The Dreaded Jake-Leg and Prohibition (History Ctr Column)

In the United States from 1920 to 1933, a nationwide constitutional law, the Eighteenth Amendment, prohibited the manufacture, sale and transportation of intoxicating beverages. It did not outlaw the possession or consumption of alcohol. The Volstead Act, the federal law that provided for the enforcement of Prohibition, had enough loopholes and weaknesses to open the door to countless schemes to evade the “dry” mandate. Several of these schemes flourished in the backwoods, fields and even towns of Bossier Parish and northwest Louisiana. Reports in the local newspapers show that Bossier Pari... Read Full Blog

Hey Knitting Enthusiants! (BPT Column)

The dates don’t necessarily work out to allow for celebrating this next random holiday on the actual date it falls on, but I can’t resist writing about it anyway because it’s tangentially related to knitting which is one of my hobbies. So, without further ado: it seems that since 2008, January 8th has been celebrated as National Argyle Day…at least in Scotland. And why not celebrate it here too?

Argyle, the pattern, is derived from the tartan of Clan Campbell of Argyll in western Scotland. This pattern consists of diamonds in alternating colors, typically only 2 color but nowadays... Read Full Blog

The History of Braille (BPT Column)

Happy New Year! Let me first start by hoping that everyone is experiencing an excellent start 2023. And now on to the first library column of the new year, which is all about the history of Braille in honor of World Braille Day on January 4.

World Braille Day is celebrated every year on January 4 because that day is the birthday of its inventor, Louis Braille. Louis Braille, a Frenchman, lost his sight as a child after an accident with an awl. He was sent to be educated at the Royal Institute for the Blind Youth in France when he was 10; this is where he developed his writing syst... Read Full Blog