Category: Culture

How Pittsburgh Became Known as the Steel City

Pittsburgh was one of the largest American cities up until the 1950s. It plays a significant role in early U.S. development, including battles in the Revolutionary and Civil Wars. Part of the reason why everyone came here involved the availability of raw materials.

Tremendous coal deposits were found all around Pittsburgh. Andrew Carnegie used that knowledge to build one of the largest companies in world history, beginning steel production in 1875. By 1901, Carnegie and his partner, Henry Clay Frick, merged several businesses together to create the United States Steel Corporation.

Up until the 1950s, almost half of America’s steel output came from Pittsburgh. Many of the city’s buildings and neighborhoods testify to the industrial work, wealth, and creativity that flowed through the town.

How Did the Steel City Stop Growing?

During the 1970s and 1980s, steel production collapsed by over 50%. In 1973, the U.S. produced 111.4 million tons. It wouldn’t be until 2000 when the industry would reach the 100 million ton production level again.

Imports hurt Pittsburgh’s place in the American economy. The U.S. went from importing 146,000 tons in 1946 to 24 million tons in 1978 because the international market was cheaper than domestic production.

After the recessions of the 1980s resolved, Pittsburgh had to reinvent itself. It is now a place for research, medical development, and education.

Although the steel mills along the riverfront are mostly gone, the money made from its production continues to put Pittsburgh on the map. Carnegie donated much of his wealth to establish libraries, an art collection, the Carnegie Museums, and Carnegie Mellon University.

Pittsburgh’s professional sports teams still pay homage to the city’s traditions from the past. Black and gold are the colors that represent the industrial past, with the Steelers in the NFL directly named for the productivity and innovation that brought economic growth to the region.

Most Notable Female Writers from Early America

Early America had some fantastic literature. When schools teach the classics, you’ll find many authors who were white, male, and straight.

We must remember the groundbreaking Early American women who had their works published. Although they were drastically underrepresented, their work still had a profound impact on society.

How did they accomplish this feat? Many of them had to pretend to be white, male, and straight to their publishers.

Here are the women you should get to know better.

1. Judith Sargent Murray

She wrote the feminist essay called “On the Equality of the Sexes” in 1791, right around the age of 40. That was a full year before the famous piece by Mary Wollstonecraft that always gets discussed. Murray is quite rightly recognized today as one of America’s first published feminists.

2. Catharine Maria Sedgwick

Sedgwick was highly prolific for a female writer during her era. She had her short stories published by numerous periodicals, starting in the 1820s. Several novellas, 100+ prose works, eight children’s books, and six novels are part of her biography. At the time, her work was in the same league as Copper and Irving.

3. Anne Bradstreet

Her writing in the early 17th century was some of the first to come from the American colonies. It helped that she came from a wealthy family, and her father had always insisted on giving her a world-class education. It wasn’t considered proper for women to write then, but she didn’t care. In Bradstreet’s eyes, the notion of a woman being inferior was ridiculous.

4. Susanna Rowson

Rowson wrote Charlotte Temple in 1790. It would be the first international bestselling novel to come out of the United States. That status wouldn’t change until another woman, Harrier Beecher Stowe, dethroned the book with Uncle Tom’s Cabin in 1852. Rowson also worked as an actress, wrote several operas, plays, and novels, and has numerous poetry volumes to her credit.

These notable female writers from Early America changed the course of their lives by refusing to back down. Their public performance inspired private changes in many households, eventually leading society to a place where true equality became possible.

Myths About Thanksgiving’s Origins

What do you know about Thanksgiving’s origins? Many of today’s American parents were taught that the Pilgrims and Native tribes sat together, exchanged food, and found a way to create peace.

The truth about Thanksgiving is that disease and massacres were on the menu. If you ask the surviving Wampanoags about the holiday, they’ll say it is a time of deep mourning.

Here’s a truth bomb: the first Thanksgiving was actually held in 1598 in Texas by Juan de Onate after a 350-mile hike through the Mexican desert.

How many other Thanksgiving myths are lingering out there?

Worst Myths to Debunk About Thanksgiving

1. Thanksgiving Was About Family

The original Thanksgiving holiday was a multicultural event. It was never about bringing your family together to stuff your face full of turkey. Even if you believe the Pilgrim origin story elements, they invited the Native tribes to join them.

2. Turkey and Cranberries Were Original

Did you know that the current tradition of having turkey with cranberries on Thanksgiving comes from the Victorian era? Since that culture was the one to create the holiday, their habits became part of the process. The one food we know that the original settlers had was deer. Anything beyond that is just conjecture.

3. There Is Only One Thanksgiving

When Abraham Lincoln declared that Thanksgiving would be a holiday, his proclamation said that the event should be held in November… and in August. Most Americans outside of New England didn’t even recognize this tradition until the 1863 declaration.

4. Plymouth Rock Was the Key

The first person to tell the story of Plymouth Rock was Thomas Faunce, a 95-year-old man with dubious references. Their first landfall was at Provincetown anyway. Still, going to Plymouth to see a rock stamped with 1620 does make for an exciting little adventure.

You need energy to prepare the modern Thanksgiving meal. Whether you’re a turkey, ham, or lasagna family, taking items from Life Extension and Bluebonnet can help you prepare and serve this meal.

What tips do you have for surviving the Thanksgiving experience?

Origins of Halloween in the United States

Halloween is a treasured time for many children in the United States. Dressing up in a costume, going trick-or-treating, and spending time with their families is a tradition that goes back several generations.

With the kids hyped-up for Halloween this year, parents may want to take their preferred items from Kirkman and Douglas Labs to be ready for the experience. The 2020 version of this holiday may look a little different with some mask or gathering requirements, so please follow whatever local guidelines are in place for your community.

When you’re finished gathering candy, you can talk about the origins of Halloween in America.

How Did Halloween Get Started in the United States?

The first Halloween celebrations in the United States involved the colonists. Many of the old Celtic religious practices were still followed even though most people had converted to Christianity. All Hallow’s Eve marked the end of the growing season, with celebrations involving animal costumes and fortune-telling. 

When Irish immigrants started coming to the United States in the 1800s, their updated Halloween traditions came along for the ride.

Instead of dressing up as animals at private parties, the event had shifted to asking neighbors for money or food. They pulled pranks on some of them, evolving into the idea of trick-or-treating that kids say after knocking on a door today. 

Most communities didn’t offer much candy or food during the early 20th century Halloween celebrations. Some pranks got so out of control that they became logistical expenses for cities to manage. One way to switch the holiday to something more family-friendly was to offer candy, with several companies obliging.

That process helped to create the modern Halloween holiday that we celebrate today. You still might get a trick or two out there each year, but that outcome might be better than getting a box of raisins.

Best Science Museums to Visit in America

The United States is a large country filled with several geographical wonders and cultural differences. While the East Coast feels more European, the West Coast provides a rustic, laid back personality filled with big skies and open spaces.

You can find farming communities in the Midwest, deserts in the Southwest, and the French/Creole celebrations in the South.


Each region has a different take on how to offer a fantastic science museum. Here are some of the best options to visit.

What U.S. Science Museums Are the Best?

Museum of Science, Boston

Several hands-on activities are available at this museum, making it a delightful stop for all ages. You can explore the science behind colors and light, visit a Butterfly Garden, or enjoy a show at the planetarium. There’s even a 3D ride simulator to bring thrills.

Museum of Science and Industry, Chicago

At over 400,000 square feet, this science museum is one of the largest in the world. The facility’s goal is to bring out the genius in everyone, which means you’ll find several activities to enjoy at every age. You can explore the physics of a tornado, see real-time representations of the Earth with the facilities floating glob, and embrace your curiosity.

California Science Center, Los Angeles

If you visit the permanent exhibits at this facility, your entry into the museum is free. You’ll see interactive and time-limited presentations that range from planetary ecosystems to spatial technology. Several programs are hosted throughout the month, including no-cost shows in the IMAX theater. You can even see the shuttle Endeavour during your tour.

California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco

You’ll find a natural history museum, a planetarium, an aquarium, and a working research lab under the same roof when visiting this fantastic site. They sometimes host pajama sleepovers and fun events with penguins to make learning a blast. Don’t miss the four-story tropical rainforest and the photography exhibits during your stay.

Arkansas Museum of Discovery, Little Rock

With over 90 different interactive exhibits, young children will have plenty of fun at this museum. The spotlight is on mathematical applications and general education, helping everyone learn more about how the universe works.

The best science museums to visit in America often include on-site cafés, modern amenities, and gift shops to help everyone enjoy the experience even more. Where do you plan to travel first?

Fun Family Activities You Can Explore at Hershey’s Chocolate World

If you’re visiting Pennsylvania with your kids for the first time and you’re looking for places to explore, you can’t miss out on the chocolate-themed wonderland Hershey’s Chocolate World. From roller coasters to sweet treats, this is Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory come to life.

Here are some of the exciting places you’ll find at the sweetest tourist spot on Earth.

Hershey Park

Hershey Park was built-in 1907, and has over 14 exhilarating roller coaster rides for families, and 20 rides specially designed for kids. What’s impressive is that the park connects with the Boardwalk, which is a water park with slides, breath-taking water coasters, and many other attractions. You’ll find the food area and live stages for entertainment when you want out of the sun. All-in-all, if you’re up for some real adventuring, it’s a must-visit place that you will never forget. You need two days to explore the entire park!

Zoo America

Zoo America is located adjacent to the park and houses around 200 animals belonging to five regions of North America. It’s a seven acre-park that is a perfect getaway for kids who are fond of seeing animals. Kids who are eight and under get free entrance to the zoo on weekends.

Hershey’s Chocolate World

One of the most amazing tourist spots in Pennsylvania that offers much more than sight-seeing. If you’re a die-hard chocolate fan, there are many different activities for you to explore. You can design your own personal Hershey chocolate bar, watch a movie about the origins of chocolate, and grab some sweet treats! Take a tour of the Chocolate Trolley to learn more about the history of Hershey and how it started.

You’ll find bakery, food court, and Dessert creation studio in the area.

The Hershey Story

The Hershey Story is a museum that showcases the rich history of Milton Hershey. It’s a family-friendly museum that shares the story of the man who pioneered the chocolate brand we all know and love today. You can even make your own chocolate in the chocolate lab!

Plan your next family vacation to Hershey, Pennsylvania! But do make sure you are staying safe and healthy. Always practice extra precautions when traveling, speak with your doctor about what more you could be doing, and think about how immune support products from Argentyn 23 or Quicksilver Scientific may provide the additional support that you want each day!

Famous American Buildings to Visit in Your Lifetime

America is home to many iconic buildings that have been built throughout the country’s history. Some of these blend styles found around the world with more modern aesthetics. If you are a true American by heart or are generally interested in one of the world’s most powerful countries, you better bookmark this article to come back later to when you have your trip scheduled. We have compiled the list of some of the famous (read: best) American buildings to visit in your lifetime. This list will go along with out coverage of monuments throughout the southeast, southwest, northwest, and northeast that are worth a visit.

Walt Disney Concert Halls in Los Angeles

The Walt Disney Concert Hall was built by Frank Gehry in 2003 and remains one of the most coveted concert halls of all time. 

Grand Opera House in Wilmington

Grand Opera House, originally dating back to 1871, is by far the most iconic theater of America that was renovated to a better structure in the year 1973. 

Iowa State Capital in Des Monies

Another historic building in Des Monies is the Iowa State Capital which was constructed in 1886. It has five domes and is certainly one of the most impressive crafts of ancient times. 

Louis Cathedral in New Orleans

The site was built back in 1727 in New Orleans, but the renovated building was completed in the 1860s. It is the oldest Roman Catholic Church. 

Portland Observatory in Portland

The octagonal-shaped tower was used to signal ships coming at the harbor. In a time when there is negligible water travel, this observatory turned museum is a fascinating sight to see. 

Empire State Building in New York 

It reaches tall into the skyline and is undeniably one of the most famous buildings in the world. The Empire State Building was the tallest in the world before the World Trade Center beat it. 

Biltmore Estate in Asheville

Talk about the largest, privately owned house in the U.S. It covers a massive 178,925 sq. feet, constructed with subtle French artwork, and was built for the Vanderbilt family. A visit to this mansion is an exciting venture. 

Falling-Water in Mill Run

Water in the Falling-water house actually falls all the time! A masterpiece of architecture by Frank Lloyd, this magnificent house is open for tours and gives an incomparable enchanting experience. 

The United States of America is home to an abundance of fascinating buildings that can make weeks-long of touring run short! 

Why The Pepperoni Roll is a West Virginia Tradition

Pepperoni rolls, a simple food that consists of baked pepperoni wrapped in cooked yeast and white flour. A delicious delight and West Virginia tradition. This food offers a unique flavor, either hot or cold, the dissolved fat gives the roll a spiced, oily seasoning, and they keep fresh for a long time.

But did you know that pepperoni rolls were first invented, cooked, and sold in West Virginia? This is why the divine snack is a West Virginia tradition.

The Origin of Pepperoni Rolls

It all began in 1927, when the baker and coal miner Giuseppe “Joseph” Argiro, from Country Club Bakery in Fairmont, West Virginia, invented this recipe for fellow-laborers who worked the coal mines. The rolls were a simple snack that stayed fresh and provided a good source of protein and fat. The meal was a hit because not only do it provide a high value of energy, but it was pre-cooked, required no refrigeration, and could be tucked into a pocket or bag wrapped in paper. Today, the heart of the rolls remains true, with only minor modifications being made to spruce up the recipe. 

Pepperoni Rolls and The Tradition

West Virginia takes pride in inventing one of the most popular snacks of the state. Country Club Bakery, now owned by Chris Pallotta, bakes pepperoni rolls fresh using the same recipe from the day the shop opened. The bakery ships out parcels to as many as 50 states where pepperoni roll fans can’t get enough of them. It can be said that this is one of the reasons we would add this food to the list of what makes America inspirational.

Since 1927, the people of Fairmont, West Virginia, have been feasting on this food for as long as they have lived. While other cities of the region have recreated the food, stuffing more ingredients, improvising the shape, and adding to the bread, the original pepperoni roll rules the land. 

If you have a friend or an associate that is an avid fan of the pepperoni roll, you would know who is responsible for its creation. Although for many of us with more unique diets, a carb-heavy and fat-filled item isn’t on all of our dietary lists. However, you can take a probiotic from brands like Klaire Labs, Bioray, or Protocol for Life Balance to help support digestions so you can keep on enjoying your pepperoni rolls! 

Monuments in the U.S. Southwest You Should Visit in your Lifetime

The American Southwest is one of the most beautiful places in the USA. This area of the nation is full of impressive monuments and national parks.

It’s a magical piece of land, for sure, because over a third of the USA’s national parks and a huge number of monuments are in the states of Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and Colorado alone. 

So, whenever you plan for a road trip, choose the American Southwest as your next destination. Here are some of the things you will see!

Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument

It is one of the most beautiful monuments that display an amazing blend of colorful sandstone cliffs that rise above the narrow canyons that continues under arches, waterfalls, and ancient villages. 

It is most popular among hikers, as well as among off-roaders who come specifically to enjoy the unique view the monument offers. 

Monument Valley

This valley is one of the most iconic places in Southwest, as well as a wonderland of red rocks and pinnacle creations. The valley, with its enormous carved red-sandstone, is surrounded by a huge, sandy desert that movies have used as a backdrop to create the perfect atmosphere for filming.

It is the perfect destination for people looking forward to a thrilling adventure, or the perfect picture!

Antelope Canyon

Antelope Canyon is one of the most photographed places on earth. It features a spectacular view with bright red sandstones and rocks that seem to flow like water down a river. It is a sight that will surely melt your heart and take your breath away.

Grand Canyon

One of the seven wonders of the world, the Grand Canyon, is a gorgeous sight and is a must-see for tourists looking forward to a Southwestern trip. Enjoy your journey either by walking the rim trail, or drive along the paths to observe the beautiful scenic perspectives of it all.

Other Monuments:

The Southwest can be rightly said to be a land of monuments since it has a lot to offer. Some other eye-catching monuments that you will love in the Southwest include:

The Final Word

Traveling the American Southwest is an adventure of a lifetime. No matter how you get there and how you move around, there many breathtaking sights that can be explored no matter the direction you take.

If you are looking for more monuments in other parts of America, check out our articles on the Southeast, Northwest, and Northeast.

Places You Can Visit With Your Kids Without Going Outside

If staying indoors was a tough enough challenge for you, try staying inside with children. That’ll give you something to fret about. Children are the last ones to want to stay inside during this time of the year when spring has finally arrived. They want to go out and ride bikes with friends and hang around the park, but the current situation makes it difficult to do so safely. That means you’re stuck inside the house with children who are feeling bored and irritated for being forced to be inside the house, and on top of that, you can’t do anything about it.

When children can’t find anything to do, they’ll start quarreling among themselves, and that’s when you know that things can’t get any more destructive than they already are. The world may be facing a global crisis, but there’s a whole other level of crisis happening under your roof. 

So is there anything that you can do with your kids to get them to settle and to make them quiet? How about you take them for a tour? A virtual tour! Prepare your kids to visit these wonderful places without actually leaving the house and let your children enjoy being indoors for once. 

A Trip to Space With NASA 

Link: https://spacecenter.org/app/

Let your kids feel what it’s like to be in space. Visit this site, and you will learn all about NASA and its ongoing projects and life in space. 

Virtual Tour in the Dali’s Museum in Catalonia  

Link: https://www.salvador-dali.org/…/dali-theatr…/visita-virtual/

A physical layout of the museum is displayed on the link. You can virtually visit different areas of the museum when clicking on the specific pointers. 

A Tour of Monterey Bay Aquarium

Link: https://www.montereybayaquarium.org/animals/live-cams/

This aquarium shows its viewers beautiful and wonderful sea creatures, including several live cameras. You can show your children playful otters or make them awe at the Moon Jellyfish, and many others on their live cam show.  

Day at the Zoo From Homes

Link: https://zoo.sandiegozoo.org/live-cams

San Diego Zoo is the country’s most visited zoo for citizens and tourists alike. But did you know that you can virtually visit the zoo and take a look at all the animals while sitting on your sofa?

You can catch the live show online along with your children by visiting the zoo’s website. 

If you are struggling to find something to do while stuck inside, get outside virtually and check out these live cams!