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Perhaps it's only appropriate that an antidote to the urban legend comes from the suburbs--Agoura Hills, to be precise. It is out of their home at the western end of the San Fernando Valley that David and Barbara Mikkelson track down the origins of tales of impossible tragedy, irony and revenge. More often than not, the Mikkelsons said, a little double-checking is all it takes to debunk a legend told and retold as "verifiable truth."
March 5, 2014 | By Samantha Schaefer
“Gold fever” is still alive, a California historian said after last week's discovery of more than 1,400 coins buried on a Northern California couple's gold country property. The historic find, believed to be the most valuable in North America, has had people around the world buzzing since the announcement by numismatic firm Kagin's Inc., which evaluated the hoard and is representing the couple. “There's something about gold, ever since the days of legendary King Midas, it's just incredible people's response to this,” said Gary Kurutz, director of special collections at the California State Library.
April 19, 2000
What happened and why? Whether investigating the ruins of the Acropolis or the civil rights demonstrations of the '60s, historians ask many questions as they try to piece together a picture of the past, an interpretation of events that can change as new information is disclosed. Learn how historians research the past through some interactive activities and adventures through the direct links on The Times Launch Point Web site: http://www.latimes.
December 22, 2013
John S.D. Eisenhower Historian son of president John S.D. Eisenhower, 91, the son of a five-star general turned president who forged his own career in the U.S. Army and then chronicled the history of the American military in numerous books, died Saturday, his family said in a statement. No cause of death was given John Sheldon Doud Eisenhower was born in Denver on Aug. 3, 1922, the second son of Dwight D. Eisenhower and Mamie Doud Eisenhower. Both father and son graduated from the U.S. Military Academy at West Point, the son on June 6, 1944 - the day his father oversaw the Allied invasion of Europe.
September 18, 1998 | LINN GROVES and CHRISTINE CASTRO
Described as "a man to match the mountains," John W. Robinson is being honored for his research and writing about the San Gabriel mountains. Robinson, a Fullerton resident and retired teacher, will receive the Donald H. Pflueger Local History Award from the Historical Society of Southern California at a luncheon Sept. 26. The award goes to teachers and authors of outstanding books and articles on local history.
November 11, 1998 | From Times Wire Reports
Historian Stephen E. Ambrose, the best-selling author of books about Lewis and Clark and World War II, suffered serious injuries in a fall, hospital officials said. The 62-year-old Ambrose was admitted Sunday to Meriter Park Hospital in Madison, Wis., and listed in serious condition. The Helena, Mont., resident had been in Madison to meet with a Winston Churchill discussion group. Ambrose is a leading scholar of military and diplomatic history.
Call it the paradox of Christmas: Every winter, just as the seasonal darkness is at its bleakest, Christians around the world celebrate the year's most jubilant holiday. Yuletide cheer is a welcome break from winter doldrums--and a deliberate one, says a historian who has charted the origins of the Christmas holiday. J. Patout Burns, professor of Christian thought at Washington University in St. Louis, has spent most of his life studying the origins of Christmas and other religious traditions.
September 17, 1989 | From Times Wire Services
One of France's leading "revisionist" historians, who claims the Holocaust never took place, was severely beaten Saturday by three youths said to belong to a group called "The Sons of the Memory of the Jews," officials said. Robert Faurisson, 60, was ambushed by the youths while walking his dog in a park in Vichy. The trio repeatedly kicked and punched Faurisson, breaking his jaw, then ran off, a police report said.
April 8, 1989 | ROBERT SHOGAN, Times Political Writer
Fifteen years after Gerald R. Ford's post-Watergate pardon of Richard M. Nixon shocked the nation and gravely wounded his presidency, that action is getting more favorable reviews from historians than it got back then from the public, political leaders and even some of those same historians. Stephen E. Ambrose, respected biographer of Presidents Dwight D. Eisenhower and Nixon, "cursed and screamed" when he first heard of the pardon.
December 25, 1993 | BERT ELJERA
Margrit Kendrick finds it mildly amusing that she is considered the local historian. After all, she was not born in the United States, and her German-Swiss heritage is readily apparent when she speaks. But when something must be written about the history of Los Alamitos, Kendrick, 64, often gets the assignment. And she loves it.
August 28, 2013 | By Kate Linthicum
A tour bus pulled up outside of a sun-baked strip mall in Monterey Park and 30 sightseers stepped out. They had come to behold Wing Hop Fung, a sprawling tea and herb emporium that moved here several years ago from Chinatown to serve the growing population of Chinese immigrants living in the San Gabriel Valley. With its barrels of dried ginseng and jasmine tea tastings, the store exemplifies the area's "complete transformation" from a one-time white suburb, tour guide Richard Schave explained.
August 8, 2013 | By Nicholas Goldberg, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
Left-wing historian Howard Zinn -- author of the perennially popular “A People's History of the United States” -- has long been criticized by other historians on the left, a number of whom have publicly challenged both his facts and his interpretations. Some of that criticism was aired again in an op-ed piece last week (after it was learned that former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels had sought to ban the book in that state's schools). The Times also discussed the controversy over Zinn's work at the time of his death in 2010.
August 2, 2013 | By Kenneth R. Weiss
Picture this: Two surfers are bobbing on their boards at a remote surf spot north of Santa Barbara. They drift into a dreamy discussion and the question arises, "Wouldn't it be great if we could get paid to do this?" That question, in various forms, pops up frequently among surfers waiting out long lulls, whether they are work-shirking stoners or hard-charging professionals. In this instance, it was a pair of PhDs, playing hooky from their teaching jobs at UC Santa Barbara. In their pursuit "to combine our lifestyle with our profession," historians Peter Westwick and Peter Neushul initially coaxed the deans at UC Santa Barbara into permitting them to teach a history of surfing class.
June 12, 2013 | Bloomberg News
Robert Fogel, the University of Chicago economic historian awarded a Nobel Prize for his data-driven reconsiderations of how railways and slavery influenced U.S. economic history, has died. He was 86. Fogel died Tuesday at Manor Care Health Services in Oak Lawn, Ill., after a brief illness, according to the university's Booth School of Business. The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences awarded Fogel and Douglass North of Washington University in St. Louis the 1993 Nobel Prize in economics "for having renewed research in economic history by applying economic theory and quantitative methods in order to explain economic and institutional change.
May 7, 2013 | Jonah Goldberg
At an investment conference last week, Harvard historian Niall Ferguson created a huge mess for himself. He glibly speculated that maybe because economist John Maynard Keynes was a childless, "effete" homosexual, he embraced a doctrine that favored immediate economic gratification. Keynes' bon mot "in the long run, we are all dead" takes on new meaning when you realize he didn't have kids to worry about. FOR THE RECORD: Book title: The May 7 Jonah Goldberg column had a typo in the subtitle of William Greider's book “Secrets of the Temple.” It is “How the Federal Reserve Runs the Country,” not “County.” Following the usual script, but at a much faster clip, an uproar ensued on Twitter and in various blogs.
April 12, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg, Los Angeles Times
Asking Kevin Starr a question is like turning on a fire hose. First there's a blast of erudition. Then, as his intellect gathers, information rushes out in a deluge. He's talking, but it's as if an invisible scholar inside his head is yanking books off shelves, throwing them open, checking the index, then racing off to find the next volume. On the outside, Starr is an avuncular 72-year-old, but his brain is sprinting like an Olympian. Amazingly, it's possible to keep up. This may be Starr's greatest gift: not just that he has amassed a phenomenal body of knowledge but that he can translate it into dynamic works of history.
Shirley Sargent was still trembling with grief Saturday over the loss of treasured historical volumes, photos and artifacts that she collected for nearly three decades as Yosemite's unofficial historian. Never mind that she nearly lost her life. Or that she saw her home and all her personal belongings destroyed in the flames Thursday that swept through the tiny private enclave of Foresta, where she and 60 others lived quietly inside the park.
A. J. P. Taylor, the British scholar, best-selling historian, television raconteur and wry wit who wrote of his final years as a "nuisance," has died in London. He was 84. Taylor, who died Friday, had suffered from Parkinson's disease for the last several years and had been confined to a nursing home for the last two years. Alan John Percivale Taylor, the son of a Lancashire cotton manufacturer, was credited with making two centuries of European history interesting for his international public.
February 19, 2013 | By Kathleen Hennessey, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Finally unburdened by worries about running for another election, President Obama is acting different these days. Second-term Obama is noticeably quicker to speak his mind and get personal on subjects he once avoided. His schedule at times ignores concerns about "optics," Washington-speak for what voters might perceive. On Friday, for example, the president delivered an unexpectedly personal, and at times off-the-cuff, speech in Chicago about the root causes of urban violence.
February 3, 2013 | Susan King
Jeanine Basinger's "I Do and I Don't: A History of Marriage in the Movies" (Alfred A. Knopf: 432 pp., $30) is a breezy, fun excursion into Hollywood's presentation of matrimony, from the earliest days of cinema through the modern era. But rather than celebrating how well cinema has depicted the institution, the book illustrates how rarely Hollywood has captured the complexities and realities of marriage. The book is deeply personal for Basinger, 76, on sabbatical from Wesleyan University in Connecticut where she is the Corwin-Fuller Professor of Film Studies and founder and curator of the university's Cinema Archives.
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