Democratic governments often have a hard time changing their minds, as recent U.S. decision-making about Iraq and Afghanistan has made clear. Even when the United States encountered monumental frustrations and setbacks, Washington kept fighting, adjusting its strategy and tactics but not its overall goals or the assumptions that underpinned them.
“In the Baggage Coach Ahead” is a great example of the sentimental ballads that became popular in the United States during the 1890s. The classic ballads were maudlin tearjerkers, narrative tales of lost love or dead mothers designed to pull at the heartstrings.
Today, people who live in democratic societies take religious freedom for granted. In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, most Europeans found the idea of “freedom of conscience” deeply threatening. How could the fabric of society withstand competing religious ideas? What would convince people to live moral lives in the absence of a single, state-supported church?
On May 20, 2011, the UT Department of History was pleased to welcome one of our most illustrious graduates to deliver this year’s Commencement Address. Renowned trial lawyer and generous UT supporter, Joe Jamail (JD 1953, BA History, 1950), treated graduates and their families to his thoughts on the ways that studying History at UT made him the lawyer he became.
The Book of Negroes is an extraordinary historical resource, a meticulous list drawn up by the British authorities between May and November 1783, in which they recorded the personal details of some 3,000 African Americans evacuated from New York.
Fred Wong grew up in San Antonio and in 1936 married Rose Chin from Chelsea, Massachusetts. They moved to Austin in 1938 and opened New China Food Market at 714 Red River.
When Cassiano dal Pozzo, the Pope’s personal assistant, returned to the Vatican from Spain in 1626, he brought with him a Mexican manuscript on natural history, the Libellus de medicinalibus Indorum herbis. The “herbal” was a marvelous Mexican manuscript containing illustrations of more than 180 plants. Commonly known as Codice de la Cruz-Badiano, it is considered the first illustrated survey of Mexican nature produced in the New World.
Early in the morning on May 20, 1709, before the trials of offenders commenced, the judges of Scotland’s north circuit court in Perth pardoned some 300 men and women who had been charged with fornication or adultery.
It is well known that you cannot divide a number by zero. Math teachers write, for example, 24 ÷ 0 = undefined. They use analogies to convince students that it is impossible and meaningless, that “you cannot divide something by nothing.” Yet we also learn that we can multiply by zero, add zero, and subtract zero. And some teachers explain that zero is not really nothing, that it is just a number with definite and distinct properties. So, why not divide by zero? In the past, many mathematicians did.