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 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?
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
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?”
On June 7, 1892, Homer Plessy, a shoemaker and social activist, walked into the Press Street Depot in New Orleans, bought a first-class ticket to Covington, Louisiana, and boarded the East Louisiana Railroad’s Number 8 train--all with the full expectation of being forced off the train or arrested—or both. That's because Plessy was a black … Continue reading The Little Rock Nine
In February 1945, with World War II dragging into its sixth year, the United States Navy entered a contract with a team of scientists at Harvard University to build a computer. Having been impressed by a demonstration of the Mark I, an electromechanical computer used to study implosions for the Manhattan Project, Navy higher-ups believed … Continue reading Computer Slow? Check for bugs!
Blink and you'll miss it. Codell is a small farming community much like many others scattered throughout Kansas. Located in the windswept prairie north of Hays (and the bustling traffic of Interstate 70), Codell was established as a railroad town in 1887 and once boasted hundreds of houses, a school, multiple churches as well as … Continue reading When The Third Time’s NOT a Charm
In the height of the Second World War, exhausted American soldiers hunker in their makeshift camps. They are dirty and exhausted, not just from the day's battle, but from years of continuous warfare. Friends have been lost. Comrades have been maimed. And home--America--has never felt further away. Someone pulls out a radio. The upbeat melody … Continue reading This Is Berlin Calling…
In 1945, the world witnessed the true power of nuclear weapons when two atomic bombs were dropped on Japan, one on Hiroshima on August 6, and on Nagasaki three days later. Realizing the potential (and perhaps ramifications) of such a weapon, at the war's end, the United States created the Atomic Energy Commission (AEC) to … Continue reading 3-2-1, Action…or Explosion!
The door to the studio was shut tight. Inside, Pablo Picasso, one of the most famous artists of the 20th century, was hard at work on his latest masterpiece—and he was not to be disturbed. Lump (pronounced “loomp”) was not discouraged. He pushed his way inside and dropped a stone at the feet of the painter, tail wagging expectantly. Picasso, … Continue reading The Spanish Artist and the German Dog