primary sources

The Docs Heard 'Round The World

Shot Heard Round

The first shots were fired at Lexington, but the first documented occasion on which colonial minutemen were ordered to fire upon British soldiers (and did) was on the North Bridge at Concord. That was what many would point to as the first official act of outright treason committed by the colonists and marked the beginning of open, violent rebellion in Massachusetts.

Roe v. Wade (1973) - Written Opinions {Excerpts}

I’ve recently been working on something I’m hoping other teachers might find useful for their own reference or for use in the classroom. It’s a compilation of a dozen or so of the most “Have To” Supreme Court cases in U.S. History – case summaries, excerpts from the majority opinions and periodically from dissents as well, and a few guiding questions over both the summaries and the opinion excerpts.

Authors vs. Ideas

In November of 2017, Tyler Seguin’s name started popping up in hockey news headlines. That in and of itself is not so unusual; he’s a marquee player for the Dallas Stars and a damned pretty man. These headlines, however, were not about his on-ice skill or make-your-gate-swing-the-other-way smile…

Tyler Headline 1
They weren’t all quite that blunt….

"While You Wait" (A Play from The Smart Set, June 1900)

The Smart Set (Cover)MRS. VAN CLEEF—Now, in this divorce business, there seems to be a great rivalry between South Dakota and Oklahoma, but the Oklahoma firm’s circular is a good deal the more enticing. Listen. It says (she reads from a circular which she takes from her pocket): “Our newer States, in compiling their laws, have seen fit to show more liberality in the matter of obtaining divorces than may be found among the older states, whose laws on this subject were enacted at a time when ideas were less in accord with the advanced liberal thought of the present.

“As the Mohammedan devotee confidingly turns his eyes toward the tomb of his beloved leader, so has Dakota been regarded as the Mecca of hope to weary companions in matrimony.”

Isn’t that nice? We’ll be the weary companions.

We Think You Already Know This (A Letter from Kublai Khan)

You Oughta Know

One of the minor downsides to teaching ancient history for nearly half the year is that there simply aren’t the multitude of cool documents – letters, speeches, diaries, newspaper articles, and the like – which make U.S. or European History so naturally freakin’ awesome.

Rabbit Trails: Criminal Intimacy & Pernicious Polygamy

Role ConfusionI’ve been trying to follow up on a previous post about the “divorce industry” in Oklahoma Territory (1889 – 1907), but I keep getting sidetracked by odd search results and unexpectedly engaging-but-off-topic tangents. I’m finally admitting that my ADHD (Abstemiously Distracted History Dysfunction) has won, and figure I might as well share some of the results.

Rabbit Trails: Mary Sallade & The One-Eyed Pickpocket

George AppoI’ve been looking into the “divorce industry” in Oklahoma Territory (1889 – 1907), and I spend more time than seems reasonable searching online newspaper archives for terms like “divorce” or “Oklahoma.” I’m not sure this makes me a crack researcher, but it has certainly led me down some weird paths.

Pick any topic – ANY topic – and start scratching at it. Something fascinating will almost always unfold… and yet leave you with a congress of unknowns, smirking and smug like Alice’s cat.

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.

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