american historian

Viola Davis will star in and produce a biopic on the life of Harriet Tubman on HBO, the movie is based on the 2004 book, “Bound for the Promised Land Harriet Tubman Portrait: of an American Hero” by historian Kate Clifford Larson.

And Aisha Hinds is playing Harriet Tubman in WGN America’s Underground.

And Cynthia Erivo will play the iconic abolitionist Harriet Tubman in the upcoming Macro/New Balloon biopic, HARRIET.



Hamilton fans.

Hamilton fans: Alexander Hamilton was a cinnamon roll, too good, too pure and beautiful for this world. Aaron Burr is a disgusting murderer who shot my poor beautiful baby!

Me, a Historian who has done all the research: Actually, Alexander Hamilton was in no way a cinnamon roll, and before you go around saying so- you should do some research instead of blatantly assuming things about him.


Me, a Historian: Okay, but the Reynolds Pamphlet-


Me, a Historian: but-


It has hit me that many on tumblr weren’t born when 9-11 took place… So I make my plea, please, don’t forget what happened.

When you write down today’s date on your homework, don’t look at it as though it’s something you can’t recall, or something that happened so long ago that it’s now irrelevant. Because for some of us it’s still so real. For some, it was the day our childhood ended. When we saw towers fall and people in far off lands stomp on our flag. Because for some, we can still remember what we wore. We can remember seeing the plane hit the second tower. For some, we can remember sitting in 5th grade social studies with Mrs Owens and listening to the radio saying the pentagon had been hit only to go home and watch coverage of the towers fall and a smokey field in Pennsylvania. Of spending the next three months with red ribbons on our shirts and moments of silence after the pledge.

Your history books will show you glossy photos but our memories bare a sharper image. We remember the photos of dust covered faces crossing the Washington Bridge fleeing Manhattan. We remember the pillar of smoke rising against a brilliant blue sky. We remember the sight of people stranded in airports in the us and canada trying to get home. We remember the blood drives, the volunteerism, the american flags that hang from the windows to the front doors to our socks.

You’ve come of age in a time where we divide into political camps over emails and tea parties. You can’t remember that “united we stand” once meant something. That it held us together as we made sense of the weeks to come.

Remember 9-11. It has shaped you even if you were too young to realize it. Remember 9-11, the heroes that died just doing what the do. Remember 9-11 that “Let’s Roll” is as much our creed as “in God we trust” or “Remember the Alamo”.

But remember. Oh, dear reader, please remember.

The 1930s in America were a period of rampant anti-Semitism, particularly in the Midwest. Father Charles Coughlin, Detroit’s “Radio Priest,” and William Pelley of Minneapolis, openly called for Jews to be driven from positions of responsibility, if not from the country itself. Organized Brown Shirts in New York and Silver Shirts in Minneapolis both outraged and terrorized American Jewry. While the older and more respectable Jewish organizations pondered a response that would not alienate non-Jewish supporters, others–including rabbis [such as Stephen Wise]-asked the gangsters to break up American Nazi rallies.

Historian Robert Rockaway notes that German-American Bund rallies in the New York City area posed a dilemma for mainstream Jewish leaders. They wanted the rallies stopped but had no legal grounds on which to do so. New York state judge Nathan Perlman personally contacted Meyer Lansky and asked him to disrupt the Bund rallies, provided that Lansky’s henchmen stopped short of killing any Bundists. Enthusiastic for the assignment if disappointed by the restraints, Lansky accepted all of Perlman’s terms except for one: he would take no money for the work. Lansky later observed, “I was a Jew and felt for those Jews in Europe who were suffering. They were my brothers.” For months, Lansky’s workmen effectively broke up one Nazi rally after another. As Rockaway notes, “Nazi arms, legs, and ribs were broken, and skulls were cracked, but no one died.”

Lansky recalled breaking up a Brown Shirt rally in the Yorkville section of Manhattan: “The stage was decorated with a swastika and a picture of Hitler. The speakers started ranting. There were only fifteen of us, but we went into action. We … threw some of them out the windows…Most of the Nazis panicked and ran out. We chased them and beat them up… We wanted to show them that Jews would not always sit back and accept insults.”

In Minneapolis, William Dudley Pelley organized a Silver Shirt Legion to “rescue” America from an imaginary Jewish-Communist conspiracy. In Pelley’s own words, just as “Mussolini and his Black Shirts saved Italy and as Hitler and his Brown Shirts saved Germany,” he would save America from Jewish communists. Minneapolis gambling czar David Berman confronted Pelley’s Silver Shirts on behalf of the Minneapolis Jewish community.

Berman learned that Silver Shirts were mounting a rally at a nearby Elks’ Lodge. When the Nazi leader called for all the “Jew bastards” in the city to be expelled, or worse, Berman and his associates burst in to the room and started cracking heads. After ten minutes, they had emptied the hall. His suit covered in blood, Berman took the microphone and announced, “This is a warning. Anybody who says anything against Jews gets the same treatment. Only next time it will be worse.” After Berman broke up two more rallies, there were no more public Silver Shirt meetings in Minneapolis.

George Orwell’s contention was that it is a sure sign of trouble when things can no longer be called by their right names and described in plain, forthright speech.
—  Christopher Lasch  (1932-1994)  American historian
A Lesson In Statistics

Prompt: The creator of Hamilton was the most anticipated guest speaker at a conference you’ve been planning for months. Since you were the youngest member of the committee, you were given the task to pick up Lin-Manuel Miranda from the airport, nevermind the fact that you didn’t know a damn thing about him.

Pairing: Lin x reader

Words:  6,428 (yikes)

Tagged: @sarajanesmith42

A/N: Welp, I hope you guys like it. Thanks to @how-could-i-do-this for being awesome with giving me suggestions and editing this mess.

Keep reading

One question that has always intrigued me is what happens to demonic beings when immigrants move from their homelands. Irish-Americans remember the fairies, Norwegian-Americans the nisser, Greek-Americans the vrykolakas, but only in relation to events remembered in the Old Country. When I once asked why such demons are not seen in America, my informants giggled confusedly and said ‘They’re scared to pass the ocean, it’s too far,’ pointing out that Christ and the apostles never came to America.
—  Richard Dorson, “A Theory for American Folklore,” American Folklore and the Historian (University of Chicago Press, 1971)

One of the biggest debates during the Civil War was how far should governments go in dictating our lives. We still debate those politics.
–William Blair, Civil War historian

What caused the Civil War? Did the North care about abolishing slavery? Did the South secede because of slavery? Or was it about something else entirely…perhaps states’ rights? Colonel Ty Seidule, Professor of History at the United States Military Academy at West Point, settles the debate.

H.W. Crocker III, author of “The Politically Incorrect Guide to the Civil War,” says Southern secessionists were patriots reaffirming the Founding Fathers’ belief that the Colonies were free and independent states.– They also didn’t want to lose the tremendous wealth generated by slave labor.

I’ve always resented the smug statements of politicians, media commentators, corporate executives who talked of how, in America, if you worked hard you would become rich. The meaning of that was if you were poor it was because you hadn’t worked hard enough. I knew this was a lie, about my father and millions of others, men and women who worked harder than anyone, harder than financiers and politicians, harder than anybody if you accept that when you work at an unpleasant job that makes it very hard work indeed.
—  Howard Zinn
The "virgin vote": a historian discovers why young Americans once actually voted
In the mid-1800s, politics were indispensable to making friends, becoming an adult, and even getting laid.
By Jeff Stein

In the spring of 1860, Kentucky abolitionist Cassius Clay was giving a speech in Hartford, Connecticut, when he was threatened by a pro-slavery Democrat. A young Republican bodyguard in his early 20s leaped forward and clobbered his assailant with his torch, defending Clay. The story quickly circulated, and the bodyguard and his friends in Connecticut used their newfound reputation to help build a new anti-slavery political group.

They called themselves the “Wide Awakes.” They held late-night meetings in saloons to talk about the Republican causes of the day. Membership required attendance at local government meetings and spending several hours every week promoting the Republican ticket. Wide Awake crowds began showing up in the middle of the night at the homes of prominent lawmakers, often yelling and singing until the politician woke up and agreed to talk. The Wide Awakes threw wild parties and donned unmistakable uniforms: glimmering jet-black robes, long flowing capes, top hats, and 6-foot torches often emblazoned with their logo, an open eyeball.

By the summer of 1860, there were more than 100,000 Wide Awake members gathered into about 1,000 separate clubs across the country. Proportional to population, that would be equivalent to 1 million members today. That fall, the movement played a significant role in mobilizing voters and powering Abraham Lincoln’s electoral victory.

The idea of such a swift and massive uprising of young people may seem unusual from our vantage point, but it was not unusual for the era. In a fascinating and timely recent book, The Virgin Vote: How Young Americans Made Democracy Social, Politics Personal, And Voting Popular, historian Jon Grinspan captures the soaring heights of youth involvement in American politics in the mid- to late 19th century — which he describes as a golden era of youthful popular politics. He makes clear just how far we’ve fallen since then.

Grinspan’s central insight is that we’ve lost the social incentives that once made anything but near-constant political engagement unthinkable for millions of young people.

Politics, he argues, did not gain massive popularity among the young because of the thrill of high-minded policy discussions and reasoned, wonkish debate. Instead, it did so because the 20-somethings of the mid-1800s saw it as vital to fulfilling more fundamental longings — vital to maintaining a group of friends, to socializing, to entertainment, to building a career, even to getting laid. Grinspan says that leaving childhood to become a man — or a woman, in some cases, despite the lack of voting rights — depended on forging a political identity in a way that’s totally alien to us in 2017.

At its core, Grinspan’s book suggests that if we’re ever going to truly solve the long-running crisis of young people’s rejection of politics — one that contributed to Donald Trump’s win — the best bet lies in somehow rekindling those same motivations.

In the 1800s, elementary schools were breeding grounds for “violent little partisans”

They started young.

In the 19th century, schoolhouses — where they existed — served as a “petri dish for popular politics,” Grinspan writes. One popular chant, “Democrats eat dead rats!” was a favorite of Whig schoolboys in the South and Midwest. In unruly classrooms, boys chanted slogans taught by parents and older siblings, and they brawled with partisan rivals in the playground. (In 1876, one group of Republican 8-year-olds in Kansas choked a classmate with his Democratic scarf until he passed out.)

Teachers were expected to read the results of elections in the classrooms. Dozens of children’s diaries show that political arguments frequently dominated the classroom discussions, with academic lessons sometimes an afterthought.

Campaigners staged rallies explicitly to draw young children. They made a point of making sure floats featuring live raccoons, foxes, eagles, and bears appeared alongside the political candidate to make them appealing to kids. They offered leather balls to play with and set off fireworks — entertainment primarily for the children.

On Election Day, children as young as 6 became “errand boys” for campaigners, transporting vital messages and news. Some were tasked “with dragging the tipsy voters in town to the polls.”

All of this made politics look like a clear stepping stone to adulthood. “Campaign spectacle helped the wavering outline of a child’s nature form into a personal, political identity,” Grinspan writes.

Casting “the virgin vote”

Spectators at a Tammany Hall rally through NYC’s Union Square toward the end of the bitterly contested 1884 presidential campaign.

Crossing the threshold from political boyhood to political adulthood was described in terms that sound very much like modern discussions of puberty.

In fact, that era’s contemporaries referred to one’s first vote as a “virgin vote” (the inspiration, obviously, for the book’s title). A “virgin vote” was a risk, a thrill, and a potential source of anxiety. Casting a vote for the “wrong” party, Grinspan writes, might be compared to choosing the wrong romantic partner and catching “a bad case of syphilis.”

The moment a young partisan cast his first ballot was seen as a bridge to adulthood, in a period in which Americans were deeply proud of their status as the world’s most egalitarian democracy (though, of course, one for white men only).

(Continue Reading)

getting tired of American youtube historians glorifying the American intervention in WW1 by saying that the 1917 French mutinies were signs that France was going to get out of the war :v
those weren’t mutinies
France was basically the only republic among the major powers in the war, the soldiers were also citizens, and although they definitely went on strike and in rare cases openly revolted, defending their country was never in question for them

so find other ways to make your case, there are a bunch of them but this isn’t one.

This is my outdoor altar for honoring the local nature spirits! The crystals I’ve set up are prehnite, chlorite phantom crystals, rainbow aura quartz, circle stone, moss agate, rainforest jasper, smoky quartz, aventurine, and malachite. There’s also a shaman stone sitting in the corner. The incense is geranium, lavender, and jasmine. The candle is white and cedar/sage scented. I’ve sprinkled some dried red flowers from the trees onto it, too. There’s a dish of salt for purification and under that are two pieces of paper: one with a poem I wrote about the awe of nature, the other one an invocation for the blessings of spirits of my garden, the trees, land spirits, ancestral spirits, and to tell wandering ghosts to leave me alone.

So I set up this altar with the intention of honoring the local nature spirits, and also to protect from some of the creepy things wandering around at night (I live right next to a busy highway where people die in traffic accidents ALL the time. On top of that, my area was once home to a large Native American population and historians are pretty sure that all these houses are built on old burial grounds and dwellings and stuff).

So yeah, I wanted to make an altar basically to honor and acquaint myself with the nature spirits while simultaneously warding off nasty spirits who want to cause harm.

I set up the altar. I’m a Reiki practitioner so I blessed it, drew a combination of Reiki symbols and personal symbols I find empowerment in, and that’s really it. You can’t see it in the picture but I drew sigils and symbols in chalk on the ground around the altar too.

My siblings both sat down by the altar to get a feel for it. My brother’s input was that the altar felt like a HUGE beacon, like a lighthouse, and the altar might attract all kinds of stuff as a result. He said that it felt good and warm and happy and all that, but it felt like too much. My sister said the same thing. All of us (myself included) felt like I’d done something to piss them off, like I was imposing on their territory needlessly. Since that was the opposite of what I wanted to do, I felt bad but kept the altar up regardless to see if these were well-founded fears or if I was just psyching myself out.

I smudged the altar, blessed the altar, set my intention, burned the incense, and drew symbols that matched my intention, but the feeling I got was that I shouldn’t have made an altar in the first place. Last night I couldn’t sleep and felt creeped out, so i don’t know if maybe I was just out of my depth with this one and the local spirits are just not friendly toward people at all. Or maybe I should stand my ground and leave offerings, meditate in front of the altar, etc.

I’ve made outdoor altars in the past and none of them have felt like this or made me creeped out.

This is a longer version of my question from early this morning, but if anyone has any advice on what to do with this altar please let me know!