Wednesday, October 15, 2014

"Sherman set The WABAC Machine to 1884"

As a child, my favorite cartoon was Mr. Peabody and Sherman. Actually, it still is. 

Mr. Sherman and Peabody

What does this have to do with the Rhea/Farris family history? Quite a lot really. 

On the Worldwide Genealogy site, there was a post titled Rear View Mirror. It caught my attention so I had to go see what it was about. Basically, it referred to a post on History Today titled Mirror Year: How old are you really?  OK, even more interesting, what is a mirror year? 

According to the articles, a mirror year is as far back into the past as you are old. For example, I am 65. If I take my birth year (1949) and subtract my age, the WABAC Machine sends me to 1884. We tend to define modern from our birth year but the past holds surprising information that impacts who you are today. 

For instance: September 21, 1884 - My great grandfather was murdered by John Brewer. My grandpa was 2-years-old and my great grandmother was expecting the 8th child. That event changed the family dynamics. What if John Carter Rhea had survived the gunshot? We will never know but it shaped our family and who we are today. 

Harry Truman (the 33rd President) was born in Missouri on May 8, 1884. He was the sitting president when I was born. Although I don't remember him (my memory of president begins with Eisenhower) Truman had a big impact with the atomic bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki in August 1945. He changed the world forever. His actions also plunged us into the Cold War and all those years we ducked and covered expecting to be vaporized by Russian bombs. Watch this cheerful public service film made for the schools of New York. 

Other 1884 events that are a part of my life. 

May 19, 1884 - the premiere of the Ringling Brothers Circus

May 31, 1884 - "Flaked cereal" patented by Dr. John Harvey Kellogg

July 4, 1884 - Statue of Liberty presented to the United States in Paris, France and on August 5th, the cornerstone for the statue was laid on Bedloe's Island in New York City. 

December 1884 - The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain was published in England. 

As far back as 1884 seems to me, there were many things that happened that are so much a part of our lives, it seems inconceivable that they weren't always there. 

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