On February 14, 1912, the S.S. Awa Maru departed the shores of Yokohama, Japan, bound for the United States. Among the ship’s cargo was a gift of friendship from the Japanese to the American people—3,020 flowering cherry trees to symbolize life, death, reproduction, and rebirth.
It’s a story you’ll (hopefully) remember from high school history class. When George Washington took the oath of office in 1789, he did so in New York City, the first national capital of the United States under the Constitution. By 1790, however, the capital would be relocated to Philadelphia, where it would remain for the next decade while the new and lasting federal city was under construction in the District of Columbia. What you may not remember is that under the Articles of Confederation—the precursor to the Constitution—Congress convened in five different “capital” cities between 1781 and 1788.
As the American Civil War raged into its third year a century and a half ago, the divide between the North and South had scarce been deeper. The year ahead would bring the bloody Battle of Chancellorsville, the Union siege and fall of Vicksburg, and a marathon three days of fighting at Gettysburg. But as President Abraham Lincoln commanded his generals from Washington, D.C., his rebel counterpart sat just 100 miles south, in the Confederate capital city of Richmond, Virginia. The wounds of the Civil War have long been healed, yet Richmond retains much of the magnetism that made it…
After nearly 50 years as a singer, songwriter, musician, and actress, it’s a difficult task to pinpoint Dolly Parton’s greatest accomplishment. But hidden behind “Jolene” and “Coat of Many Colors” is her role in a 1986 made-for-television movie, A Smoky Mountain Christmas.
In 2009, the food-loving fans of Bravo’s hit cooking competition, Top Chef, were given a gift. For the first time in Top Chef history, the cast of 17 chefs included two brothers, Maryland natives Bryan and Michael Voltaggio. It made for riveting television—two brothers blessed with visionary talent, outperforming their competitors until they were the last two men standing before the judges’ table.