Saturday, December 27, 2014

Manhattan Bridge opened to traffic December 31, 1909. Rosetta was about a month-and-a-half old.

Historic Milestones
Under construction in March 1909
Rosetta was not quite a month and a half old on Dcember 31, 1909, the day the Manhattan Bridge. a suspension bridge that crosses the East River in New York City, connecting Lower Manhattan at Canal Street with Brooklyn at the Flatbush Avenue Extension officially opened.

At 2:00 pm, the 6,855-foot-long (2,089 m) Manhattan Bridge was opened to traffic, after eight years and 26 million dollars had been spent on its construction. New York City Mayor George Brinton McClellan, Jr., who was on the last day of his term of office, rode in the first automobile of a motorcade from Manhattan to Brooklyn.

Full span with the Brooklyn Bridge below it
The Manhattan Bridge was the last of the three suspension bridges built across the lower East River, following the Brooklyn and the Williamsburg bridges. It has four vehicle lanes on the upper level, split between two roadways. The lower level has three lanes, four subway tracks, a walkway and a bikeway. The upper level, originally used for streetcars, has two lanes in each direction, and the lower level is one-way and has three lanes in peak direction. The bridge once carried New York State Route 27 and later was planned to carry Interstate 478.

Monday, December 15, 2014


The proclamation of Republic of Latvia 18  November 1918
Rosetta's parents were immigrants from Friedrichstadt  a town in Latvia on the left bank of the Daugava River about 80 km southeast of Riga. So it is interesting to me that the Republic of Latvia was proclaimed on November 18,1918, Rosetta's 9th birthday, and that date became a key date in history. Finally after long years of oppression Latvians took the steps to proclaim their country. Every year there is a military parade in Riga and other celebrations.  

The revolution in 1905 was the first sign of Latvian national awaking and the thought of breaking from Russia. Although the main force in the revolution was Latvian social democrats, the whole revolution was made against foreign oppression. The attacks on German mansions and calls for Latvian autonomy had national character. The next crucial point was the First World War. 

In 1915, the German army invaded Latvian territory. 567 000 people fled Latvia to Russia. Had Matilda and Eli Schwartz not immigrated to the United States in the late 1800's, before starting a family, they might have been among those refugees. It was a catastrophic situation when half of Latvian population left their homeland. Nationally minded refugees organized self-support committees in all Russia. Only Jewish refugees were more organized than Latvians. The German army stopped near Riga and stayed there until 1917. To fight Germans Latvians organized national rifleman regiments. Latvians gathered under the Russian banner to protect their land. This was a birth of the Latvian national military.

Rosetta was 6 years old the year the German army invaded the area where her parents lived in Latvia. By then the Schwartz's were secure in their home in Chicago. It is unknown whether close relatives had remained in Latvia and were part of the mass exodus, or worse yet, were murdered. Rosetta was the youngest of their ten children, and while the family didn't have much money, and  they did have two priceless things. LAUGHTER AND FREEDOM 

Friday, December 12, 2014


Most often we don't stop to think about all the advances made in the past century and this one. If Rosetta were still living, she would be 105 years old, but she left us as she neared her 97th birthday.

Let's go back 100 years. What happened in 1914, the year she was 5 years old?

— The Ford Motor Co. increased wages from $2.40 for a 9-hour day to $5 for an 8-hour day. Ford went on to sell 248,000 cars the same year.
— In Washington, DC, the first stone of the Lincoln Memorial was put into place.
— “Tarzan of the Apes” by Edgar Rice Burroughs was first published.
— The Great War (WWI) started. President Woodrow Wilson declared the United States as neutral.
— The Harrison Narcotics Act, regulating and taxing the production, importation, and distribution of opiates, was signed into law.
— Zippers were relatively new and used mostly in boots and tobacco pouches.
— Charlie Chaplin made his film debut and Babe Ruth made his Major League Baseball debut.
— Mary Phelps Jacobs patented the brassiere.
— The Greyhound Bus Co. began its first passenger trips.
— Beginning the first of June, the use of alcohol was prohibited in the U.S. Navy. Welch’s Grape Juice was the recommended substitute.
The average annual income was $577. The average cost of a new car was $500 while a new house averaged $3,500. A gallon of milk (mostly sold by the quart) carried a 32 -cent price tag while a gallon of gas was 12 cents. A loaf of bread cost six cents.
— Life expectancy for males was 52 years and females, 56.8 years.

Sunday, December 7, 2014

What happened on December 7, 1931? Rosetta was 22 years old.

Memories of yesteryear. In 1931, Rosetta was 22 years old. She was a flapper and Charleston dancing champion.  In 1989, at the age of 80, she wrote "Can We Come In and Laugh, Too?" which was published in 2012. 

In 2000 she was 91 years old and still dancing. 
Rosetta left us in 2006, nearing the age of 97.

DECEMBER 7, 1931

U.S. 1931 U.S.A. Ford Model A Dec. 7th, 1931 : Ford produces the last Ford Model A and discontinues production and closes the factory to retool ready for the Ford V8 which is planned for production starting in April 1932