The case was open and shut. On April 2, 1968, small-time crook and unapologetic racist James Earl Ray drove from Atlanta, Georgia to Memphis Tennessee. Two days later, on April 4, and armed with a Remington Model 760 Gamemaster .30-06-caliber rifle mounted with a Redfield 2x-7x scope, Ray killed civil rights leader Martin Luther King, … Continue reading Guilty or Not?
The Make-Believe Battle
In February 1942, the entire west coast of the United States was on edge. Only two months before, the Japanese had successfully executed a surprise, devastating attack on Pearl Harbor, thrusting the United States into war. The Imperial Army seemed unstoppable, as Pacific island after Pacific Island fell under Japanese control. Many in California, Oregon, … Continue reading The Make-Believe Battle
Blood, Whipping, and Chaucer: The Truth Behind St. Valentine’s Day (RE-POST)
**Recently, my kids asked me about the origins of Valentine's Day so, as a nod to the upcoming holiday, I thought it appropriate to re-hash this article I wrote a few years ago. It's not all candy hearts and roses, folks. Enjoy! The ancient Romans celebrated the feast of Lupercalia in mid-February, usually from the … Continue reading Blood, Whipping, and Chaucer: The Truth Behind St. Valentine’s Day (RE-POST)
I *maybe* Claim This Land for Russia
On this day in 1820, a Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen spotted an ice shelf attached to Antarctic land now known as Queen Maud Land, making them the first to see the long-sought-after Terra Australis Incognita (“unknown southern land”) many explorers before had tried--and failed--to locate. It should have been a major … Continue reading I *maybe* Claim This Land for Russia
The Beginning of a Dream (Re-Post)
In honor the upcoming Martin Luther King Jr. Day holiday, today's #historyfriday article is a repost of a feature I wrote a few years back. It's worth sharing again, as we honor the life and legacy of this important Civil Rights activist:"I have a dream." Perhaps one of the most famous lines in all of … Continue reading The Beginning of a Dream (Re-Post)
All It Needs Is A Little Bit of Love
We're a little over two weeks in the Christmas season, and I've already done it three times. Maybe you have, too. To me, it's the first sign of the coming holiday, usually done while putting up the tree. And then again while baking cookies and/or wrapping gifts. I can repeat it from memory; its soundtrack … Continue reading All It Needs Is A Little Bit of Love
Following the Bouncing…Mouse?
On November 18, 1928, the world of animation changed forever with the introduction of a certain cartoon mouse bopping along to fully synchronized sound and music in what would become an instant classic (and studio boon): Steamboat Willie. The brainchild of relative newbie Walt Disney, the eight-minute film premiered at the Broadway Theater in New … Continue reading Following the Bouncing…Mouse?
The Curse of Tutankhamen?
The Valley of the Kings, located on the western bank of the Nile River opposite modern-day Luxor, had long been a site of "antiquity tourism," dating all the way back to the time of the Roman Empire. Housing the principal burial location for many major royal figure in the Egyptian New Kingdom, as well as … Continue reading The Curse of Tutankhamen?
The Tragedy at Aberfan
It was foggy on the morning of October 21, 1966. Not that that was unusual for the small Welsh village of Aberfan. It had been raining for weeks, but that wasn't unusual either for an area that received over 60 inches a year. It was dreary and misty, yes. But also full of excitement. Because, … Continue reading The Tragedy at Aberfan
Quoth the Raven: “Huh?”
On October 3, 1849, a reporter for the Baltimore Sun named Joseph W. Walker decided to head to Gunner Hall's, which had been set up at polling station for the day's election. Thinking he'd gauge the vibe or catch a whiff of public sentiment, he knew the public house would be a great place to … Continue reading Quoth the Raven: “Huh?”