July 30th, 2009

Books read by American high school seniors in the mid 60s; popular teen girl magazines by May 1965

SETTING: May 1965, Los Angeles, High School

Okay, I tried Googling combinations of "reading lists", "seniors", "high school", "books", and "1960s" to no avail for this first one...

1) What are some examples of books assigned to high school seniors in 1965 or the early 60s? I'm thinking something relatively challenging since it's the end of the school year and all.

2) What sort of teen magazines (you know, the ones with all those bands like The Beatles on the cover for girls to get all excited over) would be popular amongst 17/18 year old girls at the time?

I actually found a rather helpful source which mentioned 16 Magazine, but then later mentioned that Tiger Beat was 16's west coast competitor. I'd totally use Tiger Beat if it didn't launch in SEPTEMBER of 1965 :(

Any suggestions? Was 16 Magazine ONLY popular on the east coast?

Thanks so much in advance!

Men's Underwear in 1870s

Hi all,

I'm writing a story in 1877-ish, and i've been doing some research on men's underwear. I want to mention the lower half of a man's undergarments, but haven't been able to find out if they have a name.

The specific piece of clothing is knee-length cotton shorts with a button in front and a drawstiring waist that ties in back. Does anyone know if there's a specific name for these shorts (like we have briefs and boxers, etc).

Thank you in advance, oh wise ones.

ETA: So far, the consensus seems to be "drawers." Thanks everybody!

Interparty romance in American government

Setting: Modern day alternate version of the US government where LGBT rights and issues are about a decade ahead of ours; at the time of the story, a good number of Cabinet and Congress members are out and South Carolina is voting on gay marriage.

Question: I have two characters: the first is an openly bisexual Democrat and Senior Advisor to the president, and the other is a Republican senator for South Carolina who recently came out as gay in order to support his state's movement for gay marriage. The two of them are starting a relationship and want to be open about it. What would be the best way for them to announce their relationship with the least scandal possible? How concerned their parties be concerned about their relationship? Considering that gay relationships are much more normalized in this universe, how crazy do you think would the media get?

Research: I tried things like "spouses in politics" and "power couples," and some stuff about the Clintons and Doles, but all I found out was that it's at least allowed for both spouses to be in different branches of government, and all of the example couples were from the same party.