bookmark_borderTaft’s fight is your Fight!

(A Republican fight against free trade and an out of control financial industry)William Howard Taft from newspaper clipping

Do you remember 1893-4 — the free soup houses, bank failures, thousands of men out of work and the bread line?
Do you remember at this time we had a democratic President, Grover Cleveland?
Woodrow Wilson, the Democratic candidate and his free trade doctrine will bring this condition on again and it is your duty to see that he is not elected. Continue reading “Taft’s fight is your Fight!”

bookmark_borderWhat started the war of 1812? Canadian and American viewpoints

A sailor being kidnapped by a press gangToday Ptara is joined by two world class historians who give their take on what started the war of 1812.

They examine the speeches of the British Parliament and the US House of Representatives. From Jefferson’s purchase of Louisiana, up to the repeal of the Orders of Council, the US and Britain had shaky relations. Continue reading “What started the war of 1812? Canadian and American viewpoints”

bookmark_borderAn experiment based on Kuleshov’s work with political icons

Karl MarxMost film students will know of the Kuleshov experiment by their second year in film school.  And most historians will know who Karl Marx, Margaret Thatcher, Richard Nixon and Napoleon Bonaparte are.

Well, why not mix the simplest film experiment in history with four of history’s most debated icons? Meanwhile, we can test someone’s historical knowledge.

Try showing the following video to your friends, students or peers.  (Kids, try this with your parents.) Ask them how the other images in the sequence makes the famous people feel. Continue reading “An experiment based on Kuleshov’s work with political icons”

bookmark_borderAbraham Lincoln Impression

Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky. But that was over 200 years ago. Accents change over time, so there’s no attempt in the video to emulate a Kentucky accent.

Lincoln’s best known speech was the Gettysburg Address.

Four score and seven years ago, our four fathers brought forth, on this continent, a new nation, dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal. Continue reading “Abraham Lincoln Impression”

bookmark_borderWill history be kind to Bush (Jr)?

George Washington Bush shouting at a bald manOn CNN, Timothy Stanely compared Bush Junior to Harry Truman. Both Presidents left office with low approval ratings, both supposedly fought what seemed like unpopular wars (Truman in Korea, Bush in Iraq), yet both had “a gentle, honest personality that voters looked back on with fondness.”

Really?  Gentle and honest? Really? Continue reading “Will history be kind to Bush (Jr)?”

bookmark_borderWhat if Taft had won in 1912?

famous Head and shoulder photograph of William Taft, with a mustache, wearing a tie
President William Howard Taft

I often wonder why the so-called tea party keeps talking about “the past 100 years.” Do they see Woodrow Wilson’s election as the beginning of the downfall of America? Or are they still talking about William Howard Taft’s election, four years earlier?

Whatever the case, 1912 was one of America’s most crucial elections. Had an ex-President not given a third party a fighting chance, history could have taken a very different turn. Continue reading “What if Taft had won in 1912?”

bookmark_borderPresident James Madison and the National Day of Prayer

For at least 200 years, Americans have had a national day of prayer.  Ironically, this “day of prayer” tradition seems to have been started by a man who is known as a bulwark of the separation of church and state.

Once again, President James Madison seems to be a man of contradiction.

Continue reading “President James Madison and the National Day of Prayer”

bookmark_borderMadison’s act of belevolence: the Venezuela Earthquake and 200 years of American foreign aid.

James Madison is often quoted as having been against hand-outs,

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.”*

Although these probably weren’t James Madison’s exact words, Congressman Madison probably said something similar.

Portrait of James Madison
Portrait of James Madison

Continue reading “Madison’s act of belevolence: the Venezuela Earthquake and 200 years of American foreign aid.”

bookmark_borderThomas Jefferson seen through Canadian eyes

“Economics and reason alone do not rule history.” says Reginald C Stuart in The Halfway Pacifist.

Reginald C. Stuart may present Thomas Jefferson as an idealistic dreamer who is out of touch with human nature, an “Anglophobe” and even a “fatherly” despot, but one gets the feeling that Stuart likes Jefferson despite everything.

Jefferson on the Canadian flag
Thomas Jefferson

Continue reading “Thomas Jefferson seen through Canadian eyes”