History

Eleanor Roosevelt's Universal Rights
04 June 2015

In the year that we celebrate the 70th anniversary of the establishment of the United Nations, and the UK government questions Britain’s part in the European Convention on Human Rights, it is a poignant time to reflect on the formation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Central to this was Eleanor Roosevelt who was already heavily involved in social justice and human rights by the time she became First Lady in the White House in 1933.

African American Philanthropy in the Twin Cities: The Saint Paul Urban League
02 June 2015

In April 2015, I and another member of the Adam Matthew team embarked on a three-week trip to the Midwest of the United States. Our first stop was the ‘Flour Milling Capital of the World’ – Minneapolis and its twin city, Saint Paul.

A Right Royal Welcome: Liverpool Celebrates with Cunard's Three Queens
26 May 2015

Liverpool has a lot to be proud of. A vibrant city with a rich heritage, Liverpool has brought us The Beatles, world class football, and striking architecture such as the Liver Building and Metropolitan Cathedral. Liverpool’s docks also carry the city’s legacy as a world famous port. With over 50 ports built along 7 miles over the last 300 years, Liverpool became a hub for commercial shipping and a key location for those wishing to migrate to and from the UK.

Paying Tribute to the Past at Historic Stagville, NC
18 May 2015

Shortly after joining Adam Matthew this year I set off to North Carolina for an archive research trip. Whilst there I had the opportunity to visit Historic Stagville, the site of one of the largest plantations in North Carolina and the pre-Civil War South at its peak during the 1850s and early 1860s. The site and buildings seemed peaceful on a beautiful April morning in the leafy, green North Carolina countryside, but there were stark reminders as we toured the buildings, of the injustices that took place and the difference in quality of life for the plantation owners and the slave community who lived here.

Robert E. Lee Caught Between Nation and State
15 May 2015

Robert E. Lee, commander of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia, remains a person who inspires great interest and debate to this day, not least due to the complexity of his character and loyalties. This is demonstrated by a letter in which Lee reports for military duty in Washington and says he awaits his orders from Union command. Twenty three days later, he had resigned his post and taken a commission from newly seceded Virginia.

“An invention without a future”? The re-opening of the Regent Street Cinema
07 May 2015

Regent Street Cinema, the venue for the first public screening of Louis and Auguste Lumière’s Cinématographe in Britain on the 20th February 1896, has re-opened this week after being restored to its former glory. The small, single-screen cinema, originally part of the Royal Polytechnic Institution at what is now the Regent Street campus of the University of Westminster, was closed to the public in 1980 and has since served as a lecture theatre for the university.

Dreams in Treasure Island
24 April 2015

At the British Empire Exhibition at Wembley in 1925 the Canadian Pacific Railway Company, aiming to promote their railway to a British audience, showcased their wildly popular ‘Treasure Island’ installation. The island was a magical world created for children and big children alike where they could clamber aboard miniature trains Peter Pan and Alice to explore the Canadian Rockies.

The thunderbolt has fallen: Memorialising Lincoln
15 April 2015

On April 14th 1865, America’s ruinous Civil War seemed finally to be drawing to a close. Five days earlier, General Lee had surrendered his army and to those walking Washington’s corridors of power, the war seemed all but won. However many in the South were still desperate to revive the Confederate cause, including John Wilkes Booth and his three co-conspirators.

Milan 2015 and the Legacy of World's Fairs
13 April 2015

If ever there was a way to twist my arm and persuade me to visit romantic, historic Milan this summer, the prospect of a huge, international celebration of food is a pretty convincing one. Expo Milan 2015 is just such an event, but my primary interest is not in pizza (honest), but in Expo 2015’s place in the legacy of World’s Fairs.

Do your duty as workingmen
10 April 2015

Six days from today shall mark the ninety eighth anniversary of Vladimir Ilyich Lenin’s return to Russia after more than a decade of exile abroad.

I wonder which is father...
01 April 2015

The guidelines for creating the archetypal ‘advertisement’, be it on television or in written form, seemed to me to be relatively straightforward; ensure clear product placement, create an element of desirability and use clear, bold branding.

Britain's Banished Men
27 March 2015

BBC Two’s newest period drama Banished sheds light on the lives of the first penal colony established in Australia. The likes of Russell Tovey, Julian Rhind-Tutt, and MyAnna Buring portray the lives of convicts and soldiers trying to serve their time and get by in the wilds of New South Wales. Life seems incredibly brutal in this environment and one would imagine the real lives of the first convicts and soldiers would have been terribly difficult.

Warrior Sportsmen: Rugby Football & the Great War
20 March 2015

If, like me, you have been avidly watching the rugby of both the men’s and women’s Six Nations tournaments over the last few weeks, you will no doubt be feeling the tension rise as we approach the grand finales tomorrow. Whether you have been supporting the English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, French or Italians, I think you will agree that it has been a cracking spectacle with the players taking centre stage.

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