History

“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”

George Santayana (1905), The Life of Reason
  • Historical Events 1850 – Robert McClure sights the fabled Northwest Passage for the first time (from Banks Island towards Melville Island) 1901 – First recorded use of “getaway car” occurs after holding up a shop in Paris 1905 – First Soviet (workers’ council) formed, St Petersburg, Russia 1930 – Dmitri Shostakovich’s ballet “Zolotoy Vyek” premieres in Leningrad 1950 – 630 Dutch volunteers depart for Korea 1985 – Doug Harvey’s #2 jersey is retired by the Montreal Canadiens More Historical Events » Famous Birthdays 1645 – Aert de Gelder, Dutch painter (King David), born in Dordrecht, Netherlands (d. 1727) 1938 – […]
  • On November 8, 1994, 59 percent of California voters approve Proposition 187, banning undocumented immigrants from using the state’s major public services. Despite its wide margin of victory, the ballot measure never takes effect. In 1994, California, the home of Presidents Richard Nixon and Ronald …
  • The American Hispanic/Latinx history is a rich, diverse and long one, with immigrants, refugees and Spanish-speaking or indigenous people living in the United States since long before the nation was established. And, bringing with them traditions and culture from Mexico, Spain, Cuba, Puerto Rico, …
  • Hispanic Heritage Month is an annual celebration of the history and culture of the U.S. Latinx and Hispanic communities. The event, which spans from September 15 to October 15, commemorates how those communities have influenced and contributed to American society at large. The term Hispanic or …
  • On September 6, 2018 an off-duty Dallas police officer fatally shoots an unarmed Black man in the victim’s own apartment.  Returning to her apartment complex in Dallas, Texas, police officer Amber Guyger entered the apartment of Botham Jean, believing it to be her own. The apartment door …
  • On August 29, 1970, more than 20,000 Mexican-Americans march through East Los Angeles to protest the Vietnam War. The Chicano Moratorium, as this massive protest was known, was peaceful until the Los Angeles Police entered Laguna Park, sparking violence and rioting that led to three deaths. …
  • On August 21, 1980, animal rights advocates Ingrid Newkirk and Alex Pacheco found People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals. Rising from humble beginnings, PETA will soon become the world’s foremost and most controversial animal rights organization. Newkirk’s interest in protecting animals began …
  • On August 9, 2014, police officer Darren Wilson shoots and kills Michael Brown, an unarmed Black teenager, in the street of Ferguson, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. Protests and riots ensue in Ferguson and soon spread across the country. There are many different accounts of the incident, …
  • On August 8, 2008, a long-simmering conflict between Russia and Georgia boiled over into a shooting war between the small Caucasian nation and the superpower of which it was once a part. The brief Russo-Georgian War was the most violent episode in a conflict that began more than a decade before. …
  • A mass shooting takes place early in the morning in Dayton, Ohio on August 4, 2019. The killing of nine people and the injuries of 27 was significant in its own right, but this mass shooting was particularly notable for being America’s second in less than 24 hours. Just one day before, a shooter …
  • On August 1, 1943, 177 B-24 bombers take off from an Allied base in Libya, bound for the oil-producing city Ploiești, Romania, nicknamed “Hitler’s gas station.” The daring raid, known as Operation Tidal Wave, resulted in five men being awarded the Medal of Honor—three of them posthumously—but …
  • Custom Baret bat, Woodbridge, Virginia, 2018Gift of Juan Baret Bate Baret personalizado, Woodbridge, Virginia, 2018Donación de Juan BaretIn baseball, it all comes down to the batter. Will they be the hero, or be faulted for the team’s loss? Will they hit a home run or strike out? We think about the person behind the plate, but […]
  • Until the successes of the United Farm Workers (UFW) in the 1960s, agriculture was one of the last industries to hold out on unionization due to social and legal obstacles. Workers and organizers faced uneven legal protection; isolation; prejudice; reliance on imported, exploitable workers; and opposition from state and federal officials who either represented agribusiness […]
  • In October 1792, the United States of America was still a new country, not even a decade old, fresh from a complete government overhaul just four years earlier. With only one federal election by that point, and one president, it was a nation long on ambition, but short on history. There were heroes, of course, […]
  • Presidential debates first became part of the campaign landscape when John Kennedy and Richard Nixon sat across from each other in 1960. It took a few years for them to become standardized, but now debates are one of the most anticipated events of every campaign.Are you planning to tune in? Even if you’ve already decided […]
  • Last year I began working as a stage manager for Join the Student Sit-Ins, an interactive theater program at the museum set in 1960. The program simulates the training sessions students at HBCUs (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) like North Carolina A&T and Bennett carried out in the weeks following the Greensboro lunch counter sit-ins. […]
  • A mere 75 years ago aboard the battleship Missouri, representatives of the Japanese Emperor, his government, and the Imperial General Headquarters signed the Instrument of Surrender in a ceremonial end to the 20th century’s greatest conflict. That same day, three future curators and the inaugural director of the National Museum of American History were serving […]
  • The writers of the Black Life in Two Pandemics series have examined the deep roots of racial violence in the Midwest and the connections between that history and the COVID-19 pandemic.The series was inspired, in part, by commentators who were shocked and bewildered by the virulence of anti-Black violence in the Midwest. This surprise indicates […]
  • IntroductionOur political and legal systems are inextricably intertwined with and fueled by structural racism. This legacy predates the country’s founding, through the genocide of Indigenous populations and the kidnapping and selling of millions of Africans into slavery. Preeminent public health scholar and former president of the American Public Health Association Dr. Camara Jones defines structural […]
  • In March 2020, the Urban Art Mapping research team, a small group of faculty and students from the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, Minnesota, was busy conducting interviews with community members of Midway, a bustling, diverse neighborhood. Located in the middle of a six-mile stretch between downtown Saint Paul and downtown Minneapolis along […]
  • Minnesota doesn’t typically come to mind when you think about slavery and the Civil War. It’s also not a place that’s figured into the national imagination when it comes to Black activism, either—at least, not until recently. However, as part of the series on “Black Life in Two Pandemics,” this post draws on several events […]
  • We’re delighted to announce the launch of a new podcast featuring our teacher partners—dedicated professionals, working in a range of teaching situations throughout the country, who are re-energizing the study of American history and government at the secondary level. Each episode of the In Their Words podcast is a thirty-minute conversation on the power of […]
  • Our Documents in Detail episode for Wednesday 17 November 2020 will focus on two short pieces from Thomas Jefferson: his letters to John Holmes and Henry Lee. Our panel will consist of Dr. John Moser, of Ashland University; Dr. Robert McDonald of the United States Military Academy at West Point; and Dr. Cara Rogers, of […]
  • Our Core Document Collection on the role of women in American religion includes an essay by acclaimed fiction writer and speaker Flannery O’Connor (1925–1964). O’Connor has a reputation as a “gothic” novelist, but though her writing often walks the line between shadows and light, her purpose is not merely to expose the maccabre but rather […]
  • During this pandemic year, far more voters than ever before are expected to use mail-in ballots. Some are questioning whether our existing procedures for computing election results can handle the situation in a way that maintains voters’ confidence. With delays in reporting the state outcomes likely, temptations to question the process multiply, especially in a […]
  • Today we continue our exploration of Teaching American History’s two-volume document collection, Documents and Debates in American History and Government. In July of 1774, as colonial resistance to British rule consumed the American colonies, the Virginia House of Burgesses asked thirty-one-year old Thomas Jefferson to draft instructions for the colony’s delegates to the First Continental […]
  • Parties, political power and partisans, oh my! As Americans look ahead to Election Day 2020, we at TAH invite you to look back to some key moments in the development of modern political parties using primary sources drawn from our Core Document Collections on the American Presidency, Congress, and Political Parties. Each of the three […]
  • On October 9, 1635, Roger Williams was exiled from the colony of Massachusetts–banished for having “broached and divulged diverse new and dangerous opinions, against the authority of magistrates,” and “also writ[ten] letters of defamation, both of the magistrates and churches here.” This month, on our sister site, Religion In America, we consider two letters written […]
  • This episode in our “Enduring American Questions” Saturday Webinar series will air live on 7 November 2020, from 11am-12:15 EST. Our panelists will discuss the fundamental differences in the Founders’ and Progressives’ vision for the role, reach, and powers of government, and how each viewed the political process in light of those ideas. This is […]
  • Join us for our October episode of Documents in Detail, during which we’ll discuss James Madison’s 1792 essay, “Property.” As usual, our moderator will be Dr. John Moser, of Ashland University, and he’ll be joined by Dr. Chris Burkett, also of Ashland University, and Dr. Elizabeth Amato, of Gardner-Webb University.
  • Miles Mathews teaches 11th grade US history at the John Adams Academy (JAA), a public charter school in Roseville, California. The school offers a “classical leadership education” centered around reading the enduring literature of the past. For Mathews, now in his sixth year at the academy, his teaching position offers the “depth” he hoped for while […]
  • The three branches of the U.S. federal government—executive, legislative, and judicial—keep each other in line through a system of “checks and balances.” What roles do each play? And who puts the brakes on the POTUS? This week, the Uknown History … Read the article The post Unknown History: A User’s Guide to the Branches of U.S. Government appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Michael A. Bellesiles In his new book, Inventing Equality, Michael A. Bellesiles tracks the evolution of the battle for true equality in America through the men, ideas, and politics behind the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments passed at the … Read the article The post Inventing Equality: A Crack in the Foundation appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Ian Olasov There are at least three reasons to read philosophers from other times and places. The first is that they are sometimes right (and sometimes in surprising ways), and we can learn from them when they are. The … Read the article The post Philosophers Throughout History You’ve Probably Never Heard Of: Part II appeared first on The History Reader.
  • How do you get involved in U.S. Democracy? Here’s a crash course on next-level civic participation. It’s time to put your money or your giant poster board sign where your mouth is. On the last episode we featured from the … Read the article The post Unknown History: A User’s Guide to Getting Involved in Democracy—Petitions and Protests appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Michael Cannell My non-fiction book, A Brotherhood Betrayed: The Man Behind the Rise and Fall of Murder, Inc., takes place in Brooklyn in the 1930s, so I had no chance of interviewing participants or eyewitnesses. Instead, I pored … Read the article The post Five Must-Read Mafia Books appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Charles Casillo In this excerpt from his ground-breaking biography, Charles Casillo explores how the actions of one army photographer sparked the transition of Norma Jeane into Marilyn Monroe. Monroe photographed arriving at Ciro’s nightclub for a soirée celebrating Louella… Read the article The post How Norma Became Marilyn appeared first on The History Reader.
  • Who’s responsible for the Electoral College? (Hint: There’s a wildly popular Broadway musical about him.) The Unknown History channel on Quick and Dirty Tips dishes on that and everything you need to know about the U.S. election process in the … Read the article The post Unknown History: A User’s Guide to U.S. Elections appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Eric A. Posner Huey Long: United States Governor, Senator, and perhaps one of its greatest demagogues. In the following excerpt from The Demagogue’s Playbook, Eric A. Posner examines how Long highlighted American democracy’s susceptibility to the demagogue in the … Read the article The post The Art of the Demagogue appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Suzanne Mettler and Robert C. Lieberman In the following excerpt from their book Four Threats, Suzanne Mettler and Robert C. Lieberman discuss the violent rise of Southern Democrats in post-Civil War Wilmington, North Carolina that turned back decades of … Read the article The post A Coup D’état, American Style appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Ian Olasov There are at least three reasons to read philosophers from other times and places. The first is that they are sometimes right (and sometimes in surprising ways), and we can learn from them when they are. The … Read the article The post Philosophers Throughout History You’ve Probably Never Heard Of: Part I appeared first on The History Reader.
  • Curators look far and wide trying to find materials for their institution’s collection.  Despite this, sometimes the most amazing items show up locally.  AAS photographer, Nathan Fiske, brought to my attention a local estate auction that had two newspapers in it.  As it turned out, both were newspapers published by Frederick Douglass.  The first one […]
  • On August 28, 2020, author Amy Hildreth Chen was a featured guest at the Virtual Book Talk series sponsored by the Program in the History of the Book in American Culture (PHBAC).  Amy spoke about her recent publication, Placing Papers: The American Literary Archives Market, published in June 2020 by the University of Massachusetts Press.  […]
  • We love the moments when an artist fellow discovers something totally unique and profound relating to their research. Whether finding an outline of a pressed dandelion in handwritten poem, a children’s book on natural philosophy, the diary of a freed slave who in 1822 sailed to Hawaii as a missionary, or early photographs taken in Yellowstone National Park, these “ah-ha” moments often lead to an unfoldment of […]
  • The Society’s collection of photographs of working print shops continues to expand (see blog posts on this topic from 2014 and 2017). Most of the photographs feature businesses in New England, New York, or Pennsylvania. This newly acquired photo, showing a tidy shop with a ca. 1882 Hoe flatbed newspaper press, was taken in Nebraska. […]
  • In advance of my summer work placement at the American Antiquarian Society, I discussed a slate of proposed activities with Chief Conservator Babette Gehnrich while in New York City. On their list was a housing project for manuscripts, standardized treatments of broadsides, and an introduction to digitization workflows for the Society’s collections. “Also,” she mentioned […]
  • Since the late 1960s, the American Antiquarian Society has been a sponsor of the Cooper Edition, a scholarly edition of Cooper’s works that conforms to the editorial principles approved by the Committee on Scholarly Editions (CSE) (formerly the Center for Editions of American Authors) of the Modern Language Association.  To facilitate the production of the […]
  • This summer, even amidst the COVID-19 pandemic, I was given the immense privilege to be the first Seiler Curatorial Intern at the American Antiquarian Society. Even through uncertain times, the Society and my supervisor Ashley Cataldo, Curator of Manuscripts, advocated for my internship and was able to offer me a blended virtual and in-person experience. […]
  • This week we continue our Artists in the AAS Archive series.  This installment offers a spotlight on four more past fellows: book artist Maureen Cummins; performer-scholar Anne Harley; playwright and screenwriter Jeffrey Hatcher; and playwright and performer Laurie McCants. This series celebrates the 25th anniversary of Artist fellowships at the American Antiquarian Society.  More information […]
  • It should come as no surprise that the staff here at the American Antiquarian Society is passionate about books and prints related to American history.  But we’re also deeply committed to our pets. From time to time, we’ll even share photos of our favorite furry or feathered friends on the AAS Instagram page. Today is […]
  • In May 2020, the Program in the History of the Book in American Culture (PHBAC) launched its Virtual Book Talks series. This new academic program showcases authors of recently published scholarly monographs, digital-equivalents, and creative works broadly related to book history and print culture. Each installment includes a presentation from the author and a Q&A […]
Influenza victims crowd into an emergency hospital near Fort Riley, Kansas in this 1918 file photo. The 1918 Spanish flu pandemic killed at least 20 million people worldwide and officials say that if the next pandemic resemblers the birdlike 1918 Spanish flu, to 1.9 million Americans could die. (AP Photo/National Museum of Health)
  • The three branches of the U.S. federal government—executive, legislative, and judicial—keep each other in line through a system of “checks and balances.” What roles do each play? And who puts the brakes on the POTUS? This week, the Uknown History … Read the article The post Unknown History: A User’s Guide to the Branches of […]
  • by Michael A. Bellesiles In his new book, Inventing Equality, Michael A. Bellesiles tracks the evolution of the battle for true equality in America through the men, ideas, and politics behind the 13th, 14th, and 15th Amendments passed at the … Read the article The post Inventing Equality: A Crack in the Foundation appeared first […]
  • by Ian Olasov There are at least three reasons to read philosophers from other times and places. The first is that they are sometimes right (and sometimes in surprising ways), and we can learn from them when they are. The … Read the article The post Philosophers Throughout History You’ve Probably Never Heard Of: Part […]
  • How do you get involved in U.S. Democracy? Here’s a crash course on next-level civic participation. It’s time to put your money or your giant poster board sign where your mouth is. On the last episode we featured from the … Read the article The post Unknown History: A User’s Guide to Getting Involved in […]
  • by Michael Cannell My non-fiction book, A Brotherhood Betrayed: The Man Behind the Rise and Fall of Murder, Inc., takes place in Brooklyn in the 1930s, so I had no chance of interviewing participants or eyewitnesses. Instead, I pored … Read the article The post Five Must-Read Mafia Books appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Charles Casillo In this excerpt from his ground-breaking biography, Charles Casillo explores how the actions of one army photographer sparked the transition of Norma Jeane into Marilyn Monroe. Monroe photographed arriving at Ciro’s nightclub for a soirée celebrating Louella… Read the article The post How Norma Became Marilyn appeared first on The History Reader.
  • Who’s responsible for the Electoral College? (Hint: There’s a wildly popular Broadway musical about him.) The Unknown History channel on Quick and Dirty Tips dishes on that and everything you need to know about the U.S. election process in the … Read the article The post Unknown History: A User’s Guide to U.S. Elections appeared […]
  • by Eric A. Posner Huey Long: United States Governor, Senator, and perhaps one of its greatest demagogues. In the following excerpt from The Demagogue’s Playbook, Eric A. Posner examines how Long highlighted American democracy’s susceptibility to the demagogue in the … Read the article The post The Art of the Demagogue appeared first on The […]
  • by Suzanne Mettler and Robert C. Lieberman In the following excerpt from their book Four Threats, Suzanne Mettler and Robert C. Lieberman discuss the violent rise of Southern Democrats in post-Civil War Wilmington, North Carolina that turned back decades of … Read the article The post A Coup D’état, American Style appeared first on The […]
  • by Ian Olasov There are at least three reasons to read philosophers from other times and places. The first is that they are sometimes right (and sometimes in surprising ways), and we can learn from them when they are. The … Read the article The post Philosophers Throughout History You’ve Probably Never Heard Of: Part […]
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Reliving History Magazine: Summer 2018 Issue

Reliving History Magazine

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