Basilica of St. Louis

On this Second Sunday of Advent I thought I'd feature the Basilica of St. Louis and the story of watchful waiting by a western Indian tribe in the first half of the 19th century. A delegation of four Indians from a tribe west of the Rocky Mountains came to St. Louis in the Fall of 1831 seeking a "Black Robe" to come and teach them the Catholic faith. Two of the four died in St. Louis due to … [Read more...]

Montrose, Colorado: Sunday Sign

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This week's Sunday Sign gives a shout-out to lovely Montrose, Colorado.  I've had the pleasure of visiting Montrose a couple of times since my brother and his family moved there in 2008.   Montrose is located in the southwestern quadrant of Colorado, in the Uncompahgre Valley, in lands originally populated by the Ute Indians. White settlers arrived in the Valley in the 1870s but could … [Read more...]

Newt Gingrich & Mary Phagan

Mary Phagan

Newt Gingrich's says child labor laws are unnecessary. When I read about his comments, I was immediately reminded of Mary Phagan, a young girl who worked in a pencil factory in Atlanta at the turn of the 20th century in the second decade of the 20th century [edited due to commenter's complaint.] Mary Phagan went to pick up her pay from her employer, National Pencil Company, and never returned … [Read more...]

Jackson’s Military Road

This week's Sunday Sign highlights Jackson's Military Road in Northwest Alabama. The road plays a central role in the history of Northwest Alabama, from pioneer settlements to rock-and-roll iconography. The road itself was built by American soldiers under the leadership of General Andrew Jackson, following the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. The military road was completed in 1820 and shortened … [Read more...]

Henry County, Missouri: Sunday Sign

This Henry County, Missouri historical marker is this week's Sunday Sign:   Henry County, Missouri is in west central Missouri. I spent a couple of hours in Clinton, the county seat, in August 2010, where I enjoyed a nice sandwich and cake at The Ben Franklin Coffee House on the town square. Benjamin Franklin would be proud to know that the Henry County Public Library has an excellent … [Read more...]

W-A-T-E-R: Helen Keller Can Communicate

I get chills just imagining what Helen Keller must  have felt that day in 1877 when she felt the water flowing from a pump in Tuscumbia, Alabama as Anne Sullivan spelled the letters W-A-T-E-R into her hands. I was fortunate to grow up within 15 miles of Helen Keller's childhood home.  The story of how Helen Keller moved from  darkness and silence to language, communication and the … [Read more...]

A Piece of the Berlin Wall in Georgia

The Berlin Wall today is the symbol of the physical, cultural and social separation of the "East" and "West" during the Cold War era. From August 13, 1961 until 1989, the Berlin Wall was also the physical barricade between East and West Germany. This week's Sunday Sign describes this small section of the Berlin Wall on display outside the Social Science Building at Kennesaw State … [Read more...]

Waggoner Swindle To Save Bank of Telluride: Sunday Sign

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As banks around the US began to fail in 1929, Charles D. Waggoner, president of the Bank of Telluride, saw the writing on the wall. Waggoner knew that customer confidence was, essentially, all that remained of the Bank's assets. The week's Sunday Sign commemorates Waggoner's "Great Swindle" to save the Bank of Telluride. On August 30, 1929, Charles D. Waggoner set out for Denver with a … [Read more...]

Remembering the Trail of Tears: Sunday Sign

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This week's "Sunday Sign" commemorates the Trail of Tears, Oka Kapassa, and the special bond between the people of Tuscumbia, Alabama and the Native Americans who were forced to march from their homelands and home communities to be "resettled" in the area we know today as Oklahoma. Oka Kapassa is the Chickasaw phrase for Cold Water. And it was the name given to Spring Creek in Colbert County, … [Read more...]

Sunday Sign: Site of Confederate Fort: Florence, Ala.

Sign-Florence-ConfederateFort

This week's sign is a historical marker at the site of an (apparently) unnamed Confederate Fort on the Tennessee River in Florence, Alabama, built under the leadership of Confederate Brigadier General Daniel Ruggles. I ran across this historical marker in Florence when I was in town for a rain-barrel workshop at the Lauderdale County Extension Office.  The sign is on street corner of Veteran's … [Read more...]