Lizzie Bordon

Lizzie Bordon was born on 19 July 1860. She had a relatively religious upbringing, attending Central Congregational Church; after high school she taught Sunday school to immigrant children and was the secretary-treasurer of the Christian Endeavor Society. She was also involved with social movements such as the Women’s Christian Temperance Union, and was a member of the Ladies Fruit and Flower Mission.

Her father, Andrew Borden, was a successful property developer.and directed several textile mills including the Globe Yarn Mill Company, Troy Cotton and Woolen Manufacturing Company, and he owned considerable commercial property, as well as was both president of the Union Savings Bank and a director of the Durfee Safe Deposit and Trust Co

In 1865, her mother, Sarah Borden, died and her father remarried to Abby Gray, who had a daughter named Emma. Lizzie referred to her stepmother as “Mrs Borden” instead of “mother”. The Bordens rarely ate meals together. Andrew upset Lizzie in May 1892 when he killed one of Lizzie’s pigeons wih an axe because he believed it was attracting intruders. The following month, a family argument led to the two sisters taking extended vacations.

Tension had been growing in the family in late July 1892, especially over Andrew’s gifts to various branches of the family. After Abby’s relatives received a house, the sisters demanded and received a rental property, which they later sold back to their father for cash. For several days afterward, the entire household had been violently ill. The family doctor blamed food left on the stove for use in meals over several days, but Abby had feared poisoning, as Andrew Borden had not been popular.

On August 4, 1892, Andrew Borden breakfasted with his wife and made his usual rounds of the bank and post office, returning about 10:45 am. The Bordens’ maid, Bridget Sullivan, testified that she was in her third-floor room, resting from cleaning windows, when just before 11:10 am she heard Lizzie call out, “Maggie, come quick! Father’s dead. Somebody came in and killed him.”

Andrew was slumped on a couch in the downstairs sitting room, struck ten or eleven times with a hatchet. One of his eyeballs had been split cleanly in two, suggesting he had been asleep when attacked. Soon after, as neighbors and doctors tended Lizzie, Sullivan discovered Abby Borden in the upstairs guest bedroom, her skull crushed by nineteen blows.Police found a hatchet in the basement which, though free of blood, was missing most of its handle. Lizzie was arrested on August 11.

The victims’ heads were removed during autopsy and the skulls were shown as evidence during Borden’s trial (Borden fainted upon seeing her father and stepmother’s skulls)

On 20 June 1893,a jury acquitted Lizzie Borden of the murders. Despite the acquittal, Lizzie was ostracized by her community. Her name was again brought into the public eye when she was accused of shoplifting in 1897. Soon after, Lizzie began using the name Lizbeth A. Borden.

Lizzie Borden died of pneumonia on 1 June 1927.

The murders were turned into a popular nursery rhyme:

Lizzie Borden took an axe
And gave her mother forty whacks.
When she saw what she had done
She gave her father forty-one.


Lizzie Borden

The Elder Blog: Nintendo

When asked when Nintendo was founded, most people will say either the 1970s or 1980s. They would be shocked to learn that one of the biggest video game companies was founded long before televisions were even a thought.

Founded 23 September 1889 (that’s right, eighteen eighty-nine) by Fusajiro Yamauchi, Nintendo Koppai started out as a card company in Kyoto, Japan, specializing in a card game called Hanafuda. Despite switching to video games, the company still makes these cards, and in fact even makes a special Mario-themed set.

In 1956, Yamauchi’s grandson, Hiroshi Yamauchi, visited the United States to talk with the United States Playing Card Company. While there, he found that the world’s largest card manufacturer was being run out of a small office. That’s when he realized that the card playing industry was very limiting. He gained access to use Disney characters on the Nintendo cards to help expand the company.

In 1963, the company started experimenting in other areas to attempt to expand the company in new ways, including a taxi company, a love hotel chain, a TV network, a food company (selling instant rice, similar to instant noodles) and several other things. All of these ventures failed. In 1966, they tried making toys, such as the Ultra Hand. Even though it was successful, the company was struggling to make enough to satisfy the demand.

In 1974, Nintendo obtained the rights to distribute a new product called a video game console, specifically, the Magnavox Odyssey. In 1977, a student product developer named Shigeru Miyamoto was hired by Nintendo. He changed Nintendo’s future in 1981 when he made a little game called Donkey Kong. The previous year, 1980, Nintendo had released it’s very own game console, called the Family Computer, or “Famicom”. In North America, the console is known as the Nintendo Entertainment System, or “NES”.

And the rest, they say, is history.