America’s First Balloon Flight

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This week would not be complete without paying homage to the first American to attempt air flight by flying in a balloon. On September 8, 1830 Charles Durant did exactly that. He flew… Continue reading

Glitz, Glamour, and Gambling: an American in Havana

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He stood only five feet, five inches in height with a slight frame. From his appearance, one might have assumed he was a baker, deli owner, or banker. He was smart enough to… Continue reading

The Cleghorns, Gardens, and a Princess

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Writers often wander down some winding roads; many call it “the research rabbit hole.” This past week I got lost in one when I began by asking about public gardens that may have… Continue reading

The Girls of Summer

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As the summer of 2018 slowly fades into our collective rear-view mirror, I thought a post on America’s summer sports pastime of baseball would be appropriate. But rather than talk about the boys… Continue reading

Gangsters on the Gold Coast: Scarface Comes to Miami

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The Gold Coast. The Magic City. South Beach. Lincoln Road. Few places among America’s urban centers possess as much mystique as the narrow strip of land lying between the Atlantic Ocean and the… Continue reading

Unforeseen Consequences

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If our principles are right, why should we be cowards? Lucretia Mott Ah, but which principles. High minded reformers don’t always see eye to eye. John Adams and Thomas Jefferson may have both… Continue reading

The Wild-er Bunch

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We’ve all heard about Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and Etta Place. Just the mere mention conjures up images of a smirking Paul Newman, drop-dead gorgeous Robert Redford and lovely Katherine Ross. Etta… Continue reading

History of American Crime: Gangsters on the Gold Coast, Part II

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Speakeasies & Rum Runners   America’s great experiment with a national ban on the consumption of alcohol, while well intentioned, was a well-documented abysmal failure. When the Volstead Act (passed to carry out… Continue reading

Making War on Cultural Heritage

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  … the enemy makes a wilderness and calls it war. Richard Harding Davis, NY Tribune, witness to the burning of Louvain, 1914 Cultural treasures disappear at a disheartening rate, often due to… Continue reading

The Long History of Soccer

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This week, with everyone’s attention riveted on FIFA The World Cup, the final pitting Croatia against France on Sunday, as well as the Thailand Wild Boar soccer team and their dramatic rescue from… Continue reading