11 blogs to celebrate hope and glory

Celebrate everything that’s great about this nation!

Celebrate everything that’s great about this nation!
Image: Paul Weaver

To celebrate July 4th, we’ve compiled a collection of the websites and blogs we think best express the multifaceted awesomeness of our nation. From the Americana Triangle to the cowboy code of the old West, and from the vibrancy of today’s sports scene to the lowdown on cooking the best ribs you ever tasted, here’s a Samuel Windsor celebration of all things American.

Americana Music Triangle

Get the low-down on the routes that take you to the best live music

Get the low-down on the routes that take you to the best live music
Image: sevenMaps7

From the moon it’s just a triangle. But this tiny sliver of the Southeastern United States left its permanent mark on the world.” Welcome to the Americana Music Triangle, home of Blues, Jazz, Country, Rock’n’ Roll, R&B/Soul, Gospel, Southern Gospel, Cajun/Zydeco and Bluegrass – with all that musical history packed into one small triangle, a road trip is a must.

Here to help, Americana Music Triangle gives you everything you need to know to get you on the road – the dates, the history, the route map, and much more. Fancy driving the “Delta Highway”? Here you’ll find the history, stopping places, and most importantly, the local knowledge you need to find the best live music venues along the way.

Belly Up Sports

Keep up to date with your favorite sports

Keep up to date with your favorite sports
Image: Belly Up Sports

What’s your take on basketball players skipping the college game in favor of going overseas for the money? Is it time our five-star recruits got paid, or should they do their “civil duty” without complaint? Do you agree that this year’s “Hard Knocks” stars, the Oakland Raiders, are the best choice to come under the HBO spotlight?

All your favorite sports debates, plus news, views and podcasts too – this fan’s eye-view of the sporting world will quickly become your go-to resource. As the guys at Belly Up Sports say: “We hope you enjoy our bold takes, updates and all things sports!”

The Bowery Boys

There were no safety harnesses when the Empire State Building was built

There were no safety harnesses when the Empire State Building was built
Image: The Bowery Boys

How well do you know the Big Apple? Well enough to know there was once a life size battleship in Times Square? Or how about an introduction to The Tombs – the once notorious Five Points’ House of Detention. Built to resemble an Egyptian mausoleum, it was home to a gallows from which swung many of the worst of NYC’s 19th century criminals.

If you’d like to know more about the “city that never sleeps”, you need to read this wonderfully informative blog, and tune into the long-running Bowery Boys podcast– a bi-weekly show hosted by friends, Greg and Tom. It gives a fascinating and entertaining insight into one of the greatest cities of the world.

The Classic Hollywood Blog

How much do you know about ‘blonde bombshell’ Jean Harlow?

How much do you know about ‘blonde bombshell’ Jean Harlow?
Image: Time Inc., Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer photograph by Harvey White [Public domain]

There’s nothing like a good drunk scene to really put the cherry on the top of a great movie,” say the guys at The Classic Hollywood Blog. With it’s rather dour name, 1943’s “Government Girl” doesn’t exactly excite the imagination, but this is a fine bit of silver screen action set during WW2, and detailing interesting period domestic issues – like the housing shortage in wartime Washington D.C. And yes, it ends with a wonderful drunk scene.

Packed with reviews and discussion points from the golden age of the silver screen, this site is an encyclopedia of knowledge about the glamor of Hollywood. If you’re a movie lover, check out this celebration of all that’s wonderful about classic American film.

Click Americana

Vintage adverts offer fascinating glimpses into American social history

Vintage adverts offer fascinating glimpses into American social history
Image: AXpop

Ever wondered just how Harry Houdini escaped his handcuffs and leg irons to free himself from a packing trunk plunged into the icy waters off the East River Pier in New York? Find out by reading the great showman’s own words here at American history site – Click Americana.

Here you’ll find over 3,000 history articles – a labor of love – dedicated to all things vintage American. From the 1900s through to the 1990s, you’ll find myriad fascinating glimpses of American society and culture through the decades. Like design and architecture? You’ll love this tour of the ultimate mid-century modern house: The Scholz Mark 58 Home of the Year.

Discover America

The Virginia Creeper Trail is one of the most scenic bike routes in the whole nation

The Virginia Creeper Trail is one of the most scenic bike routes in the whole nation
Image: Eli Christman (CC by 2.0)

Very few places in America exist with such authenticity. This is definitely a must-visit location!” The place? It’s America’s oldest family business – the Shirley Plantation on the James River in Charles City County, Virginia. The same family has farmed this tract of land for the past 12 generations – a time period spanning four hundred years.

Find out all about the history and lineage of this spectacular mansion and grounds, courtesy of history enthusiast, Tim Murphy. A man you’ll often find at the bottom of a hole digging for lost treasures, or out and about exploring civil war sites, Tim is never less than engaging and inspiring – get your history fix by adding his Discover America blog to your list of favorites.

Fashion Historia

Children in 1955 - from toddlers through to teens - wanted this leather motorcycle jacket

Children in 1955 – from toddlers through to teens – wanted this leather motorcycle jacket
Image: Fashion Historia

Who knew Mussolini influenced women’s knitwear in the US? So taken were they with the motorcycle jacket Mussolini wore in 1933, that designers took it as the inspiration for that season’s ski knitwear lines, creating a beige and brown woolen reproduction with matching hat. Fascinating stuff courtesy of fashion historian, author, lecturer, and museum consultant, Heather Vaughan Lee.

At Fashion Historia you’ll find a wealth of articles, book reviews and more detailing the world of American and world fashion down the decades – complete with quirky asides. Like the fact that in 1955, a leather motorcycle jacket was perfectly acceptable smart casual wear for your six year old…

Legends of America

Real stories from the American Frontier

Real stories from the American Frontier
Image: Legends of America

Remove your guns before sitting at the dining table – just one of the unwritten rules by which the cowboys of the old West lived their harsh outdoor lives. Other rules include: never try on another man’s hat and; always drink your whiskey with your gun hand to show your good intentions.

If you love cowboy history, here’s the site for you. Iconic, revered, and often emulated, many would say the cowboy is the epitome of the American spirit – resourceful, courageous, generous, polite, and lethal. Legends of America owner-editor, Kathy Weiser-Alexander has a deep-seated love for history and travel, and her writings will have you returning again and again.

Lost American Recipes

Keep traditional vintage recipes alive

Keep traditional vintage recipes alive
Image: katebic

Anyone for a slice of Civil War Harrison Molasses Cake? This recipe from 1863 includes “Two cups of molasses, one cup of butter, one cup sugar, one cup sour cream, one teaspoonful cloves, one of saleratus, two teacups currants.” Sounds quite rich, but can you guess what saleratus is? Check out the article to find out!

A history of the United States in food, Lost American Recipes is the brainchild of journalist, blogger, non-fiction writer, coffee drinker, and New York Times writer and editor Deborah White. How about a slice of Hershey’s Demon Chocolate Cake (recipe 1934) with your coffee?

Sport in American History

Cassius Clay (who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali) knocking out Liston

Cassius Clay (who later changed his name to Muhammad Ali) knocking out Liston
Image: Av Frictional – Eget verk, CC BY-SA 4.0

Today, Muhammad Ali is remembered more as an ‘American’ icon than a ‘Muslim American’ icon,” but in 1965, things were very different. Ali had recently changed his name and embraced the Nation of Islam, and in the run up to his fight with the Catholic Floyd Patterson, the war of words between the two boxers turned the match into a politically charged moral crusade.

A fascinating insight into the history of sport in America, Sport in American History is candid, revealing and always interesting. What’s the best sports movie you’ve probably never seen? Clue: it’s set in the 1980s and features basketball…

What’s Cooking America

Blueberry pancakes dish from What's Cooking America

Brush up on your classic dishes with these tasty recipes
Image: What’s Cooking America

How do you like your steak? If you’re looking for a killer marinade to tantalize your guests’ taste buds, you’ve come to the right place. Check out What’s Cooking America’s Big Hoss Flank Steak recipe for a marinade and a steak that’s juicy, tender and utterly delicious.

Celebrating the best of American cooking for over 20 years, this is a cornucopia of cuisine – from the basics – the perfect prime rib roast – right through to the history of the trifle. If you can put it on a fork and eat it, What’s Cooking America will have the recipe for you.

We hope you enjoyed our collection of the best of American websites – a round up of all that’s unique and special about our great nation. Happy 4th July!

Posted in Blogs we love.

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