Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Thoughts: 1621 Style

Edward Winslow, a passenger on the Mayflower at the age of 25 and one of the first pilgrims to step on shore, wrote about his 1621 Thanksgiving experience in "A Journal of the Pilgrims at Plymouth."

"Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruit of our labors. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, among other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which they brought to the plantation and bestowed upon our governor, and upon the captain, and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty."

Happy Thanksgiving from the University of West Georgia

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Monday, November 24, 2008

Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database Debuts at Emory

/PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A group of international scholars will gather at Emory Dec. 5-6 to celebrate the debut of "Voyages: The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade Database" (www.slavevoyages.org) as it begins its own maiden expedition.

Two years in the making at Emory, the free and interactive Web-based resource documents the slave trade from Africa to the New World between the 16th and 19th centuries, says David Eltis, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of History and one of the scholars who originally published "The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade" as a CD-ROM in 1999. He and Martin Halbert, director of digital innovations for Emory Libraries, directed the work that made the online "Voyages" project expandable, interactive and publicly accessible.

"'Voyages' provides searchable information on almost 35,000 trans-Atlantic voyages hauling human cargo, as well as maps, images and data on some individual Africans transported," says Eltis.

The conference, which also marks the bicentennial of the end of the trans-Atlantic slave trade in 1808, will feature presentations by Eltis' graduate students who have worked on the database, with leading scholars commenting on their papers. Other sessions include "The Slave Trade, the Web site and Atlantic History" and "The Slave Trade, the Website and the Classroom."

David Brion Davis, Sterling Professor of History Emeritus and founding director emeritus of the Gilder Lehrman Center for the Study of Slavery, Resistance and Abolition at Yale University, will give a keynote lecture on "Comparing the Paths to American and British Slave-Trade Abolition." Following Davis' talk will be the formal launch of the "Voyages" database by Rick Luce, director of University Libraries. For more information on the conference, visit www.ias.emory.edu/events/SlaveTradeConference.pdf.

Database Establishes Links Between America, Africa

Funded by grants from the National Endowment for the Humanities and Harvard University's W.E.B. Du Bois Institute for African and African American Research, "Voyages" is based on the seminal 1999 work, "The Trans-Atlantic Slave Trade." That CD-ROM included more than 27,000 slave trade voyages and has been popular with scholars and genealogists alike. However, it is no longer available and had several limitations.

"Everyone wants to know where their ancestors came from," Eltis says. "There are more data on the slave trade than on the free migrant movement simply because the slave trade was a business and people were property, so records were likely to be better. What the database makes possible is the establishment of links between America and Africa in a way that already has been done by historians for Europeans."

Adds Halbert: "The digital and Web-based Voyages publication is intentionally collaborative and can grow and change over time. Scholars who discover new information can add it to the database, and thus share it with their colleagues. In addition, researchers can download the database in a format compatible with the SPSS statistical package."

Slave Trade Database in the Classroom

Halbert, Eltis and their team also collaborated with educators from public and private middle and high schools to create lessons plans and other materials, so that K-12 teachers can take "Voyages" into their classrooms. These and other resources on the site, such as images, introductory maps and essays, help visitors appreciate the reality of the slave trade, says project manager Liz Milewicz.

Henry Louis Gates, the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor at Harvard University and writer/producer of the PBS documentary "African American Lives," credits "Voyages" with shedding an important light on the hidden history of 12.5 million slaves.

"The greatest mystery in the history of the West, I believe, has always been the Africans who were enslaved and shipped to the New World," he said. "Their ancestries, their identities, their stories were lost in the ships that carried them across the Atlantic. The multi-decade and collaborative project that brought us [the Voyages] site has done more to reverse the Middle Passage than any other single act of scholarship possibly could."


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Friday, November 21, 2008

Union Pacific to Be Exclusive Sponsor of Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition at Library of Congress

HH Note: Just in case a trip to our nation's capital is not in your future next year, never fear. The Lincoln Exhibit will be in Atlanta in the fall of 2010.

(BUSINESS WIRE)--Union Pacific will be the exclusive sponsor of the Abraham Lincoln bicentennial exhibition, which opens at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C., February 12, 2009, in celebration of Lincoln’s 200th birthday. America’s 16th president, Lincoln was a great railroad advocate and is considered the father of the transcontinental railroad. He signed the Pacific Railroad Act into law in 1862, directing the construction of the nation’s first transcontinental railroad and creating Union Pacific.

“With Malice Toward None: The Abraham Lincoln Bicentennial Exhibition” will provide the general public an opportunity to view rarely seen treasures from the Library of Congress collections. Union Pacific has agreed to loan to the exhibition a rocking chair from Lincoln’s office and a silk banner from his funeral procession from the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa.

“The heritage of the railroad is one of the most fascinating and inspiring for many Americans,” said Bob Turner, Union Pacific senior vice president, corporate relations. “Lincoln’s actions were the most significant events of 19th century American history, uniting the North and South through the civil war and the East and the West through the transcontinental railroad. His vision nearly 150 years ago to build a transcontinental railroad paved the way for what today is the safest, most efficient and environmentally friendly mode of ground freight transportation in our country. We are proud to sponsor this bicentennial exhibition.”

In addition to the items loaned by the Union Pacific Railroad Museum, the exhibition will include a vast array of Lincoln material including letters, photographs, political cartoons, period engravings, speeches and artifacts. Some specific collection items to be displayed include:

* The notes Lincoln prepared in advance of his debates with Senator Stephen Douglas;
* Lincoln’s personal scrapbook of newspaper clippings;
* The critical letter Lincoln wrote but never sent to General George Meade following the Battle of Gettysburg;
* The Lincoln family Bible; and
* The contents of Lincoln’s pockets on the night he was assassinated.

The exhibition will be on display at Library of Congress through May 9, 2009, after which it will travel to five U.S. cities: Sacramento, Calif., at The California Museum in spring/summer 2009; Chicago at the Newberry Library in fall 2009; Indianapolis at the Indiana State Museum in winter/spring 2010; Atlanta at the Atlanta History Center in fall 2010; and Omaha at the Durham Museum in winter 2011.

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Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Clayton State and NARA’s Shane Bell… Colonial America, the Space Race and Medieval Europe

Want to know about that experimental government those rebels constituted in 1787? Ask Shane Bell.

Want to know how Werner Van Braun oversaw the development of the Saturn V moon rocket? Ask Shane Bell.

Want to talk about Europe 700 years ago? Call the National Archives and Records Administration (NARA) Southeast Regional Archives and ask for Shane Bell.

Want to know who Shane Bell is? He’s a 2007 graduate of Clayton State University who holds a Bachelor of Arts in History. He’s also a student in the University’s Master of Arts in Liberal Studies (MALS) program, and an archives technician for NARA’s Southeast Regional Archives, located adjacent to the Clayton State campus. A 1993 graduate of Mount Zion High School who now lives in McDonough, Ga., Bell is one of the outstanding success stories of the on-going relationship between Clayton State’s History Department and both the National and Georgia Archives. And, yes, his interests extend to an eclectic combination of subjects, including colonial America, NASA and the space race, and medieval Europe.

Given his wide-ranging interests and his successes in both academics and archival work, it’s not surprising that Bell has a hand in a variety of historical projects and subjects. For example, he was profiled in the Huntsville Times last month for his work with NARA’s NASA holdings, notably the personal papers of Werner Von Braun. This month, he’s going to Philadelphia to take part in the Network to Freedom Conference on the Underground Railroad where he will focus on NARA’s holdings related to the Atlantic Slave Trade. He’s also a member of the Clayton State University Martin Luther King Day Planning Committee, helping plan the combined efforts of his alma mater and his employer in commemorating Martin Luther King during the week of Jan. 19, 2009. And, he has a part in NARA’s current celebration of Constitution Day.

“We are excited to have Shane as the advocate for the Southeast Region!” exclaims James McSweeney, regional administrator for NARA’s Southeast Region. “In fact, working with Mary Evelyn Tomlin, Shane developed a finding aid for the African Slave Trade records in our holdings.

“Shane is an excellent writer and has the unique ability to review complicated Federal records and laws, particularly from the U.S. District Courts, and to distill their essence and significance into brief descriptive narratives. Shane has applied these same skills to his work with our holdings from the Marshall Space Flight Center.”

While attending Georgia Perimeter College, Bell became interested in history and transferred to Clayton State to earn his B.A. in History, taking advantage of both the University’s outstanding History Department and its partnership with NARA and the Georgia Archives. In fact, during his final semester as an undergraduate, Bell worked as an intern at NARA (he credits Dr. Angelyn Hayes, Clayton State director of Career Services, for her role in finding what sounds like the ideal internship), researching federal slave trade laws and compiled the finding aid for the salve trade. Upon graduation, he was hired as a student employee with NARA, serving as an archives technician and working extensively with court records from the antebellum period and NASA records from Marshall Space Flight Center relating to von Braun. He has also assisted visiting scholars and authors working on various research projects.

“I was offered a student position during the internship and began work last summer after graduation,” he says of his NARA position. “It’s rare for a history major to actually get a job `doing’ history, so I feel very lucky. A day doesn’t go by that I’m not thinking about some historical issue or researching something. I am frequently stationed in the Research Room, so this requires a little bit of knowledge about a lot of things. Working in there makes you realize how much you don’t know about the world.”

Still, he does have knowledge “about a lot of things.” Whereas most historians are likely to focus on a single subject or a single period in history, Bell, in addition to his NASA and antebellum work for NARA is also well-versed in medieval history, having presented a paper at the Medieval-Renaissance Conference at the University of Virginia’s College at Wise in the fall of 2007.

“I’m not sure how it happened,” he says of his multiplicity of historical interests. “I have always been fascinated with the medieval period in Europe. I was lucky enough to spend a couple of weeks in Europe about 10 years ago and was captivated by the sheer number of old buildings, artifacts, and historic sites throughout the region. It seemed that everywhere you went there was some aspect of the past that remained; a past that was much older than anything in the U.S.

“Regarding the 20th Century, I became interested in the Space Age while working on my senior thesis. The theme of that semester was the 1950’s, and I wrote about the formation of NASA. The Space Age is interesting because it is something completely new in world history. Never before have humans been able to escape the earth and this has far reaching consequences for nearly every nation on the planet.”

As a native of metro Atlanta, Bell points out that you can’t really grow up in the South and escape discussions of the Civil War and slavery. However, he says that his main interest lies more with the colonial and early republic period.

“I find this period of U.S. history interesting for similar reasons as the Space Age,” he explains. “It was an experiment of a new type of government, however flawed in some ways -- slavery being only one example.

“The person from this period who is most interesting to me is Thomas Jefferson. He represents well the conflict in America during that early period -- he argued for freedom from oppression, yet he was a slave owner; he wanted to establish a nation of yeoman farmers, yet was wedded to the aristocracy.”

While “doing” history with NARA, Bell is also doing history in the MALS program, working towards his masters degree with a concentration in History.

“The breadth of the MALS program appealed to me from the start,” he says. “I liked the idea of a broad grounding in the liberal arts, especially in this era of almost extreme academic specialization. The kind of scope offered by the program will give me room to explore and find the right topic for my master’s thesis.”

Bell, who hopes to enter a Ph.D. program after earning his masters, credits current Clayton State History professors Dr. Adam Tate, Dr. Marko Maunula, Dr. Christopher Ward and retired professors Dr. Eugene Hatfield and Dr. Robert Welborn for their influence.

“I have bent Dr. Tate’s ear on numerous occasions and he has always been full of advice and a great sounding board to my questions and research ideas,” he says. “I would also add that I was very lucky to have been able to take classes as an undergrad from Drs. Welborn and Hatfield before their retirement.

“All of the professors I have worked with in the MALS program have been very helpful answering questions about graduate school, getting into a Ph.D. program, publications, conferences, and other matters of importance to academic dreamers like me.”

A unit of the University System of Georgia, Clayton State University is an outstanding comprehensive metropolitan university located 15 miles southeast of downtown Atlanta.
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Monday, November 17, 2008

"Come and Take It!" November 21 and 22

These famous words "Come and take it!" were defiantly said to the British back on November 25, 1778, by American Col. John McIntosh. The British withdrew only to return 45 days later when Fort Morris fell.

The weekend of November 21-22 will take park visitors back to the times of the American Revolution. On November 21, Rita Elliott, will discuss findings of her archaelogical study. November 22 will be an encampment complete with colonial demonstrations and a skirmish.

To learn more about Georgia's history and the importance of Fort Morris during the American Revolution and the War of 1812, be sure to visit the park outside of Midway. For more information, call 912-884-5999.

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Friday, November 14, 2008

The Constitution- What Do You Know?

For the last two years, there has been a survey conducted by ConstitutionFacts.com on the general knowledge base of Americans on the Constitution. The results are interesting to review.

Do you know the history of the Constitution? Do you know about the first Constitution of the United States? Do you want to learn more about the document which the cornerstone of our government?

Click here to see the results.

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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fayetteville DAR Honors Veterans on Veterans Day


The James Waldrop Chapter Daughters of the American Revolution placed a wreath at the Peachtree City Veterans Memorial on Veterans Day. Regent Betty Harrah of Fayetteville stated, "Today is November 11, 2008, Veterans Day, a day set aside to honor all the men and women who have served this country from the battlefields of the Revolutionary War to the battlefields of today. Often times we might forget what these soldiers have gone through to ensure the freedoms we have today. Where would we be without their sacrifices."

"They left their families, homes, jobs, farms to serve and protect our country," she continued. "Today marks the 90th anniversary of the Armistice that ended World War I, the 11th hour, 11th day, 11th month, 1918. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day, November 11, 1919. It was changed to Veterans Day when President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954 to honor all veterans. When we see someone who has served our country, not just on Veterans Day, but every day, be sure and say "Thank You". There is a quote: "If you can read, thank a teacher; if it is in English, thank a veteran". We love you, we respect you and we thank you."

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Sunday, November 9, 2008

Krystallnacht - 70 Years Ago Tonight

Lest the world forgets-

The 70th anniversary of Krystallnacht, The Night of Broken Glass, in Germany is November 9-10. While the world largely ignored the events happening in Nazi Germany in the 1930s, time has not forgotten.

During the nights of Krystallnacht, attacks were made on Jewish people in Germany and in Austria. In retrospect, it was condoned and even encouraged by Goebbels, Hitler's Chief of Propaganda.

Many now feel the Krystallnacht events are the actual beginning of the Holocaust.

Read world history. Learn more about the events that have shaken up the world. Learn so we don't repeat the past.

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Thursday, November 6, 2008

UWG Ingram Library Hosts WWII Exhibit Through December 12

In observance of Veterans Day, the Ingram Library at the University of West Georgia will host a photograph exhibit, “Images of Small Town Americans in World War II,” from Tuesday, Nov. 4 through Friday, Dec. 12. The exhibit is free and the community is welcome to attend.

The personal collections of 18 men and women who served in Europe, the Pacific and North Africa in World War II documents a pivotal time in these soldiers’ lives and in American and world history.

In 2000, Smyrna resident Patricia Burns started collecting veterans’ oral histories and historical war items for the Smyrna Museum. The photographs in the exhibit were contributed from the veterans’ personal collections.

“These pictures show their youth, vibrancy and contribution during World War II, which forever changed them and the world,” said Burns. “They are also a reminder of so many young men and women who never made it home to grow old.”

The photographs tell the stories of U.S. Navy Signalman Grady “Pete” Burnette, First Lieutenant Dorothy “Dot” Bacon, Technical Sergeant Edward LaPorta and Private First Class Arthur Crowe, Jr.

Burnette hitchhiked from Powder Springs to Atlanta to join the Navy and fought in the Battle of the Java Sea, a major naval Pacific campaign of WWII, on a small destroyer. When the Japanese sank the small destroyer, he was captured and made a prisoner of war for more than three years.
Bacon, of Sumter, SC, served as a nurse in an English hospital during the war, where she worked long hours patching and suturing patients when the surgeons were too busy to do it.

LaPorta, an Italian immigrant, was one of 20 men in his company of 220 to survive the invasion of North Africa. Taken prisoner by the Germans, he was confined to camps in Italy and Germany. On transfer from one German camp to another, he refused to abandon a sick friend, pulling him on a make shift sled and then carrying him the remaining 80 miles, saving his life.

Crowe dropped out of The Citadel to join the army and participated in the Invasion of Normandy where he drove a truck off a landing barge and nearly drowned.

On an advance survey team in the Cherbourg Peninsula, he encountered a retreating German division and using the code word “serenade” helped communicate an order to attack that ultimately launched 800 artillery shells within a 20-second period.

Ingram Library hours are Monday through Thursday, 7:30 a.m. – 2 a.m.; Friday, 7:30 a.m. – 6 p.m.; Saturday, 10 a.m. – 6 p.m.; and Sunday, 2 p.m. – 2 a.m.

For more information, call 678-839-5337.

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Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Prominent Historian to Deliver Lecture on Religion in The South November 4

Paul Harvey, Ph.D., will present the 2008 Lamar Memorial Lecture Series of Mercer University, on Tuesday, Nov. 4, on the University’s Macon campus. Harvey, a history professor at the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs, will present lectures around the theme: “Moses, Jesus and the Trickster in the Evangelical South.” All lectures are free and open to the public.

Harvey will present a lecture titled “Religion, Race, and Southern Ideas of Freedom,” on Nov. 4 – to be held at 7:30 p.m. in the Medical School Auditorium.

In its 51 years, the Lamar Lecture Series has become one of the most prominent Lectures series on Southern Culture and History, and has included presentations by renowned historians, sociologists and literary scholars.

“Harvey continues this legacy of engaging Southern culture with an intriguing series of lectures that center on religious experiences in the American South,” said lecture series director Sarah Gardner, Ph.D., associate professor of History at Mercer. “Harvey is the first scholar to address the religious experience of the South since Sam Hill gave the lectures in 1979.”

Dr. Harvey is the author of two books, including: “Redeeming the South: Religious Cultures and Racial Identities Among Southern Baptists, 1865-1925” and “Freedom’s Coming: Religious Culture and the Shaping of the South from the Civil War through the Civil Rights Era.” Harvey has three books that are under contract to be published as well: “Jesus in Red, White and Black” (co-authored with Edward J. Blum), “A History of African American Religion,” and the book “Moses, Jesus and the Trickster in the Evangelical South” based on his Lamar Lectures.

Dr. Harvey has also edited several works, including: “Themes in Religion and American Culture,” “The Columbia Documentary History of Religion in America since 1945” and “The Columbia Guide to Religion in American History.” Dr. Harvey has two editing projects underway: “Sources in Religion and American Culture and Religion, Race” and “American Ideas of Freedom: From the 17th Century to the Present.”

Dr. Harvey has published numerous papers, articles and book chapters in the areas of Southern history, culture and religion. He earned his Ph.D. from University of California, Berkeley, 1992.

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Monday, November 3, 2008

TODAY IN FAYETTEVILLE, MARCH 13, 1891

Let us step back in time and see what the Fayetteville News had to say in 1891


                                              THE FAYETTEVILLE NEWS
                                                     March 13,1891

                                                Carriage Nomenclature

The popular Hanson carriage derives its distinguishing title from Mr. Hanson. The Brougham carriage, which was first used by the famous lord Brougham, took its

title from that nobleman.

Hacks originally were termed hackney coaches, because they were drawn by hackney, the name applied to easy going, safe pacing horses.

                                              To Tell the Age of Horses

The other day we met a gentleman from Alabama, who gave us a piece of information into accessing the age of a horse after it has passed the ninth year, which was quite new to us, and will be, we are sure, to most of our readers. It is this; after a horse is 9 years old a wrinkle comes in the eye lid at the upper corner of the lower lid, and every year there after he has one well defined wrinkle for each year of his age over 9 years old.
If for instance a horse  has 3 wrinkles, he is twelve, so says the gentleman, and he is confident it will never fail.

                                             News and Notes for Women

Dress skirts for street wear are lengthening in spite of all protest. But extremely tidy women do not adopt them.

Very beautiful and stylish are the new Paris Challies just introduced. The patterns run to the buds and blossoms of all the flowers. The style most in use for luncheon parties is

pure white with this, any ornamental and floral decorations my be employed.

The complaint from London is that dresses are growing longer and more inconvenient, and the dress suspender is coming into use. young ladies with oval faces may put their tresses in the middle and comb them in well-defined curves on either side of the brow.
The careful manner with which Queen Victoria compiles and  corrects the "court circular"

entitles her to be termed the leading editor in all her realms.


submitted by CB Glover

Deplorable Financial Conditions According to President

HH Note: Lest we forget our history-

"Deplorable, however, as may be our present financial condition, we may yet indulge in bright hopes for the future. No other nation has ever existed which could have endured such violent expansions and contractions of paper credits without lasting injury; yet the buoyancy of youth, the energies of our population, and the spirit which never quails before difficulties will enable us soon to recover from our present financial embarrassments, and may even occasion us speedily to forget the lesson which they have taught. In the meantime it is the duty of the Government, by all proper means within its power, to aid in alleviating the sufferings of the people occasioned by the suspension of the banks and to provide against a recurrence of the same calamity. Unfortunately, in either aspect of the ease it can do but little.... "


President James Buchanan
First Annual Message
December 8, 1857

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