Category Archives: History

Timely quotes from Reinhold Niebuhr

Neibuhr’s best known work, however, is the Serenity Prayer: “God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.” Continue reading

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Posted in Authors, Culture, Current Events, History, Spirituality | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Of cutting trees and the truths we cannot handle

The story goes that George Washington received a hatchet for his sixth birthday. With it, he damaged a cherry tree. When his father confronted him, young George said, “I cannot tell a lie. I cut it with my hatchet.” His … Continue reading

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Posted in Article, Culture, History, Politics | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments

Presidents acting presidential

Our Public Broadcasting System is re-running a series on recent American presidents, first aired in 2013. I missed it then, but caught the second episode of “Kennedy” last night (you can watch the entire program here). The show was excellent. It … Continue reading

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100 Years Ago – The Battle of the Somme

“I’ve never met a grandson of someone who fought on the Somme, or a granddaughter, who hasn’t said to me, ‘My grandfather never recovered.’” – Sir Martin Gilbert, historian. One hundred years ago this morning, at 7:30am in northern France, … Continue reading

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Drinking in America: Our Secret History by Susan Cheever

The Pilgrims who came to America on the Mayflower were headed toward Virginia, where they had a land grant from King James.  Instead, they landed illegally in Massachusetts because they were running out of beer.  So says historian, Susan Cheever … Continue reading

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Posted in Authors, Book Reviews, Books, Culture, History | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

Lest we forget

Last week, as I drove home on Hwy. 99, on the outskirts of a small central valley town, I saw a billboard similar to this one, marking the centennial of the 20th century’s first genocide. It is one of two … Continue reading

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Young Jimmy in Flanders

This day began on a solemn note. Personal business had taken me to the city where my parents are buried. I stopped by the cemetery on my way out, pulled some dandelions and left some flowers. Such a visit puts … Continue reading

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Posted in History, Music | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The more things change…

As I looked at the front page of a recent local paper, featuring yet another account of the lurid sex/murder scandal du jour, I thought of the striking parallels to the situation in France 100 years ago. By mid-July, 1914 … Continue reading

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Posted in History | Tagged , , , , , , , | 9 Comments