A Student of History

March 26, 2008

Distinctive Destinations

Filed under: Historic Preservation — John Maass @ 9:22 am

Twelve towns – from a French colonial village in Missouri to a town on the Florida Panhandle – have been honored this year by the National Trust for Historic Preservation for their commitment to historic preservation and community revitalization.

The list of a “Dozen Distinctive Destinations” has been issued annually since 2000 by the National Trust for Historic Preservation.

This year’s honorees are Ste. Genevieve, Mo.; Aiken, S.C.; Apalachicola, Fla.; Columbus, Miss.; Crested Butte, Colo.; Fort Davis, Texas; Friday Harbor, Wash.; Portland, Ore.; Portsmouth, N.H.; Red Wing, Minn.; San Juan Bautista, Minn.; and Wilmington, N.C.

See more here and here.

March 24, 2008

Where are the parents?

Filed under: Simple Living,The world today — John Maass @ 5:37 am

From the UK

“A generation of children is being ‘raised online’ because of the amount of time they spend on the internet, new research claims.  Youngsters spend more than 20 hours a week online, says a report from the Institute for Public Policy Research.”

20 hours per week!  Where are the parents?  Also:

Many young people are now “constantly connected” to the internet, the report says, staying up until the early hours of the morning on computers in their bedrooms.  Many leave their mobile telephone on overnight in case they receive a new text message.


Filed under: Simple Living — John Maass @ 5:33 am

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, has issued an outspoken attack on the “greed” consuming the world’s civilised nations, warning against the rush for oil, power and territory.

He also says that we need to let go of “selfish, controlling, greedy habits”.


March 21, 2008

Forget 1066 & all that

Filed under: The past that is still with us — John Maass @ 5:44 am

The Bayeux Tapestry

Children should not be taught to remember key historical dates such as the Battle of Hastings but should instead learn “life skills”, teachers have claimed.  This from the UK’s Association of Teachers and Lecturers.

Mary Bousted, general secretary, also said:

“Is the world going to collapse if they don’t know ‘To Be, or Not to Be?’ Our national curriculum should be far more focused on the development of life skills and ways of working than whether or not we teach the Battle of Hastings.”

March 20, 2008

Money does not buy happiness

Filed under: Simple Living — John Maass @ 5:46 am

Happiness has not risen in the past 50 years even though incomes have almost trebled, a study claims.

Money is only part of a person’s “standard of living”, and many worry about their health in old age and how much money they will have in the future, researchers say.

However, those who give to charity feel happier and report feeling a “warm glow” about their behaviour, says the report, presented at the Royal Economic Society’s annual conference.

More here

Similarly, “The secret of happiness is to spend around £2.50 every day on somebody else.”  To give a couple of pounds each day rather than to splurge on treats, fashion and consumer goods for yourself is the recipe for contentment, according to a new study.

March 14, 2008

The New Hermits

Filed under: Simple Living — John Maass @ 6:16 am

The New Hermits, The Flight from the World in Modern Italy-and many are women.

The modern hermit can usually be found in a city apartment, and is even sometimes connected to the internet for convenience.

March 13, 2008

Dems go back to their roots with race

Filed under: The past that is still with us — John Maass @ 6:14 am

Race seems to be quite factor in this year’s election, but only for Democrats.  But wait, I thought it was the GOP that was full of racists!  What gives with the party of segregation and Jim Crow??

See stories about Obama’s “interesting pastor,”  and the Geraldine Ferraro resignation.  The Rev. Jeremiah Wright Jr. said:

“Barack knows what it means living in a country and a culture that is controlled by rich white people,” Wright said. “Hillary would never know that.  Hillary ain’t never been called a nigger.”

March 12, 2008

Cornwallis in Goochland

Filed under: Early America — John Maass @ 9:01 am

Tuesday I had a nice surprise.  I received a call from the president of the Goochland County Historical Society in Va., who found out about my Tarleton tour and research.  He asked me (and I accepted) to write an article on Lord Cornwallis and the British in Goochland during the 1781 invasion of Virginia for the GCHS annual magazine.  This will be fun, and I am looking forward to it.  We may tie it in with a presentation by me at their summer meeting next year, as the article will likely appear in the 2009 issue.  Goochland is a pretty place, which will hopefully be able to resist the onslaught of sprawl from neighboring Henrico Co.

A new $103M Museum and Visitor Ctr at Gettysburg

Filed under: Historic Places,Wars — John Maass @ 7:33 am

In the NYT there’s an article with nice photos of the new $1.3M museum and visitor’s center that will open in April at Gettysburg National Military Park.  Am I the only one who does not think it looks very…Civil War?  Looks more like the dairy science building at a state college to me.

THE old visitor center and museum at the Gettysburg National Military Park was cramped, obsolete and a little too close to history. The brick building, built in the 1920s as a private home, was part of a complex that sat where Union lines had stood for the last two days of the most famous battle in the Civil War.

Park workers and Civil War buffs have been waiting for decades for the opening of the new center and the debut on Sept. 26 of the restored 377-foot circular “Battle of Gettysburg” mural, which was completed in 1884 by the French painter Paul Philippoteaux and 20 other artists. The new museum has been designed so that its galleries of artifacts will give visitors a better historical context for what really happened when Union and Confederate soldiers clashed in the rolling farmland of south-central Pennsylvania 145 years ago.

March 11, 2008

The Gun that Didn’t Smoke?

Filed under: The world today — John Maass @ 11:52 am

An exhaustive review of more than 600,000 Iraqi documents that were captured after the 2003 U.S. invasion has found no evidence that Saddam Hussein’s regime had any operational links with Osama bin Laden’s al Qaida terrorist network.The Pentagon-sponsored study, scheduled for release later this week, did confirm that Saddam’s regime provided some support to other terrorist groups, particularly in the Middle East, U.S. officials told McClatchy. However, his security services were directed primarily against Iraqi exiles, Shiite Muslims, Kurds and others he considered enemies of his regime.

But is this the whole story, or did the mainstream press again get it wrong?

March 10, 2008

2008 Stonewall Jackson Symposium

Filed under: Early America,Historic Places,Wars — John Maass @ 11:32 am

The twelfth biennial Stonewall Jackson Symposium sponsored by the Stonewall Jackson House in Lexington, Va. will provide an opportunity to examine the career and personality of this complex and fascinating man. The dates:  April 18-19, 2008.

Lectures by historians and biographers currently involved in research will explore Thomas Jackson’s relationships with staff officers and subordinates, the origins of the Jackson mythology and his famous nick-name, the use of Jackson’s image, Jackson-related materials in important museum collections, and Jackson’s famous Valley Campaign of 1862.

The $290.00 registration fee includes all lectures, Friday evening reception following the keynote address, Saturday coffee and pastries, lunch, reception and dinner with after-dinner entertainment, and a 10% discount in the Stonewall Jackson House museum shop on April 18, 19 & 20. The fee does not include transportation, accommodations, or dinner on Friday.

For schedule and speakers, click here.

Tom’s Gals

Filed under: Early America — John Maass @ 6:27 am

HNN has a review of Mr. Jefferson’s Women, here.

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