Military History

How the Culture of “Welfare Reform” Changed the US Army

 By Jennifer Mittelstadt

August 22, 2016, will mark the 20th anniversary of Bill Clinton’s signing of the 1996 welfare reform act, the law that “ended welfare as we knew it.” The Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act (PRWORA) marked a historic break from the federal government’s commitment to aid poor women and children. It imposed strict employment requirements on recipients of public funds and limited lifetime eligibility for support to no more than five years. As historical retrospectives and evaluations emerge, few recognize the extraordinary impact of the welfare reform agenda beyond the low-income single mothers it targeted.

AHA Member Spotlight: Mark Andersen, CFA

AHA members are involved in all fields of history, with wide-ranging specializations, interests, and areas of employment. To recognize our talented and eclectic membership, AHA Today features a regular AHA Member Spotlight series.

Mark Andersen, CFA, is a senior director, global products strategy and analytics, at Cimpress (but surely someday will find himself teaching).  He lives in Lexington, Massachusetts, and has been a member since 2015

AHA Sends Letter of Concern Regarding Poland’s Museum of the Second World War

The AHA has sent a letter to Poland’s Minister of Culture expressing concern about the proposal to disrupt the planned Museum of the Second World War and to merge it with a new museum focusing on Poland’s military struggle in 1939. The Museum of the Second World War, if built as planned, will be the only major museum to showcase the history of the war through an international lens. The letter praises Poland’s critical approach in coming to terms with its difficult past, and urges the country to continue its leadership by moving forward with the Museum of the Second World War as planned.

What I Learned from Visiting a Historical Site: An Undergraduate’s Experience at Gettysburg

A recent report from Humanities Indicators, a project of the American Academy of Arts & Sciences, showed that less than a quarter of Americans aged 18 years or older visited a historical park or monument in 2012—a 13 percentage point drop from 1982. As a student from Brigham Young University (BYU) in Utah, I traveled to Washington, DC, in January to intern with the American Historical Association for the spring semester. Having taken advantage of opportunities to explore the city’s many historic sites and museums, the report made me wonder about the nation’s declining interest in visiting historical sites.

AHA Member Spotlight: Donald A. Yerxa

AHA members are involved in all fields of history, with wide-ranging specializations, interests, and areas of employment. To recognize our talented and eclectic membership, AHA Today features a regular AHA Member Spotlight series.

Donald A. Yerxa is an editor and an emeritus professor of history at Eastern Nazarene College. He lives in Venice, Florida, and has been a member since 1987.