Hitler and France’s Maginot Line

The humiliating failure of the vaunted Maginot Line thrilled the vast majority of Germans, who adored their Führer and supported his ruthless agenda. “Monsieur Maginot built a fortified line,” noted the German justice inspector Friedrich Kellner in his diary in June 1940, just after Hitler’s army burst through the French fortifications. If France really expected[…]

The Phasing-Out of 18th-Century Patterns of German Migration to the United States after 1817

The years 1816 to 1819 saw the last wave of immigration into the United States that basically followed patterns of travel, finance, and trade established in the 1700s. Introduction The years 1816 to 1819, at the beginning of the 19th century, saw the last wave of immigration into the United States that basically followed patterns of[…]

Farmland Blues: The Legacy of USDA Discrimination

The history of discrimination by the United States Department of Agriculture and the class action lawsuits by black farmers. The Disopossession What happened in rural America during the quarter century after 1950 has been eclipsed by the Cold War, the civil rights movement, the war in Vietnam, and growing concern over pesticides, nuclear testing, and[…]

Enslaved Labor and Building the Smithsonian: Reading the Stones

Examining evidence that enslaved persons were involved in the construction of the original Smithsonian Building in Washington, D.C. Many enslaved workers who labored at the Maryland quarry from which all the building’s “freestone” or sandstone blocks were obtained had roots in enslaved families owned by Martha Custis Washington at Mt. Vernon. And what erudition. He[…]

Why the Myth of the “Savage Indian” Persists

Iconic children’s books and popular media that Gen Xers grew up with are riddled with damaging Native stereotypes—but things may finally be shifting. Peter Pan, the beloved children’s classic, is sure to stun modern readers with its descriptions of “redskins” carrying “tomahawks and knives,” their naked bodies glistening with oil. “Strung around them are scalps,[…]

Andrew Jackson and the Indian Removal Act of 1830

The 1830 Indian Removal Act led to the displacement of the Creek, Choctaw, Chickasaw, Seminole, and Cherokee tribes of the Southeast. By Dr. P. Scott CorbettProfessor of HistoryVentura College Introduction Pro-Jackson newspapers touted the president as a champion of opening land for white settlement and moving native inhabitants beyond the boundaries of “American civilization.” In this[…]