History on Display

Road Trip Through History: 871 +/-2

August 21, 2015

In 2001, an Icelandic construction crew was excavating a basement for a new hotel in the historic district of Reykjavik when they made a major archaeological discovery which included not only the oldest relics of human habitation in the area, which date from before the “official” settlement day of 871CE, plus or minus a year […]

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Road Trip Through History: The Settlement Center

August 14, 2015

As I’ve mentioned before, Iceland is a small place and much of it is mountain desert–think the Rockies without the pines. In what passes for arable land, the present lives on top of and alongside the past. Dig the foundation for a new building and the odds are that you will find the foundation of […]

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Counting The Fallen

June 23, 2015

The size of the armies and the number of the casualties in a given war, or even individual battle, is always a difficult discussion for historians. When dealing with pre-modern sources of any kind, historians are cautious about accepting contemporary estimates.* The assumption is that at best the writer of the source did not have […]

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If you can’t go to Waterloo….

June 12, 2015

  Let Waterloo come to you. You may have heard–June 18th is the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Waterloo.  Hundreds of thousands of history buffs, nerds, geeks and buggs* will gather in Belgium to watch 5000 enthusiasts and 300 bewildered horses reenact the battle.  My guess is that plenty of them are already there, […]

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History on Display–From Senegal to Seeger: Stories of the American Banjo

June 5, 2015

Recently My Own True Love and I had the chance to see Michael Miles’ most recent one-man musical documentary, From Senegal to Seeger: Stories of the American Banjo. It was a last-minute addition to a long-planned small-scale road trip.  It turned out to be one of the highlights. We both love the banjo. We’d seen […]

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History on Display: Project 1915

April 16, 2015

On April 24, 2015, Armenians around the world will commemorate the centennial of the Armenian genocide, generally considered the first large-scale genocide of the 20th century. Many of the remembrances will focus on the horror of the genocide itself. In Project 1915, Chicago-based Armenian-American artist Jackie Kazarian chooses instead to celebrate 3000 years of Armenian […]

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History on Display: Vikings

March 27, 2015

As those of you who hang out here in the Margins know, I’ve had my head down recently working on a big project. No new blog posts! No road trips! No museum visits.! No history just for the fun of it! As soon as I got a moment to breathe, My Own True Love and […]

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From The Archives: Why I Want To Go To Omaha

March 1, 2015

I currently have my head down trying to finish a big project that I’m excited about. Instead of driving myself crazy trying to write blog posts at the same time or, worse, “going dark” I’ll be running some of my favorite posts from the past for the next little while. Enjoy. And I’ll see you […]

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History on Display: The Great War As It Unfolds

December 12, 2014

WARNING: THIS BLOG POST INCLUDES A DANGEROUS TIME SUCK. PROCEED AT YOUR OWN RISK Recently my friend and writing buddy Evelyn Herwitz introduced me to a fascinating You Tube channel. The Great War follows World War I in real time in weekly summaries that combine the style of a news reel with personal commentary by […]

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History on Display: En Guerre

October 31, 2014

I’ve spent most of this week in a small carrel in Regenstein library, head down and fingers flying as I try to push my way through a mini-proposal for a book I’d like to write.* It’s not my favorite way to work. Instead of getting up at the end of a stint to make a […]

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