Monday, June 16, 2008


I'm struggling to make myself read this book because I really, really, really don't want to read the parts about Holmes. Therefore, these questions all relate to preparing for the World's Columbian Exposition of 1893. If somebuddy can come up with questions relating to Holmes, I invite you to do so. This would be hard for me to do since I listened to the audio book. This Holmes is the second psychopath I am reading about this month...also Cathy in East of Eden. They are 'bad seeds' aren't they. What an opportunity for Holmes....people go to the Fair and never return home, and are never heard from again. Communication from other cities would be so much more difficult then than now. He can get away from the murders without even moving around the country. I am reading another book about medical charlatans of the early 20th century, and they were usually traveling to leave their patients behind. Of course their motivation was money, not murder.

3. Did you notice the "water wars"? Because Georgia is currently engaged in what some are calling a "water war" with Tennessee (and because I live in Chattanooga, on the border between the two states), I noticed Burnham's concern about providing clean water to the fair. Georgia's problem is rapid expansion without planning ahead for the water needs of its people; Burnham's problem was sewage threatening Chicago's water supply. Read the section spanning pages 175-176 about the fight to pipe water from Waukesha, Wisconsin, to the fair in Jackson Park. What was the subtle distinction that allowed Burnham to say the water came from Waukesha? I found it very interesting that the Great Lakes were so polluted by the butchery of animals in Chicago that the water wasn't potable. "Water, water everywhere and not a drop to drink"

4. A tiny (four sentence) section at the top of page 181 mentions a pledge recited by school children on Dedication Day. I'd never heard that this was how the Pledge of Allegiance began, had you? Who was Francis J. Bellamy, anyway? (You may have to google or go to Wikipedia to learn more about him. In my research, I discovered that I was two years old when the U.S. Congress recognized the Pledge as the official national pledge.) I will have to go to Wiki to find the answers. I was in the fifth grade when we started saying "under God" in the pledge. In Texas the schools are required by law to say the pledge each day (and the Texas Pledge also).

5. The original Ferris Wheel was bigger than I realized, at "a bit higher than the crown of the ... Statue of Liberty" (p. 185). I'm sure we'll read more about it in later sections of the book, but say something about the size of the thirty-six "cars" on the Ferris Wheel. Did he say 100 people per car?? Please tell me what the capacity actually was.

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