Today’s Funny for January 11: The Cats’ Creation Story

The Cats’ Creation Story

On the first day of creation, God created the cat.

On the second day, God created humans to serve the cat.

On the third, God created all the animals of the earth to serve as potential food for the cat.

On the fourth day, God created toil so that humans could labor for the good of the cat.

On the fifth day, God created the sparkle ball so that the cat might or might not play with it.

On the sixth day, God created veterinary science to keep the cat healthy and their humans broke.

On the seventh day, God tried to rest, but He had to scoop the litterbox.


Source: Turok’s Cabana


Today’s Extra for January 11: Are Indoor Fireplaces Safe for Your Health?

Are Indoor Fireplaces Safe for Your Health?

Cozying up to a glowing fireplace is a cold-weather tradition. But don’t get too comfortable. In certain situations, that crackling fire can be very unsafe. Here are five hazardous health effects of fireplaces, as well as how to practice indoor fireplace safety to mitigate those risks.


There are four main types of fireplaces that people typically have in their homes: wood-burning, gas, electric and ethanol. And it’s usually the wood-burning fires that release the most dangerous toxins into the air (though the other types pose risks, as well).

When wood burns, it releases a mixture of potentially harmful gases and fine particles. “Wood smoke contains several toxic harmful air pollutants including: benzene, formaldehyde, acrolein and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs),” according to the Environmental Protection Agency. This pollutes indoor air (as well as outdoor air) and can trigger several health problems, such as respiratory issues and lung cancer. And you’re not in the clear if you burn synthetic logs, as they’ve been associated with some serious health issues, including breast cancer.


Wood and gas fireplaces have the ability to release dangerous amounts of carbon monoxide in a home. “Carbon monoxide is produced when fuels are burned such as gasoline, natural gas, oil, kerosene, wood or charcoal,” according to the American Lung Association. And because carbon monoxide is colorless, odorless and tasteless, it can easily accumulate to toxic levels if the fireplace isn’t venting properly.

Carbon monoxide prevents the body from getting the oxygen it needs. Breathing in small amounts can result in headaches, nausea, dizziness and confusion, according to the American Lung Association. And inhaling larger levels can have much more serious consequences, including loss of consciousness and death. So it’s critical to consistently maintain your fireplace, check the venting often and use a carbon monoxide detector.


Besides carbon monoxide poisoning, the mixture of gases and particles that certain fireplaces (mainly wood-burning) emit can trigger many other health problems, including respiratory conditions. “That’s because smoke from these fires contains small particles that can get into your eyes and respiratory system,” according to Cleveland Clinic. “The result can be burning eyes, a runny nose and illnesses such as bronchitis.”

The tiny particles can find their way deep into your lungs and bloodstream — exacerbating preexisting conditions, such as asthma. And even healthy people might feel temporarily ill. “Fine particles can also trigger heart attacks, stroke, irregular heart rhythms, and heart failure, especially in people who are already at risk for these conditions,” according to the EPA. Children, older adults and people with heart and lung issues are the most vulnerable.


Using your fireplace correctly isn’t without risks. But burning inappropriate items can make the situation much more dangerous. “These materials can release toxic or harmful chemicals when burned, and may damage your appliance,” according to the EPA. Items you never should burn include:

  • Household trash — including plastic, cardboard, foam, rubber and anything with colored ink
  • Painted or treated wood
  • Driftwood, plywood, particle board or any other wood with glue
  • Wet, rotten or diseased wood
  • Manure and animal remains

Plus, consider what’s around your fireplace that might be receiving some of its warmth. For instance, if your fires continuously heat a nearby decoration with toxic paint or the plastic of a faux Christmas tree, that might release unhealthy chemicals into the air. So it’s best to be overly cautious about what that warm glow can touch.


Speaking of what’s within the flames’ reach, another risk of indoor fireplaces is injury or property destruction from the fire itself. Fireplaces, chimneys and chimney connectors accounted for 31 percent of house fires in the United States between 2011 and 2015, according to the National Fire Protection Association. (Space heaters were the No. 1 culprit.) And the leading factor contributing to those house fires was failure to clean the equipment — especially chimneys.

Plus, according to the Consumer Product Safety Commission, young children receive the most injuries from fireplaces. Many injuries stem from a person being too close to the flames, though some occur from improper fireplace use or damaged equipment. Regardless, it’s critical to make indoor fireplace safety a priority if you intend to build a fire.


A properly functioning fireplace should pose the fewest health and safety risks. So here are some indoor fireplace safety tips from the American Academy of Pediatrics to protect you and your family.

  • Have adequate ventilation. Keep a window cracked as your fire is burning, and make sure the damper or flue is open until the embers are completely out. Look for animal nests and other blockages in the chimney.
  • Use dry, aged wood. This produces less smoke and soot in wood-burning fireplaces. Plus, using smaller pieces of wood also results in less smoke.
  • Clean ashes from previous fires. A thicker layer of ash makes a fire smoke more.
  • Have a professional inspect your fireplace and chimney annually. And look for red flags every time you use it.
  • Keep the area around your fireplace clear. Install safety screens if you have kids or pets, and keep fireplace tools out of their reach.
  • Never leave a fire unattended. Make sure it is completely out before going to bed or leaving for an extended period.
  • Keep a fire extinguisher nearby. Plus, install smoke and carbon monoxide detectors. Verify regularly that they’re all functional.

So should you ditch your dreams of curling up next to a cozy fire on a cold night? Not necessarily. As long as you know the health and safety risks, you can weigh the pros and cons for your individual situation and decide which type of fireplace is right for you.



The Old Farmer’s Almanac for January 11: HOME REMEDIES FOR COUGH RELIEF



By The Old Farmer’s Almanac
Coughs, while rarely serious, can be really annoying. Some of these natural remedies can provide great relief from a cough, especially when you’re having difficulty sleeping.


  • Lemon juice, sweetened with loaf or crushed sugar, will relieve a cough. –The 1852 Old Farmer’s Almanac.
  • The root of sweet flag was often powdered or sliced and used as a ginger substitute or throat lozenge.
  • Drink mullein flower tea.
  • Catnip tea helps reduce mucus.
  • To suppress a night cough, put 1 teaspoon black pepper and 1 teaspoon sugar into a mug. Pour in boiling water and let steep. The pepper will settle to the bottom. Sip, as needed.
  • Horehound drops, made with the extract of the leaves of the bitter mint Marrubium vulgare, can be combined with honey for a soothing cough drop, or served as a tea with lemon.
  • Hot and spicy foods act as expectorants, loosening up the lung’s secretions.
  • A reader told us that a teaspoon of mustard will relieve a cough for up to four hours. See if it works for you!
  • Some of these natural remedies might also be helpful to relieve anxiety and stress.


Now here’s a cure for a severe winter cough that comes from The Old Farmer’s Almanac archives: The Dirt Cure! Here’s how it works:

  • Find a piece of land covered with bushes and small stones.
  • When the land has a foot of snow but is not frozen solid, shovel off the snow.
  • Then cut down the bushes and dig out the stones, turning up fresh and pure soil.
  • Bring fistfuls of soil to your face and inhale the scent of fresh earth.
  • Continue until you have cleared half an acre, and you will find yourself strong and hale, and entirely rid of your cough!

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for January 11: STAY HEALTHY THIS WINTER



It has been snowing, sleeting, and raining. I felt like washing down a plate of holiday cookies with a mug of hot cocoa smothered in whipped cream, sinking back into my recliner, and waking up in April.


Forget New Year’s resolutions. This is the time of year I aim to bolster my resolve to maintain or even improve my mental, emotional, and physical fitness for staying healthy during the long slog. None of the strategies I employ is new. I’ve written about most of them before in this space.

They never become habits. I have to recommit to them every day. And remembering is especially difficult in winter. I assume that’s also true for many of you, so a few of the tips are worth repeating.

  • Exercise more. Yes, it gets colder and darker as winter approaches, and more challenging to stay active. Especially for those of us living in the northern states, a sort of semi-hibernation syndrome attacks: we want to eat more, sleep more, and move less. Challenge yourself to find something you can do to move your muscles and get your heartrate up for half an hour. You don’t have to love, or even like it. But you do have to do it—even if it’s just bundling up and trotting around the driveway in a blizzard, or running in place pumping hand weights while you watch the evening news.
  • Get outdoors every day, weather be damned. The winter blahs have a lot to do with the lack of light. Merely stepping out into the wider natural world confers health benefits. To keep this commitment during the winter, you need the right clothes (lightweight, “wicking” layers, treaded soles or Yaktrax), maybe a pair of adjustable trekking poles and snowshoes
  • Get enough sleep, but don’t hibernate. I aim to sleep seven hours a day. As I’ve grown older, my sleep patterns have become more erratic. I find myself waking more often during the night and napping occasionally during the day. I’ve reduced my coffee consumption (somewhat), and try to forgo both TV and the Internet an hour before I hit the sheets.
  • Cook more from scratch. You’ll save money, generate less waste, and eat healthier meals. You’re likely to gain less winter weight. Forget the idea that you don’t have time. Scratch cooking does require planning. Own a couple of good vegetable-cutting knives. Make friends with a crock pot. Make enough soup (chili, stew, chowder) for three or four meals. Learn to make a great omelet. Fill a cooking bag or roasting pan with enough chicken to last a week; freeze or refrigerate the leftovers.
  • Eat more vegetables, fruits, beans, and lentils. Make them the stars of every meal. Why? Because a wealth of clinical research confirms the numerous health and mental health benefits of diets rich in these plant ingredients. Vegetables and dried legumes fill you up, so you’ll be less likely to crave or pig out on the ubiquitous rich treats that greet you at every turn during the winter holiday season. Except for fried potatoes, it’s almost impossible to overdose on fruits, veggies, and legumes.
  • Laugh more. Laughter brings real health benefits. Not in the mood? Even faking it seems to do a body good.
  • Keep an attitude of gratitude. Feeling and expressing gratitude—an important tenet in most religious and spiritual traditions around the world—clinically shown to improve people’s happiness, along with their sleep
  • Practice hygge. A word without an English analogue that the Danes use to describe themselves, hygge means something like “creating a nice, warm atmosphere and enjoying the good things in life with good people around you.” The Danes live 11 degrees of latitude north of the U.S.’s lower 48, so their cold, dark winters start earlier and last longer than ours. Yet for decades they’ve topped the list of the happiest people in the world and among the top five healthiest.
  • Let a joy keep you. I save this (the title of a poem by Carl Sandberg) for last because it underlies and supports the others. Holding a simple joy in my mind incorporates and transcends feeling grateful. Everybody can find a simple joy to carry around in their mind today. Sandberg ends his poem like this:

Let joy kill you!
Keep away from the little deaths.

Holding a simple joy in the heart prevents the “little deaths” from creeping in and taking over: the hurtful remark, the aches and pains, the empty checkbook, the lost opportunity, the unwelcome chores of the moment (or dreading the six dark months of lugging firewood, hauling out the ashes, shoveling snow).

My joy for today: Luxuriating in my ratty, old recline, basking in the radiant heat of our living room woodstove, secure in the knowledge we have enough dry wood to last until April.

A short nap perhaps? I think I will!


“Living Naturally” is all about living a naturally healthy lifestyle. Margaret Boyles covers health tips, ways to avoid illness, natural remedies, food that’s good for body and soul, recipes for homemade beauty products, and ideas to make your home a healthy, safe haven. Our goal is also to encourage self-sufficiency, whether it’s relearning some age-old skills or getting informed on modern improvements that help us live better, healthier lives.

Published on The Old Farmer’s Almanac

The Old Farmer’s Almanac for January 11: HOW TO PREVENT COLD AND FLU IN WINTER



How can we avoid colds and flu naturally? Both—along with pneumonia, strep, chicken pox, and norovirus infections (“stomach flu”)—rise dramatically during the winter months. We even suffer more (and more damaging) heart attacks and strokes during winter.


The answers are complex, elusive, and still evolving.

For a long time, experts told us that we catch more colds and flu in winter because we huddle together indoors in poorly ventilated surroundings—especially schoolchildren, who then pass along the infections to their families.

Skeptical scientists have since proposed many other theories, which may interact and overlap in complex ways. They range from shorter day length, Vitamin D deficiency (either or both of which may alter hormone balance, which in turn lowers immune response), climate and weather factors, physiological responses to exposure to chilly air, and the properties of some viruses themselves, which favor transmission in cold air and low humidity. Furthermore, the dry winter air can slow the normal process of cleaning the nasal mucous linings and drying them out, making them more susceptible to infection.



Regardless of the cause, research has confirmed the value of many self-care practices for helping ward off winter infections. Most of them won’t surprise you.

  • Wash your hands—often. Most epidemiologists cite frequent handwashing as the number one defense against colds and many other common winter bugs. Effective handwashing means 20 seconds of vigorous rubbing with plain soap and water.


  • Humidify inside and out. Keep your body well hydrated and your indoor air humidified. We add moisture to the air of our wood-heated home by hanging laundry indoors, keeping a lot of houseplants, and setting steamers on the stoves that release moisture gradually into the surrounding air.
  • Exercise (lightly). Studies show that exercise boosts the immune system to help your body fight infection. One caution: If you have a fever or anything more serious than a light cold, rest up and lay off the exercise.
  • A corollary: Get outdoors more often, especially in midday. Many of us experience a better mood and a boost in energy when we get out on cold, sunny winter days. We’ve found that investing in full-spectrum (mimics the wavelengths in natural sunlight) compact fluorescent lights throughout our house goes a long way towards staving off winter depression (low energy, food cravings, lack of enthusiasm). Some scientists believe that daily exposure to full-spectrum light helps boost immune function, too.
  • Eat your vegetables. Increase your daily intake of green, red, yellow and white vegetables. Eating a greater amount and variety of vegetables and fruit improves immune function.
  • Get enough sleep. Don’t underestimate the value of a good night’s sleep. Sleeping well reduces your chances of heart problems and other chronic diseases, improves immune function, and even helps prevent obesity. Don’t brag about how little sleep you need. Get your zzzzzz’s!
  • Reduce stress. Stress weakens the immune system, and winter adds several layers of stress for most of us: (e.g., dealing with storms and power outages, sick kids, less daylight, snow shoveling, and the sometimes-overwhelming demands of the winter holidays—including financial stress.
  • Keep holiday food safe. Foodborne illnesses sicken 48 million Americans each year.
  • Say “Yes” to a seasonal flu shot.


And Yes! to staying away from sick people (good luck!). Many people take supplements of vitamin D, vitamin C, echinacea, and other products reputed to boost immunity. Please check with your doctor or other trusted healthcare source before you try any new herb or vitamin supplement.



“Living Naturally” is all about living a naturally healthy lifestyle. Margaret Boyles covers health tips, ways to avoid illness, natural remedies, food that’s good for body and soul, recipes for homemade beauty products, and ideas to make your home a healthy, safe haven. Our goal is also to encourage self-sufficiency, whether it’s relearning some age-old skills or getting informed on modern improvements that help us live better, healthier lives.

Source: The Old Farmer’s Almanac

Holidays Around the World, Jan. 11: Burning the Clavie

Burning the Clavie

January 11

The Burning of the Clavie takes place in Burghead, a fishing village in the region of Moray, Scotland, on January 11, or Old New Year’s Eve ( see Old Christmas Day). Local residents make the clavie themselves by sawing a tar barrel into a larger and smaller half, breaking the larger half into pieces and stuffing it inside the smaller half along with tinder and tar. Once this is done they nail the clavie to a stout post. According to tradition, the clavie must be made without the use of store-bought tools. Therefore a local blacksmith makes the nail, which is hammered to the post with a stone.

At dusk the Clavie King sets the clavie on fire and leads a procession in which the burning barrel is dragged around the harbor and town. The procession stops at the homes of prominent townspeople, and paraders toss a chunk of the clavie through their doors, a custom said to bring good luck to the inhabitants. The parade proceeds to a high headland along the coast, where the flames from the clavie ignite a huge bonfire. At the end of the festivities, the clavie tumbles down the hill. Town inhabitants gather pieces of the clavie to take home with them, using them to light a New Year fire believed to keep witches and evil spirits away for a year.

Because the headland where the bonfire takes place is also the site of a ruined Roman temple, some people believe that the celebration is a survival of an ancient Roman custom. Others trace the festival back to Scandinavia, while another group suspects that it comes from the Druids, members of a pre-Christian religious order that developed among the ancient Celts.

Aberdeen and Grampian Tourist Board
Exchange House
26/28 Exchange St.
Aberdeen, AB11 6PH United Kingdom
44-12-2428-8811; fax: 44-12-2428-8838
OxYear-1999, p. 31
YrFest-1972, p. 120

This Day in History, January 11: Lawrence Textile Strike Begins in Massachusetts (1912)

Lawrence Textile Strike Begins in Massachusetts (1912)

The Lawrence textile strike was a strike of immigrant workers in Lawrence, Massachusetts, in 1912 led by the Industrial Workers of the World (IWW). Prompted by a two-hour pay cut corresponding to a new law shortening the workweek for women, the strike spread rapidly through the town, growing to more than twenty thousand workers and involving nearly every mill in Lawrence.[2] Starting January 1, 1912, the Massachusetts government started to enforce a law that allowed women to work a maximum of 54 hours, rather than 56 hours. Ten days later, they found out that pay had been reduced along with the cut in hours.[3]

The strike united workers from more than 40 different nationalities.[4] Carried on throughout a brutally cold winter, the strike lasted more than two months, from January to March, defying the assumptions of conservative trade unions within the American Federation of Labor (AFL) that immigrant, largely female and ethnically divided workers could not be organized. In late January, when a striker, Anna LoPizzo, was killed by police during a protest, IWW organizers Joseph Ettor and Arturo Giovannitti were framed and arrested on charges of being accessories to the murder.[4]

IWW leaders Bill Haywood and Elizabeth Gurley Flynn came to Lawrence to run the strike. Together they masterminded its signature move, sending hundreds of the strikers’ hungry children to sympathetic families in New York, New Jersey, and Vermont. The move drew widespread sympathy, especially after police stopped a further exodus, leading to violence at the Lawrence train station.[4] Congressional hearings followed, resulting in exposure of shocking conditions in the Lawrence mills and calls for investigation of the “wool trust.” Mill owners soon decided to settle the strike, giving workers in Lawrence and throughout New England raises of up to 20 percent. Within a year, however, the IWW had largely collapsed in Lawrence.[4]

The Lawrence strike is often referred to as the “Bread and Roses” strike. It has also been called the “strike for three loaves”.[5] The phrase “bread and roses” actually preceded the strike, appearing in a poem by James Oppenheim published in The Atlantic Monthly in December 1911. A 1916 labor anthology, The Cry for Justice: An Anthology of the Literature of Social Protest by Upton Sinclair, attributed the phrase to the Lawrence strike, and the association stuck. “Bread and roses” has also been attributed to socialist union organizer Rose Schneiderman.[4][6]

A popular rally cry that was used at the protests and strikes:[7]

As we come marching, marching, we battle too for men,
For they are women’s children, and we mother them again.
Our lives shall not be sweated from birth until life closes;
Hearts starve as well as bodies; give us bread, but give us roses!

–James Oppenheim



Founded in 1845, Lawrence was a flourishing but deeply-troubled textile city. By 1900, mechanization and the deskilling of labor in the textile industry enabled factory owners to eliminate skilled workers and to employ large numbers of unskilled immigrant workers, mostly women. Work in a textile mill took place at a grueling pace, and the labor was repetitive and dangerous. In addition, a number of children under 14 worked in the mills.[8] Half of the workers in the four Lawrence mills of the American Woolen Company, the leading employer in the industry and the town, were females between 14 and 18.

By 1912, the Lawrence mills at maximum capacity employed about 32,000 men, women, and children.[9] Conditions had worsened even more in the decade before the strike. The introduction of the two-loom system in the woolen mills led to a dramatic increase in the pace of work. The greater production enabled the factory owners to lay off large numbers of workers. Those who kept their jobs earned, on average, $8.76 for 56 hours of work and $9.00 for 60 hours of work.[10][11][12]

The workers in Lawrence lived in crowded and dangerous apartment buildings, often with many families sharing each apartment. Many families survived on bread, molasses, and beans; as one worker testified before the March 1912 congressional investigation of the Lawrence strike, “When we eat meat it seems like a holiday, especially for the children.” Half of children died before they were six, and 36% of the adults who worked in the mill died before they were 25. The average life expectancy was 39.[13][14][15][8]

The mills and the community were divided along ethnic lines: most of the skilled jobs were held by native-born workers of English, Irish, and German descent, whereas French-Canadian, Italian, Slavic, Hungarian, Portuguese, and Syrian immigrants made up most of the unskilled workforce. Several thousand skilled workers belonged, in theory at least, to the American Federation of Labor-affiliated United Textile Workers, but only a few hundred paid dues. The Industrial Workers of the World (IWW) had also been organizing for five years among workers in Lawrence but also had only a few hundred actual members.[4]


On January 1, 1912, a new labor law took effect in Massachusetts reducing the working week of 56 hours to 54 hours for women and children. Workers opposed the reduction if it reduced their weekly home pay. The first two weeks of 1912, the unions tried to learn how the owners of the mills would deal with the new law.[16] On January 11, a group of Polish women textile workers in Lawrence discovered that their employer at the Everett Mill had reduced about $0.32 from their total wages and walked out.

On January 12, workers in the Washington Mill of the American Woolen Company also found that their wages had been cut. Prepared for the events by weeks of discussion, they walked out, calling “short pay, all out.”[17]

Joseph Ettor of the IWW had been organizing in Lawrence for some time before the strike; he and Arturo Giovannitti of the Italian Socialist Federation of the Socialist Party of America quickly assumed leadership of the strike by forming a strike committee of 56 people, four representatives of fourteen nationalities, which took responsibility for all major decisions.[18] The committee, which arranged for its strike meetings to be translated into 25 different languages, put forward a set of demands: a 15% increase in wages for a 54-hour work week, double time for overtime work, and no discrimination against workers for their strike activity.[19]

The city responded to the strike by ringing the city’s alarm bell for the first time in its history; the mayor ordered a company of the local militia to patrol the streets. When mill owners turned fire hoses on the picketers gathered in front of the mills,[20] they responded by throwing ice at the plants, breaking a number of windows. The court sentenced 24 workers to a year in jail for throwing ice; as the judge stated, “The only way we can teach them is to deal out the severest sentences.”[21] Governor Eugene Foss then ordered out the state militia and state police. Mass arrests followed.[22][23]

At the same time, the United Textile Workers (UTW) attempted to break the strike by claiming to speak for the workers of Lawrence. The striking operatives ignored the UTW, as the IWW had successfully united the operatives behind ethnic-based leaders, who were members of the strike committee and able to communicate Ettor’s message to avoid violence at demonstrations. Ettor did not consider intimidating operatives who were trying to enter the mills as breaking the peace.

The IWW was successful, even with AFL-affiliated operatives, as it defended the grievances of all operatives from all the mills. Conversely, the AFL and the mill owners preferred to keep negotiations between separate mills and their own operatives. However, in a move that frustrated the UTW, Oliver Christian, the national secretary of the Loomfixers Association and an AFL affiliate itself, said he believed John Golden, the Massachusetts UTW president, was a detriment to the cause of labor.[citation needed] That statement and missteps by William Madison Wood quickly shifted public sentiment to favor the strikers.[24]

A local undertaker and a member of the Lawrence school board attempted to frame the strike leadership by planting dynamite in several locations in town a week after the strike began. He was fined $500 and released without jail time. Later, William M. Wood, the president of the American Woolen Company, was shown to have made an unexplained large payment to the defendant shortly before the dynamite was found.[25][26][27]

The authorities later charged Ettor and Giovannitti as accomplices to murder for the death of striker Anna LoPizzo,[28] who was likely shot by the police. Ettor and Giovannitti had been 3 mi (4.8 km) away, where they spoke to another group of workers. They and a third defendant, who had not even heard of either Ettor or Giovannitti at the time of his arrest, were held in jail for the duration of the strike and several months thereafter.[29] The authorities declared martial law,[30] banned all public meetings, and called out 22 more militia companies to patrol the streets.

The IWW responded by sending Bill Haywood, Elizabeth Gurley Flynn, and a number of other organizers to Lawrence. Haywood participated little in the daily affairs of the strike. Instead, he set out for other New England textile towns in an effort to raise funds for the strikers in Lawrence, which proved very successful. Other tactics established were an efficient system of relief committees, soup kitchens, and food distribution stations, and volunteer doctors provided medical care. The IWW raised funds on a nationwide basis to provide weekly benefits for strikers and dramatized the strikers’ needs by arranging for several hundred children to go to supporters’ homes in New York City for the duration of the strike. When city authorities tried to prevent another 100 children from going to Philadelphia on February 24 by sending police and the militia to the station to detain the children and arrest their parents, the police began clubbing both the children and their mothers and dragged them off to be taken away by truck; one pregnant mother miscarried. The press, there to photograph the event, reported extensively on the attack. Moreover, when the women and children were taken to the Police Court, most of them refused to pay the fines levied and opted for a jail cell, some with babies in arms.[31]

The police action against the mothers and children of Lawrence attracted the attention of the nation, in particular that of Helen Herron Taft, the wife of William Howard Taft. Soon, both the House and the Senate set out to investigate the strike. In the early days of March, a special House Committee heard testimony from some of the strikers’ children, various city, state and union officials. In the end, both houses published reports detailing the conditions at Lawrence.[32][12]

The national attention had an effect: the owners offered a 5% pay raise on March 1, but the workers rejected it. American Woolen Company agreed to most of the strikers’ demands on March 12, 1912. The strikers had demanded an end to the Premium System in which a portion of their earnings were subject to month-long production and attendance standards. The mill owners’ concession was to change the award of the premium from once every four weeks to once every two weeks. The rest of the manufacturers followed by the end of the month; other textile companies throughout New England, anxious to avoid a similar confrontation, then followed suit.

The children who had been taken in by supporters in New York City came home on March 30.


Ettor and Giovanniti, both members of IWW, remained in prison for months after the strike was over.[33] Haywood threatened a general strike to demand their freedom, with the cry “Open the jail gates or we will close the mill gates.” The IWW raised $60,000 for their defense and held demonstrations and mass meetings throughout the country in their support; the Boston authorities arrested all of the members of the Ettor and Giovannitti Defense Committee. Then, 15,000 Lawrence workers went on strike for one day on September 30 to demand the release of Ettor and Giovannitti. Swedish and French workers proposed a boycott of woolen goods from the US and a refusal to load ships going there, and Italian supporters of the Giovannitti men rallied in front of the US consulate in Rome.[34]

In the meantime, Ernest Pitman—l, a Lawrence building contractor who had done extensive work for the American Woolen Company, confessed to a district attorney that he had attended a meeting in the Boston offices of Lawrence textile companies, where the plan to frame the union by planting dynamite had been made. Pitman committed suicide shortly thereafter when he was subpoenaed to testify. Wood, the American Woolen Company owner, was formally exonerated.[35][36]

When the trial of Ettor and Giovannitti, as well as a third defendant, Giuseppe Caruso, accused of firing the shot that killed the picketer, began in September 1912 in Salem before Judge Joseph F. Quinn, the three defendants were kept in steel cages in the courtroom. All witnesses testified that Ettor and Giovannitti were miles away and that Caruso, the third defendant, was at home and eating supper at the time of the killing.[29][34]

Ettor and Giovannitti both delivered closing statements at the end of the two-month trial. In Ettor’s closing statement, he turned and faced the District Attorney:

Does Mr. Ateill believe for a moment that… the cross or the gallows or the guillotine, the hangman’s noose, ever settled an idea? It never did. If an idea can live, it lives because history adjudges it right. And what has been considered an idea constituting a social crime in one age has in the next age become the religion of humanity. Whatever my social views are, they are what they are. They cannot be tried in this courtroom.[37]

All three defendants were acquitted on November 26, 1912.[38]

The strikers, however, lost nearly all of the gains they had won in the next few years. The IWW, disdaining written contracts as encouraging workers to abandon the daily class struggle, thus left the mill owners to chisel away at the improvements in wages and working conditions, to fire union activists, and to install labor spies to keep an eye on workers. The more persistent owners laid off further employees during a depression in the industry.[34]

By then, the IWW had turned its attention to supporting the silk industry workers in Paterson, New Jersey. The Paterson Silk Strike of 1913 was defeated.[citation needed]


The strike had at least three casualties:[39]

  • Anna LoPizzo, an Italian immigrant, who was shot in the chest during a clash between strikers and police[40][41]
  • John Ramey, a Syrian youth who was bayoneted in the back by the militia[42][43][44]
  • Jonas Smolskas, a Lithuanian immigrant who was beaten to death several months after the strike ended for wearing a pro-labor pin on his lapel[45][46]

See also


  1. ^ United States. Bureau of Labor; Neill, Charles Patrick (1912). Report on strike of textile workers in Lawrence, Mass., in 1912. Cornell University Library. Washington, Govt. print. off. p. 9.
  2. ^ Sibley, Frank P. (March 17, 1912). “Lawrence’s Great Strike Reviewed: Cost $3,000,000, Lasted Nine Weeks—27,000 Workers Out”The Boston Daily Globe(Subscription required (help))Tomorrow morning ends officially the strike of the textile operatives at Lawrence, in nearly all the mills.
  3. ^ “Lawrence, MA factory workers strike “for Bread and Roses,” U.S. 1912″.
  4. Jump up to:a b c d e f Weir, Robert E. (2013). Workers in America: A Historical Encyclopedia, Volume 1. ABC-CLIO. pp. 418–420. ISBN 9781598847185.
  5. ^ Milkman, Ruth (2013). Women, Work, and Protest: A Century of U.S. Women’s Labor History. Routledge. p. 67. ISBN 9781136247682.
  6. ^ Zwick, Jim (2003). “Behind the Song: Bread and Roses”. Sing Out! The Folk Song Magazine46: 92–93. ISSN 0037-5624OCLC 474160863.
  7. ^ “Lawrence, MA factory workers strike “for Bread and Roses,” U.S. 1912″.
  8. Jump up to:a b Moran, William (2002). “Fighting for Roses”. The Belles of New England: The Women of the Textile Mills and the Families Whose Wealth They Wove. Macmillan. p. 183. ISBN 9780312301835Elizabeth Shapleigh, a physician in the city, made a mortality study among mill workers and found that one-third of them, victims of the lint-filled air of the mills, died before reaching the age of 25.
  9. ^ Foner, Philip (1965). History of the Labor Movement in the United States, vol. 4. New York: International Publishers. p. 307. LCCN 47-19381.
  10. ^ “Lawrence, MA factory workers strike “for Bread and Roses,” U.S. 1912″.
  11. ^ Forrant, Robert (2014). The Great Lawrence Textile Strike of 1912: New Scholarship on the Bread & Roses Strike (PDF). Baywood Publishing. p. 4. ISBN 9780895038647.
  12. Jump up to:a b Neill, Charles P. (1912). Report on Strike of Textile Workers in Lawrence, Mass. in 1912. U.S. Government Printing Office. p. 19.
  13. ^ Neill Report (1912), “Housing and Rents”, pp. 23–25
  14. ^ Wertheimer, Barbara M. (1977). We were there: the story of working women in America. Pantheon Books. p. 358. ISBN 9780394495903.
  15. ^ Forrant (2014), p. 4
  16. ^ Watson, Bruce (2005). Bread & Roses: Mills, Migrants, and the Struggle for the American Dream. New York: Penguin Group. p. 12.
  17. ^ Ross, Robert F.S. (March 2013). “Bread and Roses: Women Workers and the Struggle for Dignity and Respect”. Working USA: The Journal of Labor & Society. Immanuel News and Wiley Periodicals, Inc. 16: 59–68.
  18. ^ Watson (2005), p. 59
  19. ^ Watson (2005), p. 71
  20. ^ Forrant, Robert (2013). Lawrence and the 1912 Bread and Roses Strike. Arcadia Publishing. p. 44. ISBN 9781439643846. (See photograph)
  21. ^ Watson (2005), p. 55
  22. ^ “FOSS URGES ARMISTICE. Asks Strikers to Return and Mill Owners to Pay Old Wages”The New York Times. January 29, 1912.
  23. ^ Neill Report, p. 15
  24. ^ Ayers, Edward L. (2008). American Passages: A History of the United States. Cengage Learning. p. 616. ISBN 9780547166292.
  25. ^ Watson (2006), pp. 109–110, 222, 249–250
  26. ^ “ON TRIAL FOR ‘PLANT’ IN LAWRENCE STRIKE; Wm. Wood, Boston Manufacturer, and Others Face Jury in Dynamite Case”The New York Times. May 20, 1913.
  27. ^ “Approval In Wood’s Name”The Boston Daily Globe. May 24, 1913. (Subscription required (help)).
  28. ^ The I.W.W.: Its First Seventy Years, Fred W. Thompson & Patrick Murfin, 1976, page 56.
  29. Jump up to:a b “Lawrence Police Break Up Attempt at Parade”The Boston Daily Globe. November 27, 1912. (Subscription required (help))All three, after imprisonment of nearly ten months, are now free.
  30. ^ Forrant (2013), p. 50
  31. ^ Watson, p. 291 (see headlines); see also p. 186
  32. ^ The strike at Lawrence, Mass.: Hearings before the Committee on Rules of the House of Representatives on House Resolutions 409 and 433, March 2–7, 1912. U.S. Government Printing Office. 1912.
  33. ^ “Lawrence, MA factory workers strike “for Bread and Roses,” U.S. 1912″.
  34. Jump up to:a b c Kornbluh, Joyce L. (2011). Rebel Voices: An IWW Anthology. PM Press. pp. 160, 163. ISBN 9781604864830.
  35. ^ Forrant (2014), p. 41
  36. ^ “Wood Found Not Guilty By Jury”The Boston Daily Globe. June 8, 1913. (Subscription required (help))An interesting problem growing out of the trial, which remains unsettled, is the charge by Morris Shuman, one of the jurors, that someone tried to bribe him… telling him that he could get a good job with the American Woolen Company or $200 if he would ‘vote right.’
  37. ^ Ebert, Justus (1913). The Trial of a New Society. Cleveland: I.W.W. p. 38.
  38. ^ “ACQUITTED, THEY KISSED.; Ettor and Giovannitti, and Caruso Thanked Judge and Jury”The New York Times. November 27, 1912.
  39. ^ “Bread and Roses Strike of 1912: Two Months in Lawrence, Massachusetts, that Changed Labor History: Remembering the Fallen”Digital Public Library of America.
  40. ^ Arnesen, Eric (2007). Encyclopedia of U.S. Labor and Working-class History, Volume 1. Taylor & Francis. pp. 793–794. ISBN 9780415968263.
  41. ^ Neill Report (1912), p. 44
  42. ^ Forrant (2013), p. 69 (see photograph)
  43. ^ Sibley, Frank P. (January 31, 1912). “DEAD NOW NUMBER TWO—ETTOR AND HIS RIGHT HAND MAN ARRESTED ON MURDER CHARGE Each Accused of Being Accessory To Killing of Lopizzo Woman. State Police Take Them in Custody in Middle of Night and Bail is Refused. John Ramey, Syrian Youth, Bayoneted in Back By Soldier, Dies of His Wounds”The Boston Daily Globe(Subscription required (help)).
  44. ^ Neill Report (1912), p. 45
  45. ^ Watson (2006), p. 232
  46. ^ Cole, Caroline L. (September 1, 2002). “Lawrence Strike Hero Brought Out of History’s Shadows”The Boston Globe(Subscription required (help)).

Inspiration for the Day for Jan. 11: Waking Up





Waking Up


We are multidimensional beings and our earthly aspects are a very small part of who we are.

Many of us are familiar with the experience of waking up to the fact that our lives are no longer working the way we have set them up. Sometimes this is due to a shift occurring inside ourselves over time, and sometimes it is part of the larger shift that is currently affecting all humanity. Change is happening at such an increased rate that it is difficult to predict what the future holds. As a result, many of the old ways of planning out a life are no longer applicable, and if we cling to them we feel strangely out of tune with reality. If we are in tune with the energies around us, we will begin to question ideas that just a few years ago seemed sensible.

In the simplest terms, the shift we are undergoing right now has to do with recognizing ourselves as being more than human, remembering that our earthly aspects are a very small part of who we are. In truth, we are multidimensional beings. When we begin to realize this, the life we planned for a limited conception of ourselves no longer fits. We must meet the needs and qualifications not only of our bodies but also of our souls. This realization dawns slowly for some and with the suddenness of a bolt of lightning for others, and we all must find the way that works for us to integrate this new and larger sense of self into our life plan.

Sometimes a drastic change feels totally right, and overnight we might decide to sell our home and move to another country or quit our job and begin a second career. Other times, we allow the changes to proceed slowly, beginning perhaps with allowing ourselves to dream of a new life or just to ask the deeper questions that encourage us to discover our true purpose in life. Either way, know that this process is a natural sign of the growth we are all going through, and trust it to guide you to the life of your dreams.


–Daily OM

The Daily Horoscopes for Saturday, January 12, 2019

Daily Horoscopes for Saturday, January 12, 2019

Georgia Nicols, Astrologer


Moon Alert

We have the “all clear” today to shop and do business. The Moon is in Aries.

Aries (March 21-April 19)

This is a very different day! Now, you’re ready for action! Go after what you want. In fact, ask the universe for a favour. It’s good day to make travel plans and to talk to people from other countries and cultures. You feel adventurous and you want to learn more, and get more out of life! Yeah!

Taurus (April 20-May 20)

Although you might still be concerned with behind-the-scenes issues, nevertheless, today you feel much better than yesterday. In fact, this is the day to do some behind-the-scenes planning that can benefit you in the future regarding inheritances, shared property and banking matters. Do it.

Gemini (May 21-June 20)

This is a wonderful day for group sports, meetings or involvement with clubs, organizations or conferences. You will enjoy talking to females especially. You might also enjoy a competitive exchange with someone because you are intellectually energetic and super keen!

Cancer (June 21-July 22)

This is a powerful day; and you, in particular, are powerful when you are dealing with authority figures like parents, bosses, teachers, VIPs and the police. You will be assertive about going after what you want; and others will notice this about you, as well. You’re in the public eye today.

Leo (July 23-Aug. 22)

This is the perfect day for a short trip, or even long-distance travel if you can swing this. Basically, you want some adventure and you need a change of scenery! Do whatever you can to shake up your daily routine. Talk to people from different backgrounds. Explore new territory!

Virgo (Aug. 23-Sept. 22)

This is the perfect day for an important discussion regarding inheritances, insurance disputes or how to divide or share something. Your thinking is crystal-clear and you will have no trouble defending your own best interests. You are strong!

Libra (Sept. 23-Oct. 22)

Expect to have a lively discussion with a partner, spouse or close friend today. You might even attract someone to you who is very high energy. Take note: You have to go more than halfway when dealing with others today because the Moon is opposite your sign. (That’s how it works.)

Scorpio (Oct. 23-Nov. 21)

You can accomplish a lot today because you are in work mode! You are thinking clear, you have clear objectives, plus you have the energy to follow through on what you want to do. You might also have excellent ideas about how to improve your health.

Sagittarius (Nov. 22-Dec. 21)

This is a marvellous, playful, fun-loving day! Enjoy flirtations and fun getaways. Sports, busy activities with children and the arts will all appeal. Good day to see a movie, or the theatre or socialize with others. Have fun!

Capricorn (Dec. 22-Jan. 19)

You have strong opinions about something to do with home and family today, which is why you will have a strong, purposeful discussion with a female family relative. Basically, you know what you want and you’re willing to state your wishes.

Aquarius (Jan. 20-Feb. 18)

You are mentally alert today, which is why this is an excellent day to study or learn something new. You will also be convincing and proactive in your discussions with others. Short trips and a busy schedule will please you because you are full of energy!

Pisces (Feb. 19-March 20)

Write down your moneymaking ideas today because you are cookin’ with gas! You might also be on a mission if you want to buy something special. You definitely have a lot of energy to lend to matters related to cash flow, earnings and your possessions.

If Your Birthday Is Today

Journalist Christine Amanpour (1958) shares your birthday today. You are outspoken and you love to socialize. You are also a voracious reader. What you learn this year will be crucial for your progress and success next year. This is an excellent year to explore meditation, yoga or any discipline that will help you to get a better understanding of who you are. This is your year of teaching and learning.


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