Party Like It’s 1776

Happy Independence Day!  And what better place to spend it than at the birthplace of the original Stars and Stripes: Betsy Ross’ House in Philadelphia, PA.  If you’re in the Philly area, take a look for yourself.

BetsyRoss_frame

FOOTNOTES: A Sockumentary traveled to the City of Brotherly Love to shoot footage of Betsy’s actual upholstery workshop in preparation for an episode of the web series.

IMG_0475

According to Betsy’s grandson, she “made with her hands the first flag” of the United States.  Legend has it that General George Washington came to her in late spring 1776 to make the request.  What isn’t widely known is that the original design called for six-pointed stars.  Betsy showed that with a few quick snips of her shears, five points were faster and easier to make.

IMG_0480

FOOTNOTES owes a lot of thanks to all of the folks at the Betsy Ross House, particularly Lisa Acker-Moulder and Connor Quach, as well as Historic Philadelphia’s Sandy Lloyd.

IMG_0502

Oh Say Can You See

Happy Flag Day!  For our international friends, on June 14, 1777, the new United States government passed the following resolution:

“That the flag of the thirteen United States shall be thirteen stripes of alternate red and white, with a union of thirteen stars of white on a blue field, representing the new constellation.”

Though we know that the current American flag with fifty stars was designed by a child,1 there’s a bit of mystery as to who created the first flag.  Sure, Betsy Ross gets the credit.  But the story of Washington visiting Ms. Ross and requesting that she sew a flag only came to light after her death, when her grandson related the tale.

Though we may not actually know how it started, we know where the flag has been.  From the US Capitol to the Moon.  From lapel pins…

to swimwear…

to pastries…

And now, to socks.

It’s been quite a journey.  Happy birthday American Flag!


1. And he only got a B-

One Small Step for a Sock

Forty-six years ago today the first humans landed on the moon.  Buzzfeed may have the scoop on how the moon walk was filmed.  But, we have firsthand (or foot) knowledge of the historic event.

I received no special training, however I went through an additional fire-prevention treatment to supplement the naturally resistant characteristics of my Nome fibers.

I was assigned as the primary left sock of mission commander, Astronaut Neil Armstrong.

However, during the preparations for the lunar E.V.A. it was discovered that Astronaut Aldrin’s socks (both primary and reserve) had been left behind on Earth.

Upon discovery, the astronauts consulted with Mission Control in Houston and it was decided that Astronaut Armstrong would give his primary socks to Buzz Aldrin.  And so, Astronaut Armstrong’s back-up socks became the first socks on the moon, and I followed shortly afterward with Astronaut Aldrin.

But I’m not bitter.

Excerpt from the official statement given by Neil Armstrong’s sock.

Ask Not What Your Socks Can Do For You…

Happy Birthday #35!  On May 29, 1917, President John F. Kennedy was born in Brookline, MA.

President Kennedy’s legacy includes a Pulitzer Prize for his book Profiles in Courage.  Though, maybe Jack should have also written children’s books.  In a 2011 interview, his daughter, Caroline, recounts his story-telling skills.

My father was spectacular at making up stories. And he used to tell me about a purple shark…. He said there was a purple shark that used to follow the Honey Fitz[the small presidential yacht]. It liked to eat socks. My father would make people throw their socks overboard, and they’d disappear. He’d say, “See? See? Did you see the purple shark? He ate the socks!” And I’d go [gasps like a child], “I don’t really see him. Oh, oh, I think I see him! Look, the socks are gone, so it must have been the shark that ate the socks!” Those stories were fantastic.

Here’s to President Kennedy and to purple sharks.

     

Happy Birthday Pac-Man!

Released on May 22, 1980, the classic yellow man turns 35 today.

There are two legends of how Pac-Man received his moniker.  The original Japanese title for the game was Pakkuman, which was based on the onomatopoeic term paku paku (supposedly, the sound of the mouth opening and closing while eating).  The second story is that the name was initially Puck-Man due to the main character resembling a hockey puck.  The name was then changed to Pac-Man when released in the United States to avoid vandals altering the name to something less than family friendly.