The National Cherry Blossom Festival is celebrating 100 years of cherry trees in the Washington Tidal Basin. Each year around a million people descend on Washington, D.C., to see the signature pink blooms, and this year the centennial makes this event even more special.
While the cherry trees have become an iconic symbol of D.C. and Japanese-American friendship, their journey to become so was a long and arduous one. The effort to plant the trees, first suggested by Mrs.
The following text is crossposted at the National Coalition for History web site.
On April 12, 2011, the House Appropriations Committee released a list of proposed cuts in federal programs for the remainder of Fiscal Year (FY) 2011. Nearly every program of interest to the historical and archival communities was reduced. However the fact that some, such as Teaching American History grants, survived is a testament to the dogged lobbying efforts of the National Coalition for History, its constituent organizations and allies in civics education.
This week we remember Frank Buckles, the last living American veteran of World War I until he passed away less than a week ago. While a government shutdown isn’t news yet, the Washington Post looks back to shutdowns in the past in preparation. Next, we link to two articles this week that advocate for more history education for the public. Then, read about the historical accuracy of recent Oscar films, and consider putting together your own film for a National Library of Medicine contest.
A recent article, “Down the Memory Hole,” by Linda Greenhouse at the New York Times anticipates the release of former Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart’s papers. Justice Stewart retired in 1981 and gave his papers to Yale but “stipulated that the files from his 23-year Supreme Court tenure would become available only when none of his fellow justices remained on the bench.” When Justice John Paul Stevens retires from the bench (probably in the near future) this requirement will be filled.
The Bureau of the Census in the Department of Commerce is seeking ten nominations for organizations willing to participate on the 2010 Census Advisory Committee (2010 CAC).
The 30 member committee is comprised of organizations that “represent data users, general governmental entities, technology-based organizations, and entities with expertise in the statutory and constitutional uses of census data, including redistricting.” According to the Bureau’s request for nominations, the committee considers the needs of the decennial census from the perspective of outside data users and other organizations having a substantial interest and expertise in the conduct and outcome of the decennial.
In recent news, Obama picks Jon Jarvis for the National Park Service, $116 million goes toward improving the teaching of American history, Governor Tim Kaine supports the Wilderness Battlefield fight, and starting July 27 the public can review the Social Studies-History Standards. We also note two events: a constitutional history graduate course and the Thomas Paine exhibit at the National Portrait Gallery. Then, read about some new digital history projects: podcasts from the Gilder Lehrman Institute, digitized records from the Freedmen’s Bureau, and NARA on Flickr.
Robert McNamara, Secretary of Defense during the Vietnam War, died this week at the age of 93. In this edition of What We’re Reading we link to an article from the Washington Post and to recordings of his exchanges with Presidents Kennedy and Johnson. Other news-worthy links this week include the release of FBI interviews with Saddam Hussein and the appointment of a military history position. We then point to two upcoming events: a conference on diplomacy in a world of Facebook and the annual National Book Festival.
The federal government is currently seeking information on its declassification policies, and is doing so through a blog—offering a high-level test of the value of Web 2.0. The Declassification Policy Forum was launched as part of the White House’s Open Government blog yesterday. The initiative is being run by the federal Public Interest Declassification Board, as part of an ongoing review of declassification policies by the new administration.
The Declassification Policy Forum will be used to solicit recommendations for revisions to the current policy in four topical areas: Declassification Policy (June 29 – July 1), a National Declassification Center (July 2 – July 4), Classification Policy (July 5 – July 7), and Technology Challenges and Opportunities (July 8 – July 10).