Public History

By now most of you have seen the photographs of the damage/tagging done to Confederate monuments throughout the country in the wake of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police. In addition to monuments, the headquarters of the United Daughters of the Confederacy in Richmond also sustained serious damage. This should come as no Read more

The current issue of Civil War Times magazine asks a handful of people whether interest in the Civil War has declined in recent years. This appears to have been prompted by a recent Wall Street Journal article that answered this question in the affirmative. Needless to say, there were a number of problems with its Read more

Yesterday work crews removed the letters on the Jefferson Davis Memorial Arch located at Fort Monroe in Virginia. The arch was dedicated in 1956 shortly after the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education. I still find it bizarre that a memorial to Davis was placed on the very ground where he was Read more

During the summer months I devote part of my time to leading student tours of Boston. Some of those tours, like the one I led this morning, are through a collaboration with a large tour company here in town. The tours I lead are specifically focused on the history of the black community that thrived Read more

Update: Perhaps “Endorse” is too strong a word for the post’s title, but despite tough questions from two historians on the commission this Lost Cause nonsense was given a level of legitimacy that it does not deserve. We wouldn’t feature debunked scientific theories in such a setting, so why do we tolerate it in history Read more

Dylann Roof’s Confederate Flag

Yesterday I read that the S.C. Confederate Relic Room and Military Museum is planning to display the nylon Confederate flag that was removed from the state house grounds in Columbia, South Carolina following the murder of nine church members by Dylann Roof in 2015. This was the plan all along when it was removed, but Read more

In a couple of weeks, and after an absence of three years, I will return to Gann Academy in Waltham, MA to teach American history. I am jumping into a brand new course that is focused specifically on the history of disability in America. Sound strange? Let me explain. Over the past few years the Read more

Update: Check out this interview of Robertson by Peter Carmichael from this year’s CWI. It’s well worth watching. Pete did a good job of focusing Robertson on his work during the centennial as well as his many books. Recently historian James I. Robertson delivered the keynote address at a symposium on the history of Civil Read more

This week I am in the nation’s capital working with history educators alongside the incredible staff at Ford’s Theatre. This is my third year working with the team and it is one of the highlights of the year for me. I am always struck by the power that this city’s monuments and memorials evoke in Read more

This week I am in Washington, D.C. working with roughly 35 history educators alongside the incredible staff at Ford’s Theatre. We are exploring the history and memory of Reconstruction through a wide range of places, including monuments throughout the city. Yesterday we stopped off at the African American Civil War Memorial in the historic Shaw Read more