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Great Stories in American History-

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By Rebecca Price Janney, Sep 11 2018 02:44PM

If you were at least five years old on that deceptively beautiful day seventeen years ago, you remember where you were. I don’t think any of us will ever forget the images of planes crashing deliberately into buildings or people jumping from them, or the Twin Towers plunging to their ruin, scenes that are seared into our imaginations. Just the other day I saw a trailer related to a video from the early 1980s, an action movie in which a plane flew into a building and, shuddering, I had to look away.


Although much “ink has been spilled” describing the events of September 11, 2001, words still fail many of us as we process the day on an emotional level. Something primal happened, and we took it very personally. Even if we didn’t know anyone involved or affected by the tragedy, all Americans were attacked on 9.11. I remember one of my friends saying she was getting condolences from people she knew in other countries.


If you’d like to hear a story about that momentous day, I invite you to listen to my podcast:


Anchor.fm/rebeccapricejanney




By Rebecca Price Janney, Sep 4 2018 12:03PM

Do you have a favorite story, one you enjoy sharing with your family and friends?


Everyone loves a good story, something we never truly outgrow. We need stories to inspire, challenge, and delight us, to help us define who we are and our place in this world. I love being a story teller who who aspires to encourage others. This is a major reason for my new podcast, “Great Stories in American History with Rebecca Price Janney.” I believe there's so much to learn from these amazing, faith-based accounts of how those who came before us overcame many hardships to forge our wonderful nation.


A few days ago I inaugurated this new way to tell the stories I’ve cherished for over twenty years of teaching and publishing. The very first podcast is about the Revolutionary War’s Battle of Brooklyn, which took place in August 1776. (Two of my ancestors served as officers in that conflict, so I literally had “skin in the game.”)


To listen to that incredible story of how the newly-birthed United States was able to survive a crushing defeat, you can follow any of these links. And I hope you’ll join me weekly for a new Great Story from American history.


Anchor.fm/rebeccapricejanney


Pocketcasts: https://pca.st/XvEU

RadioPublic: https://radiopublic.com/rebecca-price-janney-WRVP43

Breaker: https://www.breaker.audio/rebecca-price-janney

Spotfiy: https://open.spotify.com/show/2aRwTcUAMZ4fxWauzIE8Cn

( and Google Podcasts)







By Rebecca Price Janney, Aug 20 2018 06:47PM

Last week I asked my social media friends whether their churches use wine or grape juice for communion. Many people shared not only their church’s practices but stories as well. I promised to tell one myself, about the inventor of grape juice.


When my mom was buying Welch’s grape juice and jelly during my childhood, I had no idea how this product had been invented. Its name only signified my favorite juice, and the free glasses featuring cartoon characters that came with the preserves.


Thomas Bramwell Welch, the guy behind those products, was a fascinating man. Born in England, he came to the United States in 1831 when he was six. The Welch family were Wesleyan Methodists, who had broken away from the main denomination over the issue of slavery. (Wesleyans were abolitionists.) At the age of nineteen, Thomas started preaching, but he was forced to stop two years later because, as Jennifer Woodruff Tait put it, “his vocal chords were no match for his religious fervor.” Instead, the young man became a physician, but he didn’t fare well because rural house calls also proved injurious to his health.


Not one to cave in to a setback, Welch became a dentist and moved to Vineland, New Jersey in 1869. I love his advertisement: “good choppers or no sale.” A true innovator, he not only made dentures, he began using nitrous oxide when he pulled teeth to control the pain.


Thomas was disturbed by another kind of affliction, the kind that came from alcoholism, which was rampant in his day and age. He worried about the widespread practice of using wine for the Lord’s Supper, especially because he was part of a “temperance” denomination. He knew what a temptation the wine could pose towards Christians who struggled with over imbibing. In 1864 the Methodist Church called for the use of “the pure juice of the grape” to be used, but this didn’t solve the problem. Grapes were only in season late in the summer, and any juice that was preserved would start fermenting weeks later.


Welch became interested in Louis Pasteur’s work in pasteurizing liquids to make them last longer and wondered whether the Frenchman’s process might work with grapes. Thomas and his son Charles started experimenting with home-grown grapes. They cooked and filtered the fruit, then bottled the juice and put it into boiling water. When they tasted the juice after a specified period, the product had not fermented. Voila! Dr. Welch’s Unfermented Wine. (The company’s website says juice processors around the world continue using the same process.) In 1892 the juice “went viral” after crowds at the Chicago World’s Fair tried it and liked it. Welch’s Grape Juice—it wasn’t just for communion anymore.







Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch (Wikipedia)
Dr. Thomas Bramwell Welch (Wikipedia)
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