John H Arnold, History: A Very Short Introduction. (New York, NY: Oxford University Press, 2000).
As one of the “A Very Short Introduction” series of books, John H Arnold’s installment on History is very short indeed, just 123 pages. It is also, very informative. History does more than define history as those things belonging to the past. It describes the act of creating history, a work of history. Much attention is given to the importance of research. Searching for, collecting, and organizing small bits of evidence. Allowing the evidence to prove both insights to, and questions about, a given topic. History also discusses sources, primary and secondary. Most of all, History explores historiography, the way in which each of us view history.
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Roger Crowley, 1453: The Holy War for Constantinople and The Clash of Islam and The West. (New York, NY: Hyperion, 2005).
There are events, history’s thunderclaps, that peal across time. Christian Europe’s resistance to Islam’s long campaign of expansion is punctuated by many significant events. Beginning with the Battle of Yarmouk in 636 to the Siege of Vienna in 1683, the forces of Islam proved nearly unstoppable as they wrested ever more territory, and people, from Christian realms. Perhaps the most significant event in this thousand-year drama, the Fall of Constantinople, occurred on May 29, 1453.
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On the occasion of our Thirtieth Anniversary, Mrs. Present and I traveled to Europe. We visited Budapest, Vienna, and Prague. It was remarkable. I will be posting highlights from the trip. Most posts will consist of short histories and a lot of photos. I will go in depth on others.
First up: St. Vitus Cathedral in Prague, CZ.
West Face St. Vitus Cathedral
King Charles IV of Bohemia (later Holy Roman Emperor) began construction of St. Vitus Cathedral in 1344 AD. Two previous churches had existed on the site, the first being built in 925 AD. Construction of St. Vitus was lead by Matthias of Arras until he died in 1352. Peter Parler then assumed the role of head architect. Construction and restoration efforts continued until 1929, when the Cathedral was consecrated.
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Remembering a veteran, I did not have the honor of meeting.
T/SGT Thomas Wayne Kelley Jr., USAF
Pleasantville, Atlantic City, New Jersey, USA
Two questions should arise when you read the title of this series. First, “Who am I?” That question is easy to answer. I am History Present. A good place to expand on that answer is this blog’s “About Page.” The second question should be, “When, exactly, are my times?” I was born on the 26th of March 1959. So, my times are from then, until now. If only life were that simple. You see, it is that date which brings me to question my very being. To which era do I belong? More precisely, to which U.S. flag do I belong?
This question did not arise until I began studying history on a serious level. Most people are aware that Alaska and Hawaii became States in 1959. But, when in 1959? Whether you like it or not, dates are important to history and six dates are critical to this story. As was previously mentioned, March 26, 1959 is certainly critical. The second is January 3, 1959. That is the date of Alaska’s admission to the Union.1 OK, cut and dry, there were at least 49 States in Union when I was born. But, what about Hawaii? On August 21, 1959, the third critical date, Hawaii was admitted to the Union.2 Yes! I can claim a certain uniqueness, I am a “49er”! Only those born between January 3 and August 20, 1959 can make this claim. I can always point to a 49-star flag as I claim my tie to history. Or can I?
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This post serves as an introduction to a new project. Importantly, the blog title “History Present” and the address (historypresent.com) will remain. This project fits squarely with the ideas that led me to start the blog. So…
What is it about? See the title. Who am I? A good place to start answering that question is found at this bog’s “About” page. When, exactly, are my times? From when I was born until now. More to follow.
How will it look? After collecting my scattered thoughts, and with a few minutes consideration, I settled on the following format. “Settled on” is to decisive a phrase. “Going with for now” is more accurate. Posts associated with this project will carry the title The History of My Times: According to Me. My thought is to create both a The History of My Times page (not sure) and category (certain). Each entry in the series will carry a subtitle reflecting that post’s subject matter. Example subject matters may feature the following subtitles: “The Cold War” or, “Cold Cuts.” To make searching easier, the post subtitle will appear above project title. While some subtitles may play at their given subject matters, I promise they will pertain to the subject matter. My intention is to deliver a serious history, mostly. Why deliver a serious history? Because I am not very funny.
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Check out this new blog: MB Henry: Following the Path to The Past
History is the theme. MB Henry creates excellent histories, the articles are interesting and the writing is great. Please give her site a look and, please follow. These are links to her first two posts:
The Angel of Marye’s Heights
Etches In Stone