General Public History

2/17/16 – Comets

For thousands of years the night sky has elicited awe and inspiration. Cultures from around the world have drawn spiritual connections to the twinkling stars and the various shapes of the moon, but perhaps nothing has captivated the human population as much as comets. Last month I came across 19th-century sketches of comets while conducting… Read the Rest »

2/10/16 – A History of Valentine’s Day

My husband refuses to celebrate Valentine’s Day. He spits proclamations of it being a manufactured holiday and for years has eschewed the red roses, sparkling jewelry, and rich chocolate. While Valentine’s Day certainly isn’t my favorite holiday, February 14th falls into this lull where the end-of-the-year holidays are over and spring hasn’t quite sprung. So… Read the Rest »

2/3/16 – The Legacy of Public Libraries – Then and Now, Part III

The American metal industry and public libraries have a fascinating and intertwined history. Glimpses into this rather unexpected historical narrative can be explored in the two previous installments of this blog series, available here and here. But nowhere is the connection between these two entities more pronounced than in the philanthropic work of Andrew Carnegie. Andrew… Read the Rest »

1/27/16 – Up in Smoke

We conduct a lot of research in historic trade journals here at SHRA. While some might find the task of going through a 400-page bound volume rather tedious, as historians, we have great fun from the moment the weary spine of a volume squeaks back to life until we close the massive book and plumes… Read the Rest »

12/16/15 – The Transformation of American Christmas

If I were to hand you a calendar and ask you to point out the most American of our national holidays, which one would you choose?  The Fourth of July and Thanksgiving would be clear frontrunners, but would you choose Christmas?  There is an argument to be made that you should. In our country’s pre-history,… Read the Rest »

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 »

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