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editorial history history

It takes more than 100 days

2 years ago, I witnessed the re-enactment of the battle of Waterloo.  Thousands of talented volunteers from around the world walked through the footsteps of Napoleon, Wellington, and Blücher, and their allies and armies. Although we didn’t have the best seats on the field, it was wonderful that so many dedicated re-enactors, or living historians, brought history to […]

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history review

“A short course of nothing” review of “Las Maestras de la República”

I hate to start a review with a spoiler, but knowing your history is always a spoiler.  And, if you don’t know your history, historical films often lack interest. Spain was backward during Franco’s dictatorship, just as fundamentalists in the middle east are making their own countries backward.  Much of Europe only truly emerged from […]

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education history writing

Happy Birthday to you, James William Tate

You may have heard by now that the Happy Birthday song is in copyright.  Or is it? One of the longest copyright disputes revolves around “Happy Birthday” and whether you can use that song in your films and videos, or in live concerts and plays.   “Happy Birthday to you” has been around so long that […]

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1812 history history

The papers were wrong! Clinton is the loser!

In a letter to the British press, an American Federalist was sure of victory over Madison’s “Democrats.” “De Witt Clinton will be president; Mr Monroe will go out; his successor is not named.” He continued that “our secretary of treasury is going down as fast as possible. His budget will, no doubt, be the laughing […]

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history

Happy 104th Father’s Day

“A mischievous youngster named Wood Declared that he wouldn’t be good Till his father one day With a shingle they say[…]” Fill in the last line. Back in 1910, the Los Angeles Herald held a contest to finish that limerick.  Before you read the results, I’d challenge you to finish it yourself. The winning boy’s […]

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education history

Interview of a job hunt: from Pizza Hut to the Ben Franklin of the 21st century

In the past Ptara interviewed documentarians and historians, those who have been published and won awards. We’ve had some interesting viewpoints from those who’ve studied history and used it for work. This time, we published an entrepreneur, and the Employee for the 21st century, a man who’s career includes coding Javascript, sharing statistics, and serving […]

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education history

Are Students dumber than they were 90 years ago? I sure hope not.

We’ve all heard that today’s students don’t know history, and can’t find anything on a map.   Is it reassuring or not to know that their ancestors weren’t much brighter? American students back in the time of Gandhi and Mussolini didn’t even know who those two famous people were. “Gandhi is an Italian Ambassador in […]

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history writing

Lesson from history: only a madman would write for a living

It started as a story on the Hokusai Manga, for the 1812 timeline, and it turned to the study of an inconvenient truth. Okay, some writers are billionaires. I’m ready for your list of best selling authors and other freaks. A lot of Hollywood’s top producers started as writers, or at least a few of […]

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1812 history history

French terrorists vs Spanish insurgents

At the start of 1812, insurgents were big news in the French media. “We learn from Valencia that the small fortress that Marshall Sechet has left in his rear, blockaded by various corps of the army, have successively surrendered, and the siege of Valencia has been seriously prosecuted by General Harispe, who commands under the […]

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history

Taft’s fight is your Fight!

(A Republican fight against free trade and an out of control financial industry) Because Do you remember 1893-4 — the free soup houses, bank failures, thousands of men out of work and the bread line? Do you remember at this time we had a democratic President, Grover Cleveland? Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic candidate and his […]