22 January 2013

How We Relate to History

Yesterday I watched the Inauguration of President Barack Obama on television and thought about the other Inaugurations I had lived through.  Each of of lives and destinies are formed by our families and the land we live in, its government and relationship to the world.  I was born during the middle of President Harry Truman's term in office, yes, I am dating myself.  I was a toddler during the first Inauguration of Dwight D Eisenhower.  The Inauguration of John F Kennedy was the first I truly remember.  These men have influenced me and how I live as have the men who followed them in office.
This made me think of my ancestors.  They immigrated from Europe and did not experience a democracy until they arrived in the USA.  Who were the Presidents when they arrived?  What was happening in the United States?  This would have influenced the lives they lived in, they would be part of this history.  What other historical events happened the year they arrived?
My paternal grandfather, Michael Kolodzinski, arrived in the USA in January of 1908.  Theodore Roosevelt was the 26th President of the USA (William Howard Taft was elected to succeed him in 1909).   Henry Ford produced his first Model "T".  Wilbur Wright flies 30 miles in 40 minutes.  Yes, his history continues to influence my world and life.
My maternal grandmother was Mary Czmur (we thought her maiden name was Smulski but that is a story for another day) immigrated in January, 1901.  William McKinley was the 25th President of the USA when she arrived but in September of that year he was assassinated to be replaced by Theodore Roosevelt.  Queen Victoria of England had died and was succeeded by her son, King Edward IV.  Cuba becomes a US protectorate.  The first Nobel Prize ceremony is held in Stockholm, Sweden. 
My maternal grandfather, Stanley Szostek, immigrated in April of 1907.  Theodore Roosevelt was President.  The RMS Lusitania makes its maiden voyage from Liverpool, England to New York.  Marconi initiates the first commercial transatlantic radio communications.
My maternal grandmother, Mary Inda, was born in Chicago, IL.  Her parents, Jozef and Antonina Inda arrived in April of 1891 and her grandparents, Jan and Anna (nee Schleichert) Inda arrived in May of 1892.  Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the USA.  In 1891, the first escalator is patented, Wrigley Company is founded, Edison unveils the kinescope (a precursor to our motion picture camera), and the first Sherlock Holmes story is published.  In 1892 Ellis Island opens its doors to immigrants, the first official basketball game is played,  Thomas Edison receives a patent for a two way telegraph and the University of Chicago holds its first class.
For my cousins I would also like to add some of their ancestors years of immigration and a bit of history. 
Albert Schleichert (my half brother of Anna Schleichert) immigrated in 1882 and 
Catherine Inda Manicki (sister of Jan Inda) immigrated in June of 1882.  Chester A Arthur was the 21st President of the USA. 
Valentine Inda (cousin of Jan Inda) immigrated in July of 1872.  Ulysses S Grant was the 18th President of the USA.  The Great Chicago Fire was the previous year (no wonder Valentine settled with his family in LaSalle, IL)
Julius Drozek immigrated about 1889.  Benjamin Harrison was the 23rd President of the USA succeeding Grover Cleveland in March of 1889.  North Dakota, South Dakota, Montana and Washington become States.  The Coco-Cola Company is incorporated in Atlanta, GA. 
Paul Porebski immigrated about 1910.  William Howard Taft was the 27th President of the USA. The Boy Scouts of America are founded.  The first filmed version of Mary Shelly's Frankenstein comes out.  The Mexican Revolution begins.
For my Inda cousins having ancestors settling in Waushara County, WI:
Frank Inda immigrated about 1881.  His sister, Josepha Inda Korleski, immigrated in April of 1883.  When Josepha Korleski immigrated with her family Chester A Arthur was President.  Not knowing when in 1881 Frank Inda and his wife arrived it is hard to know who was the President.  Rutherford B Hayes was the President until March of 1881.  He was succeeded by James A Garfield who was then assassinated on 19 Sept 1881.  Chester A Arthur succeeded him.
For my Inda cousins having ancestors being in Michigan and before settling in Arkansas:
Peter Inda immigrated in June of 1868.  Andrew Johnson was the 17th President of the USA.  He was sworn into office upon the assassination of Abraham Lincoln.  The Civil War had ended and it was time of Reconstruction.
For my Inda cousins in who had ancestors settling in Branch County, MI with many moving to Nebraska:  Anthony A Inda immigrated between 1870-1880, his sister, Anna Inda, immigrated about 1873, and brother, Martin Inde,  immigrated about 1874.  Ulysses S Grant was the President.
For my Inda cousins having ancestors settling in Huron County, MI:  Jacob Inda immigrated about 1884.  Chester A Arthur was President of the USA.  The first eight hour work day is proclaimed by Federation of Organized Trades and Unions in the USA.  May 1st is called May Day or Labor Day.
For my Inda cousins in who had ancestors settling in Buffalo, NY:
Peter and his brother, Wojciech (Albert or George) Inda immigrated in 1890.  Benjamin Harrison was President of the USA.  Idaho is admitted as the 43rd State, Wyoming as the 44th.  The Wounded Knee Massacre happens in South Dakota.
For my Inda cousins in who had ancestors settling in Milwaukee, WI and Cheektowaga, NY:  Anthony Inda immigrated in 1887 and his brother, Jacob Inda, in 1893.  Grover Cleveland was the 22nd and 24th President of the United States serving between 1883-1889 and then again from 1893-1897.  Benjamin Harrison was the 23ed President between 1893-1897.
For my Inda cousins in who had ancestors settling in Milwaukee, WI:  Valentine, Michael and Catherine Inda immigrated about 1874.  Their father, Anton Inda, immigrated in 1879.  Ulysses S Grant was President until 1877 when Rutherford B Hayes was sworn into Office.
History was never one of my favorite subjects in school, it was just memorization of dates and events.  When I see how it relates to my family it becomes enthralling!

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