Category Archives: History

Lest We Forget: Eugene V. Debs and American Socialism

Originally posted on Southern Nights:
 “Pray for the dead and fight like hell for the living.” —Mother Jones Most young people don’t even know who Eugene V. Debs (Socialist Populist, Founder of the IWW) is, much less that he was…

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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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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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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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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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