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
As history has repeatedly proven, one trade tariff begets another, then another - until you've got a full-blown trade war. No one ever wins, and consumers always get screwed.
Numbers of the Month
President Trump has escalated his trade war with China, ordering his administration to consider more than doubling proposed tariffs on $200 billion worth of Chinese goods from 10% to 25%, as trade talks between Washington and Beijing remain at a standstill. Trump instructed the US trade representative to look into increasing tariffs on Chinese imports like fish, petroleum, chemicals, handbags and other goods, a significant escalation in a dispute that is beginning to take a toll on industries and consumers in both countries. The administration’s trade moves are aimed at forcing China to end what it calls unfair trade practices, including improperly obtaining American intellectual property.
The potential for a 25% tax is being fueled by deep frustration within the Trump administration over its unsuccessful attempts to press China to change its trade practices, as well as by a sharp decline in the value of China’s currency. Trump’s advisers argue that past administrations have failed to sway China with diplomacy and that the US must be prepared to take a tough stance to change its course, even if it hurts American businesses and customers in the short term. Administration officials have been concerned that China may be manipulating prices of commodities like soybeans to harm American farmers, and hurting American companies through regulatory practices — for example, detaining shipments of agricultural products in customs until they rot.
A recent and rapid depreciation in China’s currency helped make Chinese goods cheaper in foreign markets and buoyed exports. The Chinese currency fell to a 13-month low against the dollar. The move came partly because of market forces, but also because China has been allowing the heavily managed value of its currency, the renminbi, to slide in currency markets. Ratcheting up tariffs to 25% would put substantial pressure on Chinese leaders to devalue their currency even more, to help offset any further losses to exporters, but the message from the White House is “we can raise tariffs faster than you can devalue.”
Since formal talks between Beijing and Washington broke down in May, Trump has doubled down on his threats, saying he is prepared to impose tariffs on all Chinese imports. Beijing has promised to retaliate with its own measures. Both countries have already imposed tariffs on $34 billion worth of each other’s products. The 25% tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports would come on top of the existing penalties and an additional $16 billion scheduled to go into effect soon. China has vowed to respond to any trade measures in kind, and it has already imposed its own tariffs on $34 billion worth of American soybeans, pork, electric vehicles and other goods.
While the tariffs are aimed at hurting China, they are also having an impact on American consumers and businesses that rely on products from China’s factories. Farmers and manufacturers, in particular, have complained that they are bearing the brunt of the trade war as China raises the price on imported soybeans and other agriculture products that it typically buys from farms and on materials and products imported by manufacturers to make machinery, clothes and other products. China has been looking for solutions that would end the trade fight without requiring policy concessions that might limit the country’s economic growth.
Then and Now
08/01/1790 - The first US census ended, showing a population of nearly 4 million people.
08/01/1936 - The Olympic Games opened in Berlin with a ceremony presided over by Adolf Hitler.
08/01/1946 - The Atomic Energy Commission was established.
08/01/1957 - The US and Canada created the North American Air Defense Command.
08/01/1981 - MTV made its debut.
08/01/2018 - Earth Overshoot Day (the day on which we will have used this year as much from nature as our planet can renew in the whole year)
08/01/2018 - Lammas / Lughnasadh – Wicca, Celtic
08/02/1776 - The official signing of the Declaration of Independence took place. Nearly 50 men signed their names during the ceremony. The final six added their signatures later.
08/02/1876 - Crooked Nose McCall shot and killed Wild Bill Hickock.
08/02/1903 - Calamity Jane Burke died.
08/02/1921 - Enrico Caruso died in Italy.
08/02/1923 - President Harding died of food poisoning.
08/02/1939 - Albert Einstein signed a letter to President Roosevelt urging the creation of an atomic weapons research program.
08/02/1965 - The first trim line phone was commercially available to the public.
08/02/1983 - The House of Representatives voted to designate the third Monday of January a federal holiday in honor of Martin Luther King Jr.
08/02/1990 - Iraq invaded Kuwait.
08/03/1492 - Christopher Columbus set sail from Spain on a voyage that took him to the Americas.
08/03/1914 - Germany declared war on France.
08/04/1873 - Hans Christian Andersen died in Denmark.
08/04/1914 - Britain declared war on Germany while the US proclaimed its neutrality.
08/04/1944 - Nazi police raided the secret annex of a building in Amsterdam and arrested 8 people - including 15-year-old Anne Frank, whose diary became a famous account of the Holocaust. She died of Typhus in Bergen-Belsen in the spring of 1945, only weeks before the camp was liberated.
08/05/1861 - The federal government levied an income tax for the first time.
08/05/1884 - The cornerstone for the Statue of Liberty was laid on Bedloe's Island in NY harbor.
08/05/1914 - The first electric traffic lights were installed in Cleveland OH.
08/05/1957 - American Bandstand, hosted by Dick Clark, made its network debut on ABC.
08/05/1963 - The US, Britain and the Soviet Union signed a treaty in Moscow banning nuclear tests in the atmosphere, space and underwater.
08/06/1806 - The Holy Roman Empire went out of existence as Emperor Francis I abdicated.
08/06/1890 - NY convicted murderer William Kemmler became the first person executed in the electric chair.
08/06/1945 - The B-29 Superfortress bomber Enola Gay dropped the first nuclear weapon, Little Boy, on Hiroshima, Japan. The bomb exploded at 58 seconds past 8:15 a.m., leveling every structure within a radius of 5 miles, killing at least 100,000 people and injuring at least that many more.
08/06/1965 - President Johnson signed into law the Voting Rights Act.
08/06/2018 - Atomic Bomb Day
08/06/2018 - Feast of the Transfiguration
08/07/1782 - George Washington created the Order of the Purple Heart, a decoration to recognize merit in enlisted men and non-commissioned officers.
08/07/1789 - Congress established the War Department.
08/07/1959 - The US launched Explorer 6 which sent back a picture of the earth.
08/07/1964 - Congress passed the Gulf of Tonkin resolution giving the president broad powers in dealing with reported North Vietnamese attacks on US forces.
08/08/1876 - Thomas Edison received a patent for his mimeograph. (Remember that smell?)
08/08/1942 - Six convicted Nazi saboteurs who had landed in the US were executed in Washington DC. Two others received life imprisonment.
08/08/1945 - President Truman signed the United Nations Charter.
08/08/1973 - Vice President Spiro Agnew branded as "damned lies" reports he had taken kickbacks from government contracts in Maryland and vowed not to resign - which he eventually did.
08/08/1974 - President Nixon announced he would resign following new damaging revelations in the Watergate scandal.
08/09/1842 - Herman Melville escaped from the Typee Valley cannibals with whom he had spent a month in captivity in the Marquesas Islands.
08/09/1854 - Henry David Thoreau published Walden which described his experiences while living near Walden Pond in Massachusetts.
08/09/1945 - Three days after the atomic bombing of Hiroshima, Japan, the US exploded a nuclear device over Nagasaki killing an estimated 74,000 people.
08/09/1965 - Singapore proclaimed its independence from the Malaysian Federation.
08/10/1846 - Congress chartered the Smithsonian Institution, named after English scientist James Smithson.
08/10/1988 - President Reagan signed a measure providing $20,000 payments to Japanese-Americans interned during WWII.
08/10/2018 - The Texas sales tax holiday for school items begins today and runs through the 12th.
08/11/1909 - The SOS distress signal was first used by an American ship, the Arapahoe, off Cape Hatteras NC.
08/11/1962 - The Soviet Union launched cosmonaut Andrian Nikolayev on a 94-hour flight.
08/11/1997 - President Clinton made the first use of the line-item veto approved by Congress. He rejected three items in spending and tax bills. The Supreme Court later struck down the line-item veto as unconstitutional.
08/12/1851 - Isaac Singer received a patent on his sewing machine.
08/12/1898 - The US formally annexed Hawaii.
08/12/1953 - The Soviet Union conducted a secret test of its first hydrogen bomb.
08/12/1972 - The last American combat ground troops left Vietnam.
08/13/1521 - Hernando Cortez captured present-day Mexico City from the Aztecs.
08/13/1934 - Li'l Abner, created by Al Capp, made its debut.
08/13/1942 - Walt Disney's Bambi premiered at Radio City Music Hall in New York.
08/13/1961 - East Germany divided Berlin when it sealed off the border between the city's eastern and western sectors in order to halt the flight of refugees.
08/13/2018 - VJ Day
08/15/1945 - The Allies proclaimed August 15th as V-J Day a day after Japan agreed to surrender unconditionally.
08/15/1947 - India became independent after some 200 years of British rule.
08/15/1948 - The Republic of Korea was established.
08/15/1961 - East German workers began building the Berlin Wall.
08/15/1969 - Woodstock!
08/15/2018 - Assumption Day
08/16/1812 - Detroit fell to British and Indian forces in the War of 1812.
08/16/1829 - The original "Siamese twins," Chang and Eng Bunker, arrived in Boston to become exhibits to the Western world.
08/16/1977 - Elvis Presley died at Graceland Mansion in Memphis at the age of 42.
08/17/1907 - Robert Fulton's North River Steam Boat began heading up New York's Hudson River on its successful round-trip to Albany.
08/17/1896 - A prospecting party discovered gold in Alaska, a finding that touched off the Klondike gold rush.
08/17/2018 - Marcus Garvey's Birthday – Rastafarian
08/18/1587 - Virginia Dare became the first child of English parents to be born on American soil on what is now Roanoke Island NC.
08/18/1894 - Congress established the Bureau of Immigration.
08/18/1958 - Vladimir Nabokov's Lolita was published in the US.
08/18/1963 - James Meredith became the first black to graduate from the University of Mississippi.
08/19/1929 - Amos and Andy, starring Freeman Gosden and Charles Correll, made its network radio debut on NBC.
08/19/1934 - A plebiscite in Germany approved the vesting of sole executive power in Adolf Hitler.
08/19/1991 - Soviet hard-liners announced to a shocked world that they had removed President Mikhail Gorbachev from power. The coup collapsed two days later.
08/19/2018 - Aviation Day
08/19/2018 - International Homeless Animals Day
08/20/1966 - President Andrew Johnson formally declared the Civil War over.
08/20/1940 - British Prime Minister Winston Churchill paid tribute to the Royal Air Force by saying, "Never in the field of human conflict was so much owed by so many to so few."
08/20/1953 - The Soviet Union publicly acknowledged it had tested a hydrogen bomb.
08/20/2018 - Waqf al Arafa begins at sunset – Muslim
08/21/1680 - Pueblo Indians took possession of Santa Fe NM after driving out the Spanish.
08/21/1831 - Former slave Nat Turner led a violent insurrection in Virginia. He was later executed.
08/21/1858 - The famous debates between Senatorial contenders Abraham Lincoln and Stephen Douglas began.
08/21/1940 - Exiled Communist revolutionary Leon Trotsky died in Mexico City from wounds inflicted by an assassin.
08/21/2018 - Eid al-Adha, Feast of the Sacrifice, begins at sunset – Muslim
08/22/1775 - England's King George III proclaimed the American colonies in a state of open rebellion.
08/22/1846 - The US annexed New Mexico.
08/22/1851 - The schooner America outraced the Aurora off the English coast to win a trophy later known as the America's Cup.
08/22/1902 - President Theodore Roosevelt became the first US president to ride in an automobile.
08/22/1950 - Althea Gibson became the first black tennis player accepted in competition for the national championship.
08/23/1914 - Japan declared war on Germany in WWI.
08/23/1939 - Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union signed a non-aggression treaty.
08/23/1992 - Hurricane Andrew slammed into the Bahamas with 120 mph winds.
08/24/79CE - Long-dormant Mount Vesuvius erupted, burying the Roman cities of Pompeii and Herculaneum in volcanic ash. An estimated 20,000 people died.
08/24/410CE - Rome was overrun by the Visigoths, an event that symbolized the fall of the Western Roman Empire.
08/24/1572 - The slaughter of French Protestants at the hands of Catholics began in Paris.
08/24/1814 - British forces invaded Washington DC, setting fire to the Capitol and the White House.
08/24/1932 - Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly nonstop across the US, traveling from Los Angeles to Newark in just over 19 hours.
08/25/1944 - During WWII, Allied Forces liberated Paris after four years of Nazi occupation.
08/25/1984 - Truman Capote died.
08/25/2018 - Table Communion pour Dan Wezo, Roi de France – Voudon
08/25/2018 - Zhongyuan Jie (Hungry Ghost Festival) – traditional, Buddhism, Taoism
08/25/2018 - Ullambana (O-Bon / Festival of Souls lunar) – Buddhism, Shinto
08/26/55BCE - Roman forces under Julius Caesar invaded Britain.
08/26/1883 - The island volcano Krakatoa began erupting with increasingly large explosions.
08/26/1920 - The 19th amendment to the US Constitution, guaranteeing American women the right to vote, took effect.
08/26/1957 - The Soviet Union announced it had successfully tested an intercontinental ballistic missile.
08/26/2018 - Women’s Equality Day
08/26/2018 - Raksha Bandhan – Hinduism
08/27/1945 - American troops began landing in Japan following the surrender of the Japanese government in WWII.
08/27/1975 - Haile Selassie, the last emperor of Ethiopia's 3,000 year old monarchy, died in Addis Ababa at the age of 83.
08/27/2018 - Petroleum Day (a Texas holiday)
08/28/1947 - A bull mortally wounded legendary bullfighter Manolete during a fight in Linare Spain. He died the following day at age 30.
08/28/1963 - Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered his I Have a Dream speech in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington DC.
08/29/1533 - The last Incan King of Peru, Atahualpa, was murdered on orders from Spanish conqueror Francisco Pizarro.
08/29/1944 - American troops marched down the Champs Elysees in Paris as the French capital celebrated its liberation from the Nazis.
08/30/30BCE - The seventh queen of ancient Egypt, Cleopatra, committed suicide.
08/30/1963 - The Hot Line communications link between Washington and Moscow went into operation.
08/30/1967 - The Senate confirmed the appointment of Thurgood Marshall as the first black justice on the Supreme Court.
08/30/1991 - Azerbaijan declared its independence, joining the stampede of republics seeking to secede from the Soviet Union.
08/30/2018 - Agou / Agwe (through tomorrow) – Voudon
08/31/1935 - President Franklin Roosevelt signed an act prohibiting the export of US arms to belligerents.
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.