Tag Archives: presidency

The National Security Archive and U.S. Secrets

19 Dec

Shortly after the government released a trove of documents on the assassination of John F. Kennedy, I sat down with Tom Blanton, the director of the National Security Archive, to talk about America’s dysfunctional mechanisms for classifying and declassifying information. Here, in an edited transcript, he weighs in on why historians should be extra-grateful for Hillary Clinton’s private server; what really needs to be declassified; and how history is likely to judge Julian Assange, Edward Snowden and Chelsea Manning.

At BloombergView, James Gibney (quoted above) interviews Tom Blanton about classifying, declassifying, and archiving U.S. secrets. Read the entire interview here.

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Can “Evangelicalism” Survive Trump?

14 Dec

Photo: Lisa Svelmoe

In fact what we call “evangelicalism” is made up of a vast number of different churches and organizations from around the world that are mostly disconnected with each other, even though they share a number of basic common features (notably, “biblicism,” “conversionism,” “crucicentrism,” and “activism,” as defined by David Bebbington). And if we start our thinking about “evangelicalism” by recognizing this fundamental diversity, that invites a second thought experiment: what if we thought first of “evangelicalism” in the light of its many majority world manifestations, instead of first through an American lens?

So writes historian George Marsden on evangelicalism. To read his entire post at the Anxious Bench, click here.

Papers of Ulysses S. Grant Now Online

11 Oct

The Library of Congress has put the papers of Ulysses S. Grant online for the first time in their original format at https://www.loc.gov/collections/ulysses-s-grant-papers/about-this-collection/.The Library holds a treasure trove of documents from the Civil War commander and 18th president of the United States, including personal correspondence, “headquarters records” created during the Civil War and the original handwritten manuscript of Grant’s memoir— regarded as one of the best in history—among other items. The collection totals approximately 50,000 items dating from 1819-1974, with the bulk falling in the period 1843-1885.The collection includes general and family correspondence, speeches, reports, messages, military records, financial and legal records, newspaper clippings, scrapbooks, memorabilia and other papers. The collection relates to Grant’s service in the Mexican War and Civil War, his pre-Civil War career, and …

Source: Papers of Ulysses S. Grant Now Online | Library of Congress

When a New York Baron Became President

8 Sep

A review of a new biography of an “accidental” president, Chester A. Arthur: When a New York Baron Became President | The New Yorker

Oldest Surviving Photograph of a U.S. President Has Surfaced

19 Aug

The 1843 daguerreotype of John Quincy Adams was discovered by a descendant of Vermont Representative Horace Everett. It is the oldest surviving photograph of a U.S. President, as noted here at the Smithsonian: Oldest Surviving Photograph of a U.S. President Has Surfaced | Smart News | Smithsonian

A Historian Compares Presidents Jackson and Trump

29 May

At the History News Network, Pulitzer-Prize-winning historian Daniel Walker Howe notes similarities and differences between Presidents Andrew Jackson and Donald Trump: History News Network | The Shameful Way Donald Trump Is Like Andrew Jackson

This Day in History – May 28, 1830 Andrew Jackson Signs Indian Removal Act

28 May

Apropos Memorial Day: On this day in 1830, President Andrew Jackson signed the Indian Removal Act.

Source: This Day in History – May 28, 1830 Andrew Jackson Signs Indian Removal Act – Native News Online

Enough Light

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

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Thinking Christianly about the American Past

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