A Grizzly in the Mail and Other Adventures in American History
Format: PDF / Kindle (mobi) / ePub
For more than twenty years, Tim Grove has worked at the most popular history museums in the United States, helping millions of people get acquainted with the past. This book translates that experience into an insider’s tour of some of the most interesting moments in American history. Grove’s stories are populated with well-known historical figures such as John Brown, Charles Lindbergh, Meriwether Lewis, William Clark, and Sacagawea—as well as the not-so-famous. Have you heard of Mary Pickersgill, seamstress of the Star-Spangled Banner flag? Grove also has something to say about a few of our cherished myths, for instance, the lore surrounding Betsy Ross and Eli Whitney.
Grove takes readers to historic sites such as Harpers Ferry, Fort McHenry, the Ulm Pishkun buffalo jump, and the Lemhi Pass on the Lewis and Clark Trail and traverses time and space from eighteenth-century Williamsburg to the twenty-first-century Kennedy Space Center. En route from Cape Canaveral on the Atlantic to Cape Disappointment on the Pacific, we learn about planting a cotton patch on the National Mall, riding a high wheel bicycle, flying the transcontinental airmail route, and harnessing a mule. Is history relevant? This book answers with a resounding yes and, in the most entertaining fashion, shows us why.
should include historical images that represented other regions of the country. The photo of my grandfather and great-grandfather showed a Northern family in the same time period. I decided to enlarge the photo and hang it by Jefferson. While the photo was used for illustration purposes only and never became part of the Smithsonian collection, I was proud that for a few years at least, a photo of my grandfather was hanging in the Smithsonian. As a result of Jefferson, the fiberglass mule, I
Northern Plains Indian side-fold dress. Another item was Lewis’s pipe tomahawk. The stem of the exquisite piece was crafted of polished maple, with a thin squiggly sliver inlay of silver down the length. Handed down in the family for generations, the pipe was probably the one Lewis had with him at his death in 1809, though Carolyn was not able to verify whether Lewis took it on the expedition. I was fascinated with the pipe and counted it among my favorite artifacts. World of Women Another
offered to help the content expert. After a careful review of the collections database, team members scheduled a research trip to the collections storage area to view the items. Behind Closed Doors There’s a mysterious aura surrounding the storage areas of the Smithsonian. Several popular movies have depicted vast vaults under the National Mall. Unfortunately or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, a scriptwriter’s imagination does not match reality. People always jump at an
normal elevator ride. Crammed in with seven of my Air and Space Museum colleagues and two others, we rose to 195 feet. The doors opened to warm sunshine, a slight breeze, and a wide panorama of the Atlantic Ocean, waves crashing on the long, narrow stretch of Cape Canaveral beach below. Directly ahead, the bridge leading to the entry hatch of the space shuttle Atlantis beckoned us. We stood on the gantry of launch pad 39A, stunned into silence and in awe of the huge object before us. We were
first reusable shuttle had launched into the blue Florida sky over the Kennedy Space Center complex twenty-seven years earlier, but now the shuttle era was quickly coming to an end. Only eleven or so missions remained. The National Air and Space Museum had secured funding to develop an exhibition about the history of the shuttle era and the international space station. To my historian’s sensibilities the topic hardly seemed history, but current events. A section of this exhibition, unlike others