May 6, 2012 |
The most famous speech in American history begins this way: "Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. " Lincoln's eloquence at Gettysburg was lyrical but not historically accurate. For no such thing as a "new nation" had been proposed in 1776; only a temporary union of sovereign states, declaring their independence from Britain, then presumably going their separate ways.
April 20, 2013 |
We have, when you think about it, always been an argumentative culture and society, even before we became a country. And we've been arguing ever since, for better or worse, and with varying degrees of skill. The nature of argument was part of the focus of the "American Arguments" panel at the Los Angeles Times Festival of Books on Saturday moderated by L.A. Times editor-at-large Jim Newton, which drew together four history authors whose books explore some of the key formative arguments of American history.
August 2, 2013 |
Emails recently obtained by the Associated Press have revealed that Indiana's former Republican governor, Mitch Daniels, now president of Purdue University, tried to ban Howard Zinn's "A People's History of the United States" from Indiana schools. His attempt, though perhaps clumsy, wasn't all that surprising. If history tends to be written by the victors, Zinn's alternative take on America's past sought to give voice to the vanquished, telling the story of U.S. history from the perspective of slaves, Indians, laborers and women.
September 27, 2012 |
The late Edward M. Kennedy is being honored with a new drama prize in his name. The annual award, which will be given through Columbia University Libraries in New York, will recognize a new play or musical that explores American history in a meaningful way. The first recipient of the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for Drama Inspired by American History will be announced Feb. 22, which is the former senator's birthday. Winners will receive a monetary prize of $100,000. Kennedy served as a U.S. senator from Massachusetts from 1962 until his death in 2009 at age 77. In a statement sent Thursday, Jean Kennedy Smith said that her brother "loved the arts - museums, books, the performing arts.
September 13, 1989 |
Commonly used high school textbooks too often give students a picture of American history that is without color, passion, point or interest, a study released by the American Federation of Teachers said today. The 158-page critique by historian Paul Gagnon analyzed five books and said they neglect the role of religion in American history, give short shrift to Old World roots and fail to explore deeply the thinking of such major figures as Abraham Lincoln.
June 21, 1987
Thank you and congratulations to Channel 28 and PBS for broadcasting the Iran- contra hearings. Far from diminishing my interest, it has heightened my interest, even to canceling my other activities. As an American, I find it compelling to learn how our government has operated. This is history--American history, and extremely relevant. Gwendolyn F. Kozman, Irvine
January 20, 1991
Once more, PBS has shown "The Civil War" series and once more I watched it in its entirety. It continues to hypnotize me with its hundreds of still pictures that are woven into a fascinating and touching story of that awful war that encompassed and destroyed the lives of so many people. This series should be shown in our schools because of the lack of knowledge our young people have of American history. Frederick D. Mullen, Upland