Abraham Lincoln created the in 1862. At that time about 90 out of every 100 Americans were farmers. Today, that number has shrunk to just 2 out of every 100 Americans.
Today it doesn't take as many people to work on farms as it once did. In the 1830s, 40s and 50s when pioneers first settled Iowa's rich prairie lands, most farms were just 80 acres. That was as much land as most pioneer farmers could take care of. By 1900 many Iowa farms were larger than 80 acres, and most farming was done with simple machines and horses.
A native of southeastern Pennsylvania, she earned her undergraduate degree in Environmental Education traveling throughout the western regions of United States with the Audubon Expedition Institute. Throughout her twenties she worked on organic farms in the Northeast operating as CSAs (Community Supported Agriculture), and for the last decade she's tended the soil on her homestead in Vermont. Hence her work is often obsessively concerned with place, the fate of landscapes, agrarian ideals, and stories that track things from germination through their harvest and beyond. The former Director of Writing Studies at Sterling College, she's a contributing editor to Yankee Magazine and contributing writer for She has also written for BELT, American Forests, Burlington Free Press, Northern Woodlands, Stowe Guide, The Magazine, and Vermont Life among others. A portfolio of her journalism is . Interviews with Julia and episodes exploring her thoughts on craft are included in: and and .
This business was an important part of the local economy well into the 1900s. The shrimp were harvested by fishermen who brought them to platforms in communities such as Manila Village. The processed shrimp were exported to Asia, Canada, and Central and South America.
Out of the shuddering reeds and banneretted grass on either side rise the fantastic houses of the Malay fishermen, posed upon slender supports above the marsh, like cranes or bitterns watching for scaly prey. . . . All are built in true manila style, with immense hat shaped eaves and balconies, but in wood; for it had been found that palmetto and woven cane could not withstand the violence of the climate. Nevertheless, all this wood had to be shipped to the bayou from a considerable distance, for large trees do not grow in the salty swamp. The highest point of land as far as the "Devil's Elbow," three or four miles away, and even beyond it, is only six inches above low-water mark, and the men who built those houses were compelled to stand upon ladders, or other wood frame-work, while driving down the piles, lest the quagmire should swallow them up. . . . There is no woman in the settlement, nor has the treble of a female voice been heard along the bayou for many a long year. Men who have families keep them at New Orleans, or at Proctorville, or at la Chinche. . . . There is no liquor in the settlement, and these hardy fishers and alligator-hunters seem none the worse therefore. [They] live largely upon raw fish, seasoned with vinegar and oil. (Hearn 1883)
Male and female dancers explain that the best performances are those that seamlessly combine Spanish with Filipino dance movements and steps, and that graceful hand gestures are very important because they convey a great deal of the interaction between the woman and her suitors. Catherine Moreau danced la simpatico at the Asian Heritage Festival and at the Philippine Independence Day celebration. She learned it from Elsie Tuazon, who has taught many younger dancers and is valued in the community as someone who keeps traditions alive. Catherine acknowledges that national pride is a primary reason that dance remains important to Filipinos and that she feels the importance of the dance to the audience when she performs for a Filipino group, but she also expresses feelings of joy in movement and in community with other Filipinos and with other dancers:
Balance is extremely important-not only do the dancers each balance three objects, but having both hands occupied means that, if the lamp on the head seems to be slipping, there will be no free hand to right it. In some performances, practiced dancers will balance the lamps on the backs of the hands rather than the palms, requiring an even higher level of expertise. Dancers demonstrate their skill in managing the lamps, especially as they carry out fast whirling turns, move low to the ground, and even roll on the dance floor without dropping their lamps or setting anything aflame. Seasoned dancers enjoy sharing humorous tales of near-disaster from the times when they were learning this dramatic and challenging dance.
It is impossible not to get caught up in the great enthusiasm of the crowd during the dance performances at the annual Philippine Heritage/Independence Day commemorations, at parties after saints' day or feast day observations, or at other Filipino festivities. Dance is an important component of these, and of most, Filipino celebrations. The audience can seem to be one large, boisterous family when everyone is clapping in time to the music, urging success to their favorite suitor in la simpatica, cheering as fire and water are expertly maneuvered through pandanggo Sa ilaw or binasuan, or laughing along with the dancers when they manage a dangerous move in the bangko or tinikling.
The Philippine Heritage Celebration is held on or near Philippine Independence Day each year. When Independence Day occurs on a weekday, regular work schedules must still be maintained, so it is celebrated either the weekend before or after June 12. In 2008 the festivities, sponsored by the New Orleans Filipino American Lions Club but organized and attended by Filipinos who were both members and non-members, opened with an invocation by Deacon Patrick Dempsey. In his opening prayer, the island-loving priest of Irish descent declared, with enthusiastic sympathy, "We are all Filipino!" This was followed by the United States Pledge of Allegiance, then the United States and Philippine national anthems, and finally a song of importance to all Filipinos, one that is learned by everyone at an early age. Robert Romero, the president of the Filipino-American Lions Club, explains the importance of this song, called "Ako Ay Pilipino" ("I am a Filipino"), and also discusses the importance of gathering together as Filipinos to remember and celebrate freedom, culture, and community:
The Pasion, an enduring Lenten ritual, is the singing, in Tagalog, of the Kasaysayan ng Pasiong Mahal ni Hesukristong Panginoon Natin (Account of the Sacred Passion of our Lord Jesus Christ).(2) The songbook is over 200 pages long, and the ritual song takes many hours to complete, sometimes it may be almost an entire 24-hour period and sometimes the song is sung to a faster tempo in order to be completed within a specific timeframe. The melody is not strictly set; it may be traditional but also may be altered to include modern tunes, and there is room for improvisation. The sung story begins with the Book of Genesis and includes the story of Noah, the birth of Mary, and the life of Jesus. However, accounts may include Old Testament figures such as Moses and David, and also stories important to Filipino legend such as St. Helen's search for the true cross. The story also includes moral lessons and recommendations for proper living.
One large problem that occurred because of apartheid and was the cause of many protests was from 1961-1994, 3.5 million colored people and their families were forced out of their homes while their property was sold for very low prices to white farmers.