Oklahoma City Time Capsule Buried in 1913

While doing some research in Google Books, I found an item in the May 1913 issue of Santa Fe Employees' Magazine that described the burial of a 100-year time capsule: A unique service was held on April 22 at the Lutheran Church in Oklahoma City, Okla., when a copper chast containing phonograph records of speakers and singers, writings, musical compositions, daily newspapers and many other records of current events was buried. It is to remain intact until the year 2013, when it will be opened and the gap of a ... read more

Remember Friedrich Franz III No More

Less than two weeks after she became the world's oldest person, Dina Manfredini died Monday at the age of 115 years and 257 days. Manfredini had been living at the Bishop Drumm Retirement Center in Johnston, Iowa. Born in Pievepelago, Italy, on April 4, 1897, Manfredini became the oldest Italian and oldest immigrant who ever lived. She emigrated from Italy to Des Moines, Iowa, in 1920 with her husband Riccardo and raised four children, working at an ammunition factory during World War II and cleaning houses until ... read more

Last Note for Brahms and the Year 1896

The world's oldest person, Besse Cooper, died Tuesday at a nursing home in Monroe, Ga. "She got up this morning, had a big old breakfast and got her hair fixed," said her son Sidney, 77. Cooper lived 116 years and 100 days, which made her the eighth oldest person ever among documented supercentenarians. She was a schoolteacher until 1929, when she left to start a family. All four of her children survive her. Twenty four years old when women got the right to vote in 1920, Cooper only missed two presidential ... read more

Dumb Reasons to Form Your Political Beliefs

A reader to National Review Online says that he became a conservative because of how his fellow college students at Kent State University responded to President Reagan's shooting: I came back to my dorm to see the TV lounges filled with students fervently wishing for the president not to survive the surgery. The worst of will was being expressed toward "Ronnie Ray-gun," to use just one of the epithets. Right then, I knew that, whatever side I belonged on, it wasn't the one where people were wishing for the ... read more

World's Oldest Man: 'Life is Short'

Walter Breuning, the world's oldest man at 113 years, gave a pretty amazing birthday speech Monday at the Montana retirement home where he lives: Life begins each morning whether we have succeeded or failed or just muddled along. Life is a school to learn, not to unlearn. Life is the creation by God and if you would know God, be not a solver of riddles. Look about you and you shall see him playing with your children. Look into the air and you shall see him walking in the clouds, out-stretching his arms in the ... read more

World's Oldest Person Dies, Takes 1894 With Her

Gertude Baines died yesterday at the age of 115 years and 148 days. She was the world's oldest person and the 16th oldest ever, according to a cool table prepared by longevity geeks on Wikipedia. Baines, born April 6, 1894, was the grandchild of slaves who worked as a maid at Ohio State University dorms until her retirement to a Los Angeles nursing home a decade ago. She was a non-drinker and non-smoker who once told a reporter, "I did not have a lot of fun as an adult but I enjoyed going to church every Sunday." ... read more

Scott Rosenberg's 'Say Everything' Covers Blogs and 9/11

I'm currently reading Scott Rosenberg's Say Everything, his new history of blogging that digs deeply into the origins of the medium and why it has become so successful. Rosenberg, a founder of Salon.Com and an online acquaintance of mine for many years, has written a fascinating book that begins with chapters on early web diarists and bloggers such as Justin Hall, Jorn Barger and Joshua Marshall. The introduction to Rosenberg's book centers on how bloggers covered the 9/11 attacks, an important moment in the ... read more