Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Farewell Heath Ledger

Last night, as I was surfing the Internet, I was stunned to read of Heath Ledger's untimely passing. A young life cut short. Truly a tragedy.

In memory of Heath Ledger and in keeping with the spirit of this site, I thought I'd post the following picture from Columbia Pictures. Who can forget Heath Ledger from the 2000 film The Patriot? Ledger did a great job portraying Benjamin Martin's (Mel Gibson) restless, pro-revolutionary son, Gabriel.

Farewell Heath Ledger!

p.s. For those inclined, follow this link for an interesting op-ed on Heath Ledger's sudden passing (and its potential message to our culture).

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

John Adams Coming to HBO in March 2008

A look at the upcoming HBO miniseries, starring Paul Giamatti and based on bestselling author David McCullough's John Adams.


PBS Documentary: The War That Made America

This is a clip from the PBS series The War That Made America, a solid documentary on the French and Indian War.


Weapons of the American Revolution: The Brown Bess

The above video features a British reenactor firing a Brown Bess musket three times under a minute.

For more on this important weapon of the American Revolution, follow this link.

This is the first in an occasional series of posts featuring links to articles or videos on various weapons of the American Revolution.


Lewis & Clark - Part One

You can find Part Two at this link.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Crime & Punishment in Colonial America

Chess -- Revolutionary War Style

If you like the American Revolution period AND you enjoy a good game of chess, then this might interest you...

Friday, January 18, 2008

Gun Control and the 2nd Amendment on Hannity & Colmes

Sean Hannity and Alan Combs tackle the issue of gun control in response to some of Rosie O'Donnell's anti-gun comments (also shown on this video).

What do you think? To what extent should Americans have the right to "keep and bear arms"?


For a critically acclaimed look at the Founders and the Second Amendment...

A Look at Monticello

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

George Washington, the Cherry Tree, and Kermit the Frog

The story of George Washington and the cherry tree -- from the perspective of Kermit the Frog and the historians at Sesame Street.

Now, you know how it all really happened.

Sunday, January 13, 2008

War of 1812 Reenactment Footage

I enjoy surfing YouTube and other video sites, looking for reenactment and other living history footage. I will occasionally post some of them on this site.

David McCullough Promotes His Book 1776


Thursday, January 10, 2008

American History Museum Still in Renovation

The Smithsonian National Museum of American History is undergoing intense, architectural renovations and will reopen its doors to the public by summer 2008.

As many of you probably know, the American History Museum closed its doors in September 2006. I was fortunate enough to get a visit in that year, before it closed for the major renovation.

According to the Smithsonian website, the "transformation focuses on...architectural enhancements to the Museum’s interior, constructing a state-of-the-art gallery for the Star-Spangled Banner, and updating the 42-year-old building’s infrastructure."

The bad news (in MY opinion at least)....the pendulum won't be coming back.

From 1964 to 1998, a version of Foucault’s pendulum was displayed in the museum atrium. As a kid, I remember being awestruck at how it swung from one side to the other - its swing affected by the rotation of the earth. But, there's no room for the pendulum in the new design. Tis a shame.

Tuesday, January 08, 2008

SAR to Honor Black Revolutionary War Veterans

The National Society Sons of the American Revolution (SAR) will dedicate a monument on January 27 to "Patriots of Color" from Charles City County, Virginia.

Says Bruce Wilcox, president of SAR: "It is not generally appreciated in scholarly circles, let alone by the general public, that perhaps 20,000 Black Americans served during the Revolution, and helped our Nation achieve its Independence and Liberty. The SAR takes seriously its role to preserve the memory of all Revolutionary War Patriots, and we are glad to honor these Patriots of Color from Charles City County."

For more on this story, follow this link.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

Roger Wilkins on the Founders and Slavery

Roger Wilkins, a professor at George Mason University, wrote an excellent book (several years ago) on the relationship of America's principal Founding Fathers with slavery. I read his book, Jefferson's Pillow, several years ago - and was deeply impressed with it.

Wilkins, a Pulitzer-winning author and past civil rights (and anti-apartheid) activist, is qualified to address this sensitive subject, and does so in much more mature and reasoned tone than the likes of Howard Zinn.

Wilkins doesn't let the Founders off the hook, but (with the exception of Jefferson) doesn't slam them either. (He does have some strong things to say against Jefferson, while also acknowledging the Virginian's contributions).

Publisher's Weekly sums up Wilkins' approach as follows:

Where others routinely excuse past figures or judge them by present standards, Wilkins exemplifies a subtler, sounder approach. Reaching back to England and Virginia in the 1600s, he briskly illuminates the historical, ideological and socioeconomic contexts that made a burning concern for freedom not just compatible with slavery, but materially and psychologically dependent on it.

Jefferson's Pillow is a great book - definitely worth your checking out.

New Jersey Crossroads Recognized

The Star-Ledger is reporting that the US government has awarded $150,000 in aid to the American Revolution National Heritage Area, a crossroads tying together several key Revolutionary War sites that "highlight the pivotal role New Jersey played in the Revolution."

For the rest of the story, click here.


And for more information on the New Jersey campaign of 1776-77, check out David McCullough's bestselling 1776.