All posts tagged: history

Kings Mountain National Military Park

No matter what historical battlefield you visit, you will find the requisite on site museum. Designed to give you an overview of the historical events and a little context, they all seem to house the same things. Uniforms, weapons, cutlery, topographical maps, and maybe some letters exchanged by historical figures. What stood out to me when I visited Kings Mountain was the way they used a relatively small museum space to truly place you in the same atmosphere that the battle of Kings Mountain was fought. Located just over the border in South Carolina, Kings Mountain is the site of the first patriot victory after the invasion of Charleston, SC. In early October, 1781, the British sent newly trained American troops to the Kings Mountain area, hoping to earn an easy victory over local milita, who were inexperienced in fighting. But as many Americans learn in grade school, what the American’s lacked in formal military training, they made up for in knowledge of the local area. The local milita knew how to take advantage of …

Strange Happenings in January

January 3rd In 1924 British Egyptologist Howard Carter found the sarcophagus of Tutankhamen in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor after several years of searching. His discovery also inadvertently lead to the introduction of the “Mummy Curse” to popular culture. January 4th It Will End Like This, by Kyra Leigh on shelves. “If you think you know how this one will end, I promise, you don’t.” —Kara Thomas, author of That Weekend and The Cheerleaders For fans of They Wish They Were Us and Sadie comes a propulsive thriller that reminds us that in real life, endings are rarely as neat as happily ever after. A contemporary take on the Lizzie Borden story that explores how grief can cut deep.” January 7th The Legand of La Lorona in theaters. “While vacationing in Mexico, a young couple and their son learn about the legend of La Llorona, the evil spirit of a distraught mother who lurks near the water’s edge, striking fear in the hearts of all who see her. La Llorona torments the family …

Outlines of History

One of the things I love about New England is the stone walls trailing off into forests and fields in a seemingly random fashion. Most of them built in the Revolutionary period between 1775 and 1825, when farmers trying to clear land stacked them in walls to get them out of the way. Today the stone walls are protected from removal or destruction by preservation laws.

Pisgah Covered Bridge

I discovered the Pisgah covered bridge during a drive home from Asheboro, NC in 2017. It wound up being the silver lining of an accidental decision to take country roads home instead of the highway. This may have resulted in spending an extra hour in the car, but it was scenic, and when I spotted the sign for the bridge, I had to pull over and investigate. Pisgah covered bridge was built in 1911 to allow horses and carriages to cross the Little River. Eventually surpassed by more modern roadways, the bridge was designated a historical landmark in 1998. It later became the focus of a major preservation project in 2003 when a flood washed the bridge away. Fortunately, it was reconstructed with 90 percent of the original wood rescued from the river. Today the bridge is still accessible from the road and visitor friendly. There are picnic tables, and a short trail that loops from one side of the bridge to the other.

The First Equal Rights Act was Signed Today

Did you know the Alaska Equal Rights Act of 1945, the first anti-discrimination law in the United States, was signed into law today? You do now! The law made it illegal to discriminate based on race, and came into being after Alaskan natives fought against segregation, which often forced them to abandon their culture. It was signed February 16th, 1945 and dismantled Jim Crow laws in Alaska.

Edison and Ford Winter Estates

My visit to the Edison Ford Winter Estates was a last minute decision designed to fill time while visiting my in-laws in Florida. Since I hadn’t done any research in advance, all I expected to see was a few historical homes, and maybe an antique car or two. It turns out, Henry Ford and Thomas Edison bought these neighboring homes on the Caloosahatchee River in the late 1920s to work with Henry Firestone on a very specific project. They were concerned with the Unites States’ dependence on foreign rubber, and were determined to find a plant that could be cultivated in the US, allowing for the production of domestic rubber. They constructed a laboratory on the land shared by Edison and Ford, and brought in plants from all over the world to test. Eventually they discovered a plant, goldenrod, that would work. Today the homes on the estate are preserved, along with the laboratory and 21 acre botanical garden created from all of the plants that were tested during the project. There is also a …

The Water Cure

The Leather Funnel is a short story written by Arthur Conan Doyle, during a period of time when he was a bit tired of his more famous literary creation, Sherlock Holmes. Branching out from Doyle’s popular detective makes for an interesting read that centers around dubious artifacts and unsettling dreams. Click to access tales-of-terror-and-mystery-002-the-leather-funnel.pdf

Strange Happenings in December

December is typically a month that horror fans and Halloween enthusiasts bemoan as the glitter encrusted, eggnog soaked, saccharine month of Christmas. I don’t mind the holiday itself, but the commercials, crowds, parties, and overwrought feel goodness that lead up to it in a typical year wears me out. Which is the funny thing about 2020, because many of the things I dread during the holiday season, expensive travel home, office parties, and generally burning out on social obligations aren’t possible this year. I’m essentially off the hook. Unfortunately, that is leaving a whole other group of people who do look forward to those things disappointed. Regardless of what group you fall into, you still have things to look forward to this month. There’s Krampusnatch and the winter solstice to celebrate (more on the solstice later this month), the brightest meteor shower of the year, and dark entertainment to enjoy. I’ve even got a list of Christmas horror movies at the bottom of this post. So muster up some enthusiasm worthy of Gomez Addams, and …