Immigrant Pictures of New York

A journalist named Jacob Riis was appalled when he saw the living conditions of immigrants in New York in the late 1800’s.  He believed that something had to be done so he started to take pictures of the living situations of immigrants.  Riis became a Social Reformer and took many pictures of immigrants in hopes that people would see the pictures and want to change things for the better.

Fast forward to today.  Fred R. Conrad, a photographer, was interested in the photos that Riis took and wanted to recreate them.  By using a 1950 plate camera to replicate the photos taken in the 1800s, Conrad hired actors to portray the immigrants in similar situations.

Want to see the pictures he took?  Click here to see the slideshow!


10,000 Confederates Move to Brazil After the War

Found a very interesting article about Confederate soldiers who were so upset that they lost the Civil War and therefore could not longer buy and sell slaves that they left the United States and headed to Brazil.  There, even today, is a small enclave of English speaking, white, farmers that grow sugar, cotton, watermelon, and other crops brought from the South.  Check out the article here!


On February 24, 1868, Andrew Johnson became the first president to be impeached. He would not be the last.

Impeachment is a formal process brought about by both houses in Congress that accuses the president of breaking the law.  If found guilty by both houses in Congress the president may be removed from office , sued, and/or sent to jail.  

Only two presidents have been impeached.  Presidents Andrew Johnson and Bill Clinton. Both presidents were impeached by the U.S. House of Representatives, but acquitted by the Senate.  Andrew Johnson was impeached for firing the Secretary of War, Edwin M. Stanton, which was a violation of the Tenure of Office Act.  Bill Clinton was impeached for lying about having a relationship with an intern.  Both presidents were able to complete the term in office.

Richard Nixon quit before he could be impeached.

The Civil War Begins and Ends With One Person

His name was Wilmer McLean and he lived in Manassas, Virginia.  In 1861, in what was one of the first battles of the war, McLean’s house was hit by Union cannon fire.  The shell went through his dining room.  It was at that point William McLean and his family moved more than a hundred miles away to a small remote village.  He hoped, by moving there, he and his family would be safe from the war.  That was not to be the case.

In 1865, during the last battle of the Civil War, in a small town named Appomattox Courthouse, Virginia, the war saw it’s last battle.  Robert E Lee, general of the Confederate Army, decided then and there to end the war and seek surrender.  Looking for a place to discuss surrender with the general of the North, a nearby house was found.  The owner?  Wilmer McLean. In McLean’s living room, the surrender was signed and the Civil War ended.

Battle of Vicksburg

The Battle of Vicksburg was fought from May 18 to July 4, 1863.  General Ulysses Grant was the Union leader in charge of the Tenessee Army.  He trapped General John Pemberton and his Southern Army of Vicksburg at Vicksburg, Mississippi.  Pemberton eventually surrendered to the North.  Vicksburg was an important win for Grant for two reasons.  One, after winning Vicksburg Grant effectively split the Confederacy in two.  And second, Grant eventually won the appointment of General-in-Chief because of his success.  19,233 soldiers made the ultimate sacrifice for what they believed in and died at Vicksburg.  Watch an interactive map of the Battle of Vicksburg here!

Photo of Ulysses Grant taken at the time of his appointment as Lieutenant General  of all the Armies of the Republic in 1864. PR 52 Portrait File Photo of Ulysses Grant taken at the time of his appointment as Lieutenant-General of all the Armies of the Republic in 1864. PR 52 Portrait File. Photo found here!