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
"After a lifetime proselytizing on behalf of the producers and denouncing anyone needing government assistance as parasites, when Ayn Rand, who penned books like The Virtue of Selfishness, became old and sick, she discovered that even a bestselling author could not afford health care in the US. She availed herself of Medicare and ended her life on what she had despised – social security."
Numbers of the Month
Social Security is a highly popular program with benefits that are relatively modest but critically important for reducing poverty among vulnerable populations. Social Security faces a long-term funding shortfall, but not because its benefits are too generous. In fact, they're modest, and reckless benefit cuts could significantly boost poverty – particularly among the elderly but also among younger adults and children. Among the more than 60 million beneficiaries, 44 million are retired workers and their family members, 6 million are survivors of deceased workers and almost 11 million are disabled workers and their family members. For a young worker with average earnings, a spouse and two children, Social Security survivors' benefits are akin to a life insurance policy of over $600,000, according to Social Security's actuaries. The risk of disability or premature death is greater than many people realize; some 6% of recent labor force entrants will die before reaching Social Security's full retirement age, and many more will become disabled.
Social Security benefits are modest in dollar terms and by international standards. Yet many elderly Americans depend heavily on those benefits – particularly women and minorities. A third of beneficiaries receive at least 90% of their income from Social Security; 61% of beneficiaries receive more than half of their income from it. Social Security kept 22 million people out of poverty in 2015, including 15 million seniors. Without their Social Security benefits, 40.5% of elderly Americans would have had incomes below the official poverty line; with Social Security, only 8.8% did. Social Security also lifted 1.1 million children out of poverty in 2015. About 6.5 million children under age 18 (9% of all US children) lived in families that received income from Social Security in 2015. Some of these children receive benefits because a parent died, became disabled or retired; others live with relatives who receive Social Security. Social Security disability insurance also cuts the poverty rate among disabled workers, which would reach nearly 50% without those benefits. Even with disability benefits, about one in five disabled workers is poor.
Social Security is especially important to elderly women and minority families. Women tend to earn less than men, take more time out of the paid workforce, accumulate less savings and get smaller pensions. Women live longer than men on average, so many outlive their spouses and savings, leaving them more and more impoverished as they age. Social Security brought 8.8 million elderly women out of poverty in 2015. African-Americans and Latinos have lower-than-average lifetime earnings and fewer chances to save for retirement and earn pensions. Without Social Security, the poverty rate among elderly Latinos, which was 17.5% in 2015, would have approached 50%, and the poverty rate among elderly African-Americans (18.2% in 2015) would have exceeded 50%.
~US News and World Report, 10/28/2016
Then and Now
11/01/1512 - Michelangelo's paintings on the ceiling of the Sistine Chapel were exhibited to the public for the first time.
11/01/1952 - The US exploded the first hydrogen bomb at Eniwetok in the Marshall Islands.
11/01/2017 - All Saints’ Day
11/02/1783 - George Washington issued his Farewell Address to the Army near Princeton NJ.
11/02/1917 - British Foreign Secretary Arthur Balfour expressed support for a "national Home" for the Jews of Palestine in "The Balfour Declaration."
11/02/1930 - Haile Selassie was crowned emperor of Ethiopia.
11/02/1948 - President Truman surprised the experts by being re-elected in a narrow upset over Republican challenger Thomas Dewey.
11/02/1963 - South Vietnamese President Ngo Dihn Diem was assassinated in a military coup.
11/02/1976 - Jimmy Carter became the first candidate from the Deep South since the Civil War to become president.
11/02/2017 - Anniversary of the Crowning of Haile Selassie – Rastafarian
11/02/2017 - All Souls' Day
11/03/1903 - Panama declared its independence from Colombia.
11/03/1957 - The Soviets launched Sputnik II, the second manmade satellite, into orbit carrying a dog named Laika who died in the experiment.
11/03/1970 - Salvador Allende became president of Chile.
11/03/1991 - Israeli and Palestinian representatives held their first ever face-to-face talks in Madrid, Spain.
11/03/2017 - National Sandwich Day
11/04/1922 - The entrance to King Tutankhamen's tomb was discovered in Egypt.
11/04/1979 - The Iranian hostage crisis began as militants stormed the US Embassy in Tehran. For some of the hostages it was the start of 444 days of captivity.
11/04/1995 - Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was assassinated by a right-wing Israeli minutes after attending a peace rally.
11/04/2008 - The US elected Barak Obama, its first black president.
11/05/1940 - FDR won an unprecedented third term in office.
11/05/1946 - Republicans captured control of both the Senate and the House in midterm elections.
11/05/2017 - Daylight Saving time ends. Clocks fall back from 1:59 am to 1:00 am.
11/06/1860 - Former Illinois congressman Abraham Lincoln defeated three other candidates for the presidency.
11/06/1861 - The Confederacy elected Jefferson Davis to a six-year term as president.
11/07/1916 - Republican Jeannette Rankin of Montana became the first woman elected to Congress.
11/07/1917 - Russia's Bolshevik Revolution took place as forces led by Vladimir Ilyich Lenin overthrew the provisional government of Alexander Kerensky.
11/07/1944 - FDR won an unprecedented fourth term in office.
11/07/1973 - Congress overrode President Nixon's veto of the War Powers Act, which limits a chief executive's power to wage war without congressional approval.
11/07/1989 - L. Douglas Wilder won the governor's race in Virginia, becoming the first elected black governor in US history.
11/07/2017 - US Election Day
11/08/1933 - President Franklin Roosevelt created the Civil Works Administration, designed to create jobs for more than 4 million unemployed.
11/08/1994 - Midterm elections resulted in Republicans winning control of the House for the first time in forty years.
11/08/2002 - The UN Security Council unanimously approved a resolution giving UN weapons inspectors the muscle they needed to hunt for illicit weapons in Iraq. President Bush said the new resolution presented the Iraqi regime "with a final test."
11/09/1938 - Nazis looted and burned synagogues as well as Jewish-owned stores and houses in Germany and Austria in what became known as "Kristallnacht."
11/09/1989 - Communist East Germany threw open its borders allowing citizens to travel freely to the West. Joyous Germans danced on top of the Berlin Wall.
11/09/2017 - Lhabab Duchen – Buddhism
11/10/1775 - The US Marines were organized under authority of the Continental Congress.
11/10/1871 - Journalist-explorer Henry Stanley found missing Scottish missionary David Livingstone in central Africa.
11/10/1928 - Emperor Hirohito was enthroned in Japan.
11/10/1954 - The Iwo Jima Memorial was dedicated in Arlington VA.
11/10/1982 - The Vietnam Veterans Memorial welcomed its first visitors in Washington DC.
11/10/2017 - The US Marine Corps Birthday
11/11/1620 - Forty-one Pilgrims aboard the Mayflower, anchored off Massachusetts, signed a compact calling for a "body politick."
11/11/1831 - Former slave Nat Turner, who had led a violent insurrection, was executed in Jerusalem VA.
11/11/1921 - President Harding dedicated the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery.
11/11/2017 - Veterans Day
11/11/2017 - Martinmas – Christian
11/12/1942 - The WWII naval Battle of Guadalcanal began. The Americans won a major victory over the Japanese.
11/12/2017 - Birthday of Baha'u'llah – Baha’i
11/13/1789 - Benjamin Franklin wrote in a letter to a fried, "In this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes."
11/13/1927 - The Holland Tunnel opened to the public, providing access between New York City and New Jersey beneath the Hudson River.
11/13/1940 - The Walt Disney animated movie Fantasia had its world premiere in New York.
11/13/1942 - The minimum draft age was lowered from 21 to 18.
11/13/1956 - The Supreme Court struck down laws calling for racial segregation on public buses.
11/13/1982 - The Vietnam Veterans Memorial was dedicated in Washington DC.
11/14/1851 - Herman Melville's Moby Dick was first published.
11/14/1922 - The BBC began its domestic radio service.
11/15/1777 - The Continental Congress approved the Articles of Confederation.
11/15/1889 - Brazil's monarchy was overthrown.
11/15/1926 - NBC debuted with a radio network of 24 stations.
11/15/1998 - Civil Rights activist Kwame Tume (Stokely Carmichael) died in Guinea at the age of 57.
11/15/2017 - Shichi - Go - San (Seven - Five - Three) – Shinto
11/16/1849 - A Russian court sentenced novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky to death for his alleged anti-government activities. At the last minute, his execution was stayed.
11/16/1864 - Killer and arsonist William T. Sherman and his troops began their March to the Sea.
11/17/1800 - Congress held its first session in Washington in the partially completed Capitol building.
11/17/1868 - The Suez Canal opened in Egypt.
11/18/1820 - Navy Captain Nathaniel Palmer discovered the frozen continent of Antarctica.
11/18/1883 - The US and Canada adopted a system of Standard Time zones.
11/18/1928 - The first successful sound-synchronized animated cartoon, Walt Disney's Steamboat Willie, premiered in New York.
11/18/1966 - US Roman Catholic bishops did away with the rule against eating meat on Fridays.
11/18/1987 - The congressional Iran-Contra committees issued their final report saying President Reagan bore "ultimate responsibility" for wrong-doing by his aides.
11/18/1999 - Twelve people died when a bonfire under construction at Texas A&M University collapsed.
11/18/2017 - Mickey Mouse’s Birthday
11/19/1863 - President Lincoln delivered the Gettysburg Address.
11/19/1919 - The US Senate rejected the Treaty of Versailles.
11/19/1977 - Egyptian President Anwar Sadat became the first Arab leader to visit Israel.
11/20/1789 - New Jersey became the first state to ratify the Bill of Rights.
11/20/1945 - The Nuremberg Trials began as Nazi leaders went on trial before an international war crimes tribunal.
11/20/1967 - The US Census Clock ticked past 200 million.
11/21/1877 - Thomas Edison announced he had invented the phonograph.
11/21/1922 - Rebecca Felton (Georgia) became the first woman to serve in the US Senate. (She filled the vacancy caused by the death of the state's senator and served one day.)
11/21/1963 - President John Kennedy and his wife, Jacqueline, began a two-day tour of Texas.
11/21/1969 - The Senate voted down the Supreme Court nomination of Clement F. Haynsworth, the first such rejection since 1930.
11/22/1718 - English pirate Edward Teach, better known as Blackbeard, died during a battle off the Virginia coast.
11/22/1906 - The International Radio Telegraphic Convention in Berlin adopted the SOS distress signal.
11/22/1928 - Maurice Ravel's Bolero made its debut in Paris.
11/22/1963 - President John Kennedy was shot to death while riding in a motorcade in Dallas.
11/22/1975 - Juan Carlos became King of Spain.
11/23/1889 - The first jukebox debuted in San Francisco's Palais Royale Saloon.
11/23/1936 - Life was first published.
11/23/1971 - The People's Republic of China became a member of the UN Security Council.
11/23/2017 - Thanksgiving Day
11/24/1859 - Charles Darwin published On the Origin of Species by Means of Natural Selection, or The Preservation of Favoured Races in the Struggle for Life. It immediately sold out.
11/24/1871 - The National Rifle Association was incorporated.
11/24/1963 - Jack Ruby shot and mortally wounded Lee Harvey Oswald.
11/24/2017 - Black Friday
11/24/2017 - Martyrdom of Guru Tegh Bahadur Ji – Sikhism
11/25/1783 - The British evacuated NY, their last military position in the US during the Revolutionary War.
11/25/1986 - The Iran-Contra affair erupted as President Reagan and Attorney General Edwin Meese revealed that profits from secret arms sales to Iran had been diverted to Nicaraguan rebels.
11/25/2002 - President George W. Bush signed legislation creating the Department of Homeland Security.
11/25/2017 - Mangé Yam (fête de la moisson) – Voudon
11/25/2017 - Day of the Covenant – Baha’i
11/26/1942 - Casablanca had its world premiere in NY.
11/26/1950 - China entered the Korean conflict by launching a counteroffensive against soldiers from the UN, the US and South Korea.
11/26/1997 - Iraqi President Saddam Hussein said he would allow visits to presidential palaces where UN weapons experts suspected he had hidden chemical and biological weapons.
11/26/2017 - Christ the King Sunday – Christian
11/27/1901 - The US Army War College opened in Washington DC.
11/27/1973 - The Senate voted 92-3 to confirm Gerald Ford as vice president, succeeding Spiro Agnew.
11/28/1520 - Portuguese navigator Ferdinand Magellan reached the Pacific Ocean after passing through the South American strait that now bears his name.
11/28/1925 - The Grand Ole Opry made its radio debut on station WSM.
11/28/1975 - President Ford nominated federal Judge John Paul Stevens to the US Supreme Court.
11/28/2017 - Ascension of Abdul-Baha – Baha’i
11/29/1864 - The Colorado militia killed at least 150 peaceful Cheyenne Indians in the Sand Creek Massacre.
11/29/1947 - The UN passed a resolution calling for the partitioning of Palestine between Arabs and Jews.
11/29/1963 - President Johnson named a commission headed by Earl Warren to investigate the assassination of President Kennedy.
11/30/1782 - The US and Britain signed preliminary peace articles in Paris, which ended the Revolutionary War.
11/30/1966 - The former British colony of Barbados became independent.
11/30/1981 - The US and the Soviet Union opened negotiations in Geneva aimed at reducing nuclear weapons in Europe.
11/30/2017 - Mawlid an Nabi (Birth of the Prophet) begins at sunset – Muslim
11/30/2017 - St. Andrew's Day – Christian
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.