History Stuff

Fact-Free History

Happy AdministratorThere’s nothing more terrifying than finding out your district administrators have just returned from a conference somewhere, and they’re excited about something. You know because they suddenly smile too much, and now they want to come talk to your department or hold a special faculty meeting.

Nuptial Benedictions (The Divorce Industry in Oklahoma Territory)

Walking Away

Between the first “land run” opening up the “Unassigned Lands” of Indian Territory in 1889 and statehood in 1907, Oklahoma filled up rapidly. 

There were a variety of reasons, of course. The “frontier” was rapidly closing and Oklahoma Territory was the last hope of true homesteading on the continent. Early reports suggested fertile soil and cooperative climate – descriptions which would later be recalled in wry reflection by those who'd embraced them. Then there was the sheer newness and unpredictability of it all – in a nation built on restlessness and possibilities, that alone was sometimes enough.

Oh – and of course, it was a great place to get a divorce.

Liar, Liar, Twitterpants on Fire (A Little Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing, Part Three)

Confederate FlagAnd then the South began writing the history of the war and the events which led to it. The war they’d lost. The one fought over a variety of issues, but in which slavery and its continuation were central and essential as defined by the South in the very documents they issued to justify their cause. Only suddenly the war hadn’t been about slavery at all. In fact, the South was collectively rather wounded at the suggestion! Slavery?! You think – you think this was about SLAVERY?

Imagine what'd they'd have rewritten if they'd WON?

Forever Unfit To Be A Slave (A Little Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing, Part Two)

FD Learning To ReadHere’s the number one reason governments and religions and parents and schools ban whatever they ban: it’s nearly impossible to maintain the illusion you’re doing someone a huge favor by keeping them locked under the staircase once they’ve visited Hogwarts – even by proxy. The power to question is the power to overcome.

Secession & Superiority (A Little Knowledge Is A Dangerous Thing, Part One)

South Carolina was upset that the North allowed so much discussion of things which threatened their way of life and went against their beliefs. They listed as one of their central reasons for trying to break the country their collective outrage that other states weren’t doing enough to stifle debate.

Their little white feelings were hurt and their dominant role in the world inconvenienced. Poor things.

How Power Confronts Dissent

Note: I’m writing this post in response to circumstances of which I’m a part, but it’s not really about me. I’m living the dream and daily thankful for the support of the #11FF and beyond. 

I confess that I’m developing a certain defensiveness, however, on behalf of others who have done far more good than myself and pay a greater ongoing price for daring to question power. If, after reading this, you wish to express dissent, please direct it to me. If you’re interested in offering support, please offer it to them. 

Coronado's Letter ("What I AM Sure Of Is This...")

After Coronado gave up on the Seven Cities of Whatever, he penned a missive to the King summarizing his experiences and discoveries. Ask yourself what tone and intent are suggested by his choice of words nearly six centuries later. 

The full letter, a classroom edit, and printable versions can be found here

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