Category: History

Star Spangled Banner Should be for International Sporting Events Only

Star Spangled Banner Should be for International Sporting Events Only

Political Marketing was my favorite class when I was in graduate school, and many lessons learned from that course stick with me to this day. I selected jingoism, extremist patriotism and all things marketing of the red, white and blue as my term paper topic for this specific course.

Although I penned that paper back during the Bush 43 administration, insights reached back then have as much relevance today as ever. In studying the Star Spangled Banner as well as everyone who takes the national anthem way too seriously, I saw that the plot to Francis Scott Key's tune was lost a long time ago. We really don't need it to be played anymore at every single sporting event. It really needs to be reserved for just international competitions at this point.

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Celebrating Chicago Bears African-American History on Juneteenth

Celebrating Chicago Bears African-American History on Juneteenth
As Juneteenth approaches it marks the perfect time to reflect upon the contribution of African-Americans to our nation's history and culture. The National Football League is certainly one of many arenas where Black America has had a profound impact and the Chicago Bears, the NFL flagship franchise has a very rich history in this regard. Let's take a more in-depth look at the past and also the present when it comes to black players making an impact both on and off the field with the Chicago Bears. Heading into summer, not much is really expected of the Bears this fall...

Fox News Channel and Asian Wet Markets: Both Must Be Abolished Now

Fox News Channel and Asian Wet Markets: Both Must Be Abolished Now

Once the coronavirus pandemic is all over, and the world recovers from the plague of COVID-19, a lot of stock will be taken of all that we have lost. There will be hundreds of thousands of lives lost, and millions more altered for the worse, many of which irreparably so. We don't make the timeline for when this recovery period arrives, the virus does, and because of that, it's all unknown.

What we do know is that there will be a lot of institutions that just can not exist anymore, simply because they're way too dangerous to public health. Two examples are FOX News Channel and the wet markets in Asia. Half a world away from each other, and existing in completely different spheres of influence, both are getting people killed due to their complete recklessness. We'll start with the latter, as that's where this all (and by that our current hellscape within which we're all currently inhabiting got started.

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Preservation Chicago Unveils City's Seven Most Endangered Buildings on Wed

Preservation Chicago Unveils City's Seven Most Endangered Buildings on Wed

It's the second most popular post in the past year on this website, and it's top five all-time in the three-year history of this blog. As February 14 neared in 2019, we examined how the site of the St. Valentine's Day Massacre is absolutely nothing today (it's just a green space with a couple trees next to a senior center parking lot), and why that's conflicted and complicated.

While it's obvious that the city would not want to celebrate gore and crime, this notoriously dark incident is still a big part of what many tourist cottage industries do in marketing their Al Capone-related wares to tourists. However, when it comes to Capone related buildings, the one that's truly missed is the Lexington Hotel (which used to be located at 2135 S Michigan Ave), and Ward Miller, Executive Director for Preservation Chicago, told me why.

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New Details Emerge Surrounding Ben Wilson Death as Family Forgives Killer

New Details Emerge Surrounding Ben Wilson Death as Family Forgives Killer

If you believe in the maxim that "time heals all wounds," then this event at Malcom X College on NBA All-Star Weekend, was exhibit A. There were five men on stage: an actor/rapper who is halfway to an EGOT (winning an Emmy, Grammy, Oscar, Tony), a former Secretary of Education, a man who went away for committing murder and the two brothers of the man he killed.

 Arne Duncan and Common co-moderated a special screening event of the forthcoming documentary, “Both Sides of the Gun: A Story of Reconciliation." Ben Wilson 's brothers and his killer told their stories of that tragic day, November 20, 1984 in a story of reconciliation, forgiveness and healing. Ben Wilson, 17, rated the number one prep basketball player out of Chicago’s Simeon High School, was gunned down senselessly in midday, the trigger pulled by 16-year-old Billy Moore. ...

MLK Day, Dr. King Ideals Honored by Northwestern and Maryland Hoops

MLK Day, Dr. King Ideals Honored by Northwestern and Maryland Hoops

Martin Luther King day was yesterday, but tonight brought a poignant and admirable tribute to the man, what he stood for and the meaning of the holiday. The Northwestern Wildcats hosted the #17 Maryland Terrapins tonight in Evanston, with both teams wearing a warm-up shirt that honored MLK and his ideals.

It was a shirt that the players had a hand in designing too, as the end result was composed of words that came to mind when the players thought of America’s greatest crusader for social justice, and the legacy he left behind. The collaborative effort came together largely because both schools have Under Armor as their sportswear partner, as UA CEO Kevin Plank is a Maryland alum.

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Half-Century After War, Vietnam a Tourist Destination for History Buffs

Half-Century After War, Vietnam a Tourist Destination for History Buffs

It's been almost a half-century since the Vietnam War ended in 1975, with Americans seeing that iconic image of the final helicopter taking off and flying away. Ever since, Vietnam and what transpired there, especially so in Saigon/Ho Chi Minh City, has inspired numerous transcendently special works of art.

However, for those really interested in Vietnam, and the fall of Saigon, it's not enough to only consume books, movies and musicals; you have to actually walk where the world once turned upside down. It all starts by making your way to this emerging megacity of approximately 8.4 million (13m for the metropolitan area).

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Sociopolitical and Cultural Insights from Joe Bob Briggs (Exclusive)

Sociopolitical and Cultural Insights from Joe Bob Briggs (Exclusive)
We currently live in, arguably, the most divisive political climate since the Civil War. There aren't many people who are talking about peace, love and togetherness in America right now, but one comedian and nationally syndicated "drive-in movie critic," known for his sardonic takes on B-movies, is. John Bloom, better known by his alter ego, "Joe Bob Briggs," performed his hit show "Joe Bob Briggs: How Rednecks Saved Hollywood” at the Cinepocalypse Film Festival earlier this month at the Music Box Theatre. We took in the showing, and had an exclusive interview with the Little Rock native beforehand. Here were some of the more notable quotables, regarding the current political climate, from our interview with Joe Bob Briggs...

Senator J. William Fulbright Was a Complicated Contradiction in Ideals

Senator J. William Fulbright Was a Complicated Contradiction in Ideals

FAYETTEVILLE- Slavery is America's original sin, and ever since 1776, race has consequentially been the most divisive issue in the nation. As one might expect, even the greatest of American heroes have found themselves on the wrong side of history when it comes to issues of race.

The late Senator J. William Fulbright is no exception. His legacy is one just as complicated as those belonging to the slave-owning founding fathers. He was every bit as paradoxical as Thomas Jefferson, an individual who coined the phrase "all men are created equal" while also having a slave as his mistress.

This past weekend, as a Fulbright alumnus, I attended the Fulbright Program's conference "Building Bridges Through Exchange" at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville. During the event, I led a world cafe (audio here) on the current state of journalism.

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Meeting Gorbachev Paints Full Picture of Overlooked Former USSR Leader

Meeting Gorbachev Paints Full Picture of Overlooked Former USSR Leader

In "Meeting Gorbachev," co-directors Werner Herzog and André Singer created a gripping documentary that articulates how "from such a god-forsaken place in the middle of nowhere would emerge one of the greatest leaders of the 20th century."

Perhaps the major key to what made Mikhail Gorbachev such a generational success in his political life was his being a man of the people. He never forgot his humble beginnings and that ideal drove him to the two pillars of his reign at the top of the Soviet Union: perestroika ("restructuring") or glasnost "openness/transparency in government."

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