Today we observe Memorial Day. To learn about its history, how to teach students about it, and more, see the collection of links we’ve rounded up below.
In the news this week, 1,000 historians send a letter to the Texas State Board of Education, historians are among the 2010 Guggenheim Fellows, the Library of Congress archives Twitter (yes, all of it), the New Yorker reports on Stephen Ambrose’s faked interviews with Eisenhower, a new report reveals private colleges give out higher GPAs, and the military says school lunches are a threat to national security. Then, some thoughts on the history profession: economic history, fellowships and mobility, making history more interesting, and what to do with a history major.
In this week’s What We’re Reading we bring you an assortment of news and reviews. In the news, Cologne is rebuilding its city archives after the devastating collapse earlier this year. Then, read about a new web site that allows users to “access information about projects funded by NEH since 1980,” the ATF transferring an Alexander Hamilton document to the National Archives, and readers being sought for the U.S. Department of Education’s International Programs. In reviews, James McPherson takes a look at a number of Abraham Lincoln biographies, Donald Worster critiques Ken Burns’ new documentary on the National Park Service, and the Humanities E-Book site receives some positive comments.
In two recent editions of “What We’re Reading” (June 4 and July 30) we’ve linked to articles from the New York Times about cyclists on historic rides: biking the Underground Railroad and the Iron Curtain Trail. With the sunny days of summer upon us, it’s a good time to get out there on your ten-speed and experience history while perched atop two wheels. Check out the following resources for ways to cycle through history*.
National Park Service
A search on the National Park Service’s web site reveals a number of history-related cycling options, in these locations:
- National Mall and Memorial Parks – Free, every Saturday and Sunday, 1-4pm, March 28 through November 29, follow National Park Service rangers on guided tours through the nation’s capital.
This week we point to an article from the BBC on Russia and its “commission to counter the falsification of history.” The AHA wrote to President Dmitrii Medvedev recently to express concern about this development. Other articles we link to this week include: a look at some lesser known National Parks, biking the Iron Curtain Trail, and restoring historic murals. Then, just for fun, we take a musical jaunt into some “Horrible [British] Histories.”
Can it really be the last day of April already? As this month rounds up, we round up too, with links to recent rankings and winners, current events, and articles on a variety of topics. Read the U.S. News & World Report’s rankings of history programs, hear how President Obama measures up in his first 100 days, and see who ArchivesNext is calling the Best Archives on the Web. Then, check out how the stimulus bill will help the National Park Service, learn of recently unearthed Ben Franklin letters, reflect back with the ACLS, and see NPR’s take on the history of the flu.
The opening of this year’s 123rd annual meeting in New York City included a roundtable discussion on The Pleasures of Imagination. One of the great things about studying history is the room for imaginative creation—reading a text and painting a subsequent picture to match, for example. However, visiting historic sites takes this imaginative creation beyond the text, opening a window into the past (both physically and imaginatively). Teaching with Historic Places (TwHP), a web site that branches from the National Park Service Heritage Education Services Office, embraces the power of teaching history through historic sites and promotes the implementation of such sites into curricula.
Emily Weisner, a National Park Service Ranger at the Arlington House, The Robert E. Lee Memorial, is proving to all of the skeptics out there that public history is anything but history light.
Weisner caught the history bug as a young girl, her interest sparked by the historical sites she visited on family trips. She continued this passion during her undergraduate years at the University of Notre Dame, pursuing a degree in American studies and anthropology. Following graduation, she decided to take her studies a step further with a master’s degree from American University in history, but more specifically public history.