Friday, November 13, 2009

New book tells stories of many buried at Arlington National Cemetery

An article on, "Arlington National Cemetery, alive with history in new book," highlights a new book by Robert Poole, former editor of National Geographic. The book, On Hallowed Ground: The Story of Arlington National Cemetery (Walker, 352 pp., $28),  "tells the stories of many of those buried in 70 sections across these rolling hills just across the Potomac from Washington, D.C. On Hallowed Ground is part history lesson, part tourist guide, part mystery novel," says USA Today writer, Craig Wilson.

"And though it was a four-year project, Poole says his book "just scratches the surface" – from the cemetery's Civil War beginnings in the 1860s to today's tourist must-see, the Changing of the Guard."

Released just in time for Veteran's Day, this timely book, great for history buffs, may be especially meaningful for those with loved one buried at Arlington. And could be a real boon to genealogists, if your ancestor is one whose story is told.

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Friday, January 23, 2009

Lexicons of Lost Lifestyles: All the World's a Stage

In her latest article, "Lexicons of Lost Lifestyles: All the World's a Stage," Jean Hibbens goes behind the scenes to explore the language of the theater. What does it really mean to be "in the limelight" or to "ham" it up on stage? You may be surprised to find some of the most unlikely terms having their origins in the theater.

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Saturday, June 28, 2008

Thoughts on the 4th

In her article, "Independence Was Not Free," Melissa Slate recounts an article from a recent issue of the American Legion Magazine, showing the trials and tribulations faced by signers of the Declaration of Independence. This is a good time, perhaps, to help children understand the meaning of patriotism and the value placed on the liberty by our forefathers.

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Sunday, June 15, 2008

200 Years of Times (London) newspaper archive -- Free and Online


Aimed at setting the gold standard for an online newspaper archive, Times Online has rolled out an elaborate digital newspaper archive stretching back more than 200 years, according to an article in the Guardian, "Time archive offers 20m articles for free." The archive includes more than 20 million articles from every edition of the Times (London), excepting a small number of damaged issues, from 1785 to 1985.

Such a newspaper archive is a real time machine, taking you back in time for real time coverage of momentous historical events. As reported in the Guardian article, the archive includes Thunderer's coverage of events such as the Battle of Waterloo, the first convicts arriving at Botany Bay and the execution of Marie Antoinette. Other issues cover the 1851 Great Exhibition, the Jack the Ripper murders in 1888 and Amelia Earhart's solo flight across the Atlantic in 1932. The archive also includes letters to the editor, photographs and adverts, with each page presented as it was printed in the paper on a parchment-coloured screen.

Anne Spackman, the editor-in-chief of Times Online, said that the Times wanted the project to set the gold standard for an online newspaper archive for "arguably the most famous newspaper in the world." The archive is currently free, and Spackman says no decision will be taken about whether it will remain free or require a subscription until it has generated a solid userbase. . . . Work will begin soon on digitising the rest of the Times editions, as well as the extensive archive of the Sunday Times from 1822 to 2000.

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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Flag Day, 2008

Today is Flag Day in the United States, honoring that day, 14 June 1777 when the original stars and stripes design of the American Flag was adopted by the Second Continental Congress. In her article, "Our American Flag: Truth and Fiction," Melissa Slate presents the background of the flag's design, dispelling some long-held myths.

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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Extensive account of Native American tribes reprinted

An article in the Tribune Star, "Genealogy: 'Indian Tribes of North America' quite an undertaking," notes this year’s reprinting by the Genealogical Publishing Co. of “Indian Tribes of North America” by John R. Swanson. This "extensive volume" originally published in 1952 by the Smithsonian Institution's Bureau of American Ethnology, the report says, encompasses every known tribe in North America from upper Canada, Greenland and Alaska, through the lower 48 states, and culminating in Mexico, Central America and the islands of the Caribbean. It focuses on the time period of 1650 in order to document the tribes that existed before being relocated by the encroaching Europeans. This book seeks to fill in the huge gap in our knowledge of Native American tribes before the period of removal to Indian Territory (what later became Oklahoma), when record keeping was established. This 726-page authoritative volume with its four, large fold-out maps is priced at $75 and can be ordered from the Genealogy Publishing Co.

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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

First Family of New England

This is the time year when our thoughts turn to the first Pilgrims and the colonizing of America. In her article, "First Family of New England, " Melissa Slate reminds us of the Edward Winslow family and its early contributions. While Winslow's first wife did not survive that first winter, his second wife, Susannah White, a recent widow, was one of only four women to survive and care for the fifty men and children.

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Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Orphan homes played important role in times past

Those with Indiana ancestry might find interesting a column on orphanages in Vigo County,"Genealogy: Orphanages play important role in history." Although orphans’ homes are now a thing of the past in today’s society, they played an important role in earlier centuries, the article states. For genealogists, finding an ancestor or relative who was placed in an orphanage can be a challenge. But in Indiana, one local woman, herself an adoptee, has spent the past three years building some impressive Web sites to honor Vigo County’s three orphanages and their past residents. Jennifer Krockenberger has built sites that tell the history of each institution, feature a variety of pictures and photos, offer a place for former residents to post queries or reminisce, and provide links to the federal censuses for each institution. Visit these sites at,, and

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Saturday, September 1, 2007

Cemetery for US 'Flying Tigers' found in China

An interesting article in China Daily, "Cemetery for US 'Flying Tigers' found in China," indicates researchers have found in Southwest China a cemetery built during the Second World War where about 300 air warriors of the US squadron "Flying Tigers" were buried. The cemetery lies in the woods in Puzhao village in the northeastern suburbs of Kunming, capital of Yunnan Province, said Sun Guansheng, head of the Yunnan Flying Tigers Research Association. About 300 Flying Tigers members and 500 Chinese airmen were buried in the cemetery when it was first built near a nunnery in the village in 1943. The cemetery was moved to the current site in 1949, according to Sun.

"Many people came to pay their respect to the air warriors before it was moved. However, few people are coming at present," Sun quoted local elder villagers as saying.

Many tombs have sunk decades after they were built, and the cemetery as a whole lacks due protection, Sun said, adding that the association has called on the local government to repair and protect the cemetery.

The article goes on to give an account of the heroic Flying Tigers in China during the war.

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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Oklahoma Centennial - Celebrating 100 Years of Statehood

Oklahoma celebrates its 100th anniversary of statehood on November 16, 2007, and all across the 46th state, communities and organizations in preparation. According to the state's Centennial web site, many are creating monuments, fountains, parks or cultural facilities that reflect local or state history, while others are restoring historical sites and structures. Most are planning special commemorations or are enhancing traditional festivals and annual events.

Libraries, museums, historical societies, cultural venues and schools are also preparing for 2007. And Oklahoma's rich and diverse heritage will be highlighted with American Indian, African American, Latino, Asian American and European American customs, traditions and artifacts on display throughout the year. While festivities have been underway all year, it's not too late to join in the celebration.

The Centennial year kicks off November 9-19, 2006 in Tulsa with concerts, expos, exhibits, a parade and eye-popping fireworks and laser displays. Then the Macy's 2006 Thanksgiving Day Parade will provide a preview of things to come when the Centennial float, Oklahoma Rising, makes its way (loaded with Oklahoma celebrities) down New York City's famed Broadway Avenue. Oklahoma rings in the New Year as the state leads the Tournament of Roses Parade on January 1, 2007, and marches onto television screens around the world with two magnificent floats.

Oklahomans and visitors to the state will traverse Oklahoma in 2007 as hundreds of towns and cities offer up Centennial celebrations, commemorations and dedications. Two major events in 2007 will encourage both Oklahomans and visitors to gather to celebrate Oklahoma history and heritage: The Centennial Expo, September 13-23; and the Centennial Parade on October 14, 2007.

Statehood Day, November 16, 2007, will begin with historical reenactments in Guthrie, the state's first capitol. Activities will include the presidential proclamation of statehood, the inauguration of the first state governor, the ceremonial wedding between the two territories, and an inaugural parade. The day will conclude with festivities in the capitol city, Oklahoma City, including The Spectacular, which will feature live entertainment by internationally recognized Oklahoma performers. To learn more and see a calendar of events, visit the Oklahoma Centennial web site.

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