It was only after I finished writing The Founding Fathers: A Very Short Introduction that I got to see the off-Broadway version of Lin-Manuel Miranda’s “Hamilton: An American Musical” at New York City’s Public Theater. I was lucky enough to see the Broadway version (revised and expanded) last month.
“The answers are in Washington’s Bible!” Katrina shouts as Moloch stirs the dark, swirling clouds that will seal her once again in Purgatory. Her husband, Ichabod Crane, stands watching, unable to help as his wife is swallowed up in a world that he can only reach in dreams and visions. Ichabod has been resurrected from the dead in the twenty-first century and faces Death himself in the form of the headless horseman of Sleepy Hollow.
Brown v. Board of Education is one of the most identifiable civil rights cases in our nation’s history. While most scholarship begins with this case, Just Another Southern Town by Joan Quigley recounts the battle for civil rights beginning with the case of District of Columbia v. John R. Thompson Co. In this slideshow, Joan Quigley weaves together the success of this case with other landmark civil rights moments in Washington, DC, creating a timeline of the struggle for racial justice in our nation’s capital.
We live in an age when Americans are both captivated and disturbed by murder trials. The Netflix smash hit Making a Murderer went viral in late December as it chronicled the seemingly wrongful convictions of a Wisconsin man and his teenage nephew for the gruesome killing of a young photographer. The success of this documentary was hardly surprising in the wake of 2014’s Serial, the most popular podcast in history and winner of a Peabody Award.
Eugene McCarthy made first stop in New Hampshire on January 25, 1968, only six weeks before the state’s March 12 primary. When he did arrive, his presence sparked little excitement. He cancelled dawn appearances at factory gates to meet voters because, as he told staffers, he wasn’t really a “morning person.” A photographer hired to take pictures of the candidate quit after five days because the only people in the shots were out-of-state volunteers.
Nowadays letter-writing appeals to our more romantic sensibilities. It is quaint, old-fashioned, and decidedly slower than sending off a winking emoji with barely half a thought. But it wasn’t even that long ago that letter-writing dominated and served as a practical means of communication.
Ninety-nine years ago this week, Puerto Ricans became citizens of the United States. What does this anniversary signify? That depends a lot on who you ask (and be careful who you ask, since most Americans have no idea how or why Puerto Ricans became US citizens, or if they’re even citizens at all).
When Ted Cruz announced last March he was running for the Republican nomination for president, he did so at Liberty University. The nation’s largest evangelical university, Liberty was an unsurprising spot for Cruz to begin his campaign. More than any other Republican in the race, Cruz has based his entire campaign on winning evangelical voters as the pathway to his party’s nomination.
There is a moment in the George Miller film Mad Max: Beyond Thunderdome (1985) that has stuck with me over the two decades since I first saw it. A bedraggled Max (Mel Gibson) is escorted through the crumbling desert outpost of Bartertown.
In 1996, decades before the trending hashtag, Reverend Jesse Jackson led a boycott protesting the lack of diversity at the Oscars. Having encouraged attendees to wear a rainbow ribbon in support of the issue, he was ridiculed for his efforts.
Those who argue that lame-duck presidents should not nominate justices to the Supreme Court have forgotten or ignored the most consequential appointment in the Court’s — and the nation’s — history: President John Adams’s 1801 appointment of John Marshall as the nation’s fourth Chief Justice.
It was an election year. A Supreme Court justice appointed by the most conservative Republican president in history had just died. The President, the most progressive Democrat to ever hold that office, now had a chance to begin to reshape the Supreme Court. But the president was up for reelection, with no guarantee he would be reelected.
Patterned on other sports dramas about race and the freedom rights struggle, such as Remember the Titans, Glory Road, We Are Marshall, The Express, and 42, Race tells the story of Jesse Owens’ preparation and stunning performance at the 1936 Summer Olympics at Berlin, Germany. However, while Owens follows a long tradition of unsung African American heroes, many remain unfamiliar with the details surrounding his rise to prominence.
First established in 1926 by historian Carter G. Woodson with the support of the Association for the Study for Negro Life, Negro History Week took place on the second week of February to coincide with the birthdays of Frederick Douglass and Abraham Lincoln, two men whose actions greatly influenced the black population in America.
“We had him down as a rent boy,” remarked a bartender in Brussels about Salah Abdeslam, one of the suspected jihadists in the recent Paris attacks. Several reports noted that Abdeslam frequented gay bars and flirted with other men. These revelations were difficult to slot into existing media narratives and stood in uneasy relation to his posited allegiance with the group best known in the United States as ISIS. After all, there have been numerous credible reports of ISIS’s violent condemnation and abuse of queer people. In many instances, the penalty for homosexuality has been death.
It’s been over 195 years since Thomas Jennings received a patent for a dry cleaning process, and black inventors have continued to change, innovate and enhance day-to-day life. This Black History Month, the team behind the Oxford African American Studies Center is excited to explore some of the many inventions, dreamed up, brought to life, and patented by black inventors.