Archive for the ‘History’ Category

Mummified Dinosaur Found

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

A rare mummified dinosaur has been found in North Dakota:

Unlike almost every other dinosaur fossil ever found, the Edmontosaurus named Dakota, a duckbilled dinosaur unearthed in southwestern North Dakota in 2004, is covered by fossilized skin that is hard as iron. It’s among just a few mummified dinosaurs in the world, say the researchers who are slowly freeing it from a 65-million-year-old rock tomb.

“This is the closest many people will ever get to seeing what large parts of a dinosaur actually looked like, in the flesh,” said Phillip Manning, a paleontologist at Manchester University in England, a member of the international team researching Dakota.

“This is not the usual disjointed sentence or fragment of a word that the fossil records offer up as evidence of past life. This is a full chapter.”

Only four mummified dinosaurs “of any significance” have ever been found, so it’s a pretty big deal. As a kid I was always fascinated by dinosaurs. In those days I wanted to be a paleontologist, but then I realized what long, hot, grueling work excavation is. Still, I’d imagine finding something like this makes it worthwhile.

Podcast Appalachia: “Early Appalachian Settlers and Explorers”

Tuesday, March 18th, 2008

The second episode of Podcast Appalachia is now available. In this episode, I discuss the first explorers and settlers to enter the Appalachian region. You can listen here or view a transcript here. You can also find it on iTunes.

Matt is Back

Friday, February 29th, 2008

Matt Dattilo has resumed his Matt’s Today in History, one of the best podcasts you’ll find anywhere, after a brief hiatus. If you haven’t heard him before, I strongly recommend clicking on the link above or looking it up on iTunes. You won’t be disappointed.

William F. Buckley, 1925-2008

Wednesday, February 27th, 2008

I’m saddened to learn that William F. Buckley, one of the intellectual fathers of modern conservatism, has passed away at his home in Stamford, Connecticut. He was 82.

Buckley hosted Firing Line from 1966-1999 and founded National Review, and was also the author of several spy novels. Buckley was also a fusionist who sought to unite conservatives and libertarians which helped lay the groundwork for the Reagan presidency. His brand of conservatism was intellectual, not the emotion-based partisanship of most of today’s conservative pundits on cable news and talk radio, and conservatives of today would be well served to read some of his writings.

A great man has passed. RIP.

Challenger 22 Years Later

Tuesday, January 29th, 2008

Yesterday marked the 22nd anniversary of the Challenger disaster:

On this day in 1986, the NASA Space Shuttle Challenger Crew lost their lives as the spacecraft broke apart on its way into space.

The crew of STS-51-L mission included pilot Michael J. Smith, Dick Scobee, Ronald McNair, Ellison Onizuka, Christa McAuliffe, Gregory Jarvis, and Judith Resnik.

Challenger is one of my very first memories. I was about two months shy of my fifth birthday when it happened and clearly remember the shock and horror of it all. It’s hard to believe so much time as passed.

It was a great tragedy. We should all remember these heroic pioneers who gave their lives in the spirit of exploration.

Fairmont, WV

Thursday, January 24th, 2008

I took the following photos in Fairmont, WV during my visit in November.


Marion County Courthouse


Downtown Fairmont


The Monongahela River


Hopewell Road

Cross posted at Hillbilly Savants

Lee and the South

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

If you’re interested in Robert E. Lee or Southern history and culture in general, I recommend reading this wonderful column by Paul Greenberg. A snip won’t do it justice, so head on over and read the whole thing.

Cross posted at Tennesseefree

A Real Life Giant

Tuesday, January 15th, 2008

Head over to Hillbilly Savants to read my latest post–the true story of Martin Van Buren Bates, a real life giant from Kentucky.

Hillbilly Savants

Monday, December 3rd, 2007

I am honored to now be a contributer to the wonderful Hillbilly Savants blog, a treasure trove of all things Appalachian. My first post deals with the history of Harriman, TN, my hometown. Much thanks to Eric Drummond Smith for inviting me to contribute to his blog!

And don’t worry; Appalachian Scribe will continue unabated.

Images from West Point, NY

Monday, November 26th, 2007

Location: United States Military Academy, West Point, NY

Date: October 14, 2007