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A Personal Message from the Editor

UPDATE: After the first week of our fund drive, our readers have stepped up to contribute more than $5,100 toward our goal of $25,000. This is great news. We're waiting for the numbers from the week that has just passed to show more progress. If HNN's efforts to provide historical perspective on the tumultuous news of 2020 has been valuable to you, please make your contribution this week!

Dear Readers,

As the year 2020 winds down, I'm sure many of us are taking (or hope to take) some time to reflect on the year that's passed and look ahead to the future. 

I joined HNN as editor in late February, excited to carry forward the site's missions of amplifying the voices of historians on current events, making historical knowledge accessible to the public, and presenting historical perspective on the news. 

Then the news happened. 

A novel coronavirus became a threat, then a pandemic, then a health, economic and political crisis. 

Police killings of Black Americans sparked protests, counterprotests, federal occupation of city streets, and calls for responses ranging from police abolition to martial law. 

Cities raced to take down Confederate memorials before protesters could, and a national and global conversation on monuments and teaching the past broke out.

And Americans elected a new president amid fears for the security of our democracy. 

By themselves, any of these story lines would have kept me busy and to be honest, following all of them has sometimes been exhausting. 

But despite the 2020 fatigue that I'm sure many of you share, it has been incredibly rewarding to be part of this community of historians and readers. 2020 showed how important history is for understanding the present, for practicing citizenship, and for thinking and talking about the big questions we face. We disagree about many things, but I'm sure we all agree about that. 

Which is why I'm here to ask you to support HNN with a financial contribution to carry out our work for the coming year. 

HNN has a target of $25,000 in reader contributions to our annual fund drive. 

To put those numbers in perspective, HNN readers visit the site about 300,000 times per month. If we got a dime for every time a reader clicked a link to HNN, we'd hit that target by year's end. If all of our readers decided each opinion essay or news article they read on HNN was worth just ten cents, HNN could be financially supported to cover whatever 2021 may bring. 

I know this time of year brings appeals for support from many worthy organizations and causes. I hope HNN will be in your giving plans. 

You may make a secure contribution by credit card via internet or telephone, or by mailing a check. Detailed instructions for all methods are located on HNN's Donations page (remember, HNN is now a project of the History Department at the George Washington University, so contributions to HNN go through GWU's donation system). 

Best wishes,

Michan Connor

HNN Editor