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722412.  Wed Jun 23, 2010 7:53 am Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
WWI saw the need to introduce passports to help catch spies and improve security.

Which, if we substitute the word "terrorists" for "spies" is exactly the same reason that our recent right wing Labour government tried to introduce ID cards. Nopthing really changes does it?

722424.  Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:21 am Reply with quote

{rolls eyes}...

722430.  Wed Jun 23, 2010 8:44 am Reply with quote

When I was working in the NHS in Derby, we stumbled across a false identity crime syndicate. Basically the person we hired had purchased the identity of a British citizen who had been murdered in Russia. Apparently this group were either deliberately killing tourists and the poor for their passports or collecting thopse that were dead already.

722463.  Wed Jun 23, 2010 10:44 am Reply with quote

Jenny wrote:
Suze - maybe more Canadians want to travel to the US than Americans wanting to travel to Canada?

That is undoubtedly true - I don't think that I know a Canadian who has never visited the USA. But until last year one didn't need a passport to cross the 49th (and incidentally, the change was at the US's behest, much as Americans seem to complain about it more than Canadians do). As Jenny will know, until then one's driver's license was the usual documentation for travel between Canada and the USA. (I'm unsure on this point; was a driver's license also formerly sufficient for Americans traveling to Mexico?)

But even then, a greater proportion of Canadians than Americans had passports - quite simply, Canadians do travel to (especially) Europe more than do Americans. Undoubtedly that's partly because a fair proportion of Canadians have right of abode in either the UK or France, and a lower proportion of Americans do. I don't think that can be the whole explanation though.

722474.  Wed Jun 23, 2010 11:16 am Reply with quote

You also have the Commnowealth element. Being a Western economy with links to the commonwealth they have a lot of academic and cultural tie ups which the Americans miss out on.

And let's not forget the sight of Sarah Palin standing on the border with her gun at the ready, that's make me want to take more foreign trips...

722529.  Wed Jun 23, 2010 2:22 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
I'm reminded of Canadian Bacon...
Always wondered what CB stood for...

722922.  Thu Jun 24, 2010 8:44 pm Reply with quote

But even then, a greater proportion of Canadians than Americans had passports - quite simply, Canadians do travel to (especially) Europe more than do Americans. Undoubtedly that's partly because a fair proportion of Canadians have right of abode in either the UK or France, and a lower proportion of Americans do. I don't think that can be the whole explanation though.

And of course, Canadians far more than Americans are actually interested in seeing other cultures and peoples.

723031.  Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:23 am Reply with quote

Talking of identity, I was thinking about people who's identity became famous, but wrongly attributed.

One such person was John Hetherington, who is attributde by many as the designer of the top hat even though they'd been around a few short before his name comes onto the scene.

What does seem to be the case is that Mr Hetherington did become one of the first people to wear the top hat in public in 1797 and that this caused such a sensation that he was arrested for breach of the peace on account that he "appeared on the public highway wearing upon his head what he called a silk hat (which was shiny luster and calculated to frighten timid people)..... several women fainted at the unusual sight, while children screamed, dogs yelped and a younger son of Cordwainer Thomas was thrown down by the crowd which collected and had his right arm broken". He was fined 50 and a by law introduced for the City of London banning the wearing of top hats.

This John Hetherington may well have been the father of Henry Hetherington who was a leading Chartist and published a number of radical newspapers during the 1830s.

723039.  Fri Jun 25, 2010 8:57 am Reply with quote

Sounds a bit like Mary Quant and the mini-skirt. She didn't invent the idea, but was instrumental in popularising it.

Although in Hetherington's case he seems to have done the opposite of popularising.

723063.  Fri Jun 25, 2010 10:05 am Reply with quote

CB27 - we tried to track that top hat story down to a good source for the series just recorded (H being for Hats), but we couldn't find one. Where do you reckon that account comes from originally?

It doesn't look very probable, on the face of it, but that doesn't make it wrong.

723071.  Fri Jun 25, 2010 11:03 am Reply with quote

From looking around the first mention seems to be in "Notes and Queries" from a report in 1899 called "THE FIRST SILK HAT IN LONDON". They'll probably have a copy online, and if suze isn't a member she might know someone who is who might be able to get a copy (I understand it's on page 325?). There are other publications from that year with the same story.

In 1927 it was reported in the Dearborn Independent as having been reported in "Hatters' Gazzette" from January 16 1797. Not suer if the British Library might be able to provide a copy, I know the magazine existed, but not sure if it was around at that time or not.

Link to Dearborn Inrependent (top right)

The story was repeated within weeks in "The Canberra Times".

As for the bylaw itself, that needs searching...

723161.  Fri Jun 25, 2010 2:47 pm Reply with quote

Thanks. We found the 1899 source, but didn't fancy it much as

1) it was 100 years after the event, and

2) there are records of the top hat being worn in the early 1790s, 4 or 5 years before this is supposed to have happened.

I don't think we heard of this Hatters' Gazette source before now, though, so maybe that's the route to follow.

723490.  Sat Jun 26, 2010 5:20 pm Reply with quote

I'm sure he didn't invent the Top Hat, I'm just curious about the story of him being arrested for wearing one and that different stories have him as a haberdasher or a tailor.

Henry Hetherington had a father called John who was a tailor in London, and Henry was born in 1792, which would make his father about the right age for this character. Considering Henry's writings in later years I wonder whether this story might have come about as a story of "irony" or perhaps even an attempt at a smear.

787812.  Mon Feb 14, 2011 8:18 am Reply with quote

Resurrecting an old thread and changing directions slightly, I was thinking about how some people's "identities" are mostly known through association with places and events.

One such person is Wilmer McLean, who was the owner of McLean House in 1865 when General Robert E. Lee surrendered to General Ulysses S. Grant in the parlour. The house was also used over the next few days as a meeting place for the Surrender Commission.

Though this site is preserved and widely celebrated, this is not the only property owned by Wilmer McLean which had such importance for the war.

Several years earlier, in 1861, Wilmer and his family were living 120 miles north of McLean House, in Manassas, when the battle of Fort Sumter took place.

Though this battle is recognised as the first battle of the war, it was merely a skirmish, and the only two recorded deaths occured after the battle, during the 100-gun salute to the U.S. flag some cartidges blew up and killed two soldiers.

Reactions to the battle of Fort Sumter led to the first recognised major land battle of the war, and an attempt by the Union Army, led by McDowell, to attack the Confederate Army, led by Beauregard.

Beauregard made his headquarters at the Yorkshier Plantation, which was owned by Wilmer McLean, and was actually having breakfast with the McLean family when they were shelled, including one canonball that fell directly through the kitchen fireplace, ruining their meal.

No surprise that McLean decided to move home not long after, hoping to escape the war, little did he know his new one would be involved too. He was attributed as saying "The war began in my front yard and ended in my front parlor".

787834.  Mon Feb 14, 2011 9:04 am Reply with quote

I was also going to mention Richard Parker, but he's been mentioned elsewhere on this site.


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