Tag Archives: World War II

Lully Lullay

18 Dec

Coventry, an English city of 250,00 in the West Midlands, was home to significant industrial power when World War II began, a line of industries Hitler wouldn’t and didn’t miss. When the Battle of Britain began, a specific Coventry blitz started immediately and didn’t end for three long months–198 tons of bombs killed 176 people and injured almost 700.

But the worst was to come. On November 14, 1940, 515 Nazi bombers unloaded on Coventry’s industrial region, leaving the city in ruins. Its own air defenses fired 67 hundred rounds, but brought down only one bomber. It was a rout.

At 8:00 that night, St. Michael’s Cathedral, a fourteenth-century church, was hit and burned, destroyed like so much else as a city turned to ruin.

So begins my friend Jim Schaap’s latest Small Wonder, broadcast on our local NPR station. He makes some wondrous connections: Christmas, World War II, and Wounded Knee. You may read (or listen to) the entire Small Wonder here.

The Beloved Classic Novel “The Little Prince” Turns 75 Years Old

4 Apr

Antoine de Saint-Exupéry

Though reviewers were initially confused about who, exactly, French author Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s had written The Little Prince for, readers of all ages embraced the young boy from Asteroid B-612 when it hit stores 75 years ago this week. The highly imaginative novella about a young, intergalactic traveler, spent two weeks on The New York Times’ best-seller list and went through at least three printings by December of that year. Though it only arrived in France after World War II, The Little Prince made it to Poland, Germany and Italy before the decade was up.

So begins Sam Spengler’s concise account of the background for The Little Prince. You may read the rest of her piece at Smithsonian.com here.

How Photographers Captured the Incarceration of Japanese Americans During WWII

31 Jan

San Francisco, California, April 25, 1942.

Photographer Toyo Miyatake was 14 when he arrived in America in 1909, and 46 when he was forcibly moved from his home in Los Angeles to the Manzanar incarceration camp. By then, he was a father of four and owner of a photo studio. As he and his family gathered their belongings—whatever they could carry—he grabbed a few items that were considered contraband: a lens, a shutter, and film holders.

So begins Anika Burgess’s account of an exhibition of photographs of the relocation and control of Japanese Americans during World War II. You may read the rest of the post, with selected photographs, here.



Sometimes the Records Tell Different Stories

23 Jan

The past is the past. History is what someone says about what happened in the past. Historians, and others, consult textual records, oral histories, non-textual records, and artifacts to find evidence of the past. Needless to say, persons writing about people, places, and things observe and/or record those things from their own perception and sources at hand, which might be their own eyes and ears. Thus, it is understandable that two people witnessing the same thing might have a different view of what they saw or heard. To some degree, this should be just common sense to everybody, but it is useful to be periodically reminded of this.

So begins Dr. Greg Bradsher’s essay at the National Archives site about sorting out records of the past that differ. You may read the entire essay here.

Brothers in Arms

6 Dec

Read about the Eyde brothers of Illinois and their letters to one another during World War II. The letters have only recently been re-discovered. Dan Lamothe provides a concise overview at the Washington Post here.

Reclaiming Stolen History

10 Aug

David S. Ferriero, Archivist of the United States, explains a recent case of theft from the National Archives and Records Administration: Reclaiming Stolen History

Dunkirk in the Department of State Records

24 Jul

On Dunkirk and U.S. archives, see this post by David Langbart, an Archivist in the Textual Records Division at the National Archives at College Park.: Dunkirk in the Department of State Records | The Text Message

The Librarian Who Guarded the Manhattan Project’s Secrets

27 Jun

Michael Waters chronicles a fascinating tale of specialized librarianship: The Librarian Who Guarded the Manhattan Project’s Secrets – Atlas Obscura

Japanese-American Internment Camp Newspapers, 1942-1946

8 May

Heart Mountain Relocation Center, Powell, WY

The Library of Congress announces its digitization of Japanese-American Internment Camp Newspapers: About this Collection – Japanese-American Internment Camp Newspapers, 1942-1946 | Digital Collections | Library of Congress

London library makes denying the Holocaust a little harder

26 Apr

The Wiener Library for the Study of Holocaust & Genocide is making the United Nations’ files on World War II war crimes more accessible by allowing the general public to search an online catalog of the documents for the first time beginning Friday.

People will still have to visit the library in London or the US Holocaust Museum to read the actual files.The move is expected to increase interest in the archives of the United Nations War Crimes Commission, including the names of some 37,000 people identified as war criminals and security suspects. The commission operated in 1943-1949, but access to its records was restricted for political reasons in the early days of the Cold War.

Read the rest of Danica Kirka’s story on this at the Christian Science Monitor: London library makes denying the Holocaust a little harder – CSMonitor.com

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

Reformed Journal: The Twelve

Reformed. Done Daily.


by Alex Scarfe


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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