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Frye Gaillard, arthur of 'Journey to the Wilderness' at NewSouth Books in Montgomery, Ala., on Friday, April 17, 2015. Photo by Lloyd Gallman.

War, and the way we remember it

The American Civil War, one of the darkest periods in our country’s history, is for most of us relegated to history books and Hollywood films, which often break it down into political, racial or economic terms.

But a new book, released to coincide with the 150th anniversary of the end of the war, frames the conflict through a very human lens, based on letters written by those who lived with its very tragic consequences. |Read More|


WASHINGTON TABLESETTING

It all started with a teapot

Here’s something you probably don’t know about George Washington: He was buried twice.

Our first president’s interment was in 1799 but in 1831 he was exhumed from the badly deteriorating family vault and moved to a better-constructed brick enclosure. Here’s something else you don’t know: His casket liner was cut into sections and sold as souvenir pieces. |Read More|


NEGRO LEAGUE BOOK

Reclaiming history

It’s been a long, long wait, but on July 4 — the most American of holidays — Birmingham resident and former Negro Leaguer Ernest Fann will finally got to see the story of segregation-era, African-American baseball come to life.

That’s when the state-of-the-art, interactive, multimillion-dollar Negro Southern League Museum that’s been in the works for five years will, at long last, hold its grand opening. After years of budget delays and controversy surrounding its possible competition with the long-established Negro Leagues Baseball Museum in Kansas City, Missouri, the project sponsored by Birmingham Mayor William Bell will come to fruition.  |Read More|


BlackBerries

Blackberries, Alabama’s state fruit

Although the origins of the blackberry are unknown, it is believed it originated in Asia, Europe or North or South America. Most of the berries we consume in the Southeast are grown from a breeding program based at the University of Arkansas and other universities in the Southeast. Once these seedlings go public, nurseries and home gardeners can take up the hobby of raising these beauties to their peak.

Blackberries are not widely grown in the state, but Alabama’s legislature declared the blackberry as the state fruit in 2004, at the request of Fairhope Elementary School faculty and students. Teachers Susan Sims and Amy Jones noticed Alabama laid no claim to a fruit of its own like our neighboring states, and set out to fix that.  |Read More|


DAIRY BAR TWIST

Five Points Dairy Bar

In 1931, the infamous trial of the “Scottsboro boys” contributed a dark chapter to our state’s story and put Scottsboro, Alabama, in a harsh spotlight. But it’s shaken off that past, and today is a thriving little city.

More than 1 million visitors a year flock to find treasures at Unclaimed Baggage, a store that sells the contents of forever-lost luggage at discount prices. Folks also search for old, odd and just plain interesting items at one of the country’s longest-running trade days, held for almost a century on Sundays around Jackson Square. Anglers and boaters enjoy the bountiful population of big bass and sparkling waters of Lake Guntersville. |Read More|