Browsing Tag »US historical sites«

First in Flight: Hang Gliding in Kitty Hawk, NC

August 10, 2012

Death from spinal fracture was the final verdict for Otto Lilienthal.  Displaying a heady mixture of audacity and ingenuity, Lilienthal, a German engineer, had developed a heavier than air glider, flown it several times, tweaked its design and was working on a way to power it when the accident occurred.  He fell from 49 feet […]

Went Down to the Crossroads: A Blues Tour of the Delta

July 13, 2012

Few places in America are as interesting as the Mississippi delta.  Stretching 250 miles from Memphis in the north to Vicksburg in the south, and about 80 miles wide, the delta is a pancake flat alluvial plain bordered by the Mississippi River on the west and the Mississippi hill country on the east.  The majority […]

Two Presidents, One Day, Sixteen Years: Kansas & Missouri

June 15, 2012

The years 1944-1960 saw the greatest expansion of the American economy we may ever know.  They saw the end of Second World War, the dawn of the nuclear age, and the beginning of the Cold War.  They were among the most challenging and rewarding years in US history, and they were navigated adroitly by two […]

Single Gun Theory: Visiting the Kennedy Assassination Site

June 1, 2012

In the parking lot of the Sixth Floor Museum at Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas, freelance tour guides wrangle tourists onto the grassy knoll and make wild claims about the Kennedy assassination.  “51 people saw two gunmen shoot the president from this spot!” The obvious question.  “And none of them went to the police?” “Some […]

Farm to Table with Flare: Suds and Grub in Seattle, WA

April 20, 2012

Let’s be honest.  I like to eat and drink.  And as I travel around the country looking for interesting places to dine and imbibe, I’m often shocked at how deficient some cities are. Take Little Rock, for example, a pub and grub desert. Or Indianapolis where they just discovered tapas last week. Some cities tout […]

America’s First War on Terror: Sundown at Ft. Bowie, AZ

February 10, 2012

When he found the bodies, George Bascom was furious. Didn’t this prove what he had been saying all along, that the Indian chief and his followers were ruthless killers? They had undoubtedly slain the little boy too, which was why they had been refusing to return him. The four bodies were riddled with lance holes. […]

Internal Conflict: Two Worrisome Days in Washington DC: Day Two

August 19, 2011

In the spring of 1782 Colonel Lewis Nicola wrote to General George Washington complaining that for more than six months the soldiers who had defeated the British and won independence for the United States had gone unpaid.  He was sick and tired of waiting for the dysfunctional federal government to act and suggested Washington declare […]

Internal Conflict: Two Worrisome Days in Washington DC: Day One

August 12, 2011

Here’s one of those peculiar things that half the people you talk to are already aware of and the other half is surprised to find out.  Did you know that US senators speaking on the floor of the senate chamber speak to no one? Well, technically they speak to the C-Span cameras and a handful […]

Running on Empty: A Strange Visit to the Pennsylvania Oil Sites

June 10, 2011

It would make your eyes burn.  It would irritate your throat.  Those who tried to use it as a lamp oil ended up with a thin layer of greasy soot on their skin.  Even those who had used it as a patent medicine reported poor results. It was more than useless.  It was a nuisance.  […]

The Wickedest Town in the West: Dodge City and the Wages of Progress

May 6, 2011

The Old West was just the briefest snapshot in time.  It’s odd to think that the era we consider the Rootin’ Tootin’ Wild West lasted all of about 15 years, existing during that brief period of time between the first settlers and the arrival of effective law and order.  Many television programs about the era […]