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Jan 19, 2021

Sergeant York, the highest-grossing movie of 1941, opened in American theaters in July and was still playing after the attack on Pearl Harbor on December 7. A biographical film starring Gary Cooper as the WWI hero Alvin York, it would receive 11 Oscar nominations and win two. Young men went directly from watching the...


Jan 12, 2021

On New Year’s Day 1863, President Lincoln signed the proclamation he had promised a hundred days before. Lincoln understood better than anyone the constitutional challenges to emancipation. He took the greatest care to draft the proclamation in terms that could be defended before the highest court in the land. Then in...


Jan 5, 2021

January 1, 1942 had been set aside by President Roosevelt as a Day of Prayer. He had good reason for doing this; it was a dark time. The Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor just a few weeks before. Then Hitler declared war on the United States. America was suddenly at war with the greatest military powers in Europe and...


Dec 29, 2020

From August to the last week of December, as David McCullough writes, “1776 had been as dark a time as those devoted to the American Cause had ever known.” As the year ended, despite the stunning and historic victory at Trenton the day after Christmas, there was good reason to fear that Washington’s army would...


Dec 22, 2020

By summer 1776, the most powerful navy in the world was conveying the greatest British expeditionary force in history across the ocean to suppress the American rebellion. George Washington’s ragtag Continental Army seemed no match for this great force. They suffered one defeat after another. Winter was coming on....