Tag Archives: appalachian history

Jean Thomas: Kentucky’s Traipsin’ Woman

She had hosted Susan Steele Sampson, wife of Kentucky’s governor, the previous year at her first American Folk Song Festival, held at the Traipsin’ Woman Cabin. Now, in August 1931, Jean Thomas found herself invited to the Governor’s mansion in Frankfort to discuss the creation of an American Folk Song Society and an annual festival […]

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Apple butter thick enough to slice

“Cider for apple butter must be perfectly new from the press, and the sweeter and mellower the apples are of which it is made, the better will the apple butter be. Boil the cider till reduced to one half its original quantity, and skim it well. “Do not use for this purpose an iron kettle, […]

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Which of them REALLY invented ‘Dr Pepper’?

The town boomed when the railroad came through in 1856, and so in 1872 a former Confederate surgeon named Dr. Charles T. Pepper started a soon-to-be-thriving business dispensing patent medicines in a brick pharmacy in Rural Retreat, VA. He also spent time mixing mountain herbs, roots and seltzer into a fizzy brew.   One local […]

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The US Army used DDT to de-louse soldiers

Here is a little insect that with all his faults, and they are many, possesses certain virtues. He has solved the problem of race suicide, for he multiplies with astounding rapidity. He adapts himself easily, not to say gracefully, to uncomfortable, even unsanitary surroundings, and if he were permitted to speak in his own defense, […]

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Light up a Spud!

The pack was expensive at 20 cents, but you got the first menthol-infused cigarette, ancestor to “Kool,” “Salem” and others. Why was it called “Spuds?” Lloyd “Spud” Hughes of Mingo Junction, OH gets the credit for introducing Americans to menthol cool smoking. Hughes wasn’t long out of high school and working as a cashier in […]

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