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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Nazism: How Hitler Used Fascism and Eugenics to Transform 1930s Germany

TweetShareShare Few four-letter words spark more fear, insult and outrage than Nazi. And well it should. Nazism carries a boatload of baggage, even for generations that never experienced the Holocaust and fascism of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich. “Nazi” is a nickname linked to a political ideology characterized by dictatorial rule, forcible suppression of opponents and…

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John Locke: How a Great Philosopher Influenced the Founding of America

TweetShareShare The Founding Fathers of the United States of America had many influences, but possibly none more than John Locke (1632-1704). Thomas Jefferson, Alexander Hamilton and John Madison revered Locke. John Quincy Adams penned, “The Declaration of Independence [was]…founded upon one and the same theory of government…expounded in the writings of Locke.” But who was…

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Samuel Sharpe: The Jamaican Slave Preacher That Sparked Abolition

Samuel Sharpe

TweetShareShare“I would rather die upon yonder gallows than live my life in slavery.” Those were the passionate words of a young Black Jamaican slave preacher. His story changed the world…and that makes this tale worth telling. His name is Samuel “Daddy” Sharpe and he was born on a plantation owned by Samuel and Jane Sharpe…

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The True History of Valentine’s Day

TweetShareShare Valentine’s Day is February 14. It’s traditionally a day of love. But what’s the story behind the day? A man named Valentine of Terni lived in the 3rd century AD. It was a period of deadly plagues and severe Christian persecution. The great Roman Empire was starting its long disintegration. With a small pox…

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Pilgrims, the Mayflower and Squanto: The Real Story of Thanksgiving

Pilgrim Thanksgiving

TweetShareShare    This week we celebrate Thanksgiving Day. It’s a day we gather for turkey and dressing, sweet potatoes and pie. We’ll congregate with friends and family, watch football and hunt Black Friday specials. Most of us will share gratitude for something or someone. But in 1621, the first Thanksgiving feast happened for none of…

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The American Revolution Begins!

TweetShareShare Today was the day that America had enough. A single shot set off a revolution that changed thirteen colonies into thirteen “united states of America.” It also changed the world. In a year dozens of founding fathers would gather to formally declare independence from Great Britain (July 4, 1776). The American story was just…

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Hallelujah! Handel’s Messiah Arrives

TweetShareShare On this date in 1742, Handel’s “Messiah” debuted. Today, it’s one of the world’s most renown, loved and most performed musical works. Fast fact: The entire score was completed in 24 days…a minor miracle in its own right! TweetShareShare

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A Russian in Space

Russians in Space

TweetShareShare The Russians were the first to send a rocket into space, the first into space with a man and a woman (Valentina Tereshkova, 1963) and the first to do a space walk outside their capsule. But America got the big prize. We landed on the moon and planted our flag. The only nation (so…

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