Showing Archived Posts

Red, Hot, and Phew!

Posted November 26th, 2010 at 1:38 pm (UTC-4)

You may have read my two recent postings about so-called “Cajun Country” in swampy southwest Louisiana. Well, it’s time to get your swamp boots and mosquito repellent on again, for right in the middle of the ancient oak trees draped in Spanish moss, and the black bayous — or slow-moving streams — full of alligators […]

Only in America: Thanksgiving Fact, Fiction

Posted November 19th, 2010 at 1:01 pm (UTC-4)

Many history majors have a hard time landing good jobs — or any jobs at all — out of college. Today’s big guns — business and entertainment — don’t pay much mind to what happened long ago. But it’s a good thing a few historians did find jobs and are fact-checking our tales about the […]

Only in America: John Brown’s Body

Posted November 15th, 2010 at 2:25 pm (UTC-4)
Leave a comment

If you started to softly sing “Mine eyes have seen the glory of the coming of the Lord,” most Americans would quickly identify the tune as “The Battle Hymn of the Republic.”  And they’d be right — but only up to a point. The words to one of America’s most performed — and most bellicose […]

Battle Row and Beyond

Posted November 12th, 2010 at 4:17 pm (UTC-4)
Leave a comment

There’s a lot more to Southwest Louisiana, about which I wrote last time, than Cajun honky-tonks, alligator-infested wetlands, and pepper-sauce factories. Tucked down in the corner, away from the spooky swamps, is Louisiana’s . . . pick your analogy . . . odd duck, loose cannon, eccentricity in an already-eccentric state, or wild and woolly […]

Bad Fruit on the Email Tree

Posted October 21st, 2010 at 2:05 pm (UTC-4)

Once you start forwarding lighthearted email — jokes, puzzles, wacky cat videos — to friends and colleagues, you’re sure to get a blizzard more in return.  Many of the messages will contain amazing purported “facts” that seem perfectly plausible.  A lot of them turn out to be blatantly inaccurate “urban legends” or worthless bunkum. I […]


Posted October 1st, 2010 at 5:05 pm (UTC-4)

  Even Americans who travel a lot often manage to miss one or two U.S. states.  Perhaps distant but unforgettable Alaska or Hawaii, but not usually both.  Quite often one of the last states on our wish list is North Dakota, our uppermost Plains state, hard by two equally obscure Canadian prairie provinces.  It could […]

Here, There, Everywhere

Posted September 10th, 2010 at 2:36 pm (UTC-4)

I’ve been buzzing about the country for the past three weeks, getting as far from our Washington, D.C.-based home as the northwestern tip of the other Washington in the Pacific Northwest.  Over the next few posts, I’ll tell you about some places and things I encountered in this 11,000-km journey, and about the joys of […]

Virginia Byways and Pieways

Posted August 5th, 2010 at 1:34 pm (UTC-4)

I told you a bit about Virginia last time but didn’t have the time or space to describe the full scope of what just might be our most historically significant state.  It was not only an incubator of American independence and the cradle of American presidents — eight of them — but also the scene […]

The Old Dominion

Posted July 30th, 2010 at 12:24 pm (UTC-4)
1 comment

After reading my post about suburbia a couple of times back, my colleague Penelope Poulou, who lives in Alexandria, Virginia, pointed out that even though Alexandria is considered part of suburban Washington, D.C., the city of 145,000 people is nothing like stereotypical modern suburbs. Founded in 1749, 52 years before Washington even existed, Alexandria was […]

Hatred and Tranquility

Posted June 19th, 2009 at 7:39 pm (UTC-4)
Leave a comment

A week or so ago, when I heard that an 88-year-old virulent white supremacist had shot and killed a security guard at the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum a few blocks away, my thoughts drifted to a serene spot — an almost eerily peaceful, contemplative patch of green — 2,200 kilometers (1,340 miles) away in […]

Ted Landphair


This is a far-ranging exploration of American life by a veteran Voice of America “Americana” reporter and essayist.

Ted writes about the thousands of places he has visited and written about as a broadcaster and book author. Ted Landphair’s America often showcases the work of his wife and traveling companion, renowned American photographer Carol M. Highsmith.

Ted welcomes feedback, questions, and ideas. View Ted’s profile. Watch a video about Ted and Carol by VOA’s Nico Colombant.

Photos by Carol M. Highsmith


June 2024
« Nov