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American History

True American Grit

Vicki Cobb | Posted 04.23.2014 | Books
Vicki Cobb

According to psychologist, Angela Duckworth, the most important trait for success is grit. There is no better example than American homesteaders.

The Winter Olympics, History and Should We Care?

Alejandra Dubcovsky | Posted 04.22.2014 | College
Alejandra Dubcovsky

"Is it unpatriotic to not care about Sochi?" I was recently asked in jest. But as a historian of the United States, it forced me think of the deeper question hidden inside the more jovial one, one that examines how we think about America as a nation. What or rather who is the United States?

Songs That Matter: Bob Dylan, 'Desolation Row'

Anne Margaret Daniel | Posted 04.19.2014 | Arts
Anne Margaret Daniel

"Desolation Row" is over eleven minutes of anything, everything. For nearly fifty years, Bob Dylan's fans, critics, and writers have been trying to say what it's about. To me, it's a song I love to listen to, and one of the last great works of Modernism.

The Truth About Slavery in Pennsylvania

Brian Hanley | Posted 04.14.2014 | Politics
Brian Hanley

Compared to the five gradual abolition acts passed in northern states between 1780 and 1804, Pennsylvania's was by far the most limited in scope. It liberated not a single individual, and choked out slavery only by degrees.

Market Values Are Not MOOC Values

Louis Hyman | Posted 04.13.2014 | Business
Louis Hyman

Rather than a triumph of individualistic, market values, the MOOC represents a democratic way to raise collective education. Rather than creating a uniform product consumed in isolation, MOOCs are more likely to restore critical conversations to the classroom--and the book club.

The Mentor That Inspired Me to Inspire

Troy D. Paino | Posted 04.02.2014 | College
Troy D. Paino

Although the passing of Dr. Nelson does not rise to the level of national news, for me, it serves as a reminder of what the American educational system so desperately needs: inspiration.

Exposing Public Wickedness Is More American Than Apple Pie

Robert Scheer | Posted 03.08.2014 | Politics
Robert Scheer

It's the revolt of the geeks. Edward Snowden is John Peter Zenger digitized, a post-Internet free-press hero soaring above the security obsessions of the past decade to assert the inalienable requirements of individual sovereignty in a wired world.

The Enduring Mystery of JFK

John T. Shaw | Posted 02.17.2014 | Politics
John T. Shaw

This new flood of JFK literature comes on top of the already 40,000 or so books that have been written about Kennedy. And yet, JFK is still mysterious and elusive. Misconceptions about Kennedy persist.

Book Review: The Italian-American Experience -- Another Immigration Story

Carla Seaquist | Posted 02.10.2014 | Books
Carla Seaquist

Explorers Emigrants Citizens steps way back to tell the Italian-American saga from first contact with the Americas, with Christopher Columbus being only one of many explorers. The book then focuses on the huge waves of immigration in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Obama's Inequality Speech: Telling the Progressive Story of American History

Ian Reifowitz | Posted 02.05.2014 | Politics
Ian Reifowitz

Barack Obama knows how to tell a story. One of his great strengths is his ability to craft a narrative of our history that resonates with Americans ...

What's Education for, Anyway?

William E. White | Posted 02.03.2014 | Education
William E. White

The hyperfocus on workplace development is keeping us from accomplishing the core civic education mission of our schools. Strong, engaged citizens make an excellent and reliable workforce.

The Black Newspaper That Helped Change American History

Posted 01.23.2014 | Black Voices

On this day in 1847, freed slave and abolitionist Frederick Douglass started a newspaper called The North Star. Douglass launched the paper follo...

Chanukah & Thanksgiving: It's Complicated

Rabbi Menachem Creditor | Posted 01.28.2014 | Religion
Rabbi Menachem Creditor

May this Chanukah and Thanksgiving truly banish darkness, bring bounty, cultivate gratitude, and challenge us to see the light in others' eyes.

For White People Who Can't Bear to See '12 Years a Slave'

Rev. Meg Riley | Posted 01.27.2014 | Religion
Rev. Meg Riley

I went with dread, and with a friend whose hand I gripped so hard that she finally withdrew it. I went with the intention to close my eyes during the most violent scenes. And I carried out that intention. But I went. And I am, in my deepest self, glad that I went.

Closing the Skills Gap

Rep. Bill Owens | Posted 01.26.2014 | Business
Rep. Bill Owens

As we take stock of the many things for which we are thankful, we are at a defining moment. Our economy is improving but we still have room to grow. To speed growth, we must close the widening skills gap that exists in communities across the country.

The Top Historic Moments Of The Past 50 Years We'll Never Forget

Posted 11.25.2013 | Fifty

As we reflected recently on the tragic assassination of President John F. Kennedy that took place 50 years ago, we realized yet again how significant ...

Deconstruction and Discovery: A West Virginia Community Digs into the McCoy Fort's Colonial Past

National Trust for Historic Preservation | Posted 01.25.2014 | Education
National Trust for Historic Preservation

The current state of the McCoy Fort. A significant chimney foundation is visible on the west side (bottom), while a lesser defined chimney foundation...

The Kennedy Assassination: More Important Than 9/11?

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush | Posted 01.25.2014 | Religion
Paul Brandeis Raushenbush

As I watch the footage of the grief-stricken people who lined the streets, I can't help but feel a nostalgia for that horrible time because it seems to me that it represents an America more unified than today.

The Last One of a Kind

Sarah O'Leary | Posted 01.25.2014 | Arts
Sarah O'Leary

Recently I discovered that the 8-foot tall turn of the century wooden playground slide in the middle of my living room might be the last one like it o...

Deep-fried Thanksgiving

Rachael Stark | Posted 01.23.2014 | Taste
Rachael Stark

The ritual commences. We gather from disparate corners of the globe, overcoming vast geography, our clashing calendars, demanding work schedules, and above all, our battling food preferences. And that's where the comparison to our forefathers begins and ends.

The Day My American History Teacher Cried

Brent Green | Posted 01.23.2014 | Fifty
Brent Green

I cannot recall what he told us during those suspenseful minutes following breaking news, but even then I grasped the irony of an assassination attempt in Dallas while learning about the nation's Founding Fathers.

F. Scott Fitzgerald, Zelda Sayre, and Montgomery, Alabama in 2013

Anne Margaret Daniel | Posted 01.23.2014 | Arts
Anne Margaret Daniel

Last week I joined close to 200 Fitzgerald scholars, admirers, students, readers, and teachers from all over the world -- though readers, and admirers, serves to define us all.

In the Interest of Historical Accuracy and Honesty, I Must Correct Myself

Chris Rodda | Posted 12.30.2013 | Media
Chris Rodda

On Sunday morning, during an appearance on CNN's New Day, I made a statement that was incorrect, so, in the interest of historical accuracy and honesty, I need to issue a correction.

To Swear or Not to Swear: The Founders' Original Intent for Military Oaths

Chris Rodda | Posted 12.24.2013 | Politics
Chris Rodda

The founders who wrote the first military oath under the Constitution in 1789 did not include the words "So help me God," so their intent was obviously that these words not be part of the oath.

Dark Skin = Un-American?

Reef Karim, D.O. | Posted 11.19.2013 | Entertainment
Reef Karim, D.O.

Apparently being American means being white and having a name everyone's familiar with.It means being comfortable with what you know and who you know. It means being fearful of the unknown. And it means not having dark skin.