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Buzz Aldrin’s travel voucher to the moon

Buzz Aldrin, who you might know from his outstanding guest starring roles in the classic Deep Space Homer episode of The Simpsons and in that 30 Rock where he and Liz Lemon yell at the moon, also did this other thing once where he was the second human being to walk on the moon. In [...]

Reenacting a Riot along Washington Street, 15 Aug.

As I wrote yesterday, on 14 August the Revolution 250 coalition will host a ceremony illuminating and hanging lanterns in Liberty Tree Plaza, at the intersection of Washington and Boylston Streets, to commemorate the sestercentennial of Boston’s first public protest against the Stamp Act. Show More Summary

National Park Service Needs a Stricter Confederate Flag Policy

I fully support the recent decision to remove gift items featuring the Confederate flag in National Park Service stores. In fact, I believe this policy…

Roman fighting Techniques

I wrote an article on July 26th 2011 called Roman Battle Tactics Versus the Phalanx, and last week, a reader commented on that post in a very thoughtful and reasoned way. You would not be able to see his comment unless you looked back at the original article, so I decided to post it here. Show More Summary

More than just an ad: Mary Pegram’s School, Richmond

Two blog posts in one day? Sure, why not… Spending some leisure time looking over my copies of Southern Literary Messenger this afternoon, I ran across a couple advertisements; and noting the names of people associated with the ads, I looked those names up on the Web. Some of the stuff I found was rather […]

Sunday morning in the Shenandoah: The “Natty B”

There are pieces of art from the antebellum era that capture a romance that is impossible to find today. While Hermann Meyer’s work was just one from that time period, it offers a portrayal of the Natural Bridge that I appreciate most. Of course, what it portrays is a time before European arrival in the […]

Revolution 250’s Liberty Tree Lantern Ceremony, 14 Aug.

In August of 1765, Bostonians carried out public protests against the Stamp Act that set the template for other actions up and down the coast of British North America. On 14 August, there was a public demonstration against the impending law under the big elm beside the one road into town during market day. Show More Summary

Patrick Clooney, 88th New York

The life and passing of Patrick Phelan (Felan) Clooney. One of the heroes of the Irish Brigade at Antietam.

The Newf and Werner von Bachelle

In April 1861 Werner von Bachelle volunteered for service in response to President Lincoln's first call for troops. Killed at Antietam, he's a celebrity today - thanks to his faithful Newfoundland dog.

In the wake of Nat Turner – further encouragement to the American Colonization Society?

I find what follows to be worthy of introduction into the discussion about the American Colonization Society. How did the Nat Turner Rebellion impact the efforts of the ACS? Perhaps more importantly, what did the discussions of 1831/32 mean to Virginians by 1861? You’ll note that I link freely to Encyclopedia Virginia… a rich resource […]

Mary Vetsera’s suicide notes found in Vienna bank

When the heir to the throne of the Austro-Hungarian Empire was found dead in a hunting lodge alongside the dead body of his 17-year-old mistress, it set off a chain reaction of confusion and cover-up that still continues to make the truth of what happened that tragic day elusive. The bodies of Crown Prince Rudolf [...]

Confederate Heritage Has Its Day at Stone Mountain

Jonathan Lee Krohn is posting some wonderful photographs on his Twitter feed at Stone Mountain, Georgia, where a Confederate flag rally is underway. It looks…

Boston’s Latest Liberty Tree

This is a photo of the Liberty Tree outside the Norman B. Leventhal Map Center at the Boston Public Library’s main building as it appeared earlier this week.There are related displays in some of the branch libraries around the city, I understand. Show More Summary

Getting to Know the Army of Tennessee

My knowledge of the Confederate army is confined mainly to the Army of Northern Virginia. As I sketch out my cultural biography of Silas Chandler,…

Leonidas IV: The Diplomat

Fans of “300” may find it hard to think of Leonidas as a diplomat. In the Hollywood cartoon, Leonidas is portrayed as the brutal antithesis of a diplomat: he personally throws a Persian ambassador down a well. But there is no more historical evidence that Leonidas committed this crime than that Xerxes was a monster. Show More Summary

The Charles Mitchell v. John L. Sullivan draw belt

Title belts in boxing today are the ostentatious displays of official victors, but it wasn’t always thus. In the 19th century, before the rules for title championships were encoded, both the title and the waist accessory were more loosely assigned. John L. Sullivan was considered the first heavyweight champion of the world even though any [...]

A Delightful 1912 Children's Book About a Wayward Rocket

The Vault is Slate's history blog. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter @slatevault, and find us on Tumblr. Find out more about what this space is all about here. The Rocket Book, by Peter Newell, was published in 1912 by Harper & Brothers. Show More Summary

Marion Harland recalls some election tunes from 1844

While I spend considerable time sifting through early literature produced about the antebellum Shenandoah Valley (produced both from within and without the Valley) I’ve also found a favorite author outside the Valley who doesn’t provide perspective on Valley life… but on antebellum life in Virginia. Marion Harland (Mary Virginia Hawes Terhune), in fact, tells more about […]

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