Happy Flag Day!

Each year on June 14 we celebrate the wonder that is Old Glory with pride and local flavor. Check out a few fun facts and the history of Flag Day from the Ledger-Enquirer in Columbus, Georgia. If I lived in the area, my event choice would be the free hot dogs at the Columbus/Fort Benning [...]

Veterans Day: A Lesson in History

Holidays have turned into retail sales opportunities but holidays have history worth learning about. And while boosting the economy can be a patriotic activity, it is very important to understand the truest meaning behind Veterans Day. World War I fighting ended with an armistice between the Allies and Germany that went into effect on the [...]

Woody Guthrie’s 100th birthday is Saturday; how about singing ‘This Land Is Your Land’ to mark it?

The 15th annual Woody Guthrie Folk Festival opens tomorrow in the singer-songwriter’s hometown of Okemah, Okla., and it will be a special one, running through the 100th anniversary of his birth on Saturday, July 14. The Woody Guthrie Centennial website says, “His songs have run around the world like a fast train on a well oiled track. [...]

The Declaration of Independence: A Transcription

IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776. The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America, When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which [...]

Soldier On

Western Massachusetts is home to Soldier On. The Soldier On program operates two facilities. In Leeds, Massachusetts a 165-bed shelter is located in two buildings leased from the Veterans Affairs Medical Center. The Berkshire Veterans Residence in Pittsfield, Massachusetts provides transitional living space for 71 formerly homeless veterans. Both facilities are managed by formerly homeless [...]

Tenting on the Old Camp Ground

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Coming home from where I go Sunday mornings, I listen to a replay of Garrison Keillor’s “A Prairie Home Companion.” Yesterday he sang the Civil War song “Tenting on the Old Camp Ground,” by Walter Kittredge.  I sang along and, for the first time, I listened to the words I was [...]

Followup on the Senate’s Symbolic Gift

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson Last week I wrote about the Senate’s gift to President Obama in the form of a unanimous resolution authorizing him to establish a no-fly zone over Libya and do whatever else is necessary to protect the Libyan people.  There’s no point in my repeating the whole thing when you can read [...]

The Senate’s Symbolic Gift

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson It’s barely likely that any American who’s been paying attention to events surrounding this business in Libya is surprised at the scope creep that is taking place before our eyes. (“Scope creep” describes how a task you’ve agreed to do grows larger once you’re shaken hands and pocketed the check.) First [...]

I Just Don’t Understand

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson I wish someone who approves of what we Americans are doing in Libya will explain to me why it qualifies as a humanitarian act. It seems to me that when you pick up a gun and start shooting people — whether you’re a tyrant or rebelling against a tyrant — you [...]

Revolution: A History Lesson

By Miryam Ehrlich Williamson There’s a marvelous essay by Robert Freeman comparing the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt with those that began in Europe in 1848.  It begins In 1848, a series of revolutions convulsed Europe.  From Berlin to Budapest, Venice to Vienna, Paris to Prague, people rose up and overthrew the authoritarian monarchies that [...]