History of Veteran’s Day; a new mystery at the Great Pyramids; Caron & Trump on history; Broadway’s Hamilton as history lesson; HUAC vs Trumbo


Another good piece from We’re History: here’s the “convoluted history of Veteran’s Day.” It has its roots in the Civil War, was started by African Americans in South Carolina, and was not always meant to honor the service of ALL veterans. So how did it evolve into that? National Park Service Ranger Benjamin Todd Arrington explains it here.

So we have heard a lot lately about research and scanning being done in King Tut’s tomb, but there has also been some high tech work going on at the pyramids too, and it has revealed a perplexing mystery.

So in the most recent debate Donald Trump tried to give a history lesson about Ike’s illegal immigrant deportation efforts. Here, Time explains what he got right, and what he exaggerated.

And while we are on politicians and history, Ben Carson has been saying lately that  because his lack of political experience meets the ideal of the citizen-statesmen, he is just the kind of politician that the Founding Fathers would have appreciated. Of course one could counter this reverence for the values of the Founders with the obvious assertion that in their eyes he would be unfit for office because of his skin color and his religion, but were they really all that devoted to the concept of the citizen-statesmen?

And while we are on the Founders: We’ve heard a lot about the Broadway smash Hamilton, but what does a Hamilton scholar have to say about it? Here Yale University professor Joanne B. Freeman shares her thoughts, praising the musical, pointing out its failings, and showing that unlike a lot of historians, she understands the reasons why scriptwriters sometimes have to play with the facts in order to create a coherent, accessible, and entertaining narrative.

As a self-proclaimed film history buff, I am very much looking forward to the release of the new movie about Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo’s (his most famous work was Spartacus) fight with the House Un-American Activities Committee. Here’s a good story about it from USA Today, featuring film footage of Trumbo’s actual contentious testimony. Keeping my fingers crossed that the movie is as good as it looks:


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