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Archive for Then & Now

Traveling in Style to the 1936 Olympic Games

The American Olympians could not just hop on a plane to Berlin; instead, they boarded the luxury cruise liner S.S. Manhattan for an eight-day journey that provided plenty of headlines, beginning with the New York Times’s declaration on July 17 that "Athletes Give Pledge to Keep Fit as Officials Warn Against Making Trip a Joy Ride."

Breakfast of Champions: The Evolution of an Olympian’s Diet

Diet is an essential part of being an Olympian. While the average human being like myself attempts to make conscientious efforts to eat healthy, an Olympian must carefully calculate and measure all of his or her caloric consumption. When you think about what it means to eat like an Olympian, you would think it involves strict regulation of sugar and fat with large servings of fruits and vegetables. But what if your trainer gave you a beefsteak and a custard pudding for dinner? How would your stomach react if you found out Olympian Michael Phelps eats three fried-egg sandwiches, two cups of coffee, one five-egg omelet, one bowl of grits, three slices of French toast topped with powdered sugar and three chocolate-chip pancakes all in one breakfast?

A Brief History of the State of the Union

Presidents are required by the Constitution to present a State of the Union address to Congress; Article II, Section 3 of the U.S. Constitution reads: "He shall from time to time give to the Congress information of the state of the union, and recommend to their consideration such measures as he shall judge necessary and expedient."

Seven Score and Ten Years Later

Seven score and ten years after Abraham Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address, we asked people from across the country to send videos of themselves reciting the famous speech. They responded with gusto. How much do you know? 

Olympic Solidarity and Controversy

In 1936 African American sprinter Jesse Owens amazed the world by breaking Olympic records and winning four gold medals in Berlin, the headquarters of Hitler's Nazi regime. However, in classic Olympic fashion, Owens became known not only for his athletic triumphs, but for his epic embrace with Aryan German competitor Luz Long and for the social barriers he broke down in the face of Hitler's Nazi regime. Rather than protesting "Hitler's Games," Owens used his position in the spotlight to display the greatness and compassion that can be achieved outside of the political and cultural constraints of society.

Is This Land Made for You and Me?

While hitchhiking across the United States in 1940, popular folk singer Woody Guthrie heard Irving Berlin's God Bless America on the radio repeatedly, which describes the "land that I love," complete with mountains, prairies and "oceans, white with foam." With traditional lyrics that tell Americans to "swear allegiance to a land that's free" and to "all be grateful for a land so fair", the patriotic song harshly juxtaposed the economic inequalities that Guthrie was witnessing in the aftermath of the Great Depression. In response, Guthrie wrote This Land is Your Land, claiming repeatedly "this land was made for you and me."