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This Midwest American Town Is Turning 350 Years Old

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 07/03/2018, 7:15 PM

You might have heard that New Orleans and San Antonio are each celebrating a 300th birthday this year. Both cities made our list of the Best Places to Go in 2018 for that very reason.  But it's likely you missed the news about another riverside municipality's big milestone—even though it bests the other two by half a century.  Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan turns 350 this year.  The Soo, as it's kn...

Route 66 and Puerto Rico Among USA's Most Endangered Historic Sites

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/28/2018, 3:30 AM

Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Route 66 all appear on 2018's "Most Endangered Places" list, the National Trust for Historic Preservation's annual roundup of important architectural and cultural sites in peril. The purpose of the list, the group says, is to raise awareness and spur action to protect landmarks—and in some cases landmasses—"facing a range of challenges and threats, from d...

A Makeover and New Museum at Gateway Arch in St. Louis

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/08/2018, 9:00 PM

A multiyear, multimillion-dollar project to gussy up the grounds of the Gateway Arch in St. Louis culminates this summer in the July 3 opening of an expanded museum that tells the tale of America's westward expansion.  Located underground, the newly rechristened Museum at the Gateway Arch replaces the similar but more limited previous facility, which had become outdated both in its simplistic, Gu...

New Alabama Memorial Honors America's Lynching Victims

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 04/25/2018, 12:00 AM

A memorial to the nation's victims of racist terror lynchings opens in Montgomery, Alabama this week.  Located on a 6-acre site overlooking the state capital, the National Memorial for Peace and Justice uses sculpture, text, and hundreds of weathered steel columns to honor the multitude of African Americans murdered throughout the United States by angry mobs and other extra-judicial enforcers of ...

Play the Casanova at New Museum in Venice

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 03/19/2018, 11:30 PM

Giacomo Casanova belongs to the rare class of historical figures whose names became common nouns. Traitorous World War II-era Norwegian leader Vidkun Quisling and France's lecherous Marquis de Sade (lop off the "e" and add an -ism or an -istic) are in the same crew. It's a curious kind of superstardom where the legend outstrips the life to such an extent that the world often forgets there was ev...

U.S. Civil Rights Trail Links Dozens of Historic Sites in 14 States

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 01/16/2018, 11:00 PM

Fourteen states, covering a chunk of the U.S. from Delaware to Kansas, are joining together to promote tourism to more than 100 landmarks crucial to the struggle for civil rights. The U.S. Civil Rights Trail is a first-of-its-kind effort by tourism officials to expand smaller state programs, such as the Mississippi Freedom Trail, to cover a multi-state region predominantly in the South, the setti...

Two New Biographies Are Indispensable for Trips Through Europe or America

By Arthur Frommer

Posted on 12/27/2017, 12:00 AM

Hundreds of thousands of Americans are currently purchasing and avidly reading two monumental biographies in book form about two monumental figures in world and American history.  In position number one on every bestseller list is Walter Isaacson’s 900-page volume on the life and achievements of Leonardo da Vinci (Simon & Schuster). The other, ranked closely behind and almost as large, is R...

Two Brand New Museums Dedicated to Mississippi History

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 11/28/2017, 6:30 AM

Side-by-side history museums in Mississippi's capital city, Jackson, will open to the public on December 9—one day before the state's bicentennial. The brand-new institutions share an entrance and a downtown address (222 North St.) in the mid-state city because the stories they tell are inextricably entwined, as you can see from their names: the Museum of Mississippi History and the Mississippi C...

Upper Levels of Rome's Colosseum Reopening for Tours

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 10/04/2017, 9:45 PM

The upper tiers of the Colosseum in Rome are reopening to the public for the first time in four decades.  The renowned architectural marvel—which dates to the first century A.D. and is one of the ancient city's most visited sites—is coming off a 5-year, multimillion-dollar restoration paid for by Diego Della Valle, chairman of luxury leather brand Tod's. With public money for major preservation...

New Hostel in Chernobyl Exclusion Zone

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 06/14/2017, 4:00 AM

You can now stay at a hostel in one of the most radioactive places on earth.  Backed by the Ukrainian government and housed in a former Soviet dormitory, the 50-bed accommodation is located in the Chernobyl exclusion zone, a 1,000-square-mile area contaminated in the 1986 nuclear power-plant disaster.  Access to the region remains restricted to this day—visitors have to be on organized...

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