These Women Helped Save the World
Some of the American women who helped win World War II were honored last weekend at the Royal Netherlands Embassy in Washington, D.C. The event coincided with the 70th anniversary of the liberation of the Netherlands at the end of World War II. When American men went off to fight in the early 1940s, women […]
Washington’s Birthday or Presidents’ Day–What’s In a Name?
The United States honors the country’s first president on the third Monday in February. The U.S. government gives federal workers a holiday – a paid day off. This year, the federal holiday the government calls George Washington’s Birthday falls on February 16. But George Washington was not born on February 16. He was born on […]
Presidential Libraries Pay Tribute to US Leaders
Franklin D. Roosevelt was the first U.S. president to have a library open to the public that housed his official papers, personal letters and memorabilia. Until then, presidential papers, if they survived at all, tended to go to the Library of Congress, to a public institution that had some relationship to the president, or to […]
People of German Ancestry Dominate US Melting Pot
America is a melting pot of immigrants from across the globe and people of German ancestry make up the biggest chunk of that mix. There are more than 49 million people with German ancestry in the United States, a number that accounts for 16 percent of the American population. “This includes people reporting multiple ancestries,” […]
What’s so American About Apple Pie?
If America had a national dessert, it would be apple pie. Growing up in our house, no holiday meal was complete without the fruit-filled pastry, and to this day it still has to be made with the recipe my mother learned as a young U.S. Foreign Service wife almost 50 years ago. You risk serious […]
For Native Americans, Thanksgiving Can Be a Mixed Blessing
Growing up, attorney Anita Shifflett celebrated Thanksgiving in the same way as most other Americans, by getting together with relatives to enjoy a hearty meal. “Thanksgiving meant family,” said Shifflett, a card-carrying member of the Native American Lumby tribe. “You had to go home for Thanksgiving. You had to go back to the tribe. My […]
While Shocking by Today’s Standards, America’s First Public Mental Hospital Was a Step Forward
Last month marked 241 years since America’s first public mental hospital opened in Williamsburg, Virginia. The Public Hospital for Persons of Insane and Disordered Minds took in its first patient on Oct. 12, 1773, at a time when the colonies still belonged to England. Treatment at the hospital could be brutal. One procedure called for dunking patients in […]
The American Town That Literally Lives in the Past
America’s past is revisited every day in a small town that was once the capital of Virginia, Britain’s largest, richest and most heavily populated outpost in the New World. One of the first things you notice about Colonial Williamsburg is how picture-perfect it appears. The streets are tidy and the Georgian-inspired historic buildings are charming […]
Crisis Looms as America’s Volunteer Firefighters Burn Out
Almost 300 years after U.S. founding father Benjamin Franklin established the very first volunteer fire department, the time-honored American tradition of unpaid good Samaritans banding together to save homes and properties in their community is in danger of being extinguished. Franklin founded The Union Fire Company with 30 volunteers in 1736. In addition to Franklin, […]
Does Columbus Day Honor a Monster?
Every year, on the second Monday in October, the United States celebrates a federal holiday honoring a man who freely admitted committing atrocities against the native people of the Americas, including cutting off their hands, noses or ears to keep them in line, and sexually enslaving girls as young as nine, gifting them to his […]