History Recs


Partial list of links posted this week:

The D-Day Memorial and Museum
Wikipedia – Normandy Landings
Wikipedia – USS Slater
USS Slater
The Washington Post article about Dutch WWII American Cemeteries
These Women Pilots During World War II Went Unrecognized for Nearly 35 Years
Henry Johnson at Arlington Cemetery
Harlem Hellfighters Visit Henry Johnson’s Grave
It Took 97 Years to Get These Soldiers the Medal of Honor
Two World War I Soldiers to Posthumously Receive Medal of Honor
Video of Medal of Honor Ceremony, June 3, 2015
Shaker Site
Mother Ann Lee
Video of Simple Gifts

Books (including Historical Fiction (HF)):

1014: Brian Boru & The Battle for Ireland – Morgan Llewellyn
4000 Years of Uppity Women: Rebellious Belles, Daring Dames, and Headstrong Heroines Through the Ages – Vicki Leon
A History of the World in Six Glasses – Tom Standage
Anything by Bernard Cornwell (HF)
Anything by Sharon Kay Penman (HF)
Castle – David Macaulay
Devil in the Grove: Thurgood Marshall, the Groveland Boys, and the Dawning of a New America – Gilbert King
Did Prince Madog discover America? – an investigation by Michael Senior
Eighty Days: Nellie Bly and Elizabeth Bisland’s History-Making Race Around the World – Matthew Goodman
History Decoded: The 10 Greatest Conspiracies of all Time – Brad Meltzer with Keith Ferrell
How the Scots Invented the Modern World – Arthur Herman
Johnny Tremain – Esther Forbes
Lies They Teach in School: Exposing the Myths Behind 250 Commonly Believed Fallacies – Herb Reich
Manhunt: The 12-Day Chase for Lincoln’s Killer – James L. Swanson
Moon Shot – Alan Shepard & Deke Slayton with Jay Barbree
My Beloved World – Sonia Sotomayor
Summer of ’49 – David Halberstam
The Autobiography of Eleanor Roosevelt
The Dust Bowl – also a documentary
The Jet Sex – Victoria Vantoch
The List (fictionalized) – Martin Fletcher
The Man Who Would Not Be Washington: Robert E. Lee’s Civil War and His Decision That Changed American History – Jonathan Horn
The Presidents’ War: Six Presidents and the Civil War that Divided Them – Chris DeRose
The Truth and Legend of Lily Martindale – Mary Sanders Shartle  (HF)
The Warmth of Other Suns: The Epic Story of America’s Great Migration – Isabel Wilkerson
Twelve Years a Slave – Solomon Northrup
Upstairs at the White House: My Life With the First Ladies by J. B. West with Mary Lynn Kotz
While the World Watched – Carolyn Maull McKinstry

Visual Media:

The Dust Bowl
John Adams
Ken Burns’ The Civil War
Prince of Egypt



History: gossip well told.
~Elbert Hubbard, The Roycroft Dictionary

The history of the world is the record of a man in quest of his daily bread and butter.
~Hendrik Wilhelm van Loon, The Story of Mankind

History never looks like history when you are living through it. ~John W. Gardner

Each time history repeats itself, the price goes up.
~Author Unknown

History: An account mostly false, of events mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers mostly knaves, and soldiers mostly fools.
~Ambrose Bierce, The Devil’s Dictionary

Every age has a keyhole to which its eye is pasted.
~Mary McCarthy, On the Contrary

The past actually happened but history is only what someone wrote down.
~A. Whitney Brown, The Big Picture

History is a pack of lies about events that never happened told by people who weren’t there.
~George Santayana

Every great writer is a writer of history, let him treat on almost any subject he may. ~Walter Savage Landor, Imaginary Conversation: Diogenes and Plato
History is not the past, but a map of the past drawn from a particular point of view to be useful to the modern traveler.
~Henry Glassie

History is the open Bible: we historians are not priests to expound it infallibly: our function is to teach people to read it and to reflect upon it for themselves.
~George Macaulay Trevelyan

Delusion about history is a serious matter; it can gravely affect the history that is waiting to be made.
~John Terraine

History supplies little beyond a list of those who have accommodated themselves with the property of others.
~Voltaire, Philosophical Dictionary

Intro to History


If you asked my kids what their feelings on history is, I’m pretty sure they’d answer: “Don’t care,” “Hate it,” “Eh” in that order.

However if you asked child #1 what she thinks of poodle skirts or headbands of the seventies, she’d be on Google faster than The Flash.

If you asked child #2 about the first comic book ever printed, or who holds the record for the most breakouts of Arkham Asylum, he’d tell you. In infinite detail.

My third child could tell you the history of his fire department, and if you asked him the difference between a pumper truck and a medical unit, he’d know.

History is one of those things that we either love it or we don’t know we love it. All three of them are blase about their social studies and history classes, but ask them about something they’re interested in, and they can give you the rundown from ancient times until the present day, up until the point you cry ‘uncle’ or lose yourself in their droning.

My love of history is primarily American and European focused with more interest on the American Revolution and Civil War and the Middle Ages, respectively. I’ve studied the history of language, of writing, of The Celts, Law, Drinks, the Civil Rights Movement, Catholic Church, and quite frankly the list goes on and on. I’ve made historically accurate garments, made and ate historically accurate food, played games, brewed and infused, embroidered, etc.

With the seventy-first anniversary of D-Day approaching at the end of the week, I thought we would take a peek this week at our own views of history: what we think of it, what we think of as history, which histories we’re interested in learning more about, plus some reading recommendations that I’ve personally found enlightening and of course, interesting.

Let’s start with our usual Monday prompt:

Think about your view of history. If you like/love it, great! Which is your favorite historical period? If you don’t like it, think about what you do like and if you might be interested in how it came to be.

Other prompts for this week to think about:

Your State’s (City’s/Town’s/Etc.) History

Family History – who are you named for? Why? What happened to that person? How did your parents meet? What’s your first memory?

When was your house built? Talk about that time period and what your street/community might have looked like.

What’s your favorite hobby? Who started that? How long have you been doing it? How long have others been doing it? (Remember this one for next week’s theme of collections.)