“This is What Is Still Holding Us Back from the Creation of a Fair Society” | History News Network


“Despite five decades of considerable progress, the ghosts of Samuel Morton, Arthur de Gobineau, and Frederick Hoffman continue to influence American society in its language, policies, and relative indifference to the sordid effects of racism.  It is time for all Americans to wake up to the Revolution: “All men [and women] are created equal” and all lives must matter equally. ”

Read the entire article here: History News Network | This is What Is Still Holding Us Back from the Creation of a Fair Society

Abusing History: “Donald Trump Cites Questionable ‘Pig’s Blood’ Story on Early Terrorism” – The New York Times


“On Friday night, Mr. Trump embraced another urban legend, claiming that an American general a century ago summarily executed terrorists with bullets dipped in pig’s blood.” There is not a shred of evidence for this claim!

Source: Donald Trump Cites Questionable ‘Pig’s Blood’ Story on Early Terrorism – The New York Times

“‘Advice & Consent’? No One Really Knows What the Founders Had in Mind.” | History News Network

Ray Raphael briefly reviews the history of the “advice and consent” clause of the Constitution at the HNN.

Afterwards he notes that “[t]he current Senate is more than eager to question ‘the judgment of the Chief Magistrate,’ and the avowed aim of Republican senators is to undermine the administration, not provide ‘stability.’ Nor, in this age of unrelenting media buzz, is there much interest in ‘a silent operation.’ Ironically, those who call themselves Originalists, and who hang on the framers’ every word, loudly broadcast their intention to thwart the Chief Executive at this and at every turn.”

Source: History News Network | “Advice & Consent”? No One Really Knows What the Founders Had in Mind.

“World War I’s Iconic, Ironic Battle” – The New York Times

“It’s the centennial of Verdun. But what exactly are we commemorating?”

Paul Jankowski ‘s answer: “To a historian 100 years later, Verdun does yield a meaning, in a way a darkly ironic one. Neither Erich von Falkenhayn, the chief of the German General Staff, nor his French counterpart, Joseph Joffre, had ever envisaged a climactic, decisive battle at Verdun. They had attacked and defended with their eyes elsewhere on the front, and had thought of the fight initially as secondary, as ancillary to their wider strategic goals. And then it became a primary affair, self-sustaining and endless. They had aspired to control it. Instead it had controlled them. In that sense Verdun truly was iconic, the symbolic battle of the Great War of 1914-18.”

I don’t disagree with that, but I think the commemoration of Verdun offers an opportunity for all of us (not just historians) to contemplate war itself. Too often war is glorified, Verdun should be a reminder of the horrors of war. It should make us think deeply about how, when, and why we fight wars.

To read Jankowski’s entire article go here: World War I’s Iconic, Ironic Battle – The New York Times

“Our Brain Dislikes Disorder.  That Explains a Lot.” | History News Network

“We abhor disorder and uncertainty.” We’ve known this for a long time, but what we haven’t figured out is how to get people to be rational in the face of disorder and uncertainty. The problem is that it is so much easier to react in ways that are emotionally and psychologically gratifying. But this shouldn’t deter us from trying to change people’s responses to fear. We would all be better off as a result!

Source: History News Network | Our Brain Dislikes Disorder.  That Explains a Lot.

The 3,000-Year-Old Wheel Found At ’Britain’s Pompeii’ On Farm Near Peterborough – Yahoo News

“Archaeologists have uncovered the most intact Bronze Age wheel ever found in the UK, at a site dubbed ‘Britain’s Pompeii’. ‘This remarkable but fragile wooden wheel is the earliest complete example ever found in Britain,’ said Duncan Wilson, chief executive of Historic England.”

Source: The 3,000-Year-Old Wheel Found At ’Britain’s Pompeii’ On Farm Near Peterborough – Yahoo News

Garry Wills: “The Next Justice? It’s Not Up to Us” | History News Network

“One thing the framers of the Constitution set out to prevent was a popular say in who should be a Supreme Court justice. The aim of the document was to ensure there would be an independent judiciary—independent of Congress (by ensuring justices’ salaries), independent of changing administrations (by granting them life tenure), and not subject to popular election.”

Source: History News Network | The Next Justice? It’s Not Up to Us


“Ted Cruz’s Phony Supreme Court ‘Tradition'” | History News Network

A history lesson for Cruz (not that the facts matter to him!): History News Network | Ted Cruz’s Phony Supreme Court “Tradition”

Mark Byrnes points out: “This tactic may well work politically. It has already had the effect of framing the debate as “Should Obama nominate someone?” That is truly extraordinary. The actual question should be “Should the Senate confirm Obama’s nominee?” That’s a legitimate debate, but it would put the focus on the nominee and that person’s qualifications. By hiding behind this phony “tradition,” Republicans are trying to avoid having to show that a given nominee should be rejected on the merits. In short, they don’t want to take responsibility for rejecting someone who—in all likelihood—will be eminently qualified for the job. That’s not statesmanship. It’s cowardice. – See more at: http://historynewsnetwork.org/blog/153732#sthash.cLVnCGsR.dpuf