A History Lesson With Booze


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The Eerie End of Edgar Allan Poe’s Own Story

This week back in 1849, the great gothic horror writer Edgar Allan Poe headed off on his last business trip. What happened after that remains a mystery... except for the fact that he died. Concoct your own theories after sipping an appropriately dark cocktail from Baltimore's Poe-themed bar.


Photo: Elana Lepkowski, stirandstrain.com

Inventing the Typewriter (and Beginning the ‘Hunt-and-Peck’)

Christopher Latham Sholes’ “literary piano” led to the 1868 invention of the typewriter - and, along with it, the QWERTY keyboard layout. Learn about some of the quirks of Sholes’ device, and then try to type the alphabet while drinking this cocktail.


Photo: Elana Lepkowski, stirandstrain.com

Cold War Corn and Roswell’s Weapon

Back in 1959, Iowa farmer Roswell Garst and Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev struck up a most unusual friendship. Learn how corn helped thaw the cold war (for a time), then shuck this drink.


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Telephone Switchboards Get Their First Female Voice

Telegraph offices were staffed by young boys - but as telephone operators... they were less than a perfect fit. So in 1878, the first woman became an operator, and changed the face - and voice - of an industry.


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The Birth of Swing and the Hep Benny

When Benny Goodman first played swing music, audiences threw bottles at him. We celebrate the moment the crowd came around by getting out some bottles of our own - to make a cocktail.


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The Daguerrotype’s Moment in the Sun

In the 1830s, French artist-chemist-inventor Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre developed the Daguerreotype, a major advancement toward modern photography.


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Donkey Kong Rolls Out

In 1981, Japanese video game company Nintendo couldn't get the rights to the characters they wanted, so they made their own - and ended up with their first American hit.


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An Attempted Demolition of Disco

This week back in 1979, Chicago rock DJ Steve Dahl took revenge on the disco craze by holding a massive disco bash – literally.