Letters

Letters

When our COVID lock down began in March, my wife and I wanted to create some sort of normality in the household for our sake, but especially for the kids. One of the daily routines that happened organically was our trip to the mailbox at around 3:00 every afternoon once my wife and I were [...]

Soul

Soul

One of the primary reasons I enjoy history is because it helps me to gain perspective. As bad as things may seem now, there is always the distinct possibility that someone, somewhere has been through this (or worse) before. Yet humanity moves forward. Possibly after taking a step or two back, but always forward. That [...]

Freedoms

Freedoms

As a teacher (and forever a student) of US History, one of my favorite presidents is Franklin Roosevelt. Whether or not one agrees with his policy actions, the thing that most impresses me when I read about Roosevelt is how in tune with the American people he was throughout his time in office. Sure he [...]

Hamilton

Hamilton

One of the nice things about being a history nerd is that it's often easy to find good deals on books. If you're patient enough, even highly acclaimed books will show up in the bargain section of the book store, as recently happened when I found Ron Chernow's Alexander Hamilton for $5. If it would [...]

Vote!

Vote!

"Bad officials are elected by good citizens who do not vote."George Jean Nathan (1955) Here in Texas, early voting numbers are setting records across the state. The same is true in other states as well. But considering so few people typically vote in midterm elections, these records are really not so hard to break. Midterm [...]

Fiction

Fiction

After finishing the entire Harry Potter series this summer, I began reading more fiction than normal...normal for me, that is. I will pick up a novel on occasion, but primarily, I stick to nonfiction, mainly history or economics. Yes, I like reading about old dead guys and the dismal science. That’s my idea of a [...]

Ideals

Ideals

Once upon a time, I would hear politicians speak of returning the United States to its “Founding Principles,” and I would simply chalk it up to a type of misguided patriotism - the “Spirit of 1776,” if you will. Recently, I’ve come to realize that either through my own naivety or a lack of understanding [...]

Facts

Imagine the following scene in a high school classroom near you. "Good morning class! My name is Mr. T and welcome to US History. I can see some of you looking around the room for your old teacher, Mr. O. He's been fired, and I'll be taking his place. Let me tell you, this class [...]

Fishing

Fishing

In the days leading up to the Cub Scout camping trip that we went on in October, my son asked over and over if we would be able to go fishing while we were there. He had asked to go fishing numerous times before, and like any good father I just kept saying, "I'll take you sometime [...]

Backward

When I first began teaching AP US History, I thought I knew a great deal about our nation's history. I was wrong. Partly through completing graduate school, partly from leisure reading, and partly out of necessity, I've learned more about US History in the past nine years than I could possibly teach to my students [...]

Reading

I don't really like to travel. Okay, that's not completely accurate. I enjoy visiting different locations away from home. I just don't enjoy the travelling part of travel. I need to get a teleportation device of some kind to beam me where I want to go. At any rate, I am currently in Louisville, Kentucky [...]

S

When my wife and I found out that our first born was going to be a boy, we did what every set of parents does...we tried to pick a name. We could have just named him after me, but I'm a Junior, and I really didn't want a Third. We probably had more difficulties than [...]

Famous

Not me...my ancestors. I, hopefully, will never be burdened with fame (or infamy). One of the interesting aspects of history for me is studying my own family's past. Now I don't get carried away with genealogy and historical records. I just like to piddle with it every now and then. One of my aunts has [...]

Utopia

We started taking the kids to Sweet Tomato when our son was about 3 and our daughter was still small enough we could carry her into the restaurant in her car seat. We figured the food was mostly health and it was already prepared...no waiting around for the food to be delivered to our table. [...]

Half

Teaching AP US History requires me to deal with unpleasant topics from time to time. Slavery is one of those topics and it basically is an undercurrent of most of the content during the first semester of the course. Typically when I teach about slavery in class, I use the standard historical narrative that goes [...]