The Philadelphia area of the Delaware Valley, like other parts of the country, has its own archaeological or paleontological mysteries. Peter Kalm, the famous Swedish botanist, in his Travels Into North America, visited Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York and parts of Canada in 1748 & 1749, wherein he recorded a number of enigmatic discoveries. He noted everything from copper tools, mines, to that of wells, walls, and burnt bricks, found many feet below the surface of the earth, antedating the arrival of Europeans.
A recent issue of Philadelphia Weekly (Feb.4-11, 2015) posed the question, “What figure in Black history inspires you?” Of course the answer could easily be found, by drawing from a variety of categories, as many African-Americans played major roles in numerous aspects of our national history from Martin Luther King to Malcolm X. As this year wraps up the 150th Anniversary Commemoration of the Civil War, most people are familiar with such heroic military organizations as the 54th Massachusetts,as portrayed in the movie Glory, or with famed Black personalities as naval her
The American Frontier has made a considerable contribution to our Nation’s history and literature, from Frederick Jackson Turner’s famous essay “The Significance of the Frontier in American History,” to the quasi-historical novels of James Fennimore Cooper, Walter Edmonds, and Conrad Richter. The frontier experience also aided in creating the American character: one of rugged-individualism and self-reliance.
For centuries, soldiers serving in various battles have believed and stated to their comrades-in-arms that they were about to die, or would within the near future. Hundreds of such accounts exist for the Civil War era of United States history. For the most part, such statements are common to men in battle, but enough well-documented and detailed narratives exist to convince any skeptic that such beliefs are not always figments of imagination or products of irrational fears.
The late biologist and prolific writer, Ivan T. Sanderson (whose papers are housed at the American Philosophical Society in Philadelphia), was a truly eclectic Renaissance man. Sanderson coined the term “OOPARTS” (Out-of-Place-Artifacts) for the various anomalous objects – human , animal, artificial – which have been found throughout the Earth’s strata or in geological formations where they should not be located, according to conventional scientific theory.
Various newspapers published within Philadelphia and elsewhere carried the account of one of the most famous battles of World War I, which transpired on August 23, 1914, in Belgium's Hainaut Province. The Battle of Mons was the first battle fought by the British Expeditionary Force (BEF) against fellow Europeans since 1855. Modern weaponry - from machine guns to howitzers - were utilized, as well as traditional infantry, but also the use of centuries old cavalry-based forces, involving thousands of horses in comat.
Many people have enjoyed the cinematic box office successes known as the Jason Bourne series of films, such as the espionage thriller, the Bourne Identity. However, most individuals are unaware that the movies have a partial historical basis , connected to a mysterious individual residing at the time in nineteenth-century Pennsylvania, named Ansel Bourne.
Soldiers during the Civil War, like soldiers in all wars, have frequently adopted various species of pets. There are various reasons for this such as it may remind them of home, or aid them in taking their minds off the horrifying aspects of war itself. Mascots certainly played such a role during America’s worst internal conflict, and the animals revered by regiments ranged from the typical dog to the non-typical toad!
Earlier this year, a Huff/Post/YouGov poll revealed that 45% of Americans believe in ghosts, or in the spirits of the dead, and that those revenants can and have often returned to certain places and situations known in life. Though many are skeptical of such beliefs, Carl Jung, the famed psychologist, summed it up quite well in 1919, when he remarked that, “I shall not commit the fashionable stupidity of regarding everything I cannot explain as a fraud.”
Hugh Purvis, a native of Philadelphia, along with John Andrews of York County, Pennsylvania, were two of fifteen United States sailors and marines to receive the Congressional Medal of Honor for their involvement in a Korean War. This is not to be confused with the Korean War, which transpired from 1950 to 1953, in which the United States suffered over thirty-six thousand casualties.
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