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Thursday, May 6, 2021

Cookbook Giveaway

 

Do you enjoy cooking?? Do you shop at Aldi's?? Here is a great giveaway that ties the two together. 



Terra Heck is currently running a giveaway over on her blog where the winner will receive a copy of this book The first question to enter is do you shop at Aldi's and how many cookbooks do you have. If you answer either of these you know you want to enter this giveaway so head over there now 

Sunday, May 2, 2021

French Fries, we all love them but where did they come from

 I am sure that we have all had them one time or another or at least seen them. I do have a friend that does not like them and there are many ways to prepare them. The item I speak of is french fries. 



Were you aware that there is a rivalry between 2 countries concerning where french fries come from. France and its close neighbor Belgian have long fought over the debate of who first debuted the french fry. Check out these delicious belgian fries 





Citizens of Belgian claim that the it was in the late 1700s that members of the community of Wallonie first fried up the potato. The menu of choice was often small fried fish but during the cold winter this was often difficult to accomplish. Thus chefs turned to using potatoes sliced in small fish shapes  



Citizens in France where the French Fry gained its name say that they were the first country to introduce this now international food. It was during the french revolution that it is claimed that the fried potato was invented by cooks that would be found under the bridges around the Seine river. 


This debate may continue on with no definite answers I am simply thankful that french fries were introduced to the world. 


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Tuesday, April 27, 2021

Babe Ruth Day

Today, April 27th is known in the sports world as "Babe Ruth" day. The legendary ball player was honored with his own national day on April 27th, 1947. Babe Ruth joined the New York Yankees in the year 1920. During the season he would set a new record for most home runs hit in a season. The record was nearly doubled when Ruth would hit 54 home runs destroying the old lead of 27 hit in a homerun. However, Babe Ruth had aan attitude of getting it done and also led the league in number of strike outs as well.

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Did You Know: 



George herman "Babe " Ruth Jr. was born on February 6, 1896. Babe Ruth would become a professional baseball player and enjoy the ride for 22 seasons. Ruth was given a few nicknames because of his ability to hit the ball. Nicknames such as "The Bambino" and "The Sultan of Swat". Starting as a relief pitcher he quickly move to the position of outfielder. Regarded as one of the greatest sport heroes in America. Babe would be one of the first 5 individuals to be allowed into the baseball hall of fame. 

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sending Messages the Old Fashioned Way

 Have you ever wondered what the world was like before text messaging?? How would one send messages to others that were not in the same place?? One of these answers would be Morse Code, a telecommunication way that was born from encoding text characters via a series of dots and dashes. The code was designed by the inventor Samuel Morse. 




Morse code is based on a set of encodes that are derived from signals of punctuation, arabic numerals, english alphabet and some non english letters. 

 

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Wednesday, April 21, 2021

Dont Let Stress Get You Down

 We have all experienced some stress in our lives. Some of us may have had lots of stress that we may need to get help from a professional with. Others may just have daily time to time stress. The way we deal with stress is often the depending matter on if we can deal with it or not. Thus the idea is to find help if needed but if possible finding a way to release ourselves from the power of stress. 


Here are some ways to deal with stress that appears in a moment and a great way to make it go away if possible: The idea is to take a time out from life

  • if the weather is good enough to take a walk get outside and see something besides the 4 walls
  • need a quick pick me up find a good book to offer inspiration and when needed read a quick chapter
  • call up your friend, confident or someone that will understand your situation it only takes a short amount of time to get your mind on something more happier
  • sing a song... this is me I always keep a song on my mind and it often helps the time pass and a smile on my face
  • have a pencil why not doodle some smily faces or something else that makes you happy
  • many of us bloggers like to write so why not write up a short piece that puts a smile on ones face
These are my ideas to help conquer stress do you have any

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Wednesday, April 14, 2021

Shopping with Little One

Shopping with a baby or toddler is not always the easiest things to do but keeping a few things in mind can help you get the job done. 



Make sure it is a good time not only for you but your child as well. It should be at a time when your child is not hungry or tired. Perhaps it is the same time of day as your child has quiet time. This may not be possible I am aware that some children are active most the day and do not necessarily have "quiet time" of day. However, if your child is not hungry or tired for the most part the shopping trip should go easier. 

Shopping when the store is at a slower pace should help as well. We all have been there when the store is jammed, the lines are long and the frustration grows. If at all possible it is a much better time to go when your child is happy and the store is less busy. Another thing to keep in mind is to be prepared yourself.


Shopping for a few hours browsing the aisles is not something many children are ready to do. Children have a less attention span than most and would often do better to  go if you were more prepared and know ahead what you are getting. Likewise keep in mind that shopping trip with a young child should not truly be accomplished when you have a set limit of time. 


These top three tips are ones that I strictly shop by you can read more ideas at these sources


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Thursday, April 8, 2021

Be Kind To Spiders Week

 Do you love or loathe spiders?? In any case this is "Be Kind To Spiders" week. Spiders can be anything from fascinating to terrifying , from creepy to annoying and everything in between. Spiders are an important member in the gardening world. They help to control other pest that invade homes and gardens. Rather than spiders being insects as some think they actually belong to the arachnid family.



Spiders belong to the same arachnids family as scorpions, ticks and mites. Arachnids are found all over the world with more than 35,000 species found around the world and around 3,000 species in North America. Spiders are valuable helpers that can help keep other insects that may carry diseases or damage garden plants at bay. However, with all the help that spiders offer they are met with invertebrates, amphibians, reptiles eating them and many humans killing them as well. In fact, around the world spiders are eaten by humans and thought as a delicacy. 



This week try your best to be kind to spiders. If they cross your path then consider taking them and placing them out of your view and nearer to the food source. Perhaps if you knew that spiders may be indeed a key to better health it may help you in your kindness. Indeed spiders are being researched to see if their venom would treat memory loss after a stroke, arthritis, and some heart diseases


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Wednesday, April 7, 2021

Two Youngest Grandbabies


Don't they look precious all dressed up?? These are my two youngest grand-babies I love them much


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Friday, April 2, 2021

National Autism Awareness

April 2nd of each year is also the day to observe World Autism Awareness. This health crisis is growing not only in the United States but world wide. The Autism Association suggests that an average of one in every 59 are affected. Autism is  a bio-neurological developmental disability that normally presents itself with in the first 3 years of life. Boys are more affected than girls are as well. Perhaps one does not realize how hard children with autism face in life.



Many obstacles occur because autistic children do not speak or use social cues as their peers do. This often leads to others bullying autistic children Due to individuals with autism not being able to communicate they are also unable to tell someone their name or where they live so they may also become lost and wander into areas they should not be. Thus this issue does not change with adults leading to problems of unemployment and other issues as adults. 



The National Autism Association website offers resources, guides and tips for families and schools.

Ways to help children with autism:

  • include children in autism with the activities that are on going. If other children are invited invite the autistic child as well
  • if in the position to offer an autistic child a job and they qualify do so do not let the disorder stand in the way
  • Allow individuals with autism to be involved no matter the activity if they have the capabilities and you have the time then allow them to learn from you, being involved helps all 

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Good Friday and Hot Cross Buns

 Today, the Friday before Easter, is a special day known as Good Friday. To many it is a dark day , the day that our Lord Jesus Christ was crucified and died on the cross. All Christians know that while this is Friday and the day of the crucifixion Sunday is coming. Other names for this special day include Holy Friday, Black Friday, and Great Friday. However, while Easter has become a traditional celebration that all including the secular world observe Good Friday has remained primarily a holy and spiritual observance.



Many churches across the country will hold Good Friday church services. Each religion seems to have their own traditions when it comes to the Good Friday and Easter celebration. Some church members will fast and many sects will sing specific hymns for the services. Perhaps one tradition that is sweet is the making of Easter bread 


There are many stories behind the reasoning of baking and eating hot cross buns and other sweet breads. One story is about a monk in the 12th century who at the end of lent season prepared and baked yeast sweet buns and marked them with a cross on Good Friday. In addition, this type of sweet buns and rolls could not have been prepared before the end of lent as they contain dairy products that were / are traditionally forbidden during the Christian lent season of fasting




1/2 cup raisins, currants, or craisins + 1 cup boiling hot water
3/4 cup very warm milk, divided into 1/2 cup and 1/4 cup (I used whole milk, 2% is fine)
1/2 cup white sugar + 1/2 tsp sugar
1/4 cup (4 Tbsp) unsalted butter, softened 15 seconds in microwave
1/2 tsp salt
1 envelope active dry yeast (about 3/4 Tbsp or 2 1/4 tsp) – I used Red Star Yeast
2 large eggs, well beaten
3 1/2 cups unsifted all-purpose flour 
1/4 tsp ground cinnamon
1/8 tsp (a large pinch) ground nutmeg

For the Egg Wash:

1 egg, well beaten with 1 tsp water

For the Glaze:

1/2 cup Powdered sugar mixed with 2 1/2 tsp Milk


 In a small bowl, combine 1/2 cup raisins/craisins with 1 cup boiling hot water. Let sit 10 min then drain well and set aside.

In a large measuring cup, combine 1/4 cup warm milk with 1/2 tsp sugar and sprinkle 3/4 Tbsp yeast over the top. Stir and let sit at room temp until bubbly and doubled in volume (10 min).

In a large mixing bowl combine 1/2 cup very warm milk with 1/2 cup sugar, 4 Tbsp softened butter and 1/2 tsp salt. Stir until butter is melted. Add 2 well beaten eggs and proofed yeast mixture. Stir in 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon and pinch of ground nutmeg.

Using the dough hook attachment mix in 3 1/2 cups flour, 1 cup at a time until soft dough forms. Knead 8-12 min on speed 2 or until smooth and elastic. Dough will still stick a little to the bowl but not to your fingers.

If kneading by hand, use a wooden spoon to stir, then turn out onto a well-floured surface and knead 8-12 min using just enough flour to prevent sticking to your hands.

Add drained raisins/craisins (pat them dry with paper towels if they still seem too wet) and transfer dough to a large buttered bowl, turning it to bring the buttered side-up. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm, draft-free room 1 1/2 hours or until doubled in volume (you can also proof in a warm 100˚F oven).

Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and cut in half then continue cutting dough until you have 12 equal sized pieces. Roll dough into balls and transfer to a buttered 9×13″ baking pan. Cover with a tea towel and let them sit in a warm, draft-free room 30 min until puffed

 Now you should preheat your oven to 375˚F. Generously brush the tops with egg wash and bake for 15-17 minutes or until tops are golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool in the pan.

Once buns are just warm (not hot), stir together the 1/2 cup powdered sugar and about 2 1/2 tsp milk. You can add more powdered sugar to thicken it up if needed. Transfer glaze to a ziploc bag, cut off the tip of the bag and pipe a cross shape over each of the buns. Serve warm or at room temperature.


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Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Tater Day and a Potato Recipe


Are you a fan of potatoes?? Well, then today is for you. Tater day occurs each year on the last day of March. There is good reason to love potatoes with so many great ways to prepare and cook the potato. In addition to the grand variety of ways to prepare them there are a great variety of taters as well. 

The potato is the number one consumed vegetable in the United States. One of the main reasons once again is because of the great variety that is available. Whether you bake them and who does not like a baked potato with once again so many ways to make them different than the last. Another way to prepare them is to Boil the potato. Boiled potatoes can end up in soups, salads, or any number of delicious ways. Perhaps one of the most loved ways to fix potatoes is to mash them. 

Twice Baked Potato Casserole 





8 potatoes about 4 lbs

8 oz cream cheese softened

1/2 c butter (1 stick)

2 c sharp cheddar cheese shredded

1 pint sour cream

2 cloves garlic minced

1 1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp pepper

1/4 c chives fresh

6 slices bacon cooked crisp, drained and crumbled for top


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wash, oil, salt and pierce the potatoes and place on a baking pan (or straight on oven rack). Bake the potatoes for 1 hour and 15 minutes, until very soft. Peel and mash the potatoes in a large bowl with a potato masher. Add the cream cheese, butter, 1 cup of the cheddar cheese and the sour cream. Stir well. Add the garlic, salt and pepper and stir again. Spray 9x13 baking dish with cooking spray. Place the mashed potatoes in the dish.

Note: The casserole can be covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated until ready to bake.

When ready to bake, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove the plastic wrap and bake the casserole for 30-35 minutes, until hot. Sprinkle the remaining 1 cup of cheddar cheese over the top of the casserole and return to the oven for about 5 minutes, until the cheese melts.

Garnish with the chopped chives and crumbled bacon before serving.

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Friday, March 26, 2021

Warm Spring Day Enjoyed By all




Spring is here and the days are getting longer and the weather warmer. Today was a great day to get out and enjoy the day but playing at the park. 



 


If you find yourself heading to the park on a warm spring day here is a great snack you can take with you. 




  • candy corn
  • raisins
  • seasonal M&M’s
  • cocktail peanuts
  • broken-up pretzel sticks

The only thing I did differently than I do at Halloween was adding golden raisins instead of regular ones, just because I thought that would fit the Spring theme a little better.


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Wednesday, March 24, 2021

Chocolate Caramel Turtle Cheesecake

 Chocolate Turtle Cheesecake




Crust
2 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
Turtle: 14-oz. package individually wrapped caramels
5-oz. can evaporated milk
1 cup chopped pecans + 1/2 cup chopped pecans for topping

Filling:  
2 (8-oz) pkgs. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup white sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 eggs (Dave recommends organic free-range eggs)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
Chocolate Ganache: 1-1/4 cups semi-sweet chocolate chips
3 oz. evaporated milk or heavy cream

Caramel Drizzle: 
12-oz. pkg. caramel bits
4 oz. evaporated milk

Preheat oven to 350F. In a large bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs and melted butter. Press into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. (Dave says to put this in the freezer while you are making the caramel sauce; this will keep the crust from separating when you pour the caramel sauce over the crust.)

In a heavy saucepan over low heat, melt the caramels with the evaporated milk. Heat and stir frequently until smooth. Pour caramel sauce into crust, and top with pecans. (Dave says to put this back into the freezer while you are making the filling; same reasoning as above.)

In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, sugar and vanilla; beat well until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Melt the chocolate, and blend into cream cheese mixture. Pour chocolate batter over pecans. (Dave did not follow these instructions; instead he creamed the cheese well till it was smooth and fluffy; then he added the sugar and beat for another 3-4 minutes till sugar was well dissolved. THEN he added the vanilla and briefly combined. He next melted the chocolate by heating it in the microwave for about a minute on high and added the hot chocolate to the cream cheese mixture. THEN he added the eggs and beat on low speed till combined. He poured this chocolate mixture over the pecans.)

Bake 40-50 minutes, or until filling is set. Loosen cake from the edges of pan, but do not remove rim until cooled to prevent the top from cracking. Thoroughly cool cheesecake before refrigerating. Chill in refrigerator for 4 hours, or overnight.

When cheesecake is thoroughly chilled, prepare ganache by microwaving the chips and 3 oz. milk together on high about 1 minute. Add more milk or cream if needed to make a soft ganache. Stir till well combined and spread over cheesecake.

Make caramel drizzle: Microwave 12 oz. pkg. caramel bits with 4 oz. evaporated milk on high till bits are soft and can be stirred, about 1 minute. Stir till well combined. Drizzle over top of cheesecake. (Dave said he bought squeeze bottles in Wal-Mart for under $1 that are perfect for drizzling. He pours the hot sauce into the bottle, caps it, then just lets it drip over the cake. Be careful not to squeeze or it could explode in your face. The hot sauce forms a vacuum. Just let it drip over the cake.) Sprinkle with 1/2 cup chopped nuts.

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Tuesday, March 23, 2021

After School Dip #recipe

 Do your teens often come home and raid the fridge?? Here is one recipe for an easy dip that I found online and my kids found easy enough to enjoy




1 Cup of Crushed Chips (we tested this out with BBQ, Sour Cream and Tortilla Chips)
1/3 Cup of Sour Cream
1 tbsp of Cream Cheese
1/2 Avocado (Only for Tortilla Style)


Mix the chips of your choice with the sour cream and cream cheese and viola, instant dip. When making with Tortilla Chips, add in the 1/2 Avocado, it makes it really smooth. 


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Saturday, March 20, 2021

Happy First Day Spring

 The long hibernation period of time is over and spring is finally here. Wake up it looks to be a good day here hope it is where you are as well. Start the day off with a great recipe easy enough to make and great for all to enjoy



1 (15 oz.) bag Corn Pops (Puffed Corn Snack)
2 (12 oz.) bags white chocolate chips
Optional: sprinkles, chopped candy bars

Place the corn pops in an extra-large bowl or divide them between two large bowls.  In a separate medium-large microwave safe bowl, microwave the white chocolate chips until melted, stirring every 30 seconds.  Pour melted white chocolate over the corn pops and stir until evenly coated.  Top with sprinkles or chopped candy bars, if adding.  

Spread out onto wax paper and allow white chocolate to set.  Or, you can leave it in the bowl and it will stick together in chunks, so whichever you prefer.  When white chocolate has hardened, serve.  Store in an airtight container.  


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Wednesday, March 17, 2021

Our Gang on St. Pat Day


 




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Trivia about St. Patricks Day

March 17 has for long been the traditional date to plant potatoes in Ireland. Today the gardening and farming tip continues to be that the best day to plant potatoes is St. Patricks day. Many have lived by this philosophy, one that I long remember is my own dad.



Are you aware that blue not green is the color that was originally associated with St. Patrick day?? The color blue is used on Ireland's Presidential flag. Green is thought to have become the color for St. Patricks day when it became linked with the slogan "wearing the green" Green was a color that since the 18th century has been one of expressing sympathy with Irish Independence.


The first St. Patricks day parade took place in 1737 in Boston. New York would host their own parade beginning in 1762. In 1780 George Washington allowed his soldiers to rest on St. Patricks Day as "an act of solidarity with the Irish as they fought for independence."



Ireland kept all pubs closed on St. Patricks Day until 1970. The observation of Lent and action of fasting was often abstained from on St. Patricks day as many families often took the day to spend mass. together. In Ireland St. Patrick's day is a public holiday this is also the case in the Emerald Isle Caribbean which was first settled by Irish migrants. 



On St. Patrick's Day the Chicago river will turn a shade of green when green dye is tipped into the river for St. Patricks day. 


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Tuesday, March 16, 2021

Spring Time Dessert --- Strawberry Pretzel Dessert

This dessert is one of our all time favorite recipes. We have it at special times but it is also easy enough to make at other times.

Strawberry Pretzel Dessert



2 cups pretzels, finely crushed 3/4 cup butter or margarine, melted

3 tablespoons sugar 1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese

1 cup sugar 8 ounces Cool Whip, thawed in fridge

2 teaspoons vanilla extract 1 teaspoon orange extract or lemon extract

2 (3 ounce) packages strawberry gelatin 2 cups boiling water

2 (10 ounce) packages frozen strawberries, par thawed and sliced


Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Stir together first 3 ingredients.
Mix well and press into bottom of 13x9x2 inch baking pan.
Bake for 8 to 10 minutes.
Set aside or refrigerate to cool.
In a large mixing bowl, or in a stand mixer cream together sugar and cream cheese, gradually add in extracts.
Fold in Cool Whip gently until mixture is fluffy.
Spread mixture onto cooled pretzel crust.
In separate bowl, dissolve gelatin into boiling water.
Stir in frozen strawberries and allow to set until about egg white consistency. If you use fresh stawberries, this will take longer, but if you use frozen, it will be very quick.
nce correct consistency, pour and spread evenly over the cream cheese layer.
Refrigerate until fully set.


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Thursday, March 11, 2021

Minty Green Chocolate Chip Cookies for St. Patricks Day

 



2 cups butter, very soft
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 cups brown sugar
3 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
Green food coloring (I used gel food coloring)
6 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
4 cups mint chocolate chips or andes mint chocolate candies chopped up

Cream butter and sugars in a large bowl till creamy. Beat in eggs, vanilla, and green food coloring. Add flour, salt, and baking soda. Stir till blended, then stir in the mint chocolate chips.
Drop by tablespoonfuls onto lightly greased or silpat lined cookie sheets.
Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes.

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Tuesday, March 9, 2021

Chicken Nugget Slider

 

  • Kids are home and you need something to feed them before they as they think begin to starve  Here is a quick solution so you can be the hero Chicken Nugget Sliders



  • 1/4 cup Mayonnaise
  • 2 Tablespoons ketchup
  • 12 slider buns, split
  • 12 frozen chicken nuggets, cooked according to package directions
  • 3 slices cheddar cheese, sliced into 4 squares
  • 3 slices bacon, crisp-cooked and broken into 12 pieces
  • 12 small iceberg lettuce leaves, or romaine


  1. In a small bowl combine mayonnaise and ketchup. Mix well.
  2. Spread a little bit of the mayonnaise mixture onto the top of the bottom of each slider bun. Top with 1 piece of lettuce, a cooked chicken nugget, 2 of the cheese squares, and 2 pieces of bacon. Place the top of the slider bun onto each sandwich.
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Monday, March 8, 2021

International Woman's Day... How it all Began


 

Today March 8th is marked as International Womans Day. This date was not reached by someone simply saying how great women were and lets celebrate... no like everything else there is normally always a boiling point before the goal is reached. Prior to 1910 around the turn of the century women in many different countries were entering the workforce in grand numbers. These jobs were primarily in textiles, manufacturing and domestic services. Jobs were many thought women should feel comfortable. However, they were anything but comfortable with unfair wages and long hours how could they be.

Women had achieved the right to work outside of the house what would become of that?? In Europe, Britain, America and other places would see women from all social standards to begin to campaign for what they deserved. Primarily it was the right to vote. Some did not believe that the women should have a right to vote but did not believe it would interfere with life or work. However they would be wrong as time would tell,,, women deserved more... much more..



In the English suffrage movement many thought it was quite radical  In the United States women trade union leaders and liberal professional women began to not only campaign for women's voting rights also started to create unions for women. Often the years for these women on the workforce were hard both at their job where they had to survive horrible working conditions but also in their home lives where they often found poverty and at times violence.


In 1908 the world would witness the first Women's Day. At this rally the shout for the right to vote, as well as political and economic rights for women was brought up. The next year more than 2,000 individuals would attend a rally in Manhattan to celebrate Women's Day. The first union backed strike led by women took place in 1909 when 20 - 30 thousand workers struck for nearly 2 weeks demanding better pay and working conditions. Meanwhile, the Womens trade union League provided bail money to all the strikers arrested.

From those early days more than a century ago til today Women are still representing all phases of life in industry and home life. 



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