Archive for the ‘history’ Category

George Washington, Mount Vernon Slaveowner

September 28, 2020

George Washington, Mount Vernon Slaveowner

“Brenda Parker’s job is to help shape the narrative of the enslaved people at Mount Vernon. Parker, the head of African American interpretation, says the plantation is now focused as much on the lives of the enslaved people as it is on the life of George Washington.”

“Parker feels a deep, emotional connection to Caroline Branham, the interpretive character she portrays as part of her job.”

“’You know like if your grandmother gave to you a dog, and that dog did have a litter of puppies. It would be your choice to keep one, sell one, and give one away as a gift. That’s how we’re thought about,’ says Parker, as Branham, recalling how she explains to children the way in which enslaved families were torn apart.”

–” George Washington’s Mount Vernon Highlights More Stories Of Enslaved People,” Esther Ciammachilli, WAMU 88.5

More:

“10 Facts About Washington & Slavery,” MountVernon.org

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Image (“George Washington Observes Black History Month”) by Mike Licht. Download a free copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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When German Spies Blew Up New Jersey

January 17, 2020

Before the U.S. entered World War I, German spies blew up the munitions works on Black Tom Island in New York Harbor. A Vox video.

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Ooops! There Goes the Berlin Wall.

November 15, 2019

November 9, 1989: one of the biggest moments in the Cold War started with a little confusion at Günter Schabowski‘s press conference. A Vox video.

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Operation Dragoon

August 29, 2019

Operation Dragoon was the Allied invasion of occupied Southern France during World War II. Troops from France’s African and Carribean colonial garrisons took part, and thousands of them died. Their contrubution has been largely ignored, until now.

More:

“France commemorates its ‘forgotten’ African veterans,” Christina Okello, RFI

“African leaders join Macron at commemoration of WWII landings in Provence,” France 24

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The Invasion of America

August 12, 2019

“The story of Native American dispossession is too easily swept aside, but new visualisations should make it unforgettable.

Between 1776 and the present, the United States seized some 1.5 billion acres from North America’s native peoples, an area 25 times the size of the United Kingdom. Many Americans are only vaguely familiar with the story of how this happened. They perhaps recognise Wounded Knee and the Trail of Tears, but few can recall the details and even fewer think that those events are central to US history.”

— “The invasion of America,” Claudio Saunt, Aeon

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D-Day’s ‘Matchbox Fleet’

June 6, 2019

D-Day’s ‘Matchbox Fleet’

Sixty wood-hulled boats made in Brooklyn were carried across the North Atlantic to England on the decks of Liberty Ships seventy years ago. The patrol boats, each 83 feet long, were designed for anti-submarine patrol and coastal search and escort, but had been modified as rescue craft. Most had radar; some had sonar.

The group of small, wooden, gasoline-powered cutters, vulnerable to incendiary shells, was understandably nicknamed the ”Matchbox Fleet.”  On June 6, 1944, these boats crossed the English Channel as U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Flotilla One (ResFlo1), part of Operation Neptune/Overlord.

Inscription on the Rescue Flotilla 1 (The “Matchbox Fleet”) Memorial, harborside at Poole, Dorset, UK:

“From this Quay, 60 cutters of the United States Coast Guard Rescue Flotilla 1 departed for the Normandy Invasion, 6 June 1944.  These 83 foot boats, built entirely of wood, and the 840 crewmembers were credited with saving the lives of 1437 men and 1 woman.  In remembrance of the service of Rescue Flotilla 1, and with appreciation of the kindnesses of the people of Poole to the crews, this Plaque is given by the men and women of the United States Coast Guard.”

Above: 83-footer off the Normandy coast on June 8, 1944.

More:

U.S. Coast Guard Rescue Flotilla One at Normandy

The Iron Sailors of the Last Wooden Patrol Boat (WPB)

The Cutters,” E. Bishop, Naval History May/June 1994 (PDF courtesy of uscg83footers.org)

Rescue Flotilla 1WW2Talk (good selection of photos)

The U. S. Coast Guard at Normandy, Scott T. Price (overview of D-Day operations by USCG)

“How Rescue Flotilla One saved more than 400 men on D-Day,” The History Guy (video)

 

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Top image adapted from a Wheeler Shipyard graphic by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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American Expansion, Month by Month

May 13, 2019

Month by month, colony by colony, state by state: An animated map of the contiguous United States shows every boundary change since 1629. a video by EarthDirect. Map data from the Newberry Library’s Atlas of Historical County Boundaries.

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Despite Bone Spurs, Trump to Attend D-Day Anniversary

April 15, 2019
Despite Bone Spurs, Trump to Attend D-Day Anniversary

High School Cadet Capt. Trump. Thank you for your service.

President Donald J. Trump will attend the 75th anniversary commemoration of the WWII D-Day landings, the President told a group of veterans last week. You may recall that Mr. Trump has a service-connected disability. He was gravely wounded as soon as he became eligible for the Vietnam draft lottery, and was treated (on paper) at a Queens NY storefront a podiatrist rented from Fred Trump, his dad. We expect the President to storm Normandy’s Omaha Beach in an amphibious golf cart (weather permitting). France, a grateful nation, says “S’il vous plaît remplacer les divots” (“Please replace the divots”).

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Top image: Cadet Capt. Trump’s high school picture. Download a copy here.

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The Web Is Ancient

March 13, 2019

The Web Is Ancient

The World Wide Web is 30 years old this week. That’s three millennia in computer years.

On March 12, 1989, Sir Tim Berners-Lee designed the Web, and he published the first website two years later.  Sir Tim unleashed the first public World Wide Web server on August 6, 1991. It was a NeXT cube on his desk at CERN, the European Organization for Nuclear Research.

CERN went on to produce the Large Hadron Collider. The Web produces memes.

More:

“The World Wide Web Turns 30. Where Does It Go From Here?” Tim Berners-Lee, Wired

“The World Wide Web is 30 years old — and its inventor has a warning for us,” Farnoush Amiri, NBC News

“The World Wide Web Turns 30: Our Favorite Memories From A to Z,” The Verge

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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George Washington & Black History Month

February 22, 2019

George Washington & Black History Month
February 22nd, George Washington’s Birthday falls during Black History Month, bitterly appropriate, as the Father of His Country owned as many as 317 slaves. As president, he signed the Fugitive Slave Act of 1793, requiring authorities in free states and territories to allow slave-catchers to seize escaped slaves and transport them South. However, Ona Judge, a maid to Martha Washington, fled the president’s household and resisted his recovery attempts.

In 1780 the Washingtons were living in Philadelphia, then the seat of government, when Pennsylvania passed a law that freed enslaved people if they lived there for more than six months. The Washingtons gamed the system, moving their household slaves out of Pennsylvania for one or two days every six months so they legally could remain in bondage. The household was preparing to return to Virginia in 1796 when members of Philadelphia’s free Black community helped Ona Judge arrange ship passage to Portsmouth, NH, where she settled.

George Washington’s steward soon advertised for recovery of the “absconded” Ona Judge in the Philadelphia Gazette:

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