Hundreds of people lined up today to be the first to visit MLK Memorial, a national landmark dedicated Martin Luther King, Jr., one of the pioneers of the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s. King is the first non-president and first African-American to be memorialized on the National Mall in Washington, DC.
The Memorial includes a 30-foot statue of the civil rights leader, and 14 quotes from his speeches hand-carved into a 450-foot granite wall.
President Obama is scheduled to speak at the memorial’s formal dedication on Sunday, Aug. 28. Organizers believe more than a half million people will attend the dedication ceremony this weekend.
Plan your next vacation to see other historic sites in the US. Check out Travel Channel’s History USA travel ideas.
Spots to Follow M.L.K.’s Life
Civil Rights Movement Destinations
Historic Lunch Counter Sit-In
Photo: ULTra PRT
Driverless pod cars may be coming to a city near you. The automated pods are already ferrying passengers to and from Terminal 5 at Heathrow Airport in London. The 22 new, electric-power pods can carry up to 4 travelers and their bags. They travel up to 25 mph on a 2.4 mile-stretch at the airport, and instead of a railway, lines that can be used for optical navigation.
The pods can even run during light snowfall, according to their manufacturer, ULTra PRT. Officials say the pods are cheaper than high-speed rail, and they come to you, rather than you waiting for them. They systems are already under review by airports in California, New York, Oregon, Calgary, Mountain View, CA, and Tyson’s Corner, VA, a suburb of Washington, D.C.
Take a virtual ride in one of these new pods. Do you think these new pods will be a growing trend at US airports?
Looking for a way to spice up an already exciting trip in New Orleans? Head to The Big Easy during the summer to run with the bulls. OK…not really, but you can be 1 of 100s of spectators that try to avoid roller derby chicks dressed as bulls. These women follow a predetermine route, but festival goers must be nimble to dodge these “bulls,” carrying plastic bats to beat off anyone standing in their way. Check out the website for more information.
In case you didn’t know, San Fermin is a festival celebrated in Pamplona, Spain, in honor of Saint Fermin. It starts on July 6 at noon and runs until July 14 at midnight. Over a million people travel to see the festival, including running of the bulls, the festival’s main attraction.
Take a break and satisfy you quest for thrill and adventure. Check out this fun video we found on YouTube from this past weekend. It’s not the best quality, but it definitely looks like a good time! What do you think?
Turtles took over the runway at JFK airport today, causing a number of flight delays. According to Port Authority spokesman Ron Marsico, 150 turtles came out of Jamaica Bay to lay their eggs on the sandy beach across the runway. Airport staff rounded up the turtles to relocate them to a safer spot.
JetBlue airlines tweeted about the turtle invasion earlier this morning, saying: “JFK is experiencing delays as the airport clears turtles off the runway.” This is not the first turtle takeover. In July 2009, a runway was shut down after 78 turtles crawled onto the tarmac. Ground crews returned the unexpected airport guests to the water.
Apparently, it’s the season for turtle spawning. It’s summer, and what better way to commune with nature and wildlife than a fun camping trip. Check out Travel Channel’s camping critters, essential camping gear, camping tips and more. Take a road trip! We’ll tell you how to travel the roads for a fun getaway — just stay off the runway. And we have best beach suggestions, and you don’t even have to cross dangerous airport traffic. Just enjoy your summer and plan ahead with help from TravelChannel.com.
Looking for hot gear to make your summer travels easier? Check out Travel Channel’s Summer Gear Guide, featuring a pet backpack, UV monitor watch, hybrid-solar charger, scooter luggage and Commando Smartphone and more. Rob Pralgo, host of the new web series, demonstrates how each gear and gadget works, and he explains the benefits for people who are constantly on the go. Watch all the videos and click on the Facebook “Like” icon to let us know which featured summer gear and gadgets you like the most.
In addition to the Summer Gear Guide, Travel Channel is the perfect source for you next camping trip. Take a look at our list of camping tips and tricks to help you prepare for your next outdoor adventure. That’s not all! We also provide camping dos and don’ts, a guide to camping with infants and toddlers and a fun slideshow of all the critters you may see while you’re communing with nature.
Check it out and get in gear for the summer!
United, Continental, Delta and American Airlines have increased the number of bags U.S. soldiers can check in for free. Delta, United and Continental will allow soldiers to check in 4 bags, instead of 3, without being charged. Soldiers traveling on American Airlines are now allowed to check in 5 bags free.
In case you haven’t heard about it, soldiers on a Delta flight posted a YouTube videos Tuesday, criticizing the airline for charging $200 for each soldier who checked a 4th bag. One Army staff sergeant in the video said he was charged for a bag containing his M4 carbine rifle and other weaponry. The soldiers were heading to Atlanta from Baltimore. They had arrived in the US the previous day from Afghanistan.
Take a look at the video that sparked public outrage against the airlines. Tell us what you think, and check out Travel Channel’s tips to help you travel with ease.
Update: European air traffic controllers said airspace will return to normal on Thursday, after the Grimsvotn volcano eruption in Iceland last weekend. More than a 1,000 flights were canceled due to the plume of ash and soot.
Iceland’s main airport remains closed and roads covered in gray soot, after the Grimsvotn volcano erupted on Sunday, May 22, 2011. It was the volcano’s largest eruption in 100 years. The volcano has already forced the Keflavik airport to close and forced the cancellation of 40 international flights.
More airport closures and flight cancellations are possible as the plums of ash continue to move toward the UK. Officials at the National Air Traffic Service Ltd. say air services from 12 Scottish airports, including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen may be interrupted. U.S. President Barak Obama had to curtail his trip to Ireland due to the moving ash cloud.
Scientists don’t believe this volcano’s ash will wreak more havoc on Europe’s airports than last year’s Eyjafjallajokull volcano eruption — that incident stranded 10 million people and was several billions of dollars in losses.
Not all volcanoes are travel obstacles. In fact some travelers flock to them. Find out how you can explore Hawaiian volcanoes. Check out our hot lava flow slideshow.
A tornado with winds whipping at 190-198 mph touched down in Joplin, MO, on Sunday, killing 117 people. Thunderstorms and rainy weather today continued to keep residents on edge.
Rescue crews have pulled 7 people from the rumble, but the search continues to find more survivors in piles of splintered houses and crushed cars.
According to NBC News, this was the single deadliest tornado since 1947. With a base of 3/4 mile across, the tornado destroyed everything in its path, creating a debris cloud of almost 18,000 feet in the air.
Take a look at this horrifying video from izelsg, a YouTube user, who experienced the severe weather first-hand. It was a very unsettling video to watch and or listen to as people in the store took cover in a walk-in storage fridge. Thankfully, everyone was OK.
Check out our travel safety tips for how you can stay safe when a twister strikes, and we recommend a few travel apps to help guide you when making your travel plans. It’s information every traveler can use.
Photo: Getty Images
There are dozens of travel apps and gear that help you track your travels when you’re exploring a new city, but what about an app that guides you while you’re on a double-decker bus in selected cities, including LA? The City Sightseeing app is the world’s leading open top bus tour operator.
With this exclusive app, you can search for a tour and book it! The sightseeing app also allows users to download guides, find “Hop On” and “Hop Off” locations on maps, discover Points of Interest and it provides links to the services provided by the tour company.
The app also has a postcard function, which allows you to send an ePostcard to your friends. You can also your own card with those of other city visitors on the city Sightseeing Community website.
Take a look at our Travel Apps of the Week feature for more fun apps to help you travel with ease.
Photo: Getty Images
Actors Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz are on a whirlwind tour to promote their new movie “Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,” the fourth installment in Disney’s popular franchise.
In anticipation for the new movie, Disney theme parks in Anaheim and Orlando have already modified the “Pirates of the Caribbean” attraction to incorporate elements from the new film, including an image of the infamous Blackbeard (actor Ian McShane) in the grotto scene.
Another option, if you’re not into amusement parks, is to take a trip to the Tropics to explore the history of the real pirates of the Caribbean. Almost every Caribbean island has some pirate history, including the Bahamas, Aruba, Trinidad and Jamaica. Follow the steps of Edward Teach aka Blackbeard, Calico Jack Rackham and John Boysie Singh aka “The Rajah.”
Check out The Real Pirates of the Caribbean slideshow to find out where you can sail the seas to uncover the history of a few infamous pirates.