The Power of American Indian Boarding School Records

14 Nov

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Not only the voices of policy makers and administrators appear in the records of the National Archives, but also those of individual people whose lives were changed by their interactions with the Federal agencies whose historic legacy we manage. Often these individual stories can capture the imagination.

So begins Gwen Granados’ post at the National Archives blog on the records of two American Indian boarding schools. You may read her entire post here.

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The Messy “End” of World War I

31 Oct

For millions of soldiers, the First World War meant unimaginable horror: artillery shells that could pulverize a human body into a thousand fragments; immense underground mine explosions that could do the same to hundreds of bodies; attacks by poison gas, tanks, flamethrowers. Shortly after 8 p.m. on November 7, 1918, however, French troops near the town of La Capelle saw something different. From the north, three large automobiles, with the black eagle of Imperial Germany on their sides, approached the front lines with their headlights on. Two German soldiers were perched on the running boards of the lead car, one waving a white flag, the other, with an unusually long silver bugle, blowing the call for ceasefire—a single high tone repeated in rapid succession four times, then four times again, with the last note lingering.

So begins Adam Hochschild’s disturbing account of the “end” of World War I. You may read the entire New Yorker article here.

Papers of President Theodore Roosevelt Now Online

17 Oct

The Library of Congress is announcing that the Theodore Roosevelt Papers are now online. You may read the entire announcement here.

Towards a History of Mexican American Participation in World War I, Part I

9 Oct

Pages from 30-31 - CompositionFormerNatlGuardUnits.1916

The centennial anniversary of American involvement in World War I permits a closer look at the diverse racial and ethnic groups who participated in the Great War. In this blog post, we are attempting to reveal how the construction of social and military histories of Mexican Americans, particularly from Texas, called “Tejanos,” can be built through the examination of Records of the American Expeditionary Forces (AEF) in Record Group 120. Documents from diverse NARA collections, such as draft registration cards, the federal census, and even maps, further contribute diverse perspectives and triangulation to soldier experiences and backgrounds. Some records have been accessed through Ancestry.com, one of NARA’s digitization partners.

Histories concerning the role of soldiers of Mexican descent, whether U.S. born,  naturalized, or seeking citizenship, are particularly scarce. The U.S. military’s classification of Mexicans as “White” in World War I – and thus interspersed with other ethnicities – has challenged historians documenting participation of this group of Latinos. The AEF’s 36th Division, nicknamed the “Lone Star Division,” and the 90th Division, nicknamed the “Tough ‘Ombres” [‘Ombres for “Hombres” in Spanish meaning “men”] offer researchers rich material to construct histories and collective biographies of Tejano participants.

The path to unearthing and bringing forward these narratives began with identifying divisions composed of former National Guard units from the Southwestern states. Fortunately, volunteers from the National Archives at College Park, had found a cache of over 2,000 first person accounts of soldiers “going over the top” in the 36th Division. Now completely digitized and searchable in the National Archives Catalog, these records offer rich descriptions during the intense battles in France during the last months of war in 1918.

So begins part 1 of a two-part post by MacDonald and Taylor at the National Archives The Text Message. You may read the entire post, with links, here.

The Warlike Origins of ‘Going Dutch’

1 Oct

A pitched sea battle during the Anglo-Dutch Wars.

AT THE END OF A restaurant meal, deciding who pays and how much can be fraught. Societal norms tend to dictate if one person whips out their credit card, or if everyone should “go Dutch”: that is, pay their own share.

“Going Dutch” can quickly get complicated, with adding up tax, tip, and separate bills. But the origin of the term is even more complex: It likely stems from a centuries-old dispute between England and the Netherlands that left behind a slew of uncomplimentary phrases in English, all rooted in the word “Dutch.”

So begins Anne Ewbank’s reminder of the England-Netherlands rivalry in the 17th century. You may read the entire Atlas Obscura post here.

End of August, End of the World

30 Aug

For most of us, the end of August spells the end of summer. A hundred years ago, it looked like the end of the world.

So begins historian James Bratt’s reminders and reflections on 100 years since World War I, August in particular. You may read his entire post at The Twelve here.

AMBITIOUS NEW BOOK EXPERTLY DETAILS CHEROKEE NATION HISTORY

27 Aug

Bill John Baker, principal chief of the Cherokee Nation, announces a new book published by the Cherokee Nation. You can read about it here.

Exploring the Past

Reading, Thinking, and Blogging about History

Enough Light

"In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't." - Blaise Pascal

Lenten Lamentations

Preparing to Participate in God's Mosaic Kingdom

The Text Message

Discoveries from processing and reference archivists on the job

john pavlovitz

Stuff That Needs To Be Said

Wirelesshogan: Reflections from the Hogan

"History is the record of our loves in all their magnificent and ignoble forms." Eugene McCarraher

The Way of Improvement Leads Home

"History is the record of our loves in all their magnificent and ignoble forms." Eugene McCarraher

the way of improvement leads home

reflections at the intersection of American history, religion, politics, and academic life

The Pietist Schoolman

The website and blog of historian Chris Gehrz

Native News Online

American Indian News

Reformed Journal: The Twelve

Reformed. Done Daily.

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by Alex Scarfe

blogwestdotorg.wordpress.com/

Thoughtful Conversation about the American West

Northwest History

"History is the record of our loves in all their magnificent and ignoble forms." Eugene McCarraher

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