Category: The Historical Muse

Thoughts on history and the historical profession. Clio is the muse of history–this category title is a play on that concept.

A Reagan D-Day

Reagan at Point du Hoc 1984 Last Saturday was the 65th anniversary of D-Day. The most memorable anniversary of that occasion, however, took place in 1984 as President Ronald Reagan delivered two outstanding speeches in commemoration of the sacrifices the Allied troops made that day. Reagan’s first speech was at the cliffs of Point du Hoc, where a specialized Ranger battalion scaled the cliffs to take out the German guns. This was a key to victory, since those guns were… Read more »

American Character: John Eliot

Another early Puritan leader was John Eliot, who developed a heart for bringing the Gospel to the natives. Critics today would say he was infringing on their native religion and flexing the muscles of cultural superiority. That’s not how Eliot saw it. What he perceived was a people worshiping the creation rather than the Creator. They needed to know the One who forgives sins and brings new life. One account of Eliot’s life states: Eliot became inspired with the idea of… Read more »

American Character: John Winthrop

John Winthrop, leader of the Puritan migration to Massachusetts, and that colony’s first governor, sometimes gets a bum rap from historians. Even one of my favorite historians, Paul Johnson, considers him too severe. A good corrective on that, however, is a fairly recent biography by Francis Bremer, John Winthrop: America’s Forgotten Founding Father. Bremer shows rather conclusively, I think, that Winthrop was a man of great moderation fueled by his Christian faith. Winthrop is known, if at all, primarily for… Read more »

Principle: Sowing & Reaping (Part III)

I’ve spent two days talking about how important it is to sow Biblical principles in our society. Yesterday, I noted that no matter how well we sow, there will always be those who refuse to accept God’s truths. Sowing the right seeds will not automatically result in reaping the right harvest. The soil/heart in which they are sown must receive them. Yet there is the promise from God that sowing the right seeds generally will bring a good harvest. In early America,… Read more »

American Character: Edward Winslow

There probably aren’t too many Americans who know the name Edward Winslow. He was one of the Pilgrims, a trusted friend and helper for William Bradford for many years. As with Bradford, Winslow’s Christian faith led him to depart England for Holland, and then on to the New World. Winslow suffered in the same way Bradford did at first in the new colony of Plymouth. The first winter was severe, and half the company died. One of those was Winslow’s… Read more »

Remembrance Day

I chose the title for today’s post on purpose. We are so used to seeing “Memorial Day” that we probably don’t stop and think about what the word means. Memorial is based on other words—memory and remember. As a nation, we need to maintain a collective memory. We need to consciously remember what has gone before us. As a historian, I can say with some authority that we are a nation that is losing its memory. Knowledge of American principles and… Read more »

Jack Kemp

Republican Visionary Jack Kemp—former pro football quarterback, congressman, Secretary of Housing and Urban Development, vice-presidential candidate in the 1996 election—died yesterday of cancer.  If anyone was a face for the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s—besides Ronald Reagan, of course—it was Congressman Kemp. Champion of the concept of supply-side economics, which posited that if you reduce tax rates you increase incentive, productivity, and revenues simultaneously, Kemp worked tirelessly and joyfully for America’s economic salvation. He was also solid on what conservatives… Read more »