February 19, 2009
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).
- Happy Presidents Day
Did you have Monday off from work? The National History Education Clearinghouse explains why.
- If Abraham Lincoln Had An iPod
Miles Hoffman, a classical music commentator, discusses some of Lincoln’s favorite music, much of which is opera. You can listen to a selection of songs we know were some of Lincoln’s favorites and envision the President sporting iPod earbuds and jamming out to Mozart.
- At Ford’s Theatre, Lincoln’s Death Revisited
Last Thursday marked the 200th anniversary of Lincoln’s birth. NPR takes a thorough look at the events on the day of Abraham Lincoln’s death, in both written and audio form.
- The Hero History Has Forgotten
On that fatal night of April 14, 1865, when Abraham Lincoln was shot, George Foster Robinson was tending to Secretary of State William Seward when Lewis Payne, one of Booth’s co-conspirators, attacked the home. Robinson helped fight off the attacker and was wounded in the process. Robinson was an unsung hero that night, and his story has been largely forgotten.
- Darwin: Let’s Get the History Right
Charles Darwin’s birthday was last week, and Dr. Denis Alexander, director of the Faraday Institute for Science and Religion at St. Edmund’s College, Cambridge, commemorated it by talking about both Darwin’s research and the religious opposition it infamously received and continues to receive today.
What Else We’re Reading
- Digital Archivists, Now in Demand
The New York Times reports on the growing demand for digital archivists and notes that more than expertise in information technology is needed.
- Commencement Speeches
The Humanity Initiative has compiled a collection of commencement speakers from 1936 to 2008. Some of the speakers include: Barack Obama, Ken Burns, Elie Wiesel, John F. Kennedy, and George C. Marshall.
- Walden, and 99 other Free Online Books Every Student of Humanity Should Read
The list includes The Education of Henry Adams by Henry Adams (1838-1918), pioneering historian and early president of the AHA. Other books on the list related to history are The Iliad, Ben Franklin’s autobiography, and Narrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass.
- Apple classic Oregon Trail coming to iPhone
Just for fun, for the iPhone wielding crowd, the classic game Oregon Trail is making a comeback for nostalgic fans of edutainment. Hat tip.
Contributors: David Darlington, Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, and Jessica Pritchard