Event highlights the historical trail, family’s 1853 trek across U.S. to reach present-day Camas
The Oregon Trail is bringing people to Vancouver, Wash., again Saturday—this time for an exercise in history. The Oregon-California Trails Association is teaming with the Lewis and Clark Trail Heritage Foundation for a symposium at the Heathman Lodge.
A diary begun by Amelia Knight when her family left Iowa in 1853 is among documents to be discussed.
Oregon Trail diaries offer an unusual perspective on a significant era in American history, said Steve Fountain, a history professor at Washington State University Vancouver. Their authors seemed to realize they were participating in something historic and wanted to document it.
“A lot of these are written not as private diaries, but as narratives people will want to read,” Fountain said.
Fountain, who kicks off the symposium with a “Layers of History” overview, noted another interesting aspect of the emigrants.
“These are people who are doing middling and better; not poor people,” Fountain said. “People who are doing just fine are risking life and limb and traveling for months getting to a place they’ve never been.”
Albert J. von Frank, professor emeritus of English and American studies, will receive the 2017 WSU Emeritus Society Legacy of Excellence Award and will deliver the associated address, “Science and Poetry in the Modern University,” followed by a reception, at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, March 29, in Todd 125.
He will be among those honored during WSU’s annual Showcase Celebrating Excellence Recognition Banquet on Friday, March 31.
The award is given for sustained contributions to academia, continued service to the university, community and mankind, and personal accomplishments in retirement that serve as a role model for other retirees. Learn more about the award, including past recipients, at https://emeritussociety.wsu.edu/legacy-of-excellence-award/.
Von Frank is an internationally recognized scholar of 19th century American literature and culture with a particular interest in Ralph Waldo Emerson. » More …
Following the National Prayer Breakfast at which Donald Trump asked the attendees to pray for better ratings for “Celebrity Apprentice,” radio host Ian Masters and guests examined what he calls the aggressive agenda of the Religious Right that Vice President Pence is enacting and the forthcoming White House Executive Order on so-called “Religious Freedom.”
Matthew Sutton, distinguished professor of history at Washington State University and author of American Apocalypse: A History of Modern Evangelicalism, discussed how Trrump’s Supreme Court nominee is a part of what Masters calls a tectonic shift under way in American life where the often fanatical beliefs of a religious minority will soon be imposed on the majority of citizens in the name of religious freedom.
Sinister forces are at work in North Dakota. At least that was the claim of the state’s former lieutenant governor, whose paranoid fears were right out of the eighteenth century, writes Lawrence Hatter, assistant professor of early American history at Washington State University.
Taking a leaf from a political playbook as old as the American Republic, then-Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley dismissed the Standing Rock Sioux opposition to the planned oil pipeline in that state as the work of ominous powers. “The Native Americans are being used, absolutely being used,” Wrigley told reporters Dec. 8, “by these outside agitators.”
His statement could just have easily have been made in 1786 as 2016.
Dismissing the Standing Rock Sioux as dupes is a strategy intended to discredit the grounds of their opposition, while also undermining their efforts to form a broader coalition for political mobilization against the North Dakota pipeline.
By Raymond Sun, associate professor of history, WSU Pullman.
The living memory of the attack on Pearl Harbor is almost extinguished. It’s time to rethink how we want to remember Dec. 7, 1941, 75 years later—and beyond.
To acknowledge the many negative effects that the memory of Pearl Harbor had on how Americans fought the Pacific War is not only intellectually and historically honest, but provides the moral integrity required to build a national memory that can guide us wisely in the present when facing severe challenges about race, religion, refugees, immigration and national security. This is neither to deny the honor due to the dead of Pearl Harbor, nor to displace the site from its central place in American memory.
Seventy-five years later, we have a great opportunity to craft a more mature, complex understanding of the multiple legacies of Pearl Harbor.