Although this site has been created primarily for my students, everyone is welcome. In these pages you'll find many sources of information.
The Online Resources section below has numerous links that are of current interest. For more links to material on just about any topic you're looking for, use the E-Links button above. Linked off of that page are pages containing hundreds of links to sites covering a number of topics.
Visit often ... I update frequently! Hope you enjoy the site!
Quote of the Month
"In the US Bible Belt, you can be pro-death penalty, pro-gun, pro-war, pro-drone and still proclaim that you're pro-life."
Numbers of the Month
Support for the death penalty, which peaked in the mid-1990s, has dropped to a 4-decade low. 49% of respondents say they support capital punishment in murder cases, while 42% say they oppose it. The last time opposition to the death penalty was this high was in 1972, the year the Supreme Court in effect banned capital punishment — a hiatus that lasted 4 years.
Support for the death penalty climbed steadily from the mid-1970s through the 1980s as crime rates rose to historic highs. Since crime began a steady decline in the late 1990s, backing for capital punishment has dropped in polls, and juries have grown increasingly unlikely to impose it. Since 2009, 6 states have ended capital punishment, for a total of 19 that don’t authorize it.
Support for the death penalty has dropped much more among Democrats than Republicans, only about one-third of whom still back it. Among Republicans, more than 7 in 10 back capital punishment. Independents split evenly on the issue. Men support the death penalty more than women, whites more than blacks or Latinos and older Americans more than those under 30. Just over 7 in 10 Americans say there is some risk of executing an innocent person and just over 6 in 10 say they don’t believe the death penalty deters serious crime.
~Pew Research Center, 09/29/2016
Then and Now
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
10/01/1800 - Spain ceded Louisiana to France in a secret treaty.
10/01/1856 - The first installment of Gustave Flaubert's scandalous novel Madame Bovary was published.
10/01/1908 - Henry Ford introduced the Model-T automobile.
10/01/1968 - The cult horror movie Night of the Living Dean had its world premiere in Pittsburgh.
10/02/1835 - The first battle of the Texas Revolution took place as American settlers defeated Mexican cavalry near the Guadalupe River.
10/02/1950 - Peanuts, created by Charles M. Schulz, was first published in nine newspapers.
10/02/1967 - Thurgood Marshall became an associate justice of the Supreme Court, making him the first black appointed to the nation's highest court.
10/02/2017 - Child Health Day
10/03/1863 - President Lincoln declared the last Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.
10/03/1895 - Steven Crane's The Red Badge of Courage was published. It was the first novel to highlight an ordinary soldier's experience in the Civil War.
10/03/1929 - The Kingdom of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes formally changed its name to the Kingdom of Yugoslavia.
10/03/1990 - West Germany and East Germany ended 45 years of postwar division, declaring the creation of a new unified country.
10/03/1995 - A jury found OJ Simpson innocent of the slayings of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman.
10/04/1957 - Leave it to Beaver premiered on CBS.
10/04/1957 - The Space Age began as the Soviet Union launched Sputnik, the first man-made satellite, into orbit.
10/04/2017 - Sukkot begins at sunset and ends on the 11th at nightfall – Judaism
10/04/2017 - Feast Day of St. Francis of Assisi – Christian
10/05/1921 - Radio broadcast the World Series for the first time.
10/05/1953 - Earl Warren became the 14th chief justice of the Supreme Court.
10/05/2017 - Intergeneration Day
10/05/2017 - Pavarana – Buddhism
10/06/1973 - War erupted in the Middle East as Egypt and Syria attacked Israel during the Yom Kippur holiday.
10/06/1981 - Extremists shot and killed President Anwar Sadat of Egypt while reviewing a military parade.
10/07/1777 - The second Battle of Saratoga began during the American Revolution. British forces under General John Burgoyne surrendered 10 days later.
10/07/1949 - The Republic of East Germany was formed.
10/07/2002 - In a somber address to the nation, President George W. Bush labeled Saddam Hussein a "homicidal dictator" and said the threat from Iraq was "unique and imminent."
10/08/1066 - William the Conqueror invaded England to claim the English throne.
10/09/1635 - Religious dissident Roger Williams was banished from the Massachusetts Bay Colony.
10/09/1888 - The public was first admitted to the Washington Monument.
10/09/1967 - Latin American guerrilla leader Che Guevara was executed while attempting to incite revolution in Bolivia.
10/09/2017 - Leif Erikson Day
10/09/2017 - Columbus Day
10/10/1886 - The tuxedo dinner jacket made its American debut at the autumn ball in Tuxedo Park NY.
10/10/1911 - Revolutionaries under Sun Yat-sen overthrew China's Manchu dynasty.
10/10/1943 - Chiang Kai-Chek took the oath of office as president of China.
10/10/1973 - Vice President Spiro T. Agnew pleaded no contest to one count of federal income tax evasion and resigned his office.
10/11/1811 - The first steam-powered ferryboat, the Juliana, commenced operation between NYC and Hoboken.
10/11/1890 - The Daughters of the American Revolution was founded in Washington DC.
10/11/1932 - The 1st American political telecast took place as the Democratic National Committee sponsored a program from a CBS television studio in New York.
10/11/2017 - National Coming Out Day
10/11/2016 - Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah begins at sunset and ends on the 13th at nightfall – Judaism
10/12/1492 - Christopher Columbus arrived with his expedition in the present-day Bahamas.
10/12/1870 - General Robert E. Lee died in Lexington VA at the age of 63.
10/12/1973 - President Nixon nominated House minority leader Gerald Ford to succeed Spiro Agnew as vice president.
10/13/54CE - Roman emperor Claudius I died after his wife, Agrippina, poisoned him.
10/13/1845 - Texas ratified its first US state constitution.
10/13/1960 - Richard Nixon and John Kennedy participated in the third televised debate of their presidential campaign.
10/14/1066 - The Normans under William the Conqueror defeated the English at the Battle of Hastings.
10/14/1947 - Chuck Yeager broke the sound barrier as he flew the experimental Bell X1 rocket plane over Edwards Air Force Base in California.
10/14/1964 - Martin Luther King Jr. won the Nobel Peace Prize.
10/15/1917 - A French firing squad executed Mata Hari, a Dutch dancer who had spied for the Germans, outside Paris.
10/15/1976 - In the first debate of its kind between vice-presidential nominees, Democrat Walter Mondale and Republican Bob Dole faced off in Houston.
10/15/1991 - The Senate narrowly confirmed (52-48) the nomination of Clarence Thomas to the Supreme Court.
10/16/1793 - During the French Revolution, Queen Marie Antoinette was beheaded.
10/16/1859 - Abolitionist John Brown led a group of about 20 men in a raid on Harper's Ferry.
10/16/1916 - Margaret Sanger opened the first birth control clinic in NYC.
10/16/1962 - The Cuban missile crisis began as President Kennedy learned that reconnaissance photographs had revealed the presence of missile bases in Cuba.
10/16/1978 - The College of Cardinals of the Roman Catholic Church chose Cardinal Karol Wojtyla to be the new pope. He took the name John Paul II.
10/16/1995 - The Million Man March took place in Washington DC, led by Nation of Islam leader Louis Farrakhan.
10/16/2017 - Boss’s Day
10/16/2017 - Dictionary Day … the birthday of Noah Webster
10/17/1933 - Albert Einstein arrived in the US as a refugee from Nazi Germany.
10/17/1945 - Colonel Juan Peron staged a coup, becoming absolute ruler of Argentina.
10/17/1978 - President Carter signed a bill restoring US citizenship to Confederate President Jefferson Davis.
10/18/1685 - King Louis XIV of France revoked the Edict of Nantes, which had established legal toleration of France's Protestant population, the Huguenots.
10/18/1767 - The boundary between Maryland and Pennsylvania, the Mason-Dixon Line, was agreed upon.
10/18/1867 - The US took formal possession of Alaska from Russia.
10/19/1765 - The Stamp Act Congress, meeting in New York, drew up a declaration of rights and liberties.
10/19/1944 - The Navy announced that it would allow black women into the WAVES (Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service).
10/19/1950 - UN forces entered the North Korean capital of Pyongyang.
10/19/1960 - The US imposed an embargo on exports to Cuba covering all commodities except medical supplies and certain food products.
10/19/2017 - Bandi Chhor Divas – Sikhism
10/19/2017 - Diwali begins – Hinduism
10/20/1803 - The US Senate ratified the Louisiana Purchase.
10/20/1947 - The House Un-American Activities Committee opened hearings into alleged Communist influence and infiltration within the American motion picture industry.
10/20/2017 - World Statistics Day
10/20/2017 - Birth of the Bab – Baha’i
10/20/2017 - Installation of Holy Scriptures as Guru Granth Sahib Ji – Sikhism
10/20/2017 - Vikram Nav Varsh Samvant (Hindi New Year) – Hinduism
10/21/1797 - The US Navy frigate Constitution, also known as Old Ironsides, launched in Boston's harbor.
10/21/1945 - Women in France voted for the first time.
10/22/1836 - Sam Houston became the first constitutionally elected president of the Republic of Texas.
10/22/1962 - President Kennedy announced an air and naval blockade of Cuba following the discovery of Soviet missile bases on the island.
10/23/1983 - In Lebanon, a suicide truck bombing at Beirut International Airport killed 241 US Marines and sailors. A nearly simultaneous attack on French forces killed 58 paratroopers.
10/23/1987 - The US Senate rejected (58-42) the Supreme Court nomination of Robert Bork.
10/23/2017 - Diwali ends – Hinduism
10/24/1901 - Anna Edson Taylor, a 43-year-old widow, became the first person to survive going over Niagara Falls in a barrel.
10/24/1939 - Nylon stockings were sold publicly for the first time in Wilmington DE.
10/24/1940 - The 40-hour workweek went into effect under the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938.
10/24/1945 - The United Nations officially came into existence as its charter took effect.
10/24/1962 - The US blockade of Cuba during the missile crisis officially began under a proclamation signed by President Kennedy.
10/24/2017 - United Nations Day
10/25/1400 - Author Geoffrey Chaucer died in London of unknown causes.
10/25/1854 - The Charge of the Light Brigade took place during the Crimean War.
10/25/1962 - Author John Steinbeck won the Nobel Prize in literature.
10/26/1825 - The Erie Canal opened in upstate New York, connecting Lake Erie and the Hudson River.
10/26/1881 - The Gunfight at the OK Corral took place in Tombstone AZ as Wyatt Earp, his two brothers and Doc Holliday confronted and killed three members of Ike Clanton's gang. Earp's brothers were wounded.
10/26/1967 - The Shah of Iran crowned himself and his queen after 26 years on the Peacock Throne.
10/27/1787 - The first of the Federalist Papers was published in a New York paper.
10/27/1947 - You Bet Your Life, starring Groucho Marx, premiered on ABC Radio.
10/28/1636 - Harvard College opened in Massachusetts.
10/28/1886 - President Cleveland dedicated the Statue of Liberty, a gift from the people of France, in New York Harbor.
10/28/1962 - Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev informed the US that he had ordered the dismantling of Soviet missile bases in Cuba.
10/29/1929 - Black Tuesday descended on the New York Stock Exchange as prices collapsed amid panic selling and thousands of investors lost everything.
10/29/1966 - The National Organization for Women was founded.
10/29/2017 - Marine Corps Marathon (Washington DC)
10/30/1938 - The radio play, War of the Worlds, starring Orson Welles, aired on CBS.
10/30/1945 - The US government announced the end of shoe rationing.
10/30/1995 - By a vote of 50.6% to 49.4%, federalists prevailed over separatists in Quebec in a secession referendum.
10/30/2017 - Chanté-messes (through tomorrow) – Voudon
10/31/1517 - Martin Luther posted the 95 Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Palace church, marking the start of the Protestant Reformation in Germany.
10/31/1892 - Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was published.
10/31/1984 - Two Sikh security guards assassinated Indian Prime Minister Indira Gandhi.
10/31/2017 - Reformation Day
10/31/2017 - Samhain – Wicca, Celtic
10/31/2017 - Hallowe’en
Online Resource Links
What ISIS Really Wants - The Islamic State is no mere collection of psychopaths. It is a religious group with carefully considered beliefs, among them that it is a key agent of the coming apocalypse. Here’s what that means for its strategy — and for how to stop it | ISIS Claims Responsibility, Calling Paris Attacks First of the Storm | Syria Iraq: The Islamic State Militant Group | Isis: The Inside Story | Frontline: The Rise of ISIS | Council on Foreign Relations: A Primer on ISIS Iraq | Cracks in ISIS Are Becoming More Clear | How ISIS’ Attacks Harm the Middle East
Check out Today's Front Pages. Each day, you can see the front pages of more than 800 newspapers from around the world in their original, unedited form.
Whether or not you noticed, the earth's population passed 7 billion a while back. You might enjoy NPR's wonderful video, Visualizing How a Population Grows to 7 Billion.
Check out the St. Louis Fed's presentation The Financial Crisis: What Happened?. The original video is no longer available but you can view the power point presentation.
Want to take a survey but not sure how many responses to collect? This Survey Calculator gives you the number for any given population size and desired confidence level. A reverse calculator lets you enter characteristics of an existing survey and gives the confidence interval (±X%) to apply to the results. The Survey System site, sponsored by a survey software company, also gives clear explanations of statistical significance, survey design and related concepts. Also check out 20 Questions a Journalist (and You, too!) Should Ask About Poll Results.
PBS's 30 Second Candidate allows you to view more political ads than you ever knew existed. Choose the Historical Timeline link to see how political ads have changed over the years. Start with the infamous Daisy Ad that Lyndon Johnson used against Barry Goldwater. Click on Watch Johnson ads. Then click on either the QuickTime link or the Real Video link next to Daisy.
Check out Political Compass. The site does a good job of explaining political ideologies (although with definitions different from those I use) and gives you a chance to discover your own political philosophy.
Law Library of Congress: North Korea -- Collection of links to websites on North Korean government, politics and law. Includes legal guides, country studies and links to constitutions and branches of government (where available). Council on Foreign Relations: North Korea -- Background, articles and opinion pieces about North Korea government and politics. Many of the articles focus on North Korea's nuclear program. From the Council on Foreign Relations, "an independent membership organization and a nonpartisan think tank and publisher."
State of the Union (SOTU) -- The site uses an interactive timeline to provide a visual representation of prominent words in presidential State of the Union addresses by displaying significant words as "determined by comparing how frequently the word occurs in the document to how frequently it appears throughout the entire body of SOTU addresses." The Appendices section describes the statistical methods used. Also includes the full text of addresses.
Small Town Papers -- This site provides access to scanned images of recent issues of dozens of small town newspapers from throughout the United States. Newspapers are updated periodically, 2-3 weeks after publication. The site also includes a searchable archive (of articles, photos and advertisements), which covers different periods for each paper, some as far back as the 1890s. Access to the archives requires free registration.
This website serves as a centralized location to learn about the Congressional Research Service and search for CRS reports that have been released to the public by members of Congress. (CRS Reports do not become public until a member of Congress releases the report.) Features a searchable database with more than 8,000 reports, a list of recently released reports, other collections of CRS reports and a FAQ about CRS.
Instances of the Use of United States Armed Forces Abroad, 1798 - 2004 -- This report lists hundreds of instances in which the United States has used its armed forces abroad in situations of military conflict or potential conflict or for other than normal peacetime purposes. It was compiled in part from various older lists and is intended primarily to provide a rough survey of past US military ventures abroad, without reference to the magnitude of the given instance noted.
Keeping the Shi'ites Straight -- Based on the opinion that no story has been more confusing for the Western news media to cover in postwar Iraq than the politics of the country's Shi'ite majority, this article provides a basic outline of Shi'ite religious history. Discusses the Sadr family (Muhammad Baqir as-Sadr, Ayatollah Muhammad Sadiq al-Sadr, and Muqtada as-Sadr), Muhammad Baqir al-Hakim and other figures.
This commercial site presents brief information about dozens of Black Inventors from the United States. Some entries include portraits and images. Also includes a searchable timeline covering 1721-1988. Does not include bibliographic information.
Annenberg Political Fact Check -- This site describes itself as a nonpartisan, nonprofit, consumer advocate for voters that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in US politics. The site provides original articles, with summaries and sources, analyzing factual accuracy in TV ads, debates, speeches, interviews and news releases. Searchable. From the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania.
White House Tapes: The President Calling -- Three of America's most compelling presidents -- Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon -- bugged their White House offices and tapped their telephones. In this documentary project, American Radio Works eavesdrops on presidential telephone calls to hear how each man used one-on-one politics to shape history. Includes audio, a transcript of the documentary and background information on each president and the tapes.
The State of State and Local Finances -- New studies afford a state-by-state or city-by-city analysis of fiscal well being. The Year of Living Dangerously -- While leaders in a growing number of states appear to believe they're serving the public good by squeezing government dry, there's little question that minimizing management carries a host of dangers that directly affect the lives of citizens.
Government Debt by Country Map -- Shows countries' general government gross debt as a percentage of GDP in 2012.
First Amendment Library -- Provides info on Supreme Court First Amendment jurisprudence, including rulings, arguments, briefs, historical material, commentary and press coverage.
If you need a presentation or workshop for your group,
or the link at the top of the page.