We drove 6,143 miles to bring you this...

newsletter exclusive - early access video!

The subject line is not an exaggeration.

We drove across the U.S. to film at locations from the hometown of President Eisenhower and the grave of Buffalo Bill Cody, to Mt. Rushmore and Little Big Horn.

Stay tuned for a lot of great content! (plus exclusive early video access at the end)

AAA Blue Book 1907

The First-Ever Cross-Country Road Trip

1903: H. Nelson Jackson, Sewall K. Crocker, and a dog named Bud made the first successful cross-country trip from California to New York.

120 years ago a physician, a mechanic, and a bulldog wanted to do what no one else had done before. It took them 63 days to do it.

Driving from Southern California to New York, they had to deal with multiple breakdowns of their 1903 Winton. They would telegraph the factory and often have to wait for parts to be delivered by train.

Cars were an exciting novelty at the time, and their numbers were exploding—from 8,000 in 1900 to 32,920 in 1903—but many still considered the “horseless carriage” a passing fad. There were few suitable roads, let alone a nationwide road network. So theirs was an adventure like none before. And it all started with a $50 bet.

Jackson ended up spending $8,000 dollars (about $260k today) and essentially did the Oregon Trail in reverse to avoid the southern deserts and northern Rocky Mountain passes.

Jackson and Crocker never received widespread fame for their “first ever” accomplishment…but similar trips were staged and publicized over the coming decades. These would bring attention to things like women’s suffrage or popularized movies, like Cannonball Run, about obtaining the cross-country driving speed record measured in hours vice days.

Other links of interest:

Here’s a two minute video on the topic:

Congressman, General, first to ever plead insanity in a murder trial, Ambassador to Spain, and helping create Central Park; are just a few of the things Dan Sickles is known for. 🎥

It took me almost 15 years to realize why my historian wife has always loved ghost tours…and it’s because they are about history. We talk about some haunting history in Gettysburg…stories from people we know…and stories of local legends. 🎙

Book Review

Toward a Model of Constitutions: How Human Rights, Lincoln’s Address, and Berlin’s Liberties Explain Democracies

Bottom line up front: I recommend this book to anyone looking for a “how did we/they get there” argument, and to anyone wanting an understanding of how various world “constitutions” are living documents that grow with modern societies.

Newsletter Subscriber Exclusive!

Did you know Wild Bill Hickok was married?

No…not to Calamity Jane.

In the plot beside him lies the remains of another Wild West legend, Calamity Jane, whose dying wish supposedly was to be buried next to Wild Bill. Tall tales and gossip like to romantically link these two famous characters of the frontier west, but most historians agree there is no evidence to show Wild Bill and Calamity Jane were ever involved.

He was already preoccupied with another strong-willed, independent woman: his first and only wife, Agnes Thatcher Lake. As this Grunge article talks about, Lake was a highly respected circus performer who even traveled the world performing at one point.

If you want to read more about her and how she met Wild Bill Hickok…you can find the full article here.

Wild Bill Hickok had a “career” that ranged from outlaw to US Army Scout to US Marshall. He may be best known for how he died though…

The below video is a History Newsletter subscriber early access exclusive! We made this during our visit to the infamous Deadwood, South Dakota. 🤠

Other links of interest:

New history gear for our fellow history buffs.