The 16th of September
Mexico's Independence Day - The Story - In the early morning hours of Sunday, September 16 (diez y seis de Septiembre), 1810, Father Miguel Hidalgo y Costilla, parish priest, rushed through the dark cobblestone streets of the community of Dolores to his Nuestra Señora de los Dolores church to ring the tower bell. He came, not to summon his flock to the morning's services, but, rather, to sound the alarm to an impending crisis. He had learned that authorities had discovered a local plot to revolt against the oppression of Spanish rule, bringing freedom to the colony of New Spain, now Mexico.
He knew that the conspirators, including himself, would certainly face arrest and, probably, execution. He knew that rebellion could wait no longer. From the church pulpit, before a rapidly growing crowd, Father Hidalgo issued a shout for the independence of his nation. It would become known as el Grito de Dolores, the Cry of Dolores. Although his exact words went unrecorded, they ignited Mexico's War for Independence. Hidalgo would become a legend-the Father of Mexican Independence. More...
Africanized Honey Bees
Killer Bees - Africanized honey bees (AHB) -- also called Africanized bees or killer bees -- are descendants of southern African bees imported in 1956 by Brazilian scientists attempting to breed a honey bee better adapted to the South American tropics. When some of these bees escaped quarantine in 1957, they began breeding with local Brazilian honey bees, quickly multiplying and extending their range throughout South and Central America at a rate greater than 200 miles per year. In the past decade, AHB began invading North America.
Africanized bees acquired the name killer bees because they will viciously attack people and animals who unwittingly stray into their territory, often resulting in serious injury or death. It is not necessary to disturb the hive itself to initiate an AHB attack. In fact, Africanized bees have been known to respond viciously to mundane occurrences, including noises or even vibrations from vehicles, equipment and pedestrians. More...
Grand Canyon Railway - "Go west young man," was an expression made popular by 19th century editorialist Horace Greely. Those words were penned in 1851 by John Babsone Lane Soule and they have inspired men and women to travel west for nearly 150 years. The romantic magnetism of the west has drawn cowboys, businessmen, kings, gamblers, thieves, miners, inventors and dreamers from their comfortable homes. They have come from every far-flung corner of the earth.
Have you ever wondered what the west was like before it was bought, sold and parceled into little pieces? Have you ever wished that you could take a time machine and live in the 19th century? With only a few modern reminders of humankind's existence along the 64-mile ribbon of steel, the Grand Canyon Railway (GCR) and a vivid imagination are the only tools necessary to travel back to the turn-of-the-century wild west. More...
Tallest Mountain in the Lower 48 States
Climbing Mt. Whitney - Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the lower 48 states, rises like the phoenix from the western rim of the Great Basin Desert of California. At an elevation of 14, 495 feet, Whitney looms high above Death Valley, the lowest point in North America at 262 feet below sea level, less than 100 miles to the east.
Located within the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range of Sequoia National Park, Mt. Whitney is situated on the east side of the Great Western Divide, a chain of mountains that runs north/south through the center of the park, and is therefore not visible from any of the roads to the west. More...
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