The Story of Grand Central’s OTHER Ceiling Mural

While most people are familiar with the massive celestial mural in Manhattan’s Grand Central Terminal (I’ve done two separate articles about it myself), most don’t realize the storied railroad hub is home to another vaulted work of art.  Located in the Graybar Passage, between Grand Central Market and the Graybar building, 20 feet above commuters’ heads is an oft-overlooked painting devoted to Jazz Age industry and innovation.

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Continue reading “The Story of Grand Central’s OTHER Ceiling Mural”

What Did Shakespeare Really Look Like?

Greetings, folks!  Just finished up a new Bookworm History episode over on the YouTube channel!  This one’s all about the various portraits and pictures thought to depict the Bard of Stratford-on-Avon, William Shakespeare and whether any of them accurately illustrate what he looked like.  Check it out!

Do you think any of these images actually depict Shakespeare?  Leave your thoughts in the comments!

St. Louis, Missouri. Capital of the United States?

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Image used by CC-4.0, wikicommons user Daniel Schwen

While nowadays it seems a foregone conclusion that the United States capital city is Washington DC, for the first 100 years of the country’s existence it was hardly so defined.  The location, ten square miles straddling the Potomac River with portions in both Maryland and Virginia, was established by law in 1790 with the Permanent Seat of Government Act (legislation recently dramatized by the song “The Room Where It Happens” from the musical Hamilton), but this didn’t satisfy all Americans.  Over the course of the young country’s first century, the topic of where to locate the capital would come up three more times.

Continue reading “St. Louis, Missouri. Capital of the United States?”

“Childe Roland to the Dark Tower Came”

“There they stood, ranged along the hill-sides, met
To view the last of me, a living frame
For one more picture! in a sheet of flame
I saw them and I knew them all. And yet
Dauntless the slug-horn to my lips I set,
And blew ‘Childe Roland to the Dark Tower came.'”

Stephen King took Childe Roland from Robert Browning who got it from Shakespeare. So where the heck did Shakespeare get it from?  In this episode of “Bookworm History” we’ll delve into the stories behind the tale of “Childe Roland” and examine the changes it went through on its way to King’s “The Dark Tower” epic!  Click on the title card below to check it out!
Childe Roland Mark II

“The Phantom of the Opera” by Gaston Leroux

Greetings, fellow bookworms!  I hope you’ve all recovered from whatever New Year’s festivities struck your fancy.  I just put the finishing touches on a brand new episode of Bookworm History over on the Youtube channel.  In this episode I explore some of the fictions and some of the facts that inspired French author Gaston Leroux to pen his most famous novel “The Phantom of the Opera”!

Click the title card to check it out and, as always, thanks for stopping by!

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