US flag in Cuba; Japan’s surrender; the problems with contextualization of monuments; MLK’s teen version of “Dream” speech; memorializing slavery in Richmond.

The big news today involved the American flag going back up again in Cuba after 54 years. This may be “the symbolic end of one of the last vestiges of the Cold War,” but tensions are far from gone.

Today is the 70th anniversary of the announcement of Japan’s WWII surrender. Here is a good collection of historic pics and film of the day’s events and celebrations (there is some good stuff here and much of it you probably haven’t seen before). Meanwhile, hundreds gathered in Times Square today to reenact that famous kiss.

Many historians (myself included) have called for placing Rebel monuments in context, rather than completely removing them. Kevin Levin sides with that position, but today on Civil War Memory he opens up some good questions: who wants this contextualization, what would it look like, and how would communities respond to it?

I found this to be the most interesting history new of the day: it appears that Martin Luther King gave a speech when he was 15 years old that is remarkably similar to his “I have a dream speech.”

The city of Richmond, Va. is calling for a “public conversation” about how to best memorialize the Antebellum slave trade in the city. Interesting project.

So how about a history of shampoo and hair washing? Time has got you covered.

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