Browsing Tag »US history«

The Dark Camps of War: Revisiting the Horrors of Andersonville

January 11, 2013

When they came to Wirz with the offer, he refused them. He was not a man to play games. He had already told them he knew nothing that would implicate President Jefferson Davis in the calamity that was Andersonville, but they kept pressing him, thinking he would crack, thinking he would bear false witness in […]

The Tyrant’s Art: Living in a Dream House in Two Rivers, WI

December 14, 2012

Living in his house, it was hard to comprehend how such a cold, self-absorbed person could create a thing of such lasting beauty. By 1938 he had left a trail of tragedy and destruction behind him.  An unapologetic womanizer and adulterer, he had left his first wife and six children and run off to Europe […]

The Patients of Saints: Visiting The Mayo Clinic, Rochester, MN

November 30, 2012

It started with a disaster. When the tornado struck, devastating the town of Rochester, wiping out a third of the town, killing 37 and leaving hundreds injured, a temporary hospital was erected and the hard-pressed medical community went to work treating the wounded.  It was hard work made more difficult by the lack of access […]

Cleveland’s Super Colorful Comic Book Legacy

November 2, 2012

Clark Kent is resigning from the Daily Planet.  Times have changed and Kent doesn’t appreciate the tabloid-like direction the paper is taking.  He plans to become an independent journalist and blogger.  Let me be the first to welcome him to the club. As earth shaking developments in the Superman saga go, this one is fairly […]

Dumped On: The Messy Truth About Love Canal, NY

October 19, 2012

The United States today is a country of two different people, liberals and conservatives. The partisan divide is stark and dramatic.  But at bottom what exactly is it that divides us?  The best definition I’ve heard comes from libertarian essayist P.J. O’Rourke who said, “Conservatives fear the government more than they do the corporations.  Liberals […]

The Creepiest Town in America: Danvers, MA

October 5, 2012

Sometime around 10:30am on the morning of Saturday, November 12th, 2011, a 24-year-old Danvers, Massachusetts man knocked on his neighbor’s door.  When the neighbor opened the door, the man took the cat he was carrying under his arm and tossed it into the neighbor’s house. Startled, the neighbor asked him why he was doing that.  […]

Greeting the Storm Spirit: Ascending Mt. Washington, NH

September 21, 2012

Here’s a tip for any would-be hikers out there.  Don’t trust the Internet. The trouble is anyone can post anything they want to on the Internet, and if it meets the criteria of Google’s algorithm it can be driven to the top of the search engine rankings, laying in wait there like a coiled snake, […]

Naked Curiosity: Visiting a Nudist Colony in the Poconos

September 7, 2012

When I was a boy of about eight I had a sexual awakening.  A friend and I were wandering along a rural road, as little boys were permitted to do in those days, kicking cans, throwing stones and inspecting the debris along the shoulder, when we came upon a pile of discarded magazines.  It was […]

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 […]