The Rest Is History

Tiny purses, tarot cards, and midcentury kitchens.

By Elizabeth Della Zazzera

Friday, May 31, 2019

June, by Paul Poiret, 1929. Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Christina N. and Swan J. Turnblad Memorial Fund.

• “A Mini History of the Tiny Purse.” (JSTOR Daily)

• From the archives: Prince’s demos of songs he wrote for other artists. (New York Times)

• Seventy-five years later, Canadian historians identify a soldier from archival video of the D-Day landing. (Global News)

• The rise of the box mix: “As fewer women baked bread at home, and flour sales declined as a result, General Mills launched their Betty Crocker campaign in 1924 to encourage women to bake cakes at home, and to do so more often.” (Nursing Clio)

• “Tarot cards are well-known tools for divining the future: why not use them for the past?” (Creative Histories of Witchcraft)

• The 1919 German gay rights film Anders als die Andern (Different from the Others) caused a sensation: “If we are to believe written reports, groups of soldiers stormed out of theaters in disgust, hecklers accompanied showings with derisive cries of ‘Huch nein!’ (‘Gasp, no!’) and ‘aber Schwester!’ (‘But sister!’), and at one showing, someone released live mice.” (JHI Blog)

• Did Erasmus Darwin’s poetry anticipate his grandson’s theory of evolution? (Aeon)

• New York City plans to diversify its public monuments, starting with statues of the transgender rights activists and Stonewall leaders Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera. (Forbes)

• Remembering when avocado fridges were all the rage. (What will the future think of our brushed stainless steel?) (Pictorial)

• A fifty-million-year-old fossil shows fish swimming in a school. Or it shows a pile of dead fish. Hard to say. (New York Times)

• The new Statue of Liberty Museum tells us that “suffragists, African Americans, and Chinese immigrants all criticized the statue as representative of a nation that was not yet free for everyone.” (

Walt Whitman, two-hundred-year-old journalist. (Literary Hub)

• This week in obituaries: historian and journalist Tony Horwitz, the cofounder of Friendly’s, the first black national chief of the American Cancer Society, the man who wrote the book for Pippin, and a conceptual artist who kept her life a secret.