According to social psychologist Jonathan Haidt, the American professorate displays a "statistically impossible lack of diversity" and is overwhelmingly liberal in its political orientation. As a result, rather than being sanctuaries for astute critical thinking, campuses are homes of "'tribal-moral communities' united by "sacred values" that hinder research and damage their credibility" – and force conservatives among them to stay "in the closet." Has he got a point, or is this just more mindless right wing cant? >More
Thanks to Halley Woodward for Forwarding This Article.
Some folks in Mississippi want to commemorate the Civil War Sesquicentenial by creating a special license plate to honor a brilliant Confederate general who later became a leader of the KuKuxKlan. The Mississippi Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans wants to sponsor a series of state-issued license plates to mark the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. The group proposes to Honor Nathan Bedford Forrest in 2014. More
Thanks to Alan Marcus for this story
So what's the environmental consequence of killing forty million people while building an empire? In the case of the Mongol Emperor Genghis Khan, it was such significant reforestation that 700 million tons of carbon were removed from the atmosphere.
According to Julia Pongratz, who conducted the study on Khan's environmental impact for the Carnegie Institututions Department of Global Ecology, human actions signficantly affected the environment as early as the 13th and 14th centuries. More
One way the seventeenth century Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn made his paints look thicker and more transparentt was by adding wheat starch to them. This new finding surprised experts, who expected their analysis only to confirm what previous analyses had shown about Rembrandt's paints. More
78 Year old Virginia historian Thomas Lowry, who last year signed a document sayying he had altered the date on a pardon issued by Abraham Lincoln to make it seem more significant, now says he is innocent, and was was bullied into confessing by officials from the National Archives. More
Thanks to Marie Hall for the Follow Up Story.
After hearing tour guides tell visitors that Washington and Lincoln dined together in fashionable Society Hill, and that Benjamin Franklin wrote the first amendment to the Constitution five centuries ago, the Philadelphia City Council moved to require tour guides to pass a basic history test and pay a modest licensing fee. Incensed, the tour guides went to federal court, claiming infringement of their right to free speech. More
Thanks to Alicia Wayland of Lebanon for forwarding this story.
Just in case you lose your invitation to the Royal Wedding reception this April, you might want to spend the afternoon touring the new discoveries along the nearly 2000 year old Hadrian's Wall, the Roman Empire's gateway to the North. With new sites,exhibitions, and a major film to be released in spring, the wall is making quite a comeback. More
It's every archive researcher's dream: to find a document that will change history. In 1998, Thomas Lowry took a pen and made his dream come true. (Thanks to State Archivist Mark Jones for forwarding this story.) More .
It doesn't take an encounter with one of Henry VIII's ornately burnished and "embellished" codpieces to realize that power dressing has a long and time-honored history. More
The recently found bone fragment of the oldest domesticated dog found in the Americas shows that it had passed through a human's digestive tract. Researcher Samuel Belknap II from the University of Maine in Orono found the bone fragment while examining waste matter at a cave in southwest Texas . . . More .
The unknown visitor who left roses and a half-full bottle of cognac at Edgar Allan Poe's grave on the writer's birthday every year for 60 years, has failed to show for the second year in a row. More
"God forbid" that the "powers that be" should forget how phrases from this text - produced by a committee of 54 - "take root" in our language. Apart from it's religious impact, the King James version contributed 257 idioms to our language. That's 157 more than Shakespeare. More
When Sir Ernest Shackleton gave up his attempt to reach the South Pole in 1907, he left behind a hut full of provisions including two bottle of whiskey that remained chilled in minus 30 degree Celsius temperatures for over a century. More
They said it, and they apparently mean it. “Neglect and outright ill will have distorted the teaching of the history and character of the United States. We seek to compel the teaching of students in Tennessee the truth regarding the history of our nation and the nature of its government.” More
A professor at Kyoto University is heading to Siberia next summer to retrieve the DNA which he believes will lead to the rebirth of the extinct wooly mammoth within four years. More
It was bad enough when the library auctioned off the 13 star flag and the invitation to Abraham Lincoln's inaugural, but when trustees started taking artifacts home without signing them out, Marietta Phillips decided she'd had enough . . .Learn More
Director Jon Cesar believes pressure from the Kennedy family is behind the History Channel's decision not to air the eight part mini-series THE KENNEDYS, which it commissioned in partnership with a Canadian television network. The channel just calls it a "dramatic interepretation" not in keeping with History Channel fare. More
Two of America's leading historians are at odds over the relationship between history and popular memory of the past. Without mincing words, Gordon Wood has called Harvard historian Jill LePore on the carpet for her "academic contempt for the attempts of ordinary citizens to find some immediate and emotional meaning in the Revolution." More
Research into the DNA of the clothing louse has led scientitsts to a unique discovery: after millenia of walking around in the buff, humans decided to cover their nakedness about 170,000 years ago. Beofre that, the whole world was a nudist colony. More
They spoke different languages,and came from different parts of the United States, Africa, and Haiti. But this week 200 years ago in January, 1811, Charles Deslondes and a make do army of 200 enslaved men took up hoes, axes, and cane knives to fight for freedom on the slave coast of Louisiana.
This was not a sudden explosion of anger, but a revolt that had been planned for years, in secret meetings in cane fields and taverns, at slave dances, and along slave communication networks that reached to the Caribbean. And it almost succeeded. More