December 6, 1941

“No, young man. I don’t think they’d be such damned fools.” Admiral Husband Kimmel, Dec. 6th 1941.

USA Today

Kimmel granted an interview to the Christian Science Monitor and was incredulous when the young reporter asked about the possibility of Japan starting a war with the United States.

The events of the following day forced Kimmel to retire in disgrace as the US government was quick to place all the blame on him.

Cryptic war “warnings” and casual disregard for military realities in the Pacific could be excused as only the civilian leaders enjoyed the benefit of hindsight.

  • Roosevelt had personally promoted Kimmel to command of the Pacific Fleet, jumping over 50 flag officers.
  • Kimmel’s superior Admiral Stark, chose not to immediately notify Hawaii after the translation of Japan’s war message on the morning of Dec. 7th.
  • It was Kimmel’s decision to keep the aircraft carriers at sea, thus sparing them from destruction on December 7th.

What is Political Courage?

Speaker Pelosi announced the intention to file articles of impeachment against Donald Trump…

Pundits, eager for readership, attempt to recall impeachments past as evidence of political courage. –  **only in 1974 and 1868.  1999 was a gross overreach of Congressional power, for some reason. ?


Historians are getting involved in the debate- citing the historical necessities of the 1974 and 1868 impeachment proceedings.  Opponents were obviously partisan hacks lacking in political courage. Edmund G. Ross is the obvious target from 1868- historian David Greenberg called him a “scoundrel.”


What did Ross actually think about impeaching the President of the United States?

“Conditions may, and are not unlikely to arise, some day, when the exercise of the power to impeach and remove the President may be quite as essential to the preservation of our political system as it threatened to become in this instance destructive of that system. Should that day ever come, it is to be hoped that the remedy of impeachment, as established by the Constitution, may be as patriotically, as fearlessly, and as unselfishly applied as it was on this occasion rejected”**

** Ross was ostracized by the radicals in his party and voted out of office two years later.

1619 Project and Gordon Wood

The leading authority on Colonial American and the American Revolution was not consulted by the writers of the New York Times expose` the 1619 Project.

The lead writer in the project makes the outlandish claim that the American Revolution was fought to perpetuate slavery in the America. The writer then disregarded critics as “biased white historians.”

In an interview with World Socialist Website, Wood expressed his disappointment at unnecessary revisionism:

“Well, I was surprised when I opened my Sunday New York Times in August and found the magazine containing the project. I had no warning about this. I read the first essay by Nikole Hannah-Jones, which alleges that the Revolution occurred primarily because of the Americans’ desire to save their slaves. She claims the British were on the warpath against the slave trade and slavery and that rebellion was the only hope for American slavery. This made the American Revolution out to be like the Civil War, where the South seceded to save and protect slavery, and that the Americans 70 years earlier revolted to protect their institution of slavery. I just couldn’t believe this.

I was surprised, as many other people were, by the scope of this thing, especially since it’s going to become the basis for high school education and has the authority of the New York Times behind it, and yet it is so wrong in so many ways.The idea that the Revolution occurred as a means of protecting slavery—I just don’t think there is much evidence for it, and in fact the contrary is more true to what happened. The Revolution unleashed antislavery sentiments that led to the first abolition movements in the history of the world.” **

***By Tom Mackaman
28 November 2019
Gordon Wood, Brown University professor of History.

Martin Van Buren: The Irony of 1840

Presidential History Blog


8th POTUS Martin Van Buren is vaguely remembered today, but….

MVB: A Man of Firsts

…he holds a few interesting distinctions.

Born in 1782, he was the first President who was not born a British subject. He was the only President who learned another language before learning English. His first language was Dutch.

He is also considered by many historians to be the first American professional politician.

Born in New York’s Catskills Mountains, about 20 miles south of Albany, he was the son of a tavern owner and his second wife. His local schooling ended when he was about fourteen. Desiring a better life than as an innkeeper, he read law with Peter Silvester, a prominent Federalist attorney. Silvester and his son stressed a meticulous personal appearance. Young Martin Van Buren thus shed his rough homespun clothing, for a somewhat foppish wardrobe – and manners.

Most indications are that MVB…

View original post 936 more words

Review: The Hidden History of the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America

Amy's Scrap Bag: A Blog About Libraries, Archives, and History

The Hidden History of the Supreme Court and the Betrayal of America by Thom HartmanCover: The Hidden History of the Supreme Court

Berrett-Koehler Publishers, 2019. Paperback, 192 pages.

This book opens with a look at the philosophical ideas the United States’ founders borrowed from the likes of Montesquieu and Locke as well as ideas borrowed from the Iroquois Confederacy.  It then moves on to describe the views on the Supreme Court from The Federalist Papers and how early cases, mainly Marbury v. Madison set the tone for the practice of Judicial Review and thus placed the Supreme Court as the final law of the land instead of Congress.  Then Hartman transitions into proving his thesis, which boils down to the idea that the Supreme Court members are out for themselves, not serving the people.  Following evidence from over 200 years worth of court cases he uses to support his claims, Hartman then proposes ways to take this…

View original post 166 more words

Happy Thanksgiving

Students often express disbelief… and disappointment when they are informed of the true history behind the Thanksgiving holiday.  Years of being taught the story of  Pilgrims, Squanto, and the first harvest leave an indelible mark upon young minds.  There is no debate that these events occurred, rather, the effects of the cooperation are what can be considered contentious.  County and state fairs are the true celebrations of the harvest and happen at the appropriate time of year.  The reasonable question is how did we arrive at the last Thursday in November as our National Day of Thanks?

We have Abraham Lincoln to thank… for the holiday.  Issued at the height of the Civil War, Lincoln hoped to unite various state holidays already in existence into a National “festival of Union.”   The original draft was composed by Secretary of State, William Seward.  Lincoln issued the final draft on October 3, 1863.


The year that is drawing towards its close, has been filled with the blessings of fruitful fields and healthful skies. To these bounties, which are so constantly enjoyed that we are prone to forget the source from which they come, others have been added, which are of so extraordinary a nature, that they cannot fail to penetrate and soften even the heart which is habitually insensible to the ever watchful providence of Almighty God. In the midst of a civil war of unequaled magnitude and severity, which has sometimes seemed to foreign States to invite and to provoke their aggression, peace has been preserved with all nations, order has been maintained, the laws have been respected and obeyed, and harmony has prevailed everywhere except in the theater of military conflict; while that theater has been greatly contracted by the advancing armies and navies of the Union. Needful diversions of wealth and of strength from the fields of peaceful industry to the national defense, have not arrested the plough, the shuttle or the ship; the axe has enlarged the borders of our settlements, and the mines, as well of iron and coal as of the precious metals, have yielded even more abundantly than heretofore. Population has steadily increased, notwithstanding the waste that has been made in the camp, the siege and the battlefield; and the country, rejoicing in the consciousness of augmented strength and vigor, is permitted to expect continuance of years with large increase of freedom. No human counsel hath devised nor hath any mortal hand worked out these great things. They are the gracious gifts of the Most High God, who, while dealing with us in anger for our sins, hath nevertheless remembered mercy. It has seemed to me fit and proper that they should be solemnly, reverently and gratefully acknowledged as with one heart and one voice by the whole American People. I do therefore invite my fellow citizens in every part of the United States, and also those who are at sea and those who are sojourning in foreign lands, to set apart and observe the last Thursday of November next, as a day of Thanksgiving and Praise to our beneficent Father who dwelleth in the Heavens. And I recommend to them that while offering up the ascriptions justly due to Him for such singular deliverances and blessings, they do also, with humble penitence for our national perverseness and disobedience, commend to His tender care all those who have become widows, orphans, mourners or sufferers in the lamentable civil strife in which we are unavoidably engaged, and fervently implore the interposition of the Almighty Hand to heal the wounds of the nation and to restore it as soon as may be consistent with the Divine purposes to the full enjoyment of peace, harmony, tranquillity and Union.

In testimony whereof, I have hereunto set my hand and caused the Seal of the United States to be affixed,

Done at the city of Washington, this Third day of October, in the year of our Lord one thousand eight hundred and sixty-three, and of the Independence of the United States the Eighty-eighth


By the President: WILLIAM H. SEWARD, Secretary of State

Eat Turkey- Be Thankful

Spare us your phony indignation over the Thanksgiving holiday… Stop posting the painfully naive memes about American Indians being killed or robbed by the Pilgrims- cease with the historically ignorant platitudes about rightful ownership and true “Native Americans.”   You are only showing your ignorance of history; but in addition, on full display is your gullibility.  An intellectual capacity so lacking it can be manipulated by a mundane utterance or passing snicker.

Give thanks this holiday… as Abraham Lincoln intended it.  Carve the turkey, pass the stuffing, and enjoy some pumpkin pie.  Instead of watching three meaningless football games, pick up a book and learn something about the first Thanksgiving.  Nathaniel Philbrick’s Mayflower is a good place to start. History is complicated and sometimes rather messy.  If you can accept 140 characters or less as your teacher, your thoughts on any matter are insignificant.