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This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.
This page features brief excerpts of news stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used. Because most of our readers read the NYT we usually do not include the paper's stories in HIGHLIGHTS.
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (2-7-08)
Aron Bell, 80, and his wife, Henryka, 58, were charged last year with scheming to defraud 90-year-old Janina Zaniewska, exploitation of the elderly and theft.
In a plea deal, the Bells agreed to repay Zaniewska $260,000, according to court documents released Tuesday. Authorities said prosecution will be deferred if the Bells stay out of trouble and repay the money.
SOURCE: AP (2-5-08)
There's no marker there, but it's one of 400 places in a new book called "On the Road to Freedom: A Guided Tour of the Civil Rights Trail" (Algonquin Books, $18.95).
Many of the sites included in the book are well-known - like the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tenn., where Martin Luther King Jr. was assassinated, now the National Civil Rights Museum. But Charles E. Cobb Jr., who wrote "On the Road to Freedom," says he also wanted to include little-known places - like the road near Anniston - "for the person who has a real interest in the civil rights movement and is not necessarily your ordinary tourist."
While "On the Road to Freedom" is a travel guide, organized by destination, with street addresses for historic sites, it is also full of stories. Some are known to every schoolchild - like Rosa Parks' refusal to give her seat on the bus to a white passenger - but others will be new to many readers, like a 1944 incident in which a black woman named Irene Morgan was jailed for refusing to yield her seat on a Greyhound bus headed from Virginia to Maryland. The conflict led the U.S. Supreme Court to strike down segregated seating on interstate travel.
SOURCE: AP (2-6-08)
Landis, who lived at a Sun City Center nursing home, died Monday, according to the Florida Department of Veterans Affairs.
The remaining U.S. veteran is Frank Buckles, 107, of Charles Town, W.Va., according the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. In addition, John Babcock of Spokane, Wash., 107, served in the Canadian army and is the last known Canadian veteran of the war.
SOURCE: AP (2-3-08)
But he is not asleep; he is dead. And this is not just another fallen GI; it is Ernie Pyle, the most celebrated war correspondent of World War II.
As far as can be determined, the photograph has never been published. Sixty-three years after Pyle was killed by the Japanese, it has surfaced — surprising historians, reminding a forgetful world of a humble correspondent who artfully and ardently told the story of a war from the foxholes.
A local historian says a photograph of a post-mortem Ernie Pyle that has surfaced is nothing new. Ray E. Boomhower, senior editor for the Indiana Historical Society’s Traces of Indiana and Midwestern History, said during an interview Sunday that a copy of the photograph has been in the collection at the Indiana Historical Society for years.
Name of source: http://www.thenewanatolian.com
SOURCE: http://www.thenewanatolian.com (2-6-08)
The 12-meter-high lighthouse was built under the reign of Emperor Nero who ruled from 54 to 68, Professor Havva Iskan Isik, head of the excavation team reported.
Name of source: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk
SOURCE: http://www.portsmouth.co.uk (2-7-08)
Academics from Durham and Manchester universities have asked permission to remove bits of bone and teeth to analyse as part of their research project into how tuberculosis evolved through the ages.
Name of source: http://www.presstv.ir
SOURCE: http://www.presstv.ir (2-7-08)
The contract will enable the company to resume salt exploitation for another ten years, beginning this week, which could severely damage and ultimately destroy invaluable information about the historic mine.
As very few salt mummies have been found, Iran's salt men are considered extremely unique with the mystery surrounding the manner of their death adding to their intrigue.
Name of source: Reuters
SOURCE: Reuters (2-8-08)
The blog, by an anonymous author, listed the names and workplaces of university professors which it accused of "publicly and politically" supporting Israel.
It was taken down in the early afternoon on Friday, said Emanuele Fini, one of the heads of blog site www.ilcannocchiale.it, where the blog was first posted on January 16....
The blog had links to far-right websites and themes like Holocaust revisionism, appeals to boycott Israel and war-time fascist dictator Benito Mussolini. Some professors listed on the blog are not Jewish but had signed pro-Israel petitions.
SOURCE: Reuters (2-6-08)
Genetic tests showed the lice are nearly identical to strains found around the world that have been dated to when humans first began to colonize the rest of the world.
"It tells us that this genetic type got around the globe right as humans spread and migrated around the globe," said David Reed of the University of Florida, who worked on the study.
Name of source: National Coalition for History blog
SOURCE: National Coalition for History blog (2-8-08)
In late-December, Congress released the contents of the omnibus-spending bill that would fund federal agencies through the remainder of fiscal year 2008. Tucked inside the massive report accompanying the bill, the House and Senate Appropriations Committees expressed concern about the length of time it was taking to complete the publication of the Founding Fathers historical papers. They instructed the Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein to “accelerate the process” for completion of the projects and to develop a plan to make the papers available on-line “within a reasonable time frame.” The Archivist was given 90 days to report back to the committees, which will be late-March.
The leadoff witness was noted author David McCullough, who extensively relied on the Founders papers for his Pulitzer Prize winning biography of John Adams. McCullough was effusive in his praise of the published papers of the Founders. “Their value is unassailable, immeasurable. They are superbly edited. They are thorough. They are accurate. The footnotes are pure gold—many are masterpieces of close scholarship.”
However, McCullough made clear he was not merely endorsing expediting processing. Speaking of the work of the documentary editors, McCullough said, “They are the best in the business and the high quality of the work they do need not, must not be jeopardized or visciated in order to speed up the rate of production.” McCullough instead argued for doubling the investment in the project, which would allow the hiring of additional skilled scholars, “and thereby pick up the pace with no change in quality.”
Archivist of the United States Allen Weinstein agreed that the process needed to be accelerated and made available on-line. But he stopped short of revealing what his plan to Congress for reaching those goals would be.
Dr. Weinstein did note that producing on-line versions of the Founders’ papers would require negotiation for the electronic rights with the copyright holders, namely university presses. He said that the presses and projects “have a long-standing financial interest in these collections as well as a commitment to thorough scholarship. At the same time scholarly presses have at the core of their mission open access to knowledge.”
Dr. Deanna Marcum, Associate Librarian for Library Services at the Library of Congress, urged committee members to consider allowing the Library of Congress to serve as the host for the digitized collections of the Founding Fathers papers and to make them accessible in a single website. She noted that the library has already digitized microfilm and made available all of the presidential papers of Washington, Jefferson and Madison available online.
Ms. Rebecca Rimel, President and CEO of the Pew Charitable Trusts, was the next to testify and stated, “the failure fo complete these projects has become a national embarrassment.” While echoing the views of the other witnesses that editing and annotating not be sacrificed to speed, she harshly criticized the pace, lack of oversight and costs to the consumers of the finished projects. “There are no benchmarks or reporting requirements, and no one has every questioned the efficiency of these programs or the pace of their progress.” She noted that the cost of a full set of the 26 volumes of the Papers of Alexander Hamilton costs $2,600.
Ms. Rimmel set forth three objectives for Congress to follow. First, Congress should draft a plan for the completion of the projects and conduct regular oversight until they are finished. Second, she urged the expedited completion of the letterpress projects, but accompanied by sufficient funding and more accountability and efficiency. Finally, she urged that the published volumes be digitized—along with the original, unannotated documents—and placed on a single, easily accessible website, such as the one proposed by the Library of Congress.
Dr. Stanley Katz was the next to testify. Dr. Katz is chairman of the board of the Founding Fathers Papers Inc., a nonprofit group that represents the editorial projects established to publish the papers of Benjamin Franklin, George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Madison. Dr. Katz noted that by their nature these projects take a long time. He noted that while the projects are proceeding with all deliberate speed, they have must be “speedy but deliberate.” He pointed out that these are works of scholarship that require craft skills and are not “an industrial process.” Dr. Katz noted that the pace has increased to the point that each project is publishing a volume per year. He also said that every one of the Founding Fathers projects is involved in the planning for or actually preparing its materials for digitization and subsequent electronic publication.
The controversy over the subject is far from over. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee may possibly hold an additional hearing on the subject and certainly the congressionally-mandated report by the Archivist in the spring will generate more discussion.
Name of source: Newsweek
SOURCE: Newsweek (2-9-07)
The revival has touched a nerve among a large swath of the French population. Polled online, 73 percent disagreed with Sarkozy's pronouncement on school-teachers versus pastors. Last week 60 unions, teachers' associations and others launched a Web petition arguing that Sarkozy, "in mixing personal convictions and his presidential function, undermines the secularism of the republic." The petition drew 20,000 signatures in its first four days. Politicians are fanning the flames. Centrist leader François Bayrou, himself a devout Roman Catholic, forewarned that challenging secularism in France would open a Pandora's box of latent problems. Socialist leader François Hollande accused Sarkozy of using religion to sell nuclear energy to Muslim countries.
Sarkozy's rhetoric is reopening deep wounds. As French secularism historian Jean Baubérot notes, "The battle between the priest and the schoolteacher lasted centuries! Sure, in another country, that point would be much less important. But in France, it resuscitates a battle that only ended decades ago." The law separating church and state dates to 1905. Since French secularism evolved to counter the dominance of a single Catholic Church, he explains, the secular sensibility in France is less relaxed than in the United States, where diverse Protestant churches have historically coexisted. In France, state evocations of God still come off as partisan.
But when Bass tried to impress the significance of what he had discovered upon the panel, he ran into what he thought was a roadblock—his boss. Philip Zelikow, a respected University of Virginia historian hired to be the 9/11 Commission's executive director, had long been friendly with Rice. The two had coauthored a book. Rice had later placed him on a Bush transition team that reorganized the NSC (and ended up diminishing Clarke's role). At Rice's request, Zelikow had also anonymously drafted a new Bush national-security paper in September 2002 that laid out the case for preventive war.
In commission staff meetings, Zelikow disparaged Clarke as an egomaniac and braggart who was unjustly slandering his friend Rice, according to a new book, "The Commission: The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Investigation," by New York Times reporter Philip Shenon. Bass was so disturbed by what he saw as Zelikow's bullying that at one point he threatened to resign. So did a Democratic commissioner, Bob Kerrey, when he discovered Zelikow's ties to the administration. "Look, Tom, either he goes or I go," Kerrey told the panel's chairman, Republican Tom Kean, about Zelikow, according to Shenon....
In any case, the suggestion by conspiracy theorists—who have seized on the evidence in Shenon's book—that Zelikow was serving as a secret White House"mole" is hard to sustain. As some of the 9/11 commissioners themselves pointed out, Zelikow—despite his occasionally abrasive style—oversaw the production of a hard-hitting report that disclosed an unprecedented amount of previously secret information....
With the terror of the insurgency, sectarian attacks and suicide bombings, the devastation of Iraq's museums and archeological sites has become a footnote in the ongoing violence and political crises. In 2006, after a mass kidnapping near the museum, the director, Donny George, sealed much of the complex in a concrete tomb and, like many of Iraq's professionals, left the country. But now, with the U.S. troop surge, Baghdad is calmer. Last summer the concrete was replaced with an iron security door. Inside the museum now, nearly 300 workers and scholars are repairing and renovating the interiors and cataloging and restoring artifacts—not only those damaged in the rampage but also those stolen from archeological sites and turned in to the authorities. Though there are no plans to let the public into the museum—"I cannot risk opening this to anyone," says al-Dahab—NEWSWEEK was invited to survey the ongoing work.
The details of those medical evaluations make you wonder why McCain is not stark raving mad today. Tortured repeatedly to extract a confession, McCain "tried to hang himself X2 to avoid giving in," reads the report of a psychiatrist at Jacksonville Naval Hospital in Florida who had interviewed McCain in 1973. "Broke three teeth as a result of rocks in diet," records another. Last week, as I read to McCain from these long-ago documents, he chimed in, "And also a fist in the face a couple of times." McCain was relaxing in a luxurious suite at the Beverly Hilton hotel in Los Angeles, having just received the endorsement of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (the two made an odd couple—the tanned, coifed, buff movie warrior and the pale, wispy-haired real one). His years in captivity were "terrible," McCain said, but, his voice gaining emphasis and urgency, he went on: "In some ways, it was the most magnificent time, because of the courage and bravery of those I had the privilege of serving with." He seemed to hear himself and quickly added: "Veterans really hate war. I hope there's no glorification of war in anything I've written or said."
Name of source: Joshua Altman for HNN. Mr. Altman is an HNN intern.
SOURCE: Joshua Altman for HNN. Mr. Altman is an HNN intern. (2-10-08)
The resolution calls on the American people to use the first week in May to express their appreciation of our history of religious faith. H. Res. 888 claims that the United States is a religious country, that it was founded by deeply religious people, and that it is important to keep religious history in the public eye.
Introduced on the House floor December 18, 2008, the resolution came in the wake of the debate about the so-called war on Christmas. Just a week earlier the House passed H. Res. 847: Recognizing the importance of Christmas and the Christian faith. The Secular Coalition for America, a lobby for atheists, humanists, freethinkers, and other non-theist Americans, which works to ensure a secular government, wrote in an Action Alert to its members that H. Res. 888 mistakenly claims that the United States is a Christian Nation. The Coalition does not regularly send out Action Alerts on unbinding resolutions like 888. But in this case the impact of a yea vote was considered severe.
Americans United for a Separation of Church and State issued an Action Alert as well, specifically rebutting the claim that the United States Constitution is religious because it employs the phrase,"in the year of our Lord."
Even though the resolution would have no practical impact, it is significant, says Lori Lipman Brown, Director and Lobbyist for the Secular Coalition for America. She says that religious activists even use slogans such as "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance and "in God we trust" on currency to advance their agenda.
Chris Rodda, who runs a blog devoted to church-state issues, has identified what he claims are dozens of historical inaccuracies in the resolution. One of the claims he debunks is that"the most frequently-cited source in the political period known as The Founding Era was the Bible." Rodda notes that this finding is based in part on a misreading of a political scientist's study in the 1980s:
The 916 documents included in the study were not official documents, legislative proceedings, etc., but writings"printed for public consumption," such as books, newspaper articles, and pamphlets. Only items of over 2,000 words were included. Taking into account that three-quarters of the biblical citations came from the subcategory of sermons, which comprised only 10% of the category of pamphlets, the Bible is really in the same range as Classical influences for documents that weren't sermons.
President Bush recently issued a proclamation calling for National Religious Freedom Day. Critics found rich irony in the president's proclamation. The president invoked the name of Thomas Jefferson as a defender of religious freedom, when it was Jefferson who famously told the Danbury Baptist Association that religion is a matter which lies solely between Man and his God and that the first amendment built a wall of separation between church and state.
H. Res. 888 cites Thomas Jefferson in numerous clauses. But Jefferson himself was a deist. Although he believed in a creator, he did not believe the government should play a religious role.
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-9-08)
The founder of the National Front was found guilty of denying a crime against humanity and complicity in condoning war crimes.
Le Pen was also fined around £7,400. His lawyer said that the 79-year-old would appeal against the sentence.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-7-08)
The book, which has been described as being Richard Dawkins's The God Delusion for children, conducts a highly critical tour of Christianity, Islam and Judaism.
Not one of the priest, imam or rabbi emerges creditably from the story, called How Do I Get to God, Asked the Small Piglet, by Michael Schmidt-Salomon, with illustrations by Helge Nyncke.
The drawings of the rabbi, in particular, have drawn fire for their similarities to Nazi slurs and hate propaganda.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-7-08)
Ever since Giovanni Pico della Mirandola, a mystical and mercurial philosopher at the court of Lorenzo de' Medici, suddenly became sick and died in 1494, it has been rumoured that foul play was involved.
Pico's fame has faded, but he was a celebrated figure at the Medici court.
He gained notoriety when, at the age of 23, he offered to defend 900 of his opinions on philosophy and religion against all-comers.
His subsequent tract, The Oration on the Dignity of Man, has been called the "manifesto of the Renaissance".
However, he died aged 31 - two years after Lorenzo - together with a man who might have been his lover, Antonio Ambrosini, who was also known as Poliziano.
Last July, a team of scientists from the universities of Bologna, Pisa and Lecce exhumed the two corpses and subjected them to a battery of tests.
The scientists used biomolecular technology and scanning equipment as well as DNA analysis to find a cause.
Yesterday they concluded that both men had been poisoned with arsenic, after finding a toxic quantity in their bones.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-6-08)
The Military Balance 2008 portrays Russia as breaking out of the constraints imposed by treaties once considered inviolable.
John Chipman, the head of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, which published the survey, said the "next target of Moscow’s assertive revisionism" could be the Intermediate Nuclear Forces (INF) Treaty of 1987.
This crucial agreement, signed by President Ronald Reagan and Mikhail Gorbachev, eliminated medium-range nuclear missiles in Europe.
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (2-5-08)
Bernstadt auf dem Eigen, on the eastern border with Poland, has dedicated a school to Klaus Riedel, who was instrumental in developing the mobile launch pads for Hitler's wonder weapon that killed some 2,700 civilians in England and injured an estimated 6,500 people.
The honour to Riedel is considered particularly sensitive as the school is in the state of Saxony, where Germany's far-right NPD party has scored well in recent elections.
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (2-10-08)
Should they ratify the decision by regular delegates and vote for the candidate who is ahead in June, no matter how small the lead? Are they obligated to follow the vote of their constituents in primaries or caucuses? Or should they simply follow their conscience and vote for whoever they think is the best nominee?
Superdelegates, created in 1982, were intended to restore some of the power over the nomination process to party insiders, tempering the zeal of party activists. About 15 to 20 percent of the delegates at Democratic conventions are superdelegates.
In the close race for the Democratic presidential nomination in 1984, superdelegates overwhelmingly supported Walter F. Mondale, helping to secure his defeat of Gary Hart. This year, the competition is more intense, and the superdelegates’ support more evenly divided.
Mr. Obama, talking to reporters in Seattle on Friday, said he believed superdelegates should follow the will of the voters.
SOURCE: NYT (2-10-08)
But, used he was, to great effectiveness, in Pennsylvania in 1986. The story is this.
The Maharishi, who died last Tuesday, was the man who introduced transcendental meditation to the West. The Beatles were his most famous disciples, but another was William W. Scranton 3d, who went to Europe in 1970 to study TM....
The TV spot [created by James Carville] featured sitar music, pictures of the young, long-haired Mr. Scranton, a mug-shot like photo of the long-haired, bearded Maharishi and a sneering mention of transcendental meditation. Though the exact words were never used, the message was clear: Mr. Scranton is a weirdo!
SOURCE: NYT (2-7-08)
With the Democratic race for the nomination reduced to a two-senator battle between Hillary Rodham Clinton and Barack Obama, and Senator John McCain tightening his grip on the Republican nod, it is becoming more likely that a member of the current Senate will do something no other senator has done since 1961: move straight from Congress to the White House.
Of course, it is taking the prospect of the first-ever White House race between two sitting senators to guarantee that outcome. Given the Senate’s record as a political ball-and-chain for presidential contenders of both parties, perhaps the only route from the Senate to the executive mansion is over another senator.
SOURCE: NYT (2-6-08)
This year, two new museums and a new traditional gate marking the city’s Chinatown will be completed, formally acknowledging the role minority groups have played in shaping Seattle and the region — even as those roles are changing. The new touchstones will meet dueling misperceptions: that the city has had a bland racial past and that tolerance and unity are among the local natural resources.
“If it’s a nice place, it’s not because it’s always been a nice place,” said James N. Gregory, director of the Seattle Civil Rights and Labor History Project at the University of Washington. “It’s because people fought like hell to make things better. It’s kind of an annoying local mythology: ‘Oh, Seattle doesn’t have problems. It doesn’t have racial problems. That’s just the South.’ ”
In fact, the locations of the new museums — the Northwest African American Museum at the edge of the Central District and the newly expanded Wing Luke Asian Museum in what is now called the International District — are directly linked to the city’s troubled racial history. The neighborhoods became concentrated with minorities beginning in the 19th century because discriminatory housing policies prevented Asians, blacks and other groups from living elsewhere.
[HNN Editor: The architect of record for the Northwest African American Museum is DKA, one of Washington State’s largest minority-owned firms (it's named for Donald King, the President/CEO). The museum is located in a refurbished school that had long been boarded up. Rico Quirindongo, the project architect, has been working on the dream of turning the school into an African American museum since he was a graduate student and wrote his thesis about it.]
SOURCE: NYT (2-4-08)
Yet tax experts say that the pattern of deceit outlined in court papers — appraising art objects for amounts just below a threshold that sets off higher scrutiny — is frequently investigated by the criminal enforcement arm of the Internal Revenue Service.
And a scholar who aided in the investigation argues that the modest dollar value of the objects — mostly artifacts from Southeast Asia that the authorities say were probably looted — is vastly eclipsed by the damage that looters wreak at archaeological sites, adding urgency to the inquiry.
The scholar, Joyce C. White, director of the Ban Chiang Project at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, said that the items smuggled and sold in the United States tend to be those that are intact, and that for each intact item removed there were doubtless many broken ones. When properly excavated, she said, the ensemble of items establishes the date of the intact artifact and yields countless details about historical and social context.
SOURCE: NYT (2-5-08)
But archaeologists say they have now found the ashes, bones and other evidence of animal sacrifices to some pre-Zeus deity on the summit of Mount Lykaion, in the region of Greece known as Arcadia. The remains were uncovered last summer at an altar later devoted to Zeus.
Fragments of a coarse, undecorated pottery in the debris indicated that the sacrifices might have been made as early as 3000 B.C., the archaeologists concluded. That was about 900 years before Greek-speaking people arrived, probably from the north in the Balkans, and brought their religion with them.
The excavators were astonished.
SOURCE: NYT (2-5-08)
In addition to numerous e-mail messages sent to Wikipedia.org, an online petition cites a prohibition in Islam on images of people.
The petition has more than 80,000 “signatures,” though many who submitted them to ThePetitionSite.com, remained anonymous.
Name of source: http://media.www.diamondbackonline.com
SOURCE: http://media.www.diamondbackonline.com (2-8-08)
Their careers had collided in the most public way, shaping the way Americans understood the Vietnam War and the freedom of the press. But when Washington Post editor Ben Bradlee and Nixon-era whistle-blower Daniel Ellsberg first shook hands, it was in the green room at Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center last night.
Their lives intersected in 1971 when Ellsberg leaked thousands of pages of documents to The New York Times and The Post that illuminated damning secrets about the Vietnam War. But in a Diamondback interview, they chatted like old friends, bringing up mutual acquaintances, travels and trading stories.
After years of telling the story of the Pentagon Papers individually, the two seemed more interested in getting to know each other.
Name of source: Space.com
SOURCE: Space.com (2-8-08)
The total lunar eclipse will be made even more striking by the presence of the nearby planet Saturn and the bright bluish star, Regulus.
Eclipses in the distant past often terrified viewers who took them as evil omens. Certain lunar eclipses had an overwhelming effect on historic events. One of the most famous examples is the trick pulled by Christopher Columbus.
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (2-7-08)
"That is when everything will be done," said Charles L. Overby, the chief executive officer of the museum. By everything Overby means the seven levels with 250,000 square feet of exhibition space, including 15 theaters, 14 galleries, two broadcast studios, 100 original videos and more than 130 interactive stations. Intertwined in that is a history of the media, from the start of printing to the digital age.
At 6 a.m. today, the Newseum planned to post the April 11 date on the 40-by-22 foot electronic screen just inside its glass facade. Passersby at Pennsylvania Avenue and Sixth Street NW, where the building takes up half a block, will be able to see the announcement. The museum will also debut its front-pages display today with headlines and covers from 80 U.S. and international papers. It, too, will be visible from the sidewalk.
SOURCE: WaPo (2-3-08)
An attempt to create a national monument honoring Lincoln in Washington two years after his assassination in 1865 had foundered. Lingering divisions over the Civil War precluded further talk of the idea until Republicans won control of the White House and both houses of Congress in 1896. The Senate Park Commission came up with its proposal in 1901 as part of a larger plan to remake the Mall.
The key obstacle was Republican Congressman Joe Cannon of Illinois, chairman of the powerful Appropriations Committee. Like his hero Lincoln, he was self-taught, having left school to support his family at age 14 when his father, a poor country doctor, drowned. He worked as a clerk at a county store for five years before saving $500 to study law. He became a successful country lawyer and then state's attorney. Cannon was able to quit work and enter politics thanks to the business acumen of his brother, with whom he'd entered a financial partnership. By 1902, he'd been in Congress 27 years and was considered one of its best debaters, despite being a self-proclaimed hayseed.
Cigar-chewing "Uncle Joe," as he was known, was an arch-conservative who believed in limited government spending. At $2 million, the Lincoln structure would be the most expensive U.S. monument ever built. (The Washington Monument, built between 1848 and 1888, cost $1.2 million.) He also had little use for anything that wasn't practical. When Congress first designated the reclaimed flats as a future park in 1897, he wanted the park to include a vegetable garden for the poor. He was guided by that same principle in matters of architecture. When Congress wanted to build new office space, he suggested putting skyscrapers atop both ends of the U.S. Capitol.
But, most of all, Cannon couldn't envision Potomac Flats as anything other than what it was. The undeveloped area was hardly a fitting place for a memorial to Lincoln, whom he'd met twice as a young man in Illinois.
Name of source: ANSA (Italy)
SOURCE: ANSA (Italy) (2-10-08)
Teams in Marseilles and Florida have separately examined two lice-ridden Peruvian mummies dating back to the early 11th century - almost 500 years before the Italian explorer arrived in the Caribbean.
''The DNA from these parasites showed that the animals predated the arrival of Columbus by hundreds of years,'' said David L. Reed of the Florida Museum of Natural History.
Reed said that his studies, combined with those of the French Institute for Infectious Diseases in Marseilles, ''showed that these parasites had been feeding off pre-Colombian peoples for at least 10,000 years''.
''That doesn't absolve European explorers of other germ spreading, of course,'' Reed added, referring to the outbreaks of smallpox, measles, chicken pox and scarlet fever that would eventually decimate native tribes.
Name of source: CSM
SOURCE: CSM (2-8-08)
"The first shock was as if finding out for the first time the horror of being descended from slave traders," she says. "But within moments, I realized I already knew, and yet had completely buried it."
It was that second shock of recognizing her own "amnesia" that spurred Ms. Browne to dig into the history further, and the surprises continued. The DeWolfs, she learned, created a wealthy dynasty that became the largest slave-trading family in early America. She assumed those forebears were an exception, but found they were part of a broad pattern of Northern participation in slavery.
To explore what that participation meant for her family and the country, Browne contacted all the relatives she could identify, inviting them to travel their ancestors' trade route from Bristol to Africa and the Caribbean. Nine other DeWolf descendants signed on, and last week, a documentary of their journey produced by Browne premièred at the Sundance Film Festival. "Traces of the Trade: A Story from the Deep North" was purchased by PBS and will be shown as part of its Point of View (P.O.V.) series.
Name of source: http://www.ft.com
SOURCE: http://www.ft.com (2-7-08)
The series, timed to mark the centenary of the birth of Alistair Cooke, who broadcast from America for 67 years, will consist of 15-minute programmes delivered by Prof David Reynolds, a Cambridge University historian. The programmes are expected to start in September, running through the November presidential election in the US.
Name of source: USA Today
SOURCE: USA Today (2-6-08)
The cave was found when a camera was lowered through a hole in Rome's Palatine Hill during restorations of the palace of the Emperor Augustus, who ruled from the late first century B.C. until his death in A.D. 14. The Palatine Hill was a seat of power in ancient Rome; today it is home to the fragile remains of palaces and temples.
The discovery of the vaulted cavern, more than 50 feet underground and covered in mosaics, was announced in November. Some believe it is a shrine of the Lupercale, the sacred cave where Romulus and Remus, the legendary founders of Rome, are said to have been suckled by a wolf —lupa in Latin....
Name of source: Australian
SOURCE: Australian (2-4-08)
In her last public commission before she died, acclaimed Queensland sculptor Daphne Mayo in 1964 created an impressive bronze statue of Major General Glasgow, who led his men to a crucial victory against German troops at the French town of Villers-Bretonneux on Anzac Day, 1918.
But three years after it was erected, his statue was moved from its original position near Brisbane City Hall to make way for development. For decades it languished in obscurity at the corner of Albert and Turbot streets. Finally, however, Glasgow's profile has been given a long-overdue boost.
SOURCE: Australian (2-7-08)
The Australian Army has re-engaged battlefield archeologist Tony Pollard of the Glasgow University Archaeological Research Division (GUARD), despite criticism of his report of earlier work at the site, Pheasant Wood.
The decision has sidelined leading Australian experts who had offered to investigate the suspected war graves at no cost to the taxpayer.
Name of source: Jerusalem Post
SOURCE: Jerusalem Post (2-4-08)
The 2,500 year-old black stone seal was found last month amid stratified layers of debris in the excavation under way just outside the Old City walls near the Dung Gate, said archeologist Dr. Eilat Mazar, who is leading the dig.
Mazar had originally read the name on the seal as "Temech," and suggested that it belonged to the family of that name mentioned in the Book of Nehemiah.
But after the find was first reported in The Jerusalem Post, various epigraphers around the world said Mazar had erred by reading the inscription on the seal straight on (from right to left) rather than backwards (from left to right), as a result of the fact that a seal creates a mirror image when used to inscribe a piece of clay.
SOURCE: Jerusalem Post (2-4-08)
Expressing the shock felt by residents after Monday's suicide bombing, in which one woman was killed and dozens were wounded in the first terror attack of any kind on the town, Dimona Mayor Meir Cohen told Channel 1, "People here aren't used to this kind of thing, but it's part of the new reality that all of us in the Negev now have to deal with."...
The greatest threat against the Negev city, according to a book published last year titled Foxbats over Dimona: The Soviets' Nuclear Gamble in the Six Day War, came in 1967. According to this thoroughly researched though highly speculative account, the very origins of the Six Day War derive from Soviet concerns over Israel's development of its nuclear weapons-production capability at the Dimona reactor. Thus, after spurring Egypt and Syria to provoke Israel into what the Kremlim believed would be a more extended military conflict, Moscow planned to launch a strike to wipe out Dimona on the grounds that it was preempting possible Israeli nuclear action against its Arab allies.
Although the book's sensational thesis has been the subject of considerable debate and has been rejected by some experts on the 1967 war, The Jerusalem Post subsequently confirmed from an official Russian military source one of the book's major revelations: that Soviet pilots did in fact conduct high-altitude surveillance sorties over Dimona in advanced MiG-25 "Foxbat" aircraft just prior to the Six Day War.
Whether the residents of Dimona have actually been in any real danger over the years from this kind of major aerial assault is a matter of speculation. That it remains in the crosshairs of Israel's most serious and determined enemies is not; more than once, Iranian officials have been quoted in the press citing Dimona as a potential target of the Islamic Republic's Shihab missiles, especially in response to any Israeli action against its own nuclear facilities.
Name of source: BBC
SOURCE: BBC (2-4-08)
The academics at Glasgow University have been studying documents and previous archaeological finds to narrow down the location in Perthshire.
They will return in August to Forteviot in the hope of uncovering evidence of Kenneth MacAlpine's wooden castle.
Name of source: Seattle Times
SOURCE: Seattle Times (2-7-08)
Can movies or television really teach us anything useful about African-American history?
It's a reasonable question to ask as we begin Black History Month.
Certainly, the legacy of such famous films as "The Birth of a Nation" (1915) and "Gone With the Wind" (1939) was to give the public a distorted view of slavery, the Civil War and Reconstruction while offering portrayals of African Americans that were either virulently hateful or condescending.
And because of such films, says Patricia Turner, professor of African-American studies at University of California, Davis, "a lot of the public thinks that the plantation was the dominant entity on which slaves lived during the era of slavery."
In fact, Turner says, "very, very few slaves lived on plantations. Most slaves lived in units that had 10 or fewer slaves on them. Very few black women were domestic servants; you had to be extraordinarily wealthy to take a woman out of the fields and to have female household servants as we see in 'Gone With the Wind,' 'North and South' and the other great plantation epics.
SOURCE: Seattle Times (2-5-08)
Barack Obama's mother used to crack her knuckles."Constantly," Box told me as we sat in her Bellevue home on the eve of Super Tuesday, talking about Stanley Dunham, the girl with the man's name and the son who could be president of the United States.
Box, 65, was Dunham's best friend at Mercer Island High School, where they were members of the Class of 1960.
Name of source: http://europe.courrierinternational.com
SOURCE: http://europe.courrierinternational.com (2-6-08)
Name of source: Ralph Luker at HNN blog, Cliopatria
SOURCE: Ralph Luker at HNN blog, Cliopatria (2-4-08)
1. Martin Luther King Jr.: 67%
2. Rosa Parks: 60%
3. Harriet Tubman: 44%
4. Susan B. Anthony: 34%
5. Benjamin Franklin: 29%
6. Amelia Earhart: 25%
7. Oprah Winfrey: 22%
8. Marilyn Monroe: 19%
9. Thomas Edison: 18%
10. Albert Einstein: 16%
Our colleague, Sam Wineburg, is quoted in the article and helps to interpret what this means. Still, Marilyn Monroe and no George Washington? Thomas Edison and no Abraham Lincoln? Rosa Parks and no Frederick Douglass? Oprah Winfrey and no Jane Addams?
Name of source: Lee White at the website of the National Coalition for History (NCH)
SOURCE: Lee White at the website of the National Coalition for History (NCH) (2-4-08)
TEACHING AMERICAN HISTORY GRANTS
The Teaching American History grants program at the Department of Education would be substantially cut under the President Bush’s proposed Fiscal Year 2009 budget. In FY ‘08 the program received $118 million and the administration would slash that by over $70 million to $50 million in fiscal year 2009. This is the same budget cut that the Administration proposed last year.
The administration’s rationale is “the number of quality applications for assistance under this program in recent years does not justify the current level of funding.” Senator Robert C. Byrd, Jr., the original sponsor of the program, chairs the Senate Appropriations Committee. So one can assume that the program’s budget will not see a cut of this magnitude.
The Academies for American History and Civics, which supports workshops for teachers and students in those subjects, would be see its $2 million budget zeroed out.
NATIONAL ARCHIVES & RECORDS ADMINISTRATION
The National Archives would receive $327.7 million for operating expenses, up $10.7 million from $317 million in FY 2008.
The Electronic Records Archives project would see its budget increase from the current $58 million to $67 million in FY 2009.
The Repairs and Restoration budget line would be slashed from last year’s $28 million back to the $9 million it received in FY’07
NATIONAL HISTORICAL PUBLICATIONS & RECORDS COMMISSION (NHPRC)
As it has in recent years, the Bush administration has once again zeroed out funding for the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC). In FY ’08, Congress provided $9.5 million for NHPRC $7.5 million in grants funding and $2 million for administrative expenses.
NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE HUMANITIES (NEH)
The Bush administration’s proposed fiscal year 2009 budget for the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) would see a cut of approximately $3 million from $147 million in funding last year to $144.4 million in FY ’09. The funding is broken down as follows
Grants and Administration–$132.2 ($132.5 million) Programs under this budget line include:
- Federal and State Partnerships–$31.7million ($32.2 million)
- Preservation and Access–$13.8 million ($18.6 million)
- Public Programs–$12.7 million ($12.9 million)
- Research Programs–$13 million ($13.2 million)
- Education Programs–$12.6 million ($12.8 million)
- Program Development–$356K ($362K)
- “We the People” Program–$20 million ($15.2 million)
- Digital Humanities Initiative–$2 million (same)
Subtotal: $106.2 million
Administration $26 million
Matching grants–$12.1 million ($14.5 million
NATIONAL PARK SERVICE
The President’s Fiscal Year 2009 proposed budget for the National Park Service (NPS) provides no funding for the new Centennial Challenge program, pending an expected congressional authorization for the program this year. In FY ’08, Congress provided $25 million in funding for the program. The Centennial Challenge is a ten-year initiative to generate $2 billion in public and private matching grants to prepare for the Park Service’s Centennial celebration in 2016.
Here is a summary of major programs at the National Park Service of interest to the historical community.
- Cultural Programs—$22 million ($23 million)
- Historic Preservation Fund–$66 million ($71.5 million)
- Preserve America program–$10 million ($7.5 million)
- Heritage Partnerships program— $7 million ($15.5 million)
- Save America’s Treasures Program–$15 Million ($25 million)
- Grants-in-Aid–$41.7 million ($45.7million)
The proposed budget also includes $2 million new funding to initiate a national inventory of historic properties.
The Smithsonian Institution would receive another substantive increase in Fiscal Year 2009 under the President’s budget proposal up to $716.4 million. In FY ’08 Congress provided $682.6 million in funding up from $635 million in FY ’07.
The Smithsonian would receive $588 million for salaries and expenses, up from $562 million in 2008. The facilities capital account would increase from $105 million last year to $128 million in FY ’09.
The Administration declined to provide any funding for the Legacy Fund. Congress had provided $15 million to address the Smithsonian’s backlog of facilities repairs. Under the proposal, each federal dollar of the Legacy Fund must be matched by twice that amount in private contributions before the full amount would be made available to the Smithsonian.
INSTITUTE OF MUSEUM AND LIBRARY SERVICES (IMLS)
The President’s budget request for Fiscal Year 2009 seeks $271.2 million for the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS). This is a $26 million, or 10.6 percent increase over the FY ’08 appropriation of $245 million.
$214 million would go towards library grant programs, up from approximately $200 million last year. Museum grants would be funded at a level of $39.9 million, an increase of $8.6 million from the FY ’08 level.
Name of source: http://www.shreveporttimes.com
SOURCE: http://www.shreveporttimes.com (2-3-08)
"All they have to do is look at school textbooks and curriculums and see that African-American history is not a major part of what's being taught in school today, in 2008," he said. "If you survey young people about African-American history, many can't recognize key figures. Just basic information, they don't know."
Meadowview Elementary teacher Essie Ruffin agrees. "We need to keep kids abreast of what was and what is. Some kids don't know. They may have heard the name, but they're not familiar with what they've done."
Willie Burton, a history professor at Southern University- Shreveport, agrees the original intent of the month is still relevant. "It's relevant until (black history) is incorporated into curriculums in schools. It has to go more than a month."
Name of source: http://www.sabanews.net
SOURCE: http://www.sabanews.net (2-2-08)
General manger of International Cooperation and Connection in the Ministry of Culture Jamal Mu'ajam told Saba that the team, consisting from three professors in Ankara University, would arrive during this week and will cooperate with specialists form General Organization for Antiques and Museums (GOAM) and Ministry of Culture for counting the rest of antiques and Ottoman remnants across the country.
Name of source: Yahoo News
SOURCE: Yahoo News (2-5-08)
This tiny book is centuries old and one of more than 100,000 manuscripts that can be found on shelves and in boxes in Timbuktu, the ancient Malian city of mud-brick walls nestled between the Niger River and the Sahara Desert.
"The manuscripts are our heritage," says the curator of the Mamma Haidara Manuscript Library, the largest of more than 20 private libraries in the city. "They have been passed from generation to generation. They are the history of Africa, the history of mankind."
But if not for an $8 million donation from South Africa, this history might have been lost forever.
Name of source: Evan Thomas in the NYT
SOURCE: Evan Thomas in the NYT (2-4-08)
In “The Commission [The Uncensored History of the 9/11 Commission]” he makes bureaucratic warfare exciting, largely because he has a keen grasp of human frailty and folly. He opens with a desperate, almost pathetic scene of Samuel R. Berger, President Bill Clinton’s national security adviser, sneaking documents out of the National Archives....
The black hat of Mr. Shenon’s story is the commission’s executive director, Philip Zelikow. Brilliant but abrasive and secretive, he is regarded by some commission staff members as a White House mole, compromised by his close ties to Condoleezza Rice, then President Bush’s national security adviser. The book’s portrait of Mr. Zelikow is harsh, but Mr. Shenon seems to have reached out to Mr. Zelikow to get both sides of the story. (Mr. Zelikow scoffs at charges of conflict and conspiracy made by Mr. Shenon’s sources.)
Name of source: CNN
SOURCE: CNN (2-4-08)
The new report says the 592-officer U.S. Park Police force is torn between acting as an urban police department and protecting national icons, and consequently "has failed to adequately perform either mission."
Many terrorism experts say the national icons are prime terrorist targets because of their enormous symbolic value and their location at population centers. But, the report said, while Park Police officials state that icon protection is a priority, "their actions indicate otherwise."
The department has no "command-level" person responsible for icon protection, nor does it have a comprehensive security program, and the number of officers has fallen below 2001 levels, said Department of Interior Inspector General Earl E. Devaney.