The Last Inauguration the U.S. Had Like This Year’s

First Inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861 — Source: Google Images
First Inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861 — Source: Google Images
First Inauguration of President Abraham Lincoln, March 4, 1861

In late 1859, Abraham Lincoln, then a failed U.S. Senate candidate, who had also served one term in Congress ten years earlier, embarked upon an anti-slavery speaking tour in the Kansas Territory. Though the violence had pretty much ended by then, Kansas had been the site of miniature version of the great conflagration that was to come. There were two different territorial capitals, Lecompton and Lawrence/Topeka, two different constitutions (the anti-slavery Topeka Constitution and pro-slavery Lecompton Constitution), and two different legislatures, the so-called “bogus legislature” in Lecompton and the anti-slavery body…


Former AEI President Christopher DeMuth Says Electoral College Saved the 2020 Election — Not So Fast, Chris

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Source: Google Images

In the January 8th edition of the Wall St Journal, conservative lawyer, former Reagan administration official and American Enterprise Institute president, Christopher DeMuth informed readers that, “The Electoral College Saved” the 2020 presidential election and that it had proved its “ democratic value.”

Right out of the gate, DeMuth hyperbolically takes aim at,” Scholars, pundits and progressives,” who, “widely despise the Electoral College,” as if they were the only ones who have been critical of the institution. What he conveniently, or perhaps lazily…


Unity and Healing for Everyone!…Except Progressive Democrats, BLM and Socialists

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Source: Google Images

Last week leaked audio of remarks made by Virginia Representative Abigail Spanberger, while on a House Democratic Caucus conference call caused something of a stir. The gist I got through the media-land ether was that she said calls to “defund the police” and the fact that some Democratic office holders refer to themselves as “democratic-socialists,” had ruined the Democrats’ chances to increase congressional majorities and had even cost several Democratic House members their seats. This charge was echoed by South Carolina Rep Jim Clyburn and others. But I decided to…


Himmler Would Have Been Proud: Allegations that ICE officers used torture to force Cameroonian asylum seekers to sign their own deportation orders

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Source: Google Images

On Thursday October 22, The Guardian reported that US immigration officers allegedly tortured Cameroonian asylum seekers to force them to sign their own deportation orders, in what lawyers and activists describe as a brutal last ditch effort to get them out of the country before the presidential election. …


Written Out of History: The GI Movement Against the Vietnam War

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Source: Google Images

In September 2020, President Donald Trump attacked “left-wing indoctrination in our schools” and proposed to counter it with a commission to restore “patriotic education” or in other words, to promote and reinforce the more traditional indoctrination that is already prevalent in American schools and universities. Former war correspondent, journalist and author, Chris Hedges, describes how it works during an August 23rd interview with Professor James W. Loewen on his RT Network show, On Contact (worth watching in its entirety).

The teaching of history in our schools is not an…


Maybe It Should Really Be Called Pinzon Day

Statue of Martin Alonso Pinzon in Palos de Frontera, Spain — Source: Google Images
Statue of Martin Alonso Pinzon in Palos de Frontera, Spain — Source: Google Images
Statue of Martin Alonso Pinzon in Palos de Frontera, Spain — Source: Google Images

Leaving aside, for a moment, the question of whether Christopher Columbus should be honored with a celebration day at all (and for the record, I’m sympathetic to the idea of replacing it either with Indigenous Peoples’ Days or a day to honor other more worthy Italians), there is an interesting and highly significant aspect of his story that is usually left out.

In 1990, as the 500th anniversary of Columbus first crossing of the Atlantic approached, Spain built replicas of the Nina, Pinta and Santa Maria with the the intention of recreating…


Template for Trump? Allegations of Voter Intimidation Carried Out by Rudy Giuliani and the Republicans in 1993 NYC Mayoral Election

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While watching a September 30th Democracy Now! interview with Christian Picciolini, a former neo-Nazi who now seeks to disengage people from violent extremism, at one point during the discussion, which centered Trump’s encouragement of voter intimidation and perhaps election related violence, co-host Juan Gonzalez made the following statement:

Well, Christian, you mentioned the issue of calling people to be, in essence, vigilantes at the polls. I recall, clearly, back in 1993 in a mayoral election in New York City, when…


Revolts Before the Revolution — Part I: Prendergast’s Rent War of 1766

Image of Prendergast’s Rent War in Upstate New York in 1766 Source: Google Images
Image of Prendergast’s Rent War in Upstate New York in 1766 Source: Google Images
Image of Prendergast’s Rent War in Upstate New York in 1766 Source: Google Images

As Gary B. Nash recounts in, The Unknown American Revolution: The Unruly Birth of Democracy and the Struggle to Create America, much of the land in colonies like New York and New Jersey was controlled by a few wealthy families or investor “proprietors who sought to recreate the European estate-based system of landlords and tenant farmers. For example, in the Hudson River Valley, Rensselaerswick Manor totaled 1 million acres, Philipse Manor 200,000 and Beekman Manor a mere 100,000. According to Nash, by 1710 every acre of some 800…


May-June 1940: The Victory that Shouldn’t Have Happened

Hitler Tours Paris, June 23, 1940 Source: Google Images
Hitler Tours Paris, June 23, 1940 Source: Google Images
Hitler Tours Paris, June 23, 1940 Source: Google Images

Eighty years ago, the world was stunned when Nazi Germany conquered most of Western Europe in less than a month. The climax of this effort was the May-June 1940 defeat of the combined armed forces of Britain and France and the humiliating capitulation of the latter. At the time French historian, Marc Bloch, later executed by the Gestapo for his role in the French resistance, wrote a lengthy essay on the fall of France entitled, Strange Defeat — and it was. Although a series of myths have grown up around the German…


With 1.7 Million Viruses Out There We Better Make Some Changes Real Fast

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Oil drilling rig in jungle of Gabon — Source: Google Images

Let’s lay it on the line in the starkest terms possible, we humans are going to have to make some big changes in the way we interact with nature if we want to survive as a species. There are an estimated 1.7 million unknown viruses infecting the Earth’s animal population of which somewhere between 631,000 and 827,000 could potentially infect human beings. And what is causing increasing human contact with zoonotic diseases (ie those that primarily exist in animals but can also be transmitted to people)? According…

Al Ronzoni

Al Ronzoni is a writer, historian and political activist based in New York City

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