A Light in Rome

A Light in Rome

    Imagine you are in ancient Rome inside the famous building, the Pantheon, and it is noon on April 21—the traditional anniversary date for the birth of Rome. Light pours through a circular opening in the Pantheon’s massive domed roof, streaming down...

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Cubs Win! The Crazy 1908 Season

Cubs Win! The Crazy 1908 Season

  If you were among the millions who watched the dramatic seventh game of the World Series last year, you might have come away thinking you saw the greatest game of all time. The game was a nail-biter, as the Chicago Cubs finally won their first World Series...

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Location, Location, Location: Doing Novel Research On-Site

Location, Location, Location: Doing Novel Research On-Site

NOTE—An earlier blog, Doing Your Research Right, discussed my research habits when writing historical novels. This is a follow-up blog.  *  *  * I guess I should have known what day it was when I showed up at the old watchtower in Berlin in 2011. I didn’t...

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The Artist Every Christian Should Know

The Artist Every Christian Should Know

Most people have heard of Michelangelo, Leonardo, Donatello, and Raphael, although some primarily know them as the names of the four Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. Their true fame came from being four of the greatest Italian artists in history. If they ever add a fifth...

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Audrey Hepburn Versus the Nazis

Audrey Hepburn Versus the Nazis

  The teenage girl entered the forest on what appeared to be an ordinary stroll, stopping to pick wildflowers along the way. In truth, she was on a secret mission to deliver an important message to a British paratrooper hiding in the Arnhem forest during World...

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Why Herod the Great Was Not So Great

Why Herod the Great Was Not So Great

With the Olympic games of 2016 still fresh in my memory, I was surprised to learn recently that just before the time of Jesus, Herod the Great rescued the Olympic games and made sure they continued to be played on various Greek islands. He did this because he loved...

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The Amazing Story of John Newton

The Amazing Story of John Newton

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now am found, Was blind but now I see. Chances are, you have heard these lyrics many times. These are the words from "Amazing Grace," one of the greatest songs of all time. What you...

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The Crown and the Killer Fog

The Crown and the Killer Fog

One of my favorite new TV series has been the Netflix original, The Crown, which tells the fascinating story of Queen Elizabeth II, current queen of the United Kingdom. The Crown focuses on the early years when Elizabeth first became queen in 1952, and one of the...

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You’re a Good Man, Charles Schulz

You’re a Good Man, Charles Schulz

I can still remember when I first saw A Charlie Brown Christmas. The Christmas special aired on December 9, 1965, and I would have just turned 10 years old. I recall being out on the playground across the street from my house in the Chicago suburb of Villa Park when I...

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The Ladies in White Live On

The Ladies in White Live On

Fidel Castro is dead. But the Ladies in White live on. Yoani Sanchez, one of the strongest voices for freedom in Cuba, tells about the origins of the Ladies in White movement in a 2011 opinion piece in The Washington Post: "Eight years ago, Laura Pollan was a...

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History by the Slice