Tracing a T to Tampa
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On July 22, 1969, my 5 month old son was propped up in front of a TV as Neil & Buzz stepped onto the moon's surface. I recall that thoughts of his great-great-grandfather passed briefly through my mind as I watched him peering at the gritty images without comprehending them. Granddad had passed away nearly eight years earlier but, before he went, he had seen the world go from men on horseback to men in orbit. The United States went from less that 50 million people in 37 states to over 180 million and 50 states. What would this kid, who would never really know a world without space travel and instant communication between continents, see during his life time?

The Florida trip occurred near the mid point of my great-grandparents lives. The telephone and electric light had already appeared; television and the atom bomb were yet to come. A world war and a stock market crash were behind them and another of each lay ahead. When Granny left Ohio, she was allowed to vote but not to drink "intoxicating liquors". This list of events may help place the trip in time:

Jan 27, 1875 Frank Robbins born.
May 16, 1876 Gertrude Fifer born.
Jun 25, 1876 Battle of Little Big Horn (Custer's Last Stand).
Aug 1, 1876 Colorado becomes 38th state.
Jan 27, 1880 Edison patents incandescent lamp.
Oct 6, 1881 Gunfight at the OK Corral. Billy the Kid was gunned down on July 14th. Jesse James is shot from behind on April 3, 1882.
Jun 5, 1893 Lizzie Borden trial opens.
Jun 27, 1893 Stock Market Crash.
Apr 14, 1898 Spain declares war on United States. Teddy Roosevelt & Rough Riders at San Juan Hill on July 1st.
Dec 17, 1903 Wright brothers first flight at Kitty Hawk.
Apr 18, 1906 San Francisco earthquake.
Oct 1, 1908 First production Model T Ford assembled.
Jun 22, 1914 Archduke Ferdinand assassinated and a world war becomes a reality.
Nov 6, 1917 Start of Socialist Revolution in Russian.
Nov 11, 1918 The Great War (WWI) ends.
Jan 17, 1920 Prohibition goes into effect one year after ratification of the 18th amendment (Jan 16, 1919). It is repealed on December 5, 1933 with the 21st amendment.
Aug 18, 1920 19th amendment gives women the right to vote
Nov 2, 1920 Warren G. Harding elected President of the US. A first for both women and radio. Results broadcast by KDKA in Pittsburgh.
Nov 4, 1920 Frank & Gertrude depart from Woodington.
Mar 4, 1921 Harding is first president to ride to his inauguration in an automobile. Frank & Gertrude arrive home.
Jul 14, 1921 Sacco & Vanzetti trial ends.
Jul 18, 1921 Black Sox trial starts.
Nov 16, 1922 Door to the tomb of Tutankamen (King Tut) pierced.
Jul 10, 1925 Trial of John T. Scopes, on charges of teaching evolution, begins.
May 20, 1927 Lindbergh begins transatlantic flight.
Oct 24, 1929 Black Thursday. The great stock market crash.
Feb 18, 1930 The planet Pluto discovered.
Jul 2, 1937 Amelia Earhart vanishes.
Dec 7, 1941 Japanese bomb Pearl Harbor
Jun 6, 1944 Normandy invasion; D-Day
Aug 6, 1945 A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima
Oct 4, 1957 Sputnik launched
Sep 26, 1960 Gertrude Fifer Robbins dies
Apr 12, 1961 Yuri Gagarin in space for 1 orbit. Two Americans were also in space during Frank's lifetime; Alan Shepard on May 5, 1961 and Gus Grissom on July 21, 1961
Aug 15, 1961 Frank Robbins dies

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