ALL POSTS IN [Museums and Memorials]

Anne Frank House

Photo by Radio Nederland Wereldomroep

Over a million people visit the Anne Frank House in Amsterdam each year, but on Friday the museum opened its doors to a celebrity (19-year-old pop star Justin Bieber, to be exact) and controversy followed.

Prior to a concert in Arnhem in the Netherlands, Beiber toured the home where Anne Frank spent 2 years hiding from the Nazis during World War II and wrote her world-famous diary. However, it was his guestbook message that set the Internet on fire.

For its part, the Anne Frank House released a short statement on its Facebook page earlier today gracious for Bieber’s visit and encouraging renewed interest in the museum and Anne Frank’s story.

“The Anne Frank House was pleased to welcome Justin Bieber to the Anne Frank House last Friday. We think it is very positive that he took the time and effort to visit our museum. He was very interested in the story of Anne Frank and stayed for over an hour. We hope that his visit will inspire his fans to learn more about her life and hopefully read the diary.”

Controversy aside, if you haven’t visited the Anne Frank House, it’s an intimate, moving experience to step behind the bookshelf into the secret annex.

If you feel inspired to plan a trip to Amsterdam, Bourdain’s travel guide is a good place to start.

Photo by Getty Images

The Hollywood buzz has started for the new movie 42, a look into the life of American baseball player Jackie Robinson — the first African American to play in Major League Baseball. And in just a few days, April 15 will mark the 64th anniversary of Jackie’s first MLB game at Ebbets Field as a Brooklyn Dodger, breaking the color barrier.

Jackie Robinson was born in Cairo, GA, but he lived most of his childhood in Pasadena, CA, at 121 Pepper Street. At an early age, Jackie was a competitive athlete, achieving 4-letterman status in football, basketball, baseball and track at John Muir Technical High School and later, at UCLA, where he won the NCAA broad jump title at 25′ 6 1/2 “.

In 1941, Jackie moved to Honolulu, where he played football for the semi-professional Honolulu Bears. Shortly after, he was drafted into the US Army during World War II. Jackie was stationed at Fort Riley, KS, and then Fort Hood, TX. He became a second lieutenant, but his military career took a sharp turn when he was court-martialed in connection to his objections to incidents involving racial discrimination.

Photography by Ronny Jaques/Library and Archives Canada

After a dishonorable discharge from the military, Jackie dived back into the sports, accepting a position as athletic director and basketball coach at Samuel Huston College in Austin, TX, and playing one season in the Negro Baseball League for the Kansas City Monarchs in 1945. It was this same year that Branch Rickey, club president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, scouted the Negro leagues for a possible addition to the Dodgers. Branch chose Jackie and soon after, in 1946, the young player was signed to play for the all-white Montreal Royals of the Class AAA International League, a farm team for the Brooklyn Dodgers.

The very next year  Jackie was suited up as a Dodger, becoming the first African-American player since the league’s inception in 1875 to break Major League Baseball’s color barrier. African-American fans flocked to see the Dodgers play, finding, for the first time, a chance to root for more than just Negro league teams.

Although he struggled with racial discrimination throughout his career (he routinely faced racial slurs shouted from the stands), Jackie would be named the National League Rookie of the Year (1947) and National League’s Most Valuable Player of the Year (1949). He would also win the 1949 batting title, with a .342 average — a great percentage for any pro baseball player.

During the mid-1950s, Jackie’s batting average was on the decline, but oddly enough, it was one of the “highs” in his career. In 1955, the Brooklyn Dodgers beat the New York Yankees to clinch the 1955 World Series championship. In all, Jackie had a career batting average of .311 with the Dodgers, and in 1962, he was inducted into the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY, becoming the first African-American player to achieve such distinction.

Photo by Getty Images

After his baseball career, Jackie starred as himself in The Jackie Robinson Story, continued as a civil rights activist, and took a new career as a successful businessman and sports commentator. In addition to these career achievements and changes, he remained a devoted husband to his wife Rachel and a hands-on father to his 3 children.

In 1972, Jackie Robinson died of a heart attack in Stamford, CT, but his legacy lives on through the Jackie Robinson Foundation and at popular attractions, including the Jackie Robinson Field in Pasadena’s Brookside Park, the Jackie Robinson Stadium at UCLA and the Jackie Robinson Rotunda, located at the main entrance to the New York Mets Citi Field.

Photo by Getty Images

In 1997, 9-foot busts were erected across from Pasadena City Hall to commemorate Jackie and his older brother Matthew “Mack” Robinson, who set the world record for broad jump and won a silver medal at the 1936 Olympic Summer Games.  And today, every few years, MLB players remember Jackie Robinson in special ceremonies and by wearing his jersey number 42, which was retired from Major League Baseball on April 15, 1997.

Plans are underway to open a Jackie Robinson Museum and Learning Center at One Hudson Square in Manhattan in 2015.

Tonight at 9|8c on an all-new episode of Mysteries at the Museum, Don Wildman reveals the shocking stories behind artifacts in museums across the country.

Don examines a dress worn by the star of Howard Hughes’ Hollywood flop The Conqueror. Why did so many members of the cast and crew on this infamous film die young of cancer? Mysteries at the Museum then travels to the Strong National Museum of Play, home to an unassuming lump of gray clay that spawned one of America’s most iconic toys. Then, learn the story of a faded brown document from a murder case that inspired a chilling literary classic by Edgar Allan Poe. Plus, watch as Don unveils the stories of a deceitful art forgery, a devastating cruise ship fire, and an encounter with an otherworldly being.

Get ready for tonight’s episode with behind-the-scenes photos, and check out our travel guide to see all the museums featured in the show.

Until then, tell us – which is your favorite UFO or alien mystery? Vote now!

It’s easy to just think of President’s Day as a day off, but this year, why not skip shopping at those blowout sales and take a step back in time? Instead, explore the homes and learn about the lives of America’s former presidents. Whether you’re a history buff or just want to pay tribute to America’s famous leaders, these National Park Service sites are a great way to discover more about our nation’s history. READ MORE

 

Sentosa is the Orlando of Singapore — an island comprised of a Universal Studios theme park, and as many spas, casinos and beaches as you could ever desire. Last month, the tourist-friendly island opened its newest addition: the world’s largest oceanarium.

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Photography by Getty Images

Brazil lost one of its geniuses this week. Brazilian architect Oscar Niemeyer passed away on Wednesday, but he left behind a legacy of work that tourists and locals will admire forever. The 104-year-old architect was known for his modernist design style and he collaborated with other architects to design memorable works of art such as the United Nations building in NYC.

In 1959, Niemeyer was tasked with designing Brasilia from the ground up when it was chosen as Brazil’s new capital. He was the chief architect responsible for many public buildings — breathing life into a city once steeped in its colonial and baroque past.

Today, his architecture can be found all around the world, including Place du Colonel Fabien in Paris, the Cathedral of Brasilia, Mondadori Publishing Company’s headquarters in Milan and the Niteroi Contemporary Art Museum in Rio de Janeiro.

Niemeyer’s curvaceous style has inspired young architects to dream, and tourists may feel inspired after visiting the Oscar Niemeyer International Cultural Center in Asturias, Spain, or the Oscar Niemeyer Museum (NovoMuseu) in Curitiba, Brazil.

Trish in Egypt

Today we lost a friend and a fellow traveler after a long battle with breast cancer: Trisha Creekmore, a TravelChannel.com contributor, who wrote about going au naturel in the Caribbean, adrenaline highs in Peru, and yes, even finding pirates. Trish’s animated, energetic and fearless voice, along with her irrepressible sense of adventure, inspired all of us to seize the day. Simply put, she represented the spirit of a true traveler.

That same spirit became her mantra in her fight against cancer. To say  she lived her life to the fullest would be an understatement: Following her diagnosis in 2003, Trish committed to traveling more. Soon she did just that, setting off with her husband David and 2 small daughters to places far and wide, from an epic 4-week trip to the Middle East to a Christmas getaway in the Yucatan. She even signed up with the circus, performing a trapeze act at DC’s Trapeze School of New York.

But Trish’s experiences were not just her own. She made sure of that through her social media campaign, “Cancerpalooza,” in which she empowered fellow cancer survivors and their families to find a shared sense of community and yes, humor, through what Trish simply called a “nasty disease.” With a life-affirming, rock star defiance, Trish continued to travel the world with her family, packing in enough adventures to fill a lifetime and then some. (That includes, in true Trish fashion, collecting rockstar boob-ographs from the likes of Ozzy Osbourne.)

Trish’s husband David blogged about her unbelievable journey each week, providing family, friends and outsiders with an honest perspective of what living with cancer really meant to Trish and her immediate family. The amazing partnership that Trish and David shared led South by Southwest to invite the two to speak about Crowdsourcing Cancer Support at their annual event this past year. Then the cancer returned.

Today, in remembering Trish, we’d like to share a few of her words with you, so that you can see the world — if only for a few minutes — from the perspective of a true adventurer. Read about her family adventure in Egypt, and learn more about her, and Cancerpalooza, on her blog.

October is also Breast Cancer Awareness Month. So whether you’re traveling or not, we ask that you take time out to honor breast cancer survivors and remember those whom we’ve lost, but who lived their lives with strength, humor and good courage.

 

This Saturday is Smithsonian’s Museum Day Live! – an annual event where museums around the country admit visitors for free. But the Smithsonian museums are always free, you say? You’re right, but the famous institution is making this true for many more museums nationwide for one day only. READ MORE

by Oyster.com Staff

One of the world’s most celebrated cultural centers has tons of sight-seeing, tremendous food and breathtaking views.

Rome

Dubbed the “eternal city,” Rome boasts a history that dates back two-and-a-half-thousand years. Stunning Renaissance architecture stands alongside ancient ruins, and iconic structures such as the Colosseum and the Pantheon are some of the world’s most-visited sites. In fact, Rome is the third most-visited city in Europe, coming in just after Paris and London. Already a bustling city, Rome can become almost innavigable during peak season. However, the city is at least very pedestrian-friendly, with many streets closed to traffic and a solid metro and bus system. But be sure to bring a map along — the winding, narrow streets can be confusing. READ MORE

Photography by Lisa Singh

They fought back.

Visitors to the Flight 93 National Memorial may not know exactly what happened in this stretch of rural Pennsylvania on the morning of Sept. 11, 2001, but they know this much: The passengers and crew of United 93 fought back that day.

That single act, marked with violent clarity by an impact crater left in the crash’s wake, has drawn 350,000 visitors to the memorial site near Shanksville, PA, over the past year alone — a total of 1.8 million visitors since September 2001.

Visitors from all walks of life come here: leather-clad bikers, Amish from the surrounding countryside, retirees from the Midwest, families with small children. Once a year, a woman from Japan visits to remember her 20-year-old son Toshiya Kuge — one of 40 individuals who perished onboard United 93 that morning at 10:03 a.m., when the Boeing 757 careened from the sky and came crashing to the earth, having flipped on its belly, at 563 miles per hour. READ MORE

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