A Potential Genealogical Discovery

I found something interesting yesterday, a reference to my great-grandfather in one of Baltimore’s German language newspapers, Der Deutsche Correspondent, on December 1, 1899. Der Deutsche Correspondent was Baltimore’s daily German newspaper, and it was published for nearly eighty years, from the early 1840s to 1918. It reads (translated thanks to Google): Marriage LicensesMarriage licenses … Continue reading A Potential Genealogical Discovery

An American Flag, Sewn in Scotland, Returns Home

In 1918, a troop ship carrying American soldiers to Europe was torpedoed off the coast of Scotland. Though many were saved from the waters by other ships in the troop convoy, the bodies of nearly 200 soldiers washed ashore on the island of Islay. What ensued was a recovery of the bodies by the island’s … Continue reading An American Flag, Sewn in Scotland, Returns Home

The Dragons of Christmas

Perhaps I’d still be a Christian had there been more dragons. Many elements of the traditional Nativity scene — in particular, any animals whatsoever — aren’t Biblically canonical. They all derive from apocryphal scriptures, essentially early Church fanfic, such as this passage from Pseudo Matthew about the infant Jesus and the dragons during the flight … Continue reading The Dragons of Christmas

A New Viking Discovery in Canada

The potential discovery of another Viking settlement in Newfoundland is thrilling, especially because the site was found from space. It also doesn’t surprise me. The Vinland Sagas end around the year 1000. However, from other sources, such as the writings of Adam of Bremen, we know the Vikings’ activities in Vinland continued into the 13th-century … Continue reading A New Viking Discovery in Canada

Remembering Grover’s Mill

Today’s episode of Garrison Keillor’s The Writer’s Almanac begins thusly: “It was on this day in 1938 that a cylindrical Martian spaceship landed in Grover’s Mill, New Jersey, and began incinerating onlookers with an alien heat ray, an event that was covered by the Columbia Broadcasting System and its affiliated stations, and that caused widespread … Continue reading Remembering Grover’s Mill

The Death of Christopher Marlowe

Yesterday at work, when writing catalog copy and assembling order forms and organizing name badges for the Retailer Summit, I listened to a several hours’ worth of BBC Radio dramas. Besides the first two episodes of “A Place of Greater Safety,” an adaptation of the novel about the French Revolution by Wolf Hall‘s Hilary Mantel, … Continue reading The Death of Christopher Marlowe

The Confederacy and Maryland’s State Flag

In the wake of the Charleston shootings, the Baltimore Sun has an article today about removing Confederate symbols from Maryland’s license plates (which is now possible thanks to a Supreme Court ruling last week that allowed Texas to ban it) and renaming Robert E. Lee Park in Baltimore. The article doesn’t address the most prominent … Continue reading The Confederacy and Maryland’s State Flag