Mount Rushmore’s Mysterious Hidden Room

(PCM) The Presidential faces carved into the surface of Mount Rushmore in South Dakota is one of the most recognizable landmark monuments in the United States, but did you know that they contain a bit of mystery as well? There happens to be a hidden room located just behind Abraham Lincoln’s hairline that was planned to be a place where a person could visit and learn everything they needed to know about the history of the mountain, the United States government and more! At one point it was even supposed to house historical documents such as the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

The creation of Mount Rushmore took about 14 years of planning and sculpting by artist Gutzon Borglum, however he feared that once the monument was completed it would later be shrouded in mystery without some sort of explanation as to why the four Presidents depicted for the monument,George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln,  were so influential and chosen to be displayed on the mountainside by the artist.

In an effort to educate visitors about the history of the monument, Borglum planned to include a massive room that he would call the Hall Of Records and have it’s location be a direct part of the monument itself. In 1938, Borglum and his team began blasting away an area that was supposed to become the Hall Of Records, however that work was never completed when funding for the project was shut-down in 1941 when Borglum passed away and the South Dakota government officials declared the project completed.

What ended up being completed was an 18 foot doorway that led to a 75 foot by 35 foot tall room. There is still red paint on the walls that was placed to instruct workers on where to blast and multiple holes from floor to ceiling where dynamite was supposed to be placed. The room is still in place in it’s current condition and is inaccessible to tourists looking to take a peek.

Years later Borglum’s family petitioned the government to complete the room and honor his memory. In 1998, the government agreed and multiple porcelain plaques were laid in the ground at the site of the room that explained the mountains history and Borglum’s artistic vision. It reads:

“I want, somewhere in America, on or near the Rockies, the backbone of the Continent, so far removed from succeeding, selfish, coveting civilizations, a few feet of stone that bears witness, carries the likeness, the dates, a word or two of the great things we accomplished as a Nation, placed so high it won’t pay to pull them down for lesser purposes.

Hence, let us place there, carved high, as close to heaven as we can, the words of our leaders, their faces, to show posterity what manner of men they were. Then breathe a prayer that these records will endure until the wind and rain alone shall wear them away.”

The Hall of Records has since been sealed, but also enclosed are tablets that contain the story of our nation.  According to NationalParksTraveler.com, sixteen porcelain enamel panels containing the text from the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights, along with a biography of Borglum, and the story of the presidents, were sealed in a teakwood box, then placed in a titanium vault, and finally sealed shut under the weight of a 1,200 pound granite capstone inside the unfinished hall.

These artifacts are meant to be buried for thousands of years and when eventually unearthed instruct future civilizations about the history of the United States.

Mount Rushmore’s Mysterious Hidden Room was contributed by a Myth

National Blame Someone Else Day is Celebrated on the First Friday the 13th of Every Year

Friday the 13th is traditionally  a day to safely stay in bed with the covers over your head in order to protect yourself from the horrid bad luck that is sure to come at you on that dreaded day.  …

National Blame Someone Else Day is Celebrated on the First Friday the 13th of Every Year was contributed by Pop Culture Fun Facts.

The Comeback And History Of Christmas Kissing Balls

(PCM) Not to be confused with hanging a mistletoe, Christmas Kissing Balls are medium to large size bunches of evergreens, holly and herbs placed in a spherical shape and hung in the doorways of a home. Some people may add pieces of mistletoe to them as well, as a more recognizable symbol to urge those that pass under to sneak in a kiss.

The history of Christmas Kissing Balls dates back to the time of the Middle Ages where people in villages would wind together twine and evergreen branches in the shape of a ball. They would then place a clay figure of the baby Jesus in the center and they were then known as holy boughs. The villagers would then hang their creations in castle passageways and the doorways of larger homes as a way to ensure blessings and good fortune to whomever passed underneath the holy bough and baby Jesus figure.

During the rule of the Puritans in the 17th through the 19th century any type of holiday decorations were severely frowned upon so that was the end of the holy boughs for quite a bit of time. They ended up making a comeback during the rule of Queen Victoria and during the Victoria era the holy boughs or what is know better known as the Christmas Kissing Ball made a comeback in a much different form.  People would take a potato or apple and tie a pretty ribbon around it as a hanger. Then they would stick sprigs of evergreen, holly and sweet herbs into the potato or apple. The result was a new decoration that was both beautiful to look at and smelled delicious as well.

Various herbs and plants spoke a unique and private symbolic language to Victorians and the various ones chosen for the Christmas Kissing Ball decorations could symbolize anything from love, affection, charity and more. It was by the end of the 19th century that the common Christmas Kissing Ball was born and it now symbolized romantic love during the holiday season. The decorations would be found by the dozens adorning ballrooms and homes. The tradition of adding the mistletoe began when a special Kissing Ball was hung in the center of the room and all unmarried maidens would line-up underneath for a chance to be kissed by an unmarried man.

Slowly, Christmas Kissing Balls fell out of fashion by the 20th century and were replaced by just a single sprig of mistletoe hung over or around doorways, however these gorgeous decorations are beginning to make a comeback in a big way. High-end garden centers and greenhouses are beginning to stock traditional Christmas Kissing Balls once again.  You can even find reusable plastic ones at retailers such as Walmart, Kmart and more. Many people have even gotten crafty and begun making their own. Please see below for some easy step-by-step directions for making a very special Christmas Kissing Ball that we are sure you will treasure for years to come.

  1. Pick up a small to medium size craft foam sphere. Be sure to use craft foam rather than floral foam. The size is a matter of preference.
  2. Straighten out a wire coat hanger, stick it right through the middle of that foam ball and loop one end of the hanger back into the ball to hold it securely on the hanger.
  3. Gather together various holiday greenery such as evergreen sprigs, holly, pine cones, spruce springs and anything else you may want to add.
  4. Hang the foam ball in a place where you can work on it from all sides.
  5. Begin cutting down some of your greenery. You can keep it longer if you would like a larger sized Kissing Ball.
  6. Strip the greenery off a few inches of one side. This will make each branch take up less space in your foam ball so you can fit more pieces in and make a fuller Kissing Ball.
  7. Being placing the greenery directly into the foam ball by stabbing them in place. Keep filling it up until you reach your desired fullness.
  8. To get the pinecones to stay in place attach them to some floral wire.
  9. Once you have completed the greenery, tie a large ribbon around the top and voila! You have a gorgeous hand-crafted Christmas Kissing Ball of your very own!

The post The Comeback And History Of Christmas Kissing Balls also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

The Origins Of The Christmas Ornament

ornaments

(PCM) It is the time of year where we are ready to deck the halls and begin trimming our Christmas trees. For many families this is time for togetherness and one of the most enjoyable aspects of the impending holiday season. The tradition of the Christmas tree as we know it today began here in America in the early 1700’s, however the Christmas tree itself dates back to 15th and 16th century Germany.  Evergreens were used first in church plays at Christmas and were hung with apples to symbolize a Paradise tree. Paradise trees later found their way into homes, where they were adorned with small white wafers, and later, small pastries cut into stars, angels, hearts and flowers.

The custom of the Christmas tree began to spread from Germany throughout the rest of Europe and eventually fully decorated trees were brought to America by German mercenaries who were battling in the Revolutionary War. Due to Puritan influence, Christmas was not fully celebrated in America until later in the 1800’s . Decorated trees did not become widely popular until people saw the ornaments brought to America by families emigrating from Germany and England in the 1840s.

Ornaments were not something that was widely available in America and most were shipped over from Germany. They were incredibly elaborate and often times made out of hand-blown glass, lead, with silk and wool threads. Early Christmas trees were also lit with tiny candles in small brass holders rather than the modern electric lights that we find on trees today. One can only imagine the danger of using actual lit candles on a dry wooden tree. Looks like we can thank dear Thomas Edison once again! 

The early 1800s also saw real fruit used to decorate the Christmas tree as it symbolized items that would grow on trees and also symbolized the regeneration of life looking forward towards the spring season. Each year that passed more and more traditions were added to decorating the Christmas tree. In America they began stringing popcorn and dried cranberries to use as garland around the tree. Small gifts were other items that began to be hung on the trees, sometimes contained in small hand-crafted baskets, in fact these small trinkets became such a popular way to decorate the tree that often times Christmas trees were filled with so many of them you almost could not see the actual tree underneath … sound familiar! 

Folklore and legends also play an important role in the the Christmas tree ornaments extensive. The popular German pickle ornament carries with it a wonderful tale. Pickle ornaments are glass ornaments formed in the shape of a pickle. The German parents used it to judge the most intelligent child in the family. The first one to trace the pickle got an additional gift from St. Nicholas. Other popular ornament designs include stars which represent the Star of Bethlehem which guided the three wise men to Christ, bell which are said to bring back lost sheep to their flock, bows which represent everlasting goodwill and of course wreath’s which represent God’s eternal love. 

F.W. Woolworth, an early American mass merchandiser, began importing German glass ornaments into the country in the 1880s. By 1890, he was reportedly selling $25 million worth of them. According to Wikipedia, the first American-made glass ornaments were created by William DeMuth in New York in 1870 in conjunction with the Corning company most well-known for their collection of glass bake ware. Although glass ornaments are still produced, as expensive good quality ornaments often found at markets, ornaments are now frequently made from plastic and available worldwide in a huge variety of shapes, colors and designs. In 1973 the American Hallmark Company first launched the Keepsake Christmas ornaments that revolutionized the ornament industry as we know it today. Once a collection of decorated glass balls and yarn figures, keepsake ornaments are now found in a wide variety of wood, acrylic, bone china, porcelain and other hand-made materials. 

The post The Origins Of The Christmas Ornament appeared first on The World Of Pop Culture.

‘Price Is Right’ Three-Way Tie Makes History!

price-is-right

(PCM) History was made on the long running CBS game show “The Price Is Right” when not one, but three, contestants each spun a different combination of $1.00 on show’s infamous and colorful big wheel during the episodes Showcase Showdown.

When a contestant spins a combination of $1.00 between two spins they are immediately rewarded with a $1,000 bonus and a chance to spin again. Host Drew Carey appeared amazed when all three contestants each spun a combination of $1.00 in their two spins, delightfully pumping his fist in the air. There have been other ties in the show’s history, however all ties in the past included a contestants spin landing directly on the $1.00 space. Never before have three contestants all added up to $1.00 during the combination of two spins.

The CBS game show has been on the air for the past 45 years, so this is without a doubt an important milestone. The contestant celebrated their big wins by jumping around the stage and embracing one another in a group hug! Congrats!

 

The post ‘Price Is Right’ Three-Way Tie Makes History! appeared first on The World Of Pop Culture.

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