One hundred and fifty years ago today, on October 8, 1871, the Great Chicago Fire ignited. Burning over a period of two days, the blaze destroyed thousands of buildings over an area of three square miles; killed an estimated 300 people and left over 100,000 more homeless: and caused an estimated $200 million in damages, … Continue reading A Cow and A Lantern…or a Comet and some Craps
Love it or hate it, The Great Gatsby is considered by many, including yours truly, to be the greatest novel of all time. As widely misunderstood and panned as it is praised, both the novel and its author owe its fame to a couple of World Wars--even though, interestingly, neither directly touched the conflicts that … Continue reading The Green Light on the Battlefields of France
On September 10, 1945, Lloyd Olsen went outside to kill a chicken for his wife, Clara, who was preparing the evening meal. This was a normal routine for the couple, who had a farm filled with chickens just outside Fruita, Colorado, and survived the slim times off the sustenance their animals provided. Today, however, was … Continue reading Like A Chicken Without A Head?
In 1919, Raymond Orteig, a French immigrant and hotel owner in New York City, attended a dinner organized by the Aero Club of America honoring the World War I flying ace Eddie Rickenbacker. Rickenbacker had received the Distinguished Flying Cross and Medal of Honor for his bravery, as well the Croix de Guerre from France … Continue reading The Flying Fool
When you think of Mother's Day, you probably think of cards, flowers, or candy for the woman who gave you life.But did you know those things are the exact opposite of what the creator of Mother's Day meant for the day? In the United States, our modern day "Mother's Day" got its start with an … Continue reading Call Your Mother
My husband is a military history buff. As a pilot in the USAF, it should come as no surprise that he enjoys reading and watching all things related to US military history. He can spout off names, dates, and battles like a Jeopardy! contestant; it's enough to make your head spin.But as I was researching … Continue reading Wait? What War?
During the pandemic, I missed a lot of things. Social gatherings. Reliable school schedules. Hugs. But, honestly, the thing I missed the most was my public library. I never truly appreciated its existence or the simple joy it offered---hundreds if not thousands of books, free of charge, for me to peruse at my leisure. Free … Continue reading Let’s Hear it for Libraries!
Sometimes, when I sit down to write a #historyfriday post, my *own* history collides with it.On March 26, 2010, a Republic of Korea (ROK) Navy vessel, the Cheonan, was allegedly sunk by a North Korean torpedo near Baengnyeong Island in the Yellow Sea. A rescue operation recovered 58 survivors but 46 sailors were killed. Despite … Continue reading When the Forgotten War Wasn’t So Forgotten
The early twentieth century marked the beginning of the heyday of aviation. Following the Wright Brothers' success at Kitty Hawk in 1903, the world became captivated by flight, and the rush to go the highest, furthest, and fastest was on. Whether events were momentous, such as the first transcontinental flight across North America (made by … Continue reading Grapefruit in the Eye..er, Sky
The Leaning Tower of Pisa is symbol of Italy, a glorious structure that conjures images of rolling Tuscan fields, freshly baked pizza, and miles and miles of vineyards.And yet, in reality, it is a historical landmark only still standing because of its home country's humbleness and the grit and determination of a multi-national team of … Continue reading Lean In…Literally