Oh Say Can You See… Fort McHenry and the Star Spangled Banner

Francis Scott Key was always sort of a hometown hero for me: I grew up in Frederick, MD, where Key is buried in Mount Olivet Cemetery as he desired, “in the shadows of the Catoctin Mountains.” Thus, Fort McHenry has always been a favorite destination for me. It’s a lovely place to walk along the […]

Gettysburg Heritage Museum Shares Civilian Experience During the Battle

The new Gettysburg Heritage Center used to be the American Civil War Wax Museum. I have to admit: I never visited the wax museum. I eschew wax museums: I find them creepy. But having a museum dedicated to the civilian perspective of what happened in Gettysburg during that great battle sounded intriguing, and I welcomed […]

Montpelier: James Madison’s Presidential Retreat

My sister and I are determined to visit all the local presidential mansions: Mount Vernon, Monticello, and Montpelier, among them. Montpelier is the estate of our 4th president, James Madison, and one of America’s Founding Fathers. He is known for putting his lawyerly training to work by helping write the U.S. Constitution in the late […]