Laura M., age 14, North Carolina
August 16, 1996
Woke up and went to the bank. Went to Wilmington with The Crew and Mrs. Wait. Layed out and got a little tan. We went to Mall and to Chinese place. Four of us went to walk on the beach. Smoked some today. Stayed up with TV. Slept with Karen with music.
Marcy S., age 20, 1944
August 16, 1944
Cloudy and rainy again in morn. Up at 6:30 and read part of “Rhapsody in Blue.” Mum went out and picked some “sweet summer” blossoms to brighten up the luncheon table. I only had one letter to do all morn so had time to write in diary and think. Above all, I want to be honest — both with myself and with others. It rained and cleared intermittently all morn — like April weather. Mrs. Hairsten was going to meet me in the entrance at 12 but she wasn’t there. I was steaming up the street (the main street) when George hove in sight. And what did the bloke do but point at me and burst into a loud guffaw! Of course everyone turned around to see what was so funny — I could have shot him! But it was funny! Mum had the table all set so sweet and pretty and the sun was shining then although it was till sprinkling. Mrs. Harsten arrived a few minutes later and we sat down to a luscious lunch. She’s from Virginia and has the oddest accent — and the prettiest blue eyes. She asked Mum to call her “Ann” instead of Mrs. H. We all talked and had a good time. I had to rush through and leave before the others were finished. It was all cleared off then and just like a spring day — although muggy. Got a ride down with Mr. Rosseter. I read most of the afternoon although we did quite a few letters. Mum was next door at Red Cross and I popped in once in Mr. H’s absence, to speak to her. Mr. H. let me go about 4:30. It was so hot and I felt so dirty and sticky — especially my hair. Popped in Red Cross room again and Mum and Mrs. Davis informed me that I wouldn’t have to come tonight ’cause they were finishing up the supply. Well, that was good news, though I don’t mind folding bandages. I went over to see Dr. Adcock about the appointment but he was busy. Talked to the office girl. Finally found out through her that he would call me when he had an opening. So I set out for home — decided not to go to doctor’s till tomorrow. Got up by Killifers’ and remembered I’d left “Rhapsody in Blue” at the office. It was so hot and all I wanted to do was to get out of those clothes and pin up my hair but I went back, madder than heck, and got the halfwit music. Got home and called Kim but she was in tub and would call me. So I ’phoned Mary and told her about Red Cross. We talked about various and sundry things — Capt. Jim, that future time when we’ll all be married and have children and can get together and gossip about them. Oh! that would be such fun! Then Mary brought up the subject (practically inevitable) of Cecil and told me the latest. He isn’t dating — the girls at Oak Ridge have a bad reputation — but goes around with a bunch of boys. She said they were going to have him down for supper some night soon — what would I be doing that night? I said I’d have another engagement! Well, I won’t get my hopes up, knowing Mary. Mum breezed in, exhausted. Finally hung up. Then Kim called and I asked her to come up and bring Mozart. Agreed. It was after 5:30 by then and I hadn’t washed my hair. Mum lay down to recuperate. I took a bath and washed hair. Then put on shorts and went over to Manse backyard. The grass was wet so I didn’t sit down. The sky was a lovely blue and the sun shone so brightly through the green trees — and wisps of clouds floated here and yon. It reminded me of Hamburg somehow. The tree back of Marney’s had an indescribable beauty and it hurt for some strange reason. Then dark clouds began to pile up in the west and the bright sun disappeared. I went home and Mum and I got supper. Finished up the watermelon. Pretty soon it was all cloudy and very stormy-looking, with thunder rumbling around. Oh yes, Mrs. McCarter and little Barbara came up this morn to see Mum before going home. They want me to come and see them. About 7 the rains came but the electric storm passed around — praise be! I played the rest of “Rhapsody in Blue.” The rain let up and about 7:30 Kimmie appeared. We settled down to Mozart and had a great struggle with the 5th symphony. It’s more fun though. About 8:30 George popped in having just returned from a fishing spree — strong odor of same surrounded him. He caught 3. Well, K. and I finished up Mozart — in more ways than one and then, upon demand, I tackled the “Rhapsody” and got along pretty well — for the second time. George perked up at the familiar part. They were both amazingly patient!! We all collapsed when page 30 was completed! and talked about the hike Sunday. George had rather go swimming but will consider going with us. About 9:45 we set out to take Kim. home. It had stopped raining and the stars were out but everything was very wet and damp. George didn’t miss a single opportunity to shake a shower off a tree on his companions. I looked a sight in shorts, red satin bedroom slippers and streaming hair! We had fun kidding. Kimmie lured us all the way to her house with the promise of cookies. No one was home so we cut up. Kim served us water and cookies. We finally tore ourselves away, after planning to go skating tomorrow night. George is so strong — just come into contact with some of those bulging muscles once and you’ll get the point! Well, forgetting my age, my education, and my dignity, I allowed George to carry me “piggy back” up to Marshes’!! George just weighs about 10 or 15 pounds more than I do so I don’t see how he bore up as long as he did. I just about screamed my head off — and praying all the time that the Marshes and guests wouldn’t look out and see me in such an unbecoming posish. George and I tripped each other the rest of the way and had more fun. He said the next time we went swimming we’d have to get a boat and swim the Tennessee. I queried, “State or river?” and George had an epileptic fit! He invited me in to watch him clean the fish he’d caught and I yielded, despite the late hour. Clure was sewing in the living room. We passed on to the kitchen — there was a letter for Ashley on the hall table — and I inspected the 3 small bass. George went to work on one and was just de-finning it when Mum bellowed out from next door that it was bed time. I stayed to see the poor creature beheaded and then took my leave. I felt ever so good. Mum kept telling me to hurry cause she was sleepy and when I did get in bed — slept with her — she talked about 15 minutes! 🙂
Maggie L., age 24, Illinois
August 16, 1899
A real warm day. I went to Mrs. Segersons in the morning and sewed in the after noon. Went down town. Zella called after supper.
Henry S., age unknown, Michigan
August 16, 1886
It rained some this morning. I went to Ann Arbor this forenoon on foot and stayed all day. Came back in the night on foot. I agreed to clerk for O.L. Matthews Atty. Real Estate and Pension agent etc. Coming home I made up my mind I could not stand the small pay. *(R. Henry Scadin Collection, D.H. Ramsey Library Special Collections, UNC Asheville)
Abbie B., age 22, Kansas
August 16, 1871
Moved at last. All I remember of the moving, was sitting in the waggon, holding the cat. When we got here, the fever had me, and I could not do a thing. Philip made a bed on the floor, and I laid down. My bed was not fixed yet. When evening came, I was better but scarcely able to walk. Philip had worked all day—besides moving, had hauled two loads of wood, and Sunday, was not able to be up. J. R. who has been working on his claim, and sleeping there, came over, but he is poor help.
We had callers too and the house all in confusion.
Monday I managed to bake, and Philip fixed things around the house, but at 11 had to lie down with chill, and in the p. m. I had to do the same. I had taken quinine but not enough. My fever was over by sun down, but his kept up all night. Yesterday a. m. it left for a short time, then came back, and he was delerious. When I cooled his head with wet towls, the teers would fall. I was in trouble.
When J. R. came for supper, I had him go and see Mr. Ross, who came back with him. He said it was an attack of bilious fever, and left medacine. This a. m. Mr. Rose [Ross] came again. Brother is better. I am so thankful—thankful—
This is my day for ague, but I have taken such big doses of quinine, it may not come back, but the quinine its self makes me half sick. Philip does not complain, he is so patient. I must lie down part of the time, but hope we will soon be well. I think it would have been better for us, had we moved from the river sooner.
*(kansasmemory.org, Kansas State Historical Society, copy and reuse restrictions apply)
Cornelia H., age 26, North Carolina
August 16, 1862
They start to Richmond this morning. Peter goes along to bring the buggy back. I finished Fannie’s dress & pealed nicely two bushels of apples in the peeler. Jim & Atheline cut them up. Mr. Henry came back this evening. Jim Parker is trying to hire a substitute & Mr. Henry came back to show the substitute’s father the land. I really think Parker would do better business to go along in his place. Mr. Henry will go on the stage Monday. Peter came back & Jim Parker went on with the buggy.
*(Fear in North Carolina: The Civil War Journals and Letters of the Henry Family, Eds. Karen L. Clinard and Richard Russell, used with permission.)
Samuel P., age 27, London
August 16, 1660
This morning my Lord (all things being ready) carried me by coach to Mr. Crew’s, (in the way talking how good he did hope my place would be to me, and in general speaking that it was not the salary of any place that did make a man rich, but the opportunity of getting money while he is in the place) where he took leave, and went into the coach, and so for Hinchinbroke. My Lady Jemimah and Mr. Thomas Crew in the coach with him.
Hence to Whitehall about noon, where I met with Mr. Madge, who took me along with him and Captain Cooke (the famous singer) and other masters of music to dinner at an ordinary about Charing Cross where we dined, all paying their club. Hence to the Privy Seal, where there has been but little work these two days. In the evening home.
*(The Diary of Samuel Pepys M.A. F.R.S., edited by Henry B. Wheatley F.S.A., London, George Bell & Sons York St. Covent Garden, Cambridge Deighton Bell & Co., 1893.)