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:
Howard Steamboat Museum in Jeffersonville, Indiana, pays tribute to the Howard family and their steamboat building company. The tour combines a history of the ornate Edmonds and Laura Howard mansion and the shipyard located across the street, which the Howard family owned from 1834 until 1941.
Watch as Connie walks through the Mississippi River. She and Skip are at the Mississippi River headwaters in Itasca State Park, near Bemidji, Minnesota. The 2,552 mile Mississippi River begins here as a small stream flowing from Lake Itasca.
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Aviator Charles Lindbergh gained his fame as the first person to successfully complete a solo transatlantic flight. The Charles Lindbergh Museum in Little Falls, Minnesota, chronicles his life and career with exhibits and films. On a tour of the adjacent Charles Lindbergh House, however, visitors are treated to stories of his childhood and many of his boyhood antics.
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It’s eagle watching season. As the weather becomes colder and bald eagles migrate south down the Mississippi Flyway, people travel to those same places in hopes of catching a glimpse of the national bird. Some of the best places to eagle watch are near locks and dams along the Mississippi River, where water continues to run and eagles can feed on fish
Cities all along the Mississippi River embrace eagle season, celebrating with festivals and welcoming visitors.
The lightweight Beechcraft 35 Bonanza civilian airplane, produced post-World War II, was expensive compared to other personal aircraft. Because of the steep price, mostly professionals, like doctors and lawyers, could afford them. The tail, an unusual V shape, was designed to reduce both the weight and drag of the aluminum plane, helping to make it faster than most of its competitors. But unfortunately, the tail design was also attributed to an initial high accident rate. That early Bonanza became known as the “Doctor Killer.” The Beechcraft 35 Bonanza background was just one of many fascinating stories we learned as we wandered the Mid-America Air Museum in Liberal, Kansas. Located on the former Liberal Army Air Field, the museum displays over 100 planes, ranging from small home-built aircraft to large military jets.