Video: History Lesson in Belfast

Michael and Mariana speak with Protestant loyalist about "the Troubles."
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A Journey Through Time

Every city, state and country has historic sites that tell a story, whether it’s as significant as the signing of the Declaration of Independence or as simple as the childhood of a famous author. And when you connect with those stories, you can truly connect with your destination.

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Wrigley Field’s 100th
Wrigley Field’s 100th

Wrigley Field’s 100th

Before it was ever known as Wrigley Field, Chicago’s famed baseball venue went by 2 previous names. Built in 1914 for the Chicago Federal League baseball team, the stadium was first known as Weeghman Park, and later, as Cubs Park. In April 2014, Wrigley Field’s 100th birthday bash will showcase 10 decade-themed home stands as the stadium hosts the Arizona Diamondbacks. 960 1280

iStock  

St. Louis Turns 250

St. Louis Turns 250

The Gateway City marks its 250th anniversary this year. In 1764, French fur trader Pierre Laclede set out to construct a trading post near the confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri rivers. Laclede eventually settled on a site 18 miles downriver. Today, St. Louis’s riverfront area is named Laclede’s Landing in his honor. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

Berlin Wall’s Fall, 25 Years Later

Berlin Wall’s Fall, 25 Years Later

Germany marks the 25th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall in November. The anniversary joins 2 other big events this year: 100 years since the outbreak of WWI and 75 years since the start of the second, earning 2014 the nickname in Germany of Super-Gedenkjahr, or the “super-year of commemoration.” 960 1280

Reuters   

WWI Turns 100

WWI Turns 100

In July 2014, the world marks the 100th anniversary of the Great War. In July 1914, Austro-Hungarian Empire formally declared war on Serbia, setting off World War I. Learn the story at the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial in Kansas City, MO. The 32,000-square-foot facility consists of 2 theaters, exhibitions of period artifacts and replica trenches. 960 1280

National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial   

50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang

50th Anniversary of the Ford Mustang

On April 17, 1964, Ford Motor Company unveiled the Mustang, and the smooth, 2-door beaut quickly became a fixture of American muscle car culture. (Who could forget the 7-minute chase scene in 1968’s Bullitt, when a Ford Mustang GT 390 rips through the streets of San Francisco?) Grab your shades, and celebrate the Mustang’s 50th with a ride in a sixth-generation Mustang this year. 960 1280

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D-Day 70th Anniversary

D-Day 70th Anniversary

This year marks the 70th anniversary of D-Day, when the coast of Normandy, code-named Omaha Beach, saw the Allied invasion against German-occupied France. Commemorations will unfold everywhere from Bedford, VA, to the Norman coast, where Queen Elizabeth will be guest of honor. Meanwhile, Holland America is offering a 12-day D-Day tour, and a plethora of Normandy tours will recall the June 6 landings. 960 1280

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Japan’s Bullet Train (Shinkansen): 50th Anniversary

Japan’s Bullet Train (Shinkansen): 50th Anniversary

Japan’s high-speed railway turns 50 this year. In October 1964, the Tōkaidō Shinkansen opened between Tokyo and the Shin-Ōsaka Station 320 miles away, for a total trip time of 4 hours. Today, the journey takes about 3 hours. Spring 2014 will see test runs of the new Series E7 bullet train, with a top speed of 160 mph. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Sundance Film Festival's 30th

Sundance Film Festival's 30th

America’s top independent film festival sees its 30th anniversary this year. Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Film Festival has gone on to showcase such groundbreaking films as Little Miss Sunshine and Beasts of the Southern Wild. This year’s festival will be held in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance Resort. 960 1280

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The Beatles: 50th Anniversary of US Debut

The Beatles: 50th Anniversary of US Debut

In early 1964, the Beatles kicked off their first official US tour with an appearance on The Ed Sullivan Show. Months later, with Beatlemania at its height, the Beatles performed at the Hollywood Bowl (pictured). Relive the 50th anniversary of the Fab Four’s US invasion with a Magical History Tour and a Beatles Walking Tour in NYC. 960 1280

david_hwang, flickr  

Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition: 100th Anniversary

Shackleton’s Antarctic Expedition: 100th Anniversary

Just as WWI broke out, Sir Ernest Shackleton embarked on the first land crossing of the Antarctic continent. Then his ship, Endurance, became trapped in ice. This year marks the 100th anniversary of Shackleton’s heroic journey. Relive one of the greatest survival stories of all time on an Antarctica cruise, the last frontier for cruise travelers. 960 1280

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South Africa: 20 Years of Freedom

South Africa: 20 Years of Freedom

This year South Africa celebrates 20 years of freedom and general elections. In 1994, on the heels of decades of struggle led by Nelson Mandela, South Africa transitioned from apartheid to a government of majority rule. Take a South Africa tour, and see where history was made. 960 1280

Getty Images  

Yosemite’s 150th Anniversary

Yosemite’s 150th Anniversary

This year marks Yosemite’s 150th anniversary. In June 1864, Abraham Lincoln signed the Yosemite Grant Act, the first land grant in the nation to protect wild lands for the enjoyment of future generations. This year, more than 150 events are planned at Yosemite to mark the historic milestone. 960 1280

Thinkstock  

New Jersey Turns 350

New Jersey Turns 350

The Garden State celebrates its 350th birthday in 2014. In 1664 Charles II of England granted a chunk of land on the East Coast to his brother, James. James then gave 2 friends part of the land; it was soon named New Jersey. It’s all just one more reason to celebrate the land of bikinis and boardwalks. 960 1280

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Belfast, Ireland, is the epicenter of Titanic attractions, with the newly opened Titanic Belfast museum, housed in a stunning building located on the slipways where the “Ship of Dreams” was built. 960 1280

Titanic Exhibit, Ireland- Northern Ireland Tourist Board  

On April 8, 2012, the MS Balmoral -- operated by Fred Olsen Cruise Lines, whose parent company (Harland and Wolff) built the Titanic -- will set sail from Southampton, UK, on what is being billed as “the Titanic Memorial Cruise.” 960 1280

Courtesy of Titanic Memorial Cruises  

It's a long way from any ocean, but Titanic museums in Branson, MO, and in Pigeon Forge, TN, have seen more than 7 million visitors since 2006 and house some of the largest permanent collections anywhere of Titanic artifacts and memorabilia. 960 1280

Courtesy of Titanic Pigeon Forge  

The Southampton Maritime Museum hosts a permanent exhibition on the Titanic’s crew. Visitors can find out about the Titanic crew’s roles onboard and their personal stories. The museum collection also includes audio of crewmember’s memories of the night the Titanic struck the iceberg. 960 1280

leannetpf, flickr  

A new exhibit, 'Titanic: 100 Year Obsession,' at the National Geographic Museum in Washington, DC, highlights the history of the Titanic and its sinking in the year 1912. 960 1280

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The Titanic Belfast attraction opened in The Titanic Quarter on March 13, 2012, in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Belfast's Titanic Quarter is a waterfront regeneration project on the original site of the Harland and Wolff shipyard, birthplace of the Titanic. 960 1280

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A century ago, tens of thousands of eager spectators lined Belfast Lough to see the Titanic, the largest moving manmade object the world had ever seen -- and the most luxurious ship ever built at the time -- set sail on her maiden voyage. 960 1280

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Prepare for seasickness with the 3-D release of James Cameron’s blockbuster Titanic. The movie’s characters Jack Dawson and Rose DeWitt Bukater are entirely fictitious. While the passenger record does list a Jack Dawson, it is entirely coincidence. 960 1280

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Museum visitors at the Titanic Branson get the boarding pass of a Titanic passenger or crewmember when they enter, and at the end of the tour, they learn whether their passenger lived or died. 960 1280

Courtesy of Titanic Branson  

One hundred years ago, on April 15, 1912, the Titanic struck an iceberg and sank in the icy waters of the Atlantic with as many as 1,635 people onboard -- a tragedy that continues to fascinate the world. Letters and other artifacts at the Titanic Museum, Massachusetts tell the stories of the lives lost. 960 1280

Courtesty of Titanic Museum, Massachusetts  

Yosemite National Park

Yosemite National Park

Nestled within the Sierra Nevada Mountains, Yosemite National Park greets nearly 4 million visitors each year. 960 1280

Tntemerson/iStock/Getty Images  

Arches National Park

Arches National Park

Centuries of wind and water have sculpted the Utah sandstone into over 2,000 natural arches at Arches National Park. 960 1280

Ventdusud/iStock/Getty Images  

Death Valley

Death Valley

Millions come to Death Valley year-round to soak in the sun,  hike and take in the beauty of this vast, open landscape. 960 1280

Spondylolithesis/iStock/Getty Images  

Channel Islands

Channel Islands

Just 90 miles off the coast of Los Angeles, the Channel Islands have 177 miles of coastline with rocky cliffs and beaches. 960 1280

Aaronzhongi/iStock/Getty Images  

Columbia River

Columbia River

East of Portland, OR, the Columbia River region has one of the highest concentrations of waterfalls in the United States. 960 1280

Alptraum/iStock/Getty Images  

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone National Park

The first US national park, Yellowstone has 2.2 million acres of mountain scenery, animals and endless natural beauty. 960 1280

Lorcel/iStock/Getty Images  

Redwoods National Park

Redwoods National Park

Roughly 300,000 visitors come to Redwoods National Park each year to experience the grandeur of the giant redwoods. 960 1280

Anton Foltin/iStock/Getty Images  

Grand Canyon

Grand Canyon

A magnificent example of erosion, the Grand Canyon was formed by water cutting through rocks for millions of years. 960 1280

Jgorzynik/iStock/Getty Images  

Mount Hood

Mount Hood

Since its last eruption 250 years ago, the beautiful Mount Hood volcano has been a paradise for hikers and skiers. 960 1280

Beboy_ltd/iStock/Getty Images  

Carlsbad Caverns

Carlsbad Caverns

Carlsbad Caverns consist of 30 miles of vaulted halls and maze-like passages adorned with dazzling formations. 960 1280

Arinahabich/iStock/Getty Images  

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