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Remembering Southern Unionism on Memorial Day

My latest column at The Daily Beast hopefully sheds a little light on those white and black Southerners, who for one reason or another chose to remain loyal to the United States during the American Civil War. With all the talk about the dangers of erasing history in connection with the public display of Confederate […]

Winner and Finalists of the 2016 Washington Book Prize

Last week Mount Vernon, Washington College, and the Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History announced the winner of the 2016 George Washington Book Prize, created to honor “the best new works on the nation’s founding era, especially...Show More Summary

Settled in Larnaka

So, Sunday we got up, packed up the car, and headed over to Larnaka. Along the way, we took a break and stopped for lunch at one of our favorite spots, Zygi. As I have mentioned many times before, this is … Continue reading ?

Looters dig up Petersburg National Battlefield

Just in time for Memorial Day, the National Park Service has discovered extensive looting of the Petersburg National Battlefield in Virginia. Rangers found a large number of pits dug by treasure hunters looking to steal Civil War artifacts. They likely used metal detectors to discover small, easily removed and carried objects like uniform buttons, buckles [...]

Does History Deserve Roots?

Like many of you I am excited about the first episode of the mini-series Roots, which airs on the History channel tomorrow evening. I am also concerned. History does not have the best track record when it comes to programs that are actually about history. Many of their most popular programs have only a loose […]

Ancient gold wreath kept in a box under the bed

On June 9th, Duke’s of Dorchester auction house will be selling an ancient gold myrtle wreath kept for years in a box under a bed in Somerset. Duke’s appraiser Guy Schwinge went to the cottage to examine some of the belongings of the elderly resident. He was amazed when the owner pulled a busted old [...]

Marek Bennett Makes Sense of Money

These panels are from a short comic by the New Hampshire artist and educator Marek Bennett, looking at the dollars that the town of Henniker had to spend on a covered bridge late in the Revolutionary War. Bennett mines the records of his town and others nearby and adapts their stories into comics form. Show More Summary

John Hennessy on the Legacy of the Civil War

There is no one better at engaging an audience on the topic of the legacy of the American Civil War than John Hennessy. That is all. Watch, enjoy, and reflect. [Uploaded to YouTube on May 28, 2016.]

The Father of Quality Lager reborn

Humans have been brewing beer since at least 6000 B.C. in Mesopotamia — a study was just published a few days ago revealing a 5,000-year-old recipe for beer derived from residue inside pottery found in China’s Shaanxi province — but for thousands of years the chemical processes of fermentation were mysterious. Ingredients varied widely, and [...]

Saturday in Polis

Things are a bit slow at Polis, I am heading to Larnaka tomorrow so there wasn’t a lot to do today. So Brandon, Dave, and I used the day as a chance to go to Paphos and visit some of the … Continue reading ?

Venues for Valiant Ambition by Nathaniel Philbrick

Following up on Bunker Hill (discussed in most of these postings), Nathaniel Philbrick has brought out Valiant Ambition: George Washington, Benedict Arnold, and the Fate of the American Revolution. As the title indicates, this book focuses on the Continental commander-in-chief and one of his most capable yet prickly protégés. Show More Summary

William Mack Lee Outed in Confederate Veteran

This afternoon a good friend contacted me after having looked into the claim made by William Mack Lee that he served in the 27th Virginia Infantry. It should come as no surprise that there is no compiled service record for WML in that unit. More interesting, however, is a thorough debunking of WML’s claims of […]

Memorial Day ceremony planned at Civil War cemetery with ties to Lincoln

You can commemorate Memorial Day this year by attending a ceremony at the Soldiers’ Home National Cemetery in Northwest D.C., the country’s first national cemetery. Buried there are the Union soldiers who died in combat at the Battle of First Manassas, among others. The cemetery, which President Abraham Lincoln visited often, predates the better known […]

Last Friday in Polis

Things are winding down in Polis for 2016 for me – we leave Sunday for a week of work at PKAP in Larnaka. I finished looking at pottery yesterday, both pieces in the museum and what we had stored at … Continue reading ?

Finding Founding Fathers Funnies

Earlier this year Dark Horse published a long-awaited collection of Peter Bagge’s Founding Fathers Funnies. For his comic Hate Bagge was honored with Harvey and Inkpot Awards, as well as multiple Eisner Award nominations. In 2014 heShow More Summary

Neanderthals built stalagmite circles 175,000 years ago

The entrance to the Bruniquel Cave in southwest France collapsed in prehistoric times, sealing off the cave from the Pleistocene until determined local speleologists dug their way through in 1990. Inside the cave just 336 meters (1102 feet) from the entrance, they found two circular structures made of whole and broken stalagmites. Archaeologists carefully documented [...]

Derek W. Beck’s Book Signings around Boston

With the launch of The Road to Concord coming up on Thursday, 2 June, I’m going to highlight some other Revolutionary literature of note. Derek W. Beck is coming to Massachusetts in June to talk about Igniting the American Revolution and The War Before Independence. Show More Summary

10 Days to Go

Time is flying by, I only have til Sunday in Polis and then we head to Larnaka to do some PKAP work next week, mainly cataloguing and illustrating artifacts. Today I drove Bill and David to the airport, they are … Continue reading ?

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