Categories
History

5 of the Weirdest Royal Jobs

Royalty certainly has its perks when it comes to access and wealth. You’d be surprised how this even extends to eccentric jobs in the council. The Queen employs many people for specific tasks that you may find a bit ludicrous. Here are 5 of the weirdest royal jobs.

Keeper of the Queen’s Stamps

Yes, the Queen actually has a stamp collector. The Royal Philatelic Collection (aka the Queen’s stamps) has been under the watchful eye of Michael Sefi since 2003. He’s an avid stamp collector himself. While you might think this is a dull job, it’s the opposite. He gets to travel internationally and track down different stamps in various countries. 

Piper to the Sovereign

Queen Victoria created this position. Sure, the piper is used for special events, but day-to-day, they need him as a wake-up call. He plays the bagpipes every morning at 9 am for 15 minutes. I can just imagine the ear ringing from that loud instrument. 

The Queen’s Flag Sergeant

Just imagine having a job where you have to raise the flag when she’s absent and lower it when she’s home. The flag sergeant has to do this for all of her residences. Interesting, right?

Master of the Queen’s Music

Now, this seems like a fun title. A 10-year residency “DJ”. Not only does the current music master compose songs for the Queen’s special events, but she’s the one that updates her streaming accounts with a new playlist. Pretty cool. 

The Royal Shoe-Wearer

One of the Queen’s wardrobe staffers is responsible for breaking a new shoe in so the Queen can feel more comfortable. Just imagine getting to wear an exclusive pair of Louboutins for a few days before anyone else has seen it. That would definitely be a fashion stylist’s dream. 

Categories
History

5 Rules to Follow for Attending a Royal British Wedding

If you thought meeting the Queen had its own set of rules, a royal wedding goes above and beyond. Some of the guidelines have changed over centuries, but a lot of the foundation remains the same. Here are 5 rules to follow for attending a royal British wedding. 

Don’t Expect the Queen to Attend If You’re Divorced

While this might sound petty, this goes back centuries. Remember, the Queen is the Supreme Governor of the Church of England. However, she can always waive the status quo. 

Women Who Attend The Wedding Must Wear Hats 

Of course, it was proper etiquette for royal women to wear hats every day. They adjusted this rule for modern times. However, royal weddings still require women to sport a quality hat to the event. 

Royal Brides Were Once Required to Wear Red 

Of course, this all changed during Queen Victoria’s time. She changed it to white to represent her purity and it made the lace more visible on the dress.

The Wedding Breakfast Isn’t Breakfast

Basically, the seated formal meal is called a “wedding breakfast.” This could be at noon or in the evening. 

British Royals Couldn’t Marry Catholics Until 2013

There was a Catholic-Protestant feud due to Henry VIII’s daughter Mary ascending to the throne in 1553. During her five-year tenure, she wanted to restore Catholicism back to England. However, she burned hundreds of religious people, which caused many Protestants to call her “Bloody Mary.”

The Succession to the Crown Act of 2013 allowed British Royals to marry Catholics. 

Categories
CH_Lifestyle History

5 Things That Made Al Capone’s Prison Cell Luxurious

When you’re thinking about a prison cell, a grimy toilet and an uncomfortable cot come to mind. However, some big-time gangsters had privileges even in jail. Here are some things that made Al Capone’s prison cell swanky. 

Elegant Reading Lamps and Writing Desks

He had the type of reading desk you’d see in a Victoria-era home. The other side of the room had a hand-carved writing desk.

The Exotic Tiki Bar

He might have had a bottle of wine or two smuggled in the prison, but he had a Tiki bar all set up for him. While it’s not as great as his $8.5 million digs in Miami, it was still a cool touch.

He Had It Good in His Cell in Atlanta

While the Eastern State digs were top-notch, the Atlanta one wasn’t too shabby either. He was able to have frequent visitors and his family nearby. 

He Had A Victrola Record Player

Having a record player back then is like having a nice tablet these days. He often liked listening to Waltz records. You could hear it throughout the penitentiary.  Obviously, this was a great escape from being imprisoned. 

Capone Stayed On the “Park Avenue” Block

Due to Capone’s large net worth, he could stay in one of the better cells. The area of prison he moved around in had two skylights on the roof. Even though he couldn’t leave, it was certainly nice to see the beautiful sky if he wanted to do so. 

Categories
History Inspiring

5 Good Things the Mafia Did

We often hear about all of the crazy and epic stuff they do to harm others. However, mafia people are humans, too. Some of them have done some compassionate things. Here are 5 good things the mafia did. 

Yakuza Helped Earthquake Victims

After a massive earthquake and tsunami hit Japan in 2011, the Yakuza stepped into action. They provided water, food, and emergency relief to many people. Some thought it was a ploy to get the Japanese government off their back for a while. However, some of the Yakuza genuinely wanted to help when the government wouldn’t. 

Gregory Scarpa Helped Battle the KKK

Scarpa was a ruthless enforcer from the Colombo family, but the FBI put his skills to use for the greater good. The FBI had a challenge trying to find three missing civil rights workers in Mississippi. Scarpa was on the job and used his brash tactics to interrogate some KKK members into giving the whereabouts of the workers. 

Michael Franzese Became a Motivational Speaker 

Franzese was one of the richest mobsters in New York City. He had a huge gasoline bootlegging operation, but it crashed in 1985 when he got arrested. He was sentenced to 10 years in prison but hit the ground running when he got out. However, he used that experience to write a book called “Quitting the Mob” and now speaks to different colleges about taking a positive route. Additionally, he runs a successful YouTube channel talking about his experiences, spending time with his family, and interviewing actors/actresses/former crime people. 

Charlie “Lucky” Luciano Protected the Docks From Invaders 

Even though Lucky Luciano was a ruthless crime boss, he still had an American spirit. During WWII, he and his men protected the docks and harbors in NYC from German saboteurs, strikes, and other things. NYC Governor Thomas Dewey commuted Luciano’s sentence under the condition he leave the country. Luciano returned to Italy a free man. 

Pablo Escobar Paved Roads and Built Schools 

There’s no doubt that Escobar was a ruthless kingpin with billions of dollars to his name. However, he did help bring lots of good things to the impoverished population in Colombia. He built schools, paved roads, brought healthcare, affordable housing, and clean water to the community. 

Categories
CH_Lifestyle History

6 Female Crime Lords Who Showed No Mercy

We always talk about the male gangsters, crime bosses, and soldiers, but there were some ladies even more brutal than the guys. They took no mess and carved out their stake in the underworld. Here are 6 female crime lords who repped hard. 

Thelma Wright 

Here’s someone who started out as a Catholic church girl but got on the wrong track. She married a heroin supplier from Philadelphia’s Black Mafia. However, he wound up with a bullet in his head. After this, she stepped up her game and became known as “Boss Lady.” She started making $400,000 a month but eventually got out of the game. She’s now a motivational speaker steering people away from the drug racket. 

Pearl Elliott

From running a brothel to working as a “treasurer” for John Dillinger, she had her hand in various enterprises. She was thorough to the point where she even hid bank robbers in her brothel. She died from illness, not from crime. 

Ma Barker

There was a reason why J. Edgar Hoover called her vicious, dangerous, and resourceful. She had a penchant for committing big-time highway robberies in her day. Not to mention, she murdered people when she felt it was necessary. From movies to different characters, she’s inspired a lot of female matriarchs in crime.

Gertrude Lythgoe

In a Prohibition-era bootlegging game dominated by men, she set up her own shop. She was nicknamed “The Bahama Queen.” From a wholesale liquor store and seizing large profits, she was cutthroat and didn’t let anyone step on her toes. 

Stephanie St. Clair

Commonly known as Queenie or Madam St. Clair, was a ruthless woman from Martinique that ended up immigrating to New York City. She was smart and could speak both Spanish and French fluently. She started a racket business in Harlem that grossed over $250,000 a month back in 1923. Substantial money especially for a woman (let alone a black woman) in those times. Dutch Schultz wanted to take action but she didn’t go for it. When Schultz was assassinated, she sent a telegraph to his deathbed that read, “So You Sow, So Shall Ye Reap.” Whoa. Talk about being cold-hearted. 

Griselda Blanco

You can’t talk about a female crime lord list without mentioning Griselda Blanco. She was called La Madrina “The Godmother.” The Colombian drug queen still has an epic reputation. If you’ve seen the documentary “Cocaine Cowboys”, you know a bit about her. She went from an underage sex worker and pickpocket to building a multi-billion dollar coke industry. At the height of her reign, she was said to move over 3,000 pounds a month. Also, she was said to have been responsible for over 50 murders (on the low side). She was also known as “Black Widow” because she usually killed her husbands and lovers. She was exiled to Colombia and later killed there. 

Categories
CH_Food History

4 Favorite Recipes of Gangsters

While we know gangsters for their criminal acts, we may not know that they can cook it up a bit in the kitchen. If they didn’t turn to a life of crime, a restaurant owner or cook might not have been a bad second career choice. Here are 4 favorite recipes of some famous gangsters. 

Secret Spaghetti Recipe

Apparently, Al Capone had a penchant and passion for Italian cooking. He kept a lot of his family recipes a secret. However, the secret spaghetti recipe has been passed down for years. The sauce had a few key elements, such as fresh parsley, walnut pieces, cup-grated parmesan cheese, and chopped/sliced tomatoes for texture. 

Sticky Ribs

Mickey Cohen loved the sticky ribs from Formosa Cafe in Los Angeles. Later, it started serving more Cantonese food, but they kept the previous sticky ribs recipe intact. The orange juice, cinnamon, sweet chili sauce, peanut oil, and black sesame seeds gave it that beautiful flavor.

Shrimp Scampi

Joseph Iannuzzi worked with the Gambino Family until they turned on him in 1981. He had a nickname called “Joe Dogs.” However, he was quite the chef and had an alternative name, “Joe Diner.” One of his favorites to whip up was some shrimp scampi. You can check out his other recipes and stories in his book called “The Mafia Cookbook.”

Penne Alla Vodka

Anthony Graziano was a pivotal guy in a family who served the Bonnano family. He was a loyal soldier for many years and got a reputation for his tight-lipped nature. His kids were on the show “Mob Wives” which ran for six seasons. They have a cookbook out that shares their penne alla vodka recipe.  

Categories
CH_Food History

5 Historically Important Food Items

When we think of food, we just enjoy the taste part. However, there are foods out there for social and health reasons as well. Here are 5 historically important food items. 

Salt

Not only does it provide taste to your food, but it helps preserve it. When people would go on long voyages back in the day, they cured it in salt to help keep food items from spoiling. Salt also is a good antiseptic for wounds. Heck, it’s even been used as currency. Salt has tremendous value. 

Bread

A loaf of bread was so essential that apparently, the French Revolution started because of a bread shortage. In the 1700s, bread was so common to the French diet that people went up in arms when they couldn’t get it. 

Potatoes

While we think of french fries, baked potatoes, home fries, and mashed potatoes, certain parts of the world survived off of this one food. It was starchy, potassium-rich, and helped tide you over when you couldn’t get other stuff. Ireland was a hotbed for potatoes because it had the right climate to grow there. However, a famine happened, which resulted in over a million people dying from starvation. Crazy, right?! 

Wheat

Grain has been essential to just about every culture’s diet. Not to mention, grain led to the invention of beer. You best believe that millions of people are thankful for that brewing technique. 

Spam

This was a protein-rich meal that had a long shelf life. That’s why it was so popular during World War II. Soldiers had it for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Of course, they got tired of it after a while. I mean, who wouldn’t? They probably wanted a nice steak dinner that didn’t look remotely pink. 

Categories
History

5 Rooms You Didn’t Know Were in the White House

The White House is infamous for its secret rooms and special themes. There are just certain places not available to the public and used for the president’s personal enjoyment or to create a survival spot in an emergency. Here are 5 rooms you didn’t know were in the White House.

The Workout Room

This is one of the more modern places in the White House. Clinton had it built in the 1990s, but it used to be a suite for Hoover’s housekeeper. Then it was converted to a guest bedroom by Jackie Kennedy.

Family Movie Theater

Before FDR transformed the space into a theater, it was a cloakroom. Now, it’s a 42-seat theater where the President can screen movies well before they’re released in theaters or on streaming services.

Chocolate Shop

This is a small kitchen designed just for making treats. The area is really busy around Easter and other big holidays where chocolate is a necessity.

Solarium

William Howard Taft had this created as a cool-down place in the hot summer months. It’s been remodeled numerous times and remains a favorite spot for presidents to relax. 

Calligraphy Office

It’s the perfect place for artists to do their thing. However, it’s most used for creating handwritten invitations in calligraphy and place-cards for formal White House events. 

Categories
CH_Lifestyle History

5 Rooms You Didn’t Know Were in the White House

The White House is infamous for its secret rooms and special themes. There are just certain places not available to the public and used for the president’s personal enjoyment or to create a survival spot in an emergency. Here are 5 rooms you didn’t know were in the White House.

The Workout Room

This is one of the more modern places in the White House. Clinton had it built in the 1990s, but it used to be a suite for Hoover’s housekeeper. Then it was converted to a guest bedroom by Jackie Kennedy.

Family Movie Theater

Before FDR transformed the space into a theater, it was a cloakroom. Now, it’s a 42-seat theater where the President can screen movies well before they’re released in theaters or on streaming services.

Chocolate Shop

This is a small kitchen designed just for making treats. The area is really busy around Easter and other big holidays where chocolate is a necessity.

Solarium

William Howard Taft had this created as a cool-down place in the hot summer months. It’s been remodeled numerous times and remains a favorite spot for presidents to relax. 

Calligraphy Office

It’s the perfect place for artists to do their thing. However, it’s most used for creating handwritten invitations in calligraphy and place-cards for formal White House events. 

Categories
CH_Lifestyle History

5 Eccentric White House Traditions

The White House has interesting traditions stemming back to the 1800s. We might know of the Thanksgiving, Christmas, and Easter traditions. However, it goes much deeper than that. Here are 5 White House traditions. 

Weird Pets 

You’d see everything from farm animals (pigs, goats, and turkey) to alligators and tiger cubs. It wasn’t just about having a dog or cat in the building.

Tuxedos and Calligraphy

No matter how modern things get, the White House staff always wear tuxedos (even for informal engagements). Also, White House invitations are always written in Calligraphy. 

White House Christmas Tree Theme 

In 1961, First Lady Jacqueline Kennedy started the tradition of having a theme for the Christmas tree. Since that year, pretty much every Christmas has had its own theme in the White House. 

Big Block of Cheese Day

Apparently, Andrew Jackson was given 1,400 pounds of cheese. While he had given some to staff members, the stench started becoming unbearable. He decided to give most of the cheese away to the public. Barack Obama brought an online edition of this back in 2014 and 2015. 

Teddy’s Christmas Carnival

Teddy didn’t like cutting down trees for the sole purpose of using them for Christmas decorations. Instead, he wanted to create a carnival with games, dancing, souvenirs, and other treats for the kids.