Category Archives:

Guiding: Ah Choo!

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Pretty in Pink We are amidst the bloom here in D.C. and it may be that all the rain has given us an extra dose of pollen; everyone is going about their business with a sneeze on their lips, including me. Arlington Cemetery, my favorite place, always looks crisp and fresh this time of year; […]

Hiawatha

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A Christmas Journey Last week, on the 22nd, I drove up to Pennsylvania to visit my family, many of whom live south of the Altoona area, the former railroad mecca. As is often the case, the weather in D.C. was sunny and mild and the farther north and west I drove, the grayer and chillier […]

What Would George Think?

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How About a Little Self-Control? George Washington, President Number One, is known to have been a man of few words. Historians point to his rather humble beginnings and his lack of a formal education as reasons for his relative silence. He was also in the company of intellectual big dogs, Adams, Jefferson and others, who […]

Books: When the “Japs” Weren’t Coming

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American-Japanese Concentration Camps When Admiral Yamamoto’s forces conducted their mostly successful raid on Pearl Harbor, many Americans panicked over the thought of a follow-up invasion of the west coast. U.S. Army officers baldly asserted that American-Japanese were all under the control of the Japanese Emperor and therefore consisted of an enemy “fifth column” waiting for […]

Books: Lincoln’s Citadel

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The President, the City and the War The museum shop at the National Archives has to be just about the best in a city with some pretty cool ones. They seem to have something for everyone. There with a group of eighth-graders recently, I made an impulsive purchase of a book because it was about […]

Slavery: Ben Affleck and Buyer’s Remorse

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 A Complicated Matter Hacked Sony emails show that Actor Ben Affleck, while participating in PBS’s Finding Your Roots, found his and wasn’t so thrilled. His very great granddaddy owned African slaves. I can remember when the scandal would have been the discovery of African blood coursing in “white” veins, certainly not owning a few. Is Affleck’s […]

Winning: Battle NOLA @ 200 Years

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Seesaw on the Mississippi War consists of two basic options: defense or offense. The middle ground is the perilous transition between the two, mastered only by the truly expert. Two hundred years ago today, the war of 1812 thundered to an effective close when two able leaders, Andrew Jackson and Edward Pakenham made history on […]

Leadership: Some Real “Swag”

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On the Square Benjamin Ogle Tayloe (1796-1868) is the son of Colonel John Tayloe III, the man who built the Octagon House at 18th and New York Ave., NW, Washington, D.C., about 1800. The Octagon House was the stand-in White House for the Madison’s after the Brits burned the real one around the corner during […]

Books: So, You Want to be President?

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Camelot’s Court: Inside the Kennedy White House “He can’t do that to me.” Such was JFK’s response when he was told at 8am, while still in bed in pajamas, reading the morning papers, about the missiles in Castro’s Cuba. He, of course, was Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet Premier and Kennedy’s chief antagonist. Kennedy’s exclamation underscores how […]

Irony: Alive and Well at the Holocaust Museum

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have been working these past few years as a Washington, DC, city guide. It’s a bit like working for the fire department.

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