Keepapitchinin, the Mormon History blog » She Had a Question, 1919 (2nd set)

She Had a Question, 1919 (2nd set)

By: Ardis E. Parshall - September 24, 2009

Gypsies, the Star Spangled Banner, oatmeal on the hands, and pimples (not that there’s anything wrong with that). Oh, and as usual, avoid constipation!  More advice from the “Girl Query” section of the Young Woman’s Journal:

“Bessie Van.” – To correct the roughness, and soften the hands, keep on the wash stand near the soap a dish of oatmeal or cornmeal, and rub freely on the hands after washing. Or, get a piece of pumice stone and rub the hands several times daily. At night anoint the hands with cream, mutton tallow, or honey, wearing a pair of loose gloves to protect the sheet. Mutton tallow is inexpensive and easily prepared. Get the real mutton tallow, put in a skillet over a slow fire and allow to melt thoroughly. Strain several times through cheese cloth, and when nearly cool beat with an egg beater until light and spongy. Add a few drops of perfume, put in jars and set in cool place. Avoid soaps containing alkali; to test, apply the tongue to it, if a burning taste, not good for the hands.


“Country Girl.” – Improve your general health by eating good nourishing food, daily outdoor exercise, bathing, and by going early to bed. To be “beautiful,” constantly strive to bring out the best that is in you. Cultivate a sunny, cheerful disposition. Be unselfish, kind, generous, polite, gentle, modest, and refined, refraining from anything that savors of rudeness or indelicacy. Real beauty comes from within – is of the soul. Youth is the time to develop and nourish the virtues that go to make a lovely character.


Why are folk dances taught, are they considered better than the two-step, waltz, etc.? Bestsy Jane.

From Sweden, Norway, Russia, Hungary, we get the drama, war, love, courtship, and marriage in the dance. In one of the Swedish folk dances we have so prettily illustrated the courtship: the wooing, quarreling, jealousy, and reconciliation. From Spain, Italy, and France we get the poetry, love, fantasy, and capriciousness of these countries. These dances are taught because they are graceful, rhythmic, and interesting. They bring into action all the muscles of the body and develop the young people in grace, motion, culture, politeness, and rhythm. They also teach the children the history and customs of the different countries in a way they will always remember. These dances in their native country were always danced on the green sward, in the open, similar to the maypole dance.


To keep your leather cushions in good condition, rub linseed oil into them occasionally, doing over them the second time with a dry flannel or chamois.


How can I remove grease from the leaves of a book? Janet.

Heat two blotters, and place the soiled paper or leaf of book between them, and subject to pressure. Or, place a hot iron over the blotter.


“Penelope.” – The accordion pleated skirt still seems to be in fashion.


Is the “Star Spangled Banner” our National Anthem? – Cecelia.

In answering your query I quote from Adjutant General of the United States army, who says: “No anthem, hymn, or musical air, has been recognized, by any Federal law as the National anthem, hymn, or air, but Army and Navy regulations provide that the musical composition known as the Star Spangled Banner, shall be designated as the national air of the United States of America. It should be stated, however, that these regulations are binding only on the personnel of the military and naval forces.”

However, the War Department publishes the following:

“Every citizen of the United States, whether civilian or soldier, should give expression of his loyalty and devotion to his country by showing proper marks of respect for the colors and for the national Anthem.” Civilians should always stand at “attention” which has been defined as “standing erect, eyes front and arms at side.” Standing other than this, or engaging in conversation when the national anthem is being played, is an indication of ill-breeding or gross ignorance.

[Note: This was changed in [1942?] U.S. Code Title 36, Chapter 10, §301 designates the Star Spangled Banner as the national anthem.]


“Beatrice.” – The condition of your skin is due to an over-abundance of fatty tissue, faulty hygiene, poor circulation, or careless habits. Perhaps you need to change your mode of living. Let your diet consist of green vegetables, fresh fruits, cereals, fish, eggs, milk, nuts, raisins, dates, etc., discarding meat, sweets, pickles, and pastry entirely.

Drink at least five pints of water daily, not forgetting the daily bath. Walk briskly in the open air for at least 30 minutes every day, and also engage in some sort of vigorous work that will cause you to perspire freely. If not already a good swimmer, learn to swim, and swim often, this being one of the very best exercises for the development of the normal body.

Avoid constipation, as you would a dread disease.


“Country Girl.” – Rub the eyebrows nightly with vaseline, olive oil, or some other fat, most convenient.


“Charity.” – The first school for “bad” or unruly boys was founded by a lawyer named Metz, in the little city of Mottray, France, over 80 years ago. This lawyer had an idea that if bad boys were given the proper environment and opportunity they might be transformed into good boys. Before this time it was generally believed that when boys were bad, it was because of the original sin, and that whipping or some other brutal treatment was the only cure.

Humanitarians had suggested from time to time, that kind treatment might be a cure in cases of juvenile delinquency; but such theories were denounced as ungodly or irreligious. The Mottray institutions proved successful, however, and today every country has its reform schools, junior republics, juvenile courts, etc., dealing with seeming incorrigibles.


Please give me the wedding anniversaries, and oblige. – An Anxious Wife.

First, cotton; second, paper; third, leather; fourth, fruit and flowers; fifth, wooden; sixth, sugar; seventh, woolen; eighth, India rubber; ninth, willow; tenth, tin; eleventh, steel; twelfth, silk and linen; thirteenth, lace; fourteenth, ivory; fifteenth, crystal; twentieth, china; twenty-fifth, silver; thirtieth, pearl, fortieth, ruby; fiftieth, golden; seventy-fifth, diamond.


“Janet.” – (1) Read the Book of Ether in the Book of Mormon; you will find an account of the Jaredites who came to this continent long before Lehi and his people.

(2) The Crusades were wars, which were carried on by the Christian nations of the West, from the end of the 11th till the latter part of the 13th century, for the conquest of Palestine. They were called “Crusades” because all the warriors who followed the holy banner wore the sign of the cross. Much later the Jews commenced migrating to the Holy Land.

(3) The gypsies originally came form Egypt. They appeared in Europe about five hundred years ago, and at first were well received, but later were persecuted and reproached.


Which is the largest American ship afloat? – Elsa.

The largest government owned ship is the “New Mexico.” Tonnage 34,000. Built in 1918.


How can I pasteurize baby’s milk at home? – Young Mother.

Fill the bottles with milk, cork with sterile absorbent cotton, put in a pail of warm water up to the tops of bottles, cover, set on stove. Just as soon as the water gets to the boiling, take off stove and let remain for thirty minutes; take out and cool rapidly under running water or set in ice chest. Some doctors recommend a pinch of soda being added to the hot milk – one-fourth teaspoonful to the quart. Milk treated in this way will keep perfectly sweet for twenty-four hours.


“Betty.” – A pimply eruption is due to over-activity of the oil glands and bad digestion. It will not yield to local measures only. One suffering from this eruption should avoid the use of tea, coffee, chocolate, meat, fried foods, rich salads, heavy sweets, spices, pastry, and fats. Substitute light clear soups, green salads, fresh vegetables, fresh stewed fruits, cereals, and milk. Fruits have little nutritive value but are beneficial as skin beautifiers, as they often form a mild laxative. The utmost cleanliness of both the exterior and interior must be observed. Avoid constipation. Sulphur, Cuticura, or pure Castile soap with fairly hot water may be used at night on the face. Use cold water in the morning. oatmeal or bran water without soap should be used often. Mentholatum or castor oil is good to touch the parts if they are sore. Scars left from pimples will disappear if rubbed with vaseline or castor oil every night.



  1. I would never have thought to test my soap by tasting it.

    As always, I’m fascinated by the breadth of subjects addressed here.

    Comment by Tamary — September 24, 2009 @ 8:46 am

  2. I think these suggestions are mostly adequate.

    Comment by Ugly Mahana — September 24, 2009 @ 9:02 am

  3. It was 1931, Ardis. (Those references to U.S. Statutes can be confusing.)

    The Star-Spangled Banner was adopted as the national anthem by joint resolution of congress, signed by Pres. Hoover on March 3, 1931. 46 Stat. 1508, ch. 436. That statute is codified at 36 USC 301.

    Beginning in 1942, Congress began adding rules about how we’re supposed to stand up straight, take our hands out of our pockets, etc., while the anthem is being played. Those rules are at 36 USC 302. But, lest you be concerned, no criminal penalties are attached to your failure to obey those rules. (Although Yankee Stadium security may throw you out of the game if you head for the toilets during the singing of God Bless America, and no telling what fate awaits those trying to get to their 8:00 a.m. class on time at BYU by walking during the playing of the anthem at 7:50. Odd how being in a car, or inside a building, at that time exempted you from the “stand still” rule.)

    Comment by Mark B. — September 24, 2009 @ 9:24 am

  4. Wow, I just had a flash back of “trying to get to their 8:00 a.m. class on time at BYU by walking during the playing of the anthem at 7:50” I had completely forgotten about that.

    Comment by Bruce Crow — September 24, 2009 @ 10:01 am

  5. “anoint the hands [with oatmeal paste]”

    Oh my — more evidence of female annointing. I wonder if Linda King Newell knows about this?


    Comment by Hunter — September 24, 2009 @ 10:34 am

  6. Once again, I love the simple, formal way the author responds to everything from the size of ships to developing inner beauty. (Finding the answer to the former would require some work in the pre-internet days. The answer to the latter is one of the best ever.)

    Comment by Clark — September 24, 2009 @ 11:16 am

  7. You know, she probably would have rocked on the 1919 version of Jeopardy. I wonder if Ken Jennings is a descendant. ..bruce..

    Comment by bfwebster — September 24, 2009 @ 11:52 am

  8. The question about the largest American ship is arguably wrong. By 1919 the Americans had impounded the German-built Vaterland (54,282 gross tons), renamed her the Leviathan, and put her into service as a troopship. After the war, they kept her as a passenger liner.

    Comment by JimD — September 25, 2009 @ 9:54 am

  9. (Correction: The Young Women’s Journal seems to be giving the New Mexico‘s displacement [the weight of the water the ship displaced], not its gross registered tonnage [a measure of the ship’s enclosed space that is derived from cubic feet]. For a more accurate comparison, Vaterland‘s displacement was about 58,000 tons.)

    Comment by JimD — September 25, 2009 @ 10:03 am

  10. Thanks, Jim — I wouldn’t want to be the one who had to look Catherine Hurst in the eye and tell her that she’d erred. She seems like such a formidable lady!

    Comment by Ardis E. Parshall — September 25, 2009 @ 10:08 am

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