Quilting Bee, Northern
Blvd., Queens, Courtesy of
the New York Public
Honey Bee with Pollen,
Deborah Read Franklin,
Common-Law Wife of
|The 1908 Play that Popularized |
the Image of America as a Melting Pot,
|Man with a Microchip,|
Spelling matches, unlike almost everything else, blossomed on the postbellum Western frontier (even in mining camps). In fact, they became a principal learning exercise in schools taught by many of those same New England teachers.
The Midwest, by the way, may not have caught on to spin the bottle as soon as New England, but come husking time, some comparable extracurricular activity was clearly going on:
|Red Ears, Courtesy of Chiot's |
“…I don’t see any use in spelling a word right, and never did. I mean I don’t see any use in having a uniform and arbitrary way of spelling words. We might as well make all clothes fit alike and cook all dishes alike. Sameness is tiresome, variety is pleasing” (see FAST FOODS).
Mark Twain, Courtesy of Prints and Photographs
Division, Library of Congress, USZ62-127284
|Ralph Waldo Emerson,|
Charleston at the Capitol,
Courtesy of Prints and
Division, Library of
“In the long ago, when life was simple and milk was 4 cents a quart, social gatherings were frequent among neighbors who competed for honors in spelling…Certainly the indoor sport of spelling bees, so popular in the days when the schoolhouses were painted red, is worth reviving—as an antidote to jazz and frivolity.”
President Eisenhower reminisced with one winner about losing a bee as a boy. Others had the dubious honor of a meet-and-greet with FBI head J. Edgar Hoover.
Calvin Coolidge with the Finalists in the National Spelling Bee,
Courtesy of Prints and Photographs Division, Library of
|Official Portrait of Prez|
Reagan and Veep Bush,
|Ed Sullivan & Two Beatles,|
|84th Scripps Spelling Bee Top Finishers,|
By ScrippsBee, http://www.flickr.com
As if to prove the enforcement of this requirement: Some of the spellers appeared in a feature called “Part-time Spellers, Full-time Kids.” One was the winner of a UNICEF greeting card competition, another was a survivor of Katrina and a third sang in a local rest home. Others lent a hand at a local horse rescue ranch and planned to go to Tanzania to volunteer at orphanage for children whose parents had died of AIDS.
|Mick Jagger & Keith Richards Not |
Necessarily Singing "Loving Cup,"
“...obvious similarity…”; the Scripps National Spelling Bee Bee Week Guide, 6