Breaking NewsFollow Breaking News updates on RSS and Twitter
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: The Epoch Times
SOURCE: The Epoch Times (8-24-10)
Journalist Jean-Paul Mulders and historian Marc Vermeeren took saliva samples from 39 of the former German dictator's relatives, including a cousin who was an Austrian farmer named "Norbert H," and a grand nephew named Alexander Stuart-Houston, who is an American, according to the UK Newspaper the Daily Mail..
Mulders and Vermeeren got a sample of Hitler's DNA by following Stuart-Houston for a week. He dropped a used napkin on the ground and they took samples from that. The DNA on the napkin led them to the rest of Hitler’s relatives.
The duo found a chromosome called "Haplopgroup E1b1b" (also Y-DNA), which during Hitler's time, was a rare occurance among people living in Germany and in Western Europe....
Name of source: BBC
Dr Elaine Chalus has won a major research grant of more than £100,000 to investigate diaries kept by Elizabeth Wynne.
Elizabeth married one of Nelson's famous 'band of brothers', Captain Thomas Francis Fremantle, during the Napoleonic Wars.
Dr Chalus will use her funding from the British Academy to bring to light more than 40 volumes of Elizabeth's diaries, most of which have never been published....
The proposals suggest returnees will travel on trains and buses, as well as boats down the River Nile.
Some two million people have already returned to the south since the end of a two-decade conflict in 2005.
However, some aid workers have questioned the plan's feasibility....
SOURCE: BBC (8-23-10)
Muhsin Sha'lan, first under-secretary at the culture ministry, was accused of "negligence", according to the state news agency Mena.
Several other officials were believed to have been detained at the same time.
The theft of the $50m (£32m) painting from a Cairo museum on Saturday has been blamed on poor security.
The work - known as both Poppy Flowers and Vase And Flowers - was cut from its frame at the Mahmoud Khalil Museum during the day on Saturday....
Weather conditions 130 million years ago have been suggested as one reason why thousands of small teeth and bones lie buried alongside bigger fossils.
Portsmouth University palaeontologist Dr Steve Sweetman and Dr Allan Insole from Bristol University led the study....
SOURCE: BBC (8-23-10)
A tooth and limb bone, which experts believe belong to the Albertosaurus and the Edmontosaurus species, were found by drainage crews in the Quesnell Heights neighbourhood.
The Royal Tyrrell Museum is helping city officials to identify the fossils.
Museum officials said workers will continue to dig out bones still stuck inside the walls of the tunnel.
Andy Neuman, the executive director of the museum, said that although dinosaur bones had been discovered in Edmonton in the past, this was the first time the city of Edmonton has made the discovery....
Name of source: AP
SOURCE: AP (8-23-10)
The museum said Monday that Mark Stout would become historian after spending 13 years in intelligence. He is the museum's first research chief with an intelligence background.
Stout worked at the CIA and the State Department in intelligence and at the Defense Department. He is earning a doctorate in history and holds degrees in political science, mathematics and public policy....
SOURCE: AP (8-24-10)
Niagara County officials have been trying since last year to get the medal awarded to Michael Huskey, who died in 1864 without receiving it. Last week, the Navy sent county officials a letter that includes an embossed drawing of the medal.
The letter also contains the citation for Huskey, who was awarded the Medal of Honor for his actions aboard a Union gunboat during a firefight in a Mississippi bayou in 1863....
SOURCE: AP (8-20-10)
Under strong government pressure, the Internet giant made Germany the only country where people can request to have images of their homes deleted from the project before it goes online in November, along with other concessions.
It has all stirred debate about how to define and defend privacy in the digital age and revealed a yawning generational divide between those old enough to recall invasive past regimes and those who have grown up with the Internet.
"There is a fear of becoming a 'See-through Citizen' in a totalitarian surveillance state," said Jesko Kaltenbaek, a professor of psychology at Berlin's Freie University....
SOURCE: AP (8-18-10)
The 84-year-old former Cuban president published an article Wednesday that used three of the only eight pages in the Communist Party newspaper Granma to quote — largely verbatim — from a 2006 book by Lithuanian-born writer Daniel Estulin.
Estulin's work, "The Secrets of the Bilderberg Club," argues that the international group largely runs the world. It has held a secretive annual forum of prominent politicians, thinkers and businessmen since it was founded in 1954 at the Bilderberg Hotel in Holland.
Castro offered no comment on the excerpts other than to describe Estulin as honest and well-informed and to call his book a "fantastic story."...
SOURCE: AP (8-19-10)
Bob Metz, 84, who watched the painstaking work, said he recalls his oldest brother, Sgt. Joseph Metz, telling about how he and the pilot — who have both since died — managed to swim ashore to safety, then hitchhiked back to the nearby military base.
"It's going to be interesting to see it," said Metz of Montebello, Calif. "I remember when he got a jeep and brought me up here and told me, 'You want to see where we ditched the plane?"
The aircraft was forgotten until Duane Johnson and his friend, who were searching for bass, spotted the outline of the plane on an electronic fish finder last year....
SOURCE: AP (12-31-69)
SOURCE: AP (8-23-10)
The culture and tourism ministry says the citadel will be among more than 90 sites and museums to open by moonlight on the one night a year the public can enter monuments after sundown.
Initially, the ministry had left the Acropolis off the list, for the first time in years, citing the dispute over guards' pay for the nighttime work....
Name of source: Telegraph (UK)
The Jaguar XK150 Sports is expected to raise more than £250,000 after a rebuild in Harworth, near Doncaster
The car was bought brand new in the USA by American John Dolce in 1959, and it was one of only 724 of the cars sold in the country....
Odysseus – known to the ancient Romans as Ulysses – famously took 10 years to return home to Ithaca after the fall of Troy.
But despite the fantastical details in the Greek epic, a team of archaeologists has claimed the tale is anchored in truth - and that they have discovered his home on the island of Ithaca, in the Ionian sea off the north-west coast of Greece.
Nearly 3,000 years after Odysseus returned from his journey, the team from the University of Ioannina said they found the remains of an extensive three-storey building, with steps carved out of rock and fragments of pottery. The complex also features and a well from the 8th century BC, roughly the period in which Odysseus is believed to have been king of Ithaca....
The diary of one of the British officers's colleages records the existence of the so-called ''X Flights'' led by Lt Col TE Lawrence across the former Ottoman empire.
James Hynes, 80, discovered the documents after his cousin told him that her father served alongside Lt Col Lawrence during World War One.
She revealed that she had kept typed up copies of his journal.
The diaries describe everyday life in the Turkish desert during World War One, including how one of Lawrence's aristocratic men managed to burn breakfast for the squadron after being ordered to cook an English fry up....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-17-10)
Those saved by Varian Fry, known as the American Oskar Schindler, include Marc Chagall, the Jewish French-Russian artist, Claude Levi-Strauss, the French anthropologist, and surrealist artist, Marcel Duchamp.
But while Schindler, a German Industrialist, has been internationally recognised for saving an estimated 1,200 Jews - his story was made into the 1993 film Schindler’s List, directed by Steven Spielberg - the full extent of Fry’s heroic efforts is only now coming to light....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-22-10)
Scientists have discovered how the artist managed to achieve his trademark smoky effect, known as sfumato, on the painting; by applying up to 40 layers of extremely thin glaze thought to have been smeared on with his fingers.
The glaze, mixed with subtly different pigments, creates the slight blurring and shadows around the mouth that give the Mona Lisa her barely noticeable smile that seems to disappear when looked at directly.
Using X-rays to study the painting, the researchers were able to see how the layers of glaze and paint had been built up to varying levels on different areas of the face....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-20-10)
Most history books have Bonny Prince Charlie's 1746 defeat at Culloden as the final battle to occur in this country.
But the virtually unheard of Battle of Graveney Marsh in the Kent countryside 194 years later was actually the last action involving a foreign enemy.
The battle took place on September 27 1940 between the crew of a downed German bomber and a company of British soldiers who had been holed up in a pub.
Members of the London Irish Rifles were billeted at the Sportsman Inn in the coastal hamlet of Seasalter when the stricken Junkers 88 plane came down on Graveney Marsh.
Although the soldiers armed themselves, they fully expected the four-strong Luftwaffe crew to give themselves up without a fight. They were wrong....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-20-10)
The mechanism on the Clock, at Wells Cathedral in Somerset, will be set manually for the last time next week, following the retirement of the last member of a family who has maintained it for almost a century.
Experts say the clock, which tracks the sun across the sky and records the stages of the moon, is a marvel of medieval craftsmanship.
Over the past 90 years the clock, the world's oldest continually-working mechanical timepiece, has been wound by five different generations of the Fisher family....
Saliva samples taken from 39 relatives of the Nazi leader show he may have had biological links to the “subhuman” races that he tried to exterminate during the Holocaust.
Jean-Paul Mulders, a Belgian journalist, and Marc Vermeeren, a historian, tracked down the Fuhrer’s relatives, including an Austrian farmer who was his cousin, earlier this year.
A chromosome called Haplogroup E1b1b1 which showed up in their samples is rare in Western Europe and is most commonly found in the Berbers of Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia, as well as among Ashkenazi and Sephardic Jews.
"One can from this postulate that Hitler was related to people whom he despised," Mr Mulders wrote in the Belgian magazine, Knack.
Haplogroup E1b1b1, which accounts for approximately 18 to 20 per cent of Ashkenazi and 8.6 per cent to 30 per cent of Sephardic Y-chromosomes, appears to be one of the major founding lineages of the Jewish population.
Knack, which published the findings, says the DNA was tested under stringent laboratory conditions.
"This is a surprising result," said Ronny Decorte, a genetic specialist at the Catholic University of Leuven.
"The affair is fascinating if one compares it with the conception of the world of the Nazis, in which race and blood was central....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-23-10)
Abdelbaset Ali al-Megrahi spent the anniversary of his return to Libya from a Scottish jail at home, where he was visited by friends and regime figures to mark the occasion.
He reached the milestone despite being given three months to live when released on compassionate grounds eight years into his sentence by the Scottish authorities.
Last Thursday, on the eve of the anniversary, Britain urged Libya not to treat the event as a celebration. There were no signs of official commemorations, though reports spoke of a stream of visitors including Saif al-Islam....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-22-10)
The dispute has taken on national political significance, with Republicans using the issue to attack President Barack Obama ahead of midterm elections where his Democrats are fighting to retain control of Congress.
The rallies were held near the location of the proposed Muslim centre, just two blocks from the site of the September 11, 2001 attacks by al Qaeda, which destroyed the World Trade Center towers and killed close to 3,000 people.
The centre, which would include a prayer room, has ignited fierce debate between those who say its proposed location is insensitive and fear it will harbour religious extremism and those who back it based on the principle of religious tolerance and understanding....
SOURCE: Telegraph (UK) (8-23-10)
The oil painting was returned over the weekend after the Leopold Museum agreed to pay $19 million (15 million euros) as part of the settlement to the estate of art dealer Lea Bondi Jaray, the original owner.
US authorities had refused to return the painting to the Leopold Museum after it was exhibited in 1998 at the New York Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) because of a claim by her descendants....
Name of source: Fox News
SOURCE: Fox News (8-24-10)
During his Australian visit, the imam also said the Arab and Muslim world senses that the West does not care about Muslim lives and their pain and anguish is not heard.
He explained that frustration and emotions can lead to terrorism, actions he condemned....
SOURCE: Fox News (8-24-10)
But now Harmon’s second of four ex-wives, Sandra Harmon, the author of two relationship books and “Elvis & Me” with Priscilla Presley, is biting back with claims that the crazy tales are a result of him being a “pathological liar.”
Sandra Harmon is writing her own book entitled “Sleeping With Bozo and Other Clowns” to expose dirty details of her marriage to Larry, who she alleges was unfaithful.
“Bozo is only one of the clowns I have slept with, although none of the other clowns wore makeup with a red nose,” Sandra told Pop Tarts. “‘Sleeping With Bozo and Other Clowns’ is part memoir and part celebrity tell all, since I have lived a long and exciting life in show business and have met many celebrities and certainly slept with a good number, and have lots of stories to tell, some funny, some not so funny, but all true.”
Scott McKenzie, the co-author of Larry’s new memoir, said he wasn’t in a position to comment on Sandra’s claims....
Name of source: CNN
Burt, a 22-year-old aspiring journalist at the time, was part of a group that bombed the University of Wisconsin to protest the Vietnam War, the FBI says.
The attack happened 40 years ago Tuesday and was classified as the largest act of domestic terror until the Oklahoma City bombing in April 1995.
Agents have been all over the world following tips about Burt's whereabouts.
The elusive suspect was reportedly homeless in Denver, according to one tipster.
Another tipster told the FBI that Burt was working at a resort in Costa Rica....
When Frank inherited the file of his grandfather's old railroad papers, the brothers began to believe the ghost stories were real. They suspected that the files contained clues to the location of a mass grave.
In 2002, the brothers began digging and searching. They found forks and remnants of a shanty and, in 2005, what Bill Watson calls the "Holy Grail" -- a pipe with an Irish flag on it.
Monge, an anthropologist at the University of Pennsylvania, joined the forensics team when Bechtel looked her up in the campus directory and asked for help separating the human bones from any animal bones.
Since then, Monge has collected bones from seven skeletons unearthed at Duffy's Cut, including four skulls. The trays and containers of bones occupy a long, wide table in the back of a lecture room at the University of Pennsylvania Museum in Philadelphia.
Poring over the bones with her green spectacles sitting low on her nose, Monge said she has focused her attention on the skulls, adding that they have provided crucial clues to what might have killed the Irishmen at Duffy's Cut....
"Duffy's Cut," as it's now called, is a short walk from a suburban cul-de-sac in Malvern, an affluent town off the fabled Main Line. Twin brothers Bill and Frank Watson believe 57 Irish immigrants met violent deaths there after a cholera epidemic struck in 1832.
They suspect foul play.
"This is a murder mystery from 178 years ago, and it's finally coming to the light of day," Frank Watson said.
The brothers first heard about Duffy's Cut from their grandfather, a railroad worker, who told the ghost story to his family every Thanksgiving. When Frank inherited a file of his grandfather's old railroad papers, the brothers began to believe the ghost stories were real. They suspected that the files contained clues to the location of a mass grave.
"One of the pieces of correspondence in this file told us 'X marks the spot,'" said Frank. He added that the document suggested that the men "were buried where they were making the fill, which is the original railroad bridge."
In 2002, the brothers began digging and searching. They found forks and remnants of a shanty and, in 2005, what Bill Watson calls the "Holy Grail" -- a pipe with an Irish flag on it....
Name of source: WSJ
SOURCE: WSJ (8-21-10)
"People! People!" he shouted. "Gen. Vessey has a request: I am super thirsty."
His military commanders rolled their eyes and resumed the debate. Gen. Vessey—who outside this room was 13-year-old Christian Graves—slumped in his swivel chair, sighing deeply. He then ordered Army Rangers into Grenada.
In a corner of the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library and Museum, beyond stately White House portraits and a sizable chunk of the Berlin Wall, Ronald Reagan's legacy is playing out in an unexpected way.
On multimillion dollar sets replicating the Reagan White House, children play the parts of key officials and reporters to reenact the invasion of Grenada. The U.S. invaded the Caribbean island nation in 1983, fearing a communist takeover after a coup....
Name of source: Lee White at the National Coalition for History
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced $31.5 million in grants for 201 humanities projects.
This funding will support a wide variety of projects, including the production and development of radio and television programs, digital scholarly resources, professional development for teachers and college faculty, and the development and staging of museum and library exhibitions. NEH grants will also help institutions improve and secure long-term support for their humanities programs and resources, and support state humanities council programs exploring significant events and themes in American history.
This funding cycle also marks the first grant awards as part of the NEH’s new Bridging Cultures initiative (see related story).
This award cycle, institutions and independent scholars in 41 states and the District of Columbia, Guam, Puerto Rico, Northern Marianas, and the Virgin Islands will receive NEH support. Complete state-by-state listings of grants are available here (42-page PDF).
Selected projects have received a We the People designation for their efforts to strengthen the teaching, study, and understanding of American history and culture. In this cycle, grants were awarded in the following categories:
- We The People Project Grants for State Humanities Councils support programs sponsored by state humanities councils that explore significant events and themes in American history and culture, and advance knowledge of the principles that define America.
- Digital Humanities Start-up Grants encourage innovations in the digital humanities by supporting the planning stages of projects that advance humanities research, education, preservation, access, and public programming through the use of technology.
- Summer Seminars and Institutes for College and University Teachers Grants support intensive two- to six-week projects in which fifteen to twenty-five college and university faculty members, working with scholarly experts, engage in collegial study of significant texts and topics in the humanities.
- Summer Seminars and Institutes for School Teachers Grants support intensive two- to six-week projects in which fifteen to thirty school teachers, working with scholarly experts, engage in collegial study of significant texts and topics in the humanities.
- Landmarks of American History and Culture: Workshops for School Teachers support a series of one-week workshops for K-12 educators that address central themes and topics in American history, government, literature, art history, and other humanities fields related to historic landmarks.
- Landmarks of American History and Culture: Workshops for Community College Faculty (WTP) support a series of one-week workshops, conducted by leading scholars, for community college educators in which participants study central issues in American history related to historic landmarks, enhancing both their knowledge and their ability to teach.
- America’s Historical and Cultural Organizations: Planning & Implementation Grants support traveling or long-term museum exhibitions, library-based projects, interpretation of historical places or areas, websites, and other project formats that engage audiences in exploring humanities ideas and questions. Planning grants develop the content, interpretive approach, and formats of projects; implementation grants support their final development, design, and production.
- Interpreting America’s Historic Places: Planning & Implementation Grants support public humanities projects that exploit the evocative power of historic places to explore stories, ideas, and beliefs that deepen our understanding of our lives and our world. Planning grants develop the content, format, and design of projects; implementation grants support the final preparation of a project for presentation to the public.
- America’s Media Makers: Development & Production Grants support media projects, including radio, television, and digital technology projects, that explore significant events, figures, or developments in the humanities. Development grants enable media producers to collaborate with scholars to develop the humanities content and to prepare programs for production; production grants support the preparation of a program for distribution.
- Bridging Cultures: Planning and Implementation Grants for Academic Forums and Program Development Grants support the planning and implementation of an academic forum and workshop that explore the ways in which cultures from around the globe, as well as the myriad subcultures within America’s borders, have influenced American society.
- NEH on the Road Grants help small sites defray the cost of hosting an NEH traveling exhibition.
- Challenge Grants strengthen the humanities by encouraging non-federal sources of support and helping institutions secure long-term improvements in and support for their humanities programs and resources. Recipients are required to match NEH funds on a three-to-one or, in some cases, two-to-one basis.
The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently announced the first in a series of Bridging Cultures grants, awarding a total of $1.7 million that will enable humanities experts to launch public discussions addressing two pressing concerns: the role of civility in democracy and the understanding of Muslim contributions to world cultures.
Eight cultural and educational institutions around the country will host public forums designed to share the best of recent humanities research with members of the general public. New ideas coming out of these forums – ranging from “cyber-civility” to the cultural legacy of Timbuktu – will also form the basis for future educational and cultural programs that NEH intends to make available nationwide as part of its larger Bridging Cultures initiative. After each forum, participants will work with educators and members of state humanities councils to produce materials such as books, videos, exhibits, and other public programming to disseminate its content to regional and national audiences.
NEH Chairman Leach’s signature initiative, Bridging Cultures, highlights the role of the humanities in enhancing understanding and respect for diverse cultures and subcultures within America’s borders and around the globe. Building on a long tradition of support for excellent scholarship, NEH is renewing its focus on the need to bridge gaps in Americans’ understanding of world history, literature, philosophy, religion, archeology, language, and law.
A combined $1.7 million was awarded to the following recipients of the NEH’s 2010 Bridging Cultures: Planning and Implementation Grants for Academic Forums and Programs Development Workshops Grants:
- American Bar Association (Chicago, IL) plans to partner with the Constitutional Rights Foundation Chicago, the Newberry Library, the Center for Civic Engagement at Northwestern University, and the Illinois Humanities Council in convening a public forum on the tensions between civility and free expression. Moderators such as law professor Jeffrey Rosen, “cyber-civility” expert Justin Pachin, and legal journalist Dahlia Lithwick will engage an audience of scholars, legal professionals, civic organization leaders, K-12 educators, and students in discussion of such questions as: “What is civility?,” “What roles to norms play in fostering civility,” and “When do appeals to civility inhibit the free expression of ideas?” Scheduled for March 2011. ($247,158)
- California Council for the Humanities (Los Angeles, CA) plans a conference and workshop at the National Center for the Preservation of Democracy and the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles that will examine the varied meanings of civility throughout American history and its relationship to democracy. Participants will explore topics such as the history of contentious conversations, the role of compromise in democracy, the difference between incivility and impassioned dissent, and the future of public discourse in the digital age. Public outreach programs and educational materials developed during the forum will be incorporated in the Council’s Democracy Project, a two-year statewide initiative addressing the evolving nature of democracy in the United States. Scheduled for March 2011. ($250,000)
- City Lore, Inc. (New York, NY) plans to partner with the Poets House in New York in staging a public forum that will use poetry as a lens for understanding the diversity of Muslim cultures and histories throughout the world. The day-long event will combine public performance with scholarly discussion of works by Muslim poets from Yemen, Iran, Pakistan, Afghanistan, the Philippines, Sierra Leone, Mali, and Somalia and explore themes such as the relationship between poetry and society, poetry and gender, and poetry and history. Scheduled for March 2011. ($175,000)
- George Mason University (Fairfax, VA) Center for Global Islamic Studies, in partnership with the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities, plans to convene a two-day forum focusing on the political, cultural, artistic, and social achievements of Muslim societies from 1300-1900 and their role in the formation of global modernity. Leading scholars of Islamic history and culture will present recent scholarship on the period and, in a concluding workshop to be held in conjunction with the Virginia Festival of the Book, will work with educators, artists, museum personnel, and journalists to develop programming that will disseminate the forum’s content to broader audiences in Virginia and the nation. Scheduled for March 2011. ($219,549)
- National Constitution Center (Philadelphia, PA) plans to host a public symposium that will convene political activists, journalists, and scholars from fields such as history, political science, sociology, law, and communications to discuss the role of dissent and protest in American culture. A keynote address, small group discussion sessions, and large town-hall exchange will foster dialogue on the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, the concept of civic virtue, the importance of dissent and deliberation in America’s constitutional democracy, and the ways in which particular rhetorical modes and media forms can contribute or detract from productive public discourse. Scheduled for March 2011. ($249,887)
- University of Minnesota, Twin Cities (Minneapolis–St. Paul, MN) plans a colloquium exploring the influences of Islamic cultural and intellectual traditions on the development of Western humanist and scientific thought. The conference will feature a keynote address, a dramatic performance and discussion of a 12th-century Muslim novel, Hayy ibn Yaqzan, that served as the inspiration for Daniel Defoe’s Robinson Crusoe, followed by five panel discussions focusing on literature, science, architecture and religion, art and aesthetics, and the use of new media in artistic and cultural production. Scheduled for February 2011. ($170,439)
- Tougaloo College (Jackson, MS) plans to build a forum around an exhibition at the International Museum of Muslim Cultures on “The Legacy of Timbuktu: Wonders of the Written Word” that will trace the connections between the culture and history of Muslim West Africa, Mississippi, and the United States through an examination of literature, texts, and music. With a focus on two central themes, “Islamic West Africa and Literacy” and “American Blues music and Muslim roots,” participants will examine historic texts such as the autobiography of Omar Ibn Said, a West African Islamic scholar who was captured in 1807 and sold into slavery in North Carolina, and discuss scholarship describing similarities between early blues music and the Muslim call to prayer. Scheduled for February 2011. ($218,856)
- Washington State University (Pullman, WA) Thomas S. Foley Institute for Public Policy, in conjunction with Humanities Washington and the Idaho Humanities Council, plans a public forum exploring the state of civility in American democracy. Humanities scholars will explore how conceptions of civility have evolved over time and how it relates to social inequality and political power, how civility is affected by increasing ethnic and cultural diversity, how civility may be fostered or conditioned through public art and architecture or influenced through changing modes of communication, and examine whether an insistence on certain forms of civil behavior are necessary or detrimental to the institutions and practices of democratic governance. A workshop following the two-day event will bring together scholars, librarians, filmmakers, and K-12 educators to develop curricula, museum exhibits, library programs and online resources around the theme of civility. Scheduled for March 2011. ($212,735)
In July, the National Coalition for History (NCH), and ten other NCH members joined forces with over 20 educational organizations representing other K-12 academic disciplines in issuing a statement to Congress and the Administration calling for the continued robust funding of core academic subjects including history. This includes maintenance of discrete budget lines—such as the Teaching American History grants—for each discipline.
One of the major issues facing the new 112th Congress when it convenes in January will be consideration of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965 (ESEA). The law was last reauthorized in 2001 during the Bush administration under the rubric of the No Child Left Behind Act (NCLB). Since the law’s enactment a major flaw has been the over-emphasis placed on reading and math at the expense of other subjects, such as history.
In fiscal year 2002, due to the leadership of Senator Robert Byrd (D-WV), Congress authorized the “Teaching American History” (TAH) grants program in the Department of Education. Thanks to Senator Byrd, nearly $1 billion of federal dollars have been allocated over the past decade to improve K-12 history education. A child who was in the first grade when the program started in 2001 would now be a junior in high school. So it is no exaggeration to say Senator Byrd’s love of American history has been passed on to an entire generation of America’s school children. Among his many accomplishments, that is one of his greatest legacies. But with his recent passing the program that he nurtured for so long is now in danger.
TAH improves the quality of instruction in American history. Grant awards assist elementary and secondary schools in implementing research-based methods for improving the quality of instruction, professional development, and teacher education in American history. Funds are used for competitive grants that are allocated to local education agencies (LEAs) though funding proposals must include a partnership component with an educational non-profit and/or history-based organization. Advocacy by my predecessor Bruce Craig was instrumental in getting the partnership requirement included into law.
While Congress will not tackle the ESEA reauthorization until 2011, activity has already begun in earnest as numerous hearings have been held throughout 2010 in both houses. Draft bills are currently being developed in the House and Senate in anticipation of early action on the issue next year.
In the case of the Teaching American History grants program, the Obama administration’s fiscal 2011 budget message to Congress called into question the degree to which the program has reached districts and teachers most in need of federally funded professional development and also stressed the need for better evaluation of the program’s effectiveness. One of the issues that has plagued the TAH program since its inception has been the inability to rigorously assess and evaluate whether teachers, and ultimately students, are benefitting from the program.
On March 15, the White House released “A Blueprint for Reform,” which details the administration’s plans for reauthorizing the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. Like NCLB, the reform proposal continues to prioritize reading and math over other subjects.
President Obama’s fiscal 2011 budget request to Congress for the Department of Education proposed consolidating 38 existing K–12 education programs into 11 new programs. Under the administration’s budget request, grants for history education would now be part of a new program called “Effective Teaching and Learning for a Well-Rounded Education.” Teaching American History Grants would be consolidated into this new program and would no longer exist as a free-standing budget line item.
The administration proposed $265 million in funding in fiscal 2011 for the new initiative. Although the fiscal 2011 budget request includes a $38.9 million increase in funding to support teaching and learning in arts, history, civics, foreign languages, geography, and economics, the administration proposes to combine eight subject-specific grant programs into a single competitive grant program.
Unfortunately, under the proposed competitive grant program the various subjects would be pitted against each other for scarce resources. Such an approach could threaten the ability of schools and districts to provide each student with a well-rounded education, a result that seems to be the exact opposite of the administration’s intent.
In years past, the late Senator Byrd always ensured that the program received a stable level of funding, usually around $119 million per fiscal year. In the fiscal 2011 Labor, HHS and Education funding bill (S. 3686) passed in July by the Senate Appropriations Committee, the last one in which Senator Byrd was able to exert his influence, the TAH received level funding of $119 million. The administration had requested zero funding for the program in FY 11, removing it as a separate budget line item.
Given the budget deficit problem, it is expected funding levels for all federal discretionary programs will face major cuts when the administration’s proposed FY 2012 budget is released early next year. In June, Office of Management and Budget Director Peter Orszag issued a directive ordering non-security federal agencies to submit a FY2012 budget proposal five percent below the agency’s FY 11 budget as proposed by the administration. In another directive, agencies were directed to identify for termination or significant reduction of “low priority” programs and subprograms that constitute at least five percent of the agency’s discretionary budget.
In June, a meeting was convened by the ASCD (formerly the Association for the Study of Curriculum and Development), an education membership organization focused largely on K–12 issues. The meeting included representatives from several organizations whose communities would be affected by the Obama administration’s Blueprint for Reform for the reauthorization of the ESEA.
On July 29, the National Coalition for History and 20 major history and education organizations, representing a wide array of subject areas, released consensus recommendations for how the federal government can better support core subjects beyond the No Child Left Behind Act’s singular focus on student performance in reading and math.
The various organizations agreed that discrete funding streams, such as TAH, should be created for each of the disciplines to ensure that each retains federal support individually and that all receive a minimum level of resources reflecting collective support for a well-rounded education. Equally important, they decided, grant competitions should occur within disciplines, not between them.
The organizations endorsing the Well-Rounded Education statement represent hundreds of thousands of educators in the disciplines of history, languages, arts, government and other subjects. The National Coalition for History endorsed the recommendation in addition to ten individual member organizations in the Coalition. These include the American Association for State and Local History, American Historical Association, Association for Documentary Editing, Civil War Preservation Trust, Gilder Lehrman Institute of American History, History Channel, National Council for the Social Studies, National Council on Public History, Organization of American Historians and the Society for Military History. Several other NCH membership organizations have endorsements pending before their leadership and are expected to sign on in the near future.
Over the coming months, the National Coalition for History will be carrying the message to lawmakers and the administration to preserve the Teaching American History grants program.
The text of the recommendation is below:
Consensus Recommendations for a Well-Rounded Education
The Obama administration’s fiscal 2011 budget request and Elementary and Secondary Education Act (ESEA) blueprint propose to consolidate eight grant programs that support teaching and learning in the areas of the arts, foreign languages, civics, history, geography, and economics into a single competitive grant—the Effective Teaching and Learning for a Well-Rounded Education program. This program would be available to high-need school districts, a high-need district in partnership with a state education agency, or a high-need district in partnership with other entities. However, the proposal puts content areas in competition with one another for funding and recognition and, thereby, further reduces the likelihood that students in high-need schools receive a truly comprehensive, well-rounded education.
We believe each student must receive equal access to a credible, comprehensive, and well-rounded education that includes instruction in all core academic subjects delivered at appropriate times throughout the school experience. “Core academic subjects” are defined as those listed in ESEA—English, reading or language arts, mathematics, science, foreign languages, civics and government, economics, arts, history, and geography. We believe, moreover, that credible and comprehensive instruction should also apply to physical education and health education.
Each of these subjects is crucial to a student’s learning in its own right, and no single subject should be considered more important than another. Indeed, the combination of the subjects and the interrelationship among disciplines enhances learning and understanding for each student. Moreover, a well-rounded education provides students with the academic preparation and knowledge to succeed in the increasingly global marketplace and in our own complex and ever changing society.
A well-rounded education is an absolute necessity for any graduate to be considered college, career, and citizenship ready. Delivery of a well-rounded education must be reflected in standards, assessments, accountability systems, and public reporting of achievement and must take into account the needs of students and the expectations of educators, employers and public officials in the global environment of the 21st century. In addition, flexibility for schools, local districts, and communities to customize education to meet their unique circumstances is essential.
To achieve these goals, the undersigned organizations call upon the Obama administration and Congress to:
1. Include all elements of a well-rounded education in any definition of college-,
career-, and citizenship-ready standards.
2. Maintain discrete funding streams for each of these worthy subject areas to ensure that each retains federal support individually and that all receive a minimum level of resources reflecting collective support for a well-rounded education.
3. Promote grant competitions within disciplines, not among them, which prioritizes underserved or high-need schools and students and emphasizes best practices, scalability, and cross-subject collaboration and integration.
4. Develop a rigorous evaluation process, including significant input from professional educators, to measure the effectiveness of the funded activities and to propose improvements in the respective grant programs.
5. Establish meaningful public reporting and accountability requirements regarding student achievement in each of these disciplines at the school, district, and state level.
Name of source: National Coalition for History
SOURCE: National Coalition for History (8-20-10)
The Library of Congress recently announced the formation of the National Digital Stewardship Alliance (NDSA), a partnership of institutions and organizations dedicated to preserving and providing access to selected databases, web pages, video, audio and other digital content with enduring value.
The alliance is an outgrowth of the National Digital Information Infrastructure and Preservation Program (NDIIPP), which the Library has administered since 2000. In establishing the program, Congress directed the Library to work with other federal agencies and a variety of additional communities to develop a national approach to digital preservation. NDIIPP has achieved substantial success though partnering with more than 170 institutions to provide access to a diverse national collection of digital content. This work demonstrates that a collective effort can achieve far more than individual institutions working alone.
The NDSA will focus on several goals. It will develop improved preservation standards and practices; work with experts to identify categories of digital information that are most worthy of preservation; and take steps to incorporate content into a national collection. It will provide national leadership for digital-preservation education and training. The new organization will also provide communication and outreach for all aspects of digital preservation.
The NDSA will launch with a core set of founding members drawn from current NDIIPP project partners. Those members will develop a roadmap for immediate action, including a process for expanding membership. For more information, visit www.digitalpreservation.gov/ndsa/.
Name of source: Lee White at the National Coaliton for History
SOURCE: Lee White at the National Coaliton for History (8-20-10)
On August 31, the Pennsylvania Gaming Board will hold a public hearing on a proposal to license a casino located one-half mile from the Gettysburg National Military Park. The Civil War Preservation Trust is asking historians and other concerned citizens to contact the Gaming Board (click here) in advance of the hearing to express their opposition to this misguided use of land so close to the hallowed ground of Gettysburg.
On July 1, 276 American historians sent a letter to the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board in opposition to a proposal to license a casino located one-half mile from the Gettysburg National Military Park. Beyond the individual signatories, the American Historical Association, National Coalition for History, National Council on Public History, Organization of American Historians, Society for Military History and Southern Historical Association sent a separate letter of opposition to the Gaming Board.
Although the proposed casino site along the Emmitsburg Road lies outside the current administrative boundaries of Gettysburg National Military Park, it would be on land identified as historically sensitive by the American Battlefield Protection Program, an arm of the National Park Service. The application before the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board would retrofit an existing family-friendly hotel complex into a gambling resort with an initial 600 slot machines in addition to table games.
Name of source: National Parks Traveler
SOURCE: National Parks Traveler (8-23-10)
Richmond Battlefield in Kentucky, Franklin Battlefield in Tennessee, and Bentonville Battlefield in North Carolina will benefit from the appropriation from the Land and Water Conservation Fund.
“Americans have a duty to protect these scenes of combat. We must honor the memories of those who fought and teach people about the Civil War and its pivotal role in our nation’s history,” said National Park Service Director Jonathan B. Jarvis, whose agency administers the funds. “These grants ... will help state and local governments commemorate fallen soldiers and offer place-based education on par with that provided by the National Park Service.”...
SOURCE: National Parks Traveler (8-24-10)
With an eye on finalizing a Comprehensive Management Plan for the trail by the Fall of 2014, National Park Service managers are laying the foundation for developing a sound plan that will guide the trail's management for 15-20 years. Understandably, how visitors view and appreciate the trail are key to that final plan, and so the public's ongoing involvement is critical.
With that in mind, trail managers are asking for answers to the following questions:
1. What do you value most about Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail and is the trail important to you?
2. How do you experience the trail and what experiences would you like to have along the Trail?
3. Imagine you are visiting Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail 20 years from now. What do you think the trail should look like in the future? How can we today relate to this historic event, cultures, the past landscape setting and related stories from over two hundred years ago?
4. Lewis and Clark National Historic Trail is over 3,700 miles long and there may be some segments, or locations that are special to you or that you have concerns about. Please describe those places and your concerns for those places. If you have photographs of these same places please include in your comments, the name, location, and GPS coordinates, if known, of each photo along with a brief description of why this location is special.
5. What do you think are the most important issues affecting the trail and the long term preservation, use and enjoyment of this resource and associated resources?
6. How would you define “where” the trail is located and “what” makes the trail a National Historic Trail?
7. How should the National Park Service administer the trail?
8. Are there any other issues or concerns the National Park Service should address in this plan?...
Name of source: AOL News
SOURCE: AOL News (8-19-10)
On Monday, the Moscow Arbitration Court decided the case will be heard Oct. 18. The plaintiff is the Princes' Foundation for the Advancement of Religious and National Consensus, founded in May 2009 by Valery Kubarev, who traces his lineage to the Rurik dynasty. It was under the reign of Rurik grand princes, Kubarev claims, that the Kremlin was constructed.
According to its website, the foundation seeks "usage rights" to the Kremlin "in perpetuity."...
Name of source: The Herald-Mail (MD)
SOURCE: The Herald-Mail (MD) (7-28-10)
The easement, part of the state’s Rural Legacy Program, will preserve the historically significant land, known as the Meyers Property, for future generations, the release said.
“By protecting this land, we are not only supporting an ecologically important area, but preserving an important piece of our State’s history,” Gov. Martin O’Malley was quoted as saying in the release. “This acquisition ensures that our rich heritage and our great outdoors will be protected for future generations of Marylanders.”...
Name of source: WaPo
SOURCE: WaPo (8-23-10)
The discussions come after investigators found dozens of unmarked or mislabeled graves, millions of dollars wasted on technology contracts and mismanagement that stretched from the cemetery's leadership to the upper echelons of Army leadership in the Pentagon.
"Let's let the experts take over," said Joe Davis, a spokesman for the Veterans of Foreign Wars, the country's oldest major veterans organization. Running cemeteries "is a primary task of the VA, whereas the Army's primary task is to fight and win our wars."
The American Legion has also called for the VA to be more involved at Arlington, the nation's busiest military cemetery, which has an average of 27 funerals a day and 4 million visitors annually. And several members of Congress, including Rep. Ike Skelton (D-Mo.), chairman of the Armed Services Committee, have asked whether the VA, which manages 131 cemeteries nationwide with 3 million graves, would be better suited to operate Arlington....
Name of source: NBC Washington
SOURCE: NBC Washington (8-12-10)
Two months ago, at the same memorial, a group of students were confronted by a security guard for singing the national anthem. The students, members of the conservative Young America’s Foundation, were told by U.S. Park Police that they were "were in violation of federal law and their impromptu performance constituted a demonstration in an area that must remain 'completely content neutral,'" reports FoxNews.com.
"The area they were standing in and singing is an area that is restricted for this type of activity," said Sgt. David Schlosser. "The United States Park Police is absolutely content-neutral when it comes to any sort of demonstrations in these areas."...
Name of source: NYT
SOURCE: NYT (8-23-10)
The cancerous brains were collected by Dr. Harvey Cushing, who was one of America’s first neurosurgeons. They were donated to Yale on his death in 1939 — along with meticulous medical records, before-and-after photographs of patients, and anatomical illustrations. (Dr. Cushing was also an accomplished artist.) His belongings, a treasure trove of medical history, became a jumble of cracked jars and dusty records shoved in various crannies at the hospital and medical school.
Until now. In June 2010, after a colossal effort to clean and organize the material — 500 of 650 jars have been restored — the brains found their final resting place behind glass cases around the perimeter of the Cushing Center, a room designed solely for them.
These chunks of brains floating in formaldehyde bring to life a dramatic chapter in American medical history. They exemplify the rise of neurosurgery and the evolution of 20th-century American medicine — from a slipshod trial-and-error trade to a prominent, highly organized profession....
SOURCE: NYT (8-22-10)
leader named Victor H. Green conceived the guide in response to one too many accounts of humiliation or violence where discrimination continued to hold strong. These were facts of life not only in the Jim Crow South, but in all parts of the country, where black travelers never knew where they would be welcome. Over time its full title — “The Negro Motorist Green Book: An International Travel Guide” — became abbreviated, simply, as the “Green Book.” Those who needed to know about it knew about it. To much of the rest of America it was invisible, and by 1964, when the last edition was published, it slipped through the cracks into history.
Until he met a friend’s elderly father-in-law at a funeral a few years ago, the Atlanta writer Calvin Alexander Ramsey had never heard of the guide. But he knew firsthand the reason it existed. During his family trips between Roxboro, N.C., and Baltimore, “we packed a big lunch so my parents didn’t have to worry about having to stop somewhere that might not serve us,” recalled Mr. Ramsey, who is now 60....
Name of source: Yomiyuri (Japan)
SOURCE: Yomiyuri (Japan) (8-22-10)
The Sophia University Angkor International Mission, headed by university President Yoshiaki Ishizawa, excavated the statues from a circular moat at the ruins of Banteay Kdei temple on Friday.
About 60 centimeters tall, the statues are believed to have been produced in the late 12th or early 13th century.
Ishizawa and his team have worked to repair and preserve the Angkor ruins, a World Heritage Site. They also excavated Buddhist statues there in 2001, a discovery that brought certain historical events to light, including the fact that Buddhism was suppressed across Cambodia after the death in 1219 of Jayavarman VII, the king who constructed the temple....
Name of source: BBC News
SOURCE: BBC News (8-20-10)
The vendor says he obtained the "used toilet commode" from a couple who now own the former home of the Catcher in the Rye author.
It comes "uncleaned and in its original condition", the ad for it states.
"Who knows how many of [his] stories were thought up and written while Salinger sat on this throne!", it adds.
The toilet comes with a letter from Joan Littlefield, attesting that the toilet was removed during renovations to her and her husband's house in Cornish, New Hampshire, formerly owned by the reclusive author.
She writes that they knew all the workmen who installed the toilet decades ago when Salinger had work done on the house.
There have been a number of bids on the item.
Salinger died in January, aged 91....
Nine people died in bombings in Claudy, County Londonderry on 31 July 1972.
The NI Police Ombudsman's probe found that high-level talks led to Fr James Chesney, a suspect in the attack, being moved to the Irish Republic.
No action was ever taken against Fr Chesney, who died in 1980.
Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson said that the government was "profoundly sorry" that Fr Chesney had not been properly investigated.
Mark Eakin, whose younger sister Kathryn was killed in the blast, said he would like to see someone brought before the courts.
Mr Eakin said: "I would like to ask the British government if they would now step in and investigate this thing further, give the PSNI of today, who are still trying to investigate, more resources."...
The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust, which filed the legal case in the US, wants to stop Rick Norsigian selling images it does not endorse.
In July, Mr Norsigian's lawyer said experts concluded "beyond reasonable doubt" the prints were Adams's work.
The case has "no merit", Mr Norsigian's lawyer Arnold Peter added.
It alleges trademark infringement, false advertising, trademark dilution, unfair competition and other claims.
Although the case does not specify damages, the trust has asked the court to order the defendants to hand over any profits made from any sales.
It also claims there is "substantial evidence" suggesting the negatives were created by another photographer, Earl Brooks.
Adams's representatives insist the negatives are fraudulent....
SOURCE: BBC News (8-23-10)
Muhsin Sha'lan, first under-secretary at the culture ministry, was accused of "negligence", according to the state news agency Mena.
Several other officials were believed to have been detained at the same time.
The theft of the $50m (£32m) painting from a Cairo museum on Saturday has been blamed on poor security.
The work - known as both Poppy Flowers and Vase And Flowers - was cut from its frame at the Mahmoud Khalil Museum during the day on Saturday.
Egypt's top prosecutor, Abdel Meguid Mahmud, said none of the alarms at the museum and only seven out of 43 security cameras were working.
He added that the broken alarms and cameras had not worked for some time.
Egyptian newspaper Al-Ahram said nine culture ministry employees had also been barred from travelling as part of the investigation into the disappearance.
Government officials were not available for comment.
Police are reported to be focusing their hunt for the missing Van Gogh on Egypt's air and sea ports....
SOURCE: BBC News (8-23-10)
On 16 August 1951, postman Leon Armunier was doing his rounds in the southern French town of Pont-Saint-Esprit when he was suddenly overwhelmed by nausea and wild hallucinations.
"It was terrible. I had the sensation of shrinking and shrinking, and the fire and the serpents coiling around my arms," he remembers.
Leon, now 87, fell off his bike and was taken to the hospital in Avignon.
He was put in a straitjacket but he shared a room with three teenagers who had been chained to their beds to keep them under control.
"Some of my friends tried to get out of the window. They were thrashing wildly... screaming, and the sound of the metal beds and the jumping up and down... the noise was terrible.
"I'd prefer to die rather than go through that again."
Over the coming days, dozens of other people in the town fell prey to similar symptoms.
Doctors at the time concluded that bread at one of the town's bakeries had become contaminated by ergot, a poisonous fungus that occurs naturally on rye....
It was the first time in 800 years that Rome had been successfully invaded. The event had reverberations around the Mediterranean.
Jerome, an early Christian Church Father, in a letter to a friend from Bethlehem - where he happened to be living - wrote that he burst into tears upon hearing the news.
"My voice sticks in my throat, and, as I dictate, sobs choke me. The city which had taken the whole world was itself taken," he said.
Although Alaric was a Christian ransacking a Christian city, there was an ominous feeling that the world structure built by pagan Rome was disintegrating.
The Roman Empire survived for a few more decades, and later other armies sacked the city again, but this was the date which marked the beginning of the end of Rome's grandeur.
Centuries later, the city which had at the height of its power boasted a population of more than a million people, was reduced to a lawless, ruined village of no more than 30,000 residents.
Marching in unopposed
Pagans claimed that Christians had destroyed the greatest human achievement ever contrived....