HISTORY (Modern, Ancient, Archaeological, Paleontological)

New York Times “On This Day…”

Recounting the [Civil War] Dead, By J. DAVID HACKER (NY Times, September 20, 2011): Even as Civil War history has gone through several cycles of revision, one thing has remained fixed: the number of dead. Since about 1900, historians and the general public have assumed that 618,222 men died on both sides. That number is probably a significant undercount, however. New estimates, based on Census data, indicate that the death toll was approximately 750,000, and may have been as high as 850,000. [Read more]

A 240-Year-Old Map Is Reborn (NY Times, 1/16/11): [Go to story to see map. Try to enlarge as much as possible, because the detail is amazing! – Mike] In May 2010, a tattered and brittle map was discovered in storage at the Brooklyn Historical Society. Experts identified it as a rare item, a Bernard Ratzer “Plan of the City of New York” map in its 1770 state. Until then, only three copies were thought to exist. After a painstaking restoration to remove layers of shellac and grime and repair dozens of breaks, the map is now behind plexiglass and ready to be displayed to the public. Below is the map before, left, and after restoration. For more details on the map and the story of its restoration, go to the related article.

The Dictionary of Lost Moving-Picture Media (Posted by Matthew Battles on December 16, 2010, 12:12 PM): Think it’s hard keeping track of all the names for new technologies, protocols, and emergent media in the early twenty-first century? Then you have something in common with turn-of-the-last-century viewers trying to figure out what to call the various newfangled media of moving pictures. Here’s a piece from the “Times Topics” section of the January, 28, 1898 edition of the New York Times enumerating the many names for the newfangled medium, the motion picture…

Movie made from a moving trolley in San Francisco, April 14, 1906, just 4 days before the great earthquake. Streetcars, private cars, pedestrians and cyclists are all sharing Market Street.

Dunkurque (France): Filmed From A Tram, 1913: Filmed from a moving trolley in Dunkurque (Dunkirk), France.

Rare Color Footage of [1940] London Blitz Uncovered (Published by CBSNews.com, September 7, 2010 10:50 AM): CBS/AP) – Rare color film of Winston Churchill and of bomb damage inflicted on London during World War II has surfaced on the eve of the 70th anniversary of the Blitz. …

Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire, March 25, 1911 (World News Network): Video and oral history of the tragedy. Heartbreaking and compelling. – Mike

Rare and Unusual Pictures: The Burns Collection (Newsweek, 10/4/2010): The Newsweek link is to a short photo slide presentation, or ‘sampler’.  Here is a link to the actual site of The Burns Archive.

Who is Mother Jones?:  (Mother Jones Magazine FAQ) Mary Harris “Mother” Jones was a very cool woman who fought for the underdog and made herself up to look way older than she was so that when she got beat down by Pinkerton agents, she’d gain public sympathy. Brilliant! That said, it’s an odd name for a magazine. Our founders had originally wanted to call it New Dimensions (no comment), but when that name was taken, they pegged their ID to the radical reformer who’d been dubbed “the most dangerous woman in America.” Too bad not many people actually know who she was. Self-congratulatory consultants always offer that we should rebrand, but that takes a lot of money, which we’ve decided to spend on the actual journalism instead. Besides, you’ll find that it grows on you. (back to top)

A Curriculum of United States Labor History for Teachers, Sponsored by the Illinois Labor History Society: The United States has the bloodiest history of labor of any industrialized nation on Earth. It is a story rich in human drama and tragedy. It is also one of progress and hope. This is a resource that teachers of United States history can use to incorporate our rich social and labor history into their courses.

American Labor History: An Online Study Guide (Warning: This site is not institutionally supported on any level and should be used with caution at this point.) This Study Guide was written to support a course that the university decided, at the last minute, that it didn’t want. I hope to revive it when–and if–I am permitted to teach a course in this subject under circumstances. Those wishing to complain about dropped links, etc. would be better advised to write the university–or the governor of Ohio.)

LABOR UNION HISTORY (from the AFL-CIO Website): Links to many independent sources of labor history. The link sources range from the Smithsonian Institution and the U.S. Library of Congress to school curricula sites to personal labors of love. A great deal of very diverse and interesting stuff. – Mike


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