Today's History Highlights Archive

Today’s History Highlights – 7.12.2013

Where would we be without chocolate? The mind boggles. Fortunately we need not contemplate the matter further because chocolate lovers were well provided for in New England history. If you love the stuff, you owe it to yourself to sample the Bostonian Society’s virtual exhibit, Sweet History: Dorchester and the Chocolate Factory. You can also cut to the end and download the exhibit’s content in a terrifically readable single document. Both versions are calorie free.

The Hudson Museum’s Maine Indian Gallery at the University of Maine, Orono offers a terrific chance to explore the art forms made by the Maliseet, Micmac, Passamaquoddy, and Penobscot peoples.  And now, even if you can’t get to Orono, you can still take a good look at the gallery’s collection via iPad with a quick visit to Apple’s App Store. No Android version available yet, but we live in hope.

Like many social movements, youthful idealism helped propel the anti-slavery movement forward. An 1834 letter highlighted today by the Connecticut Historical Society shows that in action. From 14-year-old Charlotte Cowles to her brother, the letter relates her experiences attending an anti-slavery lecture in Farmington and records her enthusiasm for the cause.

Today’s flashback is none other than Maine’s Joshua Chamberlain, hero to college professors everywhere. A professor of rhetoric and a minister, Chamberlain, who went on to become governor of Maine, is awarded accolades for his heroism at the Battle of Gettysburg. There are, of course, those who quibble with the Hollywoodization of history and its portrayal of Chamberlain, the latest coming in the Guardian here.  Still, even this article concedes his was a great story and he did collect the guns at the end of the battle, which makes him well worth a tip of the hat as we consider the history of the Civil War.

We end on a sad note: Edmund S. Morgan has passed away. Morgan was a master historian of early America. While we take a lighter approach to retelling history than the academics, we don’t fail to recognize the contributions the scholars make in unearthing the stories that contribute so much to our understanding of historic events. Yale’s professor Morgan was surely a great contributor.

Today's Flashback:

 

Joshua Chamberlain.  Courtesy Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Papers, Bowdoin College Library.

Joshua Chamberlain. Courtesy Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain Papers, Bowdoin College Library.

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