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Boston Globe

  • Originally published 07/22/2013

    JFK Library releases Hemingway scrapbooks

    “At 8 o’clock on the morning of July 21st. 1899 Ernest Miller Hemingway came to town wrapped in a light blue comforter. It was a very hot morning. The sun shone brightly and the Robins sang their sweetest songs to welcome the little stranger to this beautiful world.”So begins the first of five lengthy scrapbooks that Grace Hall Hemingway used to document in meticulous detail the life of her son Ernest, from his birth until he turned 18.On Sunday, to mark the 114th anniversary of Hemingway’s birth, the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, which holds nearly all of the author’s manuscripts, will make digital versions of the scrapbooks available online for the first time, offering an unprecedented view of his childhood. The library’s website — www.jfklibrary.org — directs users to the Hemingway collection....

  • Originally published 05/10/2013

    Jonathan Zimmerman: The Prom -- An American Relic

    Jonathan Zimmerman teaches history and education at New York University. He is writing a history of sex education around the world.In 1954, American Girl magazine published a book of beauty tips for young women. It included helpful suggestions about preparing for the ultimate American beauty contest: the high school prom.“This is the moment to slip into your dress . . . Put your hair in place again, fasten your necklace or bracelet, and step into your pumps,” the book advised. “And wheee! Look now! There really is another you in the mirror. A you that is practically exuding a subtle new fascination, a wonderful femininity.”I’ve been thinking about this passage as I watch my own daughter get ready for prom, which seems like a relic from another age. And maybe that’s the whole point of it. In a time of enormous flux and ambiguity in gender relations, this ritual returns us to a time when men were men and, yes, women were women.The first recorded reference to a prom is from a student at Amherst College, who wrote in 1884 about attending prom at nearby Smith. But as more Americans joined the middle class, prom left the elite precincts of private colleges and filtered into the nation’s burgeoning secondary schools....