Short and Sweet: What Happened in 1912?

Postcard from the archives of Grandma Fanny M. Longenecker
Postcard from the archives of Grandma Fanny M. Longenecker

History buffs and Downton Abbey devotées know that 1912 is the year of the sinking of the Titanic.

What Else Happened in 1912?

On the world scene   

Woodrow Wilson elected President

Japan sends 3020 cherry trees to the United States

First neon sign appears in Paris advertising a barber shop


American Inventions

Lysol disinfectant manufactured

General Electric invents and distributes plastics

Electric blanket invented


Whitman’s Sampler creates one of America’s best selling chocolates


Toy surprises are put into Cracker Jack boxes

Lane Company begins manufacturing cedar chests

On the market in 1912: Sun Maid Raisins, Hellman’s Real Mayonnaise



“When Irish Eyes are Smiling”

“My Melancholy Baby”



First Kewpie doll

First Lionel racing cars

A Page from Longenecker History

Vagabond poet Vachel Lindsay encountered the farm of John G. Longenecker, an ancestor who bucked Pennsylvania tradition geographically and moved to Kansas. Here is the poet’s impression of his experience with the Longeneckers, lifted from the pages of Pitchforks and Pitchpipes by Esther Longenecker Heistand:


What do you remember from 1912? (If you send an answer, I’m going to go hide!)

What is your most memorable moment in 2016?


43 thoughts on “Short and Sweet: What Happened in 1912?

  1. I am not usually a negative person, but I can’t wait to see the back of 2016. Too many bad things have happened. I can only hope that 2017 will give us better experiences and memories to treasure. Have a wonderful end of year. 💜

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh, Fatima, I think many agree with you; I know I do for many reasons. It seems we all took a wild ride on this spinning planet. Why can’t we learn to be nice and kind, I wonder.

      A quote from Anne Lamott sits on my desk now: “Books show us what community and friendship mean and they show us how to live and die.” So do people who live such an example.

      My good wishes back to you. I love the purple heart!

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Many things happened in 1912. Did the world have any idea that a terrible war was approaching? I love the page from Longenecker History!! My family would have just been settling into their new home in Canada as they immigrated from South Russia in 1911. It would be so great to know how they felt and what they were thinking.
    Memorable moment in 2016, doing a presentation on my books and writing in my home town, at the Medicine Hat Library and later reading at my great-granddaughter’s school.
    Have a fabulous 2017! At least you won’t be moving house.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great post, Marian! I loved reading all of the happening in 1912. Ah… the Whitman’s Sampler. I remember my mother getting upset with me and my sister when we pinched all of her candy. 🙂
    This year has been full of memorable moments, but seeing my loved ones read my book dedication was one of the best.
    Wishing you and your family peace and joy in the new year! xo

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Your Whitman’s Sampler story reminded me that my sisters and I stole extra candy from Great Grandpa Sam. He was blind, which added another twist to the crime.

      Readers, Jill is a paralegal by day and an about-to-be-published writer, which consumes her nights and weekends. She write of love, friendship, and forgiveness in Second Chance Romance:

      I have a feeling 2017 may be your best year yet, Jill.

      Liked by 2 people

  4. Good morning, Marian! Another fine post!
    I’m hoping that what seems most memorable from this past year–in a horrible way–proves to be insignificant. It’s unfortunate that November’s event overshadows everything when I experienced so many wonderful moments in this past year–such as meeting you! I’ve really done so many fun things this year, and I’ve had a chance to be with people I love.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s good to concentrate on the positive at year’s end as you’re doing now. You have ended the year as you’ve begun: Paying attention to my blog here and on Twitter. I am very blessed with such support. Thank you and Happy New Year to you and Doug!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. The world changes daily and not always for the good, but there is good happening and we should all try to move in that direction. I love this post because it brings the good to the forefront. I especially like the Whitman’s chocolate post. I just opened a box yesterday and it does carry me back to some wonderful times. I hope 2017 will bring us a year for the good. Thank you for sharing and reminding me that, there is always hope. :o)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. The Whitman’s chocolate image doesn’t do the box justice. I remember a fluted edge with an image of stitchery printed on the top. Yes, i n2017 we’ll be on a hunt for the good, you and I. Thank you, Patricia.


  6. These unique, rich historical nuggets remind me that each day we could be involved in making something memorable happen to improve individuals and our world at large. For me, 2016 had unusual adventure and relationship building and I look forward to more challenging opportunities for personal growth & accomplishment.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. As I’ve followed your postings on Facebook, I can agree that you have had a rewarding year traveling and strengthening family connections. I look forward to actually meeting you in January. 🙂


  7. What a great post. Looking back at history and everything that happened and how people came through. Gives hope to our new year and brace ourselves for the unknown and know that this to shall pass. That was one of moms great comfort sayings to me. I know you hurt but this too shall pass.

    I just got the rug pulled out from under my feet with my location for restaurant. I thought we were meeting to sign contract we had check in hand to hear that they are no longer rent us the space because they need it for storage. Months of work thousands of dollars in equipment and patenting name and registering it. A week from getting permits to start converting the place. Now it’s back to the drawing board. Shocking and painful. I just have to keep my head up eyes to him that makes my every step. Let’s see where he’s taking me.
    Hope you had a merry Christmas that you have a very happy new year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Gloria, I am amazed that you are writing here after the upheaval you have experienced today. I will accept this as a call to pray for you. Apparently God has something different (and probably better) for you. This morning I read the words of Winston Churchill which another writer posted: “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” You are not a quitter, and I will specifically pray for courage, stamina, and wisdom for you and all concerned.

      My your 2017 hold many happy surprises!


  8. Marian — My maternal grandma was born in 1913 so this juicy post gave me an exquisite look at what was happening in the world in that timeframe. And the newspaper clipping about Vachel Lindsay’s experience at the Longenecker farm — I enjoyed his use of language.

    Like one of your other readers (salpa58) so aptly pointed out: “I love this post because it brings the good to the forefront.”

    My memorable moments in 2016:
    April—teaching at the Writers’ Institute UW-Madison
    May—3 weeks in Europe
    Nov—book release and launch

    Liked by 1 person

  9. My two most memorable moments were the births of my 3rd and 4th grandsons (plus the backstories that make them so memorable for me)
    –3rd grandson: in the dead of winter I sped to a big city hospital, 2.5 hours away, dashed to their labor room and knocked, where a nurse kindly said to wait just a few minutes; I heard a baby crying never suspecting it was ours already; when the nurse finally left me in, there was grandson #3, Henry, staring out at the world and me! He came so fast. (I had plenty of time to help with labor for his older brother James, grandson #2, born a few years earlier.)
    –4th grandson; in the heat of summer, my husband (recently retired) and I both rushed 5 hours where I hoped to help our daughter and her husband through labor; (work commitments had not allowed me to get there in time to watch the first grandchild, Sam, come into the world). We were bracing for a long labor and daughter was at the point of feeling she needed to ask for an epidural, when the labor nurse said, hey, the baby is almost ready to come, just a few pushes. Well it took more than few pushes but Tanya was awesome and so was baby Owen when he pushed out not three hours after labor began.
    These were the great highlights of our year!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Proud Grandmama you, Melodie. Childbirth seems very natural for your daughters. Henry and Owen are obviously in good hands. I hear the joy in your voice as you recount their stories here.

      Our first two grandsons, who both turned 13 this year, were born 7 weeks apart in Chicago. I remember the awkwardness of doing a presentation at a literary conference, knowing my daughter was in labor with Patrick while I was miles and miles away. I also missed Curtis’ birth.

      Years later in Jacksonville, we were having a birthday party for Sarah who was on hospital bedrest when labor pains ensued three months early. After a nurse came to check her, she was whisked out of the room on a gurney. Thus we, left in a room with balloons and party-ware, awaited the birth of Ian, who spent months in neonatal care. Like you, we feel blessed with grand-children, all healthy.


  10. Lovely nuggets of history Marian thank you! Loved the story of Vachel Lindsay and his coming across the Longenecker farm! And, what would a fridge be without its Hellmans!

    The most memorable moment for me this year – well, they’re many but right now we’re a family. Both sons are here, my younger with his lovely newish wife. My husband’s sister and husband from the US were with us for 5 very short days over Christmas; and though she arrived a little unwell, she recovered 110%. A very happy time was and is being had by all!

    It would be tardy of me to not mention that my book (in collaboration with another Susan) is completed! Almost – . The last several months were taxing to say the least …but, as they say in the classics, no pain, no gain.

    Roll on 2017 – may this be the year that we wake up finally and see the possibility of peace within and without. May our prayers be heard –

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I have followed your unfolding family story with your son’s marriage and the travail birthing that book with another Susan. I guess you are midwives for one another in a sense. 🙂

      My outlook has always been pacifist, and so I join you in prayers for peace, if only embraced as a possibility. May you have a pleasant, productive new year!


  11. When I pick up my mother-in-law’s prescriptions at the pharmacy, they do a double-take when I give her birthday as January 24, 1916. Nope, that’s the year she was born. My parents were born in 1915 and survived a depression and a few wars. Thanks for reminding me that we’ve had politics, chocolates, love songs, and Longenecker’s living a peaceful and resourceful life for a long time. Wishing you and yours a Peaceful and Kind New Year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Mother-in-law Virginia has become sensational news of late and will continue to do so into the new year. And all of this pivots on your decision to forgive years ago, one you will never regret.

      You typed Peaceful and Kind as big as the words New Year. Let’s hope 2017 moves us closer to that wish. Thank you, Elaine!


    1. Who knew the various ways Vachel Lindsay’s family intersects with Mennonite lives! I think you are with little people this week, so special thanks for taking the time to enlighten us with this detail.

      Thanks too for sharing my post with your Facebook friends. 🙂
      May 2017 bring many happy surprises to you and your family!


  12. I might be very old but even I don’t remember 1912 . What memorable things happened that year. ,so interesting.
    What sticks firmly in my mind for 2017 sounds nothing to most folks but it was my visit to Birmingham , to meet my son , on the train from Aberystwyth. I simply loved it even when I missed the train back and we spent an hour on a bench waiting for the next one , during that time we got to know each . Back home in the Midlands we were like cat and dog , so it was good to meet up and enjoy👍✨

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You are the very first to comment on my dopey comment at the end – ha! Your story of you and your son’s encounter at the train 🚂 station gave me chills. You are in a good place now!


  13. What a dramatic way to express how many of us feel about the outgoing year. For consolation, I have to look at pages in my gratitude book.

    May 2017 treat you well, Debby. I mean it! 🙂


  14. Oh — I love the extract about the farm hand! Life seemed simpler then. The highlight of my year was moving house.

    Wishing you – and us all – much love and light in the coming year.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You and I share this exhilarating/frustrating/energy-sapping experience. We moved ourselves from one address to another. I seem to remember it was your parents you moved, but I may be wrong. Either way, it’s good to have the transition over with. Agree?

      All the best in 2017. Love and light is a wonderful way to express it. Thank you, Fiona.


  15. 1912 was a traumatic year for my city. The Titanic sailed from here and most of the crew were from Southampton. Very few streets were untouched by the loss and the city still remembers them with a whole trail of memorials and monuments. 2016 had many memorable moments but a fleeting glimpse of the aurora borealis stands out.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. This was fun! I don’t remember 1912, although if I try to dream about it I bet something will crop up. 2016- each year is beautiful in its own way and I feel that we, and I, need to find joy in every minute, even when this horrible election was going on, even with the horrible results; in our daily life we laughed with our children and grandkids, we wrote reams and reams of stories, and we dreamed of love and joy in the present and the future. Because really, each of our ordinary moments matters.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A balanced view, Pamela. I believe if the rough spots in 2016 have taught us anything is that we can live above them. And I mean ABOVE them: treasuring the love and joy in what we consider our ordinary lives.


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