Perhaps you are unacquainted with the California War on Squirrels, 1918. Read about it here in a fascinating story by Dave Gilson at Atlas Obscura: In 1918, California Drafted Children Into a War On Squirrels | Atlas Obscura
We have seen the future, and it’s northwest Iowa.
So says Erika Fry in a disturbing summary of the bird flu outbreak. Read her concise overview at Fortune here: What the worst bird flu outbreak in U.S. history means for farms – Fortune.
A large majority of our ancestors in the United States were farmers, as estimates count the number of farmers as 64% of the population (4.9 million) in 1850, slightly down from the figure of 72% of the population reported in 1820. While the life of my crooked politician is well documented, the lives of so many of my farming ancestors remain a bit of a mystery. They did not often make the county history book or the local newspaper, yet were an essential part of their local economies and deserve some recognition.
So notes genealogist and historian D. Joshua Taylor near the beginning of his fine review of some historical articles on farming history at JSTOR Daily. You can read his entire piece, with links, here: Our Farming Ancestors | JSTOR Daily.
THIS season millions of Americans will celebrate with turkey on the table. The turkey is, after all, the native North American animal that Benjamin Franklin considered “a much more respectable bird” than the scavenging bald eagle. But while the eagle landed on the country’s Great Seal and the turkey gets pride of place at our holiday dinners, neither bird can claim to have changed American culture more than their lowly avian cousin, the chicken.
So begins a fascinating brief history of raising chickens in what became the U.S. You can read the entire New York Times story by Andrew Lawler here: How the Chicken Built America – NYTimes.com.