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CivilWar@Smithsonian

"CivilWar@Smithsonian is produced by the National Portrait Gallery and is dedicated to examining the Civil War through the Smithsonian Institution's extensive and manifold collections." Winslow Homer's Civil War drawings, portraits of leaders, artifacts of soldiering, and, of course, Mathew Brady's portraits. Much more besides. Previous Winslow Homer thread.
posted by OmieWise on Dec 20, 2005 - 6 comments

Prohibition, moonshine and thou.

"Somewhere in the Bible it is said: "If thy right hand offend thee, cut it off." I used to think the remedy somewhat radical. But to-day, being imbued with the wisdom of the prohibitionist, I have to acknowledge that, if the Bible in general, and that passage in it in particular, has a fault, it lies in its ultra-conservativeness. What? Merely cut off my own right hand if it offend me? What business have my neighbors to keep their right hands if I am not able to make mine behave itself ? Off with the lot of them! Let there be no right hands; then I am certain that mine won't land me in trouble."
So wrote Percy Andreae in 1915 when arguing against Prohibition. That excerpt is at the OSU Prohibition History site, along with such delights as Prohibition Party Cartoons (check out this adorable camel: "Vote as if your vote would be the last straw"). At the LOC, along with this page of Prohibition information, and this panoramic shot of the 1915 Anti-Saloon League of America, there is also this reminder of the link between temperance and women's suffrage. If you don't want to join The Temperance Crusade in song, or admit that (I Never Knew I Had A Wonderful Wife Until The Town Went Dry), you can listen to these mp3's at the LOC: The Drunkard's dream, The Drunkard's child, and, of course, Goodbye, booze. Prohibition and moonshining; the rise of bootlegging gangs; more primary sources at the National Archives. And no post on prohibition or temperance would be complete without Carrie Nation's Hammer.
posted by OmieWise on Sep 23, 2005 - 46 comments

Calamaties transform more than landscape

More than 30 feet of water stood over land inhabited by nearly one million people. Almost 300,000 African Americans were forced to live in refugee camps for months. Many people, both black and white, left the land and never returned. "When Mother Nature rages, the physical results are never subtle. Because we cannot contain the weather, we can only react by tabulating the damage in dollar amounts, estimating the number of people left homeless, and laying the plans for rebuilding. But . . . some calamities transform much more than the landscape." No, not Katrina. The Great Mississippi flood of 1927. Author John M. Barry in his definitive work on the subject, "shows how a heretofore anti-socialist America was forced by unprecedented circumstance to embrace an enormous, Washington-based big-government solution to the greatest natural catastrophe in our history, preparing the way (psychologically and otherwise) for the New Deal." The author is a Distinguished Visiting Scholar at the Center for Bioenvironmental Research of Tulane and Xavier universities (whose web site is *understandably* not answering right now). <Heading for the library to find this book>
posted by spock on Aug 30, 2005 - 12 comments

Penny Postcards

OK, Seattleites, see the American flag here ? On the sidewalk below is where your 3rd & Pine McDonalds now sits. Man, I can see five buildings here that are still standing, but that red brick one at the lower right got replaced early. Now here's the Northern Life Tower. Note how the bricks lighten towards the top, so as to make it look taller from below--very subtle, that. It's one of Seattle's two Art Deco buildings, the other being the Exchange Building. You can cut through that one, coming off the ferry at First Avenue and take the elevator to walk out on Second Ave rather than climb that steep hill, you know.
     And consider on what playground equipment our grandparents got to play. Lucky stiffs--you can't even find a decent 50s era swing set in a park in this town anymore. Penny Postcards From King County, from Penny Postcards of Washington, from Penny Postcards. Man, I loves me some vintage postcards. And if you do, too, check that last link--it's got all 50 states.
posted by y2karl on Dec 19, 2004 - 17 comments

Sleeping with the president is not a good idea.

Sleeping with the president is not a good idea. Bush had no answers to big questions, such as 'what happens on the morning after.' The Daily Telegraph reports that documents show Prime Minister Tony Blair signed up to the U.S. policy of regime change in March 2002, a year before the conflict started... after he was warned that postwar stability would be difficult and the U.S. had few answers. Oh, no problem. This week, Bush said he is 'pleased with the progress' in Iraq.'
posted by fleener on Sep 19, 2004 - 14 comments

World War II Illustrated Envelopes

"Where are the ships?" and 59 other WWII-era illustrated envelopes are now available for viewing through the Veteran's History Project. Another smaller set of gorgeous illustrated envelopes from the same era is available here, all depicting scenes from the life of G.I.s stationed in the Pacific.
posted by .kobayashi. on Aug 4, 2004 - 6 comments

New Orleans WPA Projects

The New Orleans WPA Photograph Collection exclusively shows photographs of depression-era projects from Louisiana, so there's a whole set of WPA projects -- from the world-famous Golden Gate Bridge, to venerated Doubleday Field, to the beautiful but obscure Border Station in Naco, AZ -- that you just won't see here. Nevertheless, if you take the time to explore this site you will find some truly wonderful photographs. Some are more technical surveyor-style photographs, but others are akin to the realist style being carved out at the time by folks like Walker Evans, who actually did do some photography for the Farm Security Administration (another New Deal-era project).
posted by .kobayashi. on May 17, 2004 - 6 comments

conspiracy theory 911

September 11th panel working to overcome conspiracy theories.
posted by thedailygrowl on Apr 25, 2004 - 33 comments

Voices from the Days of Slavery.

Voices from the Days of Slavery. A collection of audio recordings made between 1932 and 1975 of African Americans known to have once been slaves. Hear Isom Moseley describe how he used to make soap, and express his opinion of the "white folks" who owned and ran the plantation where he was held. Wallace Quarterman describes his experience as a freed man in Georgia, and recounts the violent atmosphere of the Reconstruction South. Aunt Phoebe Boyd describes the demands of agricultural work. Even more narratives are available as transcripts from the companion exhibit, Born in Slavery: Slave Narratives from the Federal Writers' Project, 1936-1938 (linked to previously on Metafilter here), though some of these were unfortunately edited selectively.
posted by profwhat on Jan 19, 2004 - 15 comments

The Gettysburg Address

In the War Between The States, no finer words were ever spoken than those by Abraham Lincoln on 19 November 1863 at the consecration of a cemetery in rural Pennsylvania for the over 50,000 who died in the three worst days of battle in a wretched civil war. The speech is often included in US history books and collections of influential American speeches as one of the strongest examples of presidential oratory ever given. Is it any wonder, then, that it should inspire modern art?
posted by Ogre Lawless on Dec 18, 2003 - 6 comments

Monroe Doctrine

December 2, 1823 President James Monroe made his annual speech to congress and outlined his policy that the American continents were "henceforth not to be considered as subjects for future colonization by any European powers" Since then the US has, for better or worse, at times stood by the Monroe Doctrine, ignored it when they had bigger issues back home and even argued that it doesn't apply in the case of American imperialism. Is it time to retool our Latin America policy now that Europe doesn't seem so bent on imperialism there, or is the Doctrine needed as much as ever?
posted by Pollomacho on Dec 2, 2002 - 9 comments

The Constitution's 27 Amendments in our daily lives

“A nation is little more and nothing less than a conversation. [T]he conversation that is the United States has continued for more than 200 years as a lover's quarrel between equality and justice.” A gallery of ways this “conversation” is still taking place in the ways we live the Constitution’s 27 Amendments every day.
posted by arco on Nov 27, 2002 - 9 comments

Data Archives from the American Presidency Project

Data Archives from the American Presidency Project Fascinating statistical data about a variety of subjects, and not just trivia either. Includes data, for example, about Congressional concurrence with the President, number of Presidential vetos, number of first-year requests, etc. Good information for acquiring an overall understanding of our current political situation.
posted by oissubke on Nov 6, 2002 - 6 comments

'Come Out To Vote On November 6th'

'Come Out To Vote On November 6th' In Baltimore, Republicans are accusing Democrats of paying people to canvass African-American neighborhoods on Tuesday. Democrats are accusing Republicans of intimidating minority voters by planning to use members of the Fraternal Order of Police to serve as GOP poll workers. Meanwhile, a flyer being circulated in African-American communities 'reminds' readers to vote on November 6th - but only if all outstanding tickets, warrants, and outstanding rent payments have been paid.
posted by tpoh.org on Nov 4, 2002 - 34 comments

American Dreams premierd last night on NBC.

American Dreams premierd last night on NBC. "This evocative drama -- set against the memorable, upbeat sounds of the 1960s -- depicts a more innocent America as seen through the youthful Pryor family of Philadelphia as they brace for cultural turbulence ahead that still resonates in this contemporary era." Several things along those lines in the show caught my attention. One being the way the 1960's mother role is portrayed. Is she content or is she oppressed? What happend to the everyday sit-down family dinner, where some things are not appropriate to say at the dinner table? Why did it seem like such a simpler place and time? Would America today feel the same pain if we lost our president? The show is not a whole lot different from the concept of the Wonder Years but it seems fresh compared to some of the other NBC dramas.
posted by Recockulous on Sep 30, 2002 - 53 comments

One Hell of a Big Bang

One Hell of a Big Bang -- Studs Turkel meets Paul Tibbets the pilot of the Enola Gay. It's a great, though-provoking and disturbing interview to read on Hiroshima Day.
posted by LMG on Aug 6, 2002 - 40 comments

Textbook Publishers Learn to Avoid Messing With Texas.

Textbook Publishers Learn to Avoid Messing With Texas. "Out of Many," the work of four respected historians, is one of the biggest sellers among American history college textbooks in the United States, but it is not likely to be available to Texas high school students taking advanced placement history. Conservative groups in Texas objected to two paragraphs in the nearly 1,000-page text that explained that prostitution was rampant in cattle towns during the late 19th century, before the West was fully settled.
posted by ncurley on Jun 30, 2002 - 24 comments

"Julia Child and a few of her male compatriots got together and literally cooked up a shark repellent"

"Julia Child and a few of her male compatriots got together and literally cooked up a shark repellent" The "Clandestine Women" exhibit at the Women in Military Service to America Memorial (Arlington National Cemetery, Washington, DC) tells how the French Chef, as well as Josephine Baker and many others, used to work for American intelligence.
posted by Allen Varney on Apr 4, 2002 - 2 comments

A thoughtful and fascinating analysis

A thoughtful and fascinating analysis of the historical backdrop to the current situation. Why did this happen, what circumstances got us into a de facto state of undeclared war with the Islamic world, and what can we realistically do to prevent those circumstances from ever recurring? --Charlie Stross
posted by rushmc on Sep 15, 2001 - 15 comments

An incredble collection of jazz photos,

An incredble collection of jazz photos, for those hooked on the PBS series.
posted by jpoulos on Jan 23, 2001 - 14 comments

A historical rebuttal to the currently rabid NRA.

A historical rebuttal to the currently rabid NRA. Michael Bellesiles analyzes gun culture throughout American history and finds a number of points that disagree with Chuck Heston's version of 'Merica. Not surprisingly, the NRA is livid. At the risk of posting flamebait, will people ever be able to approach this issue from a reasoned, educated perspective, rather than responding with knee-jerk reactions?
posted by solistrato on Sep 7, 2000 - 5 comments

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