Tammy's All Things History

Bringing the Past to Life!


History on Saturday

History on Saturday: A Few Good History Blogs



Please let me introduce to you some cool blogs that I follow. Not only are they cool, but each blogger has come up with uniquely creative ideas and ways of presenting history.

1. Practically Historical’s Facts in Five. This feature sums up a whole bunch of history in a short amount of reading time. These are fun, interesting and relevant facts. They are also some good jumping points to start some new curious research topics.

2. Stillness of Heart’s Recommended Reading Viewing Listening. This list offers some current or past articles to read that are intellectual in nature. It is also a way for the author to share some of his likes. I find it an easy, quick and curious read.

3. The History as Prologue Google+ is a history and current event discussion group. This blog is an offshoot of Mark’s History as Prologue blog. History as Prologue blog. He offers the “theme of the week” in this group. He bases his topics in history that connect the past to current historical problems for discussion.

4. And my very own History on Saturday feature. Why not? Simply because people look for something interesting to do or read on Saturday.

I like these individual creations within these blogs. I think that blogging is a great platform to share ideas and personal creativity. I look forward to finding more blogs like these.

History on Saturday: Henry Wikenburg and the Vulture Mine

Henry Wickenburg (November 21, 1819 – May 14, 1905)

Today’s History on Saturday is about a ghost town in Arizona called, Vulture City, or officially named Wickenburg. Located in the desert, this little town is full of intrigue. Henry Wickenburg, a Prussian immigrant, moved to Arizona in 1862 during the Gold rush and established a mining town. Managing a gold mine during that time was not an easy task as people came from all over to capitalize on an opportunity to get rich quickly. Rumors of this easy wealth came to folks on the East Coast who experienced unemployment and smog filled industrialized cities. The Gold in the west also attracted some not so nice folks who existed to take advantage of any good hearted person they could find. Mining gold was more about money, not about loyalty to friend or family. After dealing with some shady business investors and loosing money without any idea of how to recover from it, Henry committed suicide in 1905, penniless and a broken man.

Today, you can visit Henry’s dream by touring the Vulture City. I am curious why Henry failed at his mine operation and why at the age of 85, he felt the only option was to kill himself. It seems to be a sad story but one that leave more questions than answers.

For more information on the mine visit here:

History on Saturday: The Smithsonian’s Exhibit of Earl Shaffer and the Appalachian Trail

Earl Shaffer, courtesy of The National American History Museum

Summer is for adventure. So, gather around the computer for an online tour of The Smithsonian’s Exhibit of Earl Shaffer and the Appalachian Trail. As documented in the exhibit, Shaffer was a tired veteran of World War II and sought solitude in the mountains to clear his head and plan his future. I know that feeling, having retired from the US. Army myself. Veterans tend to want some peaceful quiet and privacy after military life. As Shaffer embarked upon his journey, he documented what he saw. This was to share his information with folks back home.

Fortunately, his writings have been preserved so future generations can be further inspired by his perseverance at innovation. He took what he had learned in the army and put it to good use with his explorations. Who knew that a small idea would lead to so much success with his trail blazing. He encouraged folks to be brave and bold and to seek out adventures in America’s nature preserves. At the same time, he educated people about some of the beauty nature had to offer and avenues for further exploration.

See the exhibit here:

History on Saturday: One Bad Apple


We often hear about bad apples these days. Politicians love using the term to get their opinions and ideas across to a large audience. Business owners use it in marketing to boost sales or discredit competition. Journalists use it in their editorials to gauge public opinion and place it, in a way, that everyone can see it. These ideas bring discussion, debate or interest in a topic and it allows the viewer to think about what choices they might have in order to make decisions. The method used by journalists is the center of the political cartoon because they can reach the public, politicians and business owners. In the past, the other groups could only directly reach people that were interested in a particular topic.

In the US, we grow up hearing the phrase, “One rotten apple will spoil the whole bunch.” It means that if you have a bowl of fruit out on a counter or table for a week or so the fruit starts to decay from the center outward. This is because the fruit is smothered by the others and it does not get enough oxygen. Once that happens it begins to decompose and the decomposition spreads to other apples. Americans use the term to say that if a group of folks has an idea and a particular goal in mind and one person in the group goes against that idea, the goal will not be met. That one person has the power to influence the others to change their mind and not pursue that goal anymore. Today politicians and news media are tossing the term around to let voters know that there are problems within political parties. This is why there is so much confusion in Washington and why Congress can not agree with the president on issues. There is really nothing wrong with this. It has been gong on since the country was founded. There will always be one person in a group with a doubt or an idea or even a personal agenda that differs from the rest of the group whether they even know about it or not.

Here are some examples of the political cartoons used to start talk about the bad apple idea.




Political cartoons are not as popular as they used to be and that is probably due to the use of mass electronic media today. Before there were electronic media, the political cartoon was the way everyone could be exposed to the same idea and it was useful to people and their daily lives.


For further interest in this topic see, The Art of Polemics. They publish a daily cartoon as well as other historical topics. Next time you see a political cartoon, think about the way that cartoon is being used to reach a wide audience and what that cartoon may be saying about what society as a whole is feeling about a certain topic.

History on Saturday-Prologue: Pieces of History » Your photos, then and now

In honor of this Memorial Day Weekend 2014 I am reposing a blog from the National Archives in Washington, D.C.

Prologue: Pieces of History » Your photos, then and now.

I have always been a huge fan of Memorial Day probably due to my service in the military. Memorial Day becomes a part of your life when you think of all the great soldiers who have gone before you and that you stand to continue their legacy. Memorial Day has a huge history that revolves around President Lincoln. He had a good heart and wanted to preserve a day for all Americans to set aside one day a year. He wanted one day a year to put away anger and recognize united grief in loss of life resulting from a warring nation. Today mostly it is celebrated with hamburgers, hot dogs and sprinklers. I am grateful to have such a day to enjoy in May to reflect or just to pause from daily life routines and enjoy relax time.

How will you spend this day? What does Memorial Day mean to you? What part of Memorial Day history do you know or would like to know about?

History on Saturday: Democracy and the Media, a Virtual Exhibit



EU Media Futures Forum pic_0
Photo courtesy of EU Media Futures Forum


Taking a break from class final paper, I came across this virtual exhibit. I thought it would be great to share for something to do on a Saturday.


Democracy & the Media


Courtesy of the North Carolina Department of Cultural Resources daily blog site. Enjoy!

History on Saturday: Self-expression


The photo controversy showing the soldiers on a funeral posing wildly in front of a flag draped coffin got me thinking about something. It got me thinking about self expression and how it evolves from generation to generation.


Take for instance the 1960s. People then used rioting, parading and socializing to protest harsh authority and rigid, stuffy rules. They wanted to break out of the old mold and revolutionize the way people thought and lived in America. When confronted with their idea of self-expression they asked their parents: When are you going to listen to our generation?


The 1980s was another time of self-expression. This time it was more through music. The music was loud and it came with some extreme forms of dress and self-expression. Parents rose up in opposition citing the music was evil, satanic and an influence toward violence and drugs.  When confronted with their idea of self-expression the youth asked their parents: When are you going to listen to our generation?


In the 1990s and 2000s people started self-expressing with body art and of course they were met with opposition. People with tattoos, long hair and piercings will not be able to get a job, they said. When confronted with their idea of self-expression they asked their parents: When are you going to listen to our generation?

Self-Expression (1)

Currently the new form of self-expression is through photo media and social media sites. People can really self-express in ways that were unimaginable in the 1960s, the 1980s or even the 2000s. Youth are breaking out of old molds, looking at their own history and re-defining self-expression in some very creative ways. When confronted with their idea of self-expression they ask their parents: When are you going to listen to our generation?


Historians in the future will have to decipher the meanings of the change in self-expression and how those expressions influenced or changed society. One thing is certain and that is each generation chooses to self-express but forget that when they were young they created controversial new ways of self-expression too. What might offend us now may be the new normal twenty or fifty years from now. Those in the future will look back and ask why we were so opposed to that new normal. Just like we do when we look at our history and ponder why youth did what they did to self-express themselves in the past. The important thing is that each generation learns something about themselves, their past and their future. They take what they learned and create a new normal. The history that is made will mean something in the future to someone who asks why it happened.

History on Saturday: Christmas Bells

Minolta DSC

I found a little piece doing some research and wanted to share it. It is a poem written during the Civil War. It seems to me people found a way to celebrate even though the times were uncertain for them. Have a good Christmas holiday how and if you celebrate!

Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807-1882)

Christmas Bells

I HEARD the bells on Christmas Day
Their old, familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet
The words repeat
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And thought how, as the day had come,
The belfries of all Christendom
Had rolled along
The unbroken song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Till ringing, singing on its way,
The world revolved from night to day,
A voice, a chime,
A chant sublime
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound
The carols drowned
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn
The households born
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!

And in despair I bowed my head;
“There is no peace on earth,” I said;
“For hate is strong,
And mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good-will to men!”

Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The Wrong shall fail,
The Right prevail,
With peace on earth, good-will to men.”


History on Saturday: History For the Family


Browsing for a topic for today’s History on Saturday I found a nifty innovative way Washington State’s Historical Society works to encourage youth to embrace the history profession. It is not only to recruit but can be fun for the family to be involved in a unifying project where everyone can participate. Let me explain.


First, students can engage with tools the society sets up for classroom or even home schooled activities where kids can research, compile and present their topic on a history theme given by the society. Once chosen they compete with peers for a prestigious award.


Second, they have “history boxes”, which has tools teachers can use in their own classrooms to tweak and provide educational support for students. This not only encourages an interest in history but builds life skills, such as confidence, leadership, and professionalism they can use in their future for any profession.


Thirdly, they accept volunteers in the program where professional historians can judge the projects but also mentor young folks. Volunteers can also be someone within the student’s family to participate as a group endeavor.


I think this is an amazing thing these folks have set up and I want to get the word out about this program. I may volunteer in the future if I am able. I would love to meet up and coming history buffs and enthusiasts. Sharing ideas and interpretations make the history world go round, and the possibilities are endless.

What do you think?

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