Category Archives: civil rights

James Madison’s Montpelier

More and more historic sites are beginning to tell the whole story. What I mean is after many decades of avoiding difficult topics, such as slavery, they are pushing past self-imposed boundaries, seeking the complex truth, and striving to find … Continue reading

Posted in 18th century, 19th century, American Revolution, civil rights, house, President | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Unexpected history in a South Carolina town

In November 1861, only seven months into the Civil War, Union gunboats captured the sea islands around Port Royal Sound in South Carolina, including the city of Beaufort. The area remained in Union control through the war and the city … Continue reading

Posted in 19th century, cemetery/grave, city/town, civil rights, Civil War, house | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

The power in a view

I checked into the hotel and walked into my room. It was a room with a view alright — a view south to Canada. Where was I? Detroit. Other than thinking it cool that I was maybe the only place the … Continue reading

Posted in 19th century, civil rights, International | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Patricia Brooks – My favorite history site

Patricia Brooks is a historian working in Washington, D.C. If you had to choose one or two favorite historic sites, which ones are they and what about them interested you? The Levi Coffin House in Fountain City, Indiana hands down was … Continue reading

Posted in 19th century, civil rights, Our favorite sites | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

Japanese American history in Washington

Bainbridge Island sits in Puget Sound, a 35 minute ferry ride from downtown Seattle. The lush island has been named among the best places to live in the United States. I visited to attend a three-day symposium for museum folks … Continue reading

Posted in 20th century, civil rights, International, West | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

An unexpected house museum in Breckenridge

I’ll admit it, I didn’t expect to find a fascinating story of African American history in Breckenridge, Colorado, one of the state’s ski towns. A museum colleague suggested I visit the Barney Ford house. I’d never heard of Ford. Since … Continue reading

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Ferguson – the power of place

Ferguson. One loaded word that now represents raw emotion and pain, a community ripped apart and thrust into the glare of the national media spotlight. I recently visited friends in St. Louis and felt drawn to see a place where … Continue reading

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On the run in Indiana

On a recent sunny Wednesday morning I found myself in Indiana with a group of eighth graders (none of whom I knew), wearing very uncomfortable nineteenth-century period shoes, and running from a slave catcher. What? Let me explain. I was … Continue reading

Posted in 19th century, civil rights | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

16th Street Baptist Church

I felt history in a powerful way last week. Surrounded by my history colleagues from around the nation, I had the great fortune to visit 16th Street Baptist Church in Birmingham, Alabama, the historic African American church where 50 years … Continue reading

Posted in 20th century, civil rights, religion | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

A new memorial in Washington

National memorials, like the events and people they commemorate, require the distance of time to allow proper consideration of their place in the landscape and to earn a spot on the “must see” stops on the D.C. tourist list. Washington … Continue reading

Posted in 20th century, civil rights, national park | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments