History Stories

History Stories

Dawn of the Classical Age: The Globalization of the Early Iron Age: 900-600 B.C.E. Mediterranean-Near East: An exhibition of art and material culture shows the interconnection among cultures and societies from Neo-Assyria to Iberian settlements, driven by conquest and commerce.

Lost KingdomsSoutheast Asia, 5th-8th centuries C.E.: Religious art shows the spread of Hinduism and Buddhism by Indian merchants and monks into Southeast Asian Kingdoms, many of which are known only by names.

John of the Cross: Spain, late 15th Century: Mysticism, counter-reformation and the Inquisition in Spain’s Golden Age.

The King James Version: England, November 17, 1611: On the 400th anniversary of the “authorized” version of the English bible, a look back to the fate of the person who translated most of it (without authorization) and the other English publishing venture of the King who “authorized” the biblical translation.

Plymouth: Thanksgiving and slaughter in one lifetime: Massachusetts, 1620-1678. From the first landing to King Phlip’s War, it didn’t take long for two peoples to attempt to eliminate each other.

John Milton: England, 1648-1655 and Piedmont, 1655: Regicide in England. Massacre in Piedmont.

A Bewitching of Christmas Past: Massachusetts Bay/Province, 1688-1697

Part I: Why the Puritans hated Christmas. We meet Increase Mather, Samuel Steward and Cotton Mather as well as the first of the witches, Goody Glover, and the first of the afflicted, Martha Goodwin.

Part II: 1692, the year of “Trouble and Distress” begins with the affliction by witches of the children of Salem Village’s very own pastor, Samuel Parris. The previous pastor, Deodat Lawson returns to comfort his former parishioners, and he witnesses signs of devils and watches bewitched girls making accusations in church. The prosecutions begin. Ann Putnam is a prominent accuser.

Part III: The Putnams become the powers that be in the new Village of Salem Farms. They closely guard and add to their fortune with litigation and refuse lawful debts, particularly the taxes due to support the minister. George Burroughs falls into the Putnam snare.

Part IV: The Puritans expected their people to submit to the arbitrary cruelty of the magistrates much like God expected his people to submit to His own cruelty. But the New World Puritan’s world appears over when the restored Catholic Monarchy takes notice of Massachusetts Bay and cancels its charter. The new royal governor arrives. Increase Mather goes to England to treat with James II.

Part V: Where the New-England Puritan beliefs came from. Increase Mather collects strange events and makes a book about Illustrious Providences to stem the tide of materialism. Among the examples in this book are witches in America. With Increase off to England, Cotton manages the uprising against the governor and the treatment of the Goodwin children. The trials and hangings begin. Reverend Burroughs is tried and hanged before Cotton Mathers, urging on the hangman.

Part VI: The hangings of Burroughs and the others that day creates doubt about the proceedings. Meanwhile the granddaughter of one executed that day languishes in jail, wracked with grief for having falsely implicated her grandfather and Burroughs. The politically connected among those accused are allowed to escape. Cotton Mather himself became concerned that the trials were becoming seen as corrupt proceedings. So he wrote a book defending them with the help of the new chief witch hunter Lieutenant Governor Stoughton.

Part VII: Cotton Mather takes up two more “afflicted” girls, but it leads to his exposure as a fraud. An “afflicted” girl, a jury foreman and a judge confess. The dogmatism in the form of witching delusions ends.

Natchez: November 28, 1729: The Natchez massacre a French settlement on the Mississippi. Why?

The Libel of P.T. Barnum: Danbury, Connecticut, 1830s. Before he became a showman, P.T. Barnum published a newspaper which conducted a crusade against the Congregationalist controlled establishment in Connecticut. The powers-that-be decided to take him down by prosecuting him for criminal libel.

Part I: Barnum’s early life and The Herald of Freedom

Part II: Religious fever and libel in Connecticut

Lincoln Assassination PlotIllinois to Washington, D.C., February 1861: Before he was even inaugurated, there was a plot to kill Lincoln. It was foiled by Allan Pinkerton.

Lincoln’s Inauguration: Washington, D.C., March 4, 1861. Hope and fear in Washington, D.C. when secession had already taken place.

The Unpunished Crimes of John ChivingtonColorado Territory, November 1864. A crime against humanity goes unpunished by an ambitious manipulator.

Memorial Day: May 30, 1868: Per the order of General John A. Logan “Decoration Day” was celebrated to remember the dead who had “died in defense of their country during the late rebellion.” Meanwhile those who had taken up arms in defense of slavery were concocting a Lost Cause Mythology, which is a prevailing political religion in the South today.

Asturia, October 1934Spain, 1930-1934. The prequel to the Spanish Civil War, which itself was a rehearsal for World War II. A “fascist coup” leads to nationwide strike, but only miners in Asturias stick it out.

John Wooden (1910-2010)Terre Haute, Indiana, 1947-48: A small stand for social justice in an unlikely place, for an unusual reason—that it was the right thing to do.

Because they are hardHouston, September 12, 1962: Kennedy’s speech at Rice University announcing manned moon landing objective.

16th Street Baptist ChurchBirmingham, Alabama, September 15, 1963: Thoughts on the racist bombing that killed four children.

How liberals fight war: Strategic review of US air war in Vietnam, 1961-1969 and Afghanistan 2010.

Happy Gulf of Tonkin Day!: Vietnam and Washington, D.C.: August 2 and 4, 1964. The two incidents  that were the supposed basis for our involvement in the Vietnam civil war with two interesting footnotes.

Human blood is salty and sweetSumatra, Indonesia, 1965-66. The massacres by death squad and right-wing gangsters as told in two films by Joshua Oppenheimer.

A Brief (Recent) History on How the National Security State Manages the News

Part I: All Politics is Local: US, early 1970s: My Lai, Spiro Agnew, Kent State.

Women killers and baby thieves: Argentina in 1970s and 1980s: The “Dirty War” and the U.S.

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