The League of Wives: Women Who Fought to Bring Vietnam POWs Home

by Heath Hardage Lee

On February 12, 1973, one hundred and sixteen men who, just six years earlier, had been high flying Navy and Air Force pilots, shuffled, limped, or were carried off a huge military transport plane at Clark Air Base in the Philippines. These American servicemen had endured years of brutal torture, kept shackled and starving in solitary confinement, in rat-infested, mosquito-laden prisons, the worst of which was The Hanoi Hilton.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Military History, Modern History

Baron von Steuben: An Unknown Revolutionary War Hero

Baron von Steuben

by Tom Clavin

Aside from George Washington himself, perhaps the most remarkable character in the story of Valley Forge is the Baron Friedrich Wilhelm Ludolf Gerhard Agustin von Steuben. In American history, he has gone down as a great Prussian general who arrived in America to train its armies. The fact is he was a conman and a spy for the French government. But yes, he played a tremendous role in America winning his independence.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Modern History

The Three Sons George Washington Never Had

Washington and Lafayette

by Tom Clavin

A dramatic and poignant story within the story of Valley Forge is about George Washington and his surrogate sons. He did not have children of his own, and turning 46 and married to Martha Washington, he would not. But at Valley Forge he was surrounded by three very young men totally devoted to him—one of them the Founding Father you never heard of.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , ,
Posted in Modern History

Exploring the LGBT History of Brooklyn

by Hugh Ryan

Hugh Ryan’s When Brooklyn Was Queer is a groundbreaking exploration of the LGBT history of Brooklyn, from the early days of Walt Whitman in the 1850s up through the queer women who worked at the Brooklyn Navy Yard during World War II, and beyond. No other book, movie, or exhibition has ever told this sweeping story. Not only has Brooklyn always lived in the shadow of queer Manhattan neighborhoods like Greenwich Village and Harlem, but there has also been a systematic erasure of its queer history—a great forgetting.

Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , ,
Posted in Modern History

Wild Bill: Baseball “Player”

by Tom Clavin

With Major League Baseball emerging from its winter slumber, fans tend to acknowledge what anniversaries the new season brings us. The 2019 season is the centennial of the infamous Black Sox scandal, when gangsters fixed the outcome of the World Series. It is the 50th anniversary of the Miracle Mets, when what had been the worst team in baseball defeated the might Baltimore Orioles for the world championship. And it’s the 150th anniversary of Wild Bill Hickok as a baseball umpire.

What? Read more ›

Tagged with: , , , , , ,
Posted in Early Modern History, Modern History, Sports History

The History Reader Newsletter