How language changes.
“On Sunday afternoon the girls blow the boys to a picnic.” From Life magazine, 1949. It means the girls paid for everything. The article was about how an Ohio State boy made five dollars last him for a weekend.
Today we wouldn’t write, “The girls blow the boys to a picnic.” We might write, “The girls blow the boys on a picnic,” but we’d have something different in mind.
The next issue of Life in 1949 includes topless pictures of shapely-breasted women in the U.S. Trust Territory of the Pacific.
Wait a minute. Is this the same U.S. that fifty-five years later would have a snit fit because Justin Timberlake exposed Janet Jackson’s nipple for half a second during the Superbowl halftime show? Ah, but citizens of the Trust Territory were “natives,” and perhaps natives’ breasts supposedly wouldn’t be recognized as sexual objects by the Caucasian Americans of 1949?
(photo of Timberlake and Jackson from the Washington Post)