Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Spots that Hit the Spot

Two surefire ways to get warm: 1) head south and 2) drink a bit of hot toddy. Central Tennessee offers both warmer climes and whiskey so distinctive it's known the world over as Tennessee Whiskey. Jack Daniel's Distillery is in Lynchberg, Tennessee, just a little ways south of Nashville. Though not officially founded until 1875, they've been making the same Old No. 7 on this very spot since before the American Civil War. George Dickel, manufactured just down the road in Cascade Hollow, Tennessee, is a unique brand of a smoother sour mash whiskey, the only one of its kind. To read more about Jack Daniel's, click here. To read more about George Dickel, click here.

Chilling in More Ways Than One

In December of 1846, seven cold and ragged people staggered down through this mountain pass into Sutter's Fort to alert rescuers about the stranded Donner Party. Investigation led to the discovery that surviving members of the party had consumed the bodies of less fortunate members in order to stay alive, the most famous incident of cannibalism in American history. Today there is a Donner Memorial State Park where the group was trapped, and a memorial at nearby Donner Summit and Donner Pass. For more information about these two spots, click here.

The Side-by-Side Winter Retreats of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford

In Fort Myers, Florida, the side-by-side winter homes of Thomas Edison and Henry Ford are preserved together as museums dedicated to the lives and work of these technological pioneers. Edison and Ford lived on these estates during the winter months while working on some of their major innovations that have shaped modern society. Click here to read about the Thomas Edison Winter Retreat or here for more about Henry Ford's Winter Retreat.

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Million Dollar Quartet

52 years ago yesterday, on December 4, 1956, a musical miracle occurred at Sun Studios in Memphis, Tennessee. Legends Elvis Presley, Johnny Cash, Jerry Lee Lewis, and Carl Perkins were all coincidentally present to work on their own material. The group got together for an impromptu jam session, and a local photographer shot a picture of the now-famous event. The next day, when the photo was printed, the caption read "The Million Dollar Quartet." A few tracks from the session were released during the 1980s under the same name. For more information on the Million Dollar Quartet, click here.

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