On April 14, 1865, just five days after the close of the Civil War, Elizabeth Keckly, a former slave and confidante of Mary Todd Lincoln, retold the story from the night of Lincoln’s assassination, remembering how the First Lady’s cloak was wet with blood.
“The story of Lincoln’s assassination fascinated an American public steeped in the sensationalism and sentimentalism of the Civil War era,” and that fascination continues today. One of the Chicago Historical Society’s prize artifacts is Mary Todd Lincoln’s alleged cloak from the night of her husband’s death.
The Center for History and New Media (CHNM) and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Estate and Gardens recently teamed up to create Martha Washington: A Life, an online biographical exhibit. Not only can users read an in-depth narrative on Martha Washington, but they can also peer into a “window on women’s lives during the 18th century, including women’s access to property and education, their role in the Revolution, their thoughts on the promises of rights called for in the founding documents, and their everyday experiences of marriage, motherhood, labor, sickness, and death.”
Begin by exploring Martha Washington’s life, a narrative written by Rosemarie Zagarri, a historian at George Mason University.
One of the best ways to learn about democracy is to study documents from America’s Founding Fathers. Last year, Congress encouraged the National Archives to create an online forum that would make these documents more accessible to the public and historians alike. Working with the Virginia Foundation for the Humanities’ Documents Compass, “a nonprofit organization designed to assist in the digital production of historical documentary editions,” the National Archives recently released their newest project, Founders Early Access, through the Rotunda (the University of Virginia Press’ site for the publication of original digital scholarship).
November 22, 1963. America was in the midst of the Cold War. The Cuban Missile Crisis had just taken place the year before. And to top it all off, JFK received a fatal shot while driving through Dealey Plaza in Dallas, Texas. Talk about a shot heard ‘round the world.
That tragic day commenced a whirlwind of conspiracy theories. While the government concluded Lee Harvey Oswald, a former Marine and Soviet Union supporter, carried out the shooting, not everyone bought it.
The Harry S. Truman Library & Museum offers up to two Dissertation Year Fellowship grants of $16,000 annually to support graduate students working on some aspect of the life and career of Harry S. Truman or of the public and foreign policy issues which were prominent during the Truman years. Fellowship awardees may accept a competing fellowship or major grant from another institution with if certain stipulations are met. Applicants should have substantially completed their research and be prepared to devote full time to writing their dissertation.
We start off this week with some news items: the Committee on Lesbian and Gay History has put out a press release for the 2010 AHA Annual Meeting and Georgetown University has a new masters in global history. Then, we look at the future of print: Syracuse University is keeping its “little used” books, Tom Peters at Library Journal weighs in, and some history students switch to the Kindle. We also link to a number of interviews this week. Hear from Richard Moe, individuals from the Depression and WWII, and editors Mark Philip Bradley and Marilyn Young.
A recent article in the New York Times on “traditional history courses” has created a bit of a stir in the blogosphere. We start off this post by linking to the article and some responses. Then, check out Michele Lamont’s view of the field of history, read about a new college for history only, and listen to a layman’s approach to historic preservation. And finally, see historic newspapers on the Library of Congress Flickr page, read a critique of Google Books, learn seven lesser-known Civil War stories, revisit a two-century-old mystery, and learn about the life of Gypsy Rose Lee.
The White House has not only seen its fair share of great men walk its hallways, but also great women. We thought we might pay tribute to some of the leading First Ladies, highlighting some of their social and political contributions, as well as giving fun trivial tidbits. In addition to the sites listed below on individual First Ladies, you may also want to visit EdSitement’s “Remembering the Ladies” and the New York Times’ Leading Ladies lesson plans for supplementary material in the classroom.