Blog
Recent Posts
Aug 24, 2017

​Though Richmond, VA is facing considerable notoriety lately, in light of its Monument Avenue and involvement in both the Revolutionary and the US Civil War, its history is rich and varied. Regardless of where you stand on the issue of Confederate monuments, and their place in daily life, you would be doing yourself a disservice by not learning or revisiting the other reasons this city is great. Here we explore a brief history of Richmond through text and vintage photos.

Aug 16, 2017

As one of the oldest settled areas of English colonial America, the Cape Cod region of Massachusetts maintains a rich and eventful history despite its relatively small geographic area. Once a region used predominantly for fishing and whaling, Cape Cod and its nearby islands boast a booming tourism industry in the modern era.

Aug 15, 2017

Birmingham, Alabama is generally best-known for 3 things: steel, the medical facility at UAB (University of Alabama – Birmingham) and its prominence in The Civil Rights Movement. Yet this great southern city has so much more to offer. Join us as we dive into a brief history of Birmingham, historic images of Birmingham, and more!

Aug 11, 2017

I was first introduced to rock ‘n’ roll music by my older brother Vince. When I was very young, Vince would bring home amazing records by such legends as Elvis, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Little Richard. I have a vivid recollection of Vince playing Side A of the 45 rpm record and then, much to my amazement, he would flip the record over and play Side B. Because of this, I was not only introduced to the popular tunes that all the kids were talking about but also some wonderful songs that were not played on the radio. In addition to Jerry Lee’s “Breathless” I was introduced to “Down The Line” (Side B). Later on, I would carry on his tradition with records I purchased. So, for example, after playing the Beatles’ “Can’t Buy Me Love”, I would flip the record over and listen to “You Can’t Do That” (Side B).

Aug 8, 2017

Lake Tahoe is a large freshwater lake in the Sierra Nevada, which straddles the border of California and Nevada. It was first “discovered” in 1844 by American explorers, John C. Fremont and Kit Carson. However, various artifacts confirm the presence of early Native Americans, dating back to a time when saber-toothed tigers and wooly mammoths roamed what is now Nevada Desert.

Aug 3, 2017

Mention of Newport, Rhode Island generally elicits thoughts of extravagant wealth: palatial mansions, mega-yachts, possibly even Taylor Swift. Yet the charming seaside town comes from rather modest colonial roots, and is home to citizens of all socioeconomic classes. Commonly considered New England’s summer resort, Newport has far more to offer than its desirable coastline and summer visitors. Before we explore the city as it is today, however, let’s have a brief look at the history of Newport. 

Jul 31, 2017

Decades ago, the only street food available was a hot dog stand or two in most cities. In recent years, the food scene in many major cities has exploded and so has the popularity and availability of new types of street food.
Al fresco food is a culinary gem, and thanks to the pace of modern life, many of us eat on the run, grabbing virtually any type of food, any time of the day. Want to know where to go to taste some of these handmade delicacies?  Here are the top towns in the U.S. for innovative and delicious street food.

Jul 26, 2017

With the release of Netflix’s newest gripping thriller, Ozark, we thought it would be fun to showcase the lake on which the show’s residents live and work, the Lake of the Ozarks and the surrounding area, as this week’s city spotlight. 

Jul 21, 2017

All regions have their own personalities, and southern Pennsylvania is no different. Until late June 1863, few if any anticipated that Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, would become the site of the greatest battle fought in North America. The Army of the Potomac, under George G. Meade, headed north in pursuit of Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia, ultimately resulting in one of the bloodiest battles of the Civil War.

Jul 20, 2017

What was once a Native American trail on Cape Cod for centuries, would one day be part of the longest highway in America. Beginning in Provincetown, the road would twist, turn, and run in various compass directions along the bay side of the Cape.  It starts in Provincetown, where in the late months of 1620 a mixed community of separatists and opportunists on board the Mayflower first eyed the New World. 
 

Jul 18, 2017

Salem, Massachusetts is a town located 16 miles north of Boston, on Salem Bay Harbor. It was incorporated in 1626 by Roger Conant, and was the second oldest settlement in New England. It’s theorized that the town’s name is the shortened form of the biblical term, Jerusalem, meaning “City of Peace.” Ironically, Salem, or “Witch City” is perhaps best known for an albeit brief period of extreme religious intolerance, during which the infamous Salem Witch Trials occurred.

Jul 18, 2017

Students know their history. On May 26, I had the opportunity to speak to the third-, fourth- and fifth-graders at the Edison Elementary School in Westland. It was my pleasure to share some of my knowledge of the history of Westland with these young scholars.

Jul 17, 2017

Very early on in the process of researching this book, I realized something rather significant: Writing a history of coffee in New York City is like writing a history of the city itself. The more I thought about it, the more I realized that almost no other single thing—not pizza, not egg creams, not The New York Times—so completely captures the conglomerate that makes “New York City” what it is.

Jul 17, 2017

“Jazz on Cape Cod: From Colombo to the Columns” is the story of a special place and a special group of people.
I am a lifelong jazz fan and when I came to Cape Cod in the early 1980s I immediately realized that there was something special going on here. There was a lot of jazz going on, played by first-rate musicians.

Jul 14, 2017

If you enjoy traveling, but think exciting journeys are a plane ride away, consider traveling by rail this summer. Since the 19th century, many have enjoyed this romantic yet practical way to tour the countryside. You can relax, take in the sights and even reflect on the history of rail travel during our nation’s push westward in the post-Civil War era and beyond.

Jul 11, 2017

For our new Iconic Images City Spotlight Series, we decided to start with what we know and love best, our hometown of Charleston, SC. We love this city so much that we decided to base our company here all those years ago, and now we want to share with you some of the city's most iconic locations, and images from both past and present. Plus, if you're planning a visit, we've included some helpful travel tips to ensure you make the most out of your trip to "The Holy City."

Jul 7, 2017

For many Americans, lighthouses have an enduring appeal. These beacons act not only as guideposts for sailors, but also as reminders of a simpler past, one without satellite navigation and advanced technology.
Are they romanticized? Definitely — and for a good reason. Gazing at any lighthouse, your mind wanders to thoughts such as ships seeking safe harbor in a storm or an independent person manning the post as its keeper.

Jun 16, 2017

The 10-part true crime documentary, The Making of a Murderer, had America completely enthralled when it debuted on Netflix in December 2015. Not only were people unable to look away from the fascinating story of convicted criminal, Steven Avery, but they also found themselves still immersed in the storyline even after they turned off the television. As a result, social media blew up for months on end with conversation and debate.

Jun 16, 2017

We all observe Martin Luther King Day and express our gratitude for Dr. King’s incredible accomplishments with a day of service. We also recognize Black History Month as a great opportunity to celebrate the monumental accomplishments of African American leaders, activists and visionaries. However, few people think about Juneteenth as a day to commemorate.

Jun 8, 2017

Some dates are burned into the American memory because of historical significance. For instance, we can’t reference July 4th without instantly thinking of our nation’s birth. We can’t see the date September 11th and not remember the terrible tragedies that occurred that day in 2001.

May 30, 2017

The reason that I am contacting you regarding your fantastic book (Sacramento Indomitable City) is that it has personally touched and changed my family and I in a very personal way.
 I initially purchased your book last year when I came across it last year and thumbing through it at Costco. I immediately could tell that it gives a great history of Sacramento and thought it would be a great way to read about our own history.

May 23, 2017

I am sending this email to express my compliments to both Joy Wallace Dickinson and Arcadia Publishing for the excellent book "Orlando: City of Dreams" by Joy Wallace Dickinson. This is a truly excellent book, I originally checked this book out from my local public library and I was very impressed by its excellent explanation of the history of Orlando, I learned a lot from this book and I also enjoyed the nice historical photos. I am very glad this book was published and I hope this book will continue to be sold in bookstores so I can purchase this excellent book. Congratulations to both the author, all the editors, and the publisher for this excellent and very successful book.

May 18, 2017

Is there anything that represents a perfect, all-American summer day better than an afternoon at the ballpark? Have you ever taken the time to think about why? It’s not whether your team wins or loses that makes the day. It’s the ballpark experience itself—everything from the taste of the hot dogs to the sounds in the stadium.   
Each ballpark brings its own unique atmosphere to the table as well. This summer, why not indulge your inner baseball fan with a trip to some of America’s most iconic institutions? Make sure the following all make your list.

May 16, 2017

​I recently completed the Arcadia book "Hudson's National Guard Militia" with Bill Verdone as the principal author.  He spent a lot of time and effort gathering together the pictures and history of the unit that he once served as their commander, and was very excited to work with me converting that collection into an Arcadia book.  About 2 weeks ago, the first issue of that book finally arrived and made it into his hands, and he was one very happy fellow.

May 9, 2017

Do you love nothing better than discovering a truly amazing craft beer? Would a trip to beer nirvana really make your summer? If so, Portland needs to be on your road trip radar. Portland boasts more breweries than any other city in the entire world. Plus, it’s just a hop, skip, and a jump away from other fantastic brewing destinations along the picturesque Oregon coast. Think Eugene, Bend, and Hood River, to name just a few!
Best of all, Portland’s beer scene is constantly growing and evolving. That means there’s always something new to see and enjoy, even for someone who’s visited this iconic beer town in the past. The following are just a few of the essential breweries you can’t leave Portland without visiting.

May 3, 2017

Mother’s Day falls on May 14th this year. While there’s certainly nothing wrong with giving the standard bouquet of flowers and a card, many people want to choose a more unique to celebrate the day. After all, your mom is one of a kind! She deserves to be honored in a way that’s as special and amazing as she is.
The following are just a few suggestions for making Mother’s Day a little more creative this year. Don’t be afraid to personalize them or allow them to inspire new ideas of your own.

May 1, 2017

After 146 years, the famed Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus will fold its tent in May 2017. The closing of this venerable institution marks the end of an important chapter in the history of American popular entertainment. Ringling’s “greatest show on Earth” has thrilled generations of audiences around the United States. It’s hard to imagine childhood without at least one chance to experience this dazzling production with its star-studded cast of elite performers.

Apr 22, 2017

Although we ought to be mindful of nature and the environment every day, Earth Day is a wonderful reason to really focus on what a treasure our planet is. It’s a great reason to spend the day with your family appreciating Mother Nature. And it’s the perfect time to start teaching important eco-friendly values to your children as well.
This April 22nd, commemorate the occasion by engaging in some fun, family-friendly activities that engage the entire household. The following are just a few suggestions to consider.

Apr 11, 2017

Some people develop an interest in tracing the history of their family tree for very specific reasons. Others hop right in almost on a whim without giving it a lot of previous thought. Whatever the case may be for you, you’ll be happy that you took the initiative.

It’s only natural to be curious about where you come from and to want to learn the unique story of your own family tree. Genealogy research also comes alongside many other benefits. For instance, studying your family’s history and origins can make it possible for you to:

Apr 5, 2017

This April 28th, it’s time once again to celebrate Arbor Day in America. As a holiday, Arbor Day honors the importance of trees in our natural world. Arbor Day also offers an amazing opportunity to connect with your family and engage in meaningful, enjoyable activities that everyone can enjoy. If you’re not sure how you want to observe the day, consider the following suggestions to spark your inspiration.

Apr 2, 2017

Although it wasn’t so long ago, American have mostly forgotten the history and the people and the places of World War I. A centennial event is a great time to learn about things we should have known in the first place—this is how it was for me, when I wrote New Haven in World War I for The History Press. Thanks to all of the activities surrounding the centennial event both here and across the world, some of these stories are coming back into the light, and deservedly so. New Haven, a small city on Long Island Sound, played a part in these events, and in turn, was deeply affected, which I tried to document in my book. Some of these things are more known, such as Stubby, the brown and white bulldog-type mutt who was smuggled across the Atlantic in the coat of a corporal, and who went to the front with the 26th “Yankee” Division, and the exercise regimens designed by Walter Camp, the “father” of American football and the use of rifles and cartridges made by Winchester, the company famous for the “gun that won the west.” 

Apr 1, 2017

April is a popular month for spring break vacations for youth and adults alike. The cold winter snow is melting, the plants are beginning to bloom, and animals are preparing to mate. This month we’re going to explore popular vacation destinations and adventures all over the country. Today we’re starting with great spots to check out on the West coast of the United States.

Mar 27, 2017


My first glimpse of what remained of Buxton, Iowa came in 2008.  Standing in the middle of farmland, gazing at the crumbling ruins of a stone warehouse, I closed my eyes and tried to picture the amazing town that once was – a thriving coal mining town established in 1900 that was integrated, its 5,000 residents, of which 55% were African American, living and working side by side. I tried to see the company store, filled with quality goods brought by rail from Chicago, New York, and St. Louis.

Mar 25, 2017

Dorothea Lynde Dix was born in Hampden, Maine, on April 4, 1802. She had a difficult child as the daughter of a mother who suffered frequent bouts of depression and an alcoholic father. Despite this adversity, she took charge as the primary caretaker of her younger brothers. Then at the age of 12, she left home to live and study at the home of her affluent grandmother.

Mar 22, 2017

Sandra Day O’Connor, now 87, is best known for serving as the very first female justice on the U.S. Supreme Court, beginning at the age of 51. She served for 24 years before retiring to take care of her husband, whose health was declining. Read on as we explore her contributions to the political climate in the United States. 

Mar 21, 2017

Helen Keller is best known for her ability, with the help of her tutor, Anne Sullivan, to excel despite deafness and blindness, such that she not only graduated magna cum laude from Radcliffe, but went on to publish a number of important texts on social issues. What’s less known is her efforts on behalf of the underprivileged and the rights of women. Read on as we explore the lesser known story of Helen Keller’s life. 

Mar 20, 2017

Sally Ride is both the youngest woman to enter space, as well as the first American woman to enter space. After her career in aeronautics, she started the organization Sally Ride Science to encourage like-minded girls and young women to pursue their interest in math and science.

 

Mar 17, 2017

Amid blatant sexism and regular denigration of her contributions to science, Marie Curie made history in her discovery of not one, but two elements, polonium and radium. She was also the first woman to be awarded the Nobel Prize, and remains the only woman in history to hold two Nobel Prizes.

Mar 14, 2017

Political pioneer and staunch conservative, Thatcher’s divisive political policies continue to elicit heated debates, even after her death. While some see her as having saved Britain from economic decline, others believe she destroyed the livelihoods of millions of workers. Read on as we aim to understand more fully her life, both professionally and politically.

Mar 10, 2017

Gloria Steinem is widely recognized as one of the great feminists of our time. Working alongside other prominent feminists, such as Bella Abzug and Betty Friedan, she is credited as an acclaimed trailblazer for women’s rights, working both as an activist and a journalist, for the benefit of the cause.

Mar 9, 2017

There’s no doubt that college basketball is exciting to watch. Whether it’s the pride that washes over you when your alma mater scores a point or the adrenaline rush during the final seconds of a particularly intense game, it’s all part of what keeps you coming back year after year.

Mar 9, 2017

Texas is a different kind of place. It was born out of its own revolution that in many ways parallels the American Revolution. Texas heroes like Sam Houston, Stephen F. Austin, and William B. Travis have their names plastered on schools, public buildings and highways in the same way Washington, Jefferson, and Franklin celebrated throughout the US. This unique heritage for Texas resulted in the formation of a particular mind-set for Texans that some call swagger. A Texas truism says to never ask a stranger if he’s from Texas. If he is he’ll tell you, if he isn’t you don’t want to embarrass him.
 

Mar 8, 2017

Today’s notable woman in history is Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel. While her story is a marked deviation from previous tales of suffragettes and activists, Chanel’s role in the evolution of women’s fashion, and ultimately women’s lives, cannot be discounted. Globally, fashion continues to be a multi-billion dollar industry, and though her meager start began just over a hundred years ago, her impact on the industry and women’s fashion endures.

Mar 7, 2017

While we’ve already discussed 2 notable American women who fought for woman suffrage (Elizabeth Cady Stanton & Susan B. Anthony), we wanted to take some time to share the story of British suffragette, Emmeline Pankhurst. Pankhurst is best-known for her militant campaigning strategy. Though opinions may differ on whether this was the best strategy, in the end, it worked. Let’s take an inside look at her life and the road to woman suffrage in Britain!

Mar 6, 2017

  Baseball in Montgomery has been a long time coming. I found the Montgomery history more difficult to obtain than that of other southern cities. Montgomery’s history was complicated by having played in seven different professional baseball leagues, using thirteen different team names; and spending forty-one years of its baseball timeline of 125 years without any professional baseball. What kind of history could come from such a fragmented past? Fortunately for me I quickly unearthed several long forgotten stories that would give me the enthusiasm to see this project to completion. Montgomery baseball has five unique and very interesting stories in its baseball history.

Mar 5, 2017

Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 and raised in a Quaker household. After the failure of her father’s business in the 1830’s, her family’s farm became a meeting place for members of the abolitionist movement and she developed from an early age a strong moral code.  Famous abolitionists such as Frederick Douglass were known to visit the home.

Mar 4, 2017

What motivates you to write?
My primary the site motivation for writing is meeting all the people, their individual stories and connection to the story and, of course, the education. This included all the traveling and meeting the various sources as the story becomes a “living” book of information and knowledge. My motto for this project was/is, “never stop learning.”

Mar 3, 2017

​In the 1850s, pioneers of the westward expansion settled in the Great Plains. Kansas Territory would soon become the battleground to a pre-Civil War over the issue of slavery. Bloodshed was impetuous and criminals were plentiful. Bushwhackers, horse thieves, and murderers were typically restrained by armed guards in military encampments; if they weren’t strung up by a lynch mob first. In Leavenworth and other early townships, wooden structures made of hand hewn logs became the first jails in the state.
 

Mar 2, 2017

What do you call the greatest center fielder of all time? How about Spoke. Tris Speaker is without a doubt the greatest center fielder to ever play baseball. Almost a century after he hung up his spikes, he still owns several major league records. While his skills with a bat and glove are legendary, I think it was his character that made him a great man. And it is why those who knew him the best simply called him Spoke.

Mar 1, 2017

​Cleopatra may be best-known for her immense beauty and powers of seduction, but there’s far more to her story. However, it is prudent to note that there lies some doubt as to the precise details of her biography, as no contemporary accounts of her life exist. Much of what is known about her is the result of the work of Greco-Roman scholars, particularly Plutarch.

Feb 28, 2017

History and true crime, is there a better topic to write about? Is there a better topic to read about? As a historian and a true crime buff, I doubt it. But then again, I am drawn to historical crime… and punishment, punishment that was much more severe than that handed out today. Cold blooded killers like Bonnie and Clyde and Baby Face Nelson never got their day in court, they were gunned down in the streets by officers of the law years before the words Miranda Rights would mean anything. This was during the great depression, a different world. There was no middle ground, the law was less compassionate. Hardened criminals such as Bonnie, Clyde and Baby Face, lived by the gun and died by the gun. No questions asked.
 

Feb 27, 2017

According to data gathered from the 2010 Census, a post from the U.S. Census Bureau last December shares the top 10 most common surnames in the U.S. by race and Hispanic origin. This post also included a link comparing the most popular surnames of 2010 against the 2000 and 1990 censuses. Although the top 3 names haven’t changed in the last 30 years, the others start trading places a bit. Read on as we explore the top 10 most popular surnames in the U.S. and their meaning.

Feb 24, 2017

Manufacturing has been an important part of the American economy since the late 1800s.  Throughout the Southeast textile mills were established to create jobs for local workers and to keep investments in the community.  Places that were once dominated by an agrarian economy transformed into industrial powerhouses that brought changes to the community and local workers.  People across the country left farms and small towns to work in vastly different industrial environments for a steady paycheck year round.

Feb 24, 2017

 The practice of Hoodoo, a set of folk practices incorporating magic, spirituality and healing has a distinct heritage in the Memphis and Mid-South region. For hundreds of years the use of roots, herbs and charms have been a fixture in the Bluff City. It’s earliest presence seen in the late 1800s as Africans who were taken as slaves were taken from their homeland and relocated throughout the Mississippi Delta. After years of struggling to survive amidst racial violence and segregation the culture of hoodoo has managed to maintain a presence in Memphis.

Feb 24, 2017

 North Carolina is known for such famous people as Ava Gardner, Richard Petty, Dale Earnhardt, Michael Jordan, Thomas Wolfe, Andy Griffith, Billy Graham,  Ric Flair and Dean Smith and such things as tobacco, furniture, bar-b-cue, NASCAR, basketball,  Hardee’s, Krispy Kreme doughnuts, Pepsi Cola and last but not least moonshine. Why is gritty moonshine included in this list of famous North Carolina people, places and activities?

Feb 22, 2017

One of my earliest remembrances as a child was when my father would take me from Philadelphia to New York City to see the Yankees play.  And while seeing Mickey Mantle play was impressive, equally impressive was the means we used to get there - travel on the Pennsylvania Railroad.  The first time I ever saw the famous Pennsy GG-1 pulling into a station left an impression of awe that is still with me today.

Feb 22, 2017

​The President of the Confederate States of America, Jefferson Davis, delivered his inaugural address from the steps of the Alabama State Capitol Building on February 18, 1861. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. delivered his Address at the Conclusion of the Selma to Montgomery March on March 25, 1965 from the very same steps. Both spoke with the passion of their times, as leaders of their national conflicts from the Alabama Capitol Building steps almost 100 years apart. One might consider this juxtaposition of opposites as a theme of the Civil Heritage Trail in Montgomery, Alabama. It is thought provoking, to say the least, that two of the most transformative movements in American history began in a relatively small town in Central Alabama.

Feb 22, 2017

Some things we just don’t talk about.
In Coweta County, Georgia, the Atlanta suburb where I live, items that fall under this category might include slavery, segregation, the Textile Strike of 1934, and most assuredly the public spectacle lynching of Sam Hose that occurred just north of the town of Newnan, our county seat, on April 23, 1899.

Feb 21, 2017

Sarah Grimke (1792-1873) and Angelina Grimke Weld (1805-1879) were two sisters born 13 years apart who shared the deep-seated belief that slavery was not a condition which any human should have to abide. In their fight to end slavery, they came to be strong believers in the importance of equality between men and women, thus becoming prominent speakers for women’s rights as well. Read on as we delve into the lives of two women who were early and prominent activists for abolition and women’s rights.

Feb 17, 2017

With so many electronic devices these days, it can be difficult to truly connect to one another.  So many people put down their smartphones, turn off their TVs and computers, and then say, “Now what?”  Here are some fun ideas for ways to connect with your family -- children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews -- and friends.

Feb 17, 2017

Earlier this week, a leak reported that Nokia plans to unveil an old favorite, 17 years old to be precise, the Nokia “brick phone.” While it’s reasonable to suppose that this is just an affordable option for those that want the convenience of a simple, portable phone, without the high price tag and breakability, we wondered, is this in fact a nod to the rising popularity of other vintage devices? Read on as we explore this trend.

 

Feb 16, 2017

The Oroville Dam, located on the Feather River in California, is the largest dam in the United States. It is also the tallest, towering over the Hoover dam by a considerable 40 feet, and one of the highest in the world. Unlike the Hoover dam however, it is an earthfill dam, as opposed to concrete construction. Like many other dams across the United States, construction began in the early sixties and it was finally ready for use in 1968.
 

Feb 10, 2017

With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, we’ve put together the procrastinator’s guide to planning the perfect vacation for your sweetheart. This is the ultimate guide on where to play and where to stay this Valentine’s Day. We’ve rounded up 7 romantic destinations across the country that offer not only beautiful views, but fun things to do, to help you plan an unforgettable Valentine’s Weekend Getaway.
 

Feb 3, 2017

When you picture the art and culture associated with New Orleans, the sight and sound of the city’s signature brass bands probably tops the list, and with good reason. After all, true New Orleans natives never pass up an opportunity to have a parade, which is never complete without a brass band. Brass bands are an important part of events like jazz funerals, city festivals, and more.

Feb 2, 2017

If you spend enough time getting to know a city, you’ll notice official and unofficial monuments of its history. On rare occasions, you might catch sight of grown men in crisp white and sky-blue uniforms kicking up clouds of dust at the diamond on 4th Street and Evergreen Avenue. This is part of the lesser known piece of Los Angeles history captured in “Mexican American Baseball in East Los Angeles.” The book’s photos and stories are drawn from the Latino Baseball History Project archive, permanently housed in the CSU San Bernardino library. This book is part of a series by Arcadia Publishing that enables authors to turn personal snapshots, historical photos and archive materials into paperback books with a regional emphasis.

Jan 30, 2017

It goes almost without saying that Mardi Gras is a major event if you live in New Orleans. People will pass out beautiful colored beads and soak up the unforgettable atmosphere that will permeate the city on February 28th this year. They’ll also gather to enjoy an overabundance of food and drink one last time before Lent begins the following day.

Jan 24, 2017

For many, President’s Day is simply a reason to enjoy a long weekend away from the office. For others, it’s a day to hit the mall and check out all the specials their favorite department stores are running. In reality, it should be a day to honor those that have led our country over the past 200+ years, especially George Washington, as President’s Day is the federal celebration of his birthday.

Jan 19, 2017

If you’re the sort of person who has absolutely had enough of winter, cold, and snow by the time February rolls around, you probably also hope the famous Punxsutawney Phil doesn’t see his shadow on February 2nd. According to folklore, a cloudy Groundhog Day on which the groundhog can’t see his shadow after coming out of hibernation signifies spring weather that will arrive before the equinox. A shadow, on the other hand, means six more weeks of winter.

Jan 10, 2017

When you think of Martin Luther King, what are the first things that spring to mind? If you’re like most, you think of someone who made the world a better place, not just for people of color but for all people. You picture someone whose very name is synonymous with concepts like courage, justice, and love. Of course, you think of that incredible “I Have a Dream” speech and everything that it stood for and still does stand for today.

Dec 29, 2016

People all over the world commemorate the start of the New Year by cooking, eating, and sharing foods considered to be lucky in their culture. American southerners dine on collard greens and black-eyed peas because of their resemblance to money. Germans love pork sausage and sauerkraut, while Swedes enjoy large smorgasbords filled with various seafood options.

Dec 26, 2016

Helping the poor is something many of us consider important, and it’s something we could all contribute more. However, learning about poverty, who it effects, and how you can help is one thing. Actually raising enough awareness to inspire other people to get involved is quite another.

Dec 15, 2016

As we say good-bye to the old year and prepare to welcome whatever the new one brings our way, it only makes sense to want to mark the transition in some way. Some of us do that by throwing a party or making a list of New Year’s resolutions for the year to come. However, it’s important to understand that these aren’t the only ways to ring in the New Year with style.

Dec 13, 2016

If you’re like most people, Christmas was probably the pinnacle of your entire year when you were a kid. Everything, from your family’s Christmas tree to the much-anticipated presents on Christmas morning, was nothing short of magic. However, as time rolls on and adulthood sets in, the holiday season can lose some of that sparkle you remember.

Dec 2, 2016

Exactly eighteen out of fifty states have a Greene or Greenville County and there are twenty-three cities with some form of Greene in their name. Yet not many know where the name of their place of residence comes from. Nathanael Greene can certainly be called one of America’s forgotten generals because he is not widely known despite his vast contributions as one of our first military masterminds. My book, Nathanael Greene in South Carolina: Hero of the American Revolution, is about Greene’s unlikely rise to power, his military successes in South Carolina, and ultimate act of freeing Charleston from British occupation.

Dec 2, 2016

Few people realize the important role ten houses of refuge, built by the U. S. Life-Saving Service between 1876 and 1886, played in the development of Florida. Although Arcadia Publishers insisted that the name “Florida’s Houses of Refuge” would be misleading to modern day readers, opting for the name U. S. Life-Saving Service—Florida’s East Coast, the facilities were indeed called houses of refuge. They were unique to Florida. The population of the east coast of Florida was so sparse there were not men available to form a crew for sea rescue. Fortunately, because of the gentle slope of the beach and the near-shore location of reefs, shipwreck survivors usually could manage to reach the beach. However, they still faced death from exposure and starvation.

Dec 2, 2016

When it comes to ideal gifts capable of pleasing even the toughest people on your list, you really can’t beat a book, and with good reason. Books can accomplish anything. They can spirit you away to another time and place. They can thrill you, enlighten you, frighten you, or delight you. Best of all, books allow us a golden opportunity to learn new things or see familiar things from intriguing new angles.

Dec 2, 2016

If the history buff in your life is like most enthusiasts, they’ve spent hours of their time devouring generalized history texts about their favorite events, topics, and areas of interest. However, books like those rarely tell the reader the whole story. That’s where the right regional history books come in.

Nov 30, 2016

If you’re American, your idea of a traditional Christmas dinner very likely revolves around turkey or ham with all the trimmings. You may know of other households that roast a leg of lamb, a goose, or a prime rib as well, but have you ever wondered what families around the world prepare for Christmas dinner?

Nov 29, 2016

Thanks to author of 'Organized Crime in Miami', Avi Bash for this post!
​When reviewing the history of pop culture in the United States, one constant - presumably among many - is the American public’s strange fascination with mobsters and organized crime. What is it about an American subculture - a secret society built on a code of silence and secrecy – that captures America’s attention and become such a ubiquitous aspect of pop culture?

Nov 28, 2016

Author Jeri Magg kindly submitted this blog post regarding her new book.

Writing my new book, “Remarkable Women of Sanibel and Captiva,” was a labor of love. Having lived on Sanibel for the past thirty-six years, I was fortunate to have met, or interviewed, some of these women. As a history buff, I am delighted to be part of the Sanibel Historical Museum and Village for the last seventeen years. That’s where I got the idea to write this book and my previous one, “Historic Sanibel and Captiva Islands, Tales of Paradise.”

Nov 22, 2016

Erika Thomas writes for the lifestyle publications Southern California Life, Los Angeles Confidential, Chevrolet New Roads and others. A former actress and voiceover artist, Erika made the rounds at Paramount, Warner Bros. and the Culver Studios (her drive-on pass often taking her through the Ince Gate), where she was always more interested in the history of the famed structures than she was in booking the acting job itself... 

Nov 21, 2016

The Thanksgiving turkey pardon has a lengthy and disputed history. A humorous and yes, slightly macabre, thanksgiving tradition, each president has added their own respective touches. From the political concerns of President Truman’s turkeys to the family involvement of President Obama’s pardoning, the Thanksgiving turkey pardon has become a mainstay of the fall holiday season. Here are 5 little known facts about Thanksgiving turkeys and the presidents who pardon them.

Nov 15, 2016

The ultimate day of holiday shopping for many Americans, Black Friday usually involves huge crowds, long lines, and chaotic malls. Dedicated shoppers queue up in droves for deep discounts on the latest electronics and must-have holiday gifts. Falling just one day after America’s “other” November holiday, Thanksgiving, Black Friday involves little in the way of good food and family tradition. So why is Black Friday always the day after Thanksgiving? How did Black Friday get its name? What are the origins of this day of holiday madness? How might changing shopping habits affect the classic shopping holiday?

Nov 15, 2016

Joseph R. Haynes, author of our newly released title Virginia Barbecue: A History, is a native Virginian and award-winning barbecue cook. A lifetime student of barbecue, Haynes is a certified master barbecue judge and travels the state giving numerous lectures, appearing in media, consulting with organizations and attending festivals promoting Virginia's Barbecue heritage.

Nov 12, 2016

If you’re like a lot of people, when you think of a holiday like Thanksgiving, you picture something timeless – something that’s always been exactly the way it is now. However, you’d also be wrong. Thanksgiving has been around almost 400 years at this point. It only stands to reason that it’s undergone more than a few changes over that span of time.

Nov 10, 2016

If you didn’t quite manage to visit all the national parks you wanted to see this year before summer came to an end, we have excellent news for you. Fall is actually one of the best times of year to see these iconic places in all their glory. Not only is the oppressive summer heat a thing of the past for now, but this is the ideal time to see the foliage of fall at its very best.

Nov 10, 2016

Now that fall’s finally here, we’re finally able to get excited about celebrating all that comes with it. We’re saying goodbye to the long dog days of summer and hello to cooler temperatures, crisp breezes, and beautiful fall foliage. We’re more than ready to celebrate the fantastic bounty that comes along with every new fall as well

Nov 10, 2016

When it comes to the holidays, nothing gets you into the spirit quite like the right holiday-themed viewing. This is just as much the case with Thanksgiving as it is Halloween or Christmas, so it’s no surprise that people look forward to watching their favorite Thanksgiving-themed TV specials all over again as a way to get ready for turkey day.

Nov 10, 2016

If you’re a vegetarian, then it only stands to reason that the holidays can present a bit of a challenge. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of being the only vegetarian at a Thanksgiving dinner, then you know exactly what we mean. Many hosts don’t think to go out of their way to accommodate vegetarian guests. Others simply assume that the vegetarians at the table can simply nosh on the side dishes. (“You don’t mind that there’s chicken broth in the mashed potatoes, right?”)

Nov 10, 2016

America has been celebrating Thanksgiving for a really long time – almost 400 years, to be exact. However, we’ve hardly been celebrating it the exact same way over all that time. The Pilgrims of Plymouth celebrated by putting aside differences with the indigenous people of the regions and partaking in the bounty of their first successful harvest together. Many aspects of this first celebration have remained firmly in place – like the mouthwateringly decadent dinners that are near universal – but a lot has changed over the years as well.

Oct 27, 2016

When it comes to American cities that are notorious for being haunted, there are a number of options that tend to make the cut pretty consistently. However, New Orleans is widely considered to be the most haunted of them all and is often the first place people think of when looking to visit a place in search of ghosts, the supernatural, or the paranormal.

Oct 14, 2016

Do much traveling over the course of your lifetime, and you’ll surely notice cities have a lot in common with people. Each has its own unique personality and vibe. Each has its own set of values, quirks, and concepts it holds dear. San Francisco is the place to be if you’re into culture and the inner workings of brilliant minds. Miami is a wonder if you’re into color, flavor, and lively nightlife. New York is an eclectic mix of just about everything people like about city life.

Oct 4, 2016

If you’re planning a visit to the Raleigh area in the near future, then you should be congratulated on an excellent decision. Not only is the “City of Oaks” the capital of North Carolina, but it’s perfectly located when it comes to just about any activity you might want to enjoy when you’re in town. Whether you’re into food or shopping, garden walks or sports, art galleries or historical sites, Raleigh has something to offer you guaranteed.

Oct 4, 2016

If you’re a dyed in the wool film buff, then it’s probably safe to say you wouldn’t consider Halloween complete without a horror movie marathon or two. However, horror movie marathon beats a nostalgic one, and no decade saw the release of more truly chilling films than the 1990s. Here we’ll take a closer look at the scariest movies of the 90s – the movies that had us biting our nails and sleeping with the lights on for months. Did your favorites make the cut?

Oct 3, 2016

Not every museum is all about fine art, antiquities, and skeletal dinosaurs. The experience of going to a museum can potentially introduce you to a number of other fascinating things as well, up to and including some of humanity’s weirder, more macabre discoveries. The Mutter Museum of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania is just such a place.

Oct 2, 2016

If you’re an avid paranormal enthusiast in search of your next haunted travel location, then you absolutely can’t beat New Orleans. Not only is it considered one of America’s most heavily haunted locations, but it’s home to some truly historic sites as well. The very famous St. Louis Cemetery is both, so no trip made to New Orleans in the hopes of spotting a ghost or two would be complete without a visit.

Oct 1, 2016

Halloween is more than just a night for fun activities like trick-or-treating, scary movie marathons, or epic parties. When you take a closer look at the costumes that are most popular each year, Halloween as a concept is also something of a time capsule. To know what people most wanted to be that year is to know which pop culture phenomena, characters, and public figures really had our attention at the time.

Sep 27, 2016

Germany isn’t the only country that looks forward to Oktoberfest every year. It’s just as popular here in America, and it’s not hard to see why. To begin with, many Americans are of German descent themselves. Also, what red-blooded American doesn’t love a good reason to eat fantastic food, drink delicious brews of all kinds, and celebrate life in excellent company?

Sep 20, 2016

Traditions are so much more than just rituals that have been handed down from person to person over time. They’re a big part of what makes a given event authentic and unique. Our traditions aren’t just part of who we are, but a big part of how we express our collective identities to other people as well. 

That said, it’s not surprising that college football comes attached to numerous traditions of its own. Here we’ll take a closer look at some of the most beloved and unique college football traditions from all over the nation. 

 

Sep 14, 2016

September 15th will mark the beginning of this year’s Hispanic Heritage Month. That said, there’s no time like the present to further develop your appreciation of Hispanic culture. You can start by raising your own awareness of the contributions of Hispanic-Americans and immigrants in your own area, and then continue by reading up on the amazing lives of notable people of Hispanic descent and educating others in regards to what you’ve learned.

Jul 18, 2016

When you think of American cities that are also must-see travel destinations, you instantly picture places like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago, or Orlando. If you’re like many people, you probably don’t picture Detroit, and it’s easy to understand why. For many Americans, the name “Detroit” is synonymous with the concept of urban decay. Detroit is also the poster child when it comes to once wealthy cities that eventually fell victim to neglect and abandonment.

Jul 12, 2016

When I sat down to write Images of America: Central Florida’s World War II Veterans, I immediately realized I knew very little about World War II and that period of time — except that I love movies from the 1940s. I knew that with each passing day, we lose more and more of our World War II veterans, so I wanted to pay tribute to them by writing this book.

Jun 20, 2016

American history is nothing if not filled with influential people. However, it’s important to realize that the honor of having been labeled an influential person is by no means limited to military leaders or presidents. American history is also filled with visionaries and writers, activists and entrepreneurs. It’s one thing to deem a given historical figure influential. It’s another to define what it means to be influential. What makes a given person worthy of a spot on a Top 100 list? Is it really possible for one person on such a list to matter more than another? How much do changing societal values affect who’s considered noteworthy and who is not?

Jun 17, 2016

William E. “Bill” Boeing (1881-1956) dropped out of Yale after his third year in 1903 because he sensed an opportunity to make money. Wilhelm Bӧing, an enterprising German immigrant, was a wealthy timber and mining barren who died of influenza at the age of 40 in 1890 leaving vast acreage of rain-drenched Western Washington coastal virgin timber to his only son, William.

May 21, 2016

There are few things that personify the concept of personal independence quite like a car ride. Nothing compares to the sensation of the sun on your skin and the sight of the open road stretching out ahead of you. You can go wherever you want, whenever you want, with a car at your disposal. No wonder the average American remembers the day he got his first driver’s license as the best day of his life!

May 17, 2016

A given person may or may not be into sports. You’ll have people who love to read lengthy novels and people who would rather stick to movies instead. However, you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone from any culture who doesn’t like some form of music, and it’s not hard to see why. Music is the closest thing we have to a universal language. It can speak to anyone or be made to say just about anything. Music is one of the only activities that engages almost every part of the human brain.

May 12, 2016

America is filled with beautiful locations that definitely warrant a second look sooner or later. The beautiful Phoenix, Arizona is one of them. Located at the northernmost point of the Sonoran Desert, Phoenix is about a whole lot more than pottery, cacti, and tumbleweeds. It’s also one of the nation’s most swiftly growing urban locations. To date, it’s home to 22 different communities, as well as to multiple opportunities for people from all walks of life.

May 12, 2016

When a ghost sighting is on your bucket list, frequenting places with heightened paranormal activity is the best way to fulfill your dream. Not all places promoting hauntings are legitimate, but there are many locations with well-documented narratives and eyewitness reports chronicling bonafide otherworldly manifestations.

May 7, 2016

If you really can’t picture your summer without at least one trip to Las Vegas, you’re in excellent company. Las Vegas is truly the type of city that has a little something to offer everyone. Whether you’re into winning big at the blackjack table, indulging in five-star restaurant experiences, or taking in some of the best entertainment available anywhere, Vegas has exactly what you’re in the mood for.

May 5, 2016

No study of American history can be considered complete without a thorough exploration of African-American studies. Exploring the contributions of African-Americans throughout the ages is the best way to really get acquainted with the magnitude of their contributions as a social group. America’s black citizens have been teachers, writers, builders, activists, and leaders, among many other things.

May 5, 2016

There are so many obvious treasures in the Columbia River Gorge region of Oregon and Washington: the wonderful Columbia River and the many adjoining creeks and waterfalls; hiking trails along moss-covered rocky cliffs; the fresh snow that clings wetly to the distant trees; coyotes yodeling wildly in the evening. Yet there is something else unique to the Columbia River Gorge, and a lot of people miss it: the links to the history all around. 

May 3, 2016

If you’re an avid history and culture reader, then you’re already very familiar with the way books on your favorite topics can open your world right up. They allow you to hear and appreciate the voices of people who have lived all sorts of lives all over the world. They help you forge a connection between the world you know personally and the world as other people know it.

May 2, 2016

The numerical designation for the famous Chicago-to-Los Angeles highway was given on April 30th 1926, making it 90 years old! We think it’s only fitting to celebrate the start of the iconic route’s name with the history of the beginning of the route itself, Chicago! Read all about it in this excerpt from Route 66 Encyclopedia.

Apr 30, 2016

Whether you’re a long-time California native or simply someone that dreams of having a chance to travel to the Golden State on vacation one day, one thing’s for certain. California is incredibly easy to love. Beautiful beaches, perfect weather, fantastic wine, and cuisine that strikes the perfect balance between healthy and delicious. Definitely a winning combination if there ever was one!

Apr 29, 2016

We love independent bookstores! In support of National Independent Bookstore Day on April 30, we turned to two  of the History Press’s very own editors – Christen Thompson and Julia Turner – who recently became booksellers. They are the founders of Itinerant Literate Books, a pop-up bookshop and custom book event designer with plans to expand into a bookmobile here in Charleston, South Carolina. 

Apr 28, 2016

Summertime means county fairs with the requisite rides, games of chance, fried foods, celebrity performances, and family and friends get-togethers. When it comes to country fairs, the San Diego County Fair at the Del Mar Fairgrounds is consistently among the top in the nation. Like everything in America’s Finest City, it’s just a cut above the rest. The creative team behind each year’s extravaganza makes sure that it’s more than a traditional fair; it’s a one-of-a-kind magical experience.

Apr 23, 2016

Missouri has the Gateway Arch, which is the largest arch in the world; the Ozark Mountains; and the Missouri River, the longest river in North America. It is the second largest cave state in the United States. With more than 6,000 recorded caves, it borders more than eight states, and is known as the Show Me State. Writers Mark Twain, Maya Angelou, and Langston Hughes; actor Brad Pitt; and rapper Nelly, among other notable celebrities, all hail from this great state. Missouri has both mid-western charm and southern neighbors, and, to top it all off, it’s one of the most haunted states in the country.

Apr 8, 2016

As a tourist attraction, Olvera Street has its roots in the late 1920s, when Christine Sterling began a fundraising quest to save Avila Adobe. The oldest standing residence in Los Angeles had been slated for demolition. Her dream expanded to include all of Olvera Street, hoping to restore it to its original Mexican and Spanish heritage. Many of the original buildings were saved in the process, and craftspeople and artists opened businesses along the street, creating a place for visitors to learn about the early history of Los Angeles.

Apr 8, 2016

Jayme Lynn Blaschke's book Inside the Texas Chicken Ranch: The Definitive Account of the Best Little Whorehouse will be published by The History Press on August 1. As we count down the days until publication, Jayme has been writing about his journey as an author on his blog Chicken Ranch Giberish. Below is his latest post.

Feb 12, 2016

It’s February again and love is in the air. What better way to celebrate the season than with a good romantic comedy and a handful of books? To help you decide what to watch and what to read, we’ve gone ahead and paired together some of our favorite movies with some of our Arcadia and The History Press titles.

Dec 22, 2015

The North American Aerospace Defense Command, commonly called NORAD, has the round-the-clock mission of defending North America from an air attack. But, there is one mission that NORAD loves more than anything else to perform every year; tracking Santa Claus on Christmas Eve.

Oct 26, 2015

Crassostrea virginica, the eastern oyster. With careful research and interviews with experts, author Kate Livie presents a dynamic story of the eastern oyster and a glimpse of what the future may hold in Chesapeake Oysters: The Bay's Foundation and Future
 

Oct 1, 2015

"DIXIE HIGHWAY TOUR OCTOBER 9," announced a Washington Herald article on September 28, 1915. This year will mark the one hundredth anniversary of the North-South roadway. Several Dixie Highway Association executives began the first official tour of the new highway on Chicago Day, a day of remembrance for the 1871 fire. They left from the Windy City and traveled south throughout October, with an arrival in Miami as the finale. 

Oct 1, 2015

In Philadelphia, an idea was born more than 60 years ago – to ask citizens from all walks of life to write about and share the values that guide their daily lives. The idea grew from one radio station in Philadelphia into the international phenomenon This I Believe radio series.

Oct 1, 2015

Pie has been a delectable centerpiece of Yankee tables since Europeans first landed on New England’s shores in the 17th century. With a satisfying variety of savory and sweet, author Robert Cox takes a bite out of the history of pie and pie-making in the region with New England Pie.
 

Oct 1, 2015

We here at Arcadia Publishing and The History Press love a good ghost story. From Revolutionary ghosts and Civil War specters to haunted towns and eerie cemeteries, we eagerly await the season of spooks and spirits each year! Writers young and not-so-young are invited to submit a spooky story based on legend or lore from your hometown. Winners get their choice of 10 books from the Haunted America series by The History Press.