Don’t miss PBS’s “The Great War!”; That time Theodore Roosevelt tried to get himself killed in France; Setting Little Round Top on fire; History’s most spoiled animals

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I am not even touching today’s Sean Spicer story, it’s just too easy. And pathetic.

Did you catch the first episode last night of PBS’s new American Experience documentary about the United States and WWI, The Great War? Wow! So good! Part II airs tonight, and the finale on Wednesday. If you missed it, you definitely need to get caught up by streaming it from the PBS site and setting your DVR tonight. The film footage they have is mesmerizingly good and actually surprising (and sometimes stunning), the research and commentary solid (though perhaps a bit too unquestioning of Wilson’s choice to enter the war, and thus not much attention is given to the hypocrisy of asking people to die in a fight to “make the world safe for democracy” when we didn’t even fully have it here. But perhaps that’s coming), and the broad range of topics covered is impressive. I am anxious to see how well they deal with Woman’s Suffrage and Alice Paul, as well as if they touch on the war’s impact on the spread and transformation of Jazz. Seriously, don’t miss this one.

Also looking forward to how they deal with Theodore Roosevelt’s attempt to raise a regiment and personally fight in WWI, despite his advanced age. (The first episode has already nicely set up his rivalry with Wilson). In the meantime, Smithsonian has a good piece on TR’s attempt to go down in a blaze of glory in France.

If you’ve been to Gettysburg in the last few years, you know that the National Park Service has been doing an incredible job restoring the landscape to its 1863 appearance (if you haven’t been in a while, you need to visit again, it’s almost a completely new experience from just a few years ago). Yesterday, they continued the process by doing a controlled burn on Little Round Top. Check it out.

So you know how many have argued that the solution to the Confederate monument debate is contextualization instead of removal? Well, the University of Texas has figured out a way to do both with a Jefferson Davis statue. Its new placement in a museum has given them the ability to add more interpretation/contextualization than is possible with just small signage. What do you think?

More on Philadelphia’s brand new Museum of the American Revolution, I still plan to visit next month, so stay tuned for my review!

OK, fellow animal lovers, this one is for you: check out this list of “History’s Most Absurdly Spoiled Animals.”

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