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Archive for the ‘History’ Category

When last we left Ellen Tilton Holsmen, she had just finished scandalizing Reno while waiting for her quickie divorce. After all, shorts and bare feet on a pretty lady going about town (in 1934) just weren’t normal. And she wore slacks to a courtroom.

But she wasn’t finished.

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Today let’s look at a colorful character from 1934. Ellen (Mildred) Tilton Holmsen was a bona fide member of society’s elite, even appearing in the Social Register.

Well, at least she did before she came to the public’s attention.

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More Barefoot Sailors

When I wrote about Barefoot Sailors, the example I used was the Spanish-American war (during the blockade of Cuba). It really only showed those sailors doing their exercises on deck in bare feet.

But what about real sailing (as opposed to powered) ships?

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Barefoot Sailors

We somehow often think of sailors as barefoot. I imagine that comes from the movies we’ve seen.

But is it accurate?

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More Gym Shoes

Yesterday we looked at what WWII shoe rationing did to gym classes at the Alton School District. That was 1943.

How about we take a look at some insanity from 1982?

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Getting Your Daily Shoe Rations

Last week we found out about attorney and judge Tom Smiley, who used the shoe rationing of World War II to “patriotically” go barefoot.

Let’s look at another effect of the rationing.

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Saving Soles

When I wrote about Dirty Feet, it generated a comment (a question really) asking what I did to maintain them.

Here’s the answer.

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Another “Barefoot Boy”

It seems there are a few folks who want to claim to be John Greenleaf Whittier’s “Barefoot Boy”. One of those was Hans Peter Bertelsen.

Add to that Francis D. Marston.

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The Archetype

I came across this newspaper column from 1966 that I think pretty much sums up and explains why going barefoot is so reviled by so many. It illuminates all too well the mindset of those who put up so many roadblocks back in the 1960s, and who continue to do so today.

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Did you know that there used to be a “National Barefoot Freedom Week”? It was officially designated for the years 1959 through 1966, inclusive, and, from what I can tell, ran from the Saturday through Saturday that included October 1st.

But before you read further, you need to lower the gain on your irony meters.

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While on the island of Chiloé we visited two of the historical centers in Ancud, the island’s northernmost city. Just as it is for most places, there were a lot of barefooted people there in the past.

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Convicted for Barefoot Driving

During the mid-1960s into the 1970s, there were so many kids going around barefoot that of course the question of the legality of barefoot driving came up. And when we point out today that that it is legal in all 50 states, we’ll sometimes get someone saying, “Well, it may be legal now, but it used to be illegal.

And you sure could get arrested for and convicted of it.

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A Helmet in Hawaii

I think most barefooters are aware of how relaxed Hawaii is (or at least, was) regarding going barefooted.

But how relaxed was that?

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Why Not Risk Being Caught Barefooted?

That’s the title of a very interesting essay that appeared in the Cedar Rapids Gazette in September of 1951. It was the subject of a regular column called My America by a man named Harry Boyd.

I think it did a pretty good job of hitting the high points.

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The Hat Crusade

In a comment to the post Peer Pressure, incu noted that just the fact that we have a blog about going barefoot, and not hatless, shows how different barefooting is.

The funny thing is, during the last 1890s, there actually was a “Hat Crusade”.

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