Roundup: Talking About History
This is where we excerpt articles about history that appear in the media. Among the subjects included on this page are: anniversaries of historical events, legacies of presidents, cutting-edge research, and historical disputes.
SOURCE: Education Week (9-29-05)
... What most forcibly caught my attention [reviewing applications this year for the Teaching American History grants] ... was the absence of any evidence that the institutions and school systems applying for federal funds had given any thought to institutionalizing and continuing the programs set up with public monies once those monies were no longer available to them.
That this year’s TAH applications showed no evidence of thinking far enough into the future is surely an indictment of those who submitted them. But it’s also due to a large hole in the federal regulations governing the program. Provision for the continuation of these projects, some of them of great promise, after grant funds have been expended is not required for the receipt of public funds.
SOURCE: The San Francisco Chronicle (9-27-05)
Groundbreaking for the first phase of a seismic upgrading of the building is Oct. 7, but dreams and a grand vision for the future already swirl around the gray granite walls.
The society sees a museum that shows the essential story of the city itself, something none of the dozens of other San Francisco museums offers.
"There's no museum about San Francisco,'' said Gilbert Castle, executive director of the museum and historical society.
"San Francisco is the way it is today because of how it developed,'' said consulting curator Robert Macdonald. The new Museum of the City of San Francisco would be a guide to understanding the fabric of the city, he said -- "a place to begin one's knowledge of San Francisco.''
SOURCE: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (9-27-05)
It's no wonder you couldn't hear them singing over the screams of young girls at the sold-out Civic Arena.
The Rolling Stones' first local appearance was a different story altogether. In fact, we could have fought off this British Invasion with a couple of guys from the Elks Club. And, if you were recording a live album on June 17, 1964, at West View Park's Danceland, you could have done it without mixing down the audience.
"The applause was very little," recalls Dave Goodrich, a local music historian.
That was a fairly typical reaction to the Stones on the band's nine-city, 15-day tour of the States that summer. Although they had just sparked a minor riot at the "Ready Steady Go! Mod Ball" back in England, over here they had only...
SOURCE: The Boston Globe (9-27-05)
Reid knows first-hand the terrible power of those weapons, and the transforming power of dialogue and reconciliation.
In March 1988, he knelt over the bodies of two British soldiers who had been executed by the IRA after stumbling into an IRA funeral cortege in Belfast. The lynching of the two corporals was the climax of a furious two-week period of bloodletting, in which the barbarity and futility of the violence in Northern Ireland had been put in tragic focus: All sides in the conflict Irish republicans, British loyalists, and the security forces had been victims and victimizers.
While most people wrung their hands in desperation or cheered the violence visited upon their mortal enemies at the time, Reid had arranged the first secret meeting...
SOURCE: The Australian (9-28-05)
University of Newcastle historian David Lemmings, one of three organisers of the two-day symposium Moral Panics: The Media and the Law, which opens today, said governments legitimated their authority with measures that set up anxiety about threats to moral and personal security.
Fear of terrorism, raised security consciousness and a premiers' meeting in Canberra yesterday to discuss anti-terrorism laws provided the elements of a modern-day moral panic, associate professor Lemmings said.
"Increasing surveillance laws and keeping people in jail for a period of time without charge; yes, of course I think that they're ratcheting up public anxiety to constitute their legitimate authority," he said.
SOURCE: NYT (9-27-05)
The mere mention of Gettysburg conjures up images of beautiful, rolling Pennsylvania farmland and stone monuments commemorating the soldiers who fought there 142 years ago. Nearly two million tourists visit Gettysburg each year to pay tribute to the place where, as Abraham Lincoln said, this nation was given "a new birth of freedom."
Sadly, there are investors who simply do not understand what Gettysburg means to the United States. They want to build a casino in the shadow of this great national landmark.
These developers say they will create a tasteful establishment, one that will be in keeping with the area's historic character and appeal to both battlefield visitors and fans of gambling. Like casino proponents elsewhere in the country, the Gettysburg investors tempt local officials with promises of jobs and money. But most of these investors will have left town by...
SOURCE: Australian (9-24-05)
Rees speaks as a biographer of the most evil place in the world. His acclaimed six-part documentary, first screened on the BBC earlier this year, comes to the ABC this week.
In the spring of 1940, Auschwitz was no more than a neat row upon row of abandoned huts, a dilapidated former Polish army barracks set around a huge horse-breaking yard.
At first, Poles were imprisoned and died in the camp, political prisoners seen as a threat to the German occupation. By the beginning of 1942, it was an industrial killing machine at the service of the modern German state, the site for the greatest mass murder in history.
"People think there was one carpet-biting loony who ordered a load of robots to work...
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune (9-15-05)
The facility was marred by cost overruns, construction flaws, political meddling and a bogus 2002 grand opening staged before the buildings were actually open--timed so that Gov. George Ryan could bask in the glory before he left office. What began as a modest $6 million site for Lincoln artifacts eventually metamorphosed into an ultra-modern 200,000-square foot complex costing some $150 million, conceived by a former Walt Disney designer with the intention of
captivating the masses.
When the museum finally opened for real in April, critics deplored its high-tech innovations and dramatizations of history as shallow gimmicks more...
SOURCE: Financial Times (London, England) (9-24-05)
Such inevitable anachronisms are the bread and butter of historical re-enactors - and nowhere are they more conspicuous than at the Festival of History, Britain's annual jamboree. This year's event, held over a soggy mid-August weekend on the grounds of a Northamptonshire stately home, gathered almost 1,000 re-enactors and attracted 17,000 visitors,...
SOURCE: The Advertiser (9-24-05)
Indochina, as one of the hottest Cold War battlefields, put his small, exotic, impoverished country on the world map. But so did this larger-than-life character - lovable and detested, greatly gifted and deeply flawed - who wrested Cambodian independence from France, survived wars and the Khmer Rouge holocaust and, for a time, juggled the major powers to secure peace for his country.
In contrast to today's bland politicians, Sihanouk crooned his own love songs to foreign VIPs, regaled Cambodians with earthy tales of conquest, and eased tension at pivotal conferences with jokes and soprano-pitched giggles. He variously embraced, castigated and basked in the praise of towering 20th-...
SOURCE: The Observer (9-25-05)
Concern is mounting after a recent spate of attacks on some of Italy's finest monuments. A man snapped off the hand of the giant, 16th-century statue of Neptune by baroque sculptor Bartolomeo Ammanati in Florence's Piazza della Signoria while trying to climb it to have his photograph taken.
In Rome a stone bee was lopped off a fountain sculpted by Pietro Bernini in 1644. Also in the capital, a crucial piece of the Navicella fountain produced by Andrea Sansovino in 1518 was broken into bits. City...
SOURCE: THE DAILY TELEGRAPH (LONDON) (9-26-05)
Long before Britain could be thought to encourage a permissive society, one in five men confessed to a homosexual experience and one in four said he had sex with prostitutes.
Most women complained that their husbands were terrible in bed. These were the findings of the 1949 Mass Observation Project, Britain's first sex survey, which asked thousands of men and women nationwide at random about their sexual tastes, on condition of anonymity.
Mass Observation worked closely with the fledgling Marriage Guidance Council, formed in 1947, but the results were considered so outrageous that they were not made public, and the survey was buried in an archive at Sussex University.
A BBC4 documentary, Little Kinsey, to be shown on Oct 5, reveals the findings. The...
SOURCE: The Daily Yomiuri (Tokyo) (9-26-05)
A magnificent 26.3-meter-long model of the Yamato holds pride of place in the Yamato Museum in Kure, although there is much more to see. Among the 120,000 items in the museum are a Zero fighter, a submarine, a Kaiten suicide torpedo and various types of ordnance.
Another attraction is the novel approach the museum has taken in focusing on the high technology and craftsmanship required to build the 65,000-ton battleship, which was launched at Kure naval dockyards in 1940.
The Yamato was attacked and sunk on April 7, 1945 en route to Okinawa in what was in reality a suicide mission, taking the lives of about 3,000 crew members. Of the 260 crew members who survived, only about 30 are alive today. The ship now lies...
SOURCE: Chicago Tribune (9-25-05)
The greeter had his hair cut in a recognizable wave, glasses perched on his nose just so, with familiar thick mustache and deep voice. As Teddy Roosevelt, the 26th president of the United States, he made us feel at home.
Some months ago I attended a conference in Nebraska--not a seance--that included a TR come-to-life. James W. Foote, like TR, from Long Island, N.Y., was the channeler.
To listen to Foote is to listen to Roosevelt. And if you care about the outdoors, that is time well spent. Roosevelt is a wonderful role model for hunters. Not only was he an accomplished hunter with intense respect for undeveloped land, he essentially was the nation's first conservationist.
In a remarkable life, there were many Teddy Roosevelts, from the politician to the warrior. Roosevelt became president of the United States at 42, wrote 36 books, won the Nobel Peace Prize, lived on...
SOURCE: South China Morning Post (9-23-05)
A spokesman said this after eight of the remaining 13 owners of the 600-year -old Nga Tsin Wai village in Wong Tai Sin submitted a petition urging the government to press ahead with redevelopment.
"The village is derelict, with appalling hygiene conditions ... Apart from the Tin Hau temple and the entrance archway, there isn't anything else worth preserving," said the letter, presented to representatives of the authority, government and Wong Tai Sin District Council.
The Urban Renewal Authority said it was not a practical possibility. "This is no longer a conceptual argument. The reality is, we are unable to rebuild the whole village, it's too dilapidated," a spokesman said, but the authority had not yet reached a plan with Cheung Kong.
Valuable monuments such as the...
SOURCE: LA Times (9-23-05)
The gathering, which was to be held today in Istanbul, was seen as a first and important step in Turkey's efforts to confront its troubled past as it seeks membership in the European Union.
The case for blocking the conference was brought by the Turkish Lawyers Union and other lawyers. Court officials declined to comment on why the conference was canceled.
But several conference participants and Western diplomats in Ankara, the capital, said the decision was part of a broader campaign by ultranationalist elements who oppose Turkey's bid for membership in the EU.
Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan swiftly condemned the ruling. "I cannot approve of this decision, especially at a time when we are...
SOURCE: The Independent (London) (9-23-05)
The 1966 bootleg was not only of first-rate sound quality; it was also the most dramatic, confrontational concert I'd ever heard " and I was a regular at Clash gigs at the time. It remains, for me, the most exciting live album of all. Dylan, on that tour, split his audiences straight down the middle....
SOURCE: The Guardian (9-23-05)
Nor is this all. Lest any crackpot thinks he can dance up and down any old high street praising Hitler, Mao or Uncle Joe as outside the 20-year limit, Clarke is preparing a list of earlier terrorist acts that also render their celebrants criminals. After "listed" historic buildings we have "listed" historic terrorisms. To...
SOURCE: Financial Times (London, England) (9-23-05)
The meeting will be the first to discuss the issue outside official control and will be closely watched for any hint that Turkey's democratic credentials fail to meet the standards expected of a candidate for European Union membership.
As it prepares to begin the long process of joining the EU, Ankara seems ready to address many contentious issues, such as Cyprus or the plight of the country's ethnic Kurds. But it appears paralysed on the question of the Armenians.
Armenia claims that 1.5m Armenians died as a result of genocide by Ottoman troops beginning in 1915, before the republic...
SOURCE: The Toronto Star (9-22-05)
Airline pioneer Max Ward, Bombardier CEO Laurent Beaudoin, and Four Seasons hotelier Issy Sharp all suffered early setbacks.
"It's really important for students to know how many failures there are on the road to success," says Gerald Schwartz, CEO and founder of merchant bank Onex Corporation, and a Harvard MBA graduate.
For Joseph Martin and his patrons, a sound grasp of lessons derived from history is essential to the aspiring tycoon.
The adjunct professor at University of Toronto's Rotman School of Management has raised $3 million to launch the school's first Canadian business history course from a clutch of Canada's most prominent business leaders: Lynton Wilson, former CEO of BCE Inc.; Richard Currie, former turnaround president at Loblaw Co. Ltd.; private investor and former Ontario lieutenant-governor Hal Jackman; Tony Fell, who built RBC Dominion into an...