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Cemeteries Across the United States

Thursday, Oct 15 2020 by

It’s October, the perfect time to spend time among the cemeteries, give ourselves a little spook, safe from the computer. Most cemeteries in the United States are peaceful resting places for our dearly departed loved ones, but there are some that stand out due to their historical importance, fame, reputation, or serenity.

Arlington Cemetery, Virginia

Arlington Cemetery is “America’s Cemetery”, the final resting place for over 400,000 military members, their families and renowned civil leaders including President John F. Kennedy, Robert F. Kennedy and Thurgood Marshall.

Arlington National Cemetery (Google Maps)
Arlington National Cemetery

The cemetery is known for its rolling hills and uniform white headstones. Visitors can access maps and databases to locate their loved ones’ final resting places. The most hallowed portion of the cemetery is the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, which houses unidentified remains of soldiers from several conflicts, and is watched over by a military guard day and night, rain or shine, including the brutal summer heat, terrible snow storms and even hurricanes.


Photo Credit: AP

Bonaventure Cemetery, Georgia

Just east of Savannah, GA is the Bonaventure Cemetery, made famous in the book and movie “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil” and long acclaimed for its beautiful graves and tombs. Over 150 years old, the cemetery has large oak trees and Spanish moss, unique statues and tombs, and landscaping that evokes a time long past and a respect for those beyond the grave.


Photo Credit: Bonaventure Historical Society

Most famous is the “Bird Girl” statue featured in the book “Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil”, but the statue has since been moved to a local museum to better feature the statue while maintaining a respectful and peaceful atmosphere in the cemetery.

Bonaventure Cemetery (Google Maps)
Bonaventure Cemetery

Key West Cemetery, Florida

This cemetery on the edge of the United States was established in 1847, after an 1846 hurricane damaged other cemeteries on the island and bodies needed to be reburied quickly. It has an eclectic mix of residents, some having died long before the cemetery was created, others being unknown slaves, Cuban revolutionaries from the 1800s, and soldiers who died in the Spanish-American War on the USS Maine. There is a meaningful memorial to those Africans who died on the transatlantic journey to the United States to be sold as slaves.

Key West Cemetery (StreetView)
Key West Cemetery

The cemetery has a unique feel, blending a peaceful respect for the dead with well-known laid back island attitude famous to Key West. Pleasant palm trees and bright blue sun are contrasted with austere and ornate vaults, tombs and statues intermingled with broken and crumbling carvings tombstones and monuments. The cemetery is the final home to over 100,000 individuals, far surpassing the 30,000 living residents of the island.


Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Sleepy Hollow Cemetery, New York

Located in Sleepy Hollow, New York, this cemetery is one of the most storied final resting places in the United States. Rolling hills, large trees and ancient statues contribute to the “haunted” feeling made famous in Washington Irving’s short story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow” that takes place in the old village.  Walking the winding pathways in the fall, one almost anticipates running into a headless horseman.

Sleepy Hollow cemetary (Google Maps)
Sleepy Hollow cemetary

Tours are available of historical sites within the cemetery, as well as of resting places of famous individuals including Washington Irving, Elizabeth Arden, William Rockefeller and Andrew Carnegie.

Photo Credit: SleepingHollowCemetary.org

These are just a few of the many interesting cemeteries across the country. If you’re not close to one of these, you can certainly go exploring in your own hometown and find unique, memorable or interesting stories in any cemetery!

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This Month in History: October

Tuesday, Oct 6 2020 by

There’s a lot going on in the world these days, and sometimes it can seem like things that happen now are more important than anything in the past. It’s nice to look back and see what important things have occurred in the past to make our world better, and what things have happened that we’ve survived.

Let’s look at some of the things that happened in Octobers past.

Panama Canal Returned to Panama

The Panama Canal is an engineering marvel, bridging the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at the narrow isthmus of Panama in Central America. The United States began the project in order to cut the travel time from the East Coast to the West Coast by 6,000 miles.

The United States constructed the canal and maintained control for more than 60 years. But, after much protest by Panamanians wanting local control over the canal, the two countries agreed to give control of the canal back to Panama, starting October 1, 1979.

Panama Canal (Google Maps)
Panama Canal

Uganda Gains Independence from Great Britain

The people who live in what is now Uganda in Africa were first exposed to European traders and missionaries in the 1860s and 1870s, when they came looking for the source of the Nile river and trade routes. Shortly thereafter, Ugandan people were put under the “Ugandan Protectorate” by Great Britain.

This protectorate status lasted until October 9, 1962, when under Queen Elizabeth II, the country was granted independence and embraced as part of the Commonwealth of Nations. Since that time, the country has been independent, but often experiences political unrest and struggle for power.

Parliament of Uganda (Google Maps)
Parliament of Uganda

Nikita Khrushchev Pounds his Shoe at United Nations

After World War II, a “cold” war broke out between democratic countries led by the United States, and communist countries led by the Soviet Union. At a meeting of the heads of state of the members of the United Nations on October 12, 1960, the delegate from the Philippines was speaking out against communism, which enraged Nikita Khrushchev, the leader of the Soviet Union. According to reports, he was so furious he removed his shoe and banged it on his table. This famous outburst was one of many, including the leader claiming that the Soviets would “bury” the Americans and win the war of global competition.

United Nations Headquarters Building (Google Maps)
United Nations Headquarters Building

Yale University is Founded

Fewer than 100 years after settling the area, colonists in Connecticut founded the first college in their colony, and the fourth in the entire colonies on October 16, 1701. The school formally changed its name to Yale College in 1718 after a benefactor. Since that time, Yale University has become one of the premier educational institutions in the world, and has educated five US presidents, as well as countless political leaders and business icons.

Yale (Google Maps)
Yale

Battle of Saratoga

The Battle of Saratoga in 1777 helped to turn the tide of the Revolution. British General John Burgoyne had a strategy to divide and conquer the American army, but he failed in two attempts in September and October, and was forced to surrender to American General Horatio Gates on October 17, 1777.

While this was just one of many battles, it showed French leaders that the American upstarts had a chance against the might of their enemy, the British, and joined the war on the side of the Americans. Their involvement was a critical point in helping America win her freedom from the British.

During the battle, American soldier Benedict Arnold was wounded in the leg. Later, he betrayed the country he fought for, but there’s still a monument to his service, in the shape of a boot no less!

Benedict Arnold's Boot Monument street view (StreetView)
Benedict Arnold's Boot Monument street view

US Invades Grenada

As dawn rose on October 25, 1983, US troops landed at the airport on the Caribbean island of Grenada. Over the previous few weeks, political instability had come to a breaking point, the leader overthrown and killed in riots, and unrest was growing worse. Grenada’s government requested international help, and because there were more than 600 US medical students on the island, President Reagan sent about 7,600 troops to restore peace to the country. The military action was over within a few days and with relatively few casualties.

Democratic elections were held in 1984, and the country has been democratic ever since.

Grenada Island (Google Maps)
Grenada Island

Shootout at the OK Corral

At 3:00 on October 26, 1881, the most famous gunfight in the Wild West took place in Tombstone, Arizona. After an old feud came to head between an outlaw gang and the police authorities in the small territory town, the five members of the Cowboys faced off against town Sheriff Virgil Earp, his brothers Morgan and Wyatt, and friend Doc Holliday. After 30 seconds of shooting, two outlaws were dead, the rest of the gang had scattered.

The feud didn’t end that day, and the two sides continued to settle scores for years.The shootout did not actually take place at the OK Corral, but down the street. Nonetheless, the OK Corral and Tombstone have become famous in American lore.

Gunfight at the O.K. Corral (StreetView)
Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

These are just a few stories from the vault of history showing us that important, interesting, and outlandish things happen all the time.

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Who's Having a Birthday in October?

Thursday, Oct 1 2020 by

Fall is in full swing, and it’s perfect weather for a bonfire birthday party! Let’s take a look at some of the celebrities who are having a birthday in October.

Brie Larson

Brie starts off the month with a bang, celebrating her birthday on October 1. The versatile actress got her start in comedies, but transitioned to independent and serious films in her early 20s. She has also starred in some of Hollywood’s biggest films as Captain Marvel, part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe superhero movies. Brie has been busy in the real estate market this last year, selling her Hollywood Hills home in August and buying not one but two new homes in December 2019.

The actress and director, who turns 31 this month, put down $3.5 million for a 2,100 square foot home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms in very desirable Malibu. The beach side home also has a swimming pool in the yard accessible by a stone path.

Brie Larson's House (Google Maps)
Brie Larson's House

Brie also dropped $1.6 million for a home in Hidden Hills. This home has 3,500 square feet, five bedrooms, a three car garage, high-end ebony floors, and a gorgeous kitchen. The relatively small lot, just under a quarter acre, has a pool, of course, as well as a spa, a deck with a fire pit, and a jacuzzi.

Brie certainly has a good sense of real estate, and both places would be perfect for celebrating her birthday with friends!

Brie Larson's House (Google Maps)
Brie Larson's House

Kelly Ripa

Kelly Ripa has established her career as a down to earth, friendly and relatable host of her morning talk show “Live with Kelly and Ryan”. She and her family have two main homes, one in New York City, and one nearby in the Hamptons.

She’ll be turning 50 on October 2, and it’s likely she’ll celebrate with her family at their Hamptons home, where they’ve been spending much of their time this year due to Covid-19. They’ve owned the 5,000 square foot home since 2004, when they paid $2.35 million. Since then, they’ve done a lot of work on the home, and it has become a great place to make some great memories.

Kelly Ripa's house (Google Maps)
Kelly Ripa's house

The close-knit family usually resides in a townhome in NYC, to be close to Kelly’s daily show. The five-floor Upper East Side home has nearly 8,000 square feet and set them back $27 million. It even has a balcony with cherry trees, basically unheard of in Manhattan!

Kelly Ripa's House (Google Maps)
Kelly Ripa's House

Dakota Johnson

Dakota Johnson is Hollywood royalty by birth, with famous parents and grandparents. Only after finishing high school was she allowed to test the waters of showbiz, and it’s proven to be a good choice for the actress. She’s starred in a number of high-grossing films, including the 50 Shades of Gray franchise.

In 2016, she bought a mid-century modern house for $3.55 million, and has since made it look like a home. It has floor-to-ceiling glass walls, a gorgeous top-of-the line kitchen, and three bedrooms spread out among 3,000 square feet. This would be the perfect place for the famously private star to spend a low-key birthday as she turns 31 on October 4.

Dakota Johnson's House (StreetView)
Dakota Johnson's House

Simon Cowell

Simon Cowell is a Hollywood mainstay, serving as a judge on various talent shows in the US and England. He’s also a producer, record executive, and businessman. He’s got homes across the world, but spends most of his time living in a lavish $24 million Malibu home.

Ironically, his recent effort to become more healthy led to him having a terrible accident on his e-bike in August, so he’s probably going to take a more relaxed approach to his birthday on October 7. This year, he’s turning 61, and maybe he’ll celebrate with his family at the six bedroom, seven bathroom mansion on 1.6 acres of beachfront property.

Simon Cowell's House (Birds Eye)
Simon Cowell's House

Ivanka Trump

Ivanka Trump is having a busy fall, with her dad, President Donald Trump, in full campaign mode ahead of next month’s elections. Hopefully the supercharged mom of three, special advisor to the president, and entrepreneur will find time to celebrate her 39th birthday on October 30.

Because she’s so busy, she may not spend her birthday at her Washington, DC home that she rents for $15,000 a month along with her husband Jared Kushner and their kids. The historical mansion in the Kalorama neighborhood has 7,000 square feet of living space, and was completely remodeled in 2014. It has an open floor plan, six bedrooms, six and a half bathrooms, five fireplaces, and plenty of room for hosting political gatherings. Hopefully after the election, she can come back and have a belated birthday party with her loved ones.

Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner's House (StreetView)
Ivanka Trump & Jared Kushner's House

These are a few of the celebrities celebrating October birthdays. If you’re celebrating another year on this planet, happy birthday to you, too!

 

 

 

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Sunday, October 18, 2020

Showing 8 of 8 maps submitted on 2020-10-18:

Upside down statue
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Saturday, October 17, 2020

Showing 9 of 9 maps submitted on 2020-10-17:

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Friday, October 16, 2020

Showing 12 of 21 maps submitted on 2020-10-16:

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