In the January 2022 Issue of The Throwback

In this month’s edition of The Throwback, my monthly history-themed e-newsletter:   * Some facts you may not know about Martin Luther King, Jr. (Did you know he entered college at 15 and had a different birthname?) * The polio vaccine rollout wasn’t as smooth as you might think. * Has the Burning Bush been…

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“A Date Which Will Live in Infamy”

We all know December 7, 1941, as “a date which will live in infamy.” But did you know that was not the original line penned by President Franklin D. Roosevelt? The presidential address that was delivered to Congress on the day after the attack was not the product of a team of speechwriters and consultants but…

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In the November 2021 Issue of The Throwback

I always found it poetic that World War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. But did you know that the quest for poetic symmetry came at a terrible cost? The armistice was actually signed at 5 A.M., but for six hours the staccato of machine guns and the howls…

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Strangest. Olympics. Ever.

The 2020 Summer Olympics have definitely been the strangest one in our lifetimes with no spectators cheering on the athletes—not to mention that it’s no longer 2020. The 2020 Summer Games, however, can not compete with the gold medalist for weirdest Olympic ever—the 1904 Summer Olympics in St. Louis. Read all about it in the…

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The Declaration of Independence Copy Found in an Attic

You never know what you might find in your attic. An old scrapbook? Sun-bleached photographs? A moth-eaten high school varsity jacket? How about a copy of the Declaration of Independence? It may sound like a plot line from a “National Treasure” movie, but that startling discovery actually occurred in Exeter, New Hampshire, in 1985. Read…

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Boston Harbor Islands Among 11 Most Endangered Places in U.S.

The National Trust for Historic Preservation today named the Boston Harbor Islands among the 11 most endangered historic places in the U.S. As I write about in my book The Boston Harbor Islands: Discovering the City’s Hidden Shores, these 34 islands have had a front-row seat to some of the seminal moments in American history:…

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How Abraham Lincoln Used the Telegraph to Win the Civil War

Nearly 150 years before the advent of texts, tweets and e-mail, President Abraham Lincoln became the first “wired president” by embracing the original electronic messaging technology—the telegraph. The 16th president may be remembered for his soaring oratory that stirred the Union, but the nearly 1,000 bite-sized telegrams that he wrote during his presidency helped win…

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When Mexico and France Went to War Over Baked Goods

Feliz Cinco de Mayo! Contrary to what many people think, Cinco de Mayo is not Mexico’s Independence Day (that’s September 16) or even a public holiday in Mexico. Instead, it marks Mexico’s May 5, 1862, victory over France at the Battle of Puebla during the Franco-Mexican War. Cinco de Mayo is a reminder that France…

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March 2020 Issue of The Throwback

Did you know that the patron saint of Ireland wasn’t Irish? Indeed, St. Patrick grew up in present-day Wales and was kidnapped int o slavery in Ireland. At least, that’s St. Patrick’s version of the story that he penned in his short autobiography, the Confessio. One historian, however, says that it’s more likely that St.…

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