Thursday, November 3, 2016

El Galeon

from America's Historic Triangle
by SeeingTheUSA

An authentic replica of a 17th century Spanish Galleon docked at Riverwalk Landing Piers in Yorktown, VA November 2, 2016.  This is the first Class A ship, a square-rigged vessel more than 40 meters long, to visit Yorktown since 2005.

The Galleons were used by the Spanish Crown in the 16th, 17th and 18th centuries for discovering and establishing trading routes.

The ship is 164 feet long with three masts holding seven sails.


Well, not TOTALLY authentic
The replica has diesel inboard engines as well as GPS

This El Galeon replica was built in 2009-10 by Nao Victoria, a Spanish non-profit foundation. El Galeon can cross the Atlantic in 24 days compared to 3 months when sails provided the only power. When there was no wind, the ship didn't move.  

There is a 20 man crew.  Raising the sails takes all 20 men three hours.  

This ship has sailed over 35,000 nautical miles traveling around the world to keep history alive.

The next two pictures are of Schooner Alliance, a 105' Yorktown-ported ship that is available for charter and cruises in season.  

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Two Party System OK?

from America's Historic Triangle
by SeeingTheUSA

George Washington was a President without a party.  Thomas Jefferson challenged John  Adams under the banner of the Democratic-Republican party...the first real party.

Democratic implies - will of the people
Republican implies - rule of law (protection from potential tyranny of a majority)

In 1828, war hero, Andrew Jackson became the first President of a new party - Democrats, called the "true party" of the people.

The Northern Abolitionists Movement gave birth to a new party in 1856 - Republicans.
Abraham Lincoln was the first successful President from the Republican party in 1860.

History records 1864 as the true beginning of the two-party system.  Historically, the Republicans have been more Northern and pro-business and the Democrats Southern and more populist.

The Great Depression - business had so completely failed the people, the Democrats (party of the people) under Franklin D. Roosevelt, won the support of the majority. The Democrats kept power through 1968, with the exception of war hero - Dwight Eisenhower.

The Democrats pretty much defined themselves as the party of the people - the poor, the middle class and the growing labor movement.  The Republicans redefined themselves as the party of individual and states rights, tax cuts, reduced government spending and smaller government.

It appears that Americans identify more with Democratic positions even when they elect a Republican.  Since FDR, the parties have been divided along class lines.  However, the Christian Right and fear of losing basic personal individual freedoms and desire for less "big government" have kept the Republican party viable.

We saw how the Vietnam war divided this country.  It hurt the Democrat position.

A Democratic President has been in power for 92 years and a Republican President for 89 years.

As I sit here in America's Historic Triangle studying the birth of a nation, an untested experiment, I think just how it's all such an impossibility.  I just read 1776 by David McCullough.  There were insurmountable hurdles at every turn.  But here we are.

I'll admit I'm not super excited about going to the polls on November 8, but I'll be there.  The two-party system is OK!  We have checks and balances.

On June 18, 1779, the Virginia state legislature was presented with the results of one of the most extraordinary projects in the history of the American Enlightenment. That morning a committee led by Thomas Jefferson and George Wythe introduced a comprehensive set of 126 new laws designed to transform the Declaration of Rights' ideals into reality.  It included proposals to ensure religious freedom, establish public education, create a fair criminal justice system and abolish slavery.  Many delegates were not interested in changing their society either so quickly or so dramatically and opposed the measures.

It wasn't easy in the Capital's not easy in the Capital today.

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Yorktown Day Celebration

from America's Historic Triangle
by SeeingTheUSA

October 19, 2016 - commemorating the 235th anniversary of the victory at Yorktown


Stage for the program at the Yorktown Victory Monument

Color Guard

Memorial wreath in place

After the ceremony, we watched a film in the National Park Service Visitor Center.

Crowd has dispersed

We stopped for ham biscuits, apple pie and sweet tea.

Along the Riverwalk...

An annual pass for Colonial Williamsburg is $66.99. It is half price for veterans...AND $10.00 for residents.  Kris and I tell people we moved here for the $10.00 "Good Neighbor" ticket at Colonial Williamsburg. Also as a resident, we have access to Jamestown Settlement and the American Revolution Museum at Yorktown at no charge.

Saturday, October 15, 2016

American Revolution Museum at Yorktown

From America's Historic Triangle - Yorktown, VA
by SeeingTheUSA

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown has scheduled a Grand Opening Celebration
for March 23 - April 4, 2017.

Today Kris and I attended the Yorktown Victory Celebration and NEW MUSEUM Preview to commemorate the 235th anniversary of the 1781 Revolutionary War victory at Yorktown.

The American Revolution Museum at Yorktown is the realization of a master plan adopted by the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation, the Virginia state agency that operates the museum.  This museum replaces the Yorktown Victory Center that is part of the National Park Service.  The actual battlegrounds of the Siege of Yorktown remain within the NPS.

Work on the new museum began on this 22 acre site in mid 2012, with a cornerstone dedication on May 10, 2013, implementation of its name on October 15, 2016 and a planned open house in 2017.

Patrick Henry

The $50 million project is funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia and donations.

The Victory Center only depicts the Siege of Yorktown, whereas this new museum includes the entire American Revolution.  Outside is the construction of a re-created Continental Army encampment and Revolution-era farm.

The museum has 5 major themes: The British Empire and America, The changing relationship-Britain and North America, Revolution, The New Nation and The American People.

An introductory film. Liberty Fever, draws visitors into the world of Revolutionary America by hearing accounts of several who were actually involved in the war.

We were also in an experiential theater that transported us to the Battle of the Capes and Siege of Yorktown in 1781.  There was a 180° screen, visible incoming cannonballs, vibrating seats, smoke, smell of dirt, with loud blasts and bright flashes.

Retired New York police officer enjoys his hobby in America's Historic Triangle


Benjamin Franklin was able to achieve an unexpected favorable diplomatic success that protected the interests of the United States.  The final peace treaty, signed in Paris on September 3, 1783, by Great Britain, France and Spain recognized American independence and acknowledged that the United States would now play a role in world affairs.  The new nation's boundaries would extend from Canada and the Great Lakes southward to the border of Florida and west to the Mississippi River.

The last British soldiers left New York in November 1783.  

Earlier in the day, 3 proud grandparents were with their granddaughter at a cheerleading invitational.