Tag Archives: Civil War

The Unseen Spectacular

Washington DC is full of monuments. Some of them we all know, some of them I go by and have no idea who the person is or what they did. Everybody knows the Lincoln and the Jefferson and the Washington: most people ignore what must be one of the most powerful and compelling pieces of […]

The American History of Santa Claus

Before the Civil War holidays weren’t like they are now. Different regions celebrated different holidays, following local ethnic and regional traditions. There were religious holidays, there were sundry fall and spring festivals. But just as every city, village, and town kept its own standard of time, most places had different holidays.1 Instead of specific national […]

Rethinking the Beast

Ben Butler had the homely man’s suspicion of genetic advantage, and the poor man’s irreverence about class privilege. Nothing in his appearance inspired admiration. Short, paunchy, no heroic proportions or handsome strong features: his bald pate and droopy, crossed eyes made him a satirist’s delight. And satirize him they did. Butler, U.S. Grant recalled, was […]

Reenacters

so apparently a candidate for Congress in Ohio likes dressing up as a Nazi.  I’m probably not the only one who finds this deeply creepy. I‘ve been trying for years to resolve what I think about reenacters in general. Are they creepy wanna-be Confederates? or people who genuinely love history and want to immerse themselves […]