Posts Tagged ‘history’

Frederick Douglas, July 4, 2020

July 3, 2020

Frederick Douglas, July 4, 2020

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”
Frederick Douglass (ca. 1818 — 1895), a speech on the twenty-fourth anniversary of Emancipation in the District of Columbia, Washington, D.C. (April 1886)

This year, descendents of Frederick Douglass read his powerful 1852 Independence Day speech “What To The Slave Is The Fourth Of July?”

Related:

“How Black Lives Matter transformed the Fourth of July,” Peniel Joseph, CNN

“How Black Americans Co-opted the Fourth of July,” Livia Gershon, JSTOR Daily

African American Fourth of July

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Top image (“Frederick Douglass, July 4, 2020” after an 1856 Ambrotype in the National Portrait Gallery) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Belgian King ‘Regrets’ Atrocities of Ancestor, the ‘Snake of the Congo”

July 1, 2020
Belgian King Apologizes for Ancestor, the 'Snake of the Congo

Image: “King Leopold II of Belgium, Snake of the Congo,” Edward Linley Sambourne, Punch, 1906

On Tuesday, the 60th anniversary of the independence of the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Belgian King Philippe expressed his regrets to DRC President Félix Tshisekedi for the atrocities commited by King Leopold II, who held the Congo as a personal fiefdom from 1885 to 1908 and killed approximately 10 million of its people, many of whom were maimed and tortured. King Philippe didn’t actually apologize.

The atrocities comitted under King Leopold II were documented by African American missionary William Henry Sheppard, who brought a Kodak camera to the Congo in 1900. The “regrets” of King Philippe were motivated by Belgium’s ongoing Black Lives Matter protests which targeted the country’s many monuments to King Leopold II and his generals.

“Beside Leopold, Nero, Caligula, Attilo, Torquemada, Genghis Khan and such killers of men are mere amateurs.” Mark Twain, New York World, December 3, 1905.

More:

“Belgium’s King Sends Letter of Regret Over Colonial Past in Congo,” Monika Pronczuk and Megan Specia, New York Times

“Belgian king expresses ‘deepest regrets’ for brutal colonial rule,” Jennifer Rankin and Jason Burke, The Guardian

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Bessie Coleman, Daredevil Aviatrix

June 26, 2020

In 1921, Bessie Coleman became the first black woman to earn a pilot’s license. U.S. flying schools had refused to teach her, so she learned French and, with sponsorship from the The Chicago Defender, earned her license from France’s Caudron Brothers School of Aviation. Ms. Coleman toured American as a stunt pilot, appearing in air shows as Queen Bess and Brave Bessie.

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How animation got real

June 23, 2020

Cartoon figures’ movements became more fluid and natural after Max Fleischer invented the Rotoscope. Vox’s Phil Edwards explains.

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Juneteenth

June 18, 2020
Juneteenth

(General Orders, Department of Texas June 19, 1865)

On June 19, 1865 Union general Gordon Granger arrived in Galveston and issued General Order Number 3, which began: “The people of Texas are informed that, in accordance with a proclamation from the Executive of the United States, all slaves are free.” This ended the legal institution of chattel slavery in the former Confederate States, two years after Abraham Lincoln issued the Emancipation Proclamation, 10 weeks after Appomattox. De Jure slavery didn’t end in border states like Kentucky and Deleware, which hadn’t seceded from the Union, until December 1865, six months after the first Juneteenth, when the 13th Amendment was ratified.

More:

“Juneteenth: Our Other Independence Day,” Kenneth C. Davis, Smithsonian.com

“Juneteenth,” Teresa Palomo Acosta, Handbook of Texas Online

“Juneteenth,” Stephanie Hall, Folklife Today

“What Is Juneteenth?” Henry Louis Gates, Jr., PBS

“Juneteenth,” Teresa Palomo Acosta, Handbook of Texas History

“The Historical Legacy of Juneteenth,” NMAAHC

Related:

“Freedmen’s Bureau,” Cecil Harper, Jr., Handbook of Texas History

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The Rise And Fall Of Cadillac

April 30, 2020

Irene Kim outlines the the rise and fall of Cadillac, once America’s 4-wheeled measure of luxury and success. A Business Insider video.

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Spanish Flu Wasn’t Spanish

April 17, 2020

The 1918 influenza pandemic did not start in Spain. Europe’s WWI censors forbade discussion of the widespread disease, but neutral Spain’s press reported freely, so the illness became known as the Spanish Flu. A 2018 Cambridge University video

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Pandemics

April 10, 2020

What was the scale of previous pandemics? Animator Alvaro Gracia Montoya compares them by piling up coffins (45cm x 66cm x 200cm, about 18in x 2ft 2in x 6ft 6in).

More:

“Visualizing the History of Pandemics,” Nicholas LePan, Visual Capitalist

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The Rise and Fall of the TV Dinner

March 18, 2020

Broadcast television changed the way mid-century America was informed and entertained, and even how it ate. Frozen TV dinners became popular, and even had their own furniture. The origin of the TV dinner, though, wasn’t media-oriented, it was a business miscalulation.
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Is History Important?

March 17, 2020

If we’re headed for a recession, blame the economists who flunked history class, explains Robert Skidelsky in this video from the Institute for New Economic Thinking.

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