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Category: History

Boston Tea Party Anyone?

On December 16, 1773, more than 5,000 American colonists met at Old South Meeting House to decide the fate of three shiploads of tea docked in Boston Harbor. Emotions ran high as the colonists bitterly denounced the British troops who occupied the city, the taxes the Crown imposed on everything from household goods to window panes. Especially hated was the tax on tea, a daily staple for the people of Boston. And there they sat, three ships carrying tea in the harbor, waiting to be unloaded. In a gesture of protest, the colonists refused to unload the ships. Threats...

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Halloween Unmasked

Halloween is one of America’s beloved holidays. We buy decorations in July, we compete for the best costume, we gorge ourselves on candy and try to out-do each other for the scariest house décor. It is the second highest grossing holiday in the United States. We all know the traditions; children come out of the womb knowing how to trick-or-treat. But what is the origin of these national craze? Why do we still uphold these customs? How do other countries celebrate? History of Halloween This “spooktacular” holiday originated in Ireland as a Celtic festival called Samhain. The Celtic calendar started...

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Asheville’s Hidden Gems

Downtown Asheville, North Carolina buzzes with a collective hum. Perhaps it’s due to the city’s membership in the Bee City USA national pollination program. More likely it’s because Asheville resonates for everyone: the rich and famous who came in the 1920s, today’s health enthusiasts who bicycle, jog or hike the mountainous roads, musicians who perform on street corners and micro-breweries that concoct the latest craft beer. Asheville is a happening crossroads where visitors, locals and honeybees thrive on diversity and natural delights. I was attracted by the elegant  and extraordinary Biltmore Estate, Asheville’s claim to fame. No wonder; it’s America’s...

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Tour, Dine or Stay at Nottoway Plantation

Plantations were a way of life in the South before the Civil War. While tobacco was profitable and cotton was king, in Louisiana they grew sugar. A strip in south Louisiana along the Mississippi River, from New Orleans north to Baton Rouge, had the highest concentration of millionaires in America. These owners used the Mississippi River to export their product abroad. I recently stopped by Nottoway, one of the grand old southern estates, a former sugarcane plantation called the White Castle. The location later became known as White Castle, Louisiana. It’s the largest surviving antebellum home in the South...

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10 Great Places to Discover Art and Culture

Have you ever wondered what the best places are for art and culture experiences? This is our list of the top 10 places to visit for all you art gurus out there. 1. Fredericksburg, Texas “What makes it so special – and I’m not just talking about the folks from San Antonio and Austin who love to make Fredericksburg a weekend getaway – is that it is one of the fastest growing wine destinations in the country. And it has art galore: Over a dozen galleries with collectible art, local artists, national and international artists, and various mediums.” -Karin Leperi. Full...

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Savannah, Georgia: The Hostess City of the South

Savannah, Georgia is called the “Hostess City of the South” for its hospitality, and that hospitality is one of the first things you will notice about this lovely city perched on Georgia’s Atlantic coast. Drawling Southern voices welcome you, and provide your first clue that Savannah is a place where the pace of life slows down, living is easy, and a tall glass of sweet iced tea is always the drink of choice. The city’s beauty, bedecked as it is by the ubiquitous Spanish moss, and arranged in a series of  lovely park-like squares, is probably the next thing...

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Quintessential Québec

Story by Mary Haban,  Photos by Dale Sanders “Everyday is a fashion show and the world is the runway.” — Coco Chanel Looking our absolute best. For most of us, it doesn’t come without a good amount of effort. From making sure that favorite suit is perfectly pressed, to having shoes impeccably shined, no detail, however small it may seem, goes overlooked. In tourism circles, the same holds true. And no one wears it better than Québec City. Runway Ready If the streets that lined this fashion-forward city were runways, they’d be dressed in Dior and smell of Chanel....

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Ragtop Romance of Mine

When I was really young, I used to know all the automobile models, and would point them out when my parents and grandparents were driving. But somewhere between late high school and early college, my car passion, as it were, turned to convertibles. To be fair, these weren’t just any or all kinds of convertibles. After all, even Volkswagen makes convertible models. No, the objects of my affection were the big, boat-like kind. These were the kind that former auto executive George Romney derided as “gas-guzzling dinosaurs.” My goal was to own one of these in the non-too distant...

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Four Cinderellas: A Delightful Time Warp

Who would’ve thought that today I’d be close to owning four versions on DVDs of the same classic fairy tale—three down, one to go? From the early 1950s, the Disney animated version was first. It was brilliantly drawn, and contained several timeless songs. Two comic tunes were “Cinderella, Cinderella” and “Bippety Boppety Boo.” In 1957 and 1964 there were two TV special versions. Both featured musical scores by Rogers and Hammerstein II, although some of the songs differed. Fourth, still being shown, the latest non-musical version of Cinderella has other aspects to recommend it. The animated version did a...

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Marie Curie—Greatest Female Scientist

Marie Curie  is considered to be the greatest female scientist, and perhaps even more significant, the most inspirational female scientist. Her achievements include being the first female to win a Nobel Prize, the first person to win two Nobel Prizes, the only woman to win prestigious awards in two fields, and the only person to win such awards in multiple sciences Her scientific achievements include formulation of a scientific theory of radioactivity. This involved techniques for isolating radioactive isotopes. She isolated two hitherto unknown elements, polonium in 1898 and pure metallic radium in 1910. Curie was born in Poland in 1867....

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From Hemingway to Cash: Arkansas’ Literary and Musical Past

Arkansas usually is short-shifted when it comes to recognizing cultural geniuses of the past. What most Americans do not realize is that Ernest Hemingway came to Arkansas via his second wife Pauline Pfeiffer. In the 1930s, Pauline’s parent converted the barn on their property into a place where Hemingway could write while visiting. He completed parts of A Farewell to Arms and several short stories here. Johnny Cash and his family moved from Kingsland to Dyess, Arkansas in the 1935, and occupied a house in the Dyess colony through 1953. Arkansas was the influence and roots of his budding beginnings as a musician and singer.

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Jonas Salk: Polio Miracle Worker

Jonas Salk, as an M.D., was interested in research as a virologist, rather than in the actual practice of medicine. And he was willing to take risks to speed up and aid his research and seek outside funding to help his endeavors. This funding took him outside a somewhat sheltered world of academic research and into interaction with various advocacy groups. Born in New York to Russian-Jewish immigrant parents, Salk received his medical degree in the city. He was able to research influenza, where the virus causing the disease had recently been discovered. Both government and medical authorities were...

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