How to Add “Zest” to Your Housework

Are you making every minute worthwhile? Or are you losing time and strength with inefficient housework methods? This 1919 article advises housewives on the best way to “work like a whirlwind” and add some “zest” to typical chores.

Add Add “zest” to your housework by studying time, methods, and motions Fri, Jul 4, 1919 – 2 · The Powder River County Examiner and the Broadus Independent (Broadus, Montana, United States of America) ·

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Unsolved Mysteries: The Disappearance of Suzy Lamplugh

Suzy LamplughSuzy Lamplugh Fri, Dec 5, 1986 – 6 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) ·


On July 28, 1986, real estate agent Suzy Lamplugh went to show property on Shorrolds Road in Fulham, England, to a client she called “Mr. Kipper.” Witnesses report seeing a woman of her description arguing with a man and then getting into a car. Her own vehicle, a white Ford Fiesta, was found apparently abandoned the night of July 28, with the keys gone and her purse still inside. That night Suzy was declared missing.

Suzy Lamplugh DisappearanceSuzy Lamplugh Disappearance Thu, Jul 31, 1986 – 28 · The Guardian (London, Greater London, England) ·

In the thirty years since, her disappearance has remained a mystery. No evidence exists to link her disappearance to foul play (though it is assumed), and her remains have never been found. There are, however, a couple of theories as to who is responsible.


The first involves a man name Steve Wright, who worked on the same cruise ship as Suzy when she was a beautician prior to her real estate job. In 2008, decades after Suzy’s disappearance, Wright was convicted of five murders. People began to suspect that Suzy might have been an earlier victim of his, but there have been no strong connections made between him and Suzy’s murder.

The second theory is a bit stronger. This one involves John Cannan, a convicted killer who was released from a prison hostel days before Suzy disappeared. He was known by fellow inmates as “Kipper,” the same name used by the client Suzy met the day she vanished. He bore some resemblance to the police sketch of the mysterious Mr. Kipper. But again, all evidence was too circumstantial to bring Cannan to court, and he denied any involvement.

The search for clues to Suzy’s fate has been ongoing, but evidence continues to elude investigators. For now, Suzy’s disappearance remains an unsolved mystery.

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A Bald Head Shines Like a Good Deed in a Naughty World

From the pages of a 1906 issue of The Checotah Times comes this peculiar defense of “bald-headed bridegrooms.”

A Bald Head Shines Like a Good Deed in a Naughty WorldA Bald Head Shines Like a Good Deed in a Naughty World Fri, Jun 1, 1906 – Page 2 · The Checotah Times (Checotah, McIntosh, Oklahoma) ·

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Did Atlanteans Build the Bimini Wall?

In 1968, a diving expedition discovered a series of large stone formations, so square and neatly arranged that they seemed to form an intentional structure. It was called the Bimini Wall (or Road) after the nearby Bimini Island, and since the discovery there has been speculation galore about how it came to exist.

Most believe the stones to be naturally formed beach rock that sunk beneath the surface. But there is another popular and rather more imaginative theory, as evidenced by the many articles printed on the topic in the 60s and 70s. And that theory is that the Bimini Wall was once part of Atlantis.

Atlantis Found?Atlantis Found? Sun, Jan 9, 1972 – Page 17 · Detroit Free Press (Detroit, Wayne, Michigan, United States of America) ·

These articles say it all.

Bimini Wall manmade?Bimini Wall manmade? Sun, Oct 27, 1974 – Page 206 · The Orlando Sentinel (Orlando, Orange, Florida, United States of America) ·

Bimini's mystifying formationsBimini’s mystifying formations Sun, Sep 25, 1988 – Page 106 · Fort Lauderdale News (Fort Lauderdale, Broward, Florida, United States of America) ·

Bimini Wall was constructed by ancient advanced societyBimini Wall was constructed by ancient advanced society Thu, Mar 28, 1974 – Page 28 · Courier-Post (Camden, Camden, New Jersey, United States of America) ·

From pillars to pyramids to the legendary Fountain of Youth, this little stretch of sea supposedly has it all. And to top it off, Bimini sits right at the edge of the Bermuda Triangle. With so much mystery to be found here, it’s easy to see why the Atlantis explanation might not seem so far-fetched.

What do you think—is the Bimini Wall potential proof of a mythical missing city? Or is it just naturally formed rock that got a little too much attention?

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“She Used to be a Flirt and was Getting Young Again”

This “aged mother” wanted to be the flirt she once was again, but her daughters found the cost too high. Found in the papers of 1910:

Mother spending too much on bonnets, parasols, and a young new husbandMother spending too much on bonnets, parasols, and a young new husband Wed, May 4, 1910 – Page 11 · Trenton Evening Times (Trenton, Mercer, New Jersey) ·

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From Frog-Snake-Slug to Rock-Paper-Scissors

Some things are so culturally ubiquitous that we rarely think to wonder where they came from. Children’s games fall under this category quite often (Ring Around the Rosy, anyone?). When you and a friend have to choose who gets the last cookie, what’s the go-to game of choice? Very likely, it’s Rock-Paper-Scissors, or, as it used to be known, Jan-ken (or Janken, or Jan Ken Po/Pon).

Japanese game of Japanese game of “ken” (rock, paper, scissors) Thu, Jun 30, 1910 – Page 8 · Altoona Tribune (Altoona, Blair, Pennsylvania, United States of America) ·

Rock-paper-scissors (or whichever version of the name you use) went through many historical variations before it became the game it is today. The concept of a game where a hand signal can always lose to one and beat another is quite old, originating in China. Earlier versions used gestures for various animals, or simpler signals using the thumb, index and pinky fingers.

Transition from single-finger gestures to paper, scissors, stone signalsTransition from single-finger gestures to paper, scissors, stone signals Thu, Apr 9, 1953 – 28 · The Honolulu Advertiser (Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America) ·

Today’s version has morphed from all of those to feature the familiar closed fist, flat hand, and scissor shapes. It didn’t appear in America until the 20th century, when Japanese immigrants introduced it in Hawaii. Today it’s as popular in the U.S. as it continues to be in Japan, and is a beloved go-to for all manner of disputes.

For example, these two girls…

Rock Paper Scissors solves seat disputeRock Paper Scissors solves seat dispute Wed, Jun 4, 1997 – 48 · The Honolulu Advertiser (Honolulu, Hawaii, United States of America) ·

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New Year’s Traditions Beyond Toasts and Resolutions

Toasts, resolutions, and kisses on the hour are some of the biggest traditions associated with New Year’s Eve. However, they are just some of many. Here are a few found in the archive that you might recognize—and some you might not.

New Year’s Tree

This tradition sounds like a creative excuse for keeping your Christmas Tree up past its own holiday. But it actually originated as a separate tradition in countries like Russia and Turkey. It seems there are several ways now to incorporate this tradition into turn-of-the-year festivities. New Year's Tree

New Year’s Tree Mon, Jan 3, 1910 – 2 · Montpelier Evening Argus (Montpelier, Vermont, United States of America) ·
This is a more goals-oriented approach: hanging your resolutions from the tree like decorations.
New Year Tree at LaSalle UniversityNew Year Tree at LaSalle University Tue, Jan 10, 1928 – 11 · The Times (Munster, Indiana, United States of America) ·
Or you can set it up alongside your Christmas Tree with similar decorations.
New Year's TreeNew Year’s Tree Sun, Jan 6, 1963 – Page 83 · The Bridgeport Post (Bridgeport, Fairfield, Connecticut) ·

Traditions Rooted in the Family Tree

There are also traditions that only appeared in America when they were brought over from much older countries. First-footing is just one example of these, a somewhat superstitious practice that originated in Scotland.
First-Footing Scottish New Year CustomFirst-Footing Scottish New Year Custom Thu, Dec 30, 1926 – Page 8 · The Boyden Reporter (Boyden, Sioux, Iowa) ·

Off to First-footOff to First-foot Fri, Jan 1, 1897 – 5 · The Courier and Argus (Dundee, Tayside, Scotland) ·

Festive Foods

What holiday would be complete without traditional foods? And there are several to choose from. You can go with a traditional New Year’s Cake originating from the Netherlands:

New Year's CakeNew Year’s Cake Thu, Jan 4, 1990 – Page 62 · The San Bernardino County Sun (San Bernardino, San Bernardino, California) ·

Or perhaps the 12 grapes tradition of Spain, still widely practiced today:
New Year's GrapesNew Year’s Grapes Mon, Dec 24, 1962 – Page 19 · The Daily Standard (Sikeston, Scott, Missouri) ·

Or the tradition of eating black-eyed peas, a tradition that hails from the Southern United States:

Southern U.S. New Year's tradition: Black-eyed PeasSouthern U.S. New Year’s tradition: Black-eyed Peas Wed, Jan 5, 1955 – Page 14 · El Paso Herald-Post (El Paso, El Paso, Texas) ·

.There are countless more traditions, big and small, to go along with the passing of the old year into the new. What are some of the more unusual ones you’ve heard of?

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Lingering Leftovers? Here’s How to Use ‘Em

With all the feasting that accompanies the holiday season, there are bound to be leftovers a-plenty. This newspaper article from 1945 has some tips and tricks to help an “ingenious cook” use them up!

Use Those Christmas Left-Overs!Use Those Christmas Left-Overs! Thu, Jan 4, 1945 – 13 · The Vancouver Sun (Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada) ·

Have you ever tried any of these methods before? Let us know if any of these recipes or tricks find their way to your dinner table in the coming weeks!

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Boxing Day: Why is it Called that Anyway?

Ever wonder about the origin of certain words or names? Boxing Day, for example, may conjure up images of rope-lined rings and gloved fists. But where did the name come from, really? This article from 1936 sums it up quite nicely (with a tidbit about “Yule,” as well):

Boxing Day name originsBoxing Day name origins Tue, Dec 22, 1936 – Page 33 · The Sydney Morning Herald (Sydney, New South Wales, Australia) ·

Happy Boxing Day!

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“Treet” Your Cat for Christmas

If you are a fan of both Christmas and your cat, this one’s for you! A Christmas tree fit for a queen—or at least for a feline who acts like one. If you haven’t hung liver on your tree before….maybe now’s the time?

Cat's Christmas TreeCat’s Christmas Tree Wed, Jan 2, 1901 – Page 2 · The Tennessean (Nashville, Davidson, Tennessee, United States of America) ·

Maybe you can dress ’em up like Santa while you’re at it.

Do you have special Christmas traditions for your furry friends? Find more ideas like this one with a search through past papers on

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