Paris endures; refugees & the Founders; U.S and 1930s Jewish refugees; Hollywood vs. the Lost Cause; oral history app

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Great piece here rooted in old photographs of the areas of Paris that were hit by the terror attacks. Little has changed there over the years. They’ve survived “years of German occupation and terrorist attacks from anarchists, anti-colonialists and others. After all these years, people continue to roll up their sleeves, eat and drink on the same corners.  . . . It is unlikely that will change.”

Over the years, I’ve made it a point in my US history classes to get students pondering how many more Jews could have been saved from the Holocaust if it had not been for our nation’s anti-Semitic immigration quotas and policies of the 1920s and 30s. Recent events have made that conversation seem even more pertinent. Here’s a reminder of our past mistakes. 

Still, this current debate is not new. We’ve long been a nation that both welcomes refugees and yet treats them with suspicion. It is a dynamic that goes all the way back to the Founders. 

Hollywood played a major role in the nationalization of the Lost Cause by engraining it deep into popular culture. Thus if we are going to ever fully demolish it, movies are going to have to work their magic in an opposite fashion. Thankfully, for at least a generation they have been doing so. Will the upcoming The Free State of Jones drive another nail into the coffin? I for one can’t wait to see.

This is pretty cool: a new app helps you interview your friends and family for an oral history project, and easily upload the conversation to be preserved forever and available to historians.This could definitely turn a lot of Thanksgiving gatherings into something productive!

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