Celebrate Filipino American History Month

Did you know that October is Filipino American History Month? It is celebrated in October because the first recorded Filipinos landed on U.S soil on October 18, 1587. Yes, they arrived on the west coast before Christopher Columbus saw any portion of the Americas. You didn’t know? That’s why you should celebrate Filipino American History Month. Who Came First The Manila Galleon Nuestra Senora de Esperanza commanded by Pedro de Unamuno sent a landing party to the area of the coast now known as Morro Bay, California. They claimed the area for Spain and marked it with a cross made of branches. Native indians attacked the group two days later. Unamuno and his crew gave up exploring the coast any further. First Permanent Settlement History is often murky. But we know that the Manila Galleon Trade thrived and connected Asia, the Americas and Europe for over two centuries. Luzones Indios, natives from the Philippine island Luzon, were among the sailors and indentured servants vital to that network.  During those two hundred years many Luzones Indios escaped to Mexico and parts of the US. In Louisiana, they became known as the Manilamen.  The oldest documentation of Filipinos in St Malo, Louisiana was […]

May the Fourth is More than a Movie Meme

I was a high school senior in Westerville, Ohio, weeks away from graduation, when Kent State became national news for all the wrong reasons. Kent State University, a mere two hours away, was one of the few places of higher education on my list of colleges to consider. That tragic part of history etched itself in my memory. Do you remember May the fourth is more than a movie meme? On May 4, 1970 National Guardsmen opened fire on a crowd of Kent State students protesting the Vietnam War. They killed four and wounded nine. To this day, I still struggle to understand what happened and why. A Simplified Summary of The War The Second Indochina War, more commonly known as the Vietnam war probably began before World War II. But Japan’s invasion, defeat, and subsequent withdrawal from Vietnam left the nation vulnerable.  Communist-leaning, Ho Chi Minh claimed the northern city of Hanoi to be the capital of the Democratic Republic of Viet Nam, and appointed himself president. The French, wanting to reclaim control, backed Emperor Bao Dai. Saigon became the capitol of the state of Viet Nam. They wanted a country with close economic and cultural ties to the […]

When a Department Store was an Experience

Department Stores, they ain’t what they used to be. There was a time when a trip to the department store was an experience. You had a nice meal, you got personal service, and you were pampered. Before department stores came about, upper- and middle-class women didn’t go shopping. Door-to-door salesmen brought their wares to the home. Or servants went to stores for groceries and such. People thought it was too dangerous or risqué for a woman to be on the streets alone. The First The first department store opened in London in 1796. They sold furs, fans, haberdashery, jewelry, clocks, and hats. It was called Howell & Co’s Grand Fashionable Magazine  Macy’s opened in 1878. Department store owners sought upper- and middle-class customers. Everyone else lacked the time or the money to shop at their leisure.  Whoever said that money can’t buy happiness simply didn’t know where to go shopping. — Bo Derek The Experience Aimed at women with money, most stores had elegant tea rooms or full restaurants. The buildings had high ceilings, luxury fixtures, and beautiful views. They had lounging areas, personal assistants to help you shop, and weekly fashion shows. Women loved the freedom that shopping gave […]