Category Archives: Historical

“Walled In’ — The Berlin Wall

Periodically we run across a historical description that sounds unbelievable — “Could this really have happened?”  Then we investigate and discover that not only did it happen, it was actually worse than we could ever have imagined.  Some of the stories from the civil rights struggle in this country and the Holocaust are two ready

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How History is Really Written

For the next two weeks I’m filling in for a high school social studies teacher.  I originally wanted to teach social studies, so I’m having a lot of fun during this time, although I have to keep reminding myself they’re typical high school students and not a history nerd like me. Remember Winston Churchill’s quote,

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Railroads and the Civil War

Teaching today has put me in the mood to post something historical — Railroads and the Civil War Some consider the American Civil War to be the first modern conflict. For example, it saw the first battle between ironclad warships, the first successful use of the submarine, warfare directed toward the civilian population (Sherman’s March

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The History of Marriage

Last night I saw the play Pride and Prejudice at Wright State University.  That got me to thinking about marriage. As part of my training to become a teacher, I read the book Marriage, a History for a Sociology course. It was a real eye-opener and one of the more interesting books I’ve ever read.

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English Kings Who Did Not Speak English

As a history nerd and aspiring writer, I can occasionally combine the two interests.  One fascinating tidbit (at least to me) is the number of English kings who did not speak English. If this surprises you, recall what happened in 1066 — William of Normandy earned his nickname William the Conqueror by defeating Harold II at the

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Have We Forgotten Nonviolence?

Recently I came across an interview with Taylor Branch, Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, biographer. Published in the January 2015 issue of “Smithsonian” magazine, it discusses Dr. King’s true legacy. Branch makes an important case: “Look at the fall of the Berlin Wall, the fall of the whole Soviet Union, begun with nonviolent demonstrations in a

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Our First Air Force

It is a fundamental principle of warfare: control the high ground and you have the advantage. Of course, the ultimate high ground is in the air. In the American Civil War, that meant balloons. Both the Union and Confederacy experimented with balloons, with the Union having more success, although “success” is a relative term in

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