The little town of Bedford, VA lost the most soldiers proportionally of any town in America during the storming of the beaches at Normandy during World War II. That is why you will find the National D-Day Memorial in this small town that isn’t near an interstate. Thousands of people flock here every year to pay their respects to all of the soldiers who didn’t make it back home from the attacks. The memorial usually has a moving ceremony on June 6th, the anniversary of the attacks, but this year, the celebration will be virtual, which means that you and your children can watch from anywhere! Learn more about it in my new post today!
My quest to visit Presidential and First Lady sites has been hampered by the travel restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, since I live in Central Virginia, an easy drive from many of these sites, I decided to check out a Presidential site in my own backyard, Tuckahoe Plantation. It's a lovely site to visit, even during this pandemic. Read my new review today!
Fort Monroe in Hampton Roads, VA is a place with a storied history that dates back to the beginning of America. It was on these grounds that the first enslaved African-Americans came to the English colonies in 1619. This site was also known as “Freedom’s Fortress” during the Civil War, as thousands of contraband slaves who made it to its walls were given their freedom by Union Gen. Benjamin Butler. 155 years ago this month, it served as the prison for the former Confederate President, Jefferson Davis. The fort continued to be used by the military for another 140 years before being decommissioned in 2011. Today, the fort’s lovely grounds and buildings are open to visitors, including the Casemate Museum where Davis’ jail cell was located. It makes for a fun day trip, even in the midst of the pandemic closures. Read my new review today!
Right now, we can’t travel to Italy due to the coronavirus pandemic but we can still dream of upcoming trips to Italy! One of the places that is on almost everyone’s must-see list when visiting Italy is the Leaning Tower of Pisa. We visited the tower and the little town of Pisa with our kids, and I encourage you to visit, either in person or virtually! Read my new post today about planning a trip to Pisa with your family.
155 years ago, the United States was in turmoil. President Abraham Lincoln had been assassinated, his killer, John Wilkes Booth, was on the run, and some Confederate forces had not yet surrendered. While Gen. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox effectively ended the Civil War, there were still soldiers in North Carolina and in states and territories out west that didn’t lay down their arms until weeks or even months after Appomattox. Not only was North Carolina a pivotal place in these last few weeks of the war, it also served as the birthplace of the 17th President, Andrew Johnson, who was negotiating the peace. Read my new review today about the historic sites around Raleigh/Durham where you can learn more about President Johnson and the largest surrender of soldiers during the Civil War.
The sinking of the Titanic happened 108 years ago today, in the frigid waters of the North Atlantic. While you may be familiar with the ship’s first port of call in Southampton or its destination of New York City, a little known fact is that the Titanic’s last port of call in Europe, before it set out to its watery grave, was in Ireland. While we were in Ireland this past summer, we visited the Titanic Experience in Cobh, one of several museums focused on the tragedy worldwide. While you currently can't visit Cobh due to the COVID-19 pandemic, there are several online resources to help your children learn more about the Titanic disaster. Check out my new post today to learn more about Cobh and the other ways to learn about this fascinating event from history!
Living in Central Virginia, Civil War history is all around us. With much of the war taking place in the area, there are many battlefields, historic homes, and museums with their own history from the war. This week marks the 155th anniversary of the end of the war - from the fall of Richmond on April 3rd to the last battle at Sailor’s Creek on April 6th to Gen. Robert E. Lee’s surrender at Appomattox on April 9th. Check out my new post about that week’s events and some spots to visit, both virtually and in person, to learn more about this important time period in our nation’s history.