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February 28, 2010

The official US motto ‘In God We Trust’ is of relatively recent origin. It appeared on US coins only during the Civil War, when an upwelling of Christian sentiment also led to the proposal of a Christian Amendment, and on paper money only beginning in 1957!

Soviet-era temperance literature:

Jesus as moonshiner

We probably domesticated rye unintentionally. Thanks Vavilovian mimicry!!

Kelp-buoyed boats of the Chatham Islands.

Great, detailed article on the Civilian Public Service set up for Quakers, Mennonites, and other ‘historic peace churches’ during WWII. They were sort of like the CCC but also staffed mental hospitals and served as medical test subjects. Interesting tidbit:

As the war progressed, a critical shortage of workers in psychiatric hospitals developed, because staff had left for better paying jobs with fewer hours and improved working conditions. … The government balked at initial requests that CPS workers have these positions, believing it better to keep the men segregated in the rural camps to prevent the spread of their philosophy.

Man-eating catfish?

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