Posts Tagged: ‘civil war’

Since Holly and I started working on this podcast, we’ve gotten more than 200 suggestions for episodes. It’s a little nuts, and considering that we only publish two episodes a week, it seems impossible to touch on even a fraction of those. But when someone asked whether we were going to do any more Civil War episodes for its 150th anniversary, I thought, “Surely there has to be something the podcast hasn’t covered already.”

Indeed there is. And for this one, it’s one of my favorite things: A lady dressing as a man to go off to war. Sarah Emma Edmonds, Canadian citizen, fought for the Union undetected for almost two years.

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I knew a guy once who had his home address printed on his checks with “Occupied Georgia, Confederate States of America.” No lie. He was, in all honesty a secessionist. He was making a run for governor and part of his platform was breaking Georgia off from the Union. He was a decent guy and I treated his apparent quackery with detached quiet.

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Charlie Chaplin is perhaps best known for his portrayal of ‘The Tramp,’ a character with raggedy clothes and a heart of gold. But who was the real Charlie Chaplin? Learn more about one of the most influential actors of silent film in this podcast.

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So it’s extremely difficult to visit Guatemala and not feel the creeping sense that one has led a comparatively entitled life. Being an American I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve arisen at three in the morning to make flour tortillas by hand. Then sold the tortillas door to door. Then headed off to work for the rest of the day in the fields, reaping sugar cane with a machete or picking coffee beans from plants growing on steep mountainsides or plowing unreasonably rocky soil with a hoe. Then bagged whatever harvest had been gotten and carted the bags into town in a bus alongside pigs and chickens, if I didn’t ride on the top — which I could if I had been born Guatemalan — to sell the produce at a market and return home again that night on a similar bus and go to sleep only to do it once more the following morning. And so on, ad infinitum.

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In February of 1567, Lord Darnley lay sleeping in a house called Kirk o’Field when it exploded. He was certainly dead, but when his body was discovered it seemed that he died of strangulation … and here the mystery began. Learn more in this episode.

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Women shopping for clothes often find that sizes are less than standard. Why the confusing system? Learn more about the history — and future — of women’s clothing sizes in this podcast from

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There’s been a glaring omission from the SYMHC blog topics in the past few weeks. Let’s deduce what it is. For one, Jane and I blog regularly about history, politics and history-in-the-making. Secondly, I have a strong affinity for Thomas Jefferson. And thirdly, is headquartered in Atlanta. Haven’t guessed the hot topic yet? It’s the Georgia Senate Resolution 632 — a resolution that “[a]ffirm[s] states’ rights based on Jeffersonian principles; and for other purposes.”

So why the sound of silence? Well, from what I’ve observed on other news sites and blogs, it’s nearly impossible to discuss the resolution and get intelligent feedback. “Forget Iran, we may need to nuke Georgia!” is just one of many hot-headed responses to news of the resolution, which, I’ll admit, is quite radical.

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As a native Marylander, I’ve had many discussions with friends about whether we can call it a Southern state. You could say it’s in “Dixie,” which (according to one historical interpretation from this Civil War fact book) means south of the Mason-Dixon Line. One could also argue that because it fought for the North in the Civil War, Maryland should be considered a Northern state. However, we can’t forget that Maryland was a slave state that was chock full of Southern sympathizers during the war.

For evidence, just look up the official state song that remains on the books. You might be surprised (or perhaps offended) at the lyrics. According to this NPR story, a group of active fourth-graders were certainly offended when Linda Tuck, a school library “media specialist,” led their study and discussion of the song. After the children wrote letters in protest, a bill is in the works to change the lyrics.

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Yesterday, the Civil War Preservation Trust released this year’s list of 10 most endangered historical sites that hosted battles during the American Civil War. Most notable among the 10 sites is Gettysburg, Pa. According to the Associated Press, actor Richard Dreyfus came to Washington, D.C., yesterday to show his support for efforts to protect these historical sites.

So what’s threatening these lands? As for Gettysburg, the encroaching commercial development (such as hotels) is to blame, reports a Washington Post blog. Same goes for a site in Spring Hill, Tenn. For others, companies are seeking to build facilities on the land. For a few, the natural elements are to blame, such as hurricane damage and soil erosion. As for the Wilderness, Va., site, the preservationists are bracing to fight plans for a proposed Wal-Mart.

In today’s troubled economy, it must be getting harder for preservationist societies to plead their cause.

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After the United States elected Barack Obama as its 43rd president, Historians went to the polls to pick their favorites of the last 42.

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