headquarters located?

a)  The United States of America

b)  China

c)  Japan

d)  South Korea

e)  Germany

Answer Below


Hopefully, everyone is aware of Time Zones:  invisible, man-made lines that define what time of day it is.  The 48 contiguous United States has four time zones - Eastern, Central, Mountain and Pacific.  Then there's Alaska time, and so on and so forth.  These Time Zones have actually not been around all that long.  In fact, it was on this day in 1918 that the U.S. Congress not only approved the implementation of Time Zones for the country, but also okay'd the use of Daylight Savings Time to help out during the winter months.  The standardization of time had actually been a big problem for many people, since it was difficult to coordinate things effectively.  It might have been noon in one town, one o'clock in a town a few miles away, and noon again beyond that.  It became essential in the late-nineteenth century to create uniformity, primarily for the benefit of railroad travel - without it, someone might have missed the train simply because the time they had was different from the time that the train company had.  It took the federal government to make it all work for everyone.  It's nice when Congress gets it right!

America had not yet become actively involved in World War II by March 19th, 1941, but FDR knew we had to mobilize. Segregation was still very much a part of our military, and African Americans rarely had the opportunity to show their abilities.  Today represents an incredible opportunity for ambitious and daring young men, because it was the day the 99th Pursuit Squadron was activated. More familiarly known as the Tuskegee Airmen, the all-black arm of the Army Air Force proved that African Americans were equal - and often superior - to white fighter pilots.  We at the American Treasure Tour blog recommend anyone in or near Tuskegee, Alabama to make sure you stop at the National Historic Site there honoring these great Americans.


One of the greatest challenges the ATT bloggers have every day is deciding who we honor in the birthday section, because there are often too many to choose between.  But we think you will agree that Wyatt Earp is a good choice for today.  Born in 1848, Wyatt had many brothers, but he is easily the most famous of the Earp clan.  He also had many careers during his eighty years, including policeman, sheriff, teamster, buffalo hunter, saloon keeper, brothel owner, miner (in Arizona, Idaho, and Alaska to name just a few), and boxing referee.  Some have questioned which side of the law he spent the majority of his life on, but the legend of Wyatt Earp turned him into an incorruptible lawman, and it is difficult to imagine he would have been upset by that.

As you know, the ATT blog takes every opportunity it can to honor our Presidents, First Ladies, and an occasional Vice President.  Today, we would like to acknowledge an "also ran" - someone who tried awfully hard to become President, but just couldn't quite get the majority vote.  William Jennings Bryant, born in 1860, represented the Democratic Party in three separate presidential races and saw defeat in 1896, 1900 and 1908.  He is accredited with being the first man to stump for the job, making hundreds of speeches around the country during his campaigns. When he died in 1925, it was five days after the end of what history remembers as the Scope Monkey Trial, during which he presented the argument of creation against evolution-defending lawyer Clarence Darrow.  (Spoiler alert:  Bryant won.)


Never be afraid to stand with the minority when the minority is right, for the minority which is right will one day be the majority. - William Jennings Bryan

Answer:  d)  South Korea