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Archive for January, 2009

31 January
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Old Boston Photos

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Blake House, Dorchester

Blake House, Dorchester

 

 

Boston 1775 reader Richard De Fonce alerted me to the Boston Public Library’s Flickr set of Old Boston Photographs.

Check them out.  Found via Boston 1775.

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30 January
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Ford Motor History

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Henry Ford (1863 – 1947) stands alone as a lone visionary personally responsible for the creation of the automobile industry in America.  A self trained mechanic with a lifelong disdain of experts with university degrees, Ford built his firsts automobile in 1893, and a decade later he founded the Ford Motor Company.

Read more at History of Business.

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29 January
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Italy’s Most Famous Drowned Town

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Since Roman times, the towns of Graun and Reschen high in the Alps near the Italian-Swiss border had been occupied. But in 1939, the local power company drew up plans for a dam that would give the area plenty of seasonal electricity — but create an artificial lake that would unify two natural lakes and submerge the towns in the valley between them. Despite fierce resistance on the part of the villagers, the plan was eventually passed and the ancient towns submerged in 1950.

Read more at mental_floss.

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28 January
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Lincoln-Douglas Debate audiobook

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I’ve spent the past week listening to BBC America’s 16-hour dramatic reading of the Lincoln-Douglas Debates, America’s most mythologized political discourse. I’ve been reading about the Debates since I was a teenager reading Neil Postman’s Amusing Ourselves to Death (he holds them up as a substantive counterpoint to the soundbite-heavy, content-lite Reagan-Dukakis Mondale debates), but I’d never actually read them.

The Lincoln-Douglas Debates (DRM-free MP3 download)

Found on Boing Boing.

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27 January
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10 Extinct Languages of the U.S.

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1. The Eyak language was spoken near the mouth of the Copper River in Alaska up until about two days ago. January 21 was the day that Marie Smith Jones died, the last known full-blooded Eyak and the only person known to be fluent in the language. She tried to help preserve it by creating a dictionary so others could learn it someday. Although Marie had nine children, none of them learned the language because it was considered improper to speak anything but English at the time.

Learn more about the other 9 languages at mental_floss.

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26 January
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Historical bits from the Inauguration

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First of all, the whole inauguration had a Lincoln theme. A phrase from hisGettysburg address was the theme for the inauguration (”A New Birth of Freedom”), Obama took the oath of office on the same Bible Lincoln used for his first inaugural, even the luncheon menu was inspired by Lincoln’s alleged love of game birds, oysters and apples.

For more “tidbits” check out the rest of the article at: The History Blog.

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25 January
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Art History: Yves Tanguy

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At the request of reader Peter, today we will take a look at Yves Tanguy (1900-1955), a French-American surrealist who passed away on this date 54 years ago.  

1. In 1922 or 1923, Yves Tanguy was so affected by a Giorgio de Chirico painting, “Le cerveau de l’enfant” (1914), that he took up painting himself, although he had never received any formal training. Upon glimpsing de Chirico’s painting in a gallery window while he was riding a bus, Tanguy actually jumped off the moving bus to get a closer look.

Read more about Yves Tanguy at mental_floss.

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24 January
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DNA Historical Documents

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An associate English professor at North Carolina State University, Raleigh, Timothy Stinson, has begun DNA testing medieval manuscripts.  Since parchment was made from animal skin, there is genetic material to be found in the pages of the books themselves.

Read the whole article at The History Blog.

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23 January
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Books about Native Americans

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I have posted a new featured book called Native American Testimony edited by Peter Nabokov. This book is a very interesting culmination of testimonials by Native Americans about the coming of the white man. What makes this such a unique volume is that it is told from the perspective of the Native Americans rather than from the Anglo-American perspective with which we are all so familiar.

Read the rest of this story at History Rhymes.

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22 January
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Dress for Traveling & Horseback Riding

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Just as people do today, those who lived throughout history also wore certain styles of clothing for traveling and horseback riding.  Although, we may not have a traditional outfit for traveling, horseback riders certainly wear boats, helmets and certain types of pants—jeans or riding pants. And if you’ve ever made a journey by plane, train, boat or car I’m sure you chose your outfit accordingly.

Read the whole article at History Undressed.

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