At the turn of the 20th century, women’s style was all big hair and big hats. And to keep those big hats on that big hair, women needed big hatpins—giant needles up to 12 inches long. Headwear wasn’t the only thing changing in America, though.
For the first time, women were socializing on their own and walking the sidewalks unchaperoned. There, they encountered a new peril: street harassment. That’s when ladies started using fashion to play defense.
It all started in 1903, when Leoti Blaker, a young tourist from Kansas, was sitting on a crowded New York City stagecoach. A well-dressed fifty-something man got handsy with her, and when it became clear he wasn’t going to stop, Blaker moved to stop him herself.
“At last I reached up and took a hatpin from my hat. I slid it around so I could give him a good dig, and ran that hatpin into him with all the force I possessed,” she told The Evening World.
The needle pierced the lecher’s arm, and he scurried away.
Soon, similar accounts began popping up in newspapers around the country.
People lauded the women for taking a stand, and hatpins became symbols of female empowerment. But a spate of injurious and fatal stabbings with hatpins soon spooked the lawmakers.
By 1910, Chicago and other cities had passed laws limiting the length of hatpins.
“If women care to wear carrots and roosters on their heads, that is a matter for their own concern,” barked politician Herman J. Bauler, “but when it comes to wearing swords they must be stopped.”
Image Credit: Photo via AP Images.
For playing host to a musical happening that became a cultural byword for the entire 1960s the venue for Woodstock is now on the National Register of Historic Places.
Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that Bethel Woods Center for the Arts in the Hudson Valley town of Bethel has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Cuomo says the festival that drew nearly half a million people to Max Yasgur’s dairy farm was a “pivotal moment in both New York and American history,” and the recognition will preserve the landmark for future generations.
The venue is, of course, no longer a farm turned giant mud pit populated by hippies. NPR explains that it is now more of an arts complex: Bethel Woods, which was a farm when half a million people trekked to upstate New York for the festival that created its legend, includes an 800-acre “campus” with a museum, a 15,000-seat amphitheater, a smaller gallery space and arts conservatory.
This is Artur Bordalo’s (aka Bordalo II) series of artwork that aims to draw attention to the problems of waste production, materials that are not reused, pollution and its effect on the planet.
These are problems that are likely to be forgotten, become trivial or become necessary evils.
The idea is to depict nature itself, in this case – animals out of materials that are responsible for its destruction.
These works were built with end-of-life materials: the majority found in wastelands, abandoned factories or just randomly.
Some were obtained from companies that are going through a recycling process.
Damaged bumpers, burnt garbage cans, tires and appliances are just some of the objects that can be identified when you go into detail.
They are camouflaging the result of our habits with a little ecological and social awareness.
“A funny thing happened in Australia,” Frank Sinatra told a New York audience. “I made a mistake and got off the plane.”
The plane in question landed in Melbourne on 9 July 1974. Fresh out of self-imposed retirement, the 58-year-old Sinatra was visiting Australia for the first time in 15 years.
His career was back on the upswing after a decade of poor record sales and crappy movies; his five shows, billed as the “Ol’ Blue Eyes Is Back” tour, were eagerly awaited.
Trouble began the moment he set foot on the ground. Nobody was waiting to pick him up. As he headed to his rehearsal in a borrowed car, he was pursued by a journalist, who was disguised as his then wife, the former Mrs Zeppo Marx.
Finally, he sprinted through the rain to the venue with a media posse at his heels, only to find himself locked out. Photos splashed across the afternoon papers showed a very cranky Frankie pounding on the stage door “like a demented fan”.
That night when on stage, the Chairman of the Board let fly. In a prickly monologue, he described journalists as “bums”, and as for “the broads who work for the press”: “hookers” worth “a buck and a half” at best. Shame on you Frank!
The crooner had bitten off more than he could chew.
When the journalists’ union demand for an apology was brushed aside, the Australian Council of Trade Unions slapped a ban on Frank’s tour.
Its president, Bob Hawke, took personal charge of the campaign.
The Silver Bodgie was then 45, a champion pisspot, notorious womaniser and the artful manager of Labor’s industrial wing. He declared that unless Sinatra could walk on water, he would be stuck in Australia until he said sorry.
With transport workers refusing to refuel his jet, Sinatra was forced to sneak onto a commercial flight to Sydney. Holed up in the Boulevard Hotel, he considered calling on the US Navy to rescue him. Eventually, he agreed to negotiate.
On 11 July, the two men met in Sinatra’s suite. Over four hours, an agreement was hammered out.
In return for a statement that Sinatra “did not intend any general reflection upon the moral character of working members of the Australian media”, Hawke was prepared to green-light his remaining concerts.
Bob Hawke went on to become Prime Minister of Oz for some years.