Category Archives: history

November 12, 2014, 9:22 am

J. Edgar Hoover Uncensored

mag-16Lede-t_CA0-blog427Yale’s Beverly Gage has an essay in the New York Times about the famous letter sent to Martin Luther King on November 18, 1964 accusing him of being “a colossal fraud and an evil, vicious one at that.” The letter, sent by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation as part of its COINTELPRO operation intended to disable radical movements in the United States, catalogues a range of sexual misbehaviors. It uses the word “evil” multiple times, as Gage points out; and concludes with the well known phrase: “There is only one thing left for you to do. You know what it is.”

We have known about this letter for years, but it has always appeared in redacted form, and those who have used it have always presumed that it was intended to push King to suicide. But was that actually its purpose, and under what circumstances would Hoover have imagined that a man schooled in non-violence, a…

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June 29, 2014, 11:45 am

Gay Pride: Telling Our Stories

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LGBT Pride Parades are traditionally led out by Dykes on Bikes: in New York, that is the Sirens MC.

Want to tell your story about participating in an LGBT march, parade or demo? Go to OutHistory.org! We love it if you scan and upload pictures too.

Today is the first New York Pride for which I have been in town in many years: I cannot even recall my most recent one. My first march ever was in 1981, the summer following my move to New York. A group of us who had been friends at Yale all marched together under the direction of Anthony Barthelemy, then finishing his Ph.D. in the English Department. John Guillory was there too:  along with Ann Fabian and Terry Murphy (both were American Studies graduate students and not lesbians, though many wished that they were, I am sure), Anthony and John provided adult…

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May 22, 2014, 9:03 am

Women With A Past: Big Berks Day 1

canadian-flagWhy no posting? Where has Tenured Radical been lately?

Just preparing for the most awesome history conference ever!

Yep. It happens every three years, and the time is now. The Sixteenth Berkshire Conference on the History of Women launches today at the University of Toronto. Although we have been an international conference since the 1990s, this is the first time the Big Berks, as it is called, has been held outside the Lower Forty-Eight. Thanks to the heroic efforts of President Franca Iacovetta and her team at the University of Toronto, we have four days of terrific programming and artistic performances.

Today’s program is here. Top five things to know? (more…)

April 16, 2014, 10:00 am

Never Forget: On the Centenary of the Ludlow Massacre

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The monument at the site of the Ludlow Massacre, located on County Road 44, about 1.5 km west of Interstate 25 in Colorado

On Sunday, April 20, celebrations of Easter will coincide with the centenary of the Ludlow Massacre, a bloody attack on workers for which John D. Rockefeller, Jr. was entirely responsible. On this day in 1914, Rockefeller unleashed Colorado Fuel and Iron Company thugs, professional strikebreakers hired from the Baldwin-Felts Detective agency and members of the Colorado National Guard on over 1,000 workers and their families.

Hired strikebreakers wore the uniforms of the state militia, and together these domestic terrorists launched a day of murder, looting and death by fire. The Ludlow Massacre launched retaliatory attacks against the mining industry all over the state; men, women and…

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February 28, 2014, 11:05 am

Because the NY Times Can’t Print Everything….

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This cover illustration from 1867 was titled: “The First Vote.”

….sometimes Tenured Radical steps in.

On January 31, 2014, Columbia University’s Eric Foner reviewed a new book on Reconstruction by Douglas Egerton. The review elicited this response from Bonnie S. Anderson, professor emerita in history at Brooklyn College. Anderson is the author of many influential books and articles in European women’s history, including the two-volume A History of Their Own: Women in Europe from Prehistory to the Present (Oxford University Press, 1999), co-written with Judith P. Zinsser. She writes:

It depressed me to see the generally enlightened historian Eric Foner perpetuate the Reconstruction era’s erasure of women in his review of Douglas Egerton’s The Wars of Reconstruction (Bloomsbury: 2014.) Foner asserts…

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February 16, 2014, 10:00 am

Tenured Radical, Live from the Cornell Sex Archive

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If that headline doesn’t grab your attention, what will?

The Human Sexuality Collection at Cornell University is celebrating its 25th Anniversary, reminding some of us that the history of sex has emerged as a field within our own lifetimes. The curator of the HSC, Head of Research Services Brenda Marston, has been leading out a celebration that includes Speaking of Sex, an exhibit at Cornell’s Carl A. Kroch Library, that opened last Friday February 14 and will be up until October 11, 2014. There is also a speaker’s series that kicks off with a reading by Jewelle Gomez at 4:30 on March 12 in Lewis Auditorium (Goldman Smith Hall). (more…)

January 2, 2014, 3:07 pm

AHA Day 1: Digital History Workshopalooza

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We’ve come a long way, baby.

After breakfast with #Graftonliner Surekha Davies, and a surprise encounter with Tony Grafton himself, I beetled off to “Getting Started in Digital History.” If you go to the #dhist #AHA2014 hashtags on Twitter, you can pick up a crowd sourced account of the first hour (it was also live blogged here: anybody want to Storify it for extra credit?)

As someone who is not a beginner, but who still has big holes in her DH education, I thought the new guy at the AHA, Director of Scholarly Communications Seth Denbo, working with Kalani Craig and Jennifer Serventi, did a great job kicking off the morning with the basics of what it means to do digital history in 2014. I would be interested to hear if it worked well for newcomers, but I thought it mapped the field well and was relatively…

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January 1, 2014, 11:06 am

What to Pack — And What Not To Pack — For #AHA2014

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For some of you it is just New Year’s Day, but for those of us with workshops and panels tomorrow, Day 1 of the American Historical Association Annual Meeting in Washington, D.C., it’s travel day. After hemming and hawing about the wisdom of getting up at 4 a.m. tomorrow to catch a shuttle, I capitulated and made plane reservations for late this afternoon. Bad news? Missing a long, leisurely day at home filing the rest of my health care receipts for 2013, finishing up the hardback book that is too heavy to carry, and watching football. Good news? Not being exhausted in my morning workshop, and not worrying that this incoming weather system is going to lock me down in New York so long that I miss my second panel too. (Bonus points for flying in and out of handy Reagan National which is usually clogged with Congressmen and lobbyists.)

Fans of both the Radical and my blogpal

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November 22, 2013, 7:52 pm

Philadelphia: November 22, 1963

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A crowd listens to the news of the assassination in New York City, November 22, 1963

Reading Terminal Market in downtown Philadelphia. Five years old. Surrounded by grown up legs in nylon stockings. A sudden wave goes through the crowd: “The President has been shot!” My mother grabs my hand and we walk quickly to the car because something terrible has happened and we have to get home. It’s a big yellow Merc with chrome fins, green cloth interior, black roof and electric windows.

(Where was my sister? Was she home? I don’t remember.)

This was still when it was ok to put your kid in the front seat, no seatbelt or anything. Driving home on the expressway, the radio announces that the President is dead. My mother starts to cry, puts her arm across my stomach so I don’t fall off the seat and starts to brake (this…

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September 18, 2013, 10:03 am

Your Federal Tax Dollars @ Work: August, 1981

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Does this make me look fat?

From a telephone survey commissioned by the Reagan administration in August, 1981, the first year in which I would be filing my own income taxes:

“Given the chance to travel in outer space, a strong minority of the public — 42% –say they would do so. But a majority of 55% would decline the adventure. Young people, surprisingly, are more willing to venture into space than are older Americans. And men are far more likely than women to express the desire for space travel. Half the men — 52% — but only one-third of the women — 33% — say they would travel in space if they had the chance.”

Ask a stupid question…….