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



    Judge has faith in the law, and in human potential

    I am a circuit judge in Miami-Dade County serving in the criminal division. Every day, I make decisions about whether to release defendants who are awaiting trial and whose families rely on them for basic needs; whether to grant requests by victims of domestic violence to remove stay-away orders that keep their families apart; and whether to sentence convicted defendants to prison, house arrest or probation.



    There’s got to be a better way to seat judges

    When I think of the traits that are essential for someone to be a good judge, I immediately identify characteristics such as legal ability and understanding of legal principles, courtroom experience, record and reputation, temperament and community involvement. As a Miami-Dade County voter, and as someone who has served on several endorsement panels for various organizations, I have serious concerns about the quality of the candidates that are running for this very important post. I also have reservations about the election process through which we are selecting the members of our lower courts.

Jack Orr cast the only vote in the Florida Legislature in support of school integration.


    A man of vision, principle — and flaws

    It was 1956, and the Florida Legislature was considering a bill to get around the U.S. Supreme Court ruling barring racial segregation in schools. Only one of the 90 House members voted against the bill — a young lawyer from Miami named Jack Orr.

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