Centerline: The Surprising History of Lane Markings

Using a line painted down the center of a road to denote lanes seems to be merely common sense. But it was an innovation that took a surprising amount of time to develop. The history of lane markings is a study in the rapid effect of new technologies, and the ability of a few peopleContinue reading “Centerline: The Surprising History of Lane Markings”

Next Exit: A History of Roadside Attractions

At countless stops along the old highways travelers could find all manner of attractions like the “World’s Largest Ball of Paint”, “Cadillac Ranch”, and “The Thing”, giving birth to an entire culture of kitsch, monuments to the mammoth, and shrines to the strange. The history of these roadside attractions – or less charitably, tourist trapsContinue reading “Next Exit: A History of Roadside Attractions”

Robert Wadlow, The Tallest Man in History

Robert Wadlow, the “Alton Giant,” was the opposite of what fairy tales say a giant should be. His astonishing height still holds the world record for the tallest man in recorded history. The History Guy remembers an extraordinary man and his extraordinary life! Visit the Alton Museum of History and Art. http://www.altonmuseum.com/ Featuring a specialContinue reading “Robert Wadlow, The Tallest Man in History”

USS Ward and the First Shots of Pearl Harbor

Outdated and crewed by naval reservists, USS Ward played a unique role at Pearl Harbor and beyond. Her brave service represents the spirit of the United States Navy and the determination of the nation through two wars.It is history that deserves to be remembered!

Where Legend Meets History, Remembering the Real Lone Ranger

The legends and mythology that originated in the American West have captured the imagination of generations. Some of those stories have actual historical figures as their inspiration. The History Guy remembers Bass Reeves, John Reynolds Hughes, and more forgotten history of the Wild West. It is history that deserves to be remembered!

The submarine that sank a train: the U.S.S. Barb

The History Guy remembers Eugene “Lucky” Flucky and the U.S.S. Barb, the submarine that sank a train during World War II. It is history that deserves to be remembered. The History Guy uses images that are in the Public Domain. As photographs of actual events are often not available, I will sometimes use photographs ofContinue reading “The submarine that sank a train: the U.S.S. Barb”

When the United States invaded England, The Whitehaven Raid

In April 1778, John Paul Jones struck a blow against British merchant ships in a daring raid. The History Guy remembers forgotten history during the American Revolution, the day the United States invaded England and the Whitehaven Raid.

The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and A.P. Giannini

Though you may not know his name, you have probably benefited from one of A.P. Giannini’s innovations. The History Guy tells the forgotten history of the life of A.P. Giannini and the creation of modern bank loans which was inexorably tied to a devastating earthquake in San Francisco. The History Guy uses images that areContinue reading “The 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and A.P. Giannini”

The Powhattan Disaster

The week of Easter, 1854, a powerful nor’easter, that peculiar type of storm that occurs in the North Atlantic caused when a cold air mass from Canada runs into warm gulf stream current, struck the US and Canadian eastern seaboard. The mighty storm would result in the loss of a ship called the Powhattan, inContinue reading “The Powhattan Disaster”

Butch Cassidy, The Sundance Kid, and Etta Place: Part 1

On February 20, 1901, three Americans boarded a steamship from New York bound for Argentina. The circumstances that drove the famous outlaws of the Wild Bunch, Butch Cassidy, the Sundance Kid and their mysterious companion Etta Place, to leave the country are not quite what the movies portray. It is a moment of Wild WestContinue reading “Butch Cassidy, The Sundance Kid, and Etta Place: Part 1”