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Meet Buster, the rooster who can skate

20 Oct

A rooster named Buster roller skates and ice skates. See the 1952 photos and hear the story by the then-photographer of the LA Times: From the Archives: Meet Buster, the rooster who can skate – LA Times

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The Religious Roots of America’s Love for Camping

17 Oct

Northwest Iowa Center for Regional Studies

Summer 1868 passed as an unremarkable season at Saranac Lake in New York’s Adirondack Mountains. The weather was fine, the scenery delightful, and the usual array of 200 to 300 recreational hunters and anglers passed through the small settlement on their way into the wild lands beyond. The summers of 1869 and 1870, however, were an altogether different story. The weather was more or less the same, and the scenery continued to entrance, but instead of a handful of sportsmen came a multitude of men and women from points east and south to enjoy America’s newest recreation—camping. Almost to a person, they had been inspired by what today, at the beginning of the 21st century, we recognize as the watershed book in the history of American camping: the first comprehensive “how-to-camp” guidebook, Adventures in the Wilderness; or, Camp-Life in the Adirondacks, which had been written in April 1869 by…

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New film on Mark Twain highlights his religious doubts

17 Oct

Twain’s journey to Jerusalem started with a demand. “Send me $1,200 at once,” he telegraphed his editors at the Alta California, a San Francisco newspaper. “I want to go abroad.”

Amazingly, the editors did and Twain booked passage on The Quaker City, America’s first cruise ship. The other passengers were religious pilgrims and rich young men looking to acquire a little sophistication before settling down. Twain embedded himself in both groups and began sending back to the paper what would be more than 50 “dispatches.”

Read Kimberly Winston’s entire post on Twain’s journey and religion here: New film on Mark Twain highlights his religious doubts | Religion News Service

Football really is America’s religion. That’s what made the NFL protests so powerful.

2 Oct

The macho Christianity behind American sports culture, explained concisely at Vox by Tara Isabella Burton: Football really is America’s religion. That’s what made the NFL protests so powerful. – Vox

Ken Burns, America’s best-known documentarian, explained

28 Sep

His aim is not to make us rethink American history, but, rather, to reexperience it.

So says Todd VanDerWerff in his post at Vox. Read his astute essay on Burns here: Ken Burns, America’s best-known documentarian, explained – Vox

Why do white writers keep making films about Indian Country?

16 Sep

Try as they might, two new films–Neither Wolf nor Dog and Wind River–can’t escape old tropes. So argues Jason Asenap in a review at High Country News here: Why do white writers keep making films about Indian Country? — High Country News

The Vietnam War, a documentary

14 Sep

This weekend, at last, The Vietnam War will land on our rooftops, ready to transport us back a half century and more to a conflict “begun in good faith, by decent people, out of fateful misunderstandings” that led to “a decade of agony—the most divisive period since the Civil War.” It was a “tragedy …

Read here, at the Organization of American Historians, the rest of historian Christian G. Appy’s inaugural post on Ken Burn’s new documentary series: The Vietnam War, a documentary

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