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: Japan Times (8-10-08)
Many years ago, he gave me some papers associated with what was then called the Selective Service. I never took a close look at them, until now.
There is his registration certificate from Feb. 14, 1942, issued by the Dade County local board. My parents were then living in Miami, Florida, which is in Dade County. "THE LAW REQUIRES YOU TO HAVE THIS CARD IN YOUR PERSONAL POSSESSION AT ALL TIMES," it reads in bold capital letters.
I have before me, too, his report for a physical examination issued by the War Department, Headquarters of the Army Air Forces, Washington. But the document with the most meaning for the country and sentimental value for me is his Defense Council of Dade County identification card,...
SOURCE: Daily Mail (8-8-08)
Found guilty of crimes against humanity during his 24 years as President of Iraq, he had been sentenced to death.
But even now, in his last moments, he maintained his old defiance.
Spurning the use of a black hood over his head, he shouted 'Allah is great', as three masked executioners placed the rope around his throat.
The platform dropped and there was an audible crack, indicating that his neck was broken. One of modern history's most ruthless tyrants was dead at last.
Only moments before the end, on December 30, 2006, Shi'ite observers at the execution had hurled sectarian insults at Saddam (a Sunni), taunting him with the name of his great antagonist, the radical Shi'ite cleric...
SOURCE: National Post (8-5-08)
The Russian foreign ministry recently issued an indignant statement that takes issue with President Bush for equating communism with Hitlerism. "In the 20th century," a proclamation issued by Bush said, "the evils of Soviet communism and Nazi fascism were defeated and freedom spread around the world as new democracies emerged." This patently accurate statement was denounced as rewriting history.
In fact, it is the Kremlin that has been busily recasting the past, which may explain its sensitivity to linking the two great totalitarianisms. Specifically, a battery of official historians has been sanitizing the image of the dreaded dictator, Joseph Stalin.
The process of rehabilitating -- or, in the vocabulary of...
SOURCE: Sky News (8-5-08)
Much of it looks the same. A vast, 99-acre expanse watched over by the stern gaze of the Great Helmsman, Mao Zedong, and flanked by the monolithic, Soviet-style structures of the Great Hall of the People and the National History Museum.
But today it was full of flowers and flags, a friendly gathering place for the Olympic visitors.
In 1989 fires were still smouldering, wreckage strewn across the concrete slabs, a stench of death and destruction in the air. It was the aftermath of what became known as the Tiananmen Massacre - the moment when the Communist Party leaders finally lost patience and stamped on the greatest expression of public discontent in a century.
Six weeks of student-led protests against slow political reforms, the lack of civil rights and growing official corruption were crushed by military force. Hundreds were killed. Nobody has ever been able to verify the number....
SOURCE: US News (7-30-08)
On April 12, 1861, about five weeks after Abraham Lincoln's inauguration for his first term, Southern forces began bombarding Fort Sumter in Charleston harbor, starting the Civil War. On April 13, the Union forces surrendered, prompting jubilation in the new Confederacy and anger and disappointment in the North.
The election of Lincoln, an antislavery moderate, had been the last straw for pro-slavery leaders. His victory ended any hope they had of compromise because they were convinced that, with Lincoln in command, the North would trample the rights of the Southern states and move to end slavery. They began to secede from the Union and form a Confederacy of their own.
Many in the North thought the war would end quickly, but they didn't properly assess the military strength and the will of their adversaries, the quality of the Confederate forces' leadership...