Today's History Highlights Archive

Endangered Drive-ins, Islands and Regular Folks in Today’s History Highlights – 8.14.2013

We don’t really need more reasons to visit the Isles of Shoals, but sadly it’s not on today’s agenda. Instead, we’ll live vicariously through Associated Press’ travelogue of a trip to the islands. Known to Europeans for more than 400 years (and to native peoples for countless centuries), the Isles have had a long and interesting history. Americans first used the islands (nine in total) as a fishing spot in the 1600s. In the 1800s, it turned into a vacation spot for the well-to-do. And of course it was home to New Hampshire poet Celia Thaxter. In World War II, a lookout tower was constructed on one of the islands, and it can still be seen when passing by boat. Today, the University of New Hampshire and Cornell University operate a marine laboratory on the islands and the Star Island Conference Center hosts retreats there.

Do you love those old postcards showing old New England? If you’ve ever visited our Facebook page, you know we do. But when it comes to sheer dedication, Patty Allison has us beat.  The Portland Press Herald has the story of the Portland resident who spends her spare time updating old black and white postcards with new colors. Historical accuracy is her goal, so she does a lot of research before applying colors to the old photos. She guesses as little as possible. "I do research on every single storefront and everything," Allison told the newspaper. "If I can't get it to the exact same brown, I try to get it pretty close, so that it jumps out at people and they can say: 'Oh! I know that place."'

The teenagers of northern New England need your help. And that’s what our Flashback Photo is all about. When it comes to drive-in movies, don’t ask and don’t tell is probably the best advice for both parents and young adults. But it would be a shame if they’re wiped out before today’s teenagers ever get a chance to experience the pleasures of watching a movie from a car on a summer night -- fighting fog on the windows (or not) and swatting mosquitos. As the movie business switches to all-digital projectors, the drive-ins are being forced to upgrade their equipment at a cost of roughly $80,000 each. Well, Honda is helping out with a contest to buy five projectors for five lucky winners in the company’s Save the Drive-Ins contest. There are six worthy contenders in the voting from New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont. So please click on the contest link and give a vote to your favorite theater.

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It's always fascinating to look at the world of mere mortals. In reading history, we are so often directed toward the great figures of the day. Records of their lives and activities are available and abundant, often because they themselves wanted to be celebrated long after death. But what about the people like you and me? We took the orders rather than gave them, but nevertheless had a hand in events and were probably more representative of life than those who got the glory. The Junto blog presents an interesting look at one such man, Peregrine Foster, that the researcher uncovered while trying to better understand the methods of early American land speculators:

Peregrine was also disarmingly self-deprecating, and often very funny. His ambitions, his politics, and his handwriting seemed to change weekly. Because he refused to go into debt to speculate, he never became a tycoon on the order of an Oliver Phelps, a Robert Morris, or a James Wilson. He failed, quietly, almost wistfully, and I find that quite endearing. More than anything, though, Peregrine was a devoted family man.

To read more, click here.

Today's Flashback Photo...

Drive In

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