Weekend Reading

This week: Roman shipwrecks; Ben Franklin, firefighter; the sex- and violence-filled world of Snow White; the Hatfields and McCoys; the Klan and demographic change; the Golden Gate Bridge turns 75; Queen Elizabeth celebrates sixty years on the throne; the Eisenhower Memorial fight rages on; and the death of a famous “ethical historian.”

• The struggle over preserving the ancient city of Petra.

• The wreckage of two ships just discovered off the Greek islands of Corfu and Paxoi comes from the 3rd century AD.

• We’ve all heard that one of Benjamin Franklin’s many accomplishments was the founding of one the first fire departments in colonial America. Here’s the full story.

• The violent new take on Snow White premiering in movie theaters this weekend turns out to be pretty old school (which won’t surprise anyone who’s read the original version of Little Red Riding Hood in Chris Gehrz’s Modern Europe class).

• “The new direction” in Civil War history, and “progressive” reenacting, as 150th anniversary attention continues…

• Millions tuned in to watch Kevin Costner et al. reenact the Hatfield/McCoy feud — in a History Channel miniseries shot in… Romania!

The Golden Gate Bridge
Licensed by Creative Commons (Daniel Schwen)

• Amid reports that non-white births now outnumber white births in the United States, Chris Beneke looked back to the Ku Klux Klan’s reaction to an earlier projection of demographic change.

• A couple of excellent pieces from The Atlantic on the 75th anniversary of Golden Gate Bridge and how the San Francisco of 1937 feels like a foreign country looking back from the vantage point of 2012.

• Recalling some high points (and quirky job features) in the career of Queen Elizabeth II as she enters his sixtieth year as monarch.

• And on the other side of Britain’s class divide after World War II… Check out this photo essay on the poorer sections of 1950s London.

• The fight over the proposed Dwight Eisenhower memorial in Washington, DC continues…

• “Ethical historian” William Lee Miller (best known for presidential biographies of Abraham Lincoln and Jimmy Carter, plus The First Liberty: Religion and the American Republic) died at age 86.

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