Profile America

Bank of North America, 1781. Source: Free Library of Philadelphia

Profile America: Bank of North America, 1781

Monday, January 7th. During the Revolutionary War, the rebelling colonies and the Continental Congress were anything but too big to fail. To the contrary, finances were very spotty and precarious. To help put affairs in order and make credit available, […]

Ellis Island, Great Hall (Office of the NYS Governor/Flickr)

Profile America: Ellis Island Opens

Wednesday, January 2nd. The place where many of our ancestors first stepped ashore when they came to America seeking a new life opened this month 127 years ago — Ellis Island in New York Harbor. The very first immigrant processed […]

Profile America: Telephone Service

Profile America: Telephone Service

Tuesday, January 1st. The nation’s telephone service options began expanding this month in 1982, when AT&T bowed to a Justice Department mandate to give up its local Bell System companies. The breakup became effective on this date 35 years ago, […]

Profile America: New Year’s Eve

Profile America: New Year’s Eve

Monday, December 31st. On this New Year’s Eve, some 329 million Americans of all ages and backgrounds are ready to greet the year 2019. A hundred years ago, the nation’s population was just a bit over 103 million. Fifty years […]

by · December 31, 2018 · Bulletin Board, Census, Profile America
Profile America: First Drive-In Gas Station

Profile America: First Drive-In Gas Station

Saturday, December 1st. On this date in 1913, what is today the Gulf Oil Company opened the nation’s first drive-in gas station. Located at the intersection of Baum Boulevard and St. Clair Street in Pittsburgh, the filling station was a […]

Profile America: American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

Profile America: American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month

Friday, November 30th. As American Indian and Alaska Native Heritage Month concludes, it’s worth noting that much of America’s population lives in states and towns with names derived from those originally given them by America’s first peoples. In fact, 26 […]

A mid-twentieth century rotary-dial telephone

Profile America: Direct Dial

Thursday, November 29th. A key part of daily telecommunications is 67 years old this month, as direct-dial telephone area codes for transcontinental calling were introduced in 1951. The mayor of Englewood, New Jersey, made the first official call, picking up […]

by · November 29, 2018 · Profile America, Technology
Profile America: Mickey Mouse at 90

Profile America: Mickey Mouse at 90

Mickey Mouse appeared for the first time in “Steamboat Willie” (1928), the first cartoon with synchronized music and sound effects.

Profile America: TV Dinners

Profile America: TV Dinners

Friday, November 23rd. The menu for the day after Thanksgiving often involves leftover turkey. Household dinner options are nothing like that facing the Swanson Company this month 65 years ago. Overestimating the need for Thanksgiving turkeys in 1953, the firm […]

Thanksgiving

Thanksgiving

Thursday, November 22nd. Yesterday was Thanksgiving Day. One of the most traditional of American holidays, it’s thought to have begun in 1621 in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The holiday became national in 1863, and the fourth Thursday of the month has been […]

National Peanut Butter Lovers Month

National Peanut Butter Lovers Month

Thursday, November 15th. It’s a time to celebrate one of life’s simple, viscous pleasures — it’s Peanut Butter Lovers Month. The stuff of one of America’s favorite sandwiches, peanut butter was first offered to the public at the St. Louis […]

Union Toll Plaza on New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway

Tolls for Thee

Tuesday, November 13th. The first automatic tolls collection station went into service this month in 1954. It was installed at the Union Toll Plaza on New Jersey’s Garden State Parkway. Motorists dropped coins into a wire mesh hopper, triggering a […]

Profile America: Veterans/Armistice Day

Profile America: Veterans/Armistice Day

Sunday, November 11th/Monday 12th. One century ago today, history’s bloodiest war to date ended after more than four years of slaughter. The Veterans Day holiday was conceived as Armistice Day to honor the 4.7 million Americans who served — and […]

Profile America: Diabetes Month

Profile America: Diabetes Month

Wednesday, November 7th. November is designated every year as National Diabetes Month. The goal is to make the public more aware of the serious nature of the disease, and how to detect and control it. When our bodies are unable […]

US Air Force One

Profile America: Father of Air Force One’s Iconic Design Born

Sunday, November 4th. Tomorrow marks the birthday in 1893 of a man who significantly influenced the look of the ensuing 125 years. Raymond Loewy was known as “the father of industrial design.” His designs are part of American life — […]