Study Help Full Glossary for The Secret Life of Bees


"American Bandstand" A television show based in Philadelphia that ran from 1952 to 1989. It introduced new pop stars and dances. Dick Clark became the host in 1956. (9)

Aristaeus A minor Greek god who was connected with the useful arts, including beekeeping. (10)

Birmingham, Sept. 15, four little angels dead This is a reference to the 16th Street Baptist Church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1963. The church was used as a meeting place for Civil Rights Movement leaders, including Martin Luther King, Jr., and others. On Sunday, September 15, the church was bombed and four children, ages 11 to 14, died while attending Sunday school classes. The case was unsolved until 1977, when Robert Chambliss, a member of the Ku Klux Klan, was found guilty. Three other men were named in the crime in 2000; at that time, one was dead and two others were arrested. One of those arrested, Thomas Blanton, was tried and convicted. (4)

Castro's sister Juanita Castro, sister of Cuban president Fidel Castro, was rumored to have supplied the CIA with information prior to moving to the United States in the early 1960s. (3)

Civil Rights Act A law envisioned by John F. Kennedy and passed by Lyndon Johnson and Congress on June 15, 1964. It made discrimination in public buildings illegal, provided equal employment opportunities, and made it easier to register to vote. (1)

Crystals, The A 1960s girl's singing group from New York City, whose big hits were "Then He Kissed Me," "Da Doo Ron Ron," and "He's a Rebel." (11)

"The Fugitive" A television series that ran from 1963 to 1967. David Janssen played Dr. Richard Kimble, a man falsely convicted of his wife's murder. He escaped a train that was taking him to prison and hunted for the real killer, a one-armed man. The series was the talk around the water cooler at work. (7)

Goldwater for President sign Barry M. Goldwater was a five-term senator from Arizona who ran for president on the conservative Republican ticket in 1964. (3)

Grimm Brother's forest Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm were German brothers who wrote fairy tales and folk tales. Many, such as "Hansel and Gretel," were set deep in a scary forest. (2)

Gulf of Tonkin The location of an incident in which North Vietnam attacked two U.S. destroyers on August 2 and 4, 1964. The U.S. Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin Resolution, giving President Lyndon Johnson justification for escalating U.S. involvement in Vietnam. (9)

herringbone A zigzag pattern, knit into fabric. (1)

"I Found My Thrill on Blueberry Hill" The first line of the song "Blueberry Hill" recorded on Imperial Records by Fats Domino in 1956. (7)

Jack Palance An American actor, born Volodymyr Palahnyuk, who played mostly in Westerns. He won an Academy Award for City Slickers and an Emmy for his television work. (8)

Jane Eyre A popular British novel by Charlotte Bronte, published in 1847. It is the story of an English orphan who overcomes terrible experiences to finally marry the man she loves. (7)

Lost Horizon A novel popular in the 1950s by James Hilton. Four people escaping the Civil War are transported to the tranquil world of Shangri La in Tibet. It is an otherworldly place where dreams come true. (10)

Malcolm X A controversial American Black Muslim minister and spokesman for the Nation of Islam until 1964. He was allegedly shot by Nation of Islam assassins. (3)

Marvelettes, The A girl's singing group that preceded The Supremes and recorded for Motown from 1960 to 1969. Their number-one hit was "Please, Mr. Postman." (11)

Mary Whites The brand name for grits, which are made of coarsely ground corn and sold predominantly in southern states. (1)

Miles Davis An American jazz trumpet player and composer. He influenced musicians from World War II until the 1990s, especially in new developments in the world of jazz. (7)

Mr. Khrushchev Nikita Khrushchev was the leader of the Soviet Union from 1955 to 1964. He created some liberal reforms but was considered the enemy of democracy during the Cold War. (1)

Nat King Cole An American singer and pianist whose smooth voice won him fame. He had his own television show in 1956 and 1957 and was the father of singer Natalie Cole. (8)

Pentecostal dresses A reference to Apostolic Pentecostal Church rules that say women should wear dresses that cover them modestly from neck to foot. (1)

Perry Mason A fictional defense attorney created by author Erle Stanley Gardner. He was well known on television because of a popular series named for his character that ran from 1957 to 1966 and from 1973 to 1974. (7)

"Queen for a Day" One of the earliest prize-giveaway shows on the radio, and then later on television from 1945 to 1964. A female contestant in reduced circumstances would be brought on and given flowers and all kinds of prizes, thus making her "queen for a day." (1)

rabbit ears Portable antennas set on top of early television sets so that reception was better. They are called rabbit ears because the antenna sticks out in two directions, like the ears of a rabbit. (1)

Ralph Waldo Emerson Famous American philosopher, lecturer, and poet who wrote about self-reliance. (1)

Ranger 7 A U.S. rocket that launched to the moon on July 28, 1964. It was designed to fly to the moon and send images back prior to impact. (6)

Saigon The largest city in South Vietnam near the Mekong Delta. Renamed Ho Chi Minh City in 1975 after Americans left and the communists took it over. (3)

Sam Cooke A popular R & B, soul, and gospel singer and songwriter between 1957 and 1965. Cooke had twenty-nine Top 40 hits. (9)

Spic And Span A household cleaner invented in 1933 by two housewives. Later, the product was bought by Procter and Gamble. (13)

"Stopping by Woods on a Snowy Evening" A famous poem by Robert Frost that follows a narrator who has "miles to go before I sleep." Those "miles" are often interpreted as goals he wants to accomplish before he dies. (12)

The Supremes One of Motown Records' most successful rock groups, featuring Florence Ballard, Mary Wilson, and Diana Ross. (2)

Thoreau, Henry David Author, critic, philosopher, and naturalist, who advocated simple living. He explored nature, simplicity, and resistance to immoral laws. His philosophy of civil disobedience influenced Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. (3)

Viva Las Vegas A movie starring Elvis Presley and Ann-Margret that was produced by MGM in1964. (7)

wailing wall A wall in the Old City of Jerusalem that is traditionally part of Solomon's Temple built in the tenth century B.C. Although the temple was later destroyed by the Romans, the West Wall stands. It is a holy place of pilgrimage for Jews. Many people who visit place a slip of paper with prayers into the cracks of the wall. (5)

Walden, or Life in the Woods A book written by Henry David Thoreau in 1854 that describes his two years of living near a pond outside Concord, Massachusetts. Thoreau advocated living deliberately and in harmony with nature. (3)

Welch's grape juice cans Cans used for hair rollers; hair was rolled around the empty cans, and a bobby pin secured the hair. Sleeping was almost impossible. (1)

Wilt Chamberlain A 7-foot, 1-inch basketball player considered one of the greatest NBA players of all time. He played for Philadelphia and Los Angeles. (9)

women's club A cultural marker; around the country, these were small-town clubs for women who were homemakers. They could go there for a tea, piano recitals, and so on. (1)