History

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

George Santayana (1905), The Life of Reason
  • Historical Events 1732 – Paris churchyard of Saint-Medard closed after Jansenistic ritual 1942 – 1st broadcast of Roy Plomley's "Desert Island Discs" on BBC radio 1957 – Graham Greene's "Potting Shed" premieres in NYC 1975 – First American Annual Comedy Awards, hosted by Alan King 1979 – NFL Pro Bowl, LA Memorial Coliseum: NFC beats AFC, 13-7; MVP: Ahmad Rashād, Minnesota Vikings, WR 2014 – Cristiano Ronaldo becomes the 1st non-Spanish player to captain Real Madrid, making his 500th appearance for the club More Historical Events » Famous Birthdays 1950 – Max Carl [Gronenthal], American rock singer and musician ( […]
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  • Like many around the world, I spent the afternoon of January 6, 2021, watching the news and absorbing the chaotic events unfolding at the U.S. Capitol. On January 7, I spent several hours surveying the National Mall, collecting abandoned objects that I hoped would one day offer some insight into the political turmoil that had […]
  • Is there room in Americans’ Thanksgiving celebrations for both thankfulness and mourning?That challenging question arose as my colleagues and I took a new look at encounters in the 1600s between English and the Wampanoag people in eastern Massachusetts. A showcase exhibition, titled Upending 1620: Where Do We Begin?, now shares our findings—and our questions—near […]
  • On February 3, 2008, San Francisco Chronicle writer Wyatt Buchanan reflected on the life of Gustavo "Gus" Arriola, creator of the comic strip Gordo. Buchanan quoted Arriola’s words: “my main goal [in the strip] was to maintain a positive awareness of Mexico through all the years, every day, without being political. When I started […]
  • Around 1966, Dr. Carl Bartecchi was serving as an army flight surgeon in the Mekong Delta in South Vietnam. When units in his area engaged in heavy combat with a Viet Cong force, Bartecchi found himself treating wounded men in rapid succession. In the operating room he heard a ’s voice, “a sound that was […]
  • Louisan Mamer, known as the First Lady of the REA, spearheaded the expansion of women’s roles in business and through her work with the Rural Electrification Administration. “Louisan Mamer, a Lifetime at the REA.” Archives Center, Louisan E. Mamer Rural Electrification Administration Papers (AC0862-0000006)Although women's empowerment can have a revolutionary effect on society, it […]
  • In preparation for an exhibition, all objects undergo a thorough assessment of their condition. Conservators determine whether the objects require stabilization treatment and recommend environmental conditions and mounts so that pieces from our collection can be safely displayed. Conservators play a special role at the Smithsonian, repairing and preserving our national treasures so they can […]
  • Caramelo Deportivo baseball card album after treatment by conservation technician Verónica Mercado Oliveras. The album contains cards of umpires, coaches, and players from Cuba’s four professional teams: Habana, Marianao, Cienfuegos, and Almendares. It also lists past seasons’ champions and records from Major League Baseball. (2016.0369.04)In his book A House of Cards: Baseball Card Collecting and […]
  • It’s late winter of 2006 and an ornate silver speaking trumpet is on offer at a prestigious New York City auction house. The engraved inscription marks it as a gift to the Good Will Engine Company, a volunteer fire company founded in Philadelphia in 1802. The hammer falls on a bid of thousands.It’s springtime of […]
  • In 1967, the magazine Cosmopolitan featured an article about the growing number of job opportunities for women in computer programming. In the article, computing pioneer Dr. Grace Murray Hopper attempted to appeal to the magazine’s readership, commenting on the profession: “It’s just like planning a dinner. . .You have to plan ahead and schedule everything […]
  • The National Museum of American History has over 2 million items in its collections, spanning every topic you could think of. And from wooden crosses to baseball uniforms to costume butterfly wings, our collections show that Latinx people have been an important part of U.S. history since the nation’s beginnings. In celebration of Hispanic Heritage […]
  • We teamed up with the Unknown History podcast on Quick and Dirty Tips to bring you their latest series based on Giles Milton’s Checkmate in Berlin. Episode 8 discusses General Alexander Kotikov, a person Western allies in post-war Berlin had … Read the article The post Unknown History: A Battle of Wits in Post-War Berlin appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Rachel Trethewey As complex in their own way as their Mitford cousins, Winston and Clementine Churchill’s daughters each had a unique relationship with their famous father. Rachel Trethewey’s biography, The Churchill Sisters, tells their story. Read on for an excerpt.… Read the article The post Diana Churchill: Winston’s Special ‘Chum’ appeared first on The History Reader.
  • We teamed up with the Unknown History podcast on Quick and Dirty Tips to bring you their latest series based on Giles Milton’s Checkmate in Berlin. Episode 7 discusses Winston Churchill’s seminal 1946 speech in Westminster College, which gave not … Read the article The post Unknown History: Churchill’s Iron Curtain appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Jonathan M. Katz I first came across the name Smedley Butler in Haiti, shortly after I’d moved there to be the correspondent for the Associated Press in 2007. He was in a painting of three Marines in old-fashioned khaki … Read the article The post Discovering Smedley Butler appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Carl Bernstein The following is an excerpt from Carl Bernstein’s Chasing History, a triumphant memoir recalling his beginnings as an audacious teenage newspaper reporter in the nation’s capital—a winning tale of scrapes, gumshoeing, and American bedlam. Carl BernsteinPhoto Credit:… Read the article The post Glorious Chaos: A Kid in the Newsroom appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Philip Jett Many believe that the most melancholy couple in the White House must have been the Lincolns. They endured the horrific American Civil War and suffered the loss of a child while in office.  Only one of their … Read the article The post A Feigned Presidency: The Anguish of President Franklin Pierce and the First Lady appeared first on The History Reader.
  • We teamed up with the Unknown History podcast on Quick and Dirty Tips to bring you their latest series based on Giles Milton’s Checkmate in Berlin. Episode 6 discusses the power struggle in the Allied Kommandatura, the four-power body established to … Read the article The post Unknown History: The Great Berlin Power Struggle appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Tom Clavin Read on for an excerpt that discusses Joe Moser’s fight for survival in Tom Clavin’s Lightning Down! P-38 rear view. This mage is in the public domain via Wikicommons On his forty-fourth mission, Joe Moser would be … Read the article The post To Bail Out or Burn Up? appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Tim Tate Sixty years ago the best Cold War spy the West ever had defected across divided Berlin to the safety of the U.S. Embassy. Ever since he has been an enigma: his extraordinary life, and the story of … Read the article The post Michał Goleniewski: The Best Cold War Spy You’ve Never Heard Of appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by The History Reader While the holidays are primarily a time to reconnect with family and friends, there is nothing better during these cold months than curling up by the fire and reading a book you can’t put down. As … Read the article The post Celebrating the Holidays: 15 Books History Buffs Will Love appeared first on The History Reader.
  • During my internship this summer in the conservation lab at AAS, Chief Conservator Babette Gehnrich and I worked through several treatments one often sees in a paper conservation lab: mending, washing, pulp fills, and backing removals, among others. However, we also took a deep dive into the science and craft of a less frequently encountered […]
  • Rosanna Sizer. Female Whig of ’76. New London, Conn.: Jonathan Sizer, 2nd., 1840. According to the imprint on this 1840 broadside, Rosanna Sizer wrote this poem in 1777, shortly after Danbury, Connecticut, was burned by the British in April of that year. A family connection between Rosanna and the publisher, Jonathan Sizer, appears likely (he […]
  • AAS houses a representative collection of American games, from board games inspired by the adventures of Nellie Bly to educational puzzles and fancy paper dolls, but one fascinating subgroup of this collection harnesses the popularity of one entertainment option of the 1800s: reading. Before the world ogled over athletes and movie stars, the greatest celebrities were authors. People […]
  • The catalog records that a library user sees in the course of searching often belie a considerable underlying complexity. At AAS, maximizing access to our collections through the creation of accurate, clear and concise catalog records is a high priority. However, the true extent of the effort required to create and maintain these records may […]
  • The publication of the first issue of a newspaper is a momentous occasion.  After scraping together the funding to purchase equipment, lining up supplies, hiring staff, soliciting subscriptions, selling advertisements, and gathering news to print, the newspaper rolls off the press and is ready to be placed in the hands of the public for them […]
  • Today the American Antiquarian Society releases the new online exhibition Reclaiming Heritage: Digitizing Nipmuc Histories from Colonial Documents. This online resource presents fully-digitized versions of seven pre-1820 Indigenous-language imprints as well as digitized materials from four manuscript collections.  The printed books featured in the exhibition add to an existing archive of early American imprints used […]
  • In a packed box of uncatalogued cabinet photos, in between portraits of the minister Charles Cleveland and the 22nd President, I came across three portraits of a young, dark-haired woman. In each photo, she looked to be about twenty years old — attractive, well-dressed, and entirely unrecognizable to if it weren’t for the titles […]
  • We are pleased to announce the Fall 2021 schedule for the Virtual Book Talks series. Our lineup includes a variety of topics including astronomy and printing the universe, nineteenth-century printing in Mexico, African American literary practice, and the politics of Native American writing. We ended our summer with Elizabeth Kimball, Assistant Professor of English at […]
  • There are some archival gems you can’t pass up. During my fellowship residency at the American Antiquarian Society in May 2021, AAS staff were helping comb through the Jacob Porter Papers, when we all noticed it in the catalog record: “An Attempt to Prove the Existence of the Unicorn.”[1] “I want to believe,” someone […]
  • Clark, B. (Benjamin), Sen. The Past, Present and Future in Prose and Poetry. Toronto: Adam, Stevenson, & Co., 1867. BIB #565812 Benjamin Clark was born to emancipated African American parents in Maryland in 1801, and he died in Detroit in 1864. He married, had ten children, and lived with his family in Pennsylvania. He also […]
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)
  • We teamed up with the Unknown History podcast on Quick and Dirty Tips to bring you their latest series based on Giles Milton’s Checkmate in Berlin. Episode 8 discusses General Alexander Kotikov, a person Western allies in post-war Berlin had … Read the article The post Unknown History: A Battle of Wits in Post-War Berlin appeared first […]
  • by Rachel Trethewey As complex in their own way as their Mitford cousins, Winston and Clementine Churchill’s daughters each had a unique relationship with their famous father. Rachel Trethewey’s biography, The Churchill Sisters, tells their story. Read on for an excerpt.… Read the article The post Diana Churchill: Winston’s Special ‘Chum’ appeared first on The History […]
  • We teamed up with the Unknown History podcast on Quick and Dirty Tips to bring you their latest series based on Giles Milton’s Checkmate in Berlin. Episode 7 discusses Winston Churchill’s seminal 1946 speech in Westminster College, which gave not … Read the article The post Unknown History: Churchill’s Iron Curtain appeared first on The History […]
  • by Jonathan M. Katz I first came across the name Smedley Butler in Haiti, shortly after I’d moved there to be the correspondent for the Associated Press in 2007. He was in a painting of three Marines in old-fashioned khaki … Read the article The post Discovering Smedley Butler appeared first on The History Reader.
  • by Carl Bernstein The following is an excerpt from Carl Bernstein’s Chasing History, a triumphant memoir recalling his beginnings as an audacious teenage newspaper reporter in the nation’s capital—a winning tale of scrapes, gumshoeing, and American bedlam. Carl BernsteinPhoto Credit:… Read the article The post Glorious Chaos: A Kid in the Newsroom appeared first on […]
  • by Philip Jett Many believe that the most melancholy couple in the White House must have been the Lincolns. They endured the horrific American Civil War and suffered the loss of a child while in office.  Only one of their … Read the article The post A Feigned Presidency: The Anguish of President Franklin Pierce […]
  • We teamed up with the Unknown History podcast on Quick and Dirty Tips to bring you their latest series based on Giles Milton’s Checkmate in Berlin. Episode 6 discusses the power struggle in the Allied Kommandatura, the four-power body established to … Read the article The post Unknown History: The Great Berlin Power Struggle appeared first […]
  • by Tom Clavin Read on for an excerpt that discusses Joe Moser’s fight for survival in Tom Clavin’s Lightning Down! P-38 rear view. This mage is in the public domain via Wikicommons On his forty-fourth mission, Joe Moser would be … Read the article The post To Bail Out or Burn Up? appeared first on […]
  • by Tim Tate Sixty years ago the best Cold War spy the West ever had defected across divided Berlin to the safety of the U.S. Embassy. Ever since he has been an enigma: his extraordinary life, and the story of … Read the article The post Michał Goleniewski: The Best Cold War Spy You’ve Never […]
  • by The History Reader While the holidays are primarily a time to reconnect with family and friends, there is nothing better during these cold months than curling up by the fire and reading a book you can’t put down. As … Read the article The post Celebrating the Holidays: 15 Books History Buffs Will Love […]
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Reliving History Magazine: Summer 2018 Issue

Reliving History Magazine

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