Remarkable Restraint

Abraham Lincoln could have curried much political favor in the West had he ordered the executions of 303 Dakota Sioux – Instead, he reviewed each case. Despite the crushing defeat at Second Bull Run, the horrific carnage of Antietam, and the political fallout of issuing the Emancipation proclamation Lincoln still listened to the facts ofContinue reading “Remarkable Restraint”

TV Review- History Channel’s “Washington”

Historical documentaries have changed forever. Reduced attention spans have spelled the end of the wistful images and genteel music of the Ken Burns style of documentary making. Now, actors and live action fill the time between the insight provided by “experts.” The word of historians apparently ring hollow, so the new style also interjects opinionsContinue reading “TV Review- History Channel’s “Washington””

Stalin Takes Over at Yalta

“It was not a question of what we would let the Russians do, but what we could get the Russians to do.” Future Secretary of State James Byrnes commented on the Yalta conference which began on February 4, 1945. Most historians now agree that Yalta… is where Stalin exerted his will upon the European continent. Continue reading “Stalin Takes Over at Yalta”

Bring Back Washington’s Birthday Celebration

There is something absurd in our generic observances of “Presidents Day.” Do we truly wish to venerate Warren Harding, Zachary Taylor, and Franklin Pierce? Should Andrew Johnson, Bill Clinton, and Donald Trump really be exalted in our collective memory? President’s Day is a workplace convenience contrived by the government to limit available vacation days inContinue reading “Bring Back Washington’s Birthday Celebration”

History News Roundup

Click on links below Very different responses to Impeachment acquittals House passes bill to create women’s history museum The forgotten history of the Presidential Medal of Freedom Scholars continue to question the 1619 Project New Jersey Bill would remove statue of Union General from US Capitol.

On Immigration

Jefferson discussed immigration to the United States in 1805: “Shall we refuse the unhappy fugitives from distress that hospitality which the savages of the wilderness extended to our fathers arriving in this land? Shall oppressed humanity find no asylum on this globe?” America was growing and Jefferson approved: “We contemplate this rapid growth, and theContinue reading “On Immigration”

Trump has Jackson’s Worst Traits

Trump’s advisors insist he is the second coming of Andrew Jackson. Never mind that Trump has no record of public or military service, the similarities are portrayed as real and historic. Such claims are ludicrous when measuring the commendable aspects of Jackson’s life. Military heroics and public service are glaring holes in the Trump resume.Continue reading “Trump has Jackson’s Worst Traits”

Britain Lost the War of 1812

Why did the British lose the War of 1812… consensus history teaches that the Napoleonic wars kept mighty England from crushing the upstart Americans.  As expected, consensus historical lessons are wrapped too tightly, strangling the complexities from our past.  America won the war, but Britain lost it just as much.  We cannot pin this allContinue reading “Britain Lost the War of 1812”

1812 Saber Rattling

Pop history proclaims that eager “War Hawks” … in the United States forced the War of 1812 upon the American people.  Jeffersonians long antagonistic to the British empire wanted to strengthen our bonds with the French through a war.  Claims are also made stating that expansionists wanted to use the war as a vehicle to finallyContinue reading “1812 Saber Rattling”

Essential Civil War Reading

Battle Cry of Freedom, by James McPherson.  Winner of the Pulitzer Prize, this is the best one volume account of the War told by its greatest storyteller.  It traces the conflict from Free Soil to the assassination of Lincoln in an authoritative voice that has yet to be rivaled. To the Gates of Richmond, byContinue reading “Essential Civil War Reading”