American history

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Civil War Train Thieves to Receive Medal of Honor

2 members of Andrews' Raiders to be recognized for role in Great Locomotive Chase

(Newser) - Two members of Andrews' Raiders, a legendary contingent of the Union Army that stole a Confederate train during the Civil War, are getting the Medal of Honor. Six members of the group, made up of 22 soldiers and two civilians, were awarded the very first Medals of Honor in the...

Journalist Traces His Family's Freedom Fight Across Centuries

AP reporter Darren Sands honors ancestor who fought for Union during Civil War

(Newser) - Growing up in Roslyn, New York, Darren Sands found holes in his family history. As a journalist, he sought to fill them and uncovered a remarkable story of bravery that played out over a century before his time, less than 10 miles from where he grew up. In 2021, while...

Army Aims to Rectify 'Largest Mass Execution' in Its History

More than a century later, soldier convictions related to the 1917 Houston riots are overturned

(Newser) - It was, as the Washington Post reports, "the largest mass execution carried out in the history of the US Army." On Dec. 11, 1917, 13 Buffalo Soldiers were hanged in a military camp near Fort Sam Houston in San Antonio, Texas. The African American cavalry soldiers of the...

Revolutionary War Project Needs 'Citizen Archivists'

NPS needs volunteers to pore over old pension records of our 'first veterans'

(Newser) - For Americans who love exploring historic documents, it's a call to arms: The National Archives has joined with the National Park Service in asking the public to help reveal previously unknown stories from the Revolutionary War. Per CNN , it's called the Revolutionary War Pension Files Transcription Project...

8th-Graders' History Scores Are a 'National Concern'

US history, civics scores hit record low in national assessment

(Newser) - Far too many American students are failing to learn the basics about their country's history and how their government operates, according to the assessment known as the "Nation's Report Card." The average history score among eighth-graders on the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP) dropped five...

'Van Sinderen Constitution' Could Sell for $30M

Early copy of founding document up for auction for first time since 1894

(Newser) - A group representing some 17,000 people who tried and failed to buy a rare copy of the US Constitution in a huge crowdfunding effort last year says it's "looking into" the upcoming auction of the only other early copy of the document held in private hands. About...

The Book Weighs 25 Pounds. Inside: 125K Names

First comprehensive list of Japanese internment camp victims moves museum visitors

(Newser) - It's a book so large it weighs 25 pounds. But it has to be big: it holds 125,284 names. For the first time, the names of every person of Japanese descent incarcerated in US internment camps during World War II, the majority of whom were American citizens, can...

Presidents Day Should Be History
Presidents Day
Should Be

Presidents Day Should Be History

Mythologizing past leaders doesn't seem to fit a democracy, John Harris writes

(Newser) - The reconsidering of US history, especially its leaders, has made Presidents Day a little awkward. Woodrow Wilson, for example, was ranked highly by historians until his racial views received more attention recently; he's now largely disappeared from such conversations. Wilson isn't the only one who benefited from the...

Florida Rules Out Teaching Critical Race Theory

Gov. DeSantis scores a victory

(Newser) - Florida's state Board of Education banned "critical race theory" in public school classrooms Thursday, adopting new rules it said would shield schoolchildren from a curriculum that could "distort historical events." The state joined a national debate about how race should be used as a lens in...

Tom Hanks: My Industry Ignored Tulsa for Too Long

He says he had never heard of race massacre before last year

(Newser) - Tom Hanks considers himself a reasonably well-informed "lay historian"—he has appeared in more than a few historically based movies and TV shows—but he had never heard of the Tulsa Race Massacre before last year. In an opinion piece at the New York Times , the actor says...

Harriet Tubman's Long-Lost Maryland Home Is Found

Likely site of her father's home discovered in Maryland

(Newser) - In a marshy woodland in Maryland, a teenage Harriet Tubman learned the skills that would carry herself, her family, and countless others out of slave states along the Underground Railroad. And now, we know exactly where that was. Archaeologists have located the likely site of the home Tubman's father...

7 Years Historians Say Were Worse Than 2020
7 Years Historians Say
Were Worse Than 2020
in case you missed it

7 Years Historians Say Were Worse Than 2020

The US has seen plenty of bad times

(Newser) - You'd be hard-pressed to find anyone who'd say 2020 was great, but a group of 28 historians says there have been other years in US history that were even worse than this one, CBS News reports. In a survey conducted by self-help therapy app company Bloom, the academics...

Utah Senator Blocks National Latino Museum

And one for women, with Mike Lee saying we don't need 'separate but equal' Smithsonian museums

(Newser) - For more than 25 years, there's been an effort to establish a national Latino museum within the Smithsonian Institution's museum family. And that dream seemed closer to coming to fruition this week, with bipartisan legislation toward that end on the Senate table. Enter Utah Sen. Mike Lee, who...

Trump: New Executive Order Will Push 'Patriotic Education'

President criticizes 1619 Project

(Newser) - President Trump says he'll sign an executive order to "promote patriotic education" after bashing a New York Times project investigating how the the legacy of slavery impacts Black Americans as "toxic propaganda." In what the AP sees as "a defense of white culture," Trump...

Lost Colony of Roanoke Is a 'Made-Up' Mystery
Lost Colony
of Roanoke's
'Mystery Is Over' 
in case you missed it

Lost Colony of Roanoke's 'Mystery Is Over'

Colonists went off with their Native allies and didn't try to hide it, according to a new book

(Newser) - The legend goes that the Lost Colony of Roanoke might have been the first English settlement in North America had its inhabitants not mysteriously vanished. But "they were never lost … it was made up," researcher Scott Dawson tells the Virginian Pilot , concluding the colonists joined their indigenous...

Raccoon for Thanksgiving? Not So Weird a Century Ago

President Calvin Coolidge wasn't a fan, though

(Newser) - Long before President Trump pardoned his first turkey, another US president saved a racoon intended to become his Thanksgiving dinner. The Washington Post has the wild story of how a raccoon sent to President Calvin Coolidge in November 1926 by a Mississippi resident promising a tasty meal became his beloved...

A Century Ago We Had a Lesbian First Lady
A Century Ago We
Had a Lesbian
First Lady

A Century Ago We Had a Lesbian First Lady

Rose Cleveland's letters to female lover are published

(Newser) - Pete Buttigieg thinks the US has already had its first gay president. Now researchers are pointing out a first lady who carried on a same-sex relationship—Grover Cleveland's sister, Rose Cleveland. As it was typical for a female relative to fill the role of first lady for a bachelor...

Revealed: the Last African-Born Slave in US

Sally Smith, aka Redoshi, arrived on Clotilda slave ship as a child: researcher

(Newser) - The last known survivor of the trans-Atlantic slave ships lived out her final days on the Alabama plantation that had formerly been her prison. Sally Smith, kidnapped by slave traders from a village in what is now Benin in 1860, died in 1937—two years after the former slave previously...

1935 Footage of FDR Made Head of His Library 'Gasp'

White House visitor Fred Hill recorded president walking in 1935

(Newser) - For seven seconds, the footage shows an American president walking to a White House railing to wave at a crowd. But "when I saw [it] ... I gasped," says Paul Sparrow, director of the Franklin D. Roosevelt Presidential Library and Museum, which has acquired the silent film of the...

Teacher on Leave After 'Gross' Slavery Assignment

Worksheet at Texas charter school asked students to list both negative and positive aspects of slavery

(Newser) - When Roberto Livar's wife picked up their son Wednesday from Great Hearts Monte Vista charter school in San Antonio, Texas, the 8th-grader was "distraught" over an assignment in history class, Livar tells KABB . The worksheet he completed was entitled "The Life of Slaves: A Balanced View,"...

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