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
Daylight Saving Time: Only the government would believe that you could cut a foot off the top of a blanket, sew it to the bottom and have a longer blanket.
Numbers of the Month
Daylight Saving has been an official ritual since 1918, when President Woodrow Wilson codified it into law during the waning days of WWI. Nowadays, its ostensible purpose is to save energy: One more hour of sunlight in the evening means one less hour of consumption of artificial lighting. Daylight Saving has long been a cynical substitute for real energy policy. It’s the ideal energy policy because it has no apparent direct cost to consumers, and it asks no one to consume less.
But does Daylight Saving Time actually make much of a difference? Evidence suggests that the answer is no. A study at UC Berkeley showed that the move failed to reduce electricity demand at all. Another study showed that the savings from electricity use were negated, and then some, by additional use of air conditioning and heat. As air conditioning has become more widespread, recent studies have found that cost savings on lighting are more than offset by greater cooling expenses. Daylight Saving Time actually results in a 1% overall increase in residential electricity. Daylight Saving also increases gasoline consumption. And those aren’t the only negative results.
Americans lose around 40 minutes of sleep on the Sunday night after the shift. Because of that most people show drastically decreased productivity. The resulting loss in productivity costs the economy an estimated $434 million a year. Daylight Saving Time may hurt people who suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder, depriving them of light in the mornings. The switchover to Daylight Saving Time is also linked to a 25% increase in heart attacks and a rise in suicide rates, as well as traffic accidents. The expected risk of accidents rises 17%. Increases in fatal crash risks go up by 5.4%–7.6%. The overall rate for stroke is 8% higher in the two days after the start of Daylight Saving Time. Cancer victims are 25% more likely to have a stroke during that time, and people older than 65 are 20% more likely to have a stroke. The Monday and Tuesday after Daylight Saving Time have also been linked to more workplace injuries. The change even hinders moral decision making. The change can also cause problems for evening entertainment and for activities tied to sunlight, such as farming.
Putting clocks forward benefits and is heavily supported by retailing, sports (especially golf) and other activities that exploit sunlight after work hours. The Chamber of Commerce has lobbied on behalf of retailers that sell gardening, home repair or sports equipment. The biggest lobbyist in the past few years has been the National Association of Convenience Stores, because 80% of gasoline is bought in convenience stores, and when you give people in America more sunlight at the end of the day, they get in their cars and drive somewhere. Some argue that increased recreational activity during Daylight Saving results in greater gasoline consumption. And extra daylight means extra time to spend money.
Then and Now
March is Women's History Month.
03/01/1781 - The Continental Congress adopted the Articles of Confederation.
03/01/1790 - Congress authorized the first US Census.
03/01/1864 - Rebecca Lee became the first black woman to receive a medical degree, from the New England Female Medical College in Boston.
03/01/1872 - Congress authorized the creation of Yellowstone National Park.
03/01/1954 - Puerto Rican nationalists opened fire from the Gallery of the US House of Representatives, wounding five congressmen.
03/01/1961 - President Kennedy officially established The Peace Corps.
03/01/2019 - National Pig Day
03/01/2019 - St. David's Day – Christian
03/02/1904 - Theodor Seuss Geisel, commonly known as Dr. Seuss, was born in Springfield MA.
03/02/1917 - Puerto Ricans were granted US citizenship.
03/02/1977 - The US House of Representatives adopted a strict code of ethics. Yeah, right!
03/02/2019 - Texas Independence Day … On this day in 1836 Texas declared its independence from Mexico.
03/02/2019 - The Fast of Nineteen Days (through the 20th) begins at sundown – Baha’i
03/03/1879 - Belva Ann Bennett Lockwood became the first woman admitted to practice before the US Supreme Court.
03/03/1931 - The Star Spangled Banner officially became the national anthem of the US.
03/03/2019 - National Anthem Day
03/04/1193 - Saladin, the Muslim warrior who opposed the Crusades, died.
03/04/1789 - The Constitution of the US went into effect as the first federal Congress met in New York.
03/04/1861 - Abraham Lincoln was inaugurated president.
03/04/2019 - Maha Shivaratri (Great Shiva Night) – Hinduism
03/05/1933 - The Nazi Party won 44% of the vote in the German parliamentary elections.
03/05/1946 - Winston Churchill delivered his Iron Curtain speech at Westminster College in Fulton MO.
03/05/1970 - The Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty went into effect after 43 nations ratified it.
03/05/2019 - Mardi Gras / Carnival / Fat Tuesday / Shrove Tuesday
03/06/1836 - The Alamo, in San Antonio TX, fell to Mexican forces after a 13-day siege.
03/06/1857 - In its Dred Scott decision, the Supreme Court held that Scott, a slave, could not sue for his freedom in federal court.
03/06/1965 - The Defense Department announced it was sending the first contingent of US combat troops, 3500 Marines, to fight Communist guerillas in South Vietnam.
03/06/2019 - Alamo Day
03/06/2019 - Ash Wednesday, Beginning of Lent – Christian
03/07/1657 - The Canadian government made it illegal to sell liquor to Indians ... the first case of racial discrimination in North America.
03/07/1965 - State troopers and a sheriff's posse broke up a march by civil rights demonstrators in Selma AL.
03/07/1969 - The Who released Pinball Wizard in the UK. It was the first selection the public heard from the rock opera Tommy.
03/07/1974 - As the Symbionese Liberation Army held Patty Hearst, the government distributed tons of free food to meet their demands. Governor of California Ronald Reagan showed his anger at those folks accepting the food by saying, "It's too bad we can't have an epidemic of botulism."
03/07/2019 - Peace Corps Day
03/08/1965 - The US landed about 3,500 Marines in South Vietnam.
03/08/1971 - Radio Hanoi began its first American rock broadcast with the Jimmy Hendrix rendition of the National Anthem.
03/08/2019 - International Women’s Day
03/09/1862 - The ironclads Monitor and Virginia (formerly Merrimac) clashed for five hours to a draw at Hampton Roads VA.
03/09/1975 - Work began on the Alaskan oil pipeline.
03/10/1496 - Christopher Columbus completed his second visit to the Western Hemisphere as he left Hispaniola for Spain.
03/10/1848 - The Senate ratified the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, ending the war with Mexico.
03/10/2019 - Harriet Tubman Day
03/10/2019 - Daylight Saving Time begins at 2 am. Move your clock ahead an hour and lose the sleep!
03/11/1810 - Emperor Napoleon of France married by proxy the Archduchess Marie Louse of Austria.
03/11/1959 - Lorraine Hansberry's drama A Raisin in the Sun opened at New York's Ethel Barrymore Theater.
03/12/1933 - President Roosevelt delivered his first radio fireside chat, telling Americans about plans to deal with the nation's economic crisis.
03/12/1947 - President Truman established the Truman Doctrine to help Greece and Turkey resist Communism.
03/12/1993 - Janet Reno became the nation's first female Attorney General.
03/12/2019 - Girl Scout Day
03/13/1781 - Sir William Herschel discovered the planet Uranus.
03/13/1868 - The impeachment trial of President Andrew Johnson began in the US Senate.
03/13/1884 - The US adopted Standard Time.
03/13/1925 - A law went into effect in Tennessee prohibiting the teaching of evolution.
03/14/1743 - Boston held the first recorded town meeting in America at Faneuil Hall.
03/14/1900 - Congress ratified the Gold Standard Act.
03/14/1923 - Warren G. Harding became the first president to file an income tax report.
03/14/1965 - Israel formally approved establishment of diplomatic relations with West Germany.
03/14/2019 - Pi Day
03/15/44BCE - A group of nobles, including Brutus and Cassius, assassinated Roman dictator Julius Caesar. (Beware the Ides of March!)
03/15/1493 - Christopher Columbus returned to Spain, concluding his first voyage to the Western Hemisphere.
03/15/1913 - President Wilson held the first open presidential news conference.
03/15/1919 - The American Legion was founded in Paris.
03/15/1977 - Three's Company made its debut on ABC.
03/16/1802 - Congress authorized the establishment of the US Military Academy at West Point, NY.
03/16/1836 - The Republic of Texas approved a constitution.
03/16/1850 - Nathaniel Hawthorne's The Scarlet Letter was first published.
03/16/1945 - Iwo Jima was declared secured by the Allies during WW II.
03/16/2019 - Freedom of Information Day
03/16/2019 - Loco Davi (manger du bois rituel) – Voudon
03/17/1776 - British forces evacuated Boston during the Revolutionary War.
03/17/1910 - The Camp Fire Girls organization was formed.
03/17/1941 - The National Gallery of Art opened in Washington DC.
03/17/2019 - St. Patrick's Day ... According to tradition, St. Patrick, who is the patron saint of Ireland, died in Saul on this day in 461.
03/18/1766 - Britain repealed the Stamp Act.
03/18/1931 - Schick marketed the first electric razor.
03/18/1937 - More than 400 people, mostly children, died in a gas explosion at a school in New London TX.
03/18/1940 - Benito Mussolini agreed to join Adolph Hitler's war against France and Britain.
03/18/1965 - The first spacewalk took place as Soviet cosmonaut Aleskei Leonov left his Voskhod Two capsule secured by a tether.
03/19/1918 - Congress approved Daylight Saving Time.
03/19/1953 - NBC televised the Academy Awards ceremony for the first time.
03/19/2003 - President George W. Bush ordered the start of war against Iraq. (Because of the time difference, it was early March 20th in Iraq.)
03/20/1852 - Harriet Beecher Stowe's influential novel about slavery, Uncle Tom's Cabin, was first published.
03/20/1896 - US Marines landed in Nicaragua to protect US citizens in the wake of a revolution.
03/20/1987 - The FDA approved the sale of AZT, a drug shown to prolong the lives of some AIDS patients.
03/20/2019 - First day of Spring
03/20/2019 - Spring Equinox – Wicca, Celtic
03/20/2019 - Legba Zaou – Voudon
03/20/2019 - The Jewish festival of Purim (Feast of Lots) begins at sunset – Judaism
03/21/1685 - Johann Sebastian Bach was born in Eisenach, Germany.
03/21/1804 - France adopted the French civil code, the Napoleonic Code.
03/21/1871 - Journalist Henry Stanley began his famous expedition to Africa to locate the missing Scottish missionary David Livingstone.
03/21/1963 - Alcatraz federal prison in San Francisco Bay released its last inmates at the order of Attorney General Robert Kennedy.
03/21/1965 - More than 3,000 civil rights demonstrators led by Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. began their march from Selma to Montgomery.
03/21/2019 - Feast of Naw-Ruz (New Year's Day) – Baha’i
03/21/2019 - Shunbun no Hi / Vernal Equinox Day – Shinto
03/21/2019 - Hola Mohalla – Sikh
03/21/2019 - Holi (Spring Festival) – Hinduism
03/22/1882 - Congress outlawed polygamy.
03/22/1894 - The first Stanley Cup game in history was played. Montreal beat Ottawa 3-1.
03/22/1945 - The Arab League adopted its charter in Cairo, Egypt.
03/22/1988 - Both houses of Congress overrode President Reagan's veto of a sweeping civil rights bill.
03/22/2019 - Vikram Nav Varsh Samvant (Hindi New Year) – Hinduism
03/23/1775 - Patrick Henry made his famous call for American independence from Britain, telling the Virginia Provincial Convention, "Give me liberty or give me death."
03/23/1806 - Explorers Lewis and Clark, having reached the Pacific coast, began their journey back east.
03/23/1933 - The German Reichstag adopted the Enabling Act, which effectively granted Adolf Hitler dictatorial legislative powers.
03/23/1983 - President Reagan first proposed developing technology to intercept enemy missiles – a proposal known as the Strategic Defense Initiative, as well as Star Wars.
03/24/1955 - The Tennessee William's play Cat on a Hot Tin Roof opened on Broadway.
03/24/1958 - The Army inducted Elvis Presley in Memphis.
03/25/1634 - English colonists sent by the second Lord Baltimore founded Maryland.
03/25/1957 - The Treaty of Rome established the European Economic Community.
03/25/1965 - Martin Luther King, Jr. led 25,000 marchers to the Alabama state capitol, Montgomery, to protest the denial of voting rights to blacks.
03/25/2019 - Tolkien Reading Day
03/25/2019 - Annunciation – Christian
03/26/1971 - East Pakistan claimed its independence, taking the name Bangladesh.
03/26/1979 - Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Egyptian President Anwar Sadat signed the Camp David treaty at the White House.
03/26/1982 - Groundbreaking ceremonies took place in Washington DC for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial.
03/27/1512 - Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de Leon sighted Florida.
03/27/1794 - President Washington and Congress authorized the creation of the US Navy.
03/27/1998 - The FDA approved Viagra.
03/28/1979 - America's worst commercial nuclear accident occurred at the Unit Two reactor at the Three Mile Island plant near Middletown PA.
03/29/1638 - Swedish colonists settled in present-day Delaware.
03/29/1882 - The Knights of Columbus was chartered in Connecticut.
03/29/1951 - A jury convicted Julius and Ethel Rosenberg of conspiracy to commit espionage and sentenced them to execution.
03/29/1973 - The last US combat troops left South Vietnam.
03/30/1867 - The US reached an agreement with Russia to buy the territory of Alaska for $7.2 million.
03/30/1870 - The 15th amendment to the Constitution, giving black men the right to vote, took effect.
03/30/1870 - The Union readmitted Texas.
03/30/1981 - John Hinckley Jr. shot and seriously injured President Ronald Reagan outside a Washington DC hotel.
03/31/1889 - The Eiffel Tower was officially completed.
03/31/1917 - The US took possession of the Virgin Islands from Denmark.
03/31/1933 - The Congress authorized the Civilian Conservation Corps.
03/31/1943 - Rodgers and Hammerstein's musical Oklahoma opened on Broadway.
03/31/1991 - The Warsaw Pact ended its existence as a military alliance.
03/31/1968 - President Lyndon Johnson announced he would not seek another term as president.
03/31/2019 - Cesar Chavez Day
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.