This National Monument enlightened us about Colonel Young, a former slave, that in 1889, became the third African American to graduate from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. He was leader of the Buffalo Soldiers who not only fought but patrolled Yellowstone National Park and other parks. The Buffalo Soldiers built roads, trails, and structures in Sequoia, Yosemite, and Glacier NP. He was the first Superintendent of Sequoia National Park. Young installed the fence around the giant Gen. Sherman tree for protection). Young was the first African American military attaché and a diplomat to Haiti. His 1830’s former house was under renovation, so the photos, documentary film, and exhibits were less than a mile away at a seminary library on Wilberforce College campus. We plan to return to the house next year when the renovation is done.
Located on the Wright Patterson Air Force Base, on top of a hill overlooking the base and the Huffman Dam, the small center focusses on the Wright Brothers development of the world’s first practical airplane at Huffman Prairie in 1904 & 1905, their flying school which started in 1910 and accomplishments of Wright Patterson Air Force Base. Outside of the center, there is a large 17-foot-high granite memorial saluting the Wright Brothers and several Indian mounds. It was nice to see a couple photos of the WB hydroaeroplanes or seaplanes, which were tested on the Miami River in Moraine from 1912-1914. This site is the 4th of six sites making up the Dayton Aviation Heritage National Historic Park.
Located on the grounds of Wright Patterson Air Force Base, the Wright Brothers rode the interurban trolley Monday through Saturday during the 1904 and 1905 flying season to this cow pasture and worked on perfecting their flying machine. Although the original airplane hangar is not here, the Simms Station Platform for the trolley stop is here along with many informational kiosks, photos, an Ohio Historical Marker, and grassland. The trolley made it possible for the Wright Brothers to haul tools, materials and parts for their flying machines. I talked to an elderly man back in 1918 who told me his uncle drove the trolley and would pick the Wright Brothers up at Simms Station in the evening. The is the third site of six total sites that make up this National Historic Park.
Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Holly Miller, Jacque Kelly
Date: 2013, 2014, 2015
This 100-foot-tall white sandstone obelisk completed in 1960 was America’s first National Historic Landmark. The monument honors Sgt. Charles Floyd, a member & quartermaster of the Lewis & Clark Expedition who died at age 22 on the upstream voyage in 1804. He was buried here. The expedition explored the Louisiana Purchase. The monument overlooks the Missouri River valley on a bluff. Just north along the river and interstate is the Sgt. Floyd River Museum. The drydocked 138-foot-long riverboat was built in 1932 and also serves as a welcome center. Son Matt was a pre-season football NAIA All-American Team selection who played defensive end at nearby Briar Cliff University. In-between cancer treatments, we attended his home college football games at the Dakota Dome in Vermillion, South Dakota. We often stopped by the Sioux City obelisk and museum.
Fenway Park is home to the Boston Red Socks professional baseball team. Opening in April 1912, it is the oldest stadium and the most famous in Major League Baseball. I attended a game there with a half dozen Moraine co-workers between Boston and the Tampa Bay Rays which the Red Sox won 7 to 3. I was really excited to see the infamous Green Monster, the nickname of the high left field wall. The high wall prevents home runs on many line drives that would clear the walls of other ballparks. Down in the bowels of the stadium beneath the seating, I went to get a sandwich and drink. The interior looked so nostalgic, historic and old, reminding me of what a ballpark would have looked like in 1938 and 1939 when my father played pro baseball. Outside the ballpark for a block or two, auto traffic was totally restricted so that fans could walk out and safely hog the streets to visit the many neighborhood bars and restaurants for aftergame dining and partying.
At over one million acres, this is the largest national grassland in the USA. Located in western North Dakota, it is a mixed grass prairie with both long and short grass along with beautiful badlands, rugged terrain eroded by water and wind. The Little Missouri River meanders through a part of the grassland.
Completed in 1922 to honor our 16th President Abe Lincoln, I viewed the monument in the evening on the night that President Richard Nixon resigned. The national news media and crowds were focused over at the White House, so a friend and I had the Monument all to us. We sat on this quiet summer night to observe the carving of Abe sitting in his majestic chair all lit up by spotlights. My photo disappeared over time, so I thank my son-in-law Justin for recently taking this photo for me.
Expedition Team: Dave Miller, Rosie Miller, Jacque Kelly
Date: February 18, 2023
This cemetery is the 2nd largest cemetery in the United States and the most beautiful cemetery and arboretum. Established in 1845, the cemetery has 44 miles of winding roads and 733 acres with over 220,000 people interred there. The landscaping, architecture, history and 15 lakes are beautiful. Spring Grove is considered one of the magnificent examples of landscape design in the country. It is one of only five cemeteries in the USA that is designated a National Historical Landmark. It has many State & National Champion Trees. Famous Cincinnati families such as Taft, Proctor, Gamble, Kroger and Civil War officers are just a few of the famous people buried here. We spent several hours driving through the huge cemetery took photos of unique tombstones, Jacque by a Johnny Appleseed statue, a tombstone for Mr. Coffin, controversial tombstones of SpongeBob Square Pants and a tomb that looked like the Egyptian Sphinx.
In the Charleston Navy Yard, a suburb of Boston, I visited the world’s oldest commissioned warship still afloat. It was constructed in Boston in 1797. The three masted wooden-hulled heavy frigate ship is called “Old Ironsides”. It is nicknamed “Old Ironsides” because the USS Constitutions crew defeated four British ships in three battles during the War of 1812 and it appeared as if no enemy cannonballs could penetrate the ships strong oak hull. Navy crew members gave me a tour of the ship on deck and below deck. I enjoyed the interactive exhibits in the park museum and also toured the haunted Navy Fletcher Class Destroyer, the D793 USS Cassin Young which was built in 1943.
This memorial and museum in lower Manhattan commemorate the September 11, 2001, attacks which destroyed both Twin Towers killing 2,977 people and also commemorates the 1993 World Trade Center bombing which killed six people. Construction started in March 2006 at ground zero of the World Trade Center site. I visited in 2009 (Photo #1) as work was still going on. Workers were building the world trade center south and north tower pools (set within the original footprints of the twin towers), each would have a 30-foot waterfall. A pear tree that survived the destruction is named “the survivor tree”. The museum has over 60,000 artifacts and historical records. Photo #2 shows the twin towers taken from the Statue of Liberty in 1990 as I was filmed a Moraine TV show segment there. Photo#3 sadly shows what was left of the towers after the terrorist attack. The Memorial & Museum site was completed and opened to the public in May 2014.