Showing Archived Posts

Twists of Fate at the ‘U.N. of the Prairie’

Posted September 7th, 2012 at 11:21 am (UTC-4)
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I’ve been to a lot of places across America that have changed character over the years.  Austin, Texas, for instance, was once a drowsy state capital, worked by politicians and bureaucrats and lobbyists — and people wanting to talk to the politicians, bureaucrats, and lobbyists.  Now it’s a trendy hot spot for art, start-up businesses, […]

‘Boroughing’ in to New York City

Posted August 23rd, 2012 at 11:59 am (UTC-4)

Writing about Ellis Island last time, I mentioned that the U.S. Supreme Court ended years of controversy over exactly where the old immigration station — now a museum — officially sits.  New York Harbor, of course.  In New Jersey waters, not New York’s, it turns out. Which got me thinking about another, nearby saga of […]

Queen City of the Prairies

Posted July 9th, 2012 at 3:30 pm (UTC-4)
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Sedalia is a little town of 400,000 — ok, that’s just in August, when it hosts the Missouri State Fair at the third-largest fairground in the country.  Just 21,000 people live there the rest of the year.   It’s a town that has overcome daunting obstacles to become one of the nation’s most unlikely tourist destinations. […]


Posted April 6th, 2012 at 6:23 pm (UTC-4)
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Could it be that parochial Fluffya is changing? Who would have thought that after more than three centuries of mostly minding its own business, the hard-working city of narrow streets, grimy factories, and quaint colonial buildings in the southeastern corner of Pennsylvania would be transformed into one of America’s most dynamic and appealing tourist destinations. […]

Save the Gin (Not the Drink or Card Game!) Factory

Posted March 1st, 2012 at 6:53 pm (UTC-4)

I’m not much of a drinker, but I must admit that my ears perked up when Carol asked me to join her on a trip to Prattville, Alabama, where the town of 36,000 was fighting to save its gin factory.  Not a gin mill — which is slang for a low-class tavern.  An enormous factory. […]

The Harlem of the South

Posted February 9th, 2012 at 10:24 am (UTC-4)
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In the years immediately following the American Civil War of the 1860s, thousands of African Americans, including both former southern slaves and northern soldiers, moved into a lively neighborhood in Richmond, Virginia, the capital city of the defeated Confederate States.  The neighborhood became known as Jackson Ward locally, and to blacks across the American East […]

The Washington That Wasn’t

Posted December 8th, 2011 at 10:32 pm (UTC-4)
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Most museum exhibits are about things that are, were, might be down the road, or are just imagined. But I just toured a yeasty one about things that very well could have been but never were. It’s Unbuilt Washington, a new exhibit at the National Building Museum that will run through May 28th next year. […]

American High School

Posted December 2nd, 2011 at 4:46 pm (UTC-4)
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  I don’t know if there’s anything in the world that quite compares to a high school football game in the smaller towns of America. I went to Macomb, Illinois the other day and the first thing I noticed when we drove into town were signs saluting the local high school foot ball team, the […]

Oh, THAT Columbus!

Posted December 1st, 2011 at 8:13 pm (UTC-4)

On our latest trip, Carol and I headed west from Washington, D.C., through states such as West Virginia, Ohio, and Indiana en route to Cedar Rapids, Iowa.  Then we turned south toward our ultimate destination: New Orleans, Louisiana, about which I wrote last time. No sooner did we begin to discuss the return trip to […]

The Big Easy: Back, Not Better Than Ever

Posted November 29th, 2011 at 5:03 pm (UTC-4)

As August slipped into September six years ago, Hurricane Katrina blasted ashore out of the Gulf of Mexico and into Louisiana and Mississippi, delivering widespread devastation and death. Evacuations in its wake outnumbered those of any other storm, earthquake, drought, or war on American soil. In particular, the ruination of romantic New Orleans, inundated when […]

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


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