The USS Alabama almost went to scrappers. For fifteen years following decommissioning, the battleship sat at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard. Then, in the early 1960s, the federal government announced plans to scrap its aging World War II battleships, including the USS Alabama. The people of Alabama wouldn’t have it. The children alone raised $100,000 toward the $800,000 it would cost to move its namesake battleship to Alabama. In 1965, the USS Alabama opened in Mobile as a memorial and museum. Today the submarine USS Drum and a plethora of military aircraft and vehicles join the battleship on the 155-acre USS Alabama Battleship Memorial Park.
Richmond/Wayne County, Indiana, has unveiled a brand-new Black History Trail.
Heading west on I-80 toward Iowa City, we noticed a sign at the West Branch exit for the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site. Hmm… side trip? Let’s do it! So, that afternoon on our return trip we did just that.
This national historic site, honoring the 31st president of the United States, is home to a visitor center, several buildings from Hoover’s childhood—either original or reproduction—and the grave site of President and Mrs. Hoover. Not part of the national historic site but on the same property is the Herbert Hoover Presidential Library and Museum.
More often than not, we travel the back roads on our road trips. It beats dealing with heavy traffic on interstate highways, saves on gas mileage since we drive slower, and we see more of real America, passing through small towns.
Before this summer, I knew little about Wild Bill Hickok. Then, within just a few weeks, we visited three places within Kansas and Illinois that all shared Hickok stories—quite a coincidence. I learned several fascinating facts about him and included some in this slideshow: