New World Trade Center

This article is about the opening of the first offices in the new World Trade Center. I find it interesting that the new World Trade Center is both a memorial to 9/11 and, as this article says, “a symbolic return to some sort of normalcy” for the site of the biggest tragedy on American soil.


“Camelot under siege”– John F. Kennedy and American textbooks

Where do most young people first “find” history?  Well, their first formal encounter with history is in school, through textbooks.  Textbooks are an exceptionally powerful way to take the temperature of changing historical reputations over time.


And here’s an especially timely article about how President Kennedy’s reputation has radically shifted over time in American textbooks.



Music Meant to Torture Included Julio Iglesias

Music Meant to Torture Included Julio Iglesias

As most of us know, music (including Megadeth among other heavy metal bands) have been used in Iraq and Afghanistan to torture enemy combatants for over 10 years by our country’s military. A recently revealed article details new torture techniques by Chilean Army general Augusto Pinochet in the 1970’s including Cat Stevens and Julio Iglesias.

Spontaneous memorial for cyberbullying suicide victim

Girl’s Suicide Points to Rise in Apps Used by Cyberbullies –


The latest in the increasingly common trend toward creating “spontaneous memorials” at sites of trauma or tragedy, an example of the “memorial mania” that historian Erika Doss writes about (and which we’ll be reading about in class in a few weeks).  Teddy bears, candles, balloons, flowers hanging on fences: these memorials have become a consistent feature on the US tragic landscape.



A Weapon Seen as Too Horrible, Even in War


A Weapon Seen as Too Horrible, Even in War –

As America and the president and Congress debate the reaction to Syria’s use of chemical weapons, this is a particularly timely example of the “uses of the past”– on the history and legacy of chemical warfare, with special attention to its horrific use during World War I.

Gas attacks are not pretty–not in Syria, not on the battlefields of Europe in 1918-19.  The use of chlorine gas by Germans against their enemies was widely condemned, and remains one of the most enduring memories of World War I.