Posts Tagged ‘New England History’

March is Women’s History Month!

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Betsy Ross PrintTop 10 Firsts in U.S. Women’s History:

  1. On October 24, 1901, 63-year-old Annie Edson Taylor, a schoolteacher from Michigan, became the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
  2. In 1921, American novelist Edith Wharton became the first woman to win a Pulitzer Prize for fiction. She won the award for her novel The Age of Innocence. In 1902 she built The Mount, her estate in Lenox, Massachusetts.
  3. Amelia Earhart was the first woman to fly solo across the Atlantic, when she traveled from Harbor Grace, Newfoundland to Ireland in approximately 15 hours in 1932. Before this historic flight, she found employment first as a teacher, then as a social worker in 1925 at Denison House, living in Medford, Massachusetts. When Earhart lived in Medford, she maintained her interest in aviation, becoming a member of the American Aeronautical Society’s Boston chapter and was eventually elected its vice president. She flew out of Dennison Airport (later the Naval Air Station Squantum) in Quincy, Massachusetts and helped finance its operation by investing a small sum of money. Earhart also flew the first official flight out of Dennison Airport in 1927. As well as acting as a sales representative for Kinner airplanes in the Boston area, Earhart wrote local newspaper columns promoting flying and as her local celebrity grew, she laid out the plans for an organization devoted to female flyers.
  4. In 1943, The All-American Girls Professional Baseball League became the first professional baseball league for female players. Louise Arnold from Pawtucket, Rhode Island was the star pitcher for the South Bend Blue Sox, which won the championship in 1951.
  5. The first African-American tennis player to win a singles title at Wimbledon was Althea Gibson in 1957. Gibson also became the first African American woman to join the Ladies Professional Golf Association tour, in 1964.
  6. In the 1960’s, the Women’s Social Movement peaked on topics like seeking equal rights and opportunities for women in their economic activities, their personal lives, and politics.
  7. Women’s History Month, now celebrated annually in the United States, grew out of a week-long celebration of women’s contributions to culture, history, and society organized by the school district of Sonoma, California, in 1979.
  8. Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman appointed to serve as a justice of the Supreme Court. She was appointed by President Reagan in 1981.
  9. In 1992, Manon Rheaume was the first woman to play in a National Hockey League game. She helped lead Team Canada to gold medals in the 1992 and 1994 World Hockey Championships and a silver medal at the 1998 Nagano Games.
  10. Kathryn Bigelow made history as the first woman to win the Oscar for Best Director. She received her award in March 2010 for her 2009 Iraq War movie The Hurt Locker.

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New England Cats – The Famous and Infamous

Thursday, February 17th, 2011

Game Delay PrintDid you know New England is home to some well-known cat celebrities? Let’s find out some facts about felines from the north!

Boston, Massachusetts
Edgar Allan Poe owned a pet cat named Catarina. She was the inspiration for his story The Black Cat from 1843.

“This latter was a remarkably large and beautiful animal, entirely black, and sagacious to an astonishing degree. In speaking of his intelligence, my wife, who at heart was not a little tinctured with superstition, made frequent allusion to the ancient popular notion, which regarded all black cats as witches in disguise.”

Mt. Washington Observatory, New Hampshire
Inga, Jasper, and Nin were members of the crew at Mt. Washington Observatory in New Hampshire.

For more than fourteen years, Jasper has survived inside the warm belly of the Mount Washington Observatory while sleet and hail battered the windowpanes and hurricane-force winds rattled the walls. Outside, sheets of ice rain have shattered on the rocks like glass, but snoozing Jasper has purred through it all. Like most cats, Jasper is a hunter. One night, he trotted off into the twilight and jogged back with a mouse tucked between his jaws. He deposited his prize in the doorway and ran back for more. By night’s end, a row of rodents lay scattered across the observation deck, sorted by size.

Kitties RugJasper fulfilled a supporting role to Inga, the famous calico cat with frosty whiskers. Inga was always the teacher’s pet, the spoiled child. A darling of the media, she was “interviewed” by Cat Fancy magazine. A picture of an icy Inga is still printed on T-shirts, posters, postcards, and refrigerator magnets that are sold each summer in the Mount Washington Museum gift shop. When Inga passed away in 1993 at age nineteen, her estate generously donated all proceeds from her modeling career to the Observatory.

Even worse for Jasper, a new nemesis named Nin appeared on the scene in 1996, just when Jasper finally thought he had the summit to himself. Nin posed for the cameras and purred in the arms of visiting journalists. He also robbed Jasper’s food bowl when the older cat wasn’t looking. Nin moved in with two Mt. Washington State Park rangers down in Gorham, New Hampshire, much closer to the vet’s office. He passed away in 2009.

Personalized Pet MarkerFairfield, Connecticut
Lewis is a cat from Fairfield, Connecticut who garnered mass media attention for being placed under house arrest in March 2006. Several of Fairfield’s Sunset Circle residents, along with an Avon lady, accused the cat of attacking them. Animal Control placed a restraining order on Lewis. It was the first time such an action was taken against a cat in the United States. When Lewis escaped house arrest, Ruth Cisero, Lewis’s owner, was arrested and charged with failure to comply with a restraint order. Cisero could have agreed to probation on the condition that Lewis be euthanized. Cisero instead opted to go to trial to try to preserve Lewis’ life. Cisero appeared in court on May 23, 2006, on a second-degree reckless endangerment charge.

In July 2008, the judge dismissed the reckless endangerment charge against Cisero, concluding she had met terms of a special probation for first-time offenders. Lewis is now an indoor pet, allowed outside only in a cat carrier. G.V. Riccio, Cisero’s attorney, said Lewis enjoys life in southern New England and wants to stay. Supporters of Lewis created a website on MySpace. More than 500 T-shirts were sold to raise funds for a defense fund for Cisero.

Waltham, Massachusetts
Sockington (also known as “Sockamillion” or “Socks”) is a domestic cat that lives in Waltham, Massachusetts. He has gained large-scale fame via the social networking site Twitter. His owner, Jason Scott, a computer administrator and historian, has been regularly posting from Sockington’s Twitter account since late 2007. Sockington’s account has over 1.5 million followers, many of which are pet accounts themselves. Sockington has also appeared in People Magazine. His website:, features blogs, merchandise, and spotlights local cat rescues.

Washington, DC
Did you know that Calvin Coolidge was given a wild bobcat named Smokey, as a gift? It lived at the White House for a brief time, but eventually wound up at the Washington DC zoo.

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How New Englanders help you fly!

Thursday, February 10th, 2011

Follow Your Dreams SignTechnology continues to move forward to make life easier. Now you can search on the Internet for flights, check-in, and even find out if your flight is delayed. If you’ve ever wondered: “I wonder who thought of that?” you might find out it’s someone from New England! Here are some airport operation inventions captured in 2010 in patents naming New England inventors.

For booking a flight, Patent No. 7,840,426 (Nov 23) provides travelers with the ability to easily make low fare search queries on the Internet, avoiding the trial and error process of finding the lowest fare. Rodney Daughtrey of Cambridge, Carl Demarcken of Arlington, and Justin Boyan of Providence, R.I., are the inventors. ITA Software Inc. in Cambridge is the owner.

You might try the new, low cost “unspecified-time” ticket explained in Patent No. 7,801,751 (Sept. 21) by the folks at Inc. located in Stamford, Connecticut. The Connecticut inventors are Jay Walker, (Ridgefield), Thomas Sparico (Riverside), and T. Scott Case (Darien).

Rooftop Pilot SantaOnce you are booked, there is no reason to go to the airport if your flight is severely delayed or cancelled. Patent No. 7,706 968 (April 27) describes an Internet portal that predicts the extent of delays at major airports. FlightView Inc. of Allston is the patent owner; Lorraine Flynn of Newton, Mary Flynn of Newton, and James Steinberg of Melrose are the inventors.

Patent No. 7,778,768 (Aug. 17) discloses a system designed to reduce airport delays. According to the patent, airlines are provided with the ability to monitor airport operations on a broader scale in order to act on delays. Using the invention, airlines can better communicate with air traffic control to improve airport throughput, reduce delays, and improve the efficiency of their operations. This patent names James Barry of Madison, Connecticut, and Thomas O’Halloran of Gaylordsville, Connecticut, as inventors. PASSUR Aerospace Inc. in Stamford is the patent owner.

At check-in, it is easier to ascertain if an ID has been tampered with using the technology of U.S. Patent No. 7,819,327 (Oct. 26). Delaminating an ID to alter it results is a clear indication that the ID was tampered with. L-1 Secure Credentialing Inc. located in Billerica is the patent owner. Robert Jones of Andover and Bentley Bloomberg of Maynard are the listed inventors.

Simplify Basket SetYour baggage might be scanned using Woburn-based L-3 Security and Detection Systems’ latest x-ray scanner disclosed in Patent No. 7,831,012 dated Nov. 9. Inventors are Andrew Foland of Cambridge, Richard F. Eilbert of Lincoln, Michael Gambini of Bolton, Boris Oreper of Newton, and Nikolay Rolshud of Winchester.

Or, Reveal Imaging Technologies Inc.’s latest computed tomography scanner could be used. Patent No. 7,702,068 (April 20) discloses a high throughput CT scanning system. Michael Ellenbogen of Wayland and Richard Bijani of Westford are listed as inventors.

On your way to the gate, there are some places only airport officials are allowed. CoreStreet Ltd. (Cambridge) Patent No. 7,822,989 (Oct. 26) discloses a new method of controlling access to secure areas. The inventors are Phil Libin of Cambridge, Silvio Micali of Brookline, and David Engberg of Cambridge.

Once on the plane, and being pushed back, you wouldn’t want the plane to hit anything else in the “non-movement area.” Patent No. 7,667,647 (Feb. 23) is for a broadband multilateration method to extend aircraft tracking from the airport movement areas such as taxiways and runways into the non-movement areas (ramps) without the need to extend special air traffic control equipment into those areas. Thomas Breen of Tyngsboro and Christopher Rossano of Chelmsford are listed as inventors. ERA Systems Corp., located in Reston, Virginia, is the assignee.

For airport operations in general, ERA Systems also won Patent No. 7,739,167 on June 15 for a computer system that manages airport finances and automates management of airport revenues. Breen is listed as an inventor.

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