History, right in your own home

History doesn’t always look like a monument. It’s not always roped off or sealed under Plexiglass.

Sometimes, history is grandma’s hand-stitched quilt that keeps you warm at night; sometimes it’s framed on the living-room wall.

My history includes words of love, longing and resignation: “I am so afraid that you will not marry me, for your heart has already been won by another. However, I will never force you to do me any favor against your own will.”

Words that my grandfather Leonard wrote to Mary Simmons in 1905 in the months before they married — a union, as this one-sided conversation makes clear — about which she had reservations. He was in the Merchant Marine, the postmarks plot his movements from Jacksonville to Asbury Park in New Jersey. I’m not sure what sealed the deal, but, “You must never feel yourself without a lover and a friend as long as I am alive,” couldn’t have hurt.

Last month, the Smithsonian brought its traveling program, Save Our African-American Treasures, to Fort Lauderdale. Scores of people rifled through their credenza drawers, linen closets, bookshelves and china cabinets so that historians and conservators could fill in the blanks of the objects that had been passed down to them.

Today we feature pictures of a few of these treasures and, with a scan of the QR code, some of the stories they carry with them.

Sometimes, history is right at home.

Nancy Ancrum is Editorial Page Editor.

Read more Other Views stories from the Miami Herald

 <span class="cutline_leadin">FANCY FOOTWEAR:</span> Gov. Rick Scott’s custom-made boots showing the five flags that have flown over Florida.


    Crist needs to fire up black voters

    Is Charlie Crist in danger of pulling an Alex Sink by narrowly losing to Rick Scott?



    Sanford’s ongoing saga with himself

    As a South Carolinian, it befalls me to examine the peculiarities afflicting our former governor and now-congressman Mark Sanford, who, contrary to decorum and taste, continues to demand attention.



    Can Marina Silva shock the status quo?

    A few months ago, incumbent president Dilma Rousseff appeared to be coasting toward reelection despite a flagging economy. However, in August, political maverick Marina Silva was thrust into the spotlight of Brazil’s presidential campaign after the death of her running mate. Pledging to reform the country’s dysfunctional politics and jumpstart the economy with free-market reforms, Silva has surged to a tie with Rousseff in recent polls.

Miami Herald

Join the

The Miami Herald is pleased to provide this opportunity to share information, experiences and observations about what's in the news. Some of the comments may be reprinted elsewhere on the site or in the newspaper. We encourage lively, open debate on the issues of the day, and ask that you refrain from profanity, hate speech, personal comments and remarks that are off point. Thank you for taking the time to offer your thoughts.

The Miami Herald uses Facebook's commenting system. You need to log in with a Facebook account in order to comment. If you have questions about commenting with your Facebook account, click here.

Have a news tip? You can send it anonymously. Click here to send us your tip - or - consider joining the Public Insight Network and become a source for The Miami Herald and el Nuevo Herald.

Hide Comments

This affects comments on all stories.

Cancel OK

  • Marketplace

Today's Circulars

  • Quick Job Search

Enter Keyword(s) Enter City Select a State Select a Category