Posts Tagged ‘history’

Disease Tracing in 1854

February 3, 2021

Using data analysis and interviews, Dr. John Snow figured out how a cholera outbreak was speading in mid-nineteenth century London. A Vox video by Phil Edwards.

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Harriet Tubman: On the Money, Again.

January 26, 2021

Harriet Tubman: On the Money, Again.

American hero Harriet Tubman will replace the genocidalslave-owning killer Andrew Jackson on the face of the US 20 dollar bill, says the Biden adminstration. The move was first proposed in 2016, but nixed after the election of Donald Trump, who hung a portrait of Jackson in the Oval Office.

$20 dollars was the monthly pension Harriet Tubman received from the government as a war widow and for her own service in the Civil War. And the pension wasn’t awarded until 1899.

More:

“Biden administration revives effort to put Harriet Tubman on $20 bill,” Jacob Bogage, Washington Post

“Biden Administration Will ‘Speed Up’ Efforts To Put Harriet Tubman On $20 Bill,” Laurel Wamsley, NPR News

Related:

“The $20 Bill Honors Harriet Tubman In A Relevant Way You Might Not Know About,” Amée LaTour, Bustle

“How Harriet Tubman’s military service added up to $20 — a month,” Kevin Lilley, Army Times

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Trump Executive Order: Create a ‘Garden of Heroes’

January 21, 2021

Trump Executive Order: Create a 'Garden of Heroes'

Two days before fleeing the mess he made in Washington, lame duck Donald Trump issued an executive order “establishing a statuary park named the “National Garden of American Heroes,” his reaction to the removal of statues celebrating America’s racist past. In keeping with his deep reverence for America’s history, Trump’s imaginary garden is planted with tributes to 244 legendary dead Americans like William F Buckley, Johnny Cash, Alex Trebek, Vince Lombardi, Walt Disney, Lauren Bacall, Ingrid Bergman, Humphrey Bogart, Daniel Boone, Kobe Bryant, Johnny Cash, Whittaker Chambers, Julia Child, Henry Clay, Roberto Clemente, Buffalo Bill Cody, Samuel Colt, Davy Crockett, Barry Goldwater, Billy Graham, Charlton Heston, Alfred Hitchcock, Bob Hope, Audie Murphy, Annie Oakey, Elvis Presley, Ronald Reagan, Jackie Robinson, Norman Rockwell, Babe Ruth, Fulton Sheen, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, Shirley Temple, Sam Walton, and Cy Young, as well as founding fathers like John Wayne.

Also included are some notable personages who might object to inclusion in this Trump-ordered hodgepodge were they not conveniently expired: Muhammad Ali (Muslim and Civil Rights activist), Hannah Arendt (analyst of Totalitarianism), Dorothy Day (founder of the Catholic Worker movement), Ruth Bader Ginsburg (liberal feminist jurist), Samuel Gompers (labor leader), Woodie Guthrie (radical songwriter), Helen Keller (suffragist, pacifist, radical socialist, ACLU founder), Edward Murrow (journalist), environmentalists Ansel Adams and John Muir, and Civil Rights icons Medgar Evers, Barbara Jordan, Coretta Scott King, Martin Luther King, Jr., Thurgood Marshall, and Rosa Parks, for example.

Don’t get too excited about this. The Executive Order doesn’t specify a site for the “Garden of Heroes,”and there’s no funding, either. In other words, it’s a typical Trump construction project.

More:

“Trump orders creation of ‘Garden of American Heroes’ amid backlash over monuments,” Martin Pengelly, The Guardian

“I Beg Your Garden? Trump Adds ‘Hero’ Names To Statue Garden Unlikely To Take Root,” Barbra Sprunt, NPR News

Executive Order 13934 Revised, January 18, 2021

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Image (alternate “Heroes Garden” concept) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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‘We did what we came here to do’

January 20, 2021

'We did what we came here to do'

After killing 400,000 Americans through neglect, tanking the U.S. economy, destroying his own political party, and inciting followers to sack the Capitol in an attempt to keep Congress from performing its constitutional duties, Donald Trump recorded a farewell video that summed up his four years in office: “We did what we came here to do.”

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Image (“Party of Lincoln, after Bill Mauldin”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Dr. King on the Roots of Economic Inequality

January 18, 2021

Dr. King on the Roots of Economic Inequality

Martin Luther King Jr. and the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) planned a Poor People’s Campaign for May 1968 to demand jobs, unemployment insurance, a fair minimum wage, affordable housing, and education for poor adults and children, an Economic Bill of Rights. The effort was to involve poor people of all races from all parts of the country, urban and rural, but the historical roots of racial economic disparity could not be ignored:

“At the very same time that America refused to give the Negro any land, through an act of Congress our government was giving away millions of acres of land in the West and the Midwest, which meant that it was willing to undergird its white peasants from Europe with an economic floor.

But not only did they give the land, they built land grant colleges with government money to teach them how to farm. Not only that, they provided county agents to further their expertise in farming. Not only that, they provided low interest rates in order that they could mechanize their farms.

Not only that, today many of these people are receiving millions of dollars in federal subsidies not to farm, and they are the very people telling the black man that he ought to lift himself by his own bootstraps.”

— Dr. Martin Luther King. Jr., “Remaining Awake Through a Great Revolution,” delivered at the National Cathedral, Washington DC on March 31, 1968 (full text here).

Related:

“Four ways Martin Luther King Jr. wanted to battle inequality,” Ned Resnikoff, MSNBC

“MLK called out income inequality,” James C. Harrington, Houston Chronicle

“American Dream Deferred: Wealth of Richest 400 Equals that of Nation’s 44 Million African Americans,” David Harris-Gershon,Tikkun Daily

“For women, economic justice a civil rights issue,” Maya L. Harris,CNN

“Martin Luther King’s Case for a Guaranteed Basic Income,” Matthew Yglesias, Slate

“Remembering Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Solution to Poverty,” Jordan Weissmann, The Atlantic

“Martin Luther King Jr. Celebrations Overlook His Critiques of Capitalism and Militarism,” Zaid Jilani, The Intercept

“How the 1% profit off of racial economic inequality,” Dedrick Asante-Muhammad and Chuck Collins, Guardian

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Top image: Library of Congress.

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Old Tech

January 8, 2021

Meet a collector of old tech, Steve Erenberg, The Radio Guy. An Atlas Obscura video.

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The Chinese Bagel That Helped Win a War

January 5, 2021

Guang Bing (光餅) look like bagels, but they were strategic in helping General Qi Jiguang win a war 500 years ago. A Great Big Story video.

More:

“The Chinese Bagel That Helped to Win a War,” Lizzie Philip, Atlas Obscura

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When Christmas Was Banned

December 24, 2020

Christmas was once Banned in Boston, and throughout Puritan Massachusetts Bay Colony. Some early American colonists weren’t too keen on Christmas. A video by History Dose.

More:

“Yuletide’s Outlaws,” Rachel N. Schnepper, New York Times

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The Cyrus Cylinder

December 1, 2020

After Cyrus the Great of Persia conquered Babylon in 539 BCE, he needed to keep the peace and rule over vast distances and peoples of different cultures, languages and faiths. Neil MacGregor explains how a clay cylinder helped achieve that.

More here.

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Rasputin

November 27, 2020

Who was Grigori Yefimovich Rasputin? Eden Girma explores the history of the “Mad Monk.” A TED-Ed video animated by Luisa Copetti.

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