May 2013

The Ballet That Caused a Riot

May 29, 2013

On May 29, 1913, an excited audience, fashionably dressed according to poet and filmmaker Jean Cocteau* in “tails and tulle, diamonds and ospreys,”** waited for the curtain to rise at the Theatre des Champs-Elysées. Serge Diaghilev’s Ballet Russe was premiering a new ballet with choreography by Nijinsky and music by Igor Stravinsky– The Rite of […]

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The First Memorial Day

May 27, 2013

My Own True Love and I just got home from a Memorial Day service in Grant Park.  It was held at the foot of a statue commemorating General John A.Logan. Before today, Logan on horseback was just another obscure Civil War statue. One I hadn’t paid much attention to. Never again. Like most Memorial Day […]

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Road Trip Through History: The Harry S. Truman Library and Museum

May 23, 2013

Recently My Own True Love and I took a week-long road trip that looped down the Mississippi, across to Little Rock, through northwest Arkansas, up to Kansas City and back to Chicago.  For much of the trip, historical sightseeing was out of the question. All we could do was make lists of sites and museums […]

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Children of the Days: a Calendar of Human History

May 21, 2013

Uruguayan writer Eduardo Galeano, who reached a wide American audience in 2009 with Open Veins of Latin America: Five Centuries of the Pillage of a Continent, has built his career on a genre-defying blend of history, fiction and political analysis that he describes as “obsessed with remembering”. In Children of the Days: A Calendar of […]

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What Kind of History Buff Are You?

May 17, 2013

We’ve been hanging out together at History in the Margins for two years now: come rain, come shine, come crazy deadline schedule. With a few exceptions*, I assume you have a basic interest in history or you wouldn’t keep coming back. But just what kind of history buff are you? I’m hoping you’ll answer a […]

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Prehistoric Redheads

May 14, 2013

Like every other redhead I know, I have a mental list of notable gingers from history:  Richard the Lion-Hearted, Christopher Columbus, Elizabeth I, Thomas Jefferson, Lucille Ball…*  It’s a natural defense against phrases like “red-headed stepchild” and that popular playground taunt, “I’d rather be dead than red on the head.” ** Not speaking for anyone […]

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Review: The Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42

May 9, 2013

I’ve written  on this blog before about the first British invasion of Afghanistan, and the disasters that followed.  In fact, I’ve written about it more than once.  It’s a story that never fails to fascinate me, but when I received William Dalyrmple’s The Return of a King: The Battle for Afghanistan, 1839-42 to review I […]

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Road Trip Through History: The Vandalia Statehouse State Historical Site

May 7, 2013

The first thing you need to remember about the old state capitol building in Vandalia, Illinois, is that it is NOT called the Old Capitol.* The Old Capitol, which is not as old as the state capitol building in Vandalia, is in Springfield. What can I say? Stuff doesn’t always make sense. Vandalia became the […]

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Speaking of book storage…

May 2, 2013

For the last five years I’ve visited New York City in April to attend the American Society of Journalists and Authors annual meeting. Every year I’ve made a pilgrimage to Fortitude and Patience, the stone lions that stand outside the public library on 5th Avenue. This year I finally went inside–as part of an ASJA […]

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