July 03, 2008
One hundred years ago yesterday Thurgood Marshall was born, so we start off this week’s “What We’re Reading,” with a post about this centennial from the Legal History Blog. Then, don’t forget that nominations for the John W. Kluge Prize will be accepted until July 15. We also link to a recently discovered speech by Gandhi, the latest History Carnival at Progressive Historians, a debate on Iraqi Baath Party documents, and the blog China Beat, which has recently produced a number of posts on Jonathan Spence. Three links are particularly newsworthy (a decolonization lecture, the release of Rosenberg trial records, and the recently appointed PIASA president), while we also point to number of excellent resources (copyright renewal records, Second Amendment Research Center, and a list of past female presidential candidates).
- For Thurgood Marshall’s Centennial
Yesterday, Mary L. Dudziak at the Legal History Blog recognized the centennial of Thurgood Marshall’s birth. Also see the previous AHA Today post.
- Who Wants To Be a (Scholarly) Millionaire?
Matt Raymond, on the Library of Congress blog, reminds readers that nominations for the John W. Kluge Prize will be accepted till July 15. “The $1 million Kluge Prize recognizes lifetime achievement in fields not traditionally represented by the Nobel Prize,” including history.
- Saying His Peace
Shankar Vedantam’s description (in "Saying His Peace," The Washington Post, July 1, 2008) of the discovery of a historic—and rare—recording of a speech made by Mahatma Gandhi on April 2, 1947, just a few months before he was assassinated. Contextualizing the speech, Vedantam also provides a capsule history of Gandhi’s last months and of the traumatic emergence of India to independence. The Washington Post also provides the audio of the recording as well as of interviews with and commentary by Rajmohan Gandhi, one of Gandhi’s grandsons, and the author, most recently, of Gandhi: The Man, His People, and the Empire.
- History Carnival LXVI: The Second Debate
The latest installment of History Carnival has been posted at Progressive Historians. It once again takes the format of a presidential debate.
- Iraqi Files in U.S.: Plunder or Rescue?
Five million of pages of documents from Sadam Hussein’s Baath Party have made their way to the Hoover Institution at Stanford.Some would argue that they have become wartime plunder.
- The China Beat: Blogging How the East is Read
The China Beat blog, which features UCI faculty and grad students, has been running a series of posts on Jonathan Spence. There are quite a few posts in the series now, but here we will link to just two: A Writer Takes the Stage: Jonathan Spence’s Lectures, Part 1 and Jonathan Spence’s Yale Lectures: A Memoir.
- “Decolonization and Disorder”: Dane Kennedy to Give Decolonization Lecture
The National History Center announces its upcoming Decolonization Lecture, which will be given next Wednesday, July 9th, by Dane Kennedy.
- Federal Prosecutors Agree to Release of Some Rosenberg Grand Jury Records After Petition from Archive and Historical Groups
The National Security Archive at George Mason University reports that “a substantial portion of the [Rosenberg] grand jury materials could be made public after more than 55 years.” The AHA was one the organizations that petitioned for the release of these files. Also see the National History Coalition’s coverage of the news as well.
- PIASA Members Elect New President, Two Vice Presidents and Board Members (PDF)
AHA member Thaddeus V. Gromada, professor of history emeritus at New Jersey City University (NJCU), was named president of the Polish Institute of Arts and Sciences in America (PIASA) at the organization’s 66th annual meeting in Philadelphia, June 13-14, 2008. More news from the meeting can be found here (PDF).
- U.S. copyright renewal records available for download
Google offers a terrific resource for historians working on the history of the middle 20th century, by making data on copyright records and renewals available for download. This should help with the orphan works problem, providing information about whether materials copyrighted between 1923 and 1963 have passed into the public domain.
- Second Amendment Research Center
The Second Amendment Research Center, put together by AHA member Saul Cornell, offers a number of useful historical materials for considering (and teaching) the Supreme Court’s decision in District of Columbia vs. Heller last week.
- List of female United States presidential and vice-presidential candidates
With the election ever on peoples’ minds, take a look back with Wikipedia’s list of past female presidential and vice-presidential candidates in the U.S. Hat tip.
Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, Pillarisetti Sudhir, and Robert B. Townsend