Historical Places

Shirley, Long Island, NY

To many people's surprise Long Island is full of historical landmarks and places of historical significance. Most people would not think of Shirley as having anything of great importance but it was one of the eastern most towns that was originally planned to be the every man's haven walking distance of the ocean. It was dubbed the Town of Flowers by the orginal developers and it's initial aim was to attract people with it's promises of a bridge to Fire Island and employment opportunities from the newly built Brookhaven National Lab. The initial planning was never fully realized and Shirley has had it's share of hardships since the 1970s. A great book I recommend is Welcome to Shirley: A Memoir from an Atomic Town by Kelly McMasters. This book is excellently written and very informative. It is a nice balance of historical fact and a young person's personal story growing up in a particular neighborhood. It doesn't matter if you know the area well or not, but if you do, the book is even more interesting


The Pyramids of Egypt

The Egyptian pyramids are ancient pyramid-shaped masonry structures located in Egypt. There are 138 pyramids discovered in Egypt as of 2008. Most were built as tombs for the country's Pharaohs and their consorts during the Old and Middle Kingdom periods. The earliest known Egyptian pyramids are found at Saqqara, northwest of Memphis. Pyramids of EgyptThe earliest among these is the Pyramid of Djoser (constructed 2630 BCE–2611 BCE) which was built during the third dynasty. This pyramid and its surrounding complex were designed by the architect Imhotep, and are generally considered to be the world's oldest monumental structures constructed of dressed masonry[citation needed]. The estimate of the number of workers it took to build the pyramids have a wide range from a few thousand, twenty thousand, and up to 100,000. The most famous Egyptian pyramids are those found at Giza, on the outskirts of Cairo. Several of the Giza pyramids are counted among the largest structures ever built. The Pyramid of Khufu at Giza is the largest.



Alcatraz

I always wanted to see the notorious prison. Up until about 40 years ago, Alcatraz was considered the most fortified, inescapable, and solitary prisons in this country. There were a few movies made about it which added to it's mystique. One movie in paricular was the 1971 movie, Escape From Alcatraz that depicted a semi-true movie about 2 men who actually succeed in an escape.


The Great Wall of China

The Great Wall of China is not a continuous wall but is a collection of short walls that often follow the crest of hills on the southern edge of the Mongolian plain. The Great Wall of China, known as "long Wall of 10,000 Li" in China, extends about 8,850 kilometers (5,500 miles). A first set of walls, designed to keep Mongol nomads out of China, were built of earth and stones in wood frames during the Qin Dynasty (221-206 BCE). Some additions and modifications were made to these simple walls over the next millennium but the major construction of the "modern" walls began in the Ming Dynasty (1388-1644 CE). The Ming fortifications were established in new areas from the Qin walls. They were up to 25 feet (7.6 meters) high, 15 to 30 feet (4.6 to 9.1 meters) wide at the base, and from 9 to 12 feet (2.7 to 3.7 meters) wide at the top (wide enough for marching troops or wagons). At regular intervals, guard stations and watch towers were established. Since the Great Wall was discontinuous, Mongol invaders had no trouble breaching the wall by going around it, so the wall proved unsuccessful and was eventually abandoned. Additionally, a policy of mollification during the subsequent Ch'ing Dynasty that sought to pacify the Mongol leaders through religious conversion also helped to limit the need for the wall.


The Giant Redwood Forest

I always wanted to visit the Redwood Forrest in northern California even though it doesn't have that much historical significance. Redwood Forrest The trees are the largest in the world and some are thousands of years old. There were some scenes from The Return of the Jedi movie that were filmed there.