Tuesday, November 22, 2016

The City Beautiful Movement

The Chicago World’s Fair played a key role in the creation of the City Beautiful movement.  At the core of the fair was an area that quickly became known as the White City for its buildings with white stucco siding and its streets illuminated by electric lights. Buildings and monuments by Charles McKim, Daniel Burnham, Augusts Saint-Gaudens and Richard Morris Hunt and lush landscaping by Frederick Law Olmsted, the designer of New York’s Central Park, left a lasting impression on municipal planners looking for a way to bring open spaces and grand public buildings into crowded cities. Chicago itself was one of the first cities to adopt aspects of the new City Beautiful movement. Dozens of other cities across the country followed its lead, most notably Washington, D.C., where by 1902 plans were in place for a redesign of the city center that would result in the creation of the National Mall and its surrounding monuments.

How did the City Beautiful movement change the way we view American Cities?

Monday, November 21, 2016


Do you have what it takes to be the next Daniel Burnham?

Can you build the next great 'American Metropolis?'

You have been assigned to create a new city in a recently discovered region that is prime for development! Rank the 18 urban aspects at your disposal to build your city, but only the proper order will achieve the highest ranking: a teeming Cityscape! Good Luck! 

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Doomsday Clock

The Doomsday Clock is a symbolic clock face, maintained since 1947 by the board of directors of the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists. The closer the clock is to midnight, the closer the world is estimated to be to global disaster. Originally, the Clock, which hangs on a wall in the Bulletin's office in the University of Chicago, represented an analogy for the threat of global nuclear war; however, since 2007 it has also reflected climate change. The most recent officially announced setting—three minutes to midnight (11:57)—was made in January 2015 due to "[un]checked climate change, global nuclear weapons modernizations, and outsized nuclear weapons arsenals". This setting was retained in January 2016.

When was the clock closest to the End of the World?

Why did Sting hope the Russians loved their children too?

Friday, April 8, 2016

So Proudly We Hail!

The tremendous manpower needs faced by the United States during World War II created numerous new social and economic opportunities for American women. Both society as a whole and the United States military found an increasing number of roles for women. As large numbers of women entered industry for the first time, so to did the need for nurses clarify the status of the nursing profession.

In 1the 1942 film 'So Proudly We Hail', an Army plane brings eight nurses from the Philippines to Australia. They are the only female survivors from the hard-hit Army base in Corregidor, and are put aboard a ship to the US. Their leader, Lt. Janet 'Davy' Davidson (Claudette Colbert), does not speak, and the doctor on board asks the nurses to tell their story so he can try to help her.

What characteristics could be used to describe these brave nurses? Compare these women to women of today. How are they alike/ different? Were the nurses more of a help or a hinderance? How have women's roles in war continued to change?

Why were these nurses lucky to have escaped Bataan?

Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Tomahawk vs. Zero

The P-40 Warhawk and A6M Zero were two prominent U.S. and Japanese fighters at the beginning of the Second World War. Both had achieved admirable records. Being two of the most recognizable and widely used aircraft of the war, their paths crossed many times. Yet their performance and career tracks were very different.

Wednesday, March 23, 2016

This Land Is Your Land

Woodrow Wilson “Woody” Guthrie is arguably the most influential American folk musician of the first half of the 20th century. He is best known for his folk ballads, traditional and children’s songs, and improvised works, often incorporating political commentary. Woody Guthrie is closely identified with the Dust Bowl and Great Depression of the 1930s. His songs from that time period earned him the nickname “Dust Bowl Troubadour.”

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

War Songs

"The Battleship of Maine" (listen by clicking on the button up above) reflects the particular wartime mood from the period it was penned. Yellow journalism, conspiracy theories, patriots and warmongers provide the backdrop for a story about a soldier stumbling haphazardly through a war he doesn't seem to understand, telling the listener that the supposed justification for his woes is the sinking of the Maine:

McKinley called for volunteers, then I got my gun.
First Spaniard I saw coming, I dropped my gun and run;
It was all about that Battleship of Maine.
At war with that great nation, Spain.
When I get back from Spain, I want to honor my name,
It was all about that Battleship of Maine.
2. The blood was a-running, and I was running, too.
I give my feet good exercise, I had nothing else to do.
It was all about that Battleship of Maine.
3. When they were a-chasing me, I fell down on my knees.
First thing I cast my eyes upon was a great big pot of beans.
It was all about that Battleship of Maine.
4. The beans they was greasy, the meat it was fat.
The boys was fighting Spaniards, while I was fighting that.
It was all about that Battleship of Maine.
Chorus:5. What kind of shoes do the Rough Riders wear?
Buttons on the side, cost five and a half a pair.
It was all about that Battleship of Maine.
6. What kind of shoes do the poor farmers wear?
Old brogans, cost a dollar a pair.
It was all about that Battleship of Maine.
The song, performed here by Red Patterson's Piedmont Log Rollers, is often considered to be anti-war. But another version features a brave soldier, honored to stick his neck out for his country, oddly enough reminding us with the same refrain: it's "all about the battleship of Maine." That the same song would be sung by both sides seems only fitting to describe a conflict that was both justified and criticized by the public for being started over the same event.