American History in Real LifeMovies in the past have often shown characters that were touched by historical events. Yet sometimes, the truth is often more fantastic than anything Hollywood can devise. These stories of real people show how the events of the past touched their lives. Some times the stories are dramatic, sometimes simple, but all in all they weave a tapesty of the richness of the American experience.
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© John Norvell
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Category Archives: Social History
Since 1971, Santa Claus has come to my house. That was the first year that a 12 inch-tall standup Christmas card of Santa, holding a pipe with a heart applique in the billowing smoke, arrived in the mail. It … Continue reading →
They are all similar – old, cracked and sometimes faded; the newer ones in washed out color. There is a commonality to them that may not be readily apparent. They are photos of young American men and women in uniform. … Continue reading →
Families often have stories that are not shared with younger members, one such story concerned my grandfather. My grandfather Hamilton Redfield Norvell was born in Detroit in 1863, when his father died in 1881 leaving the family with … Continue reading →
Living in upstate New York, I have recently discovered, nearly every person has a story to tell of hitting a deer, or two or three. (Actually numbers show that 80,262 people hit deer in recent years in New York.) Now I realize … Continue reading →
Living in upstate New York other people, who don’t live here, are always fascinated with the weather here in the winter. Since we grew up in this area it really is no big deal to us. In fact, the area … Continue reading →
From 1857-1860 Alexander Hamilton Redfield, my great great grandfather served as the Indian agent for the Sioux nation at a time of great change. On July 4, 1858, Redfield celebrated the 82nd anniversary of the Nation’s independence at Fort Union. … Continue reading →
Did you ever wonder where Phil lives? You have seen him on TV, I am sure, “living” in a fake tree stump, but you know that’s not where he really lives. Phil is probably the most famous ground hog in … Continue reading →
From 1968-1971, before I entered flying training, I was assigned to a staff position in a command post in Washington, D.C. This was a time of great upheaval in America. In April 1968, two months after I arrived at Bolling … Continue reading →
There is an old saying about combat: “If you’ve been there you understand, if you haven’t I can never tell you about it.” One can look at the history of a battle, but never really know what the combatants … Continue reading →
It’s our custom at Halloween to watch old scary movies. Not the gory ones that masquerade as scary but the ones that play with your mind– the classics: Pyscho, Poltergeist, The Silence of the Lambs. Ones that have a … Continue reading →