Trip to Europe: St. Vitus Cathedral Prague

On the occasion of our Thirtieth Anniversary, Mrs. Present and I traveled to Europe. We visited Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. It was remarkable. I will be posting highlights from the trip. Most posts will consist of short histories and a lot of photos. I will go in depth on others.

First up: St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, CZ.

St Vitus West Doorway

West Face St. Vitus Cathedral

King Charles IV of Bohemia (later Holy Roman Emperor) began construction of St. Vitus Cathedral in 1344 AD. Two previous churches had existed on the site, the first being built in 925 AD. Construction of St. Vitus was lead by Matthias of Arras until he died in 1352. Peter Parler then assumed the role of head architect. Construction and restoration efforts continued until 1929, when the Cathedral was consecrated.

Veteran’s Day 2017

IMG_1112 (2)

Remembering a veteran, I did not have the honor of meeting.

My Father-In-Law

T/SGT Thomas Wayne Kelley Jr., USAF

BIRTH 12/09/1941

DEATH 08/30/1973

Pleasantville, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA

Am I a 49er?- The History of My Times: According to Me

Two questions should arise when you read the title of this series. First, “Who am I?” That question is easy to answer. I am History Present. A good place to expand on that answer is this blog’s “About Page.” The second question should be, “When, exactly, are my times?” I was born on the 26th of March 1959. So, my times are from then, until now. If only life were that simple. You see, it is that date which brings me to question my very being. To which era do I belong? More precisely, to which U.S. flag do I belong?

49-star US Flag

49-Star U.S. Flag from USFlag.org

This question did not arise until I began studying history on a serious level. Most people are aware that Alaska and Hawaii became States in 1959. But, when in 1959? Whether you like it or not, dates are important to history and six dates are critical to this story. As was previously mentioned, March 26, 1959 is certainly critical. The second is January 3, 1959. That is the date of Alaska’s admission to the Union.1 OK, cut and dry, there were at least 49 States in Union when I was born. But, what about Hawaii? On August 21, 1959, the third critical date, Hawaii was admitted to the Union.2 Yes! I can claim a certain uniqueness, I am a “49er”! Only those born between January 3 and August 20, 1959 can make this claim. I can always point to a 49-star flag as I claim my tie to history. Or can I?

An Introduction- The History of My Times: According to Me

This post serves as an introduction to a new project. Importantly, the blog title “History Present” and the address (historypresent.com) will remain. This project fits squarely with the ideas that led me to start the blog. So…
What is it about? See the title. Who am I? A good place to start answering that question is found at this bog’s “About” page. When, exactly, are my times? From when I was born until now. More to follow.
How will it look? After collecting my scattered thoughts, and with a few minutes consideration, I settled on the following format. “Settled on” is to decisive a phrase. “Going with for now” is more accurate. Posts associated with this project will carry the title The History of My Times: According to Me. My thought is to create both a The History of My Times page (not sure) and category (certain). Each entry in the series will carry a subtitle reflecting that post’s subject matter. Example subject matters may feature the following subtitles: “The Cold War” or, “Cold Cuts.” To make searching easier, the post subtitle will appear above project title. While some subtitles may play at their given subject matters, I promise they will pertain to the subject matter. My intention is to deliver a serious history, mostly. Why deliver a serious history? Because I am not very funny.

(7/20)Welcome to Okayama Japan, the Land of Sunshine!

Hello folks, I know many of you already follow “Samurai Japan” (Ryoma Sakamoto) but if you do not, you should. This blog provides an excellent window into Japan; the people, the history, the culture. I hope you enjoy this piece and that you will follow “Samurai Japan.”

Samurai Japan

Ceramic Treasures – Bizen-yaki, Okayama Prefecture [1080p HD]

Today: Bizen-yaki, Okayama Prefecture. We will visit the potters from all over Japan and discover their ceramics heritage by introducing the culture and historical background.

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Travel: St. Joseph, MI (Food & Drink)

Pier Sunset

This post is the second on the town of St. Joseph, MI. As I noted in the previous post, “St. Joseph, MI (History)”, I went for business while Mrs. Present went to relax. St. Joseph is very nice town and we thoroughly enjoyed our time there. Obviously, the tourist season for beach towns on Lake Michigan’s shore is short. Fortunately, St. Joseph’s tourist area is small and easily walked. Most restaurants and shops located between Silver Beach, the St. Joseph River, Market and Court Streets. A horse drawn wagon and bicycles are available if you want a break from walking.

St. Joseph, MI (History)

Lighthouse

St Joseph, MI North Pier Lighthouse

Back in June, I made a business trip to St. Joseph, MI. Since I had never been to St. Joseph, I checked it out before I left. What a great little town! There are many things to do, both in St. Joseph, and in the immediate area. The town boasts an Art Museum, a Children’s Museum, a lakefront beach, a beach park, and a vibrant food and drink culture. St. Joseph’s beachfront, restaurant, and shopping area is concentrated in a small area. Everything is easily within walking distance.

After I shared what I had learned, Mrs. Present decided to accompany me. We left a few days early so we could experience the town together. Once I began my work schedule, Mrs. Present was forced to sit on the beach, eat real ice cream, and read books. Poor her! St. Joseph is a town that firmly embraces its history. Placed smartly long the narrow park that rests between Lake Boulevard and the bluff that hangs above Lake Michigan’s shore, are Memorials to area citizens that gave their lives in service.

Prince Mongo’s Castle

I am drawn to this blog… fascinated at the things we abandon. What was it like when the last person to use these spaces walked out?

Abandoned Southeast

Prince Mongo’s Castle, also known as Ashlar Hall, is a mock castle in Memphis.  After Robert Brinkley Snowden graduated from Princeton in 1890, he decided to return to his hometown to design and construct his family estate. Snowden, a prominent real estate developer, completed Ashlar Hall in 1896.

Ashlar HallThe 11,000 square foot home has two floors with 8 rooms plus a full basement and a large attic with servants’ quarters. An irregular shaped swimming pool is located outside, southwest of the house. The Snowden property stretched for 3,000 acres, well into Mississippi. The final cost for construction was around $25,000, roughly equivalent to $725,000 today.

Ashlar Hall

Snowden’s great-grandfather, Col. Robert C. Brinkley started the Peabody Hotel several years prior. The Snowden family was considered Memphis royalty by the early 1900s and Brinkley Snowden was considered one of the premier real estate developers. The mansion was named Ashlar Hall due to it being almost entirely constructed of Ashlar Stone which was brought to town on barges. The past few decades have not been…

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