AHA Announcements

Keep up with the latest AHA activity supporting history and historical thinking in all fields and professions.

  • Ransacking Democracy (January 2021)

    Jan 08, 2021 - 

    The AHA issued a statement condemning “the actions of those who, on January 6, stormed the United States Capitol, the seat of the nation’s legislature, the heart of its democratic form of governance.” The AHA deplores the “inflammatory rhetoric of all the political leaders who have refused to accept the legitimacy of the results of the 2020 election and thereby incited the mob.”

    61 organizations have signed onto the statement.

  • AHA Launches “The Assault on the Capitol in Historical Perspective: Resources for Educators” (January 2021)

    Jan 07, 2021 - 

    In response to the events of January 6, 2021, the AHA has compiled a list of resources for educators. We know teaching these events—which are not a “moment,” but the product of a long history—presents a familiar, yet unusually urgent, challenge: how can students use historical knowledge and thinking to understand current crises? This page offers some resources that might help.

  • AHA Expresses Solidarity with Mexican Historians (January 2021)

    Jan 05, 2021 - 

    The AHA has issued a statement expressing solidarity with “professional historians affected by the extreme and arguably punitive fiscal retrenchment affecting Mexico’s system of higher education.” The AHA “reminds decision makers that the habits of mind and knowledge that derive from the study of history have never been more important and deserving of adequate funding than at the present moment.”

  • AHA Joins Coalition to Save National Archives Facility in Seattle (January 2021)

    Jan 04, 2021 - 

    The AHA has joined the Washington state attorney general’s office; the state of Oregon; 29 tribes, tribal entities, and Indigenous communities from Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Alaska; and 8 community organizations, historic preservation organizations, and museums in filing a lawsuit “to halt the federal government’s unlawful and procedurally deficient sale of the National Archives at Seattle facility.” The government plans to transfer the Seattle facility’s records, most of which have not been digitized, to archive centers in Kansas City, Missouri, and Riverside, California—rendering public access to the records difficult if not impossible for millions of users.

  • AHA Issues Letter Expressing Concern Regarding Termination of History Professor (December 2020)

    Dec 22, 2020 - 

    The AHA sent a letter to the chancellor and provost of the University of Mississippi expressing concern about the university’s decision not to renew the contract of Garrett Felber, assistant professor of history, and the possibility that Professor Felber’s activism relating to racism and incarceration might have affected a decision on his employment status. The letter also raised questions of procedure regarding this disciplinary action, citing the AHA’s Statement on Standards of Professional Conduct.

  • AHA Encourages Microsoft to Allow Editing on Footnotes in Microsoft Word (December 2020)

    Dec 21, 2020 - 

    The AHA submitted a comment in support of a campaign to enable commenting on footnotes in Microsoft Word using the Review function. “Adding the ability to comment on footnotes,” explained AHA executive director James Grossman, “would be of tremendous benefit to historians across the world.” 

    Vote here to encourage Microsoft to add this function. 

  • AHA Endorses Legislation Protecting Presidential Records (December 2020)

    Dec 18, 2020 - 

    The AHA has endorsed the Promoting Accountability and Security in Transition (PAST) Act, which would clarify and enhance existing law with regards to presidential transition and presidential records.

    “This vital legislation adds much-needed teeth to the Presidential Records Act,” said AHA executive director Jim Grossman. “Presidential records are the most important and widely-used source for studying how the executive branch of our federal government works, how it has changed over time, and how it might evolve to serve the needs of a new era. Many records of the current administration, however, are currently at grave risk. The Presidential Records Act lacks essential protections for preserving complete electronic records and affords Congress and the Archivist inadequate oversight over presidential transitions, when important records are most at risk. A legislative solution is imperative: the courts have made clear that they cannot act to force compliance until changes are made to the law. The AHA applauds this legislation for guaranteeing the preservation and accessibility of presidential records and furthering the transparency of our federal government—a requirement for a functioning, accountable constitutional republic and the protection of liberty.”

  • AHA Endorses $1 Billion Senate Bill for Civics Learning (December 2020)

    Dec 04, 2020 - 

    The AHA has endorsed the Educating for Democracy Act of 2020, which would provide $1 billion per year for the next five fiscal years to improve the teaching of history and civics in our nation's schools. This bipartisan bill “dramatically increases federal support for civics and history,” according to the CivXNow coalition, and “would ensure an investment required to give youth in our country the civic education they need to become knowledgeable and skilled protectors of our constitutional democracy.”

  • AHA Joins Lawsuit to Protect Historical Records (December 2020)

    Dec 01, 2020 - 

    The AHA has joined the National Security Archive, the Society for Historians of American Foreign Relations, and Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington as plaintiffs in a lawsuit intended to prevent valuable historical records from being irretrievably lost.  The plaintiffs seek to ensure that the current administration complies with, and the National Archives provides oversight for, the charge of the Presidential Records Act to preserve “complete copies” of presidential records, including relevant metadata of digital materials.

  • AHA Issues Statement Concerning Access to French Archives (November 2020)

    Nov 25, 2020 - 

    In solidarity with the French Association of Archivists, the AHA issued a statement urging reconsideration of a policy change by the Secrétariat général de la défense et de la sécurité nationale that renders “some well-known sources, and many others yet to be analyzed, practically inaccessible, even to professional researchers.” The AHA stressed that “reading and interpreting these sources will be critical to the production of new historical scholarship in the future,” and noted that “Article L. 213-2 of the Code du patrimoine states that, after 50 years, almost all archival documents pertaining to the French state enter the public domain and should be made available without any conditions.” The AHA previously wrote to the French government about this issue in February 2020.