John Ericsson: The Swede that Saved the Union

Lunch atop a skyscraper

When it comes to America’s naval history, few had more influence on battleship design than a man named John Ericsson. In fact, it’s a Swedish story better than ABBA. Ericsson was a Swedish American who revolutionized steamship propulsion through his invention of the screw propeller. He also invented the first submarine boat, self-propelled torpedo and…

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Memorial Day: How Former Slaves Created a National Holiday

American summers are built around three holidays: Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. Memorial Day and Labor Day are the bookends. The July 4th celebration is the centerpiece. Most Americans view Memorial Day as the “kickoff” for summer…and it is. But there’s much more to this holiday than we think. Unfortunately, many contemporary histories…

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