Tuesday, August 16, 2016

The Evolution of the House

The comforts of home have evolved over time in surprising and unexpected ways.  Watch this:

Time Travel 21 - Your portal to the Past, Present, and Future

Monday, August 15, 2016

Wild American Presidential Elections - The True History

If you think this election is wild...you don't know American history.
Watch this!

Time Travel 21 - Your portal to the Past, Present, and Future

Thursday, July 07, 2016

What if the North Seceded?

Northern Secessionist
Timothy Pickering

Decades before the American Civil War, New England contemplated seceding from the Union.  The so called Essex Junto, a group of businessmen and politicians based in Essex County, Massachusetts spearheaded a secessionist movement in the early 1800s, fearing the diminished influence of New England after the Louisiana Purchase. Timothy Pickering, who had served Secretary of State under George Washington, was one of the key figures of the movement. Pickering envisioned a new republic comprised of New England, New York, New Jersey, and Canada. The Essex Junto approached Alexander Hamilton, who was horrified by the plan.

The push for secession came primarily from the younger generation of Federalist leaders, who believed they needed to defend the principles of states' rights and self-government from an overbearing federal government. The northern secessionists believed that the South was gaining too much wealth, power, and influence, and was using that influence against New England politically.

The northern secessionists believed strongly that homogeneity of race, and “ethnic purity,” were essential ingredients of a successful republic. The New Englanders thought of themselves as “choice offspring of the choicest people, unpolluted by foreign blood.”

In 1860, disgruntled secessionists in the deep North rebel against the central government and plunge America into Civil War. Will the Kingdom survive? The land will run red with blood before peace comes again.

Friday, June 24, 2016

The Top Ten Worst Generals in History

Success leaves clues.  So does failure.  Some of history’s best known commanders are remembered not for their brilliant victories but for their catastrophic blunders.  Here are history’s ten worst generals (in no particular order). 

1.     John Armstrong Jr.’s incompetence was responsible for the burning of Washington during the War of 1812.

2.     Oreste Baratieri was an Italian general responsible for the most crushing defeat ever suffered by a colonial European power by native forces in Africa.

3.     Edward Braddock’s army made so much noise the enemy always knew where he was, but Braddock didn’t have a clue where the enemy was until he was ambushed.

4.     Roman General Marcus Crassus stood his ground and hoped the enemy would run out of arrows before he ran out of men.  They didn’t.

5.     George Armstrong Custer announced to his men, “We’ve caught them napping!”, just before suffering the most stunning defeat of the Indian Wars.

6.     British Major General William Elphinstone is considered by some military historians to be “the most incompetent soldier who ever became a general”, possessed of “the leadership qualities of a sheep.”

7.     Brigadier General William Hull is the only American general to have ever been sentenced to death by a court-martial.

8.     Francisco Solano Lopez was responsible for the deaths of half of his fellow countrymen.

9.     Sir Charles MacCarthy forgot to take the ammunition and wound up having his skull used as a drinking cup at the annual Yam Festival.

10.  Alexander Samsonov didn’t feed the troops and ended up shooting himself on the battlefield.

History's Ten Worst Generals

Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Victorian Cemeteries

Those who conceived the idea of the modern cemetery anticipated the movement for public parks.  Cemeteries provided the public with beautiful outdoor gathering spaces during a time when parks were scarce. Out of the movement to beautify cemeteries arose a custom of gathering in these new public spaces. Families picnicked near gravesites, and children played there. Somewhere along the way, this practice fell by the wayside.  The appreciation of cemeteries has made a comeback in the digital age.  Many genealogists have been using the Internet and GPS systems to locate the graves of long lost ancestors.  This renewed interest in cemeteries has spread to an interest in photographing tombstones, the growth of in-depth historical research, and even cemetery tourism.

Historic cemeteries are a treasure trove of art, biography and philosophy, one’s last chance to shout out to posterity “This is who I was, this is what was important to me”.  Art, symbols and inscriptions are called upon to succinctly capture the essence of life in a beautiful and meaningful way.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

U.S. History of Arresting Dangerous Immigrants

America entered World War I on April 6, 1917. Un-naturalized Germans and even first and second generation naturalized German immigrants were widely seen as the “enemy within”.

Surveillance operations, conducted by such government agencies as the Alien Enemy Bureau, led to over 10,000 arrests.  Some 8,500 arrests were conducted under presidential warrants. Most of those arrested were released after a brief period of investigation.  Almost twenty five per cent of those detained, however, were found to be “dangerous enemy aliens” and interned in two camps set up by the War Department.  In the spring of 1918, the government began interning female enemy aliens suspected of aiding the enemy.  Scores of women were arrested, but only fifteen were held indefinitely

German-speaking communities were largely erased by the war and the anti-German feeling it created.  This was done through aggressive assimilation by hitherto self-identifying German-speaking communities.

A brief look at the changing historical views (1920 to the present) on the uses and abuses of American domestic propaganda during World War I. Was this a necessary evil or a gross infringement of civil liberties? How, when, and why has opinion changed?

Monday, May 30, 2016

Veterans and the Origins of Memorial Day

Established in 1866, The Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) was a fraternal organization of Union veterans.  After the Civil War many local communities organized days of remembrance for the dead.  In 1868, Union veterans adopted May 30 “for the purpose of strewing with flowers or otherwise decorating the graves of comrades who died in defense of their country.” Many southern states recognized Confederate Memorial Day on a different date, reflecting lingering sectional bitterness.

Many veterans groups sprang up in the South after the war.  In 1889 a national organization called the United Confederate Veterans was formed.  The purpose of the group was not to stir up old hatreds but to foster “social, literary, historical, and benevolent” ends.  The United Confederate Veterans (U.C.V.) grew rapidly throughout the 1890s.  Some 1,555 local organizations (called camps) were represented at the 1898 reunion. In 1911 an estimated crowd of 106,000 members and guests attended one re-union.  Meetings continued until 1950 when only one member could attend.

The above photograph shows Union veterans marching at the 36th National Encampment of the Grand Army of the Republic (G.A.R.) in Washington, D.C. on October, 1902. The organization disbanded in 1956 with the death of the last Union veteran.

The last Union veteran, Willard Woolson died in 1956 at the age of 106. Woolson was a drummer boy.  The last Union combat soldier, James Hard, died in 1953 at the age of 109. Claims and counter-claims swirl around the age and status of the last veterans, both Union and Confederate. The last verifiable Confederate veteran is thought to have been Pleasant Riggs Crump (1847-1951), although several men subsequently claimed to be the “oldest” Confederate soldier.  Crump was from Alabama and served at the Siege of Petersburg.  

Love, Sex, and Marriage in the Civil War

 A brief look at love, sex, and marriage in the Civil War. The book covers courtship, marriage, birth control and pregnancy, divorce, slavery and the impact of the war on social customs.