Harpers Ferry National Historical Park

The Battle of Harpers Ferry started on this day in 1862. The decisive engagement took place at Bolivar Heights, WV, on the heights to the west of Harpers Ferry, the town best known as the target of John Brown’s famous botched abolitionist raid of 1859. When we stayed in the town in 2010, we visited the small but important battleground site almost as an afterthought.

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Brandywine Battlefield Historic Site

Long before the World Trade Center attacks, September 11 was a black day in U.S. history for another reason. This was the day in 1777 that saw the defeat of Washington’s Continental Army at the Battle of Brandywine, and a victory for British commander-in-chief General William Howe. This clash, followed by the inconclusive battle of Germantown, led to the capture of Philadelphia a few days later

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America’s soft spot for its national parks

Our local PBS station (WXXI) was replaying the Ken Burns series the “The National Parks: America’s Best Idea,” last weekend. The one I saw was the last episode, focusing on the story of the parks after World War II. The narrator made a big deal about the popularity of the parks among all kinds of Americans. It’s not something where, say, party affiliation makes much of a difference. That’s interesting.

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