May 22, 2015 |
There's no reason to beat around the bush: Texas Rising , History's five-part mini-series about the Texas Revolution, has to be one of the strangest, most idiosyncratic dramas on TV since Twin Peaks . An odd hybrid between the western and the historical saga, the dramatic and the comedic, Texas Rising is about the bloody war waged in 1835 and 1836 by Texians (as they referred to themselves) to free the territory from the Mexican Empire. Richly textured and enjoyable if wildly uneven, the star-studded series tries to marry the hard-nosed, brutally violent realism of modern TV to an antique - some would say antiquated - aesthetic of genteel mannerisms and off-the-wall humor prevalent during the first golden age of TV in the 1950s and '60s.
May 22, 2015 |
FROM A HISTORICAL perspective, little is unusual about the lacrosse national semifinal matchup between the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University tomorrow at Lincoln Financial Field. Since they first met in 1895, the Terps and Blue Jays have played more than 100 times, and the rivalry between the Maryland institutions is widely considered the greatest in collegiate lacrosse. Still, something is unique about this Hopkins/Maryland meeting - part of this weekend' NCAA Division I Lacrosse Final Four - and it could be the most important event for lacrosse in decades.
May 17, 2015 |
Priscilla Ferguson Clement, 73, of Wallingford, a history professor at Pennsylvania State University, died Wednesday, May 6, of pancreatic cancer at her home. Born in Long Beach, Calif., she graduated from Stanford University in 1964 with a degree in history. That same year she married John Stokes Clement 3d. After moving to Pennsylvania, she began teaching at Penn State Delaware County and cofounded a women's studies program for that campus. In 1977, Dr. Clement completed a doctorate at the University of Pennsylvania.
May 6, 2015 |
Imagine being given another human being as your 11th birthday present, as happens to Sarah, the heroine of Sue Monk Kidd's 2014 best-seller, The Invention of Wings . Kidd's fact-based story is about the lives of famed early 19th-century Quaker abolitionist Sarah Grimké and the person she was gifted, her maidservant Handful, an 11-year-old born into slavery. The novel vividly brings to life an era when such an event seemed normal; when slavery was considered natural, even righteous.
April 29, 2015 |
During summers in the 1960s, William J. Jordan took a break from teaching American history to South Jersey high school students and taught Revolutionary history to tourists in Philadelphia. The National Park Service gave him its uniform, its distinctive flat-brimmed hat, anointed him a seasonal park ranger, and assigned him to tours of Independence National Historical Park. "I know he loved that time in history," daughter Karen Jordan said. "He gave us all copies of the Constitution, his children," she said.
April 29, 2015
LAST WEEK was bad for Holocaust deniers. Oskar Groening, the "accountant of Auschwitz," testified he had personally seen up to 1.5 million Jews "murdered in Auschwitz. I was there," he said. Elsewhere, Thursday marked the 100th anniversary of the Armenian genocide, carried out against Armenians (Christians) by someone. Who? Turkey (Muslims) will get mad if I say. Earlier this month, Pope Francis rattled Turkey's cage when he called the slaughter "the first genocide of the 20th century.
April 29, 2015 |
OPPORTUNITIES to be a part of historic events in Philadelphia like the Continental Congress of 1776 and Live Aid have long gone by, but area residents can be a part of the city's next historic chapter by volunteering for the World Meeting of Families and Pope Francis' visit this fall. "I finally have an answer to the question I get asked every day: 'How can I help?' " said Donna Crilley Farrell, executive director of the WMOF. "The answer is volunteer. " At a news conference at the Pennsylvania Convention Center yesterday announcing the opening of volunteer registration, WMOF organizers said they're seeking 10,000 volunteers for more than 100 events from Sept.
April 20, 2015 |
As a teacher of history and a child of the Cold War period, I was always fascinated with the events that led to the U.S. embargo against Cuba. The island nation, the Caribbean's largest, was the "forbidden fruit" of travel, which only heightened my desire to visit it. When I learned about the people-to-people tours that allowed travellers to go to Cuba to see what the Cuban government wanted them to see, I quickly made a reservation. After a briefing on what to expect, what not to expect (toilet seats in most places)
April 19, 2015 |
On the days, separated by seven months, that they promoted Craig Berube to head coach and Ron Hextall to general manager, the Flyers framed each announcement in the manner in which they conduct so much of their daily business - with a reverence for their past that bordered on the pathological. Berube and Hextall had been teammates with the Flyers a generation earlier, and both had worked for the organization after their playing careers had ended. Ed Snider, the Flyers' team chairman, and Paul Holmgren, the team's president, flanked Berube at the first news conference and Hextall at the second, and the stories and anecdotes from the old days flowed like foamy Molson from a just-tapped keg. That was the nostalgic veneer and implicit message of each image: that Chief and Hexy were Flyers once and Flyers forever, and they would stay true to the organization's core principles and practices.
April 16, 2015 |
In her book The Battle of Versailles , Robin Givhan whisks readers back to an electric night in 1973 when five emerging American fashion designers bested their French counterparts . The 306-page tome, published by Flatiron Books, recounts how the industry's then-underdogs - Oscar de la Renta, Anne Klein, Bill Blass, Stephen Burrows, and Roy Halston Frowick (simply known as Halston) - surprisingly triumphed in a fashion show competition and fund-raiser that would benefit the crumbling Versailles palace.