AP History, Civil War letters, public history as entertainment, more Game of Thrones, and weird weather.

So what’s the latest on the contentious fight over the College Board’s AP history standards? Looks like they’re going to be revised this summer.

Wow, what Civil War historian wouldn’t love to get their hands on these original letters? It is a collection of 150 letters from a soldier in an Ohio regiment to his wife, and her letters to him. I am sure this woman did a nice job of editing, but since she is a descendant and also not a trained historian you always have to wonder about omissions and misinterpretations. I hope she plans to turn the originals over to an archive at some point. Still, I bet her book is going to turn into good primary source material for future studies. Wish we could get our hands on all the letters that are likely still stashed away in attics and closets all over the country.

Here’s a thoughtful blog post from Nick Sacco about “entertainment and profit” at public history sites. He finds it “interesting how a place like Gettysburg–where there were roughly 50,000 casualties in three days of fighting in 1863–sometimes creates programs and experiences that turn a event of brutal warfare and massive suffering into a place of entertainment and profit while the same sort of mechanisms at [a Holocaust camp site] would be considered disrespectful by most visitors and professionals. Ghost tours have been taking place at Gettysburg for more than twenty years. Will we see the same sorts of activities at Holocaust sites someday?”

Here comes Game of Thrones stuff again. Time follows up their piece from yesterday with one today featuring 7 times this season that the show drew storylines from real history. The irony here is that a fictional fantasy show is getting praised for using history well, while the History Channel is still getting bashed for its crappy take on Texas history. Who is running that network now anyway? This guy?

Here’s a piece of Watergate history: the safe from the Democratic headquarters. The current owner keeps it empty except for an autographed photo of G. Gordon Liddy. Why? So he can crack this joke: “Liddy FINALLY got in there.” [cue rim shot].

What would the internet be without lists? Today we have “six weird weather events that made their mark on history.” These are indeed pretty weird, especially #6. Call in Fox Mulder. Or this guy.


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