This is an old blog that I started in 2006. I keep it because it has a lot of historical data and people still come here. As of September 2016, no new updates will be made here. All new blog posts and writing/publishing related news will be posted over on my new site at

Friday, May 08, 2009

Remember When...for Writing Research

By Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Have you ever been to Cracker Barrel Restaurant and noticed the Remember When booklets for each year? The idea is to give these to people on their birthday or a particular anniversary so they can remember how it was during that year.

These little booklets are the historical writer's dream. They list pertinent world and national news headlines, sample newspaper ads, cost of living index, famous people who were born that year, sports events and trivia, top music and movies, and presidents, all for that particular year. While it may not be an all-inclusive resource for the year you're writing about, it can certainly be a great resource to get you going in the right direction.

I'll soon be starting a new manuscript set in 1929. My local Cracker Barrel didn't have that year, so I got the phone number, called and ordered it to be delivered directly to my house. While I was on the phone, I asked a few questions. The booklets range from 1920 - present. However, they did have fact sheets available as early as 1900. These booklets are produced by Seek Publishers at or They also have a set of booklets called, Pages in Time.

If you are writing a book set after 1900, I would highly recommend checking out these booklets as a resource. You can also call Seek Publishing at 1-800-826-4929.


What a great idea! Thanx for sharing!

I adore those booklets! (and Cracker Barrel). I had never thought about using them for historical information, though. What an awesome idea!

Thanks, T. Anne and Kaitlin. I'm always on the lookout for any info I can possibly use in a book.

Hi Jennifer:
Susan Reinhart directed me to your blog. We got one of those booklets today at Bob Evans for my sister-in-law. They make very cool presents. And thank you for reminding me about the research value.