National Museum of the Resistance: The Most Important Museum You’ve Never Heard Of

The world is full of obscure museums, but most of them are obscure for a reason.

Typically, such places are devoted to select topics that appeal to only a select few, and frequently they are located in out of the way places. 

The National Museum of the Resistance, however, breaks the mold. Located in cosmopolitan Brussels, Belgium, the museum enshrines wartime artifacts with a particular emphasis on World War II and the Belgian Resistance to German occupation of their country.

The mainstream appeal and placement in a large and prominent city make it somewhat baffling that this museum, which opened its doors on the 28th anniversary of D-Day on June 6, 1972, isn’t more renowned.

An Historic Building

The building itself that houses the museum is historically important, as it was the site of the publication of a satirical newspaper, Faux Soir, that spoofed the Nazi propaganda publication Le Soir (which means “the evening”). At great risk of personal danger to themselves, members of the Belgian Resistance produced and distributed this publication, managing to spread tens of thousands of copies throughout Europe. Unfortunately, the Gestapo arrested fifteen of the people involved in the satire’s production and at least two of them never returned from the prison camps to which they were sent.

A Somber and Meaningful Collection

Included in the museum’s archives are items such as an original edition of Faux Soir, a radio set that the Resistance recovered from a downed allied plane, and a violin scavenged from Mauthausen Concentration Camp (it is thought that the violin was played during executions). Make no mistake, this is a sobering yet compelling and ultimately very important place to visit. After all, it is said that everyone who ignores history is doomed to repeat it.

Unfortunately, due to renovations the National Museum of the Resistance is currently closed. Hopefully it will re-open soon, because the world is always in need of reminders that freedom is never free.

Everything You Need to Know About the Trap Music Museum

Everybody’s familiar with rap music, but have you ever heard of trap music?

Trap music is gritty, with raw lyrics that express what it’s like to grow up feeling “trapped” in a society that greatly limits opportunity based upon things such as race and wealth. 

The Trap Music Museum at 630 Travis Street NW in Atlanta, GA, is similarly gritty and seeks to accurately recreate the experience of living a bleak, drug and violence-filled existence on the margins.

What to Expect

The museum recreates a corner store through which museum-goers enter a simulated trap house, complete with drug den living room, a kitchen that appears to be used for cooking crack, and other weapons, before finally, inevitably, is a reproduction of a jail cell. The purpose is to accurately replicate the culture from which trap music springs rather than to glorify the criminal lifestyle.

Beyond the Museum

Besides the museum itself, there is a bar that is host to Trappy Hour from 4-10 pm every Thursday, when patrons can book half hour private tours of the museum for $20 per person, with a complimentary glass of champagne and 2-for-1 drinks. There is also Escape the Trap, a 30-45 minute escape room experience that for $30 per person includes admission to the museum.

Plan Your Trip

Admission to the Trap Music Museum is $10 per person and parking is available nearby for $10. The museum is open 4 pm to midnight on Friday, noon to midnight Saturday, and 2 pm to 10 pm Sunday. Admission is only available to those under 18 before 8 pm. Escape the Trap is open 7 days a week at various times, with private tours of the museum given Monday-Thursday.

The Trap Music Museum is a unique experience that seeks not just to represent trap music itself, but the culture that is its source.

There’s No Place like the Judy Garland Museum

If you’re planning a trip to Grand Rapids, MN, including a stop to the Judy Garland Museum is a must.

The museum includes the entertainer’s childhood home, the Children’s Discovery Museum, and of course, the Land of Oz exhibit. So, embrace the magic and follow the yellow brick road.

It’s No Longer Just a Dream

A walk through the modest 1920s home where Frances Ethel Gumm, a.k.a. Judy Garland began life’s journey offers a poignant glimpse into the star’s history.

The museum includes an array of memorabilia from Garland’s extensive film and musical career as well as her personal effects. Scripts, personal letters, photos, jewelry, and clothing combine to create the lasting legacy of her career.  

The most extensively memorialized aspect of the museum includes mementos of Dorothy’s heroic journey through Oz. Here, you’ll find the carriage ridden into Oz, which incidentally, once belonged to Abraham Lincoln.

Secure your own legacy and request to have a personal message engraved on the museum’s yellow brick road.

The Case of the Missing Ruby Slippers

When Dorothy’s missing ruby slippers mysteriously vanished from the museum in 2005, the case went cold. It wasn’t until a phone call in an attempt to cash in on insurance money and subsequent FBI sting operation in 2018 that the iconic slippers were returned to their rightful owners. It proves once again that, “There’s no place like home.”

The Children’s Discovery Museum

The interactive exhibits are designed for children aged 12 and younger. Included among the adventures are Treesa the Talking Tree, a dinosaur dig, and Lions and Tigers and Bears exhibit.

The Wizard of Oz Festival

The third week of June every year is set aside to participate in activities that celebrate Judy Garland’s life and career as well as the iconic production of The Wizard of Oz. The three-day festival includes memorable film clips, concerts, and dining.

History Makes Ellis Island A Stamp

Opening in 1892 Ellis Island opened as an immigration station, only remaining open for 60 years.

Nonetheless, the short amount of time made history with allowing millions of immigrants to enter into the United States and make the country their home. 

ELLIS ISLAND MUSEUM

While the National Origins Act of 1924 ultimately put an end to mass immigration and acted as a staple in Ellis Island’s close in 1954, 2.3 million immigrants were able to pass through the operation and find a fresh start in the United States. 

In honor of Ellis Island and the historical impact it made, a museum opened up in the 1990’s in the main building of the station. From 1984 until opening in the 1990s restoration took place to ensure any traces of the history made there remained intact. You can now access the immigration records, as of 2001, allowing you to discover if your own ancestors passed through the immigration process while Ellis Island was an operating immigration station. 

Ellis Island’s museum offers 3 floors to explore and learn about the experience and stories from immigrants as they came through the station. During your visit, view the history through first-hand accounts and interactive exhibits that teach you about immigration from the time the station operated until the present day. 

While you explore, you may discover the hearing room, which was restored to mirror its looks from 1911. The room was often used for legal hearings to determine the status for potential immigrants. During busy seasons 50 to 100 hearings would go before the Board of Special Inquiry to hear the testimonies from the individuals. Not only does the museum showcase the immigration history, including the registration room, but you can also learn about the usage of the building during the time between Ellis Island ceasing to operate as a station and becoming a museum.

Throughout the museum, you’ll find major documentation on the processes immigrants went through during the years it operated as an immigration station and many leaps to history. You’ll learn the foundations that led to many of our ancestors becoming a stepping stone in the United States. 

Take an Online Course to Boost Your Skillset

Online courses make it easier than ever to learn about anything that interests you.

Whether you’re looking to start a new career or simply take a course for fun, there are plenty of options available to help you find the perfect course!

History of Online Courses

Distance learning, the precursor to online courses, has been around for over 170 years. While these British students certainly did not have access to the Internet, they did have the ability to complete assignments through the mail, which was an early form of learning without having to physically attend a class. The earliest form of what we now know as online learning was the University of Illinois Intranet, which was started in 1960. Only students had access to this type of communication, and it was a forerunner to the public Internet that would be created nine years later.

What Can I Learn from Online Courses?

Online courses make it possible to learn about anything you want from the comfort of your own home. Learning about business and computer skills can increase your employability, watching videos about cooking, photography, parenting, or playing a musical instrument can enrich your life, and studying psychology and science can help you learn more about the world around you. No matter what you’re interested in, there are likely dozens of online courses available to feed your mind!

How Can I Take an Online Course?

Most colleges currently offer some form of online learning. In some cases, it is possible to earn your entire degree online from a school that is across the country or even on another continent.

Online learners can also take single courses directly through schools or through Coursera, an online course program that connects learners to real college courses at a much lower price. Many Coursera courses are available in a series of around five courses, and completing this series gives learners the opportunity to earn fully-accredited certificates that can be helpful in their careers. Financial aid is often available.   

Other sites, such as Skillshare, can be accessed for a relatively low monthly subscription fee. While many of these courses are taught by regular people, rather than professors, Skillshare is a low-cost way to increase your skill set or pursue a new hobby. Skillshare courses do not offer certificates, but they provide an inexpensive way to learn to start your own business, learn new skills that can give you an advantage in the workplace, or simply increase your knowledge of something that interests you. 

No matter what type of course you’re interested in or what your goals of taking an online course are, there’s sure to be an online course that is a perfect match for you!