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"The ancestor of every action is a thought." Ralph Waldo Emerson

Entries in history (46)

Thursday
Jan132011

* a definite snow day: the NYC Blizzard of 1888 

I LOVE snow storms, but for those living in New York city the recent snow has proven to be quite challenging. There are issues with snow & garbage removal, getting to work, and the worst by far the slush puddles on every street corner, they are impossible to gauge and then your entire foot is soaked. After reading about the great Blizzard of 1888 and it's impact on NYC I thought I would share some pictures and interesting first hand accounts to give us all a little perspective.

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Sunday
Dec192010

* sightseeing sundays: all aboard the queen mary!

Introducing a new weekly post - Sightseeing Sundays!

The Sightseeing Sunday Series will highlight my visits to historical or genealogical landmarks sitting on my never ending to do list. A list of places to see (historical, genealogical, personal, out of the ordinary) is in the works and each week I will share the latest sightseeing experience.

A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to visit the Queen Mary permanently docked in Long Beach, CA. My cousin Bernice, a long time resident of Long Beach, had never been and suggested we make a visit. GREAT idea!!

A little history: The Queen Mary was originally designed for Cunard White Star luxury cruises from Europe to the United States in the 1930's; after the maiden voyage in 1936 she became the first class standard for ocean liner travel. During WW2 the country called on the Queen Mary and she was converted into a military transportation vessel for US troops. Currently The Queen Mary is a floating museum with daily themed tours, self guided tours, monthly special events, hotel with 314 original First Class Staterooms, and numerous restaurants and lounges. With the difficult economy and constant financial struggles for many preservation projects, The Queen Mary could definitely use some admirers! 

May 27, 1936- THE QUEEN MARY departs Southampton, England on her maiden voyage to New York City.

June 1, 1936- Arrival at Pier 90 in New York City Crossing time: 5 days, 5 hours and 13 minutes.

August 1936- On her sixth round-trip voyage, THE QUEEN MARY wins the Blue Riband for the fastest North Atlantic crossings from the French Line's Normandie. The Normandie won the honor back in 1937.

March- May 1940- Painted gray and fitted as a troop ship.

May 1942-  First time more than 10,000 persons had traveled on any ship (9,880 troops, 875 crew)

My visit:

 I really loved this attraction!! A unique and interesting way to explore history. With our General Admissions Passport (Adult: $24.95, Senior (55+) & Military: $21.95, Child (5-11): $12.95) we were able to check out the Ghost and Legends Tour and a self guided tour of the ship.

You have to do the Ghost and Legends tour! The guide gives a cheeky comedic performance as the group is led through the most haunted spots on the ship. One stop was the first class pool located well below the main decks and Queen Mary haunted First Class Poolit wasn't long before the fog machine and sound effects were on full speed. At times it was a little cheesy but overall the tour was informative and definitely creepy!

If you are in the area I would definitely recommend visiting The Queen Mary!

Next Sunday I'll share a hometown gem from Saratoga, NY.

 

Monday
Dec132010

* investigating draft registration cards

I love finding a matching draft registration record, these little forms cover a broad range of information giving you a great snapshot of your ancestor. The forms vary slightly by draft registration period but all contain basic vital information, address, signature, a contact person (usually a spouse or parent), occupation, employer, physical descriptions (height, weight, complexion, hair and eye color), and any physical ailments or disabilities. You never know what you'll find.

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Monday
Nov222010

* remembering President John F. Kennedy 

John Fitzgerald Kennedy was the 35th President of the United States. He was the youngest President voted into office and was inaugurated January 20, 1961 a few months before his 44th birthday. President Kennedy's idealism and youthful spirit rallied the country together during a very tumultous political and international landscape; the cold war, threats of nuclear war, and raising racial tensions. To demonstrate this point, a famous quote from his Inaugural Address "And so, my fellow Americans: ask not what your country can do for you; ask what you can do for your country. My fellow citizens of the world: ask not what America will do for you, but what together we can do for the freedom of man". These words have resonated throughout history and continue to inspire today's society. I think our world would be a better place if more people took the time to look into history for lessons and inspiration.

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