On this day in 1953, Senator John F. Kennedy of Massachusetts married Jacqueline Lee Bouvier, a photographer for the Washington Times-Herald, at St. Mary’s church in Newport, Rhode Island. Wedding guests numbered over 750 and another 3,000 onlookers waited outside the church. Kennedy was elected U.S. President seven years later, the youngest man to ever take this office.
This Kaleidoscope quilt top was made around 1919 in Newport, Rhode Island. The owner discovered the quilt and others in an old sea chest in his family home, and documented in the Rhode Island Quilt Documentation Project in 1992. From this record: “Owner is unsure of who made this and other quilts found with it, but believes it to be one of three women: Pamela Albro-owner’s great grandmother, Fanny Albro Barker-owner’s grandmother, or Rebecca Barker Dennis-owner’s aunt.”
On this day in 2001, four coordinated terrorist attacks were carried out in the United States by al-Qaeda, an Islamist extremist group. The attacks killed nearly 3,000 people from 93 nations. 2,753 people were killed in the World Trade Center in New York City, 184 people were killed at the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and 40 people were killed on Flight 93 in Pennsylvania.
Rebecca Magnus of Bloomfield Hills, Michigan made this Square in a Square quilt in 2001. She remembers: “I was tying the knots in the last two sections of machine quilting threads when I saw the 2nd plane hit the World Trade Center. This will forever be etched in my mind – where I was and what I was doing.” Magnus documented her quilt through the Michigan Quilt Project.
On this day in 1893, First Lady Frances Folsom Cleveland, the wife of President Grover Cleveland, gave birth to their second daughter, Esther, in the White House. The Cleveland child was not the first baby to be born in the White House; Thomas Jefferson’s daughter Martha Randolph gave birth to her son James Madison Randolph there in 1806.
Louiza Sheardon of Iowa (Cold or Collins) made this Churn Dash Crib Quilt in July, 1893. A note sewn to the quilt reads:
“John W. Phares. This brown calico with the little white and green specks in is a dress of your grand mother Paxton’s mother’s. Consequently it was little Louiza Phare’s Great Great Grand Mother’s dress. I made a present of this little quilt to my name-sake this 3rd day – july 1893 in the 74 year of my age. Your Aunt Lou Sheardon (Shardon?) Copied by Louiza’s Sister (Laura)”
The owner of the quilt, a relative of Mary Louiza Phares, received it as a gift and documented it during the Florida Quilt Project.
On this day in 1781, one of the bloodiest battles of the Revolutionary War took place in Eutaw Springs, on the banks of the Santee River in South Carolina. This was the last major battle of the Revolutionary war to take place in the South and casualties included 500 Americans and 700 British.
Charlotte Evance Cordes hand quilted this wholecloth Tree of Life quilt around 1810 in St. Stephen’s Parish, South Carolina (about 25 miles east of Eutaw Springs). Cordes was the daughter of Major Thomas Evance, and the quilt remained with the family until 1983 when the family donated the quilt to the DAR Museum.
On this day in 1963, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. gave his “I Have A Dream” speech at the Lincoln Memorial.
Beverly Ann White of Pontiac, Michigan made this quilt, titled “View from the Mountain Top” in 1991. White made this quilt to teach students, family, and friends about important heroes in African-American history. The quilt features appliqued and embroidered portraits of Medgar Evers, Thrugood Marshall, Martin Luther King, Jr., Harriet Tubman, Frances E.W. Harper, Sojourner Truth, Mary McLeod Bethune, Frederick Douglass, Ralph Bunche, Booker T. Washington, and W.E.B. Dubois. [Dr. King’s “I've Been to the Mountaintop" speech was delivered on April 3, 1968 in Memphis, Tennessee.] White donated her quilt to the Michigan State University Museum in 2003.
On this day in 1833, Margarethe Meyer Schurz was born in Hamburg, Germany. Schurtz studied education with Freidrich Froebel, the creator of the “kindergarten” concept, then moved to the U.S. and founded the country’s first kindergarten. The program, in Watertown, Wisconsin, lead young children in games, songs and group activities channeling their energy and preparing them for primary school.
Maude Ada Franks Combs made this String Quilt in the 1930’s in Wellington, Texas. The quilt is foundation machine pieced and hand quilted and was one of many that Combs made for her family, teaching her daughter (who now owns the quilt) the “necessary homemaking arts” in the process. Combs’ daughter wrote: “I do not recall at what age she taught me to mark, cut, and string tiny pieces for intricate blocks, but when I was enrolled in kindergarten, I had scissor marks on my right hand and my thimble finger was already bent and I was not even five years old.”
The quilt was documented during the Texas Quilt Search Project and is included in the book Lone Stars: A Legacy of Texas Quilts, Vol. II, 1936-1986, by Karoline Patterson Bresenhan and Nancy O’Bryant Puentes (Austin: University of Texas Press, 1990. It was included in an exhibition by the same name at the 1990 International Quilt Festival, Houston, Texas.
On this day in 1920, the 19th Amendment of the United States Constitution is adapted guaranteeing American women the right to vote. The amendment reads: “The right of citizens of the United States to vote shall not be denied or abridged by the United States or by any State on account of sex” and “Congress shall have power to enforce this article by appropriate legislation.”
Gerry Krueger of Spokane, Washington, made this quilt titled “It’s a Man’s World Unless Women Vote!” in 2011 for the Quilt Alliance contest, “Alliances: People, Patterns, Passion.” Krueger wrote in her artist’s statement: “When seeing the photo of the men facing backward juxtaposed to the photo of the women facing forward, I knew I wanted the suffrage movement to be the theme of my AAQ entry.”
On this day in 1927, American tennis champion Althea Gibson was born in Silver, South Carolina. Despite a challenging childhood spent in the New York City borough of Harlem, Gibson made history as the first African-American tennis player to compete at both the U.S. National Championships (1950) and Wimbledon (1951).
Althea Orr Diament hand pieced and hand quilted this Square Within a Square quilt in 1900 in Cedarville, New Jersey. Her granddaughter now owns the quilt and documented it as part of The Heritage Quilt Project of New Jersey, Inc.
On this day in 1983, Hurricane Alicia formed south of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. Twenty-one deaths and billions of dollars of damage were caused by the storm.
Louisiana quiltmaker Wealthy Alicia Logan Long made this Crazy quilt 100 years earlier (1883). From this Quilt Index record: “Maker had 9 children. The quilt was found between a feather bed and plain mattress on an old brass and iron bed… This is the makers only known quilt.” The quilt is owned by the Parkdotan Plantation and owners documented it as part of the Louisiana Quilt Documentation Project in 1987.
On this day in 1950, Anne Elizabeth Alice Louise, Princess Royal of England, was born to then Princess Elizabeth, Duchess of Edinburgh, and Philip, Duke of Edinburgh. Anne had an interest in pharology, the study of lighthouses, and as a patron of the Northern Lighthouse Board, visited each of Scotland’s 215 lighthouses.
This Lighthouse sampler titled “Beacons of Home” was created by Carol A. Hare of Saginaw, Michigan in 1999. The hand appliqued, embroidered and quilted piece was a gift for Hare’s brother. “The lighthouses represent places in which my brother has lived or worked around the U.S. and Canada and come to from his travels.” The quilt’s label includes a pocket with an insert listing each lighthouse and its location. The owner of the quilt received it as a gift and documented it as part of the Michigan Quilt Project.