Blogs > HNN > December 8, 2008

Dec 8, 2008 12:23 am

December 8, 2008






  • 'Like It Happened Yesterday' Pearl Harbor Attack Remembered During 67th Anniversary Ceremony - WaPo, 12-7-08
  • Pearl Harbor: Day of infamy: The Dec. 7, 1941, attack on Pearl Harbor altered America. But some scholars say 9/11 is even more memorable. - Memphis Commericial Appeal, 12-7-08
  • Stephen K. Stein"Pearl Harbor: Day of infamy": "My sense is that Pearl Harbor still resonates more with people," said Stephen K. Stein, an award-winning assistant professor of history at the University of Memphis."It connects us with World War II. Pearl Harbor got us into the war. It was a 'good' war and Americans (at home and in the military) fought it with a sense of purpose ... and we won."With 9/11 there is no closure and, for some people, it has not been fully explained. Most people don't understand what happened, how it happened and why it happened."
    Stein, who also teaches military strategy as an adjunct professor for the U.S. Naval War College, added that if al-Qaida leader Osama bin Laden had been captured,"maybe 9/11 would resonate more." Stein also cited differences in the speeches FDR and President George W. Bush delivered to a traumatized nation after the two events."President Roosevelt's speech after Pearl Harbor in which he asked Congress to declare war on Japan continues to resonate with Americans today, particularly his phrase 'a date which will live in infamy.' It was a masterful speech by one of our most eloquent presidents that captured Americans' horror at the attack and determination to avenge it."In contrast, President Bush's speech after the Sept. 11 attack remains unmemorable, despite being one of his best speeches." Memphis Commericial Appeal, 12-7-08
  • James McPherson"Pearl Harbor: Day of infamy": Pulitzer Prize-winning author and historian James McPherson, in a telephone interview, echoed Stein's thoughts."I was only 5 years old when Pearl Harbor occurred, but I do remember it always being on radio shows -- 'Remember Pearl Harbor.' The war that followed allowed us to remember that we triumphed."We don't have that after 9/11. There is no feeling that we have triumphed." - Memphis Commericial Appeal, 12-7-08


    On This Day in History....

  • 08/12/1776 - George Washington's retreating army crosses Delaware River from NJ
  • 08/12/1863 - Abraham Lincoln announces plan for Reconstruction of South and offers amnesty for confederate deserters
  • 08/12/1886 - American Federation of Labor (AFL) formed by 26 craft unions Samuel Gompers elected AFL president
  • 08/12/1987 - President Reagan and Soviet General Secretary Gorbachev sign a treaty eliminating medium range nuclear missiles
  • 10/12/1520 - Martin Luther publicly burned papal edict demands he recant
  • 10/12/1864 - General Shermans armies reach Savannah and 12 day siege begins
  • 10/12/1869 - Women suffrage (right to vote) granted in Wyoming Territory (US 1st)
  • 10/12/1898 - Spanish-American War ends; US acquires Philippines, PR and Guam
  • 10/12/1906 - Pres Theodore Roosevelt (1st American) awarded Nobel Peace Prize
  • 10/12/1915 - Pres Woodrow Wilson marries Edith Galt
  • 10/12/1919 - Nobel peace prize awarded to US president Wilson
  • 10/12/1931 - Jane Addams (1st US woman) named co-recipient of Nobel Peace Prize
  • 10/12/1978 - In Oslo, Menachem Begin and Anwar Sadat accept 1978 Nobel Peace Prize
  • 11/12/1620 - 103 Mayflower pilgrims land at Plymouth Rock (12/21 NS)
  • 11/12/1792 - France's King Louis XVI went on trial, accused of treason
  • 11/12/1906 - US president Roosevelt attacks abuses in the Congo
  • 11/12/1916 - David Lloyd George forms British war govt
  • 11/12/1917 - 13 black soldiers hanged for alleged participation in Houston riot
  • 11/12/1931 - Brit Statute of Westminster gives complete legislative independence to Canada, Australia, NZ, South Africa, Ireland, Newfoundland
  • 11/12/1936 - King Edward VIII marries Mrs Wallis Simpson; abdicates throne Duke of York becomes King George VI
  • 11/12/1941 - Japanese attack Wake Island (only failed WW II-landing)
  • 11/12/1961 - JFK provides US miltary helicopters and crews to South Vietnam
  • 13/12/1577 - Sir Francis Drake sets sail from England to go around world
  • 13/12/1774 - 1st incident of Revolution-400 attack Ft William and Mary, NH
  • 13/12/1843 -"A Christmas Carol" by Charles Dickens published, 6,000 copies sold
  • 13/12/1862 - Battle of Fredericksburg, VA (Marye's Heights)
  • 13/12/1903 - Wright Bros make 1st flight at Kittyhawk
  • 13/12/1918 - Wilson, becomes 1st to make a foreign visit as president (France)
  • 13/12/1920 - League of nations establishes Intl Court of Justice in The Hague
  • 13/12/1949 - Knesset votes to transfer Israel's capital to Jerusalem
  • 13/12/1966 - 1st US bombing of Hanoi


  • John McDonagh: Plymoth Plantation cuts veteran staff -, 12-6-08
  • Denise Spellberg: Historian taken to task for ridiculing novel Winfield Myers at Daniel Pipes's Campus Watch, 12-3-08
  • Robert Dallek: Fox's Chris Wallace objects when Bob Dallek equates Nixon and Bush - Jim Pinkerton at the Fox News blog, 12-2-08
  • American Historical Association: Results of 2008 AHA Election - AHA Blog, 12-1-08
  • Korea's history: What text should high-schoolers read? - Christian Science Monitor, 12-1-08
  • Conrad Bladey: Historian proposes toast for Linthicum: J. Charles Linthicum's family provided the name of the Anne Arundel County community, and he did his hometown proud, serving in Congress from 1911 until his death in 1932. The Democrat is best remembered for his role in the adoption of"The Star-Spangled Banner" as the national anthem. But he made a possibly more significant contribution to American history, according to a local historian: paving the way for the repeal of Prohibition. - - AP, 11-29-08


  • Phillip Kay"Historian says Romans faced credit crunch":"The essential similarity between what happened 21 centuries ago and what is happening in today's U.K. economy is that a massive increase in monetary liquidity culminated with problems in another country causing a credit crisis at home." - UPI, 11-28-08




  • WaPo lists top 10 history books of the year - WaPo, 12-7-08
  • Boston Globe: Getting the goods - nonfiction A guide to the most memorable titles of 2008, from entertaining to inspiring - Boston Globe, 12-7-08
  • Les Standiford Holiday Books Father Christmas: THE MAN WHO INVENTED CHRISTMAS How Charles Dickens's"A Christmas Carol" Rescued His Career and Revived Our Holiday Spirits - NYT, 12-7-08
  • Robert Roper: BIOGRAPHY America's Poet as Brother: Whitman cared for injured soldiers during the Civil War. NOW THE DRUM OF WAR Walt Whitman and His Brothers in the Civil War - WaPo, 12-7-08
  • Louisa Gilder: SCIENCE Very Small, Very Weird: The struggle to understand what goes on -- or doesn't -- inside the atom. THE AGE OF ENTANGLEMENT When Quantum Physics Was Reborn - WaPo, 12-7-08
  • Man of Fetters Dr. Johnson and Mrs. Thrale: Peter Martin's"Samuel Johnson" and Jeffrey Meyers's"Samuel Johnson: The Struggle" - The New Yorker, 12-8-08
  • Niall Ferguson: It's Still Making the World Go 'Round: THE ASCENT OF MONEY A Financial History of the World - NYT, 12-2-08
  • Richard Turley Jr."Mormon-owned press releasing Joseph Smith journals": "He's making this very deliberate effort to keep a record. At the same time, he has this self-consciousness," said Richard Turley Jr., assistant historian for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints."So he writes it out, scratches it out, takes a deep breath, writes it again." - AP, 12-2-08
  • Philip Jenkins: Historian explores Christianity's lost age, land The Lost History of Christianity: The Thousand-Year Golden Age of the Church in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia - and How It Died Reuters, 12-1-08


  • Jon Meacham: AMERICAN LION #2 -- (3 weeks on list) - 12-14-08
  • THE AMERICAN JOURNEY OF BARACK OBAMA, by the editors of Life magazine. #15 -- (4 weeks on list) - 12-14-08
  • Niall Ferguson: THE ASCENT OF MONEY #10 -- (1 weeks on list) - 12-14-08
  • THE NEW YORK TIMES: The Complete Front Pages 1851-2008, Introduction by Bill Keller - #26 - 12-14-08
  • James M. McPherson: TRIED BY WAR #30 - 12-14-08
  • Doris Kearns Goodwin: TEAM OF RIVALS #34 - 12-14-08
  • Pete Souza: THE RISE OF BARACK OBAMA #35 - 12-14-08


  • H-SHEAR: Scholars' roundtable examines Daniel Walker Howe's What Hath God Wrought - Ralph Luker at HNN blog, Cliopatria, 12-3-08
  • Robert Dallek"At 'Frost/Nixon' Debut, It Became About Bush and Nixon": At the Frost/Nixon screening last night, Ron Howard and show writers compared GWB's abuses of power to Nixon's. Wallace disagreed..."It trivializes Nixon's crimes and completely misrepresents what George W. Bush did... I think to compare what Nixon did, and the abuses of power for pure political self-preservation, to George W. Bush trying to protect this country—even if you disagree with rendition or waterboarding—it seems to me is both a gross misreading of history both then and now." He also had a healthy debate with renowned historian Robert Dallek. - US News, Washington Whispers, 12-2-08




  • Annette Gordon-Reed:"Questions for Annette Gordon-Reed History Lesson": After a lifetime spent writing about Thomas Jefferson and the children he fathered with the slave Sally Hemings, you just won a National Book Award for your sprawling history of her family, “The Hemingses of Monticello.” It was great to win it on my birthday. - 12-7-08


  • "Gene Test Shows Spain's Jewish and Muslim Mix": The genetic signatures of people in Spain and Portugal provide new and explicit evidence of the mass conversions of Sephardic Jews and Muslims to Catholicism in the 15th and 16th centuries after Christian armies wrested Spain back from Muslim control, a team of geneticists reports. NYT, 12-4-08
  • Jane S. Gerber"Gene Test Shows Spain's Jewish and Muslim Mix": "One wing grossly underestimates the number of conversions," said Jane S. Gerber, an expert on Sephardic history at the City University of New York. - NYT, 12-4-08
  • Jonathan S. Ray"Gene Test Shows Spain's Jewish and Muslim Mix": The finding bears on two different views of Spanish history, said Jonathan S. Ray, a professor of Jewish studies at Georgetown University. One, proposed by the 20th-century historian Claudio Sánchez- Albornoz, holds that Spanish civilization is Catholic and other influences are foreign; the other sees Spain as having been enriched by drawing from all three of its historical cultures, Catholic, Jewish and Muslim. - NYT, 12-4-08
  • Douglas Brinkley"Slaves helped build White House, U.S. Capitol":"The apple cart has been turned over here when you have the Obamas -- the first African-American couple -- now actually management and you are having in some cases white Americans serving them," says presidential historian Doug Brinkley.... Though Michelle Obama's ancestors had to come through the ordeal of slavery,"Her children are sleeping in the room of presidents," said Brinkley."It's a very great and hopeful sign." - CNN, 12-2-08
  • Douglas Brinkley"Slaves helped build White House, U.S. Capitol": It was the slaves that did a lot of the building the White House, they also worked there... did the service jobs - were the people that would tend the horses or clean the dishes, prepare the meals. I think Michelle should celebrate the fact that her ancestors came through the ordeal of slavery. Her children are sleeping in the room of presidents. And it's a very great and hopeful sign. - CNN, 12-2-08
  • Arthur Schlesinger, Jr."Obama as Hoover: The Importance of Storytelling": As the Obama era takes shape, the roles of both Schlesinger and Michelson deserve attention. Particularly as Americans are seeing newsmagazines with cover stories comparing the President-elect who campaigned on a dour vision of scarcity with Franklin Roosevelt and Abraham Lincoln, a considerable leap to understate. - American Spectator,
  • The focus is on Samuel de Champlain - Burlington Free Press, 12-1-08


  • Peter Brown: Historian selected to share $1 million Kluge Prize -, 12-3-08
  • Eugene Moehring"Professor wins award for research on Nevada:" Eugene Moehring is one of the nation's top urban historians UNLV’s resident expert on all things Nevada was presented with the 2008 Harry Reid Silver State Research Award Nov. 14, spotlighting UNLV’s history department and a professor who routinely shuns its glare. - The Rebell Yell, 11-24-08



New Web Sites:



  • April 3-4, 2009:The Obama Phenomenon: Race and Political Discourse in the United States Today, University of Memphis


  • C-SPAN 2, BOOK TV: History"Samuel Adams: A Life" Author: Ira Stoll - Sunday at 11:00 PM, and Monday at 5:00 AM
  • C-SPAN 2, BOOK TV: History Jonathan Alter"The Defining Moment" - Monday at 4:00 AM
  • C-SPAN 2, BOOK TV: History"American Lion: Andrew Jackson in the White House" Author: Jon Meacham - Monday at 6:00 AM
  • C-SPAN 2, BOOK TV: History"Hurricane of Independence: The Untold Story of the Deadly Storm at the Deciding Moment of the American Revolution" Author: Tony Williams - Monday at 7:15 AM
  • History Channel:"01 - The Wehrmacht: 01 - Attack on Europe," Sunday, December 7, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"02 - The Wehrmacht: 02 - The Turning Point," Sunday, December 7, @ 3pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"03 - The Wehrmacht: 03 - The Crimes," Sunday, December 7, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"04 - The Wehrmacht: 04 - Resistance," Sunday, December 7, @ 5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"05 - The Wehrmacht: 05 - To the Bitter End," Sunday, December 7, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"70's Fever," Sunday, December 7, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"History Rocks: The '70s, Part 1," Sunday, December 7, @ 10pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"Cities Of The Underworld: Land of Manson," Monday, December 8, @ 9pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"Crude," Tuesday, December 9, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"Street Gangs: A Secret History," Wednesday, December 10, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"Kennedys: The Curse of Power," Thursday, December 11, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"The Lost Pyramid," Friday, December 12, @ 2pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"Egypt: Engineering an Empire," Friday, December 12, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"Cities Of The Underworld: Prophecies from Below," Friday, December 12, @ 4pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"UFO Hunters," Marathon Saturday, December 13, @ 2-5pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"FDR: A Presidency Revealed: Part 1.," Saturday, December 13, @ 6pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"FDR: A Presidency Revealed: Part 2.," Saturday, December 13, @ 8pm ET/PT
  • History Channel:"Crash: The Next Great Depression?," Saturday, December 13, @ 10pm ET/PT


  • Gary May: John Tyler: The American Presidents Series: The 10th President, 1841-1845, December 9, 2008
  • Jonathan Brent: Inside the Stalin Archives, December 9, 2008
  • Time Magazine: Time President Obama: The Path to the White House, December 16, 2008
  • George S. McGovern: Abraham Lincoln: The American Presidents Series: The 16th President, 1861-1865, December 23, 2008
  • Rudy Tomedi: General Matthew Ridgway, December 30, 2008
  • Anthony S. Pitch: "They Have Killed Papa Dead!": The Road to Ford's Theater, Abraham Lincoln's Murder, and the Rage for Vengeance, December 30, 2008
  • William E. Leuchtenburg: Herbert Hoover: The 31st President, 1929-1933 (REV), January 6, 2009
  • Adam Cohen: Nothing to Fear: FDR's Inner Circle and the Hundred Days That Created Modern America, January 9, 2008
  • James J. Sheehan: Where Have All the Soldiers Gone?: The Transformation of Modern Europe, January 13, 2009
  • Gwen Ifill: The Breakthrough: Politics and Race in the Age of Obama, January 20, 2009
  • Daniel Mark Epstein: Lincoln's Men: The President and His Private Secretaries, January 27, 2009


  • William Spoelhof: Longtime Calvin College president William Spoelhof dead at age 98 - The Grand Rapids Press, 12-3-08
  • William McGrath: European Intellectual Historian Dies: William J. McGrath, professor emeritus of history at the University of Rochester who was revered for his pioneering histories of Vienna, Austria, and Sigmund Freud, died Nov. 30. He was 71. - Media Newswire, 12-2-08

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