After our visit to Harper’s Ferry we were intrigued by the chance to visit Springfield Armory. The two facilities were authorized by Congress in 1794 during the Washington administration. After the Union torching in 1861 of the facilities in Virginia to prevent Confederate seizure, the Massachusetts location remained the sole government owned armaments factory until its closure in 1968. We had the privilege of spending considerable time with a well informed volunteer who showed us copies of original Eighteenth and Nineteenth Century documents and drawings and gave is some amazing insights into how this facility went about arming our military through the War of 1812, the Civil War, the Spanish American War, the First World War, World War II, the Korean War, and into the Viet Nam War. It was interesting to realize that firearms manufacture innovated interchangeable parts and the assembly line process.

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Arctic Circle Ceremony

Arctic Circle Ceremony

After a few days of exploration in the realm of the Arctic Circle, we aboard the Jewel of the Seas celebrated with a Blue Nose Ceremony and will receive Arctic Crossing Certificates!

Magerøya Island

Magerøya Island

We made it to the Top of the World, or at least the northernmost land mass in Europe, Magerøya Island. On our coach tour we learned much about the natural history and the cultures of this starkly beautiful place.