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
Because, underneath all of this is the real truth we have been avoiding: climate change isn’t an “issue” to add to the list of things to worry about, next to health care and taxes. It is a civilizational wake-up call. A powerful message - spoken in the language of fires, floods, droughts and extinctions - telling us that we need an entirely new economic model and a new way of sharing this planet. Telling us that we need to evolve.
Numbers of the Month
The steady rise in global surface temperatures is largely attributed to human-caused greenhouse gas emissions. With rising temperatures, the world’s ice has been melting and sea levels have been rising. As a result, barring major interventions, sooner or later thousands of coastal communities around the world will become uninhabitable.
With the ice in Greenland and Antarctica melting at record rates, scientists currently estimate sea levels could rise 2-7 feet by the end of the century, with some estimates even higher. Antarctica has about 90% of all ice in the world, enough to raise global sea levels by 200 feet, in theory. This kind of catastrophic sea level rise is just one of many potential disaster scenarios caused by climate change.
Change on such a large scale is incremental and can seem quite distant, but any solution to the problem would need to be implemented relatively soon. Already, for many areas in the US, recurring flooding is inevitable and the problem is imminent.
The Union of Concerned Scientists in June 2018 released a report identifying US coastal communities expected to face chronic and disruptive flooding before the end of the century, in particular the coastal communities in which at least 10% of habitable land is expected to experience chronic flooding by 2060. Places are ranked by the number of residents that live in those parts of the community expected to be regularly flooded by 2060. In many of these communities, more than one-third of the current population lives in areas expected to be regularly flooded by 2060.
Chronic, disruptive flooding was defined as 10% or more of a community’s usable land flooding 26 times a year, or every other week. Most of the 90 communities that already experience such flooding are in Louisiana and Maryland, where land subsidence has intensified the effects of sea-level rise. Life has already been altered in those places, where flood advisories are normal and residents have learned to avoid low-lying streets. For perspective, the report notes that Miami Beach, considered Ground Zero for sea-level rise, has not reached the 10% threshold, even as it experiences high-tide flooding and has invested more than $400 million to rebuild the city’s storm sewers. Likewise, flooding in Annapolis, Maryland, home to the US Naval Academy, is not expected to reach the 10% threshold, although key parts of the city, including the academy campus and downtown, now flood 40 times a year. But over time, disruptive flooding will spread.
Other factors, such as the possibility that global climate change could increase the prevalence and intensity of severe weather events such as hurricanes, could make actual outcomes in these cities even more dire. There are already places in the US where weather appears to be getting worse because of climate change. By the end of the century, chronic flooding will be occurring from Maine to Texas and along parts of the West Coast. Options are limited. All are costly, whether adapting to a watery future with seawalls and other barriers, or retreating and finding a new place to call home.
Across US coastal cities, more than 300,000 homes worth a combined $117.5 billion are likely to be at risk of chronic tidal flooding within 30 years, according to UCS analysis and projections. By the end of the century, that total could rise to 2.4 million homes and more than $1 trillion in property damage - and those estimates are based only on existing homes. The regular inundation these cities face in the near future could make the worst floods in American history seem tame by comparison.
The UCS study examined three scenarios: a low scenario that assumes carbon emissions decline dramatically and global warming is limited to 2 degrees Celsius; an intermediate scenario, which projects carbon emissions peaking at mid-century, resulting in four feet of sea-level rise globally; and a high scenario, which occurs toward 2100, with polar ice melting fast enough to produce about 6.5 feet of sea-level rise. Scientists consider the high scenario to be increasingly plausible as the melting of ice sheets accelerates. There is time enough to prevent some of the flooding but for hundreds of other communities - including the small towns that dot Maryland’s Eastern Shore, as well as Savannah, New Orleans and Miami - it may already be too late.
Then and Now
June is LGBT Pride Month, in commemoration of the Stonewall riots.
06/01/1813 - Capt. James Lawrence, commander of the US frigate Chesapeake, said "Don't give up the ship" during a losing battle with a British frigate.
06/01/1958 - Charles de Gaulle became premier of France.
06/01/1967 - The Beatles released their album, Sergeant Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
06/02/1924 - Congress granted US citizenship to all American Indians.
06/02/1953 - Queen Elizabeth II was crowned queen of Britain after the death of her father, King George VI.
06/02/1966 - The US space probe Surveyor 1 landed on the moon and began transmitting detailed photographs of the lunar surface.
06/02/1987 - President Reagan announced the nomination of economist Alan Greenspan to succeed Paul Volcker as chairman of the Fed.
06/03/1621 - The Dutch West India Company received a charter for New Netherlands, now known as New York.
06/03/1888 - Ernest Lawrence Thayer's poem Casey at the Bat was first published in the San Francisco Daily Examiner.
06/03/1965 - Astronaut Edward White became the first American to walk in space during the flight of Gemini 4.
06/03/1989 - Iran's spiritual leader, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, died.
06/03/2019 - Eid-al Fitr begins at sunset (Ramadan ends) – Muslim
06/04/1892 - The Sierra Club incorporated in San Francisco.
06/04/1937 - Oklahoma City grocer Sylvan Goldman invented and patented the world's first grocery cart with wheels.
06/04/1939 - The SS St. Louis, carrying more than 900 Jewish refugees from Germany, was turned away from the Florida coast.
06/04/1942 - The WWII Battle of Midway began.
06/04/1947 - The House of Representatives overwhelmingly approved the Taft-Hartley Act.
06/04/1947 - The classic film Miracle on 34th Street opened. It received a B rating as "morally objectionable" because Maureen O'Hara is shown in a sympathetic light as a divorcee.
06/05/1794 - Congress passed the Neutrality Act, which prohibited Americans from enlisting in the service of a foreign power.
06/05/1917 - About 10 million American men began registering for the draft in WWI.
06/05/1933 - The US went off the gold standard.
06/05/1947 - In a speech at Harvard, Secretary of State George Marshall outlined an aid program for Europe, later called the Marshall Plan.
06/05/1967 - War erupted in the Mideast as Israel raided Egyptian military targets. Syria, Jordan and Iraq entered the conflict.
06/05/1968 - Sirhan Bishara Sirhan assassinated Senator Robert Kennedy who had just claimed victory in California's Democratic presidential primary.
06/05/1981 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that five men in Los Angeles had come down with a rare kind of pneumonia. They were the first recognized cases of AIDS.
06/06/1844 - The Young Men's Christian Association began in London.
06/06/1933 - The first drive-in movie theater opened in Camden NJ.
06/06/1934 - The Securities and Exchange Commission was established.
06/06/1944 - The WWII D-Day Invasion of Europe took place as Allied forces stormed the beaches of Normandy.
06/06/1966 - Black activist James Meredith was shot and wounded as he walked along a Mississippi highway to encourage black voter registration.
06/06/2001 - Democrats formally assumed control of the US Senate after James Jeffords switch from the Republican Party to an independent.
06/06/2019 - D-Day
06/07/1776 - Richard Henry Lee of Virginia proposed to the Continental Congress a resolution calling for a Declaration of Independence.
06/07/1917 - Gwendolyn Brooks, who became the first African-American to win the Pulitzer Prize in 1950 (for Annie Allen), was born in Topeka KS.
06/07/2019 - Boone Day
06/08/0632 - The prophet Mohammed died.
06/08/1867 - Mark Twain embarked on a journey through Europe to the Holy Land that served as his inspiration for The Innocents Abroad.
06/08/1967 - Israeli forces raided the Liberty, a Navy ship stationed in the Mediterranean, killing 34 US servicemen. Israel called it a tragic mistake.
06/08/1982 - President Reagan became the first American president to address a joint session of the British Parliament.
06/08/2019 - Shavuot begins at sunset and ends on June 10th – Judaism
06/09/68CE - Roman Emperor Nero committed suicide.
06/09/2019 - Pentecost – Christian
06/10/1935 - Alcoholics Anonymous began in Akron OH.
06/10/1943 - Lasalo Biro of Hungary invented the ball point pen.
06/11/1776 - The Continental Congress formed a committee to draft a Declaration of Independence from Britain.
06/11/1966 - Janis Joplin sang onstage with Big Brother and the Holding Company for the first time at the Avalon Ballroom in San Francisco.
06/11/2001 - Oklahoma executed the Oklahoma City bomber Timothy McVeigh, by injection.
06/12/1776 - Virginia's colonial legislature became the first to adopt a Bill of Rights.
06/12/1898 - Philippine Nationalists declared independence from Spain.
06/12/1929 - Anne Frank was born in Frankfurt-am-Main, Germany.
06/12/1963 - An unknown assailant fatally shot civil rights leader Medgar Evers, field secretary for the NAACP, in front of his home in Jackson, MI. In 1994, a jury convicted Byron De La Beckwith of murdering Evers and sentenced him to life in prison. He died in 2001.
06/12/1967 - The US Supreme Court struck down state laws prohibiting interracial marriages.
06/12/1987 - President Reagan, during a visit to a still divided Berlin, publicly demanded that Russian leader Mikhail Gorbachev "Tear down this wall!"
06/13/1888 - Congress created the Department of Labor.
06/13/1900 - China's Boxer Rebellion, targeting foreigners and Chinese Christians, erupted into full-scale violence.
06/13/1966 - The Supreme Court issued its landmark Miranda decision, ruling that police must inform criminal suspects of their constitutional rights prior to questioning.
06/13/1967 - President Johnson nominated Solicitor-General Thurgood Marshall to become the first black justice on the US Supreme Court.
06/13/1971 - The New York Times began publishing the Pentagon Papers, a secret study of America's involvement in Vietnam.
06/14/1775 - The US Army began.
06/14/1777 - The Continental Congress in Philadelphia adopted the Stars and Stripes as the national flag.
06/14/1922 - Warren G. Hardin became the first president heard on radio when Baltimore station WEAR broadcast his speech.
06/14/1943 - The Supreme Court ruled school children could not be forced to salute the flag of the US if doing so conflicted with their religious beliefs.
06/14/1954 - President Eisenhower signed an order adding the words "under God" to the Pledge of Allegiance.
06/14/2019 - Flag Day
06/15/1215 - King John put his seal to the Magna Carta (the Great Charter) at Runnymede, England, granting his barons more liberty.
06/15/1520 - Pope Leo X threatened to excommunicate Martin Luther if he did not recant his religious beliefs.
06/15/1775 - The Second Continental Congress voted unanimously to appoint George Washington head of the Continental Army.
06/15/1844 - Charles Goodyear received a patent for his process to strengthen rubber.
06/15/1864 - Secretary of War Edwin Stanton signed an order establishing a military burial ground, which became Arlington National Cemetery.
06/15/1994 - Israel and the Vatican established full diplomatic relations.
06/16/1858 - In a speech in Springfield, Senate candidate Abraham Lincoln said the slavery issue had to be resolved. He declared, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."
06/16/1903 - Ford Motor Company incorporated.
06/16/1963 - The world's first female space traveler, Valentina Tereshkova, launched into orbit by the Soviet Union aboard Vostok Six.
06/16/2019 - Father's Day
06/16/2019 - Trinity Sunday – Christian
06/17/1775 - The Revolutionary War Battle of Bunker Hill took place near Boston. (The battle actually occurred on Breed's Hill.)
06/17/1856 - The Republican Party begin its first convention in Philadelphia.
06/17/1885 - The Statue of Liberty arrived in NYC.
06/17/1928 - Amelia Earhart was the first woman to embark on a trans-Atlantic flight when she journeyed from Newfoundland to Wales.
06/17/1963 - The Supreme Court struck down rules requiring the recitation of the Lord's Prayer or reading of Biblical verses in public schools.
06/17/1972 - Five men were arrested carrying eavesdropping equipment in the Watergate office building, headquarters of the Democratic National Committee. The arrest led to Nixon’s resignation and the conviction of several White House staffers.
06/17/2019 - Bunker Hill Day
06/18/1746 - Samuel Johnson accepted an offer of £1,575 from a group of London booksellers for the projected 40,000-word Johnson Dictionary.
06/18/1793 - Marie Antoinette went to the guillotine.
06/18/1812 - The US declared war against Britain.
06/18/1815 - Napoleon Bonaparte was defeated at Waterloo.
06/18/1873 - The government fined Susan B. Anthony $100 for attempting to vote in the 1872 election. The fine was never paid.
06/18/1980 - The Blues Brothers premiered in NYC.
06/18/1983 - Sally Ride became the first American woman in space when the space shuttle Challenger blasted off.
06/19/1856 - English colonists sailed from Roanoke Island NC after failing to establish England's first permanent settlement in America.
06/19/1862 - The US territories outlawed slavery.
06/19/1910 - The first Father's Day took place in Spokane WA.
06/19/1917 - During WWI, King George V ordered the British royal family to dispense with German titles and surnames and took the name "Windsor."
06/19/1934 - The government created the Federal Communications Commission.
06/19/1953 - The US government executed Julius and Ethel Rosenberg at NY's Sing Sing Prison for conspiring to pass US atomic secrets to the Soviet Union.
06/19/1964 - Congress approved the Civil Rights Act of 1964 after an 83-day filibuster.
06/19/2019 - Juneteenth
06/20/1837 - Queen Victoria took the British crown following the death of her uncle, King William IV.
06/20/1893 - A jury found Lizzie Borden innocent of the ax murders of her father and stepmother.
06/20/1963 - The US and Soviet Union signed an agreement to set up a "hot line" between the two superpowers.
06/21/1788 - The US Constitution went into effect as New Hampshire became the ninth state to ratify it.
06/21/2019 - First day of Summer
06/21/2019 - Summer Solstice – Wicca, Celtic
06/22/1870 - Congress created the Department of Justice.
06/22/1944 - President Franklin Roosevelt signed the GI Bill of Rights.
06/22/1970 - President Nixon signed a measure lowering the voting age to 18.
06/23/1868 - Christopher Latham Sholes received a patent for his invention, the Type-Writer.
06/23/1947 - Congress overrode President Truman's veto of the Taft-Hartley Act.
06/23/1969 - Earl Warren swore in Warren Burger as Chief Justice of the US.
06/24/1314 - Scottish forces under King Robert I defeated the English in the Battle of Bannockburn.
06/24/2019 - St. Jean’s Day – Voudon
06/25/1876 - Sioux and Cheyenne Indians wiped out General George Custer and his men in the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana.
06/25/1950 - War broke out in Korea as forces from the communist North invaded the South.
06/26/1900 - A commission that included Dr. Walter Reed began the fight against the deadly disease yellow fever.
06/26/1945 - Fifty countries signed the charter of the United Nations in San Francisco.
06/26/1963 - President John Kennedy visited West Berlin, where he made his famous declaration "I am a Berliner."
06/26/1974 - The very first UPC code scanned product hit the market ... Wrigley's Chewing Gum.
06/27/1880 - Helen Keller was born in Tuscumbia, Alabama. She was deaf, blind and mute from the age of 19 months as a result of scarlet fever.
06/27/1893 - The New York stock market crashed.
06/27/1950 - President Truman ordered the Air Force and Navy into the Korean conflict following a call from the UN for member nations to help South Korea repel an invasion from the North.
06/27/1969 - Patrons at the Stonewall Inn, a gay bar in New York's Greenwich Village, clashed with police in an incident considered the birth of the gay rights movement.
06/27/1980 - President Carter signed legislation reviving draft registration.
06/28/1778 - Molly Pitcher, aka Mary Ludwig Hays, carried water to American soldiers at the Revolutionary War Battle of Monmouth NJ.
06/28/1914 - A Serb nationalist assassinated Austrian Archduke Francis Ferdinand and his wife, Sofia, in Sarajevo ... the event triggering World War I.
06/28/1919 - Major Powers signed the Treaty of Versailles in France, ending WWI.
06/28/1950 - North Korean forces captured Seoul, South Korea.
06/28/1951 - A TV version of the radio program Amos and Andy premiered on CBS. While criticized for racial stereotyping, it was the first network TV series to feature an all-black cast.
06/28/1978 - The Supreme Court ordered UC-Davis Medical School to admit Allan Bakke, a white man who had argued he was a victim of reverse racial discrimination.
06/28/1996 - The Citadel voted to admit women, ending a 153-year-old men-only policy at the SC military school.
06/28/2019 - World War I Day (The Treaty of Versailles was signed on this date in 1919.)
06/28/2019 - M'Guine Sauveur table servie pour maitresse Erzulie, maitresse Tenaisse, maitresse Mambo – Voudon
06/29/1776 - Patrick Henry became governor of the new state of Virginia.
06/29/1946 - British authorities arrested more than 2700 Jews in Palestine in an attempt to stamp out alleged terrorism.
06/29/1967 - Israel removed barricades separating the Old City from the Israeli sector, thus re-unifying Jerusalem.
06/29/1972 - The Supreme Court ruled the death penalty, as then implemented, could constitute cruel and unusual punishment.
06/29/1992 - A divided Supreme Court ruled that women have a constitutional right to abortion.
06/30/1936 - Margaret Mitchell published Gone with the Wind in NY.
06/30/1952 - The popular soap opera The Guiding Light made its TV debut on CBS.
06/30/1971 - Ohio became the 38th state to approve and thus ratify the 26th Amendment to the Constitution, lowering the minimum voting age to 18.
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.