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Special Showing: “The Gettysburg Story” (May 7)

The Gettysburg Story Preview from Jake Boritt on Vimeo. Noted filmmaker Jake Boritt is coming to Carlisle on Wednesday, May 7, 2014 for a special free public showing and discussion of his latest film, “The Gettysburg Story,” a state-of-the-art documentary about the pivotal Civil War battle narrated by actor Stephen Lang.  What makes this film […]

Memories of History Camp

Remember last month’s History Camp? If you weren’t able to make it, you can still partake of some of the program through the videos that organizer Lee Wright has just posted on YouTube.Here I am talking about “The Boston Bankruptcy That...Show More Summary

Excitement at the Supreme Court

I was at the oral arguments for the Supreme Court yesterday with a group of students and we were lucky enough to catch someone standing up to protest the Citizens United decision. He was well-dressed, in a suit and a tie. The court artist...Show More Summary

It’s Electrifying!

In September 1966, General Electric hosted its Fifth Annual Utility Executives Conference in Williamsburg, Virginia. Those businessmen (and perhaps a few women) came with their wives (and perhaps a couple of husbands) for a three-day meeting. Show More Summary

Who is the real Sam Wilkeson?

As readers of Blog Divided are well aware, we have been fascinated by the story of Samuel and Bayard Wilkeson, a father and son who were both at Gettysburg, one as a correspondent for the New York Times and the other as a 2LT for the Union army.  The son died on the battle’s first day [...]

New Details about the “First Draft” of the Gettysburg Address

On Tuesday evening, July 7, 1863, Abraham Lincoln responded to a “serenade” from a crowd outside the White House celebrating the wonderful news  received in Washington earlier that day that Vicksburg had finally surrendered to Union forces (actually on the Fourth of July, Independence Day). Speaking extemporaneously, the president struggled to find the right words [...]

Volume, Confusion, and Rage: On Commuting

Knocker-up in action Commuting has been part of the human experience since the Industrial Revolution. Ever since the workplace and the home got firmly disentangled, people have been waking up and resignedly making their way to their place of employment. Show More Summary

The Boston Massacre and the Rising Generation

Last Saturday’s reenactment of the Boston Massacre drew scores of volunteers from at least as far north as New Hampshire and at least as far south as Virginia and Kentucky. Their dedication was awe-inspiring, as always.I was especially impressed by some of the younger participants: the drummer for His Majesty’s 29th Regiment of Foot. Show More Summary

Ouch

“Gross lack of intellectual standards” could be the name of my next band: Senator Sessions’s staff on the Budget Committee has contacted both me and my editor objecting to the item in the most strenuous terms. I have further explored the matter at length and determined that, in my haste, I treated Senator Sessions’s claims far too generously. Show More Summary

But Did He Ride Them Down To The Ground?

Breitbart has the scoop: Journalists on the campaign trail saw [President Lyndon] Johnson drunkenly board a plane armed with nuclear weapons and then accidentally drop them on the United States. Luckily, by the grace of God, they did not go off. The day is not lost as long as there’s a Dr. Strangelove reference possible. (h/t @davidfolkenflik)

The Revolution Will Be Televised

Last week I noted Melvin Bernstein’s esay on the change of government in Worcester on 6 Sept 1774. For folks interested in hearing more, check out the video of this TEDxEureka talk by Ray Raphael titled “Revolution: A Success Story.” Ray taught high school before becoming a full-time historian and author, so he’s a very engaging speaker. Show More Summary

Radio Boston 1775

Yesterday I went into WBUR, Boston’s top-ranked public radio station, to share my impressions of the preview of Assassin’s Creed III, a videogame being released at the end of October. Here’s a link to the radio segment, and here’s the preview video from UbiSoft that we refer to. Show More Summary

Caught on Camera

Today I’m in Deerfield, delivering a paper about the British soldiers caught up in the Boston Massacre. That’s part of the Dublin Seminar for New England Folklife’s conference on “The Irish in Boston.” If that news makes you unaccountably...Show More Summary

Lectures Online and On the Calendar

A friendly ranger from the National Park Service recorded my March talk on “Washington’s Artillery: Remaking the Regiment Between Bunker Hill and Dorchester Heights” and produced this video on YouTube. It’s about 53 minutes long from introduction to end. Show More Summary

What do you mean, “next”? More on the GOP and the UC.

Sara Robinson asks of Rick Santorum’s false claims about the UC and US history, “Did Rick Santorum just declare the next right-wing crusade?” The thing to remember is this: Even though right-wing narratives are often factually wrong, they are absolutely never content-free. Stories like this are always about something. And the weirder and more factually [...]

Whatever else is in Rick Santorum, the truth about California universities isn’t.

Rick Santorum: I was just reading something last night from the state of California. And that the California universities – I think it’s seven or eight of the California system of universities don’t even teach an American history course. It’s not even available to be taught. Just to tell you how bad it’s gotten in [...]

No Sex Please, We’re British Teachers In Arizona

State Bill 1467: IF A PERSON WHO PROVIDES CLASSROOM INSTRUCTION IN A PUBLIC SCHOOL ENGAGES IN SPEECH OR CONDUCT THAT WOULD VIOLATE THE STANDARDS ADOPTED BY THE FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION CONCERNING OBSCENITY, INDECENCY AND PROFANITY IF THAT SPEECH OR CONDUCT WERE BROADCAST ON TELEVISION OR RADIO: 1. FOR THE FIRST OCCURRENCE, THE SCHOOL SHALL SUSPEND [...]

FDR’s worst decision.

Franklin Roosevelt’s worst decision was Executive Order 9066, “Authorizing the Secretary of War to Prescribe Military Areas”, which is to say, interning Americans of Japanese descent. The decision for internment had nothing to do with intelligence (particularly, as often alleged, from MAGIC cables) and everything to do with the conviction that “a Jap is a [...]

John Tyler, Spanning the Republic

Dude! John Tyler, the 10th President of the United States, may not have been a particularly remembered executive (except perhaps as the trailing end of “Tippacanoe and Tyler Too“), but he, his children, and grandchildren quite nearly cover the span of the American nation. Tyler himself was born in March, 1790, just over a year [...]

In still another country.

If you don’t hear the key phrase here in John Cleese’s French accent, you’re dead inside. The bill also would criminalize ‘outrageous minimization’ of the Armenian genocide. Garton Ash, presumably wearing his poker face, points out only that “minimization” will be hard to figure, leaving out “outrageous” altogether.

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