This blog offers SHRA associates a less formal place to write about the intersection of current events, academia and history. We will also share "finds" from the various primary sources we examine. We post both Features, our long form pieces, and Vignettes, fun, interesting and notable shorts that we think would be of interest to our readers but that don’t warrant a longer analysis. To see some of our longer analytical pieces, click on Features. For shorter reads, click on Vignettes.

12/9/15 – The History of the War Assets Administration

On December 7, 1941, the Empire of Japan’s naval and air forces of attacked the United States at Pearl Harbor, a date that President Franklin Delano Roosevelt exclaimed “would live in infamy.”[1] He quite accurately anticipated that this event would mark a pivotal moment in American history. In commemoration of that date, this week’s blog… Read the Rest »

11/25/15 – Meatless Monday

“Meatless, Wheatless, and Sweetless!” It sounds more like a modern fad diet than something you would see in the archives. But alas, that is precisely where SHRA stumbled upon this intriguing statement. We found the phrase so compelling we had to dig deeper. As history would have it, the origins of the phrase can be… Read the Rest »

11/11/15 – Fall 2015 Newsletter

We recently mailed out our Fall 2015 Newsletter.  Included was a look at the lasting impact on our natural environments of some New Deal era programs, and some notes on celebrations and museum exhibits that are marking the centennial of the electrification of much of the US.  Click on the link below to catch up… Read the Rest »

11/4/15 – Teaching Business with History: A Case Study on Garrett Freightlines

Idaho’s history is rich in many ways, but one facet of the state’s history that seems to strike a particular chord with me is the history of its abundant legacy family businesses. I first came across this history as a graduate student at Boise State where I focused my thesis research on the history of… Read the Rest »

10/21/15 – The Legacy of Public Libraries – Then and Now, Part II

Today’s blog is the second installment in SHRA’s series on libraries. The first installment discussed the role that libraries played in historic mining towns. Today’s installment looks at the more contemporary issues that mining communities face. When people think of U.S. mining industry history, many people immediately think of the 1850s California Gold Rush. But… Read the Rest »

10/14/15 – Starvation Heights

I’ve never been a fan of Halloween. As a child I didn’t enjoy dressing up, so I gladly took my parents’ offer to buy one candy bar of my choosing to enjoy every October 31st instead of going trick-or-treating in Washington’s infamous drizzle. Growing up in the small, idyllic town of Port Orchard, Washington, the… Read the Rest »

10/7/15 – Book Review – The Oregon Trail: A New American Journey by Rinker Buck

During the 15 years prior to the Civil War, historians estimate that more than 400,000 pioneers headed west via covered wagon. In the summer of 2007, I found myself driving from Western Washington to Rhode Island, a true “coast-to-coast” crossing, using a modern vehicle. My dog Griffin kept me company and from Utah to Iowa,… Read the Rest »

9/30/15 – Defining the Waters of the United States

This past summer the state of our country’s water resources came to a boiling point. As drought pervaded and fires scorched much of the American West, conflict also simmered in Washington D.C. over the Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) redefining of the phrase “waters of the United States” under… Read the Rest »

9/23/15 -The Legacy of Public Libraries – Then and Now, Part I

In the course of doing research for our active projects, SHRA researchers often come across articles from historic publications or find fascinating archival material that triggers a memory or provokes a question that compels us to further explore. I recently had such an experience when researching in a historic issue of the Engineering and Mining… Read the Rest »

9/16/15 – A Quick Look at the Gas Tax

This summer I traveled extensively for work, and as a result I found myself shuttling to and from the airport at odd hours of the day (and night). And while each trip was somewhat of a blur, whether it was because of catching a 6:30am flight or arriving back home well past nightfall, there was… Read the Rest »

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