History in the News

The Parade

Since Saint Patrick’s Day seems to have come and gone without the usual festivities, it occurs to me that some of you might feel a little unbalanced. So, here’s a St. Patrick’s…

Sheep

Modern political opponents have grown fond of accusing one another of “rewriting history” for political advantage that typically served the exclusive needs of that portion of the population who maintained tight control…

Rocket Science

On September 12, 1962, President John F. Kennedy established the goal of putting a man on the moon. “We choose to go to the Moon in this decade and do the other…

A Dip in the River

Four hundred years ago, in the fall of 1620, the Pilgrims arrived at Plymouth Rock in what is now Massachusetts. One of their first acts in the New World was to disturb…

Let’s Chat

I count on at least one thing that most Americans generally agree with: talking politics over the holidays is fraught with difficulties. On the one hand, it lifts the spirit to see,…

I Got My Ticket

Two recent books and a movie about the Underground Railroad are bathed in historical fact. The enslaved ran away. They were helped by many others. Their journey was difficult. In each of…

Howard

An enduring manifestation of the Civil Rights Movement is that secondary school American history instruction has increasingly included the contributions made by minorities and women. Recent students of history have been reminded…

Adapt, Migrate, or Die

In the Norse sagas, Erik the Red is portrayed as establishing the first European settlement on an island geographically associated with North America. He called it Greenland because “men would be more…

Strange Fruit

The U.S. Department of Justice is planning to resume the execution of death row inmates for the first time since 2003. Many of the states have been at it since then—Texas has…

Yankee Doodle

I was surprised to discover that my local library’s two copies of Kurt Vonnegut’s 1969 Slaughterhouse-Five were checked out and that I would have to wait my turn at it. I then…