Tuesday, March 29, 2005

The Bob Newhart Show: On Location

A statue of comedian Bob Newhart was originally located in front of the Chicago office building at 430 N. Michigan Avenue that was featured in the opening credits of his 1970's sitcom, The Bob Newhart Show, as the building where his psychological office was located.

Address: Realtors Office Building, 430 N. Michigan Avenue, Chicago, Illinois 60611-4002. (The building is across Michigan Avenue from the Tribune Tower, a well-known Chicago landmark.

Monday, March 28, 2005

Self-Publishing Hall of Fame

I just added a new web site to expand upon my Self-Publishers Hall of Fame. You can click on it here: http://www.selfpublishinghalloffame.com.

The site is just being worked on. It currently features the great self-publishers with last names beginning with "A". I hope you'll check them out.

I've also begun work on another web site at http://www.traveltriviatime.com, which goes along with my Travel Trivia Time blog.

Again, I've just begun working on it, but I already feature around 100 special museums, world capitals, halls of fame, world's biggest, and world's first places. It's a site to see. Enjoy.

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Birthplace of the Navy Frogman

To meet the need for a beach reconnaissance force during World War II, selected Army and Navy personnel assembled at the Amphibious Training Base, Little Creek, Fort Pierce on 15 August 1942 to begin Amphibious Scouts and Raiders training. These trainees were the forerunners of today's Navy Seals.

This museum is the only museum in the world dedicated exclusively to the elite warriors of Naval Special Warfare.

Address: Navy Seal Museum, 3300 North A1A, North Hutchinson Island, Fort Pierce, Florida 34949; 772-595-5845. Web: http://www.navysealmuseum.com.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

World's Only Corn Palace

The World's Only Corn Palace in Mitchell, a monument to agriculture, is more than 100 years old. The outside is decorated with murals created with native South Dakota corn and grasses.

Address: Mitchell Corn Palace, 604 North Main, Mitchell, South Dakota 57301; 605-995-8427; 866-273-2676. Email: tourisminfo@santel.net. Web: http://www.cornpalace.com.

Friday, March 25, 2005

The Gunfight at the O.K. Corral

The most famous gun fight of the Old West and the highlight of many movies was the gunfight at the O.K. Corral (October 26, 1881). This 30-second battle between the Earps and Doc Holiday against the Clantons and McLaurys is now reenacted every day. Indeed, in Tombstone, gunfights occur regularly around town between noon and 4:00 p.m. Be careful who you insult!

Address: O.K. Corral, 308 E. Allen Street, P.O. Box 367, Tombstone, Arizona 85638; 520-457-3456; 800-518-1566. Email: okcorral@ok-corral.com. Web: http://www.ok-corral.com.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Tupelo Honey Capital of the World

Tupelo honey is produced from the tupelo gum tree (Nyssa Ogeche) which grows along the Apalachicola, Choctahatchee and Ochlockonee rivers and their tributaries in northwest Florida. These river valleys are the only places in the world where Tupelo honey is produced commercially.

All of the swamp lands and bee yards featured in the 1997 film Ulee's Gold, starring Peter Fonda, belonged to the Laniers, one of the key producers of Tupelo honey.

Address: L.L. Lanier & Son's Tupelo Honey, P.O. Box 706, Wewahitchka, Florida 32465; 850-639-2371. Email: lltupelo@digitalexp.com. Web: http://www.lltupelohoney.com.

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Barter Theatre

This local theater, known as the State Theater of Virginia, received its name because area residents would barter ham for Hamlet during the Depression. Opened in 1933, Barter is the longest-running professional residence theatre in the United States. Among the actors who have acted upon its stage are Gregory Peck, Patricia Neal, Ernest Borgnine, Gary Collins, Larry Linville, Hume Cronyn, and Ned Beatty.

Address: Barter Theatre, 133 W. Main Street, P.O. Box 867, Abingdon, Virginia 24212; 276-628-3991. Web: http://www.bartertheatre.com.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

World's Largest Rose Tree

The canopy of the World's Largest Rose Tree in Tombstone, Arizona spreads across more than 8,000 square feet. That's a lot of shade! Planted in 1885, the Lady Blankia rose has more than a million blossoms. That's a lot of scent! Take it all in while visiting the Town Too Tough to Die.

Address: Rose Tree Inn, Museum & Gift Shop, 116 South Fourth Street, P.O. Box 808, Tombstone, Arizona 85638; 520-457-3326. Web: http://exploretombstone.com/rosetree.html.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Farm Toy Capital of the World

Dyersville is the Farm Toy Capital of the World.

Address: National Farm Toy Museum, 1110 16th Avenue Court SE, Dyersville, Iowa 52040; 563-875-2727. Email: farmtoys@dyersville.com. Web: http://www.nftmonline.com or http://www.nationalfarmtoymuseum.com.

Sunday, March 20, 2005

Ballooning Hall of Fame

Indianola is home to the National Balloon Museum as well as the annual National Balloon Classic at the beginning of August. The museum features the history of hot-air and gas ballooning as well as ballooning events and people.

Address: National Balloon Museum, 1601 N. Jefferson, Indianola, Iowa 50125; 515-961-3714. Web: http://www.nationalballoonmuseum.com.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

American Gothic House

In a 1930 visit, Iowa artist Grant Wood sketched this house which he later used in the background for one of the most famous American paintings of all times, the American Gothic masterpiece featured above. This painting has probably been copied and spoofed more times than any other painting (with the possible exception of the Mona Lisa).

Address: American Gothic House, 301 American Gothic Street, Eldon, Iowa 52554; 641-652-3406. Email: gothicman@lisco.com. Web:

Friday, March 18, 2005

World's Crookedest Street: Snake Alley

According to Ripley's Believe It or Not, Snake Alley in Burlington, Iowa is the Crookedest Street in the World. The alley consists of 5 half curves and two quarter curves as it drops 58 feet over a distance of 275 feet.

Address: Snake Alley, between Washington and Columbia Streets, Burlington, Iowa 52601; 319-752-6365; 800-82-RIVER. Web: http://www.snakealley.com.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

The Little Brown Church in the Vale

This small church was made famous in the song “The Church in the Wildwood,” which was written in 1857 by local resident Dr. William S. Pitts.
There's a church in the valley by the wildwood,
No lovelier spot in the dale;
No place is so dear to my childhood,
As the little brown church in the vale.

Oh, come to the church in the vale,
To the trees where the wild flowers bloom;
Where the parting hymn will be chanted,
We will weep by the side of the tomb.

How sweet on a clear Sabbath morning,
To list to the clear ringing bell;
Its tones so sweetly are calling,
Oh come to the church in the vale.

From the church in the valley by the wildwood,
When day fades away into night,
I would fain from this spot of my childhood
Wing my way to the mansions of light.

Come to the church by the wildwood,
Oh, come to the church in the vale.

Address: Little Brown Church in the Vale, 2730 Cheyenne Avenue, Nashua, Iowa 50658; 641-435-2027. Email: info@littlebrownchurch.org. Web: http://www.littlebrownchurch.org.

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Stonehenge: A Mystical Place

Stonehenge is the world's only stone circle that features horizontal lintels. Plus, of course, it's one of the world's most fascinating places and most recognizable.

Address: Stonehenge World Heritage Site Team, English Heritage, 1st Floor Abbey Square, Amesbury, Wiltshire, SP4 7ES England; 011-44-198-062-6267. Web: http://www.english-heritage.org.uk/stonehenge.

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Hot Springs National Park

On April 20, 1832, the U.S. Congress established the Hot Springs Reservation, which makes it the oldest park in the National Park System (although it did not become a national park until many years later).

Address: Hot Springs National Park, P O Box 1860, Hot Springs AR 71902; 501-624-3383. Web: http://www.nps.gov/hosp.

Monday, March 14, 2005

Crater of Diamonds! ! !

The Crater of Diamonds is the only diamond mine in the world open to the public.

Address: Crater of Diamonds State Park, 209 State Park Road, Murfreesboro, Arkansas 71958; 870-285-3113. Email:

Sunday, March 13, 2005

#2 Ticonderoga Pencil Capital of the World

Introduced in 1913, all yellow #2 Ticonderoga pencils are made in Versailles, Missouri. The pencil line was named for Fort Ticonderoga, the Revolutionary War fort in New York state. The Ticonderoga, the world’s best-selling pencil, is crafted from reforested California cedar.

Address: Dixon Ticonderoga Company, 302 Fairgrounds Road, P O Box 10, Versailles, Missouri 65084; 573-378-5493.

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge

Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge in North Dakota hosts the nation's largest population of sharp-tailed grouse. The combo of wetlands and native grasslands offers a perfect home for many birds including grasshopper sparrows, marbled godwits, and Sprague's pipers.

Address: Lostwood National Wildlife Refuge, 8315 Highway 8, Kenmare, North Dakota 58746-9046; 701-848-2722. Email: lostwood@fws.gov.

Friday, March 11, 2005

Alligator Capital ofthe World

Gatorland in Orlando, Florida is known as the Alligator Capital of the World. It's even got the trademark to prove it.

Address: Gatorland, 14501 S Orange Blossom Trail, Orlando, Florida 32837; 800-393-JAWS.

Thursday, March 10, 2005

Mammoth Spring

Near Ocala, Florida lies Mammoth Spring, the world's largest artesian limestone spring, which feeds the Silver River which, itself, contains 99.8% pure water. The Silver Springs Park located near Ocala has been featured in many movies, including Tarzan, The Yearling, and The Creature from the Black Lagoon, as well as the Sea Hunt TV series.

Address: Silver Springs, 5656 E. Silver Springs Boulevard, Silver Springs, Florida 34488; 352-236-2121; 800-234-7458.

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

The Seven Wonders of the World

A group of students were asked to list what they thought were the present Seven Wonders of the World. Though there were some disagreements, the following received the most votes:

1. Egypt's Great Pyramids
2. Taj Mahal
3. Grand Canyon
4. Panama Canal
5. Empire State Building
6. St. Peter's Basilica
7. China's Great Wall

While gathering the votes, the teacher noted that one student had not finished her paper yet. So she asked the girl if she was having trouble with her list. The girl replied, "Yes, a little. I couldn't quite make up my mind because there were so many."

The teacher said, "Well, tell us what you have, and maybe we can help."

The girl hesitated, then read, "I think the Seven Wonders of the World are:

1. To See

2. To Hear

3. To Touch

4. To Taste

5. To Feel

6. To Laugh

7. And to Love."

The room was so quiet you could have heard a pin drop. The things we overlook as simple and ordinary and that we take for granted are truly wondrous!

A gentle reminder--that the most precious things in life cannot be built by hand or bought by man.

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Shenandoah Shakespeare's Blackfriars Playhouse

This playhouse is the world's only re-creation of Shakespeare's original indoor theater. It's open year-round for performances and tours. To do or not do, that is the question!

Address: Shenandoah Shakespeare's Blackfriars Playhouse, 10 S. Market Street, Staunton, Virginia 24401; 540-885-5588; 877-682-4236.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Birthplace of Country Music

Bristol, Virginia is known as the Birthplace of Country Music because of the original recordings made in Bristol during the 1927 Bristol Sessions.

Address: Birthplace of Country Music Alliance Museum, 500 Gate City Highway, Bristol, Virginia 24201; 276-645-0035.

Saturday, March 05, 2005

America's Stonehenge

The Coral Castle in Florida is known as America's Stonehenge. It features a nine-tone gate, a one-of-a-kind sundial, and an incredible coral castle.

Address: Coral Castle, 28655 S. Dixie Highway, Homestead, Florida 33033-1214; 305-248-6345.

Friday, March 04, 2005

The Million Mile Pickup Truck

Clifton Copeland of Garysburg, North Carolina bought a 1986 Ford F-150 pickup from his uncle in 1991. As of 2005, the truck has more than 1.2 million miles on it. And it's still running find. Clifton stills drives it to work 360 miles every day (180 to and 180 back). His secret? Simple maintenance repairs are really important. He changes the oil every 4,000 miles and the antifreeze every two years. Since owning the truck, he has had to replace one distributor, three alternators, three starters, and the timing chain. And he's gone through a few tires.

Address: Garysburg, North Carolina

Thursday, March 03, 2005

War Correspondents Arch

The War Correspondents Arch was built in 1885 by George Alfred Townsend, an author and former Civil War correspondent. It is the only monument in the world erected to the memory of war correspondents.

Address: War Correspondents Arch, South Mountain Recreation Area, 21843 National Pike, Boonsboro, Maryland 21713; 301-791-4767.

In the same recreation area, a rugged stone tower was the first monument erected to George Washington, the Father of our Country (United States).

Address: Washington Monument State Park, South Mountain Recreation Area, 21843 National Pike, Boonsboro, Maryland 21713; 301-432-8065.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

The Parthenon

The Parthenon in Nashville's Centennial Park is the only full-scale reproduction of the famous Greek temple. The Athena Parthenos, at 42 feet in height, is the tallest indoor sculpture in the Western world.

Address: The Parthenon, 2600 West End Avenue, Nashville, Tennessee 37203; 615-862-8431.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Birthplace of Pepsi

In his pharmacy on this spot, Caleb Bradham invented Brad's Drink, which later became known as Pepsi-Cola. Enjoy a Pepsi at the soda fountain today!

Address: Birthplace of Pepsi, 256 Middle Street, New Bern, North Carolina 28560; 252-636-5898.