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Showing posts from August, 2017

Remembering a Princess: a personal recollection with a Regency parallel

Princess Diana on a royal visit to Bristol, 1987 (Photo by Rick, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons ) Every once in a while a momentous event occurs that’s bigger than life, and causes time to seemingly stop for a moment. Later you’ll ask others, “Do you remember where you were and what you were doing when you heard that ...?” For some in the Boomer generation, it’s “Do you remember where you were when Kennedy was assassinated?” For Millennials, it could be when the Twin Towers fell. As for me, I remember the night twenty years ago when I heard the news that Princess Diana had died. On that August night I was camping with family and friends in the Oregon coastal woods, enjoying Labor Day Weekend and our last summer holiday before the school year started. It was late in the evening, and the campfire had burned down to few glowing embers. After helping to clean up the residue left by the S'mores , a gooey marshmallow, graham cracker and melted chocolate treat that's

The Peterloo Massacre - August 16, 1819

A satiric 1819 cartoon depicting the Peterloo Massacre by George Cruikshank, who has the soldiers saying:  "Down with 'em! Chop em down my brave boys: give them no quarter they want to take our Beef & Pudding from us! ---- & remember the more you kill the less poor rates you'll have to pay so go at it Lads show your courage & your Loyalty!" (Wikimedia Commons) Democracy can be a messy business. In the United States, we cannot forget the colonial revolt of 1765-1783 that forged our nation, or any of the political convulsions in the 240 years since that have further defined and refined our democracy, including our Civil War in 1861-1865, the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920 giving women the right to vote,  or the African-American Civil Rights Movement (1954-1968), to name but a few. And in the United Kingdom, an incident that occurred during the Regency era has come to be regarded as a pivotal moment in the evolution of British democrac