Korean War Veterans Memorial (Washington, D.C.)

… was authorized 28 years ago today (October 28, 1986).

Korean War Veterans Memorial

“Freedom is not free.” Here, one finds the expression of American gratitude to those who restored freedom to South Korea. Nineteen stainless steel sculptures stand silently under the watchful eye of a sea of faces upon a granite wall—reminders of the human cost of defending freedom. These elements all bear witness to the patriotism, devotion to duty, and courage of Korean War veterans.

Korean War Veterans Memorial


Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument (New Mexico)

… began as Gran Quivara National Monument in 1909, but evolved over the years and was renamed Salinas Pueblo Missions 26 years ago today (October 28, 1988).

Salina Pueblo Missions

Tucked away in the middle of New Mexico you’ll find Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument. The three sites offer a glimpse into a unique time in history. A time entrenched with cultural borrowing, conflict, and struggles. The now abandoned sites stand as reminders of the Spanish and Pueblo People’s early encounters.


Salinas Pueblo Missions is a curious park in that it is a collection of three discontinuous units, each with distinct Spanish Missions, Native American Pueblos, and a variety of other historic buildings and ruins. The park started on November 1, 1909 with the preservation of the Gran Quivira unit. This first park, Gran Quivira National Monument was joined in 1980 by the Abo and Quarai Units which were transferred to the National Park Service from New Mexico State Monuments. The two new units were combined with Gran Quivira to create Salinas National Monument, which was renamed Salinas Pueblo Missions National Monument in 1988.

Each of the three units would easily make an incredible National Monument on their own. For this reason it is difficult to briefly summarize the individual locations, staggering architecture, and historical significance of the three units. In light of this fact, in the following pages each unit is divided into its own section with additional pages for highlighted features, buildings, and structures.

Source: National Park Service


October 22nd Really Should Be a Holiday

Curly Howard (Jerome Lester Horwitz) was born on this date in 1903. The most popular of the Three Stooges, Curly had no formal training and was often improvising. According to older brother Moe Howard, “If we were going through a scene and he’d forget his words for a moment, you know. Rather than stand, get pale and stop, you never knew what he was going to do. On one occasion he’d get down to the floor and spin around like a top until he remembered what he had to say.” It’s said Curly squandered all his money on wine, food, women, homes, cars, and especially dogs. Sounds like good choices, but they took their toll. Curly Howard died at age 48 in 1952 after a series of strokes.

“N’yuk, n’yuk, n’yuk.”


The Scariest October Ever

It was on this date in 1962, that President Kennedy told the nation about the Soviet missiles in Cuba. From The New York Times report on the speech:

President Kennedy imposed a naval and air “quarantine” tonight on the shipment of offensive military equipment to Cuba.

In a speech of extraordinary gravity, he told the American people that the Soviet Union, contrary to promises, was building offensive missiles and bomber bases in Cuba. He said the bases could handle missiles carrying nuclear warheads up to 2,000 miles.

Thus a critical moment in the cold war was at hand tonight. The President had decided on a direct confrontation with–and challenge to–the power of the Soviet Union.

*****

All this the President recited in an 18-minute radio and television address of a grimness unparalleled in recent times. He read the words rapidly, with little emotion, until he came to the peroration–a warning to Americans of the dangers ahead.

“Let no one doubt that this is a difficult and dangerous effort on which we have set out,” the President said. “No one can foresee precisely what course it will take or what costs or casualties will be incurred.”

“The path we have chosen for the present is full of hazards, as all paths are–but it is the one most consistent with our character and courage as a nation and our commitments around the world,” he added.

It was as close as we’ve ever come to nuclear war.


Thinking About Columbus Day

I am well aware of the feelings among many American Indians about Columbus Day. One Lakota woman who worked for me used to ask if she could come in and work on Columbus Day, a federal holiday.

My feeling though is that we can’t have enough holidays and so I choose to think of Columbus Day as the Italian-American holiday. Nothing wrong with that. We have an African-American holiday on Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday. We have the Irish-American celebration that is St. Patrick’s Day. And Cinco de Mayo is surely the Mexican-American holiday, a much larger celebration here than in most of Mexico.

So, instead of protesting Columbus Day, perhaps American Indians should organize and bring about a holiday of their very own. Given the great diversity among Indian nations (and, lets face it, a proclivity for endless debate), the tribes might never reach agreement, though, so I will suggest a date.

The day before Columbus Day.


Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

Taken Saturday, September 25, 2010, at sunset at Delicate Arch, Arches National Park.

Delicate Arch is Entrada sandstone. It’s 52 feet high. This vantage point is reached via 1½-mile trail with an elevation change of about 500 feet. There were approximately 200 people there Saturday, all with the courtesy to stay away from the arch during sunset (prime time for photographers). Six-, soon to be seven-, year-old Sofie made the trek with ease. Grandpa made the trek.


Wanderlist

The British-published Rough Guides lists these 30 places/events as things not to miss in USA. How many have you checked off?

Follow above link for photos.

  1. Monument Valley, AZ • Massive sandstone monoliths stand sentinel in this iconic southwestern landscape.
  2. Redwood National Park, CA • Soak up the quiet majesty of the world’s biggest trees, wide enough to drive through and soaring upwards like skyscrapers.
  3. Skiing in the Rocky Mountains • The Rockies make for some of the best skiing anywhere, with their glitzy resorts and atmospheric mining towns.
  4. Pike Place Market, Seattle, WA • Piled high with salmon, lobster, clams and crabs, the oldest public market in the nation is also home to some great seafood restaurants.
  5. Savannah, GA • Mint juleps on wide verandas, horse-drawn carriages on cobbled streets and lush foliage draped with Spanish moss; this historic cotton port remains the South’s loveliest town.
  6. Ancestral Puebloan sites • Scattered through desert landscapes like New Mexico’s magnificent Bandelier National Monument, the dwellings of the Ancestral Puebloans afford glimpses of an ancient and mysterious world.
  7. Yellowstone National Park, WY • The national park that started it all has it all, from steaming fluorescent hot springs and spouting geysers to sheer canyons and meadows filled with wildflowers and assorted beasts.
  8. Going to a Baseball Game • America’s summer pastime is a treat to watch wherever you are, from Chicago’s ivy-clad Wrigley Field to Boston’s Fenway Park, the oldest in the country.
  9. Graceland, Memphis, TN • Pilgrims from all over the world pay homage to the King by visiting his gravesite and endearingly modest home.
  10. Sweet Auburn, Atlanta, GA • This historic district holds the birthplace of Dr Martin Luther King Jr and other spots honouring his legacy.
  11. Niagara Falls, NY • The sheer power of Niagara Falls is overwhelming, whichever angle you view the mighty cataracts from.
  12. Driving Highway 1, CA • The rugged Big Sur coastline, pounded by Pacific waves, makes an exhilarating route between San Francisco and LA.
  13. Crater Lake, OR • Formed from the blown-out shell of volcanic Mount Mazama, this is one of the deepest and bluest lakes in the world, and offers some of the most evocative scenery anywhere.
  14. Crazy Horse Memorial, SD • A staggering monument to the revered Sioux leader, this colossal statue continues to be etched into the Black Hills of South Dakota.
  15. Las Vegas, NV • From the Strip’s erupting volcanoes, Eiffel Tower and Egyptian pyramid to its many casinos, Las Vegas will blow your mind as well as your wallet.
  16. Hiking in the Grand Canyon, AZ • Explore the innermost secrets of this wondrous spot on many of its superb hiking trails at the heart of one of America’s best-loved parks.
  17. Walt Disney World, Orlando, FL • Though each of Orlando’s theme parks strives to outdo the rest, Walt Disney World remains the one to beat.
  18. Glacier National Park, MT • Montana’s loveliest park holds not only fifty glaciers, but also two thousand lakes, a thousand miles of rivers and the exhilarating Going-to-the-Sun road.
  19. San Francisco, CA • Enchanting, fog-bound San Francisco remains bohemian and individualistic at heart.
  20. Hawaii’s volcanoes • Hawaii’s Big Island grows bigger by the minute, as the world’s most active volcano pours molten lava into the ocean.
  21. The National Mall, Washington DC • From the Lincoln Memorial to the US Capitol by way of the towering Washington Monument – this grand parkway is an awesome showcase of American culture and history.
  22. Mardi Gras, New Orleans, LA • Crazy, colourful, debauched and historic – this is the carnival to end them all.
  23. New York City, NY • With world-class museums, restaurants, nightlife and shops aplenty, the Big Apple is in a league of its own.
  24. Yosemite Valley, CA • Enclosed by near-vertical, mile-high cliffs and laced with hiking trails and climbing routes, the dramatic geology of Yosemite Valley is among the country’s finest scenery.
  25. Miami’s Art Deco, FL • This flamboyant city is deservedly famed for the colourful pastel architecture of its restored South Beach district.
  26. Driving US-1 to Key West, FL • Travel one of America’s most tantalizing highways from sleepy Key Largo to heaving Key West, cruising over the sharks and rays on giant causeways and bridges.
  27. BBQ • Perhaps no other cuisine is as essentially American as BBQ – smoked ribs, pulled pork and brisket – with the Carolinas, Texas and Kansas fighting it out as the nation’s top pit masters.
  28. Venice Beach, LA, CA • Combines wacky LA culture with Muscle Beach, surfing, sand and good food, all a short drive from the glitz of Beverly Hills and Hollywood.
  29. South by Southwest, TX • This thriving ten-day festival in Austin is one of the nation’s best music festivals and plays host to bands from around the world – and Texas, too.
  30. Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, OH • Housed inside this striking glass pyramid is an unparalleled collection of rock music’s finest mementoes, recordings, films and exhibitions.

Previously Rough Guides included —

  • Aurora borealis, AK • Winter visitors to Alaska just might see the skies ablaze with the shimmering veils of the Northern Lights.
  • Chicago’s modern architecture, IL • The history of modern architecture is writ large on Chicago’s skyline, site of the world’s first skyscraper.
  • Burning Man • Every summer a temporary community takes life in the middle of the Nevada desert and hosts an art and music festival wholly unlike any other.
  • Swamps • From the steamy Everglades of Florida to the ghostly bayous of Louisiana’s Cajun country, America’s swamplands are hauntingly beautiful.
  • New England in the fall • The Northeast’s breathtaking fall foliage presents an ever-changing palette of colour and light.
  • Rodeos • Relive the Old West with cowboys and cowgirls at rodeos like Cheyenne Frontier Days and countless smaller ones.