Tag: History

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Frederick III was Emperor of Germany and King of Prussia for the very short interval of 99 days during 1888.  The son of Emperor Wilhelm I and father of Wilhelm II, his reign was cut short by throat cancer.  Prior to his accession to the throne, the then Crown Prince was disturbed by an upsurge […]

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The USS Ramage


The USS Ramage is part of the first carrier strike force sent to Israel after the Hamas October attack.

USS Ramage (DDG-61) is an Arleigh Burke-class guided missile destroyer of the United States Navy. The ship is named for Vice Admiral Lawson P. Ramage, a notable submarine commander and Medal of Honor recipient in World War II.

Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll 1912-2013


John Wayne No. 1 Money Making Star 1912-2013

The other day, during my ramblings online, I came across this Wikipedia page regarding something called Top Ten Money Making Stars Poll. Although I knew something of it (for example, I knew that Shirley Temple had been named the top movie star for several years in the 1930s), I had no idea how that determination had been made.

This week on The Learning Curve, guest cohosts Charlie Chieppo and Alisha Searcy join Dr. David Steiner for a wide-ranging discussion about the importance of education as a means of transmitting enduring wisdom to young people. Dr. Steiner discusses differences in K-12 education between the U.S. and the U.K., explores how schools of education may be contributing to the decline of K-12 education, reflects on the politicization of U.S. history and civics education, and talks about what states, governors, and state legislatures can do to lead systemic academic improvements. Dr. Steiner concludes the interview with a reading from his new book A Nation at Thought: Restoring Wisdom in America’s Schools.

How the Gulag Archipelago Influenced My Spiritual Life


A friend a while back wrote me to say he had just finished reading The Gulag Archipelago by Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn. The reading reminded him of me. I wrote back and said that it was my reading of Solzhenitsyn’s work when I was a teenager that helped form my religious-political positions today.

Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn was a Russian dissident, a man who stood up to the dictatorial beliefs of the then-powerful USSR. He was imprisoned by the “gulag” (the agency which forced people into labor detention camps) for his beliefs. His writings made it to the West, to free people who called for his release. 

But it was Solzhenitsyn’s prison experience that led him to belief in God. “Bless you, prison,” Solzhenitsyn wrote, “Thank you for being in my life.” It was behind bars that Solzhenitsyn found freedom in Christ. Receiving the Templeton Prize for promoting religion in atheist countries, Solzhenitsyn said that communism happened because people had forgotten God. 

Quote of the Day: Francis Parkman


“If any pale student, glued to his desk, here seeks an apology for a way of life whose natural fruits is that pallid and emasculate scholarship of which New England has had too many examples, it will be far better that this sketch had not been written. For the student there is, in its season, no better place than the saddle, and no better companion than the rifle or the oar.”
American historian Francis Parkman (1823-1893)

My favorite era of American history is the first. Europeans arriving on the shores of a primeval wilderness, wondering if it’s a second Eden or a green hell. Native Americans stumbling upon pale creatures in bizarre clothes rowing to shore from floating wooden islands.

The earliest historian to fully document these encounters is Francis Parkman, a Harvard-educated Boston scion who set aside Yankee comforts to tramp over snowcapped mountains and muddy battlefields.

In an era of broad disappointment in the integrity of political figures, Dr. Daniel J. Mahoney, author of The Statesman as Thinker: Portraits of Greatness, Courage, and Moderation (Encounter Books, 2022) revives the idea of statesmanship, dwelling on figures ranging from Alexis de Tocqueville to Vaclav Havel, all of whom sought to preserve freedom in times of crisis.

Professor Mahoney, a 2020-21 Garwood Visiting Fellow here at the Madison Program, is a professor emeritus at Assumption University and fellow at the Claremont Institute. His most recent book has been awarded the Intercollegiate Studies Institute’s 2023 Conservative Book of the Year award, which honors thoughtful books that contribute to debate about important conservative ideas.

Victorian Engineering: Spanning the Firth of Forth


The Firth of Forth Bridge. That’s what this post is about – the Firth of Forth Bridge. Well…I need to come clean. The name of the bridge is, and always has been, the Forth Bridge. I just love the alliteration. But this still leaves the question as to what the heck is the Firth of Forth? The answer is the Forth is a river in Scotland that drains into the North Sea, while a Firth is an estuary. It (Firth) is the English version of the Norse word Fjord. A great bridge has now spanned the Firth of Forth for the past 130 years. This is to tell the story of how that came to be.

Warning: This is a very long post and, if you’re like me, it’s hard to read a long post straight through online. I have broken it into discrete sections which should hopefully make it a little easier make it through to the bitter end.

Wreck of U-Boat Found Near New Orleans


There’s exciting news for all you World War II buffs — a U-boat was recently discovered in Lake Ponchartrain near New Orleans. Local lore has long told of a Nazi submarine in the lake, and there are vague references to it in Kriegsmarine archives. But it’s never been proven — until now. The local paper, The Statesman-Picaroon, has the story; but it’s behind a paywall. I can’t link to it, so here’s a synopsis.

Early in 1942, Admiral Donitz, commander of the U-Boat arm of the Kriegsmarine, authorized unrestricted submarine warfare off the east coast and in the Gulf of Mexico.  One piece of the Gulf operations was a secret mission to cripple the vital oyster industry around New Orleans. The idea was to interrupt the US supply of oysters (a well-known aphrodisiac), thus driving down birth rates and leaving the US with insufficient manpower to fight a protracted war.

Americans have always had mixed emotions about schooling: in popular literature and television, teachers are often depicted as tyrannical authorities, even as in classroom settings they often try to style themselves as “friends.” Dr. Rita Koganzon, professor of political science at the University of Houston, discusses the history of the idea of authority in education, dwelling on Enlightenment thinkers like Locke, Rousseau, and Bodin. Along the way, she covers contemporary issues like homeschooling and parents’ rights, and how attitudes towards those concepts have changed from the Early Modern period to the present.

More on Dr. Koganzon, https://uh.edu/class/political-science/faculty-and-staff/professors/koganzon/

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Happy Women’s History Month!  Yep, here we are again in the midst of an entire month devoted to another . . . What, aggrieved or neglected group?  Women?  Seriously?  They’re half the population of the planet!  Are they really getting short shrift in this country, in this day and age?  Well, actually they are, but […]

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City Journal contributing editor and longtime Time essayist Lance Morrow joins Brian Anderson to discuss the history of journalism. His new book, The Noise of Typewriters: Remembering Journalism, is out February 28 and available for pre-order now.

Find the transcript of this conversation and more at City Journal.

Disney: Happy Black History Month, White America!


So, here we are again, Black History Month.  Or as it could alternatively be called, White Demonization Month.  Although, come to think of it, how is that different than any other month, or week, or day, in post-George Floyd America? 

Oh well.  I guess white people are just supposed to suck it up and penitently endure another beatdown over the sins for which they and apparently no one else on earth is guilty.  Therefore, history gets twisted like a pretzel and the blatant demonization of whites for their skin color is relentless.  And remember, in the woke religion there is no grace or forgiveness. 

This week on The Learning Curve, Gerard and guest cohost Daiana Lambrecht, Senior Director of Parent Leadership and Advocacy at Rocketship Public Schools, interview Dr. Deborah Plant, editor of the 2018 book Barracoon: The Story of the Last “Black Cargo” by Zora Neale Hurston. Dr. Plant discusses Hurston’s work as an anthropologist that told the story of one of the last survivors of the infamous Middle Passage. To mark Black History Month, she explores, through Hurston’s interviews with Oluale Kossola (Cudjo Lewis), the enslavement and displacement of native West Africans over 50 years after the slave trade was outlawed in the U.S. Dr. Plant discusses enslaved Africans striving for education, freedom, and community in the U.S., and the importance for American schoolchildren today learning about and remembering these stories. She closes the interview with a reading from Barracoon.

Stories of the Week

This week The Learning Curve podcast marks International Holocaust Remembrance Day with guest host Dr. Jay Greene of the Heritage Foundation and Laurence Rees, a former head of BBC TV History Programmes; founder, writer, and producer of the award-winning WW2History.com; and author of The Holocaust: A New History. Mr. Rees sheds light on the historical context of Germany in the 1920s and 1930s, including the rise of the cultural and political conditions that led to the Holocaust. Rees discusses how the Nazis promulgated their anti-Semitic ideology and laws, and underscores the criminal realities of the Auschwitz concentration and death camp, as well as the Holocaust’s six million Jewish victims. Rees also talks about the fragility of both human life and political and cultural institutions. Mr. Rees closes the interview with a reading from his book on the Holocaust.


Author Troy Senik joins Brian Anderson to discuss his new book, A Man of Iron: The Turbulent Life and Improbable Presidency of Grover Cleveland.

Find the transcript of this conversation and more at City Journal.

Why Americans Honor the Queen


As expected, Americans are expressing their deep sense of loss for Queen Elizabeth II’s passing, as well as sending our good wishes (regardless of how we felt about his politics) for the ascendance of Prince Charles as King Charles III. But I couldn’t help feeling that our participation and engagement with all these traditions, history, and formality were somehow different this time around. In the past, we have been intrigued and excited about events in the United Kingdom, ranging from the blessings of weddings, to the tragedy of Diana’s death and the controversy over misguided royals. With the loss of the Queen, however, I believe our reaction reveals a deep sense of loss, not only for the Queen, but for the losses we ourselves have sustained over the last several years in our own country.

Think about it. We have had people determined to destroy the historic symbols of our country, whether they have characterized us as racists while disregarding our determination to transcend our commitment to slavery. The Constitution, monuments, statues, and schools that represented our admiration for, and commitment to, the founding of our country have been desecrated and condemned. Our strength and power, which have always been important forces for the world, have been weakened and disregarded. We no longer have a history to be proud of, a tradition of freedom to celebrate, and a foundation to point to; these have all been criticized and downgraded in the eyes of the political Left. And we watch, perhaps with envy, the love and affection the people of the U.K. have for their departed Queen and their country.

Quote of the Day: Longevity


“If you’re starting a new job today and intend to match Queen Elizabeth’s work longevity you’ll have to keep working there through April 11, 2093.” – Keith Olbermann

Yes, I am quoting Keith Olbermann. On Ricochet. But sometimes even the worst man in the world has a valid point, one worth hearing. Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then. This is one such time.