Homes in Your Town from Yore

If you’ve ever wanted to see the number and placements of homes in your neighborhood, city or larger region of the U.S at any given year since your town’s birth, take a look at Trulia Hindsight. While it only shows residential, it’s a fascinating look at how your area grew over the years.

It’s using Microsoft Virtual Earth. The view you’re looking at is my Phoenix neighborhood in 2003. Hindsight launched in 2007.

Published in: on February 9, 2010 at 5:13 am  Leave a Comment  
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Halloween – Brought to the U.S. by Irish Immigrants

happy halloween While Halloween was a common tradition for centuries, it wasn’t until Ireland’s potato famine drove Irish immigrants to the New World that the United States began celebrating this haunting holiday. This video about Halloween’s history is courtesy of .


Published in: on October 31, 2009 at 3:53 pm  Leave a Comment  

Forgotten War: The Struggle for North America


French & Indian War Grand Encampment at Fort Ticonderoga, courtesy of

A documentary about the French and Indian War  was created by northern New York’s Mountain Lakes PBS, the smallest public broadcasting station in the United States. It’s now being picked up by several other PBS stations, an honor for the tiny Adirondacks area station.

The Adironack Almanack blog tells a more complete story about the documentary, which plays out at Fort Ticonderoga on the occasion of the war’s 250th anniversary.

“For five years—from 1755 to 1760—the battles raged at Lake George, Crown Point, Fort Ticonderoga, and Quebec as France, Britain and the native peoples of North America fought to decide who would control the crucial highway of rivers and lakes between New York and the city of Montreal, ” reported the Adirondack Almanack.  Read the Almanack for more.  Here’s a brief history of the war.

Harpers Ferry 150th Anniversary, Re-enactment

John Brown's Fort

John Brown's Fort

John Brown

John Brown

Friday, October 16th, will be the 150th anniversary of the anti-slavery raid on Harpers Ferry that ended in the trial and execution of John Brown of North Elba, New York.

John Brown was convinced he could free the slaves, and Harpers Ferry was where he started this noble campaign. He wanted to seize the arsenal’s 100,000 weapons at the Arsenal and to wage guerrilla warfare in the Blue Ridge Mountains. His 21-soldier raid on Harper’s Ferry began Sunday, October 16, 1859.  Less than 2 days later, however, most of his followers were either killed or wounded, and he was captured. The fire station where he was found by U.S. Marines is now known as John Brown’s Fort.

Brown was tried and found guilty of treason, and of conspiracy with slaves to rebel, and to murder. On December 2, 1859 he was hanged.

Adirondack Almanack, one of my favorite blogs from New York’s Adirondack Park, announced today that an “Anniversary Procession” will take place from the Kennedy Farm to Harpers Ferry. The Farm is where Brown and his compatriots spent their final few weeks before the raid.

An anecdote about the annual procession is posted on Adirondack Almanack from Tim Rowland, author of High Peaks: A History of Hiking the Adirondacks from Noah to Neoprene. Rowland, who lives about 10 miles from the Kennedy farm, is an Adirondack 46er, one of a group of hikers that have hiked to the top of all 46 mountain peaks in the Adirondacks.

News History Gallery, Journalists Memorial at Newseum

news corp. news history gallery newseumThe Newseum on Pennsylvania Ave. in Washington DC, right next door to the Smithsonian, heralds the history of news making and media in the U.S. It also looks at the latest technologies for media, and ponders its future.

There is a Journalists Memorial area that pays tribute to reporters, photographers and broadcasters who have died reporting the news. The names of 1,913 individuals from around the world are etched on the glass panels of the soaring, two-story structure. The memorial is rededicated each year to add the names of journalists who lost their lives on the job in the preceding year. Adjoining the memorial are photographs of hundreds of those journalists, and electronic kiosks containing data on every honoree.

Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation, owner of the New York Post, The Wall Street Journal, Fox (Broadcasting, Cable and 20th Century Fox)  maintains one of many galleries, this one about the history of newspapers.

Journalists Memorial rededication 2008

Journalists Memorial rededication 2008

President Ford Escaped Assassination today in 1975

In 1975 California was dangerous for then-President Gerald Ford, as two attempts on his life were made within 17 days. The first, on September 5 by Charles Manson-follower Lynette “Squeaky” Fromme in Sacramento, put Fromme in jail where she remains.  September 22, in San Francisco radical activist and mental health patient Sara Jane Moore tried to shoot Ford as he left the St. Francis Hotel. The president was uninjured. Moore was paroled from prison in 2007.

Published in: on September 22, 2009 at 1:17 pm  Leave a Comment  
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Adirondack Entertainment Memories

Gaslight Village as it used to be

Gaslight Village as it used to be

I recently discovered the Adirondack Almanack blog in my research for my next telework book. There’s a big push by Clarkson University and local decision-makers to create a number of telework centers in the broadband-deprived area as a way of luring longer-term residents to the resort area.

Adirondack Almanack’s John Warren has just posted a great story about the history of its amusement parks, and one man who was responsible for many – Arto Monaco. Through this post and its links we can wander around Gaslight Village, StoryTown, FrontierTown, Old MacDonald’s Farm, the Land of MakeBelieve and Santa’s Workshop. Enjoy!

Governator US Citizen Today in 1983

arnold s Arnold Schwarzenegger, Governor of California, actor, bodybuilder, and husband of Maria Shriver, became a U.S. citizen 26 years ago today.

Born July 30, 1947 in Thal, Austria, he started weight training at age fifteen and first left the country when he competed for the Mr. Universe title in London. He came in second place. He moved to the United States in 1968 at the age of 21.

Published in: on September 16, 2009 at 5:07 pm  Comments (1)  
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Nine Eleven Remembered, Moving Video

This video is a compilation of  amateur videography and photography about the September 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, and the crash of Flight 93 in PA. Caution – music is loud, scenes are disturbing.

Published in: on September 11, 2009 at 6:36 am  Leave a Comment  
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Hotel San Carlos, Haunted Phoenix Landmark

449f_7 The Hotel San Carlos, created in 1928 and first owned by local business tycoon Dwight Heard, is still a Central Avenue fixture. One of its current owners, Robert Melikian, wrote a book “Hotel San Carlos” which not only tells the story of the historic tourist attraction but also regales its readers with the early downtown hospitality and business history.

One of the most interesting things I learned was that the hotel has ghosts.  One was a young woman, jilted at the altar, who reserved a top-floor room and then jumped to her death. People say they see her at the foot of their beds at night.  Between October and May, on Friday and Saturday nights, anyone can join a ghost tour of the hotel and close-by haunted areas. A tour of the hotel is included.

Published in: on September 8, 2009 at 7:04 pm  Leave a Comment