Archive for the ‘On this day in history’ Category

On this day 73 years ago, French and American troops liberated Paris from Nazi occupation. Louise Dillery remembers; she was there. Louise was born in Paris on December 14, 1925 to Radjzla (“Rose”) Silberstein and Israël Gradstein, Jewish Polish immigrants who met in Paris. My mother was from Warsaw, and my father was from Lodz […]


If you live in the U.S., you likely find yourself in one of the following states tonight: 1. tired of hearing about the eclipse, 2. dying to see your next eclipse, or 3. disappointed you missed the eclipse. I first learned of the now-infamous solar event on April 27, 2017 in the Palm Beach Post’s […]


Before visiting a new city Esteban and I usually read up on its history. But thanks to an overambitious itinerary, we knew little about Rouen when we arrived in September of 2015. Rouen was among Europe’s most prosperous and influential cities during the Middle Ages. Our first night was a blur (I’ll tell you about […]


Graphic created with images and posts compiled from UNICEF’s Twitter feed. All images copyright UNICEF. Read more about UNICEF’s work with refugees.


Image copyright Pete Souza / White House


In memory of Leonard Cohen, 9/21/1934 – 11/10/2016


Today is Memorial Day in the U.S. — a day to remember and honor those we’ve lost to the senseless tragedy that is war. Here’s one story, about a distant relative, I first published in 2014. May Doug and his sacrifice never be forgotten. On September 27 1942, Douglas Albert Munro sacrificed his life in […]


I would love to hear your end-of-year reflections: 1. What was your greatest accomplishment? (Tell me so I can cheer for you!) 2. If you could do one thing over, what would it be? 3. What are you most looking forward to in 2016? I had to think hard when I read my friend Carolyn’s […]



This post is dedicated to my friend Gilles Thomas, for his tireless devotion to preserving the work — and honoring the memory — of Charles-Axel Guillaumot. Suppose you’ve been hired to oversee a vast and vital railroad network. Now imagine that, on the very first day of your new job, one of the trains on […]