Tag Archives: History

150 years ago today …

General Robert E. Lee’s Army of Northern Virginia was decisively defeated at the Battle of Appomattox Court House on the morning of 9 April 1865, and General Lee formally signed surrender documents in the afternoon of April 9. (Above is a map of the military engagement preceding General … Continue reading

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“Dallas Killers Club”

That is the title of Nicholson Baker’s excellent review of the conspiracy-theory literature on JFK’s assassination. Here is an excerpt from the opening of Baker’s essay: There were three horrible public executions in 1963. The first came in February, when the prime … Continue reading

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Can one man change the course of history?

Photo Credit: Stuart Franklin

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What’s the probability that Russia will annex additional Ukrainian territory?

We think it is high, very high. After all, Russia has already annexed the whole of the Crimean peninsula without a real fight. Why won’t she annex other pro-Russian regions too, especially the eastern oblasts of Ukraine? Like Adolf Hitler after the 1938 … Continue reading

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The most important date in history?

On March 12, 1989, the same year the Berlin Wall fell, Tim Berners-Lee, a researcher at CERN, wrote up and distributed a revolutionary proposal to improve information flows among computers: “a ‘web’ of notes with links between them.” (See diagram below from Berners-Lee’s proposal.) … Continue reading

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Constitutional dataset

Check out this comprehensive constitutional dataset at the Comparative Constitutions Project or CCP. In the meantime, props go (once again) to economist extraordinaire Alex Tabarrok for bringing the CCP to our attention in his recent post “Constitutions Quantified.”  Alex’s excellent post sums up the constitutional … Continue reading

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Why is there still no slave-trade compensation fund?

Now that Black History Month is officially over, let’s get down to real business and talk about reparations for slavery.  Does the Statute of Limitations apply to major injustices like slavery?  Why can’t we create the equivalent of a 9/11 … Continue reading

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Puerto Rican Statehood Bill

Since 1898, Puerto Rico has been a colony of the United States.  But two weeks ago (12 Feb. 2014), Senators Ron Wyden (D-Oregon) and Martin Heinrich (D-New Mexico) introduced Senate Bill 2020, the Puerto Rico Status Resolution Act, which would … Continue reading

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Time Out for Black History Month

According to David Becker (from the website Jazz in America), the first recording by an all-black band occurred in 1921 when Edward “Kid” Ory and his Sunshine Orchestra recorded the songs “Creole Trombone” and “Society Blues.” Kid Ory had a … Continue reading

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Gran Colombia

The great liberator Simon Bolivar once proposed the creation of the Republic of “Gran Colombia” (see map below), a south-of-the-border constitutional democracy or United States of South America consisting of the modern-day countries of Venezuela, Colombia, Panama, and Ecuador (the same … Continue reading

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