i’m watching this documentary about halloween and there’s a part where they’re explaining that ghost stories got really popular around the civil war no one could really deal with how many people went off and died and
the narrator just said
"the first ghost stories were really about coming home"
#but wow let me tell you about how the american civil war changed the whole culture of grief and death #because before that people died at home mostly #where their family saw them die and held their body and had proof they were really dead and it was a process #but during the war people left and never came home their bodies never came back there was no proof #people died in new horrific ways on the battlefield literally vaporized by cannonballs or lost in swamps and eaten by wild animals #and there were NO BODIES to send home #and people simply couldn’t grasp that their son or father or husband was really gone #there are stories about people spending months searching for their loved ones #convinced they couldn’t be dead if there were no body they were simply lost or hurt and they needed to be saved and brought home #embalming also really started during the civil war as a way for bodies to be brought home as intact as possible #wow i just wowowow the culture of death and grief and stuff during this time period is fascinating and sad #history (via souryellows)
#quietly reblogs own tags #also the civil war was when dog tags and national cemetaries became a thing #and during the war there was n real system in place to notify families of the deaths #like they’d find out maybe from letters from soldiers who were there when their loved one died nd stuff #but there was no real system #and battlefield ambulances were basically invented because so many people died on the battlefield when they could have been saved if they co #…could have been moved frm the battlefield to a hospital #like there was this one really inlfuential dude whose son died that way and he became dedicated to getting an ambulance system in place
I’m not doing this in the correct tag-style, but.
IIRC, the Civil War also played a huge part in forming the modern American conception of heaven as this nice, domestic place where you’re reunited with your loved ones. People (particularly mothers) responded to the trauma of brother-killing-brother by imagining an afterlife in which families would once again be happy together.
(also not doing this in the correct tag-style, because I wanna KNOW— )What documentary is this? Or is there more than one? Any books on the subject? THIS IS FASCINATING.
cool (ghost) story, bro.
reblogging because, as a us history phd student, i want to say YAY for how much of this is totally on point. i also want to rec the book where a lot of this is covered very, very well, which is Drew Gilpin Faust’s “This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War.”
a lot of books on the Civil War are deadly dull because they’re about battles and shit, but as a transformative moment in mindset and ideology, it becomes *fascinating*
the other book I’d even more highly rec is David W. Blight’s “Race and Reunion,” which is about how the “(white) brother against (white) brother” image of the war was invented and how throwing African Americans to the merciless viciousness of post-Reconstruction racist whites was part of constructing this “oh everybody was white men and everybody was noble let’s celebrate them all” approach to Civil War remembrance
very good stuff
Thank you! This looks like exactly the sort of reading I’m after! *adds to wish list*
PBS did a documentary based on the Faust book as part of their American Experience series. The company I used to work for worked on it, and it was completely fascinating to watch.
Making a note of the Blight book, because that’s something I’ve always wondered about, but never really seen addressed.
American History 101
truth. i honestly dont give a rats ass if you unfollow me for this. learn the truth, sometimes the truth hurts.
Reblogging for the gif about shrinking Native American territories. Just look at the huge difference between 1860 and 1870. In just ten years.
This is one of the best posts on Tumblr.
That tip pic doe!
suddenly, I don’t feel so festive about thanksgiving
That first picture sums up everything in a simple image
"But the real reason I had to chime in was that Steve Rogers is my favorite superhero. Why? Because unlike other patriotism-themed characters, Steve Rogers doesn’t represent a genericized America but rather a very specific time and place – 1930’s New York City. We know he was born July 4, 1920 (not kidding about the 4th of July) to a working-class family of Irish Catholic immigrants who lived in New York’s Lower East Side. This biographical detail has political meaning: given the era he was born in and his class and religious/ethnic background, there is no way in hell Steve Rogers didn’t grow up as a Democrat, and a New Deal Democrat at that, complete with a picture of FDR on the wall.
Steve Rogers grew up poor in the Great Depression, the son of a single mother who insisted he stayed in school despite the trend of the time (his father died when he was a child; in some versions, his father is a brave WWI veteran, in others an alcoholic, either or both of which would be appropriate given what happened to WWI veterans in the Great Depression) and then orphaned in his late teens when his mother died of TB. And he came of age in New York City at a time when the New Deal was in full swing, Fiorello LaGuardia was mayor, the American Labor Party was a major force in city politics, labor unions were on the move, the Abraham Lincoln Brigade was organizing to fight fascism in Spain in the name of the Popular Front, and a militant anti-racist movement was growing that equated segregation at home with Nazism abroad that will eventually feed into the “Double V” campaign.
Then he became a fine arts student. To be an artist in New York City in the 1930s was to be surrounded by the “Cultural Front.” We’re talking the WPA Arts and Theater Projects, Diego Rivera painting socialist murals in Rockefeller Center, Orson Welles turning Julius Caesar into an anti-fascist play and running an all-black Macbeth and “The Cradle Will Rock,” Paul Robeson was a major star, and so on. You couldn’t really be an artist and have escaped left-wing politics. And if a poor kid like Steve Rogers was going to college as a fine arts student, odds are very good that he was going to the City College of New York at a time when an 80% Jewish student body is organizing student trade unions, anti-fascist rallies, and the “New York Intellectuals” were busily debating Trotskyism vs. Stalinism vs. Norman Thomas Socialism vs. the New Deal in the dining halls and study carrels.”
gotta love a well-researched takedown of such lazy, hoary tropes as “Captain America is a monolithic aryan crypto-fascist”
I sure think this is worth sharing with you folks.
10 Must See Photos from the 1950s
- Marijuana plant in Van Nuys, California jail. Officer F.G. Plamonden gapes at blooming plant of marijuana. Officers wonder what goes on with the plant. Cops later found out that it was sent to Valley Division to be in a lecture on narcotics, 1951
- Kicking it with the cool kids - photographer Jean Depara’s photos of life in Kinshasa, Africa in the early 1950s
- Pablo Picasso has fun playing Popeye, 1957
- Marilyn Monroe kicks a ball at Ebbets Field, New York, 1957
- Miss New Zealand collapses during the Miss Universe pageant, 1954
- Kisses and shiny new dimes given out to anyone who appeared “optimistic” in downtown Santa Monica during the Optimist Week celebration, 1951
- A woman demonstrates shoes equipped with spurs and other sharp metal objects for fighting off men and their unwanted advances, 1956
- Men in full make up enjoying a meal together, 1950s
- A rare look into Lucy and Dezi’s home in the 1950s
- Taking a train ride on the real Orient Express as passengers eat in the dining car, 1950s
john quincy adams was the first US president to grant a personal interview to a female reporter, and the only reason he allowed it was because the reporter (anne royall) caught him skinny dipping in the potomac, sat on his clothes, and refused to let him get dressed until he answered her questions and if you dont think that’s one of the coolest stories of early US society then idk what to tell you