Mark Wahlgren Summers is Thomas D. Clark Professor of History at the University of Kentucky, Lexington. He is author of many books, including The Press Gang: Newspapers and Politics, 1865-1878;The Presidency in Political Cartoons, 1776-1976; and A Dangerous Stir: Fear, Paranoia, and the Making of Reconstruction. We asked him a few questions ahead of his January 18 Foundry Series lecture.
Some editors called it the “great obscuration,” but despite the lighthearted superstition, Americans were extremely well informed about the total eclipse of October 19, 1865.
Ancient and early modern astronomers had long ago developed the principles used to predict solar and lunar eclipses and by the 1800s, American scientists could describe in great detail the timing and path of “obscurations.”
The plight of refugees has been in the news a lot since the November presidential election. The phenomenon is not new, however. People have been displaced through disaster and war for millennia. The American Civil War was no exception.
Our guest blogger, historian David Silkenat, provided a glimpse into the story of one such refugee.
Everyone likes getting new things. With the holidays just past, many are enjoying new gifts as they start the new year.
Historians like getting new things, too. One of the rewards of working in a historic home is the plethora of artifacts that are donated. Each comes with its own interesting, and often fascinating, story.