Reconstruction & underwear, indoctrinating racism, public history conundrums, why teachers should stay up-to-date on pop culture, sports history, and some PG-13 content.

I really like today’s short but interesting mix!

Perhaps we should all do some cleaning out of our drawers. A rare primary source Reconstruction document was recently found in the back of an underwear drawer in North Carolina.

Here’s a pretty sobering look at an Alabama History textbook that was used for indoctrinating racism. I always tell my classes that we are not far removed from this stuff, and use myself as proof because I grew up in the first generation of desegregated schools in Alabama. Now I will be sure to tell them that I am part of the first generation to not have grown up with this textbook.

Speaking of teaching: this story has nothing to do with history, but I do think it is a good lesson in why as teachers we need to keep up with pop culture. (Or at the very least, learn to check a movie’s rating for goodness sakes)

And then there is this from the realm of public history: How should public historians react when their visitors express historical ignorance of a sensitive and racially charged nature? It is indeed a conundrum, as this NPS ranger discusses. (In my eight years as a season park ranger I faced this near daily. I do think that in these situations it is good to keep in mind the previous posting about textbooks).

With “deflategate” going on, how about delving into a little sports history by looking at a good short essay on sports scandals?

And finally, my most provocative entry for the day: the history of “virginity tests.” Warning:  the content here is PG-13.

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