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2005 2-March to May

Week of 5-30-05 FRIDAY

Books/George Washington and Thomas Jefferson: Paul Johnson has just written a book on George Washington. Christopher Hitchens has just written a book on Thomas Jefferson. The surprise is both were published by HarperCollins's James Atlas.

Deep Throat/George McGovern: "We need someone like that who is highly placed to tell us what's really going on. We know that we were misled on Iraq," McGovern told Fox News Radio."This war in Iraq, in my opinion is worse than anything Nixon did. I think Nixon deserved to be expelled from office in view of the cover-up that he carried on and the laws that he violated.

Obituary/ Mary Wolfskill: Mary Margaret Wolfskill, 58, head of the reference and reader service section of the manuscript division of the Library of Congress, died May 23 of ovarian cancer at the Halquist Memorial In-Patient Center, Capital Hospice, in Arlington. She was a longtime Washington resident and had been at the Library of Congress for 36 years. Miss Wolfskill was the library's specialist on Margaret Mead; she described the famed anthropologist, who died in 1978, as"one of the most documented lives in American history."

Historic Site: Richard Moe, president of the National Trust for Historic Preservation, put the 175-mile road trip between Gettysburg and Monticello on his group's annual list of the nation's most endangered historic places. Also among the 11 sites are a Frank Lloyd Wright house in Los Angeles, historic Catholic churches in Boston and decaying buildings in downtown Detroit. Moe and other promoters of an area they call the"Journey Through Hallowed Ground" corridor said they are seeking to boost the profile of a diverse and threatened area near the nation's capital. They argue that the corridor has lost more than 150,000 acres of farmland since the early 1980s as population there has doubled.

Women's Suffrage: A state senator who once said that giving women the vote was a symptom of weakness in the U.S. family wants to be Kansas's top elections official. Sen. Kay O'Connor said yesterday that she is seeking the Republican nomination for secretary of state next year. O'Connor, 63, has served in the Legislature since 1993. In 2001, O'Connor received national attention for her remarks about the 19th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, ratified in 1920, which gave women the right to vote."I think the 19th Amendment, while it's not an evil in and of itself, is a symptom of something I don't approve of," she said at the time."The 19th Amendment is around because men weren't doing their jobs, and I think that's sad. I believe the man should be the head of the family. The woman should be the heart of the family."

Hemingway: For the first time, a site outside the United States -- novelist Ernest Hemingway's Cuban hideaway -- has won a place on the National Trust for Historic Preservation's list of the most endangered places. Hemingway spent more than 20 years at the home near Havana, where he wrote"The Old Man and the Sea." Time and the elements have severely damaged the hacienda, called Finca Vigia, or Lookout Farm."Ernest Hemingway is one of the world's most celebrated authors, and Finca Vigia is the home he loved best," the trust's President Richard Moe said."Even though it stands on foreign soil, this house is part of the shared cultural heritage that defines us as Americans."

Filibusters/Congress: SENATOR BILL FRIST, the majority leader, has often invoked the founding fathers to make his case against delaying tactics like the filibuster, especially when such tactics allow a small number of senators to create what he calls"a tyranny of the minority." But he has shown almost no interest in the founders' similar concerns about tactics that accelerate Senate action, even when those tactics enable a handful of senators to effectively deny the chamber the possibility of reading a bill, let alone debate it. There is plenty of minority tyranny, for example, in the conference committees that Congress uses to spur legislative agreement between the two chambers. Such committees clearly bypass the founders' inefficient back-and-forth in which the House and Senate are supposed to trade versions of legislation until they finally reach agreement.

Deep Throat/Woodward & Bernstein Back Together Again: The writer Murray Kempton once called them the Tom and Huck of American journalism, and their surnames became a single, swashbuckling compound noun: Woodstein. Now Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein are together again, joined in a visibly affectionate, sometimes awkward embrace by the disclosure of Deep Throat's identity."One was colorful and flamboyant, and the other one thought that was absolutely fine," said Robert Redford, who helped produce the film of"All the President's Men," in which he played Mr. Woodward."Bob was quite comfortable with Carl being the more colorful, because that helped him do what he did best, which was to have a killer instinct masked by a very cool, Presbyterian presence. I used to tell him, 'I'm having trouble getting a handle on you; you're kind of dull.' And he said, 'No, I really am.'"

Srebrenica Massacre: Almost 10 years after the massacre of more than 7,000 Muslim men and boys by Serbian security forces in Srebrenica, a video has surfaced that presents graphic details of their fate. Several people in the video were arrested as a result, the Serbian prime minister said Thursday. Serbian television ran video on Thursday of killings by a Serbian security force in 1995. The video showed men taken from Srebrenica to Treskavica, in Serbian-held territory, where six were shot, their hands tied. The graphic film was shot near the town whose name now recalls the worst massacre in Europe since World War Two, in which 8,000 Muslim men and boys were killed over several days and their bodies bulldozed into mass graves. The tape - shown at the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague on Wednesday and rebroadcast on Serbian television on Thursday - shows the killing of six Muslim men by members of a Serbian paramilitary police unit.

Armenian Genocide/Belgium: The Belgium Senate Justice Commission yesterday withdrew a bill proposing fines and jail terms for people who deny the Armenian genocide allegations. The Armenian lobby was shocked by the decision. 'We finally decided to withdraw the proposal because we need to consider the issue more seriously," Belgian Prime Minister Guy Verhofstadt is reported to have said.

Week of 5-30-05 THURSDAY

History's Mysteries: Mark Felt's admission that he was Watergate's Deep Throat has solved one of the world's great mysteries, hitherto known only to a handful of people. But there are plenty of other secrets out there: Where's Jimmy Hoffa? What's the recipe for Coca Cola?

Deep Throat/Role of the FBI: The revelation that a senior FBI official was the secret Watergate source known as Deep Throat has rekindled a controversy about the role of the government bureaucracy in bringing down President Richard M. Nixon. Most accounts of the unraveling of the Watergate conspiracy have focused on the very public efforts of journalists, the special prosecutor and Congress in documenting the abuses of power that led to Nixon's resignation on Aug. 8, 1974. The bureaucratic battles within the administration between Nixon loyalists and opponents have drawn much less attention from historians -- for the simple reason that they took place in secret, far from the public gaze. As the historical record becomes more complete, some Watergate experts are bracing for a new wave of revisionist histories examining the complex, mutually beneficial relationship between reporters chasing the biggest political story in modern American history and their frequently anonymous sources.

Bomb at Pompeii: Bomb disposal experts today detonated a 250lb World War II bomb unearthed near the ruins of the ancient Roman town of Pompeii, a police official said. Residents and tourists were forced to evacuate the area. The archaeological site remained closed for the day, Pompeii’s archaeological office said. The British-made bomb, discovered last week during construction works on a road near the ruins, was detonated after a wall of earth had been constructed around it to cushion the impact of the explosion, a police official in Pompeii said.

Deep Throat/Did Bernstein's Son Tell a Friend: Carl Bernstein's son famously told a friend at summer camp that his mother told him that Mark Felt was Deep Throat. His mother was Nora Ephron. Both she and Bernstein say she never had the inside scoop:"I knew that Deep Throat was Mark Felt because I figured it out. Carl Bernstein, to whom I was married for a brief time, certainly would never have told me; he was far too intelligent to tell me a secret like that. He refused to tell his children too, who are also my children, so I told them, and they told others, and even so, years passed and no one really listened to any of us."

Constitution Day: In an effort to comply with a statutory provision inserted in the final federal spending bill for FY 2005, on 24 May 2005, the Department of Education (ED) issued guidelines that directs all educational institutions -- colleges ("institutions of higher education") as well as elementary and secondary schools ("local educational agencies") -- that receive federal dollars, to offer students instruction on the U.S. Constitution every 17 September. The guidelines appeared in the 24 May edition of the Federal Register (see vol. 70, No. 99 p. 29727). The guidelines stop short of requiring that a specific curriculum be taught; rather, they give educational institutions considerable latitude in compliance. For example, institutions may hold a campus-wide assembly, others may opt to merely distribute information in classes. Compliance will be on the"honor-system" as there are no plans to monitor compliance, and according to department officials,"it is too soon to speculate" what might happen if an institution did not comply with the requirement.

Slavery/Apology: Two predecessor banks of Wachovia Corp. owned slaves before the Civil War, the nation's fourth-largest bank said Wednesday as it made an apology to black Americans."We are deeply saddened by these findings," Wachovia chairman Ken Thompson said in a statement. The Charlotte-based company said it contracted earlier this year with The History Factory, a historical research firm, to investigate the predecessor institutions that over the years have become part of what is now called Wachovia. The decision came amid a welter of local and legislative initiatives aimed at requiring banks and other companies to investigate their pasts with regard to slavery.Thompson said the research revealed two ancestral banks _ the Bank of Charleston (S.C.) and the Georgia Railroad and Banking Company _ owned slaves.

CIA's University Spies: A CIA scheme to sponsor trainee spies secretly through US university courses has caused anger among UK academics. The Pat Roberts Intelligence Scholars Program pays anthropology students, whose names are not disclosed, up to $50,000 (£27,500) a year. They are expected to use the techniques of"fieldwork" to gather political and cultural details on other countries. Britain's Association of Social Anthropologists called the scholarships ethically"dangerous" and divisive. The ASA's president, John Gledhill, told the BBC News website the scholarships could foster suspicion within universities worldwide and cause problems in the field.

Deep Throat/Hero or Traitor?: W. Mark Felt's disclosure that he was Deep Throat has sparked a debate about whether he should be praised as a hero for leaking information to The Washington Post or condemned as a traitor for going outside the legal system. His family has sought to portray him as a hero, and by prodding him to disclose his identity as a secret source for The Post in the Watergate scandal, has taken steps to shape his legacy in a positive light. But Mr. Felt's role as a newspaper informer raises questions about the obligations of officials at institutions like the F.B.I. Should those obligations be defined as adhering to the regulations of the bureau and the laws about releasing secret information? Or is there a higher calling when law enforcement officials think that they are being obstructed at the highest levels of government?

Shostakovich: Gathering dust in an Estonian apartment and disintegrating by the day is an important piece of musical history, says the owner of a secret archive relating to composer Dmitry Shostakovich. The collection of 700,000 manuscripts and documents and 1,000 hours of concert recordings could shed new light on Shostakovich, regarded as one of the 20th century's greatest symphony composers. But Mark Matsov, son of conductor Roman Matsov who worked closely with Shostakovich during the Soviet censorship years, fears it could be lost for ever.

18th Century Cajun Leader: For Louisiana's Cajuns, Joseph Broussard dit Beausoleil was their Che Guevara, their Thomas Jefferson, their Moses. But the gravesite of the 18th-century guerrilla fighter has long been a mystery. Now, historians and archaeologists -- some of them descendants of the Acadian leader -- are hoping to find his bones. The search is part of an Acadian renaissance movement that has sprung up since the 1960s to honor the music, art, language and customs of Louisiana's Cajun people, the Acadians' direct descendants. It also coincides with the 250th anniversary of the Acadians' expulsion from Canada during the French and Indian War.

Nazi Nuclear Bomb Diagram Discovered: A pair of German and US historians say they have found the only known diagram for the nuclear bomb that Nazi scientists strived to build during World War II. The pair says the rough schematic does not imply that the Nazis built or even were close to building a nuclear bomb, but it shows they had progressed farther toward that goal than is conventionally thought. The article appears in the June issue of the British monthly Physics World. The 60-year-old document is part of a report that appears to have been produced just after the end of the war in Europe in May 1945. Click here for the Physics World article on the plans for Hitler's bomb.

Deep Throat/Historical Significance: Deep Throat's significance has surely been inflated by journalists, who have been entranced by a story that matters more to them than to history. Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein had scores of sources for their Watergate reporting, and while Deep Throat—or, as we should now say, W. Mark Felt, the former deputy associate director of the FBI—was an important one, he did not single-handedly expose Richard Nixon's"White House horrors." Deep Throat's mythic role in the public imagination, however, remains strong.

Deep Throat/Nixon's Praise for Felt: In a strange footnote to history, Richard M. Nixon unwittingly testified on behalf of Deep Throat in a federal court trial in October 1980 -- six years after Nixon was forced to resign as president because of his involvement in the Watergate scandal. Six years after Nixon was driven from office, Felt and Edward S. Miller, formerly head of the FBI's domestic intelligence division, were charged with illegally authorizing government agents in 1972 and 1973 to break into homes without warrants in search of anti-Vietnam War bombing suspects from the radical Weather Underground organization. Nixon, then a private citizen, testified that he believed that at the time the FBI director and his deputies had direct authorization from the president to order break-ins in the interest of national security. Felt was subsequently convicted and fined $5,000. But five months later, President Ronald Reagan pardoned Felt on the grounds that he had"acted on high principle" to bring an end to the terrorism threatening the nation.

Deep Throat/Marketing the Story: Major publishing houses -- HarperCollins, Random House and Little, Brown among them -- fielded calls from David Kuhn, a media agent representing Mark Felt's family and his attorney, in New York yesterday. They may have listened with skepticism, or excitement, or a mixture of both, but many signed up for meetings later this week. The family is also reportedly interested in television and film projects."If you asked me two days ago how much you'd pay for Deep Throat's memoir, I'd say the sky's the limit," said David Hirshey, senior vice president at HarperCollins."Now that the great mystery has been solved, I'm sure the sky is a little bit lower. But Deep Throat is still one of the biggest 'gets' of all time and I expect major publishers to chase it like Ahab did the whale. And I'll be one to have the harpoon out."

10 Worst Books: Human Events, the conservative weekly, has put out a list of the 10 worst books of the 19th and 20th centuries. Topping the list is the Communist Manifesto. The list also includes: Quotations from Chairman Mao, The Kinsey Report, John Dewey's Democracy & Education, The Feminine Mystique, Nietzsche's Beyond Good and Evil, and Keynes's General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money.

Deep Throat/Woodward's Explanation: Bob Woodward explains in the Wa Po where he first met Mark Felt and how their friendship developed. They met at the White House one day when Woodward, then in the Navy, was delivering some documents from Adm. Thomas H. Moorer, the chief of naval operations. Woodward stayed in touch, confessing he did so in a calculated move to make friends with people in high places. Felt soon became the number two official in the FBI. One of Felt's early leaks to Woodward was to tell him that Vice President Spiro Agnew had been caught taking bribes. Woodward tried to run down possible leads but got nowhere. Felt later supplied Woodward with leads in the assassination attempt on George Wallace in 1972. Felt helped Wopodward with the Watergate reporting from the start, helping the Wa Po establish that E. Howard Hunt was a chief suspect in the Watergate burglary. When Woodward failed to reach Felt on the phone in a follow-up call he showed up at Felt's house in Virginia. It was then that Felt, who had worked in espionage during WW II, said that from then on they would only communicate face to face and in secret. No more phone calls."I said that I had a red cloth flag, less than a foot square -- the kind used as warnings on long truck loads -- that a girlfriend had found on the street. She had stuck it in an empty flowerpot on my apartment balcony. Felt and I agreed that I would move the flowerpot with the flag, which usually was in the front near the railing, to the rear of the balcony if I urgently needed a meeting. This would have to be important and rare, he said sternly.... Felt said if there was something important he could get to my New York Times -- how, I never knew. Page 20 would be circled, and the hands of a clock in the lower part of the page would be drawn to indicate the time of the meeting that night, probably 2 a.m., in the same Rosslyn parking garage." Woodward says he doesn't know how Felt kept an eye on his balcony. Why did Felt talk?"Felt believed he was protecting the bureau by finding a way, clandestine as it was, to push some of the information from the FBI interviews and files out to the public, to help build public and political pressure to make Nixon and his people answerable."

Week of 5-30-05 WEDNESDAY

Sally Hemings/Thomas Jefferson: A thoroughbred owner filed a federal lawsuit seeking the right to name a 2-year-old filly after Sally Hemings, the slave who was the reputed mistress of Thomas Jefferson. The Jockey Club, which regulates the naming of thoroughbred racehorses, denied use of the name on grounds that Hemings was a famous or notorious person, requiring stewards' approval."Naming a thoroughbred horse 'Sally Hemings' may be offensive to persons of African descent and other ethnic groups" and may be offensive to Hemings' descendants, Ogden Mills Phipps, chairman of The Jockey Club, wrote in a letter last year. Garrett Redmond filed suit last week in U.S. District Court, seeking to force the Jockey Club to let him use the name and allow the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority to let him race the filly under the name."To name a horse after someone is an honor," said Redmond, owner of Ballycapple, a farm in Paris, Ky."I have a horse here named after my wife." Redmond, a history buff, thought the proposed name was perfect, since the filly's mother is a mare named Jefferson's Secret, who in turn was fathered by a stallion named Colonial Affair.

Emmett Till: Federal investigators unearthed a concrete vault containing Emmett Till's casket at a suburban Chicago cemetery Wednesday, hoping to find clues into his 1955 slaying in Mississippi that became a key event in the civil rights movement. The muddy cement vault was loaded onto a flatbed truck and headed to the Cook County Medical Examiner's office, where an autopsy was planned. No autopsy was performed when the 14-year-old black Chicagoan was killed."One purpose of this is to positively identify the remains and dispel any rumors as to whether it is truly Emmett Till or not," FBI spokesman Frank Bochte said. A second reason, he said, is to"see if any further evidence can be looked at to help Mississippi officials bring additional charges if warranted."

Deep Throat/Who Guessed Right: Esquire had it wrong; Atlantic Monthly had it right. Leonard Garment's book missed the mark; Ronald Kessler's was on the money. William Gaines' college journalism class flunked the test; Chase Culeman-Beckman's high school paper, though he didn't get an"A" when he turned it in in the late 1990s, should have put him at the head of the class. A three-decade national guessing game is over.

Deep Throat/Wa Po Caught by Surprise: For 30 years, The Washington Post kept secret the identity of Deep Throat, waiting for the right moment to disclose the name of the person who helped the paper develop the biggest story in its history. Yesterday, the paper was scooped on Deep Throat's identity by a monthly magazine. The revelation by the magazine, Vanity Fair, caught The Post by surprise and threw the paper into turmoil. The Vanity Fair article said Mr. Felt's family wanted to collaborate with Mr. Woodward on an article, wondering at one point why Mr. Woodward should"get all the glory" for what they saw as their father's courage. Vanity Fair said Mr. Woodward scheduled two visits with the family to talk about a collaborative effort but he canceled them and never rescheduled. Mr. Woodward has declined to comment. But it was known in New York publishing circles that Mr. Woodward, a prolific author, was planning to write his own book about Deep Throat.

Slavery: The US Capitol was built with the labor of slaves who cut the logs, laid the stones, and baked the bricks. Two centuries later, Congress has decided the world should knowabout this. Congressional leaders yesterday announced the creation of a task force to study the history of slave labor in the construction of the Capitol and suggest how it can best be commemorated. Historians say slaves were the largest labor pool when Congress in 1790 decided to create a new capital along the Potomac, surrounded by the slave-owning states of Maryland and Virginia. Over the next decade, local farmers rented out their slaves for an average of $55 a year to help build the Capitol, the White House, the Treasury Department, and the streets laid out by l'Enfant.

Deep Throat: Slate's Tim Noah, who long pointed to Felt before he started to doubt himself, notices that Woodward engaged in some small-bore misdirection or, shall we say, lying. Qutoing Noah:"One [lie] is that, in All the President's Men, Deep Throat is described as a heavy smoker. But Felt quit smoking in 1943. I suppose Woodstein would call this necessary misdirection. I call it conscious fabrication, however trivial. Also, a November 1973 Woodward and Bernstein Post story sourced anonymously to 'White House sources' is described in All the President's Men as being sourced to Deep Throat. Yet Felt was not a 'White House source.' It's conceivable that Deep Throat was an additional, unacknowledged source on the story, but it's also possible that Woodward and Bernstein were misleading readers about where they got their information. Which was it, gentlemen? Finally, why did Woodward, in a 1979 Playboy interview with J. Anthony Lukas, flatly deny that Deep Throat was anyone inside the 'intelligence community'? The FBI, where Felt worked, is most definitely part of the intelligence community.

Tiananmen Square: Sixteen years on, the Tiananmen Square's 1989 massacre is still claiming new victims. On April 30, mainland Chinese reporter Shi Tao received a 10-year sentence for disclosing so-called"state secrets" related to the June 4 anniversary. The 36-year old Ningxia native was allowed just 10 days to appeal, despite a Kafka-esque hurdle -- the defense team couldn't access the prosecution's"secret" dossier. Nonetheless, Mr. Shi met the strict deadline and his appeal will now focus international scrutiny on Beijing's ultra-broad definition of state secrets. Mr. Shi was an ordinary business reporter at"Contemporary Business News," a newspaper in the central Chinese province of Hunan. Last spring he overheard a Chinese newspaper executive's description to editorial staff of Beijing's guidelines forbidding any reporting that overseas democracy activists might enter China to commemorate the anniversary of June 4. Mr. Shi was accused of relaying the gist of this oral instruction to Democracy Newsletter, a Chinese-language Web site.

Deep Throat/Woodward's Own Book About Felt: Woodward had prepared for Felt's eventual death by writing a short book about a relationship he describes as intense and sometimes troubling. His longtime publisher, Simon & Schuster, is rushing the volume to press -- but the careful unveiling of the information did not proceed as Woodward or The Post had envisioned. In an article being prepared for tomorrow's Washington Post, Woodward will detail the"accident of history" that connected a young reporter fresh from the suburbs to a man whom many FBI agents considered the best choice to succeed the legendary J. Edgar Hoover as director of the bureau. Woodward and Felt met by chance, he said, but their friendship quickly became a source of information for the reporter. On May 15, 1972, presidential candidate George Wallace was shot and severely wounded by Arthur H. Bremer, in a parking lot in Laurel. Eager to break news on a local story of major national importance, Woodward contacted Felt for information on the FBI's investigation. Ben Bradlee knew only Felt's status as a top FBI official. The editor did not learn Felt's name until after The Post had won the Pulitzer Prize for its Watergate coverage and Nixon had resigned.

Deep Throat/How Vanity Fair Got the Story: Vanity Fair's big scoop almost didn't happen. The problem for Vanity Fair was that lawyer John D. O'Connor wanted the magazine to pay Felt and Felt's family for the story -- a condition the magazine would not agree to. O'Connor tried then to sell the story to a book publisher, but after a year returned to Vanity Fair when he couln't.

Deep Throat/His Motivation: Six days after the Watergate break-in, President Richard M. Nixon had a secretly recorded conversation about W. Mark Felt, the number two man at the FBI. Nixon was hatching a plan to stop the FBI from investigating the burglary at Democratic National Committee Headquarters, and the president figured that friends at the CIA could persuade the FBI to drop the investigation. The White House figured their appointee, FBI acting director L. Patrick Gray, would go along. But what about Felt, a 30-year, dyed-in-the-wool Bureau man who ran its day-to-day operations?"Mark Felt wants to cooperate because . . ." Nixon chief of staff H.R. Haldeman told the president."Yeah," Nixon responded.". . . because he's ambitious," Haldeman said.

Week of 5-30-05 TUESDAY

Deep Throat/Reaction: Prominent figures from the Watergate era expressed a mixture of reactions yesterday, from shock to admiration, upon learning that the number two official at the FBI had guided Washington Post reporters investigating illegal activities by the Nixon administration. Richard Ben-Veniste, a top lawyer in the Watergate Special Prosecution Force, said W. Mark Felt's acknowledgement of his role showed that"the importance of whistle-blowers shouldn't be underestimated, particularly when there are excesses by the executive branch of government -- which in this case went all the way to the executive office. But Charles W. Colson, a senior Nixon adviser who served seven months in prison for obstruction of justice in connection with Watergate abuses, declared that he was"personally shocked."

Deep Throat/Why He Talked to Post Reporters: Felt believed that the White House was trying to frustrate the FBI's Watergate investigation and that Nixon was determined to bring the FBI to heel after Hoover's death in May 1972, six weeks before the break-in at the Democratic National Committee's Watergate offices occurred."From the very beginning, it was obvious to the bureau that a cover-up was in progress," Felt wrote in his 1979 memoir,"The FBI Pyramid." Felt may have had a personal motivation as well to begin talking to Post reporter Bob Woodward. At the time of Hoover's death, he was a likely successor to take over as FBI director. Instead the White House named a bureau outsider, L. Patrick Gray, then an assistant attorney general, as acting director and then leaned on Gray to become a conduit to keep the White House informed of what the FBI was learning.

Daley Machine: Elected a Chicago alderman 50 years ago, Leon M. Despres became the nemesis of the city's first Mayor Daley. The mayor died in 1976, but in interviews and in a new memoir, Mr. Despres, age 97, presses the attack. At a book signing the other night at the DuSable Museum of African American History, Mr. Despres, the microphone now safely all his, said of the recent observance,"He has just received municipal canonization" and so"we can't say anything evil about him." Then Mr. Despres proceeded to detail what he calls Mr. Daley's"fatal defects," attributing to him a lust for power that turned city government into a militia of patronage workers, and a commitment to racial segregation and discrimination. He had somewhat kinder words for the current mayor, Richard M. Daley, calling him"much less authoritarian" than his father and more open to ideas from outside his circle.

Cheney Daughters/Dynasties: In February, Liz Cheney, 38, was hired as the No. 2 official in the Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs at the State Department, her second tour in the region. In March, her husband, Philip J. Perry, was nominated to be general counsel for the Department of Homeland Security. That same month, Mary, 35, agreed to write about her role in running her father's re-election campaign last year and her life as the first openly gay member of a Second Family. Carl Anthony, who has written extensively about presidential families, said the Cheneys were products of the women's movement."Even if you're a traditionalist, conservative Republican, women have benefited," he said,"with not only the wife but the daughters pursuing such an active role in the intellectual and political life of their father, and not just in a private way."

Aaron Burr: For sale: One Greek Revival mansion, summer home of the 19th-century social climber Madame Eliza Jumel, who married and divorced Vice President Aaron Burr. Asking price: $750,000. Walking distance to Saratoga Gaming and Raceway and downtown. Legends, ghost stories and colorful rumors included. Fixer-upper. Built around 1832, the white-columned house was put up for sale after its most recent owner, Richard Speers, a popular mathematics professor at Skidmore College, died of a heart attack in February.

Bush/Yalta/Appeasement: On his trip to Europe a few weeks ago, President Bush went over the top when he stuck the"appeasement" label on the 1945 Yalta Agreement. Historians attacked, jumping to defend Churchill and Roosevelt's realpolitik decision to cede parts of Eastern Europe to Stalin after World War II. But the danger to Bush in leveling an appeasement charge isn't that his reading of history might be proved wrong, it's that his own policies might be examined through the same lens — in particular, his policies in response to the nuclear threats posed by North Korea and Iran.

French Language: They arrive at the domed building on the Seine every Thursday, a cabal of erudite elderly citizens, half of them in their 80's, working like ancient tortoises to maintain the dictionary of the Académie Française as an accurate record of modern French. But as science and technology push more and more French and non-French words into common usage, the immortals, as the academicians are called, are struggling to keep up their Sisyphean task. The academy has been toiling for 70 years on the dictionary's ninth edition and has reached only the letter P.

Deep Throat: The Washington Post today confirmed that W. Mark Felt, a former number-two official at the FBI, was"Deep Throat," the secretive source who provided information that helped unravel the Watergate scandal in the early 1970s and contributed to the resignation of president Richard M. Nixon. The confirmation came from Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, the two Washington Post reporters who broke the Watergate story, and their former top editor, Benjamin C. Bradlee. The three spoke after Felt's family and Vanity Fair magazine identified the 91-year-old Felt, now a retiree in California, as the long-anonymous source who provided crucial guidance for some of the newspaper's groundbreaking Watergate stories. Felt was convicted in the 1970s for authorizing illegal break-ins at homes of people associated with the radical Weather Underground. He was pardoned by President Reagan in 1981.

Deep Throat: W. Mark Felt, the No.2 official at the F.B.I. during the Nixon era, made the admission to Vanity Fair magazine. Now, an ailing and aging former F.B.I. agent in California, W. Mark Felt, has told Vanity Fair magazine that he was the one who leaked certain secrets about Mr. Nixon's Watergate coverup to the Washington Post reporters."I'm the guy they used to call Deep Throat," Mr. Felt told John D. O'Connor, a lawyer and the author of the Vanity Fair article, the magazine said today in a press release. Mr. Felt, who is 91 and living in Santa Rosa, Calif., was the second-in-command at the Federal Bureau Investigation in the early 1970's.

Week of 5-30-05 MONDAY

Sudan: A frenzied relic hunt is on in Sudan as archaeologists race to unearth ancient sites that will soon be flooded when the government begins building a major dam on the Nile. The new dam, which will produce 1,250 megawatts of electricity, is expected to cost $1.8 billion. Once it is finished in 2008, the Merowe Dam will roughly double Sudan's power supply and will help irrigate land that is now barely arable. Sudan's leaders see it as a symbol of the country's future.

Memorial Day Tied to Mourning: Whatever its origin, the day began its march toward official status in May 1868,when Illinois' Gen. John A. Logan, first Commander-in-Chief of the Grand Army of the Republic, issued General Order 11 to the membership of the influential veterans' group. In it, Logan wrote:"The 30th day of May, 1868, is designated for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense oftheir country during the late rebellion, and whose bodies now lie in almost every city, village and hamlet churchyard in the land. In this observance no form of ceremony is prescribed, but posts and comrades will in their own way arrange such fitting services and testimonials of respect as circumstances may permit."

Obituary: Rees Davies, who has died aged 66, changed the way we think about medieval Britain. His first book, Lordship And Society In The March Of Wales (1978), established the importance of Welsh, and British, history for a notoriously Anglocentric historical community. Traditional historians of English government afterwards had to look at their subject from below, and from the perspective of a foreign culture.

FDR at Yalta: Roosevelt and Stalin met only twice – in Tehran in November 1943 and in Yalta in February 1945. They met each time with the third of the Big Three, Winston Churchill. By the time they met at Yalta, all three were old and tired. Churchill, who had spent the 1930s in constant frustration, was seventy-one. Stalin at sixty-six had governed his country for seventeen draining years. Roosevelt, who had turned sixty-three the week before the Yalta meeting, had led his country through the worst economic depression and the worst foreign war in its history

Russian History Textbook: Russians remember the Siege of Leningrad--a brutal, 872-day blockade of Russia's second-largest city by Nazi troops that killed 1.7 million people--as a dark, crucial moment in their history. Yet one of the most popular history textbooks in Russian classrooms casually distills the event into a mere four words."German troops blockaded Leningrad." Glaring omissions abound in Nikita Zagladin's textbook,"History of Russia and the World in the 20th Century." The Holocaust is never mentioned. The book barely acknowledges the Gulag labor camps. And it flits past Russia's 10-year conflict with separatists in Chechnya, reducing a pivotal episode in modern Russian history to seven paragraphs.

Oxyrhynchus Papyri: When the British newspaper The Independent printed an article in April announcing a major Oxyrhynchus breakthrough scholars were shocked. Unearthed from centuries-old garbage dumps in central Egypt in the late 19th century, the Oxyrhynchus Papyri - a trove of classical material dating from the second century B.C. to the seventh century A.D. - have yielded gem after gem. But as is so often the case with British newspapers, the Independent article turned out to be both true and not true. It was right to say that new technology was indeed making it easier, in some cases, to read the Oxyrhynchus material, and that new discoveries were being made. But it was not right to say that the technology had just been discovered, or that it was functioning as a sort of Rosetta stone, or that so many new revelations were emerging as to herald"a second Renaissance."

Henry V/Agincourt: The"happy few" who, in Shakespeare's words, beat a French army 30 times its size at the Battle of Agincourt may not have been so few after all."The figures have been exaggerated over the centuries for patriotic reasons," said Anne Curry, a professor of medieval history, who is about to publish a new history of the 1415 battle. She claims tales of the lopsided victory were a myth constructed around King Henry V"to build up his reputation as a king." The story also proved a useful morale-builder in the Second World War, when Laurence Olivier played the role of Henry in the movie of Shakespeare's drama. Ms. Curry has worked out from enrollment and pay records that there were at least 8,000 men in Henry's army, compared with 12,000 on the French side.

Hirohito/Movie: "The Sun" is Russian director Alexander Sokurov's new film examining Hirohito at Japan's moment of existential crisis. The film centers on the extraordinary events of August 1945, when Japan was burning, the Americans were at the gate and this remote man of supposedly divine descent was wondering what Gen. Douglas MacArthur had in store for him and his country. Yet what is most remarkable about this dramatization is not the subject matter — which raises no questions about wartime complicity, sticking instead to the conventional airbrushed history of a peace-loving emperor who saved lives by surrendering in defiance of his generals — but the fact that a Japanese actor dares portray Hirohito at all. In the 60 years since those terrible days, there has been a virtual taboo in Japan against putting an actor in the emperor's shoes.

Social Security/Robert Ball: With the possible exception of J. Edgar Hoover and the FBI, perhaps no one has been associated with a federal institution as intimately and for as long as Robert M. Ball. He is one of the last of a nearly extinct species: career civil servants who became top policymakers. Ball met nine presidents during his career, all from No. 33 (Harry S. Truman) to No. 42 (Bill Clinton), except for No. 38 (Gerald R. Ford). But now the proposals of No. 43, George W. Bush, have prompted the 91-year-old Ball to try to make his voice heard in Washington once again to fight proposals that, in his view, would unravel his life's work protecting Social Security. What Bush has proposed"would ruin the whole system," said Ball, a physically imposing man whom age has not bent."It's a fundamental, philosophical policy shift." Ball has his own proposal, which includes dedicating the proceeds of the estate tax to Social Security and using a more precise — and stingier — measure of price inflation to determine annual cost-of-living adjustments. His most controversial proposal: let the government invest some of the Social Security trust fund's surplus in stock index funds.

9-11 Relics: As anyone who has logged onto eBay knows, Americans are inveterate collectors. Given that 9/11 was arguably the most watched event in human history, it is no surprise that individual collectors, in addition to museums and cultural institutions, are registering their idiosyncratic takes on it. The private collections are another layer in the complex process of understanding what 9/11 meant and how it should be presented to future generations. R. Paul Mooney, watching 9/11 unfold on his television, decided to travel to Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries to help future American generations -- and this one -- understand what he calls ''the other side'' in the war on terror. Mr. Mooney, a research historian who works for the Center for Afghanistan Studies at the University of Nebraska at Omaha, said his travels had yielded hundreds of artifacts: Al Qaeda flags, Taliban turbans, a whip owned by a Taliban ''vice and virtue minister'' and personal effects from United States servicemen and women, like patrol maps, handmade Christmas ornaments and letters from children.

WW II Japanese Holdouts: Japanese diplomats waited for a third day on Sunday to confirm reports that there were two elderly men in the southern Philippines left over from the World War II, but suspicion was rising that the whole thing may be a hoax or trap set by kidnappers. Skepticism began to grow three days after the stragglers’ story broke in Japan’s media, because there had been no credible proof the two elderly men exist. Media named the pair as Yoshio Yamakawa, 87, from the western city of Osaka, and Tsuzuki Nakauchi, 85, and said they could be the first cases in 30 years of wartime stragglers being found.

Chinese Cultural Revolution: The first museum in China to present the unvarnished history of the Cultural Revolution opened in Shantou in 2005. Inside the circular pavilion that is the site's centerpiece, the walls are lined with a series of gray tablets, each starkly engraved with images depicting the Cultural Revolution, China's decade-long descent into madness, beginning in the mid-1960's. There is Mao swimming in the Yangtze River in 1966, giving a bravura demonstration of his vigor at age 72, and a false sign of hope to a country almost religiously devoted to him. The weeks and months ahead would instead reveal that time to be the dawn of a new and terrible era, during which perhaps a half million people were killed, a few of whom are buried in these hills alongside the trails that lead to the exhibits.

Class in the Black Community: Bill Cosby spawned a cottage industry among opinion writers when he ascended a podium in Washington last year and harangued inner-city parents for doing too little to educate their children. He threw salt in the wound by saying those parents were spending too much on expensive sneakers and not enough on books. The most striking thing about the discussion that has followed the Cosby comments is the extent to which even well-educated Americans have been surprised to learn that class antagonism exists in the black community at all. This entrenched ignorance about black life was a long time in the making, and is only now being dislodged.

James Dean Anniversary: James Dean was a myth almost before he was an actor. When he died in a car crash, on Sept. 30, 1955, he was just 24 years old, and there are few things more romantic than premature death. As the 50th anniversary of Dean's death approaches, we'll all have plenty of opportunities to ponder the meaning of his brief life and tiny body of work. Warner Home Video is giving him the boxed-set treatment, in an extras-packed"Complete James Dean Collection," coming out on Tuesday; Film Forum is firing up a two-week retrospective of the holy trinity of Dean's movies.

Compromise/Congress: What has happened to the art of political compromise as exemplified in the career of the great Henry Clay? American democracy was founded on compromise. The Senate itself is the product of a deal; its design, with two votes for every state, was an offer the framers felt compelled to make during the Constitutional Convention to draw less populated states into the union. Perhaps the biggest obstacle to compromise in modern politics, Robert Remini and other historians say, is the absence of a leader with the gift for compromise and the determination to make it happen."Gosh, I don't think of anybody who has the muscle to undertake a compromise," said Edmund S. Morgan, a prominent historian of early America. The last Congressional leader to have that muscle was Lyndon B. Johnson, who was able to forge a compromise on civil rights - the modern-day equivalent of the fight over slavery - when he engineered the Civil Rights Act of 1957. Robert A. Caro, a Johnson biographer, said Johnson overcame differences that were far more polarizing than those of today.

Democracy and Foreign Policy/Tough Choices: Every week, the White House seems to find itself in a balancing act between promoting democracy, on one hand, and supporting friends in combustible but strategically important parts of the world. In recent days, the issue has been how hard to press for an international inquiry into the massacre of civilians in Uzbekistan this month; or how to press Egypt's president, Hosni Mubarak, into facing real challengers in his country's coming election; or how to challenge the resurgence of central control in Russia and China while gaining their cooperation to stop nuclear proliferation. It all has shades of the cold war. From 1946 until the fall of the Berlin Wall, American presidents embraced - sometimes unhappily, sometimes enthusiastically - dictators from Latin America to the Philippines to South Korea in the name of stopping Communism.

Japan/Women's Rights: Beate Sirota Gordon, a snowy-haired American grandmother, is encouraging Japanese women to keep fighting for their rights. For half a century, Ms. Gordon--AKA Beate-san--and the 24 other Americans who drafted Japan's Constitution in six intense days in 1946 kept a pact of silence sworn to Gen. Douglas MacArthur, the postwar American occupation commander. That broke down about a decade ago, and since then Ms. Gordon has left the comfort of retirement and her Manhattan apartment once or twice a year for a lecture tour in Japan. But now she finds herself, at 81, at the front of a drive by Japanese women to protect"her" Article 24, which proclaims"the essential equality of the sexes." Last year, a constitutional panel of Japan's ruling Liberal Democratic Party denounced the women's rights article as promoting"egoism in postwar Japan, leading to the collapse of family and community.""I never thought they would attack it," said Ms. Gordon

Memorial Day Controversy: Maj. Robert Rogers, the frontiersman whose 18th century manual on guerrilla warfare became a blueprint for Army Ranger fighting tactics, is getting what some consider a long-overdue honor: a statue in his memory. But some veterans believe unveiling the monument on Memorial Day is insensitive because Rogers was loyal to Britain during the Revolutionary War."I think it's a travesty that we would think about honoring a person, especially someone who fought against us, on that day," said Bob Bearor, who served in the Army's 101st Airborne Division in the 1960s."It's a sacred day. ... Let's honor our dead who died for our country."

Week of 5-23-05 FRIDAY

Turkey/Armenian Massacre: The Middle East Studies Association is protesting the decision of the rector of Bosphorus University to cancel an academic conference entitled, “Ottoman Armenians in the Period of the Empire’s Collapse.” These actions violate the academic freedom and human rights of Turkish scholars, a number of whom are members of our association.