Tag: American history

Men, Women, and Workplaces

 

June 1949. The American Medical Association’s annual convention was held in Atlantic City, filling the run-down seaside town’s parking lots with out-of-state Cadillacs. One of the main events of the weekend was demonstrating a new tool for training doctors, medical color television, a futuristic-seeming replacement for the tiers of ringed seats of the traditional operating room surgical amphitheater. But TV was too poor a teaching substitute until color came along. After an elaborate luncheon was over, a spokesman for the manufacturer, Smith, Kline, and French, strongly suggested that the doctors’ wives leave the hall, as the live images would be very graphic.

To his surprise, most of the ladies stayed and watched, most of them impassively sipping coffee and smoking cigarettes. (I mentioned it was 1949, right?) Someone explained to the SKF man that the women were, or had been nurses, and had seen far worse. “They met their husbands on the job”. In 1949, that was as common a fact of women’s lives as hats, white gloves, and handbags. For women, getting ahead in life generally involved marriage, with the goal of marrying “up”. It had always been the way of the world.

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For Independence Day, on the Fourth of July, I offer a list of posts this weekend on topic. Some posts may be about celebrations and observances. Some may be about history. There will surely be food and drink posts, music posts, and hopefully fireworks! How about a favorite recital of the Declaration of Independence? What […]

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A Tale of a Real Shooting Railroad War

 

Railroad rivalries played a significant role in nineteenth-century US history. No rivalry was as intense or bitter as the one between the Atchison, Topeka and Santa Fe, and the Denver and Rio Grande railroads.  At times it erupted into actual gunfire.

“From the River to the Sea: The Untold Story of the Railroad War That Made the West,” by John Sedgwick tells the stories of their battles. The stakes were high. The winner could gain access to the Pacific. Could, rather than would because other railroads sought to block the winner from advancing.

Sedgwick frames the story as a personal duel between two individuals: General William J. Palmer and William Barstow Strong. Palmer, a Civil War hero, had relocated to Colorado to build the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad. Strong was the corporate-minded manager of the Santa Fe. Both men had a vision of driving a railroad to the Rio Grande River and from there west to the Pacific Ocean.

Better Late Than Never: Learning About the Tulsa Race Massacre

 

I love my home state of Oklahoma. It is home to wonderful people; family, friends, excellent schools, a terrific and diverse culture, and some remarkable history.

Attending public schools during my formative years, from kindergarten in Guymon to college in Chickasha, I took my share of Oklahoma history classes and remember much of it today. In college, my Oklahoma history class taught me about President Andrew Jackson’s forced relocation of Indian tribes from the southeast to Oklahoma Indian Territory — the “Trail of Tears.” Thousands died.

Think Things Are Contentious Now? Learn Some History

 

There is a never-ending contest for “favorite journalist” in the Johnston household, but Salena Zito is always a finalist. And she just rocketed into the pole position.

I’m delighted to be a “friend” of hers on Facebook. I rarely take issue with her reporting. She fills a niche long ignored by corporate media – focusing on real people and real communities that fall between the Hudson River (NY) and LAX. More specifically, lives and communities that border or encompass Greater Appalachia, from western Pennsylvania and eastern Ohio to West Virginia and southern Virginia. She stays outside Washington’s beltway and she refuses to traverse interstate highways.

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I used to subscribe to Harper’s Magazine back in the day when it was closer to classical liberalism than Leftist ideology. I still have a handful of those magazines from the 1980s. Walter Karp, historian and contributing editor, was what we would call today a “good liberal.” And he understood the problem with public (read […]

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The New York-Based Slave Trade

 

One of history’s curious episodes was a rise in transatlantic slave trading based in the United States in 1850 that continued through 1863. It occurred despite the abolition of the slave trade by Great Britain in 1807. The United States followed in 1808, with a long decline in illegal slave trading by US ships between 1808 and 1850.

“The Last Slave Ships: New York and the End of the Middle Passage,” by John Harris, tells the story of this resurgence in the slave trade, including the reasons behind it.

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The final line in The Sending section of the liturgy I use during the hour of Sext (inhale) reached out and grabbed me. Sext is the noon hour of prayer, one of eight times during the 24-hour day when the Benedictine monks, in the oldest traditions, stop whatever they are doing to pray. Here’s the […]

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Earlier this week, a massive fire engulfed the Collegiate Church of New York, part of a group of historic churches that identified originally as reformed Protestant. In a Fox News report, firefighters responded quickly, but the historic church was already in flames. The fire is reported to have started in a building next door. “Built […]

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In a conversation recorded just before Election Day, Bruno Maçães joins Brian Anderson to discuss his striking vision of America’s future. Maçães’s new book is History Has Begun: The Birth of a New America.

Culture Counteroffensive Launched

 

Scale justice Trump President Trump and his appointed subordinates in the Department of Education have launched a real counteroffensive in the culture war. The president took the occasion of Constitution Day, which is also Citizenship Day, to announce a full offensive against the leftists’ lies, and identified Howard Zinn as a propagandist. Then the Department of Education took the president of Princeton at his word when he proclaimed in writing that this university, recipient of federal largesse in grants and scholarship guarantees, is shot through with systematic racism.

Remarks by President Trump at the White House Conference on American History
Issued on: September 17, 2020
National Archives Museum
Washington, D.C.

2:54 P.M. EDT

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  I received a video recording of a mama and three bears at a neighbor’s, located across the street from a beach house that I manage. The mama bear was huge, straddling the back fence, with her snout facing a delicious bird feeder. The family who spotted her grabbed the camera. The audio says “there’s […]

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Presidential Pardon for Susan B. Anthony on 19th Amendment Centennial

 

President Trump took the occasion of the 100th anniversary of ratification of the 19th Amendment, extending the franchise to American women, to pardon one of the heroes of the long fight for the vote. This is not the first time he used the presidential pardon power to correct a very old wrong. President Trump pardoned Jack Johnson, one of the greatest boxers of all time, and a black man convicted of transporting a white woman (his girlfriend of the moment) across state lines. Now, President Trump pardons Susan B. Anthony, convicted of voting in a federal election when women were ineligible to do so, on the same day he signs a proclamation celebrating women’s participation in American public life.

The women’s suffrage movement took the long hard path of convincing a strong majority of men across the states to support an amendment that would mean men would no longer control our politics exclusively. Ratification of the 19th Amendment was the fruit of women working from 1848 to 1920 to gain the vote in federal elections.

Organized work for women suffrage began in the United States with the Women’s Rights Convention in Seneca Falls, N.Y. in 1848, which was called by Lucretia Mott and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, early leaders of Massachusetts and New York, in response to the indignation aroused by the refusal to permit women to take part in the anti-slavery convention of 1840. From the date of that convention the suffrage movement in the United States began the fight that lasted seventy years and ended with victory. Another convention followed in 1852 at Syracuse, N.Y., at which delegates from Canada were present and it was there that Susan B. Anthony assumed leadership of the cause to which she devoted her life.

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Do you have children or grandchildren in grades 3-12? First Lady Melania Trump is inviting them to submit their original artwork in celebration of 100 years of American women having the right to vote, and in remembrance of the long decades of hard work leading up to the ratification of the 19th Amendment. The deadline […]

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Radio Liberty does an excellent daily program called Весь эфир, which covers a variety of contemporary and historical topics, political and in the arts. Today they posted a very interesting podcast from 20 years ago about William F. Buckley Jr., discussing his ideas, legacy, and life with a variety of American and Russian thinkers (as […]

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History Matters: Riots on Familiar Ground

 

Two older veterans’ remarks pointed to the late 1960s being repeated on the same ground. The forces involved may well have changed, and that may matter a great deal. What has not changed is the physical geography, apparently. We should pay attention to both the forces and the ground if we are to begin to truly understand and so have a chance at preserving our constitutional republic. This is a national problem. It is made worse by local bad governance and leadership, but there is a much larger and persistent problem of national-level entities seeking to influence politics through violence and the threat of violence.

I had just completed reviewing the books for my local veterans’ organization post. I exchanged greetings with two older veterans sitting at the bar, with the cable news showing Saturday morning’s ugly light in Minneapolis. “Protests,” said the screen. “It is not a protest if you throw rocks or Molotov cocktails,” I remarked.

The first veteran said he grew up in that city and his father had been shot as a police officer in the 1968 riots in the same area. This time, he noted, he was hearing that the people in the streets were mostly outsiders, not from the local community or state. At that, the other veteran spoke up. His father was also a police officer, and had also been shot, but survived, in Detroit in 1969.

ACF Founders #4: An Independent Empire

 

Friends, here’s my conversation with Michael Kochin about how to run a modern empire. His new book, An Independent Empire: Diplomacy & War in The Making of The United States, covers the American Revolution and the task of dominating the continent in the face of Indian tribes and European powers. We talk about the conflicts between means and ends in the early administrations, the rise and fall of the Federalist party, then the Republican party, the original parties in government in America, and the ways in which practical men like James Monroe might make better presidents than studious lawyers like James Madison, or the different kinds of Founders.

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I write a weekly book review for the Daily News of Galveston County. (It is not the biggest daily newspaper in Texas, but it is the oldest.) After my review appears on Sunday, I post the previous week’s review here on Sunday. Book Review ‘Houdini’ reveals escape artist’s secret ambitions By MARK LARDAS Preview Open

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Book Review: ‘Last Train’ Details Fascination with Railroads

 

Railroading was the great romantic adventure of the 19th century. By the 20th, although every boy seemed to go through a phase where railroading was mesmerizing, trains soon lost their place to aircraft, automobiles and spacecraft. Yet some boys kept their enchantment with railroads, and railroads remain a critical artery to our 21st-century economy.

“Last Train to Texas: My Personal Railroad Odyssey,” by Fred W. Frailey, illustrates both. Frailey was obsessed with railroads as a child and maintains that interest to this day.

He turned his obsession into a career, without ever working for a railroad, transforming a journalism career into one focusing on railroading. He documented the modern railroad industry’s impact on the nation over the last half-century in the business press and Trains magazine.