Editors’ Choice

Posts selected by Moose editors

Tuesday in Mooseville – Primary Sources: William Howard Russell On the Civil War 11/13/18

William Howard Russell during the Crimean War, 1855

I had never heard of William Howard Russell before reading Our Man in Charleston: Britain’s Secret Agent in the Civil War South by Christopher Dickey (h/t basket and janesaunt for the book recommendation). Russell is NOT the secret agent of the book title; he was a foreign correspondent for The Times of London, who first gained fame as a Crimean War correspondent. His blunt and realistic portrayals of the cost of war were shocking and mobilizing for the British public, and Florence Nightingale is alleged to have been motivated to get involved with and change battlefield treatment practices in part because of Russell’s dispatches. In 1861, he travelled to the United States and the Confederate States, and his observations were published in the Confederacy-supporting Times. What follows are excerpts from his dispatches; the collection from which I am drawing is available here: The Civil War in America.

Fighting Back: “Tuesday was a great day for the American people.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Chris Murphy, Democrat from Connecticut. He spoke of the victories that will allow Democrats to be in a better position to stand up for all Americans.

(Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT))

“Thanks to victories across the country, Democrats in Congress will be in a better position to stand up for your kids, your parents, your neighbors, your friends. Congressional Republicans have a choice to make: continue down their path of sabotage or work with us to lower health care costs and expand access to quality care.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – A Year At a Glance: 1927, Sears Edition 11/6/18

Lindbergh’s famous flight (20-21 May, 1927) commemorated by the U.S. Post Office

I figure we’re all going to have the attention span of a fruit fly today (What Animal Has the Shortest Attention Span? ), so I decided to do a light, but [hopefully] fun revisit of an old Sears catalogue. This time the year is 1927: the year of Lindbergh’s flight; the silent film, It, is released, making Clara Bow the first “It” girl; The Jazz Singer, the first film with “synchronized dialogue” (and the unfortunate use of blackface) is also released; the year production of the Model T ended and the Model A started; when the radio network CBS Is created; Stalin takes control in Russia, and Calvin Coolidge is president with the average net income for Americans being $5496.73 ($79,746.50 today). (Statistics of Income for 1927, p. 3). The Roaring Twenties were…

…a decade in which many of the defining characteristics of late twentieth century life were determined, particularly with regard to mass movements of society. Mass production, mass distribution, mass marketing, and mass consumption held sway, and the rise of a mass service industry followed, due in part to so-called “technological unemployment,” the forced movement of workers out of blue-collar jobs as a result of the increased efficiency of new machinery and processes. (Laboring to Prosper)

Sears was ready to meet the demand, with a catalogue featuring a cover with a Norman Rockwell drawing, showing a woman, a man, and the family dog poring over the pages of the Big Book.

Fighting Back: “We need to reduce the gun violence that’s ripping our country apart.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA) and addressed the horrific shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and the need for Congressional action to stop gun violence and hate crimes.

(Congressman Mike Doyle (D-PA) of Pennsylvania, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, Congressman Doyle addressed the horrific shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue in Pittsburgh and the need for Congressional action to stop gun violence and hate crimes.)

We need a stronger public response to the hate speech on social media that demonizes others, reinforces prejudice, and very likely incites some individuals to violence. We all have a responsibility to speak up and condemn hate speech when we see it. […]

Also, we need to come together to reduce the gun violence that’s ripping our country apart. You would think that after all of the tragedies in Connecticut, Florida, Colorado, Nevada, and now here in Pittsburgh, that Congress would finally come together to pass common-sense gun safety legislation.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – Voting Rights Potpourri 10/30/18

Lyndon Johnson signs the Voting Rights Act of 1965. (Anyone who has the time and inclination to identify those pictured wins my undying gratitude.)

I was going to do this post next week, but since so many people have already voted, I decided not to wait. Consider this your motivation for the day, with a few persuasion points, as you talk to neighbors, friends, and even strangers, and encourage them to vote.

Fighting Back: “Democrats will stand up for Medicare, Medicaid, and Social Security”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV). She reminds us that Democrats “will stand up for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, pre-existing condition protections, and the peace of mind America’s seniors and hardworking families deserve.”

(Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) delivers the Weekly Democratic Address)

“This week, citizens around the country are getting ready to cast their ballots in the midterm elections. And they are looking for candidates that deliver on their promises. For many families the most important promise a candidate can make is the promise to support programs that keep families healthy and protect their financial security.”

“Let’s stand up for Medicare, Medicaid, Social Security, pre-existing condition protections, and the peace of mind America’s seniors and hardworking families deserve.”

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – A Year at a Glance: 1908, Sears Version 10/23/18

Sears Roebuck and Company Mail Order Plant, Bounded by Lexington and Grenshaw Streets, Kedzie Avenue and Independence Boulevard, Chicago, Cook County, IL; 1908.

I am a firm believer that too many history textbooks focus on dates and Big Events like wars, while giving scant coverage to the daily lives of the people who are living in and through those times. I was reminded of this while I was on my recent vacation; I picked up a reproduction of the 1908 Sears, Roebuck catalogue and have since spent more time than I care to admit reading the listings. I bought it as a resource for theatre costuming and props, but today I’m using it as a resource for connecting dates and big and small events with the people who lived in 1908.

Fighting Back: “The Republican Congress is obsessed with destroying Americans’ health care.” #VoteThemOut

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Representative Diana DeGette (D-CO) reminding us that everyone’s health care coverage is on the ballot.

(Congresswoman Diana DeGette (D-CO), Chief Deputy Whip, delivered the Weekly Democratic Address. In this week’s address, DeGette highlights Republicans’ plan to take away health care coverage and destroy protections for people with pre-existing conditions.)

After the ACA passed, finally forbidding insurers from discriminating against or denying coverage to Americans with pre-existing conditions, the GOP spent eight years crusading to repeal the law, even forcing a government shutdown at one point to make their case. Last year, after 217 House Republicans voted for their terrible repeal bill to take away Americans’ health care, the effort failed by one vote in the Senate.

Had Republicans succeeded, they would have devastated health care coverage in this country. Millions of Americans would have lost their coverage or been forced to pay more for it. Older Americans would have faced what the AARP called an ‘age tax,’ meaning they could be charged up to five times as much for coverage as younger ones. And protections for the 130 million people with pre-existing conditions would have been gutted. […]

Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell this week admitted that if his party has the votes in Congress next year, they’ll try again to repeal the ACA altogether. And President Trump said the same thing last month.

Democrats have a different agenda for Congress – a Congress that works For The People, instead of a Congress obsessed with destroying Americans’ health care.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)

Tuesday in Mooseville – Primary Sources: TR, Race Suicide, and Blaming Women 10/16/18

Theodore Roosevelt, Nobel Peace Prize photo, 1906.

In 1905, Theodore Roosevelt was in the second year of his first elected term as president (he assumed the presidency in 1901 after the assassination of President McKinley); it is seven years after the Battle of San Juan Hill, two years after construction of the Panama Canal commenced, four years after the publication of Edward Ross’ paper, The Causes of Race Superiority, and one year before he receives the Nobel Peace Prize for his role in brokering the peace between Russia and Japan, ending the Russo-Japanese War. It’s not clear of the impact of Ross’ paper on the American public, but it is clear that Roosevelt was aware of the concepts it promoted (we also know that Ross sent a copy of his book, The Changing Chinese: The Conflict of Oriental and Western Cultures in China in 1911, and TR responded with a cordial and almost chatty letter. Letter from Roosevelt to Ross). In 1905, Roosevelt addressed the National Congress of Mothers (a precursor to the PTA) and included his own spin on the concept of race suicide. The entire address)(

Fighting Back: “Democrats will work to ensure quality, affordable care for all Americans.”

 
 

The Weekly Democratic Party Address was delivered by Senator Doug Jones of Alabama.

(Senator Doug Jones (D-AL) Delivers The Weekly Democratic Address)

I’ve made it a priority to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to expand access to quality, affordable health care to every family in Alabama and across the country. And while we’ve made great strides, like funding the Children’s Health Insurance Program for another 10 years, we’ve seen this President, his administration, and Republicans in Congress take steps to undermine our health insurance markets and put Americans at risk. […]

No law, including the Affordable Care Act, is perfect from the start. But instead of sabotage, we need solutions. With your help, we can keep this important issue at the top of the agenda. Together, our voices can drive the national conversation around health care and get us back on track to ensure quality, affordable care for all Americans.

(CSPAN link to Weekly Democratic Address: here)