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The dissenters: five who voted against American entry into World War I.

Ninety-six years ago today, on April 6, 1917, the U.S. Congress voted to declare war on Germany, bringing the United States into the First World War. Four days earlier President … Continue reading

April 6, 2014 · Leave a comment

Take a ride on an antique motorbike: a BSA Model K from 1916! [video]

Last weekend I published Chapter 37 of The Armored Satchel, my World War II spy thriller serial. In this episode, the hero, Max Volcker, tries to escape a pursuing counter-intelligence agent … Continue reading

January 14, 2014 · Leave a comment

The unlucky sister: the fate of HMHS Britannic.

Everyone knows about the Titanic, one of the most famous shipwrecks in history. Fewer people know about her very unlucky sister ship, the Britannic, who also sank in a tragic disaster while … Continue reading

November 21, 2013 · Leave a comment

Armistice (Veteran’s) Day: some ruminations on the First World War.

Amidst the flag-waving, the thanking of veterans and the wearing of poppies today, I thought it would be appropriate to say a few words on the historical context of the … Continue reading

November 11, 2013 · 1 Comment

Stravinsky in space: the classic “fight music” from Star Trek. [audio]

If you’re a fan of the old Star Trek TV show, you probably know before you even click the above video what it’s going to be. If someone so much as … Continue reading

October 23, 2013 · Leave a comment

The weirdest football game of all time: the 1916 Georgia Tech/Cumberland blow-out.

I teach and study at the University of Oregon, which has a great football team. I can’t remember the last time our Ducks lost, and we usually outscore the other … Continue reading

October 7, 2013 · Leave a comment

The stroke that changed history: Woodrow Wilson and the “last glass ceiling.”

Ninety-four years ago today, on October 2, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson suffered a massive stroke that left half of his body paralyzed for life. Wilson had already had several strokes … Continue reading

October 2, 2013 · 1 Comment

Terrorists for a living wage: the incredible L.A. Times bombing of 1910.

One hundred and three years ago today, on October 1, 1910, a bomb exploded at the offices of the Los Angeles Times on First and Broadway in downtown L.A. The bomb, … Continue reading

October 1, 2013 · Leave a comment

September 20: the birthday of three legendary luxury liners.

Today, September 20, is an interesting multiple anniversary. Though not likely to make the “today in history” lists on news or social media sites, today is the historical “birthday” of … Continue reading

September 20, 2013 · 1 Comment

Knowledge unknown: the lost Library of the University of Louvain.

Ninety-nine years ago today, on August 25, 1914, an unspeakable tragedy in world culture occurred in a small corner of Belgium, when German troops set fire to the library on … Continue reading

August 25, 2013 · 1 Comment
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