Category Archives: Washington DC

Summer of ’69: How I saw the astronauts and almost went to Woodstock

Fifty years ago three major developments competed for the attention of America: The Race to the Moon, the so called “Flower Power” movement, and the Vietnam War. In that long ago summer of 1969, two would play out on the … Continue reading

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At RFK’s grave in Arlington with Jackie Kennedy – 50 years ago

  Like many Americans in 1968, the most newsworthy events played out each day on my television. Whether it was the Vietnam war, the protests, or the presidential election, each night my TV linked me to the wider world. On … Continue reading

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Dr. King’s death: 1968 in Washington DC

50 years ago, I heard Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., give his last public Sunday sermon at the National Cathedral.     In 1968 I was a brand new Air Force second lieutenant living in Washington DC.   I had only … Continue reading

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A Whole New World

2018  is a memorable year for me.    In 1968, after a stint in graduate school, I began my full time Air Force career. My initial duty assignment was to be in Washington, D.C. I had orders to report there … Continue reading

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Washington Sep 11, 2001

Although we had lived in Washington, D.C. for many years, by 2001 we had moved to the Finger Lakes area of New York, where I had taken a job as alumni director of my college. Both of our daughters had … Continue reading

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Criminals in the Family

Every family has a skeleton in the closet. In our family, Willard Smith Norvell and Bayard Boyd Norvell fit the bill. They were the sons of my great uncle Edwin Forrest Norvell, who had served in the Civil War, as … Continue reading

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Lincoln on my Mind

April 14, 2015 marks the 150th anniversary of the assassination of Abraham Lincoln. As a military historian I have over the years come to respect Lincoln’s leadership during the Civil War.  As an American historian I admire his astitute political … Continue reading

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A Norvell Family Christmas Vacation – or the holidays from h…

Chevy Chase as Clark Griswold in National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation: “Nobody’s walking out on this fun, old-fashioned family Christmas. No, no. We’re all in this together.” In 1989 my mother came to visit with us for 6 weeks (that’s 42 … Continue reading

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Wild in the Streets — Washington DC 1968-1971

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

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A Family Torn Asunder

Emily Walker Norvell,  the daughter of Major Edwin Forrest Norvell and Margaretta Smith Norvell,  was born March 8, 1871 in Michigan. On May 15, 1899, she married Dr. Edward Oliver Belt, a noted professor of ophthalmology and otology at Howard University, … Continue reading

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