Browsing: Travel

A Brief History On January 29, 1886, Karl Benz, a German engineer, became the first person to patent a successful gasoline powered automobile.  Not counting impractical inventions and steam powered cars, the Benz Patent Motorcar was the first of what we would recognize as a “real” automobile,” although of course it looked a lot different from the sleek machines we see on the roads today.  A funny looking 3 wheeled flimsy vehicle, the Benz creation was the first internal combustion engine car built to actually be sold on the commercial market.  Its 1 liter gasoline powered engine produced a pathetic…

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A Brief History On January 17, 1917, the United States added another real estate coup to its already impressive history of buying land at a bargain when the Virgin Islands were purchased from Denmark for only $25 million, joining other famous American real estate purchases such as the Louisiana Purchase (1803, $11.25 million), Alaska (1867, $7.2 million) and the Gadsden Purchase (1854, $10 million).  If you throw in the Dutch buying Manhattan for “$24” worth of trinkets, and the island ending up as US property, there is one more terrific deal we benefited from.  (Do not think the tribe that…

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A Brief History On January 13, 2012, the woes of the cruise lines of the world became as bad as they can get when a giant Italian cruise ship was wrecked off the coast of Isola del Giglio in the Tyrrhenian Sea (part of the Mediterranean Sea to the West of Italy) taking 32 lives in the accident.  The ship, Costa Concordia, was operated by a subsidiary of Carnival Cruise Lines called Costa Crociere and had only been in service for 6 years when she was run aground and lost, joining a long list of miserable cruise ship experiences in…

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A Brief History On December 29, 1890, the United States Army 7th Cavalry Regiment conducted a massacre of about 200 Native Americans at a place called Wounded Knee in South Dakota, (see our article “Wounded Knee Massacre”).  We contend that the name, Wounded Knee, is a bit on the odd side.  After all, should other places be named “Headache,” “Sore Butt,” or “Infected Toe Mountain?”  Geographical places or formations, whether of a national or local variety have often been named for one reason or another in a way that seems a little odd to us that speak English.  (Or is…

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A Brief History On December 27, 1966, the largest cave in the world was discovered in Aquismón, San Luis Potosi, Mexico.  Boasting a single cavern that covers a ground space of 994 feet long by 442 feet wide, the so called Cave of Swallows (alternately called “The Cave of the Swallows”) had been known for many generations by indigenous Huastec people, and was considered “discovered” only when a documented descent into the cave was made by T. R. Evans, Charles Borland and Randy Sterns, the first outsiders known to have visited the cave. Digging Deeper Known as a “pit” type…

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