Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Gambling History: How Far Back Do Gambling Games Go? Possibly With the Egyptian Pharaohs

Early America

Gambling in America started with the first English settlers in the 1600's. Their traditions included card games that were part of the aristocratic lifestyle. However, when Puritans colonized in Massachusetts Bay they had the freedom to create their own culture which included hostility towards gambling. They outlawed the possession of dice, cards, and gambling table games in their communities. Nevertheless, gambling prevailed in other localities. Many English colonists considered gambling to be a suitable form of entertainment.

At what period in history did people start to gamble? The exact period is unknown but believe it or not, pairs of dice have been found in Egyptian tombs over 4,000 years old! Also, gambling games were played in ancient China, where Poker is thought to have originated. In 1492 during the Columbus landing, Native Americans were sports betting on the outcome of a game resembling LaCross. So when did it all start in America? Read on :
The Revolution

The colony of Virginia was the first to realize that lotteries could raise capital for local governments. Eventually all 13 colonies were raising lottery revenue. Proceeds helped build Universities like Harvard, Yale, and Princeton. Lotteries also funded churches and libraries. Founding Fathers George Washington, Ben Franklin, and John Hancock were promoters of specific lotteries for public works projects. When the Revolutionary War started, the Continental Congress voted for a $10 million lottery to finance the war.

Westward Ho

During the early 1800's the taverns and road houses allowed dice and card games, creating the first version of casinos. As America's population began to increase, casinos became more lavish. The Mississippi River was a major trade route where merchants and entrepreneurs brought their cash. Gambling on riverboats became a favorite pastime and New Orleans became the gambling capitol of America. In 1849 gambling followed the pioneers to California during the gold rush. Gambling establishments began to flourish there and west of the Mississippi, including Nevada. In the late 1800's Roulette was adopted from France and the Slot Machine was invented.

Much of the public viewed gambling as a social ill because it was linked to alcoholism and prostitution. Reformers convinced jurisdictions to shut down the Dens of Iniquity. Most states discontinued lotteries as well. Riverboat gambling dried up with the advent of the railroad. By the end of the century only Nevada allowed gambling.

20th Century

In 1910 Nevada finally shut the door on gambling, which left horse race wagering the only legal entity in America. In 1912 Arizona and New Mexico were granted statehood under the condition that gambling remain outlawed. During the 1920's prohibition era, the public's thirst for gambling matched that of alcohol. Casinos went underground along with the speakeasys. In 1931 Nevada legalized gambling again and remained the only state to do so until the latter half of the century. Gambling flourished underground as organized crime made heavy investments in Nevada, and prospered by controlling off track betting and the numbers lottery.

During the 1950's the U.S. Senate investigated organized crime's link to illegal gambling. Eventually the mob departed Las Vegas. States put bookies out of business by legalizing off track betting and numbers games. Atlantic City approved gambling in 1976, the Indian Gaming Act was approved by congress in the late 1980's. Dockside riverboat gambling made a comeback, racetracks installed slot machines while Las Vegas reinvented itself by building mega resorts during the 1990's.

Century 21

The American Gaming Association reported that there are 832,988 slot machines spread out over 1,151 casinos and racetracks across 44 states with more on the way. It appears that the American culture's thirst for gambling matches that of the Egyptian Pharaohs! America has embraced gambling as an acceptable form of entertainment.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Eight Weeks of Summer Photo Share - Week Five

Eight Weeks of Summer Photo Challenge - Vacation Photos or Things I Play 

 It's hard to believe that we are about halfway through our summer break. Time is flying by so quickly. If you have missed any of our earlier challenges, don't fret. Send your contributions to and we will add them to those submissions.

Please remember to share photos of your regular vacations.  We would love to include them.  Our focus this week will be, Things I Play.  We can't wait to see what you have to share.  By the way, please accept my apologies for being a bit late with the notifications.  Recovering from my total ankle replacement surgery has been more painful than I imagined.  Thank you for your patience.

My oldest son enjoy a bike ride on a hot summer day.
by Heather Wade, Glass Class Substitute Teacher.
Granddaughter, Karolina, "It's too hot to play baseball."
by Rick Glass, the Glass Class

Conference at Pitcher's Mound
by Rick Glass, the Glass Class

The teachers of the Ivan Goran Kovacic School, Slavonski Brod, Croatia visited Sarajevo, the capital city of the Federation of Bosnia and Hertzegovina, on 6th July, 2012.
It was a lovely celebration of the end of 2011/2012 school year.  Photos are by Rozalija Baricevic, Teacher and friend of the Glass Class.

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Eight Weeks of Summer Photo Share - Week Six

My Summer Vacation - Things I Saw

Just three weeks remain in our Summer Photo Share.  This is a great week to share photos of your favorite memories.  Did you travel? Did you stay close to home? Did you attend a special event? Whatever you have done, you have made memories and memories are worth sharing.  Please send a couple of photographs of your special memories along with a brief description.  Email your contributions to

Remember, this Photo Share is open to ALL friends of the Glass Class.  We have had visitors from nearly all 50 states and more than 60 countries.  We invite each of you to join us in this celebration of old and new friendships.

Thank you,
Rick Glass, The Glass Class

London, England
by John Miller, Friend of the Glass Class and Fellow Teacher
Here is a summer pic of the sunset over Lake Travis in Austin, TX, as we enjoyed dinner with cousins, uncle and aunt (my brother and wife) at the Oasis restaurant. 
An awesome summer night with family and great burgers, too! 
by Cindy Corliss BeMent, Writer and Friend of the Glass Class

A statue of a Pirate commands a street corner in downtown St. Joseph, Michigan
by Rick Glass, the Glass Class
My granddaughter, Alexis.  I'm not certain I want to know what she saw :)
by Heidi Dolbee, daughter of Rick Glass and a Glass Class parent

This half-blind bunny was rescued by Jeannine Cordova Pappas and placed in
a wildlife refuge for injured and handicapped animals.

"If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men." ~ St. Francis of Assisiby Jeannine Cordova Pappas, Harrison School Staff

An evening on the lake with our dog, Riley
by Doug and Rose Ann Hale, Harrison School Staff

Wednesday, May 25, 2016

A Painful but Necessary Vacation

Hi folks, Mr. Glass here.  I am the teacher of the Glass Class.  You have probably noticed that weeks seven and eight are missing from our Summer Photo Share.  If you have photos to share, please send them to me and I will gladly post them.

 A Painful but Necessary Vacation
Many of you know that I had surgery a few weeks ago.  My left ankle was completely replaced and four titanium plates were screwed into my foot as the surgeon worked hard to repair the years of damage.  I sincerely hope other old soccer players do not have to go through this.

At any rate, we are about to start a new school year.  The students return on Monday, the 13th of August and we are anxious to get the new school year underway.  I will start the semester using my knee caddy and my wheelchair.  We have some very exciting things planned to start the year, but I will let the students tell you about that next week.

We thank you for reading our blog and we would really appreciate hearing from you.

Rick Glass

Tuesday, May 24, 2016

School Begins Monday!

"Pirates of the "Harrisonean"
It was great to meet many of my new students at our Open House this afternoon.  I was also nice that many former students came by the room, too.  It all begins on Monday.  The fourth grade teachers, Mrs. Kinsey, Mrs. Ramsey, and yours truly, are using a pirate theme this fall.  As pirates, we plan to plunder the world of its knowledge and share much of what we learn with all of you here.  We are in the process of writing our Pirate Manifesto so you can understand our goals.

We also invite you to visit our Facebook page, the Glass Class Online and follow us on Twitter where we are known as g4harrison.  It is going to be a great year.