February 16, 1903: A Guest of Honor

In 1901, President Theodore Roosevelt made a politically bold decision when he invited African-American leader Booker T. Washington to have dinner with the Roosevelt’s at the White House. People of color worked in the White House but never before had an African-American man been an invited guest to dinner. Roosevelt received support and rebuke for…

Scott Joplin and the Square Piano

Have you ever had piano lessons? Maybe you are taking piano lessons now. What kind of piano keyboard do you have? A few people have a lovely grand piano. These wonderful instruments are also found in concert halls, churches and schools…that have the SPACE for them. An upright, or vertical, piano is more common in…

September 18, 1899: Copyright of Maple Leaf Rag by Scott Joplin

Setting the Scene: 1899 The Spanish-American war ended. Aspirin was patented. Carnation made its first can of evaporated milk. The first motor-driven vacuum cleaner (gasoline powered!) was invented by J.S. Thurman. A United States patent is issued to Ferdinand von Zeppelin for his “Navigable Balloon.” The first known use of the word “automobile” appeared in…