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US: Fayetteville, NC – Ink Art Convention to Honor the Troops

It is no coincidence that this unique event is being held in Fayetteville, close to Fort Bragg, one of the largest military bases in the free world.17990462_1914Flag 610302119043_6011670747646193990_o

The goal of the All American Tattoo Convention is to give some of the best tattoo artists in the world the opportunity to showcase their talents to some of the bravest heroes in the world, all while raising money to assist soldiers with PTSD, and other combat related injuries, veterans and families of soldiers.17972220_1914Drawing 776505435756_8151835351952770871_o

Tattoos and the US armed forces have a history dating back as far as the early 1900’s. There are countless inked active duty and war veterans. Tattoos and body art can tell a story that words fail to provide, giving these veterans an outlet to express themselves and show the pride in being a part of something bigger than themselves.17917871_1913Actual Tattooing 683735545033_4120548602365661136_o

Just a few of the many special events being planned include: Tattoo Contest, All Veteran Parachute Team, Air Born Aerial Performers and Fitness, Emcee Johnny “Awesome” Ivey, Ms. All American Pin-Up Contest and Fayetteville Roller Derby Rogue Rollergirls.

17966933_1913 Red Hair man Tatooing 710455542361_4464730085774597215_oRefer to the website for all artist, vendor and event information.17966207_1913Back Tattoo 683318878408_6840197784271585593_o

This is just not a Military event, everyone is invited so go out and support our troops while  experiencing all that this three-day convention has to offer. To buy- Tickets

Location: The Crown Complex Expo Center, 131 E. Mountain Dr., Fayetteville, NC 28306
Dates:  April 13-15th, 2018
Times: Fri, Apr 13th, 2pm – 11pm, Sat, Apr 14th, 12pm – 11pm, Sun, Apr 15th, 12pm -8pm
Tel: 910- 850-2566
allamericantattooconvention.com
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visitfayettevillenc.com

US: Palm Beach, FL – Flagler Museum’s 2018 Whitehall Lecture Series

The 33rd Annual Whitehall Lecture Series, Heroes of the Homefront: World War I and the Faces of Wartime America, commemorates the roles of American soldiers and supporters during World War I.

Ballroom-Lecture-1200Each lecture will provide a unique range of historical perspectives, including those of political and military leadership, the Doughboys on the front lines, minority infantrymen conscripted to battle, and women on the homefront and abroad.

Heroes of the Homefront will evoke a new appreciation for America’s participation in World War I and address the ways in which American culture was changed forever because of it. When possible, a book signing with the speaker follows each lecture. All lectures start at 3:00 pm.

February 18
The Last of the Doughboys:
The Forgotten Generation and Their Forgotten War
by Richard Rubin
February 25
World War I:
The American Soldier Experience
by Dr. Jennifer Keene
March 4
The Second Line of Defense:
American Women and World War I
by Dr. Lynn Dumenil
March 11
Uncle Sam Wants You: World War I
and the Making of the Modern American Citizen
by Dr. Christopher Capozzola
Online visitors can experience each lecture via a free Livestream broadcast at http://flaglermuseum.us/programs/lecture-series where visitors may listen live, see the presentation and ask the lecturer questions.

Location: The Flagler Museum, One Whitehall Way, Palm Beach, FL 33480
Date: See Above
Time: 3pm
Tel: 561-655-2833
flaglermuseum.us
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: thepalmbeaches.com

US: Palm Beach, FL – Exhibit at Flagler Museum Celebrating the Brave Aviator Daredevils of World War I

Presented by Henry Morrison Flagler Museum, the first museum exhibit devoted to the image of the World War I pilot-hero, Knights of the Air honors the daredevil pilots who risked everything for the cause at the dawn of aviation.

Imbued with a sense of adventure and fierce patriotism, aviators became the face of the War efforts back home. Works of art, souvenirs, postcards, and newspapers celebrated their valiant efforts. After the War, the romance of flight was embodied in new types of daring aviators, such as barnstorming aerial acrobats, air mail pilots, and bootleggers.

Popular pulp magazines such as George Bruce’s Squadron and Hollywood films like Wings (1927) capitalized on the appeal of the brave World War I aviator, inspiring many future pilots who would serve America in commercial aviation and future military conflicts.

Organized by the Flagler Museum in commemoration of the 100th anniversary of America’s entry into World War I in 1917, Knights of the Air features works of art, artifacts, and printed materials on loan from the private collection of Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf, and other private and public collections.

Guided exhibition tours will be offered Wednesdays at 10:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m., beginning October 25. The exhibition and tours are free with Museum admission. The Flagler Museum will offer free Museum admission to active duty, reserve, and retired U.S. Military each Wednesday for the duration of the exhibition (proper identification required).Heroic-Pilot-Frank-TinsleyRGB72

Illustrated Lecture
11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. on Saturday, November 11, 2017
Free with Museum Admission
Space is limited, reservations are required.

Join exhibition curator Janel Trull on Veteran’s Day for an illustrated lecture about Knights of the Air: Aviator Heroes of World War I, to learn about these heroic pilots and their lasting legacy.

Image: Collection of Jean S. and Frederic A. Sharf

Location: Henry Morrison Flagler Museum,One Whitehall Way
Palm Beach, FL 33480
Dates: until Dec 31, 2017
Hours: Sun – 12pm – 5pm, Tues – Sat – 10am – 5pm
Closed Mondays, Thanksgiving Day, Christmas Day, and New Year’s Day.
Tel: 561- 655-2833
flaglermuseum.us
For Regional accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: thepalmbeaches.com

US: Halifax, NC – The British are Coming to Historic Halifax

The British are taking over Halifax! The town will be under control of invading Cornwalis’ troops. Participate as a towns person in Halifax Revolutionary War Days: The British Occupation of Halifax. Keep your paperwork handy, as you may have to show it to a British sentry.Historic Halifax

Concentrated on Halifax’s military heritage during the 18th and early 19th centuries, Market Square, where troops mustered and where produce and goods were bought and sold, is the focal point of the event. Activities occur throughout the site including: tours of the historic buildings and military encampments, military drill and maneuvers, historic weapons demonstrations, presentations on local history, 18th Century tactical demonstrations, period dancing and music and a revolutionary era skirmish. Parking is FREE. Admission is FREE for 10 and under, $2 per person.Historic Halifax frank military

 

 

Location: Historic Halifax, 25 Saint David St., Halifax, NC 27839
Dates: June 17 – 18, 2017
Time: 10 – 4pm
Tel: 252-583-7191
nchistoricsites.org/halifax
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: visithalifax.com

US: Savannah, GA – Eli Whitney Slept Here

Why not stay at a hotel that has embraces a piece of Southern history –   Inn at Mulberry Grove. Mulberry Grove was the name of the plantation where Eli Whitney arrived as a tutor for widow Mrs. Nathaniel Greene’s children. Her hubby was 2nd in command to Washington, and had been given The Mulberry Grove Plantation as a gift from the spoils of the Revolutionary War.

Whitney was no average tutor. A Yale graduate, he tinkered with inventions, and recognized the need to speed up the process of separating cotton seeds from cotton fibers. He gained worldwide recognition for inventing the cotton gin, which revolutionized the South’s cotton industry. During the Civil War, General Sherman burned down Greene’s original house, but now you can stay in this Inn on the same land.orig_cotton_gin

There’s a touch of European elegance here, with gilded mirrors and dark wood furnishings. The hot breakfast with sausage, biscuits, grits and waffles can be taken in the courtyard. There’s a guest laundry, and it’s budget friendly.

Location: Inn at Mulberry Grove, 101 O’Leary Road, Port Wentworth GA 31407
Tel: 912-965-9666
innatmulberrygrove.com
For Regional Information, Restaurants & Attractions: visitsavannah.com

 

US: Clinton, MD – Surratt House Hid Lincoln Conspiracy

If you are interested in Civil War History and conspiracy  theories then the Surratt House Museum is a must for you.

Historic Surratt House has national significance due to its role in the dramatic events surrounding the Lincoln assassination conspiracy and the involvement of Mary Surratt.surratt-house-museum

As you enter the side door of this house, you are walking in the path of John Wilkes Booth the night he killed President Lincoln, since he came here to retrieve a rifle, field glasses and supplies for his run from the law. Mrs. Surratt became the first woman put to death by the United States government for her complicity.

The house was built in 1852 as a middle-class farm home for the family of John and Mary Surratt. It was more than a family home – the Surratt House also served as a tavern, public dining room and hotel for traveling gentlemen. Outside, the house was the focal point of a 300-acre plantation. A livery stable and nearby blacksmith shop serviced travelers, and in 1854 a post office was added to the tavern, serving the new area of “Surrattsville”. With the advent of the Civil War, the tavern became a clandestine Confederate safe house.

At the Surratt House Museum visitors take a guided tour from an
experienced docent in period clothing. Guests will not only learn of the
dramatic events surrounding the Lincoln assassination, but will learn about
daily life during the mid-19th century.

Location: 9118 Brandywine Road, Clinton, 20735
Hours: Wed thru Fri, 11am-3pm and Sat & Sun, 12 noon- 4pm . The last tour beings one half-hour before closing.
Tel: 301- 868-1121
surrattmuseum.org
For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants & Attractions: www.visitprincegeorges.com

US: Delaware City, DE – Participate in a Paranormal Investigation at Fort Delaware State Park

Join the Diamond State Ghost Investigators and park staff for a three-hour adventure in paranormal investigation.fort-delaware-haunted-prison

Fort Delaware, the Union fortress dating back to 1859, once housed Confederate prisoners of war. Throughout history, quite a number of people have encountered paranormal  experiences at the prison. It is believed that the spirits that haunt Fort Delaware are a direct result of the  suffering and violence that was sustained there.

Participants witness and take part in actual investigations of the haunted prison located on Pea Patch Island using electronic magnetic field detectors, data recorders, and temperature sensors visiting areas where paranormal activity has been reported.

October 29 from 9:30pm-2:30am – For hard-core ghost hunters only, participate on Halloween to take part in a five-hour investigation of Fort Delaware, in which you are a key part of the investigative team. What better way to scare the bajeebers out of you.

Participants must be 13 years old or older and should arrive 30 minutes prior to boat departure to check in at the Fort Delaware dock, 45 Clinton Street, Delaware City DE 19706. Tickets sell fast due to high demand, so book early!

Location: Fort Delaware, Pea Patch Island, Delaware City, DE 19706
( Fort Delaware State Park is accessible only by ferry, leaving from 45 Clinton Street, Delaware City DE 19706 )
Dates: Fridays, Saturdays in October – October 7, 8, 14, 15, 21, 22, 28, 29, 2016
Hours: 6:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. tours (exception- Oct 29 – 9:30 tour only)
Tel: 302- 834-7941
destateparks.com/ghost

For Regional Accommodations, Restaurants and Attractions: visitwilmingtonde.com

US: Newburgh, New York – Historic New York

A historic plaque in the Newburgh, NY service plaza on I-87.

Historic New York

US: Titusville, FL – Vintage War Aircrafts

This is a UH-1 Huey helicopter shown at the Valiant Air Command Warbird museum in Florida. Here you can find a collection of vintage war aircraft, photos, uniforms and personal artifacts of the vets, and you can even meet some of these vets as they volunteer to work on the restoration of these planes.

UH-1 Huey helicopter

South Africa: Visiting Robben Island, UNESCO World Heritage Site

By Adele Shapiro – March 2012.

As a child I used to visit Robben Island with my grandmother. Her son, my uncle, was a warder in the prison services there. The name “Robben”, despite sounding very English – is in fact the Dutch for “Seal” – and the name derives from the extensive seal colony that was found on the Island by the first Dutch settlers.

We would go to the Cape Town docks and from there, take a boat ride to the island, where we would spend the day with family. I was vaguely aware that there were bad people on the island, and that it was a prison…. but little did I know then of the role it was to play in South Africa’s later history. Years passed and now as an adrobben1ult, I found myself revisiting the place where “the bad people” were kept, only now I realized that some were not so bad after all.

I bought a ticket for the tour some days before the trip, (advisable, as they fill up quickly) and took time out to examine the display at the Nelson Mandela Gateway at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town.

There were many photographs of the political dissidents, the calls for boycotts, the anti-apartheid marches and there was also a prison cell that had been reconstructed for the purposes of the exhibit. I strongly recommend a visit to this exhibit before going to the island as it helps to contextualize the experience.

The trip began, as in times of old, with a boat ride from Cape Town docks, but this time instead of my uncle meeting us, we had a pleasant tour guide who told us jokes on our bus trip, whilst pointing out various sights on the island. Our bus was parked under a sign that said: “Welcome. We serve with pride.” I wondered if that sign had been there when Robben Island had been a prison as it was so sharply incongruous to the environment. I hoped not.

robben2Robben Island has had a long history. First as a lighthouse to warn ships of the VOC, the Dutch East India Company (Verenigde Oostindische Compagnie), of the rocks that surround the island. But since the end of the 17th century, Robben Island has been used for the isolation of (mainly) political prisoners. The island was also used at various times as an animal quarantine station, a home for slaves, a leper colony, a hospital for the mentally ill and as a prison for French Vichy prisoners of war.

First we saw the Leper Graveyard and then house where Robert Sobukwe (Founder of the Pan Africanist Congress) had been kept separate from the other political dissidents.

It seems that Robert Sobukwe had special status in the prison. He was kept in solitary confinement at all times, but allowed certain privileges including access to books, being permitted to study, being permitted to wear civilian clothes, and being permitted bread. His children were allowed to visit him and they had their own bedroom in his “house”. Robert Sobukwe was convicted of incitement for demonstrating against and defying the Pass Laws, and in particular, for his connection to the PAC demonstration (although he was not present) which became known as the Sharpeville Massacre.

The notorious Pass Laws required black people to carry a pass book at all times when outside their compounds or designated areas, and were designed to limit severely the movements of the non-white population. This legislation was one of the dominant features of the country’s apartheid system.

Sobukwe was sentenced to three years in prison. After serving his sentence, he was moved to Robben Island for internment, as a new law called the General Law Amendment Act had been passed, which permitted his imprisonment to be renewed annually at the discretion of the Minister of Justice. This procedure became known as the “Sobukwe clause” and Robert Sobukwe was the only person whose imprisonment was extended under this clause. Imagine how special one has to be in order for parliament to pass a law just for you!

We also learned from our tour guide that the American politician and Pastor, Andrew Young, had fostered Sobukwe’s children in the USA, while Sobukwe had been in prison.

Our tour continued to the lime quarry where the political prisoners had worked. At the entrance to the quarry we saw a small cairn, and learned its history. In February 1995, (the landmark change of government was in 1994), about one thousand former political prisoners gathered again on Robben Island, but this time as free men, and to mark the occasion, each one placed a small stone from the quarry in a pile, making a small memorial to their years of hardship and struggle.

As we continued on our bus ride, we were shown a church, a hospital, a school and a mosque, and realized that far beyond our expectations, the island had supported a whole community. We duly arrived at the prison and tumbled out of the bus for our tour of “the real thing”. We were excited and filled with high spirits and I wondered for a moment where my heart would have been had I not been a tourist.

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Inside we found grey walls. It was cool at midday; it was clear that at midnight it would be very cold. The communal cells were large and each had a bathroom attached.

Here we met our prison tour guide, Derrick Basson, a former political prisoner who served time on Robben Island for sabotage.

Derrick was very patient, humble and remarkably, not bitter. He answered all the insensitive questions calmly and without anger. In addition he explained the grading of the prisoners by race and also the diets that varied due to the racial classification of each prisoner. One of the curious facts he told us was that black prisoners were not given bread. As they were Africans their “natural” food was considered to be maize meal. The mixed race prisoners were allowed bread as they were considered to be more western or European and less African. The black Africans were also not allowed jam or syrup. I suppose you do not need jam if you have no bread.

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Then I remembered that Robert Sobukwe, in spite of being black, was allowed to have bread, and it struck me that this must have been because he had been a university professor, and since this is a very “European” and non-tribal job, maybe he was considered eligible to receive bread.

Derrick further explained how prisoners slept on mats on the floor and how 5 blankets had not been enough to keep them warm at night. I suddenly remembered an interview with a former Alcatraz inmate who spoke of the extreme cold and of how prisoners had learned to sleep with only their elbows and knees touching the floor, hands locked behind the head. I became very grateful for my duvet.

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We were told that in the beginning the political prisoners had been kept with the ordinary criminals, but later on, they were, thankfully, given their own “wing” and kept together. They came to call this place “The University” as they learned many things from each other and many of them also obtained degrees while in prison.

Derrick then took us to a yard where the prisoners had chopped rocks and turned them into stones, day after day in the sun. They were told that these rocks were used for roads built on the island, but no one seemed to know if this was true or not.

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We were then taken to Nelson Mandela’s cell. Mandela was a militant anti-apartheid activist, as well as the co-founder and leader of the armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC), Umkhonto we Sizwe or “Spear of the Nation”. He was arrested in 1962 and convicted of sabotage, (amongst other charges), after he admitted to manufacturing explosives and acts of public violence, and was sentenced to life imprisonment. Mandela served 27 years in prison, 18 of these on Robben Island. After his release, he served as President of South Africa from 1994 to 1999.

My very first impression was of how small the cell was. No, not small, tiny. And then I thought that at least he could stand up and lie down in it, but not much more than that. At least it was larger than the dreadful box that I had heard was used in China. But there was no toilet. Just a metal bucket with a lid. At least a lid. And no tap, so no water. And if you are thirsty during the night, what should you do? And of course there was no electrical socket and no radio nor TV. And all I could think of was 27 years. TWENTY SEVEN YEARS! There was no door handle on the inside. The door was only operational from the outside, not unlike a cage. I remembered that Nelson Mandela had once remarked that the hardest and most traumatic experience he endured whilst on Robben Island for all those years was that he never ever saw, or even heard, a child. Can you imagine that? Now he insists on being photographed with children, whenever possible.

robben10And then it was all over. We walked out to the yard, Derrick took us to the exit, and we said our goodbyes.I felt an odd mixture of elation and depression. Very happy that I had been to a UNESCO World Heritage Site of such importance, happier still that it was no longer a prison, and most happy that I was leaving. Yet also depressed and ashamed because of the suffering this place represented.

Duly subdued, we gratefully returned to our boat to ponder our feelings of inspiration and shock, enjoy the beautiful sunset cruise back to Cape Town, and watch a school of dolphins at play in the sea.

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Remember when planning a visit to Robben Island, that the tours don’t always run on time. There was no snack bar on the boat. Our boat was 1 hour late in leaving Cape Town harbour and then we were rushed through our tour, which was a pity as there was too little time for questions.

A suggestion would be to make no appointments after the visit as the timing can vary, and also, take a snack pack. A sun hat and sun block are also good ideas.

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Ferries depart (supposedly) at 9am, 11am, 1pm and 3pm, weather permitting, from Nelson Mandela Gateway, at the V&A Waterfront in Cape Town. Tickets costs are R230 for adults and R120 for children (U/18). Telephone: +27 (0)21 413 4200
Fax: +27 (0)21 419 1057