Trail Talk Blog

Posts Tagged ‘history’

History Envy

I have history envy.   I doubt that it’s a very widespread malady, though possibly infectious.   Therefore, in the public interest I have compiled a list of symptoms to watch for: I often wonder what it would be like to go to work in a historic building situated on a narrow… read more >

Tidewater

Two hundred years after the first Pilgrims, Dutch East Indian employees and English Cavaliers arrived on these shores (and began the long, agonizing process of wresting it from its original owners)  90% of the non-Indian population still lived within 50 miles of tidewater.   Despite America’s well-known penchant for looking westward,… read more >

Story Telling

Nobel and Pulitzer Prize-winning American novelist, Toni Morrison, has admitted in interviews that she writes the story she would like to read herself.   Unfortunately, doing what we want and doing it well is a gift that only a talented few possess. I do identify with her sentiment, however.   After all,… read more >

The Learning Experience

We have certainly come a long way from the days when American schools began to introduce media – ever so cautiously – into the curriculum to stimulate interest and enhance the learning experience.   As a Boomer, I was constantly subjected to experimental instructional programs sparked by the launch of Sputnik,… read more >

Democracy

When I was in junior high, my history teacher planted a trick question in a pop quiz that made a lasting impression on me. He asked us to name the oldest democracy in the world. Sadly, not one of us had a clue, and undoubtedly that was the point. He… read more >

Two Worlds Colliding

I was recently on the receiving end of a flattering and wholly unexpected accolade recognizing many decades of volunteer work promoting and preserving the history of South Dakota. This is what I do for fun, and despite the fact that my tour business grew out of my love of history,… read more >

Seeing the Elephant

“Seeing the elephant”, I’m told, is a purely American phrase which gained popularity in the early 19th century. Coincidentally, the first circuses reached these shores from Europe in the 1830’s and they invariably included exotic animals that no American had ever seen. They were HUGE – almost overwhelming – and… read more >

Forgotten History

Andrew Carroll in his excellent new book (Here is Where) about what he calls America’s “forgotten history”, raises the question about the difficulty of learning from history when so much of it is either mis-remembered, or worse, just plain invented. Personal memoirs are particularly suspect because the author often has… read more >

Time Travel

One of my ever-lasting passions is for movies which toy with the space-time continuum, or time travel. There are tons of them out there, so many that they can even be broken down into sub-categories. But the reason Hollywood keeps making them (and movie-goers keep watching them) is the very… read more >

American Heritage

My grandfather was an original subscriber to American Heritage Magazine, the classy hardbound history magazine written and edited by some of America’s most distinguished historians and scholars of the fifties and sixties. Civil War historian Bruce Catton, was the founding editor, and remained at his post for many years. David… read more >

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