Words spoken by our 16th president, who met his tragic fate 144 years ago today while attending the comedy, Our American Cousin, at Ford’s Theatre in Washington, D.C. This day marks one of the most infamous days in American history, as we not only lost an influential political leader, but also a Civil War icon that catapulted the country into a new era.
We start off this week’s What We’re Reading by playing a little catch up and linking to articles on President’s Day, the Lincoln Bicentennial, and Darwin’s birthday. Then, the New York Times takes a look at an “emerging job trend”—being a digital archivist. Need a little inspiration? Check out the Humanity Initiative’s collection of commencement speeches dating back to 1936. And finally, we finish up with education (99 free online books humanities students should read) and edu-tainment (Oregon Trail for the iPhone).
We’ve collected links on a variety of topics for this week’s What We’re Reading, and begin with one historian’s suggestion for President Obama: a new Federal Writer’s Project. Then, an article being considered for the American Historical Review shows up in the New York Times? We also note the progress being made in the creation of the National Museum of African American History, a report on the preservation crisis at Auschwitz, and the fear of losing our online memories. Finally, read about one professor’s words of caution for potential PhDs, historians’ picks for the best presidential biographies, and new video on the Poplar Grove project.
Last week’s “What We’re Reading” compiled an number of articles and posts on the inauguration of President Barack Obama, and he’s wasted no time since taking the oath of office (twice). Read about his revoking of Executive Order 13233, new transparency policies, and take another look at his inauguration address. Then, we link to quite a range of digital history related items, including a recent conference at the Smithsonian, more on Google Books, engaging students in new ways, and web sites covering a number of historical topics.
President Barack Obama articulated a significant policy shift regarding federal records in his first week in office, signing an executive order on presidential records and issuing a presidential memorandum on the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). But the news of the week was a bit mixed, as historians and ethics groups lost a lawsuit to preserve records from outgoing vice president Richard Cheney.
The executive order on presidential records overturns an order from the Bush administration (E.O. 13233) that raised significant barriers to access to those records.
Tuesday marked the inauguration of our 44th President, and in this What We’re Reading we’ve rounded up quite a selection of inauguration-related links. Check out the Lincoln inaugural bible, a number of interactive features, newspaper front pages from around the world, and much more. Or, if you’ve read enough inauguration coverage, scroll down to the other articles we note, including 12 historic preservation destinations, some thoughts on cyber infrastructure, new additions to the Flickr Commons, a new online radio show, and upcoming Lincoln bicentennial events.
On Friday, the Encyclopedia Britannica blog introduced a two-week blog post series on “The 10 Worst Decisions by U.S. Presidents,” leading up to the inauguration of President-elect Obama (perhaps he should take notes). Writing the posts in this series is author Thomas Craughwell, who has written a recent book on presidential failures as well as the book Stealing Lincoln’s Body.
The series begins today with number 10 in the bad decision countdown. A new post presenting a new snafu will go up each day until the series concludes next week, “ending on the chief presidential mistake in history that Barack Obama should take heed of and try to avoid.”
Of course selecting and ranking mistakes is a subjective and biased endeavor, and therefore the Britannica blog is looking to historians to weigh in (in the comments section) with their opinions.
As the holidays draw ever nearer we link to two festive posts: holiday events at National Trust Historic Sites and a look back to an eventful Christmas Eve at the White House in 1929. Then we move on to a number of digital history related items: The Journal of American History has a new podcast, the Library of Congress has released a report on their Flickr Pilot, Google is now digitizing magazines, Walt Whitman has his own digital archive, and HNN is looking for interns.