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Historians in the News

This page features brief excerpts of stories published by the mainstream media and, less frequently, blogs, alternative media, and even obviously biased sources. The excerpts are taken directly from the websites cited in each source note. Quotation marks are not used.




  • The Girl in the Kent State Photo

    by Patricia McCormick

    Mary Ann Vecchio's life was forever changed by being pictured in the famous photograph with Kent State shooting victim Jeffrey Miller; she became a lightning rod for a nation's anger at age 14. 



  • Heeding the Lessons of Weimar

    by Shikha Dalmia and Arthur Melzer

    "There aren’t many examples in the annals of liberal democracy when a major party abandoned so much of what it stood for so quickly for the sake of one man. The most notorious parallel is of course Weimar Germany."



  • What Should Museums Do With the Bones of the Enslaved?

    The Smithsonian is considering how to deal with its natural history collection of human remains, including those of enslaved people. Secretary Lonnie Bunch III suggests that the museum must be guided by the imperative "to honor and remember."



  • The Real Black Panthers

    Historian Donna Murch joins NPR's The Throughline to discuss the Black Panther Party's agenda and its targeting by J. Edgar Hoover's FBI. 



  • What Do We Want in a First Lady?

    Books by historian Julia Sweig and journalist Karen Tumulty examine the stated and unstated expecations of the role of First Lady through the stories of Lady Bird Johnson and Nancy Reagan. 



  • The Woman Who Made van Gogh

    Jo Van Gogh-Bonger, the painter's sister-in-law, has come in for reconsideration for her role in promoting his work to the world. 



  • Two Madison Profs Make 'Collegeland' Podcast About University Life

    Historians Nan Enstad and Lisa Levenstein have produced a podcast that tells the stories of college campuses as places of learning, work, and socialization, seeking to counter both right-wing demonization of campus liberalism and the rose-colored view of university PR. 



  • Did A Black Undercover NYPD Detective Unwittingly Aid Malcolm X’s Assassination?

    A posthumous letter attributed to former NYPD Detective Ray Wood details a sting operation that resulted in the arrest of two of Malcolm X's bodyguards days before his assassination. Debate has raged if the letter is authentic and, if it is, if it reflects NYPD involvement in a conspiracy to kill Malcolm.