The Week in Early American History

TWEAHOn to this week’s links…

Tomorrow is the 150th anniversary of the first submarine to sink an enemy ship, the H.L. Hunley. After reporting its success however, the Civil War submarine inexplicably ended up on the bottom of the ocean. CNN reports on the continuing investigation into the mystery of why the Hunley failed so quickly after achieving such an important breakthrough in naval warfare.

Episode 42 of the “Not Even Past” podcast, released on Wednesday, invited Daina Ramey Berry, Associate Professor at UT-Austin, to talk about “the sensory experiences of slaves on a daily basis.”

In “honor” of President’s Day, Buzzfeed asked its staffers to identify the pictures of ten random U.S. Presidents and shared the results.

At the New Republic, Paul Berman looks at The Bondwoman’s Narrative to recount “The True Story of America’s First Black Female Slave Novelist.”

In the UK, The Independent reports that historians are planning to initiate legal action against the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to ensure the timely availability of approximately 600,000 recently-declassified documents. Concerns have arisen because of recent findings and accusations that the Foreign Office has failed to report the existence of archive collections and actively limited access to them by historians and the media.

In the New York Times, Nicholas Kristof declares, “Professors, We Need You!” Kristof observes that there are a “growing number of tools available to educate the public,” academics continue to fail to engage the public as intellectuals. In making the argument, Kristof asserts that “academics have been slow to cast pearls through Twitter and Facebook.”

In the Chronicle of Higher Education, Marc Bousquets takes up Rebecca Schuman’s controversial rallying cry in Salon a few months ago about re-thinking the value and form of undergraduate research papers.

Finally, in honor of President’s Day, Groupon put out a press release that read: “The $10 bill, as everyone knows, features President Alexander Hamilton — undeniably one of our greatest presidents and most widely recognized for establishing the country’s financial system.” Seriously, people?

One comment on “The Week in Early American History

  1. Dan says:

    Don’t worry – Groupon is just trolling the internet – and they succeeded. They know Hamilton was not a president. Read some of their Twitter responses to people telling them they’re wrong.

    http://www.cnn.com/2014/02/16/us/groupon-president-hamilton/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

    When people suggested Groupon’s promotion was tongue-in-cheek, it responded through its Twitter account: “Joke? We’d never joke about saving $10! #AllKindsOfSerious”

    @carmstrong07 was not convinced, tweeting: “Gee whiz, it’s almost as if @Groupon did something ridiculous to get everyone online talking about them.”

    “We’re shocked by this implication! Shocked!” the company replied.

    My friend wrote to @Groupon to say that Alexander Hamilton was never president. Their spokesperson responded: “We respect everyone’s beliefs. You’re certainly entitled to your opinion.”

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