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WW2 Tower Converted to Vacation Rental in Channel Islands

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 09/05/2018, 5:15 PM

During World War II, the Nazis occupied the Channel Islands, a string of isolated spots floating between England and France. Using forced labor, the Germans built concrete fortifications aimed at their British enemies, and many of these structures still stand to this day. Now, a local preservation group has converted one of them to a vacation rental. Standing on the southwestern tip of Jersey Is...

A Temporary Museum of the 1980s Opens in Seattle

By Zac Thompson

Posted on 08/09/2018, 9:45 PM

There's nothing like seeing cultural artifacts from your childhood in a historical exhibit to make you feel like an ancient relic. Those of us with memories of the 1980s can have that disconcerting experience at Seattle's Living Computers: Museum + Labs, where a temporary exhibit called "Total 80s Rewind" transports visitors to the world of a teenager in the Reagan years.  Gather 'round, kiddies...

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...

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