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My Brush with History

The author was a high school football player when a junior coach from West Point tried to recruit him. Years later the player discovered who the now-famous coach was, and learned a valuable lesson. 

Life at a not quite embassy

Twenty-five years later I still find them turning up: small ceramic pandas, nail Read more >>

A Spirit Forged In Fire

This June my family and I will gather together to mark the hundredth anniversary of a tragedy. Read more >>

Free Passes to a Movie Milestone

One of the benefits of having a grandfather who was a former mayor of Boston, John F. (“Honey Fitz”) Fitzgerald, was that he had free passes to interesting events. Just by paying the tax on a baseball ticket, I could get into a Red Sox or a Braves game. Read more >>

Little-known information about the dirigible's final moments

In 1937 I was a nine-year-old living on the fifth floor of a six-story walkup in the Bronx. One warm day I went to open the kitchen window and I heard a great deal of noise from the street below. When I looked down, I saw a crowd of people staring up at the sky and pointing. Read more >>

Our platoon was probably the only Allied soldiers to witness the final degradation of Italian dictator Benito Mussolini.

In December of 1942 I was drafted and sent overseas to Oran, Algeria, where I was assigned to the 91st Cavalry Reconnaissance Squadron. The eyes and ears for the troops, we rode in jeeps, armored cars, and light tanks, scouting the numbers and supplies of the enemy forces. Read more >>


On November 1, 1950, All Saints’ Day, my twin sister and I joined four other cheerleaders from St. Read more >>

I was a writer on the staff of the Hunter College newspaper when Eleanor Roosevelt, completely alone, would stop by looking for someone to talk to.

The Roosevelt townhouse was only three blocks from Hunter College’s main building at Park Avenue at Sixty-eighth Street, and one day in 1940 Eleanor just walked in off the street. The door she opened was the entrance to Echo, the college magazine. Read more >>

Gen. MacArthur designated the author as engineer of the Marine invasion at Wonsan, and told him to accompany the first wave. This would sharpen his mind, MacArthur said, "like an imminent hanging."

On June 27,1950, two days after the North Koreans invaded South Korea, I received a memorandum: Read more >>

 “This is the White House calling,” the voice on the phone told the language teacher 

From 1957 to 1980 I taught German at the Foreign Service Institute School of Language Studies, run by the Department of State in Washington, D.C. Classes were small, seldom more than four students, and I spent six hours every day with them, five days a week for five months. Read more >>
My mother loved parades and early on imbued me with a love of same. An incident at one sticks in my mind. I believe it was in 1926 or 1927. I can’t be sure as I was only a small boy then. Read more >>
The greatest challenge for the editors of this magazine since its beginnings thirty-five years ago has been to make the events and personalities of the past come alive again. Read more >>

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