The Origin Of The Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

The Christmas tree showcased at the Rockefeller Center, which was erected last Wednesday in a festive ceremony, symbolizes the holiday season in New York. The origin of this annual tradition, however, began at a not-so-merry time period. In 1931, the Great Depression was taking a toll on the U.S labor force, with unemployment at 15.9% (compared to today's four percent). On Christmas Eve, the construction workers building the Rockefeller Center (completed in 1939) had a cause to celebrate: unlike so many others, -they- were getting paid. To celebrate this occasion, the workers put up a 20-foot tall tree decorated with ornaments, right where they would be getting their paychecks: Rockefeller Center. Two years later, a savvy publicist with Rockefeller Center organized the first official tree lighting ceremony, establishing the now well-known tradition and calling the tree “a holiday beacon for New Yorkers and visitors alike.” Ever since then, people from around the globe gather at Rockefeller Center to see the Christmas tree that brightens up Midtown, Manhattan.

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71 Years Ago, The United Nations Votes to Partition Palestine

1947--In the summer of 1947, the SS Exodus set sail from France. On board were over 4,500 Jewish men, women, and children, all displaced persons or survivors of the Holocaust trying to find new lives in the Palestine region. But in their way were British troops trying to keep promises made to the Palestinian Arabs to limit Jewish immigration. The British Navy were waiting at the shores of Palestine, violently forcing the passengers on boats back to Europe where they would be living in British-operated internment camps in Cyprus. The British treatment of these migrants did not go unnoticed; newspapers from around the globe reported on the British action to send the Jews back to Europe. For example, Jewish Telegraphic Agency correspondent, Robert Gary, captured photos of life for the Jews inside these camps. One photo showed Jews having to repair barbed wire fences, which drew comparison to the Holocaust where they would have to do the same thing. An American newspaper ran the headline "Back to the Reich" when reporting on the treatment of the Jews in the camps. All of the reporting quickly drew compassion towards the Jews from the public. The demand for a permanent home for the Jews was growing, and exactly 71 years ago, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine, thus giving the Jews a territory that they could call home which would later be called Israel.

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From Ford to Amazon - Employers Who Care

Amazon's announcement to increase hourly wages to 350k employees has been mightily commended by the press, as was Henry Ford's announcement a century ago, when assembly-line workers were given an unprecedented $5 a day. Ford wanted to ensure a stable employee base, but also wanted his workers to be able afford the products they produced. While Ford saw a short term decline in profits, in the long run it led to increasingly higher revenue. By making it affordable, he repositioned the “motorcar” from a luxury to something every American--including his own workers-- could own.

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Testimony in Congress - Journey from 1991 to 2018

Then (1991) -- Anita Hill testifies in Congress with allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court justice nominee Clarence Thomas. It was the first such hearing of its kind, and thanks to C-SPAN a little-discussed issue was brought to the national discussion.

Now, 27 years later, in the midst of the "Me Too" movement and near-daily exposure of high-profile sexual assault cases, the issue stands to have a permanent impact on every facet of American life. In years ahead, Dr. Christine Ford's testimony will likely be considered as pivotal as Anita Hill's has been since 1991.

   Anita Hill on the left and Christine Ford on the right

Anita Hill on the left and Christine Ford on the right

Last Breath of the Famous Volkswagen Beetle

Volkswagen announced the end of production of its famous Beetle. The last of the Beetle family, the third-generation Beetle will go out of production in 2019 due to waning of nostalgia and sales. To celebrate the vehicle’s rich heritage and iconic cultural standing, VW announced the #VWBeetle Final Edition.

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The Beetle was not just a car, it was a fixture of popular culture, symbol of the free-wheeling ‘60s, the ride of the baby boomer generation, and a true cultural icon.

VW’s Beetle was the center of one of the greatest print campaigns of all times. In the 50s and 60s, when cars were fashion statements, testosterone boosters, and muscles on wheels, VW's Think Small campaign promoted their Beetle to be the exact opposite of the ideal car, and how this was a great thing.

Think Small Campaign Poster