Secret declassified files, Edison’s dolls, Rebel daughters, and a history lesson from Snoop Dogg

Today’s batch is an interesting brew:

The UK Has just unearthed new ‘Top Secret’ Colonial-Era government files, many of which apparently paint Britain’s colonial administration “in a far from flattering light.” I doubt that anyone will find that surprising, but it looks like there could be some juicy stuff in there.

Interestingly, the National Park Service has an online presentation of the restoration of the audio from Thomas Edison’s 1890 talking dolls. These toys were “the world’s first recorded-audio product designed, manufactured, and sold for home entertainment.” Check it out and be sure to listen to the restored audio. Creepy, but very fascinating.

Would more effective teaching of history and government in our schools help to improve voter turnout? This conservative opinion piece from the hard-right American Spectator makes the case that it would, arguing that “schools graduate young people into the world without a grounded understanding of how their own democratic institutions operate best.”

Emerging Civil War has part 2 of Jimmy Price‘s solid essay on the forgotten battles around Richmond in late 1864.

Over at Civil War Memory, Kevin Levin has given the father of the Confederate flag waving daughter the chance to respond to the media storm that resulted from the unfortunate episode. The result is a very strange analogy and perhaps even stranger discussion. This kinda thing is why we love Levin’s site so much, isn’t it?

How many of us history folks love the Broadway musical 1776 and the movie version? Well, it is coming back to NYC in a new production next spring. This might actually entice me to return to a city that I do my best to avoid.

And lastly, I am a big fan of HBO’s Game of Thrones, but who knew that it was such a solid depiction of historical reality? Apparently Snoop Dogg does .

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