What We’re Reading: July 7, 2011 Edition

In honor of the 4th of July, we’ve embedded below the National Archives’ video on preserving the Declaration of Independence. Also this week, check out links to Star Wars and History, the history of the future of food, a profile of Smithsonian employee Richard Rathbun, WWII conscientious objectors, and two historical mapping sites.

Document Preservation


  • Star Wars and History
    Two history professors are working on the book Star Wars and History, finding parallels between the history of the Star Wars universe and the real world. And Star Wars creator George Lucas, a reported history buff, is helping in.
  • History of the Future of Food
    In the 1930s the World’s Fairs showed off kitchens of the future, in the 1960s there seemed to be limitless possibilities for electric appliances, and for years now Dippin’ Dots has gone by the motto of “Ice Cream of the Future." In this post and related podcast project curator Amanda Murray and Warren Belasco, author of Meals to Come, look into the history of the future of food.

Richard RathbunLooking Back

  • Smithsonian Renaissance Man
    The National Museum of Natural History’s Unearthed blog profiles Richard Rathbun, “the most important employee in the history of the National Museum of Natural History that you have never heard of.” Read part 1 and part 2 online.
  • WWII Conscientious Objectors
    A new site profiles the 12,000 conscientious objectors from WWII and the 150 Civilian Public Service camps they served in instead of going to war.


Contributors: Debbie Ann Doyle and Elisabeth Grant

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