These are heady times for historians in the United States. The Trump impeachment saga has made Lady Buzzkill and I even more highly desired guests at dinners around town than we [...]
All too often, researching the origins of well-known quotes leads to a kind of dead end. Famous people are credited with expressions and sayings that were in common use during their time, and those [...]
Harriet Tubman, “I freed thousands of slaves. I could have freed thousands more, if they had known they were slaves.” Quote or No Quote?
November 1st sees the release of the long-awaited film, “Harriet,” loosely based on the life and work of the famous abolitionist and civil rights pioneer, Harriet Tubman. Of course, Tubman is best known for her [...]
As many of you know, Lady Buzzkill can’t stand me. Sometimes I can’t blame her, though. Imagine what it must be like watching a history-based movie or TV series with me. I go ballistic at [...]
Ah yes, Albert Einstein. Perhaps number 3 or number 4 on the all time mis-quoted list. No, he didn’t say that thing about the disappearance of bees, and the disappearance of bee pollination being [...]
Buzzkillers by the score have asked us here at the Institute for shows on the Vietnam War. The Ken Burns film on PBS, The Vietnam War, the 18-part, 10-hour interview-thon, is [...]
Politics in the United States is rife with rhetorical excess these days, and Americans are being treated to falsehoods, wild exaggerations, and anachronisms galore. Just recently, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham accused four young Democratic Congresswomen [...]
Dorothy Parker “If you don’t have anything nice to say, come and sit here by me.” Quote or No Quote?
“If you don’t have anything nice to say, come and sit here by me,” is one of the best snarky-isms ever uttered. But who said it? Dorothy Parker? Joan Crawford? Lady Buzzkill? Hear the [...]
Did Gandhi say “and eye for an eye makes the whole world blind”? If he didn’t, where did it come from? The Bible? The Canadian House of Commons? Movie script writers? And is there [...]
Are we cursed to be living in interesting times? Would a boring era be easier on the Buzzkill blood pressure? And is “may you live in interesting times” actually an old Chinese curse, or [...]