Shipwrecks, Slave Trade and Patriots Young and Old in Today’s History Highlights – 8.9.2013

If any sailing yarn deserves untangling, it’s the wreck of the Anne Maguire. The three-masted schooner foundered off the Maine coast just 150 yards from Portland Light on Christmas Eve, 1886. Was the mystery ever solved of how a ship managed to run aground as the lighthouse beacon played over her sails? The Maine Public Broadcasting Network and Portland’s Herb Adams tell the story here.

Today we’ve got dirty pictures for you. Get your mind out of the gutter, not those type of dirty pictures. We’re talking about the Dirty Old Boston Facebook page, which features vintage snapshots of every day life in Greater Boston before gentrification. (That would be from 1940-1987.) Readers share their memories on the page, prompted by photos of coffee shops, streetscapes, advertisements, dances and (Today’s Flashback Photo) South Boston high school lunch ladies from 1965 (“Thursday was hot dog day”). Now the page’s administrator Jim Botticelli has a Dirty Old Boston blog on, the website of the newly-acquired Boston Globe. Check it out.


How old were key figures of the American Revolution on July 4, 1776? The answer might blow your mind. As David McCulloch observed once, we tend to see them as older than they were. Todd Andrlik at The Journal of the American Revolution posted the ages of dozens of Revolutionary War figures people on that day. They range from 15 (Deborah Sampson, the girl who impersonated a male soldier, and James Armistead, the first African-American double agent) to 70 (Ben Franklin, ladies’ man).

What is it about men and trains? Maybe it’s the tunnels, but that’s beside the point. The Connecticut Historical Society is featuring on its blog some terrific train sketches from its collection of the work of Richard Welling.

Welling, who died in 2009, is perhaps best known for his striking pen and ink drawings of the Hartford skyline, or some of his spectacular New York cityscapes in which the twin towers frequently stand out in a way he could never have imagined when he drew them decades ago. Besides his meticulous renderings of urban scenes in the cities he loved most—Hartford and New York—Welling lavished much attention and love on trains of all kinds…

Go here to read more.

If you think the roots of the American slave trade in Britain is settled business, think again. As Telegraph financial columnist Ambrose Evans-Pritchard discusses, the question of who was responsible for promoting slavery in the American colonies is still very much up for debate, and still relevant to the future of England and the rest of Europe.

Today’s Flashback Photo…

South Boston high school cafeteria workers, 1965. From Dirty Old Boston.

South Boston high school cafeteria workers, 1965. From Dirty Old Boston.


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