In an effort to identify and locate the most pivotal of American history’s overlooked moments, Andrew Carroll has traveled to all 50 states, amassed two dozen file cabinets of research, and even attracted the suspicions of the FBI.
The result is Here Is Where: Discovering America’s Great Forgotten History, a 457-page book documenting his four-year journey to bring attention to uncelebrated stories “that reverberate nationally” and the sites where they occurred.
In 2009 the Washington, D.C.–based author set out to track down these little-known landmarks. For months at a time, he crisscrossed the country in an erratic route he likens to a Jackson Pollock painting. Among his many trips, he has traveled to Hawaii’s farthest inhabited island, owned by a family of Scottish ranchers, where the Japanese landed during World War II; he has located the Rigby, Idaho, farm where a young Philo Farnsworth first found inspiration that led to the invention of the electric television; and he paid tribute to the North Carolina highway where legendary African-American heavyweight boxer Jack Johnson died in a car crash.