What Do Mamie Eisenhower, Ronald Reagan, And Queen Elizabeth II Have In Common?

Louisville Stoneware records show that Mamie Eisenhower used the popular Bachelor Button pattern in her every day dishes. Ronald Reagan received a small scale Louisville Stoneware replica of the White House, filled with jelly beans. In 2007, when she visited Churchill Downs for the Kentucky Derby, Queen Elizabeth II received a Louisville Stoneware music box that played My Old Kentucky Home. By changing with the times, by continuing the American tradition of transforming clay into enduring, functional art forms, Louisville Stoneware celebrates 200 years in 2015. For two centuries, their creative designs in stoneware have reflected the ever-changing story...

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Real Life Wonder Women

When writing about women in history, it is virtually impossible to name all women who have made a large contribution to Western society. That would take years of research and selection. Instead, what I’ve done is to note some whom I believe have made a substantial impact and what I call real life wonder women. Julia Child—A great American chef, born in 1912, was the first female to graduate from Le Cordon Bleu in Paris. After Child and her husband returned to the U.S., she wrote recipes for American cooks to show how French cooking was possible and practical...

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Virginia’s Clifton Inn: Southern Charm, History And Luxury

Clifton Inn is a historic Relais & Châteaux hotel in Charlottesville, Virginia. Set in picturesque and historic Albemarle County, Clifton Inn is a short drive from Thomas Jefferson’s Monticello, sitting on land that once belonged to the third U.S. president. Today, you can stay in luxury at the elegantly remodeled Clifton Inn, but history will surround you during your stay. Clifton Inn’s history As you wind up the driveway towards Clifton Inn, it’s easy to see why this is such a treasured location. The stately home, with its wide front porch and tall columns, looks out across the rolling Virginia...

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Washington’s Magnificent Spooks

This superlative historical text, George Washington’s Secret Six, by Brian Kilmeade and Don Yaeger describes a hitherto little known, but vital feature in American history—George Washington’s Secret Six spy ring, that played a very heroic and positive role in the American Revolution. In the Central Intelligence Agency, its archivist said that his organization uses strategy and design of a particular program for training today’s new recruits. Are we talking about the script from Argo?  Are we talking about material from the hunt for Bin Laden? No, indeed, we are talking about George Washington’s program for his network of spies...

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Art of the Matter

Can you hear it?  That certain hum? It’s on the streets of one particular bohemian city just outside Orlando.  It’s a beat so distinct it permeates the very core of your soul.  And on any given day that’s precisely what you’ll encounter.  That rhythm.  A kind of impromptu melody, that sings within the hearts of visitors and locals alike.  Though it’s not audible to most, it’s there.  It is.  Look closely and you’ll see it for yourself, in the syncopated footsteps, overt skips, and even the over-zealously playful nature of the people strolling down an avenue called Park in...

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A Singular Vision – Luxury With A Past

A modern day steampunk fantasy has been resurrected from the industrial bones of an early 20th century cold storage plant in Southern Chile.  In this historical space, Singular Hotels now offers a 5-star luxury hotel and spa experience like no other.  The hotel is visually unique with its immense brick wall architecture, vertical columns supporting high ceilings and large windows that draw in every bit of sunlight.  Giant flywheels attached to huge pistons sit next to a complex series of valves that once regulated the flow of Ammonia.  Electrical generators that bellowed around-the-clock to feed the industrial heart of...

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Victura: the Kennedys, a Sailboat, and the Sea

Victura: the Kennedys, a Sailboat, and the Sea by James W. Graham Book Excerpt: Chapter 1 Metaphor for Life The day before he died President John F. Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, arrived at the Rice Hotel in Houston, Texas, taking a room freshly remodeled for their short stay. They had three and a half hours to rest and dine together before heading out for two evening appearances and the day’s end. Jack, sitting in a rocking chair, wearing just his shorts, worked on a speech and doodled on a sheet of hotel notepaper. Later, their public obligations satisfied,...

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The Underground Railroad—A Noble Line Indeed

To paraphrase the humorist Will Rogers on a very serious subject from the 1840s and 1850s, “And if you think this country ain’t pro-slavery, just watch ‘em vote; and if you think this country ain’t anti-slavery, just watch ‘em read Uncle Tom and support the Underground.” “Uncle Tom”, of course, refers to Harriet Beecher Stowe’s novel, “Uncle Tom’s Cabin”, while the “Underground” refers to the non-railroad, “The Underground Railroad”, the autonomous network throughout the South and North for guiding runaway slaves to freedom in the North and Canada. Before and during the above 19th century decades, there was considerable...

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Go to Prague and Czech Republic

Most vacationers to Europe nibble around the edges. At the center of Europe is the Czech Republic, with its historic Prague and a countryside perfect for vacationing. Starting this series of articles with some recent history provides a reason for going to the Czech Republic. Prague, the capital city, and Brno, a major interior city, suffered only limited fighting during World War II. Missing out on the bombing and destruction means this city is not a Disneyland-like reconstruction of what once was. The architecture and sites really do date before the 10th century. So, follow General Patton’s path to...

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