The History Behind the Graffiti-Covered Coronation Chair
Lavish robes. Gilded scepters. Diamond-festooned crowns. With all that ornamentation at the coronation of King Charles III, you might expect the monarch to be taking in the ceremony from a plush throne fit for a king. The 700-year-old Coronation Chair, however, is an austere, oaken seat that looks so uncomfortable that it’s likely to induce…Read More
How Did Washington, D.C. Get Its Cherry Trees?
When globetrotter and travel writer Eliza Ruhamah Scidmore returned home to Washington, D.C., from a trip to Japan in 1885, she was smitten. Everything about the mysterious land in the Far East had enchanted the young woman, but the country’s flowering cherry trees had cast a particular spell on her. “The blooming cherry tree is…Read More
Did Benjamin Franklin Invent Daylight Saving Time?
Did Benjamin Franklin come up with the idea of Daylight Saving Time? No. While Franklin was an envoy in Paris in 1784, he was unpleasantly awakened one morning at 6 AM by the summer sun. He then penned a satirical essay in which he calculated that Parisians, simply by waking up at dawn, could save…Read More
How Boston Embraced the Booth Brothers Following Lincoln’s Assassination
On April 15, 1865, a shroud of grief descended upon Boston as the city awoke to learn of Abraham Lincoln’s assassination. The bells of Boston’s churches tolled for an hour at the news of the president’s murder, and the assassin’s older brother heard every peal of anguish as he stared at his cold breakfast. For…Read More
Justin Dimick’s Civil War Mission of Mercy
Boston’s Fort Warren housed Confederate POWs during the Civil War, but it was no Andersonville. Only 13 Confederate prisoners out of the more than 2,000 rebels who were imprisoned within its walls died during the Civil War — or just over half of 1 percent, compared to the 12 percent mortality rate for Confederates in…Read More
Did Leif Erikson “Discover” America?
Forget about Christopher Columbus. Let’s talk about another European explorer who’s being commemorated this weekend–Leif Erikson. Did he lead the first European expedition to North America 500 years before Columbus? Why is there a plaque marking his former home–in Cambridge, Massachusetts? Were Vikings living in Minnesota long before the NFL showed up in Minneapolis? That…Read More
A Teddy Roosevelt Themed Edition of the Throwback
In the May edition of the Throwback, my free monthly e-newsletter, learn about how Theodore Roosevelt’s childhood molded him into a future president and find out about how he endured terrible tragedy to rise through the ranks of New York City politics on his way to the White House. Also, an incredible story about a man…Read More
St. Patrick’s Day History This Month in the Throwback
It’s everything Irish in the March edition of the Throwback. Find out why America’s familiar St. Patrick’s Day traditions are about as authentically Irish as a bowl of Lucky Charms, learn about the Patrick and Bridget who emigrated from Ireland to Boston and began a family that would become an American political dynasty, and get…Read More
In the February 2022 Issue of The Throwback
In this month’s edition of The Throwback, my monthly history-themed e-newsletter: * The surprising history of Winter Olympics with no snow * The history of spaghetti and tomato sauce * A couple Abraham Lincoln articles to commemorate Presidents Day Click here to read. Click here to subscribe.Read More
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…Read More