Author: Larry Holzwarth

Although arguably the most famous insurance company in the world, its influence widely noted throughout history, Lloyd’s of London is really not an insurance company at all. It is an insurance market, in which its brokers write policies in which syndicates and other parties (called names) share the financial risks of various ventures. Born in…

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Out-of-place artifacts, called OOPARTS for short, are a popular source of evidence among those who support theories of ancient aliens’ visitation, creationists, paranormal activities believers, and other forms of pseudoscience and fringe science. What are they? They can be evidence of technological achievements centuries before such ability was known to exist. Or they can present…

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America’s system of National Parks, operated by the Department of the Interior through the National Parks Service, is one of the true jewels of the US government. National Parks promote America’s heritage and history, education, recreation, natural resources, ecology and the environment, cultural diversity, and the nation’s natural beauty. Promoting access for the general public…

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Exchanges of gifts, or simply giving gifts is an old tradition between nations, dating back to the ancients. Emissaries between governments often arrived at their new station bearing gifts from their sovereign, indications of friendship. There are some who consider the famed legendary Trojan Horse to have been a gift, though The Aeneid makes clear…

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It’s unfortunate that many of the women attributed as heroines during the American Revolutionary period are more from the realm of folklore than historical fact. Such women include Molly Pitcher, likely a composite of several women who followed the Continental Army in the field. Others are Betsy Ross and Sybil Ludington, whose stories did not…

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Urban heat islands (UHI) are areas with significantly higher temperatures than the regions surrounding them. The retention and generation of heat in the urban core contributes to climate change and lower air quality for people living in and near the heat islands. They also have a negative effect on rainfall downwind of the UHI. UHIs…

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Some book series began with the sales of the first book in the series being high enough to support the idea of a sequel featuring the same main characters. Others were designed from the outset by the publisher to produce a series targeting a specific demographic, such as young adults, known in the publishing business…

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Few of the fabled heroes of American history are more controversial than Custer. He amassed a then record of demerits as a cadet at the United States Military Academy, and finished last in his class in academic standing. Yet within two years of his graduation he held the rank of brevet (temporary) brigadier general of…

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There is no shortage of animal heroes today, from service dogs caring for their owners, to those serving with the police, fire departments, and militaries across the world. Many animals of the past were heroes, to the point they were celebrities in their day. In some cases, they became celebrities due the celebrity of their…

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The Americas have given several foods to the world, unknown outside North and South America before the arrival of the Europeans in the late 15th century. Some of them have been used to create prepared dishes, samples of the culinary arts virtually unknown outside their country of origin. Others have become staples across the world.…

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During the Second World War the US government combined with two other major influencers of public opinion, Hollywood and Madison Avenue, to support the war effort. Propaganda flowed through both industries until it saturated American daily life. In Great Britain, Churchill’s stirring rhetoric spurred patriotic feeling, affecting the English speaking peoples on both sides of…

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The restaurant industry is a tough one, with often razor-thin profit margins, labor shortages, and intense competition for consumer’s dollars. National chain restaurants, whether company owned or franchises, are not exempt from such issues. National chains operate restaurants in standalone locations, in shopping malls, large stores, in turnpike rest areas, food courts, at highway interchanges,…

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There are many heroes of the American Revolution, some of them near mythological figures, such as Molly Pitcher, Paul Revere, and Nathan Hale. Many others, whose sacrifices and services contributed immeasurably to American independence are overlooked by the historical record, at least by most Americans. For every Lafayette, steeped in fame and remembrance, there are…

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Winter storms, those marked with snow, ice, sleet, and whiteout conditions, occur from early fall through late spring. Today’s weather forecasting technology allows for early, and usually accurate predictions of such events. Such was not always the case, and even when it was, warnings were not always heeded. Winter storms present dangers which include snow…

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For fans of history a well-presented museum brings the past to life. Museums inform, entertain, and allow visitors to enter a different world. Some living museums, including Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia and Connecticut’s Mystic Seaport, are entertainment and tourist destinations, as well as windows to the past. Other museums, including the ten presented here, are…

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