Category Archives: history

“Who was Egon Krenz?”

by Greg Mayer Egon Krenz was the last General Secretary of the East German Communist Party. He comes to mind today, the 101st anniversary of the end of the First World War (Veterans Day in the US), as the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall is also being widely commemorated.  A relaxed […]

Can it happen here? A Night at the Garden: New York Nazis in 1939

Well, yes, it did happen here, as evidenced by the video below and to a lesser extent, by our current administration, though Nazis (pretty much real ones) didn’t get much purchase on American sentiments. (For a nightmare scenario in which Nazi sympathizer Charles Lindberg defeats Franklin Roosevelt for President in 1940, and America turns strongly […]

Volunteers needed to transcribe suffragist material for the Library of Congress

I’m again asking you to consider doing something, but it doesn’t involve giving money. Rather, as Mental Floss notes, the U.S. Library of Congress is looking for volunteers to transcribe suffragist materials, putting them into text that can be searched. There are more than 16,000 pages of such documents, forming an important part of American […]

Conversation with attorney Andrew Seidel on June 11 about the secular origins of the United States

If you’re in Chicago, mark your calendars for June 11. For on that evening I’ll be having a conversation in town with Andrew Seidel (sponsored by the Freedom from Religion Foundation [FFRF] and the End of the Line Humanists) about Andrew’s new book, The Founding Myth: Why Christian Nationalism is Un-American. To be released in […]

Prohibition club in Chicago

This is the first time I’ve seen actual footage of a “speakeasy”—an illegal alcohol-dispensing joint that operated during Prohibition in America (between 1920 and 1933). Sent by reader Michael, the video even has sound, and shows dancing girls, a band, and an oily top-hatted master of ceremonies. And, as Michael pointed out, the booze is […]

Armistice Day 100

by Grania Armistice Day is commemorated every year on 11 November to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh […]

Facebook finds parts of Declaration of Independence to be “hate speech” and “racist”, removes them

To be fair, the hate speech appears to have been detected and removed by a robot analyzer, but shouldn’t some human check content before they remove it? Facebook did, however, later allow the impure parts of the Declaration of Independence to be posted. From the BBC (click on screenshot): Here’s the story (my emphasis): In […]

New Mexico: Española to Las Cruces

This will be my penultimate travel post, as I arrived back in Las Cruces and will be here until Saturday,when I return to Chicago for a week. (Next: a gastronomic visit to Paris.) I did the long drive from Española to Las Cruces in one day, stopping for a few hours at the fantastic Three Rivers […]

Cunk on Britain: Episode 3

I believe I’ve posted the first two episodes of Cunk on Britain, Diane Morgan’s very funny take of the history of Old Blighty. I’m surprised that the episodes are still up (#1 here and #2 here), as the BBC tends to take these things down. Well, watch them soon. This episode covers the nineteenth century, […]

Cunk on Britain, part I

I’m truly surprised that this is still up, as the BBC relentlessly removes most of its purloined videos from YouTube. So far, this one—the first of Cunk’s five-part BBC Two series—is still up. I mentioned it this morning, but you might have missed it. Have a look at this 30-minute show, which is classic Cunk, […]