The Battle Hymn of the Republic: The Story Behind the Anthem

John Brown

TweetShareShare “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord! He is trampling out the vintage where the grapes of wrath are stored.” The “Battle Hymn of the Republic” was how the Union “slapped the face” of a Confederacy committed to slavery and secession. They just did so with a catchy tune.…

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President’s Day: The Story Behind the Day America Celebrates Her Presidents

President's Day

TweetShareShare “HAPPY PRESIDENTS DAY!” Celebrated on the third Monday of February, it’s one of 12 federal holidays (originally proclaimed in 1879). But the celebrations had been around much longer, initially to celebrate the birthday of the “Father of our Country” George Washington, and later the Great Emancipator Abraham Lincoln. In fact, since 1862, the U.S.…

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John Ericsson: The Swede that Saved the Union

Lunch atop a skyscraper

TweetShareShareWhen 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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Dred Scott: The Man Behind the U.S. Supreme Court’s Worst Decision

Dred Scott

TweetShareShareMany legal scholars believe the Dred Scott decision was the worst opinion ever delivered by a U.S. Supreme Court. Chief Justice Charles Evans Hughes called it the Supreme Court’s “greatest self-inflicted wound.” But why did it happen? Who was Dred Scott? And why should we know his story?  DRED SCOTT was born a slave in…

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The Oregon Trail: How Christianity Carved a New Path West

TweetShareShareOregon. Washington. Idaho. Parts of Montana and Wyoming. It’s nearly 300,000 acres of majestic, rugged land known as the Oregon Territory, a portion of the Louisiana Purchase of 1803. The infamous Oregon Trail snakes through this vast estate, connecting the Great Plains to the Pacific Ocean. Thousands of westward wagons once traveled its corridors and…

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Memorial Day: How Former Slaves Created a National Holiday

TweetShareShare 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…

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Booker T. Washington: The Tuskegee Titan

Booker T. Washington

TweetShareShareHe was one of Black America’s most highly influential leaders. He proved a prolific author, outstanding orator, influential educator and inspiring leader. He was among the last Black American generation born into slavery. His name was Booker T. Washington (1856-1915). Booker was born into slavery in Virginia, sometime in 1856. After Lincoln emancipated the slaves,…

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George Washington Carver: God’s Peanut Man

George Washington Carver

TweetShareShare“When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.” These weren’t just words to George Washington Carver (1864-1943). They were his legacy. Few Americans lived bigger and better lives. Carver was born a slave, but eventually became a botanist, educator, conservationist, and artist.…

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Biddy Mason: The Mormon Slave That Became a Californian Treasure

Biddy Mason

TweetShareShare“Biddy” spent nearly forty years as a slave for a Mississippi slave master. She never learned to read or write. And yet she saved her midwife salary to become a wealthy Black real estate magnate…and revered philanthropist. It’s quite the story. It’s also an inspiring tale that proves it’s not how you start life that…

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