“The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

Enjoying the breathtaking views at Mohonk Mountain House in New Paltz, New York. “The best view comes after the hardest climb.” Photo provided by Holley Snaith.

My Background

I like to think of myself as a storyteller. As a historian who has spent hours cooped up in research rooms, enveloped in the rich documents and monumental photographs in front of me, I have immersed myself in the art of sharing the stories of pivotal figures in history who…

When Pearl Harbor was attacked on December 7, 1941, Franklin and Eleanor Roosevelt rallied an anxious nation in the midst of crisis.

The USS Arizona was amongst one of the naval ships bombed during the first wave of attacks on Pearl Harbor. December 7, 1941. Source: USA Today

On a cold, winter’s Sunday night, Eleanor Roosevelt sat in the NBC studios in Washington, D.C. glancing over the script she had hastily rewritten for her weekly radio show, Over Our Coffee Cups. Although the first lady knew that this would be the most crucial broadcast she had delivered, there…

How the only child of two Italian immigrants went from the streets of Hoboken to the bright lights of New York.

Francis Albert Sinatra, around the age of 10, sporting the fedora hat that would become part of his signature look. Source: Biographics

“They had in the bar a piano with a roll in it, you put a nickel in it and played the songs, and occasionally one of the men in…

How living in the shadow of his strong, robust brother defined the character of a young, sickly Jack Kennedy

John F. Kennedy poses at a typewriter with his first published book “Why England Slept” (Wilfred Funk, 1940). Photo: History.com

“You must think of this little boy, sick so much of the time, reading history, reading the Knights of the Round Table, reading Marlborough. For Jack, history was full of heroes.”

— Jacqueline Kennedy

WWhen John F. Kennedy was born on May 29, 1917, in Brookline, Massachusetts, there were few…

Seventy-six years after the death of President Franklin D. Roosevelt, his timeless words continue to elicit hope during times of darkness

Franklin Delano Roosevelt at his home in Hyde Park, New York in 1928. This was seven years after polio took the use of his legs and the same year he was elected governor of New York. Source: Hulton Archive/Getty Images

“The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith.” ~ President Franklin D. Roosevelt, April 1945

It was a warm spring day in April of 2014. I was alone and preparing for the next day’s big…

How the world’s greatest sex symbol proved she was no pushover

Marilyn Monroe pictured at her Hollywood home in 1953. Source: Alfred Eisenstaedt — Time & Life Pictures/Getty Images

“They tell you to cry one tear, and if you feel two and cry two, it’s no good. If you change “the” to “a” in your lines, they correct you. An actress isn’t a machine, but they treat you like one.” — Marilyn Monroe

AtAt the start of 1953, Marilyn…

How a “good old boy” from Missouri went from the halls of the Senate to the Oval Office

Senator Harry Truman pictured with fellow members of the “Truman Committee”: Senators Homer Ferguson, Harold Burton, Thomas Connally, and Ralph Brewster. Source: Library of Congress

“I felt like the moon, the stars, and all the planets had fallen on me.” ~ Harry Truman on Becoming President in 1945

Harry Truman was known around the halls of the Senate as being a persistent man. By 1940, he had held his Senate seat for five years, but…

How Winston Churchill’s month-long trip to the United States in the winter of 1941 changed his relationship with Franklin Roosevelt

President Franklin Roosevelt delivers a speech to a crowd of 15,000 as he dedicates the National Christmas Tree. Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who also spoke, stands to the right. Christmas Eve, 1941. Photo: National Archives

“In this century of storm and tragedy, I contemplate with high satisfaction the constant factor of the interwoven and upward progress of our peoples. Our comradeship and our brotherhood in war were unexampled. We stood together, and because of that fact the free world now stands.” ~ Winston Churchill, 1963

Lady Bird Johnson posing in her 1965 inaugural gown designed by John Moore. Yellow was reportedly Lady Bird’s favorite color because it symbolized light and optimism. Photo courtesy of The National Museum of American History.

“Somebody else can have Madison Avenue. I’ll take Bird.” ~ Lyndon Baines Johnson

It was rare for sitting presidents before Lyndon Johnson to openly show affection for their wives, but he was not timid in displaying love for the woman he depended on for everything: Lady Bird Johnson. He would unabashedly hold her hand in public and sometimes even kiss her in front…

Holley Snaith

Holley is a historian specializing in 20th century political, entertainment, and music history. Visit www.holleysnaith.com to learn more.

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