AHA Today

What We’re Reading: April 21, 2011 Edition

AHA Staff | Apr 21, 2011

National Park Week 2011To begin this week, check out the news from National Parks, including free admission during National Park Week and the recent decision to reject a casino from going up near Gettysburg. Then, read Robert Darnton’s article on how the new digital world doesn’t mean the end of print, hear Civil War Naval Songs, review the facts of Emancipation Day, and look back with IBM on their last 100 years. Finally, check out John F. Kennedy’s coconut message and Lego packaging from the 1950s.

National Parks

  • Free Events at National Parks
    National Park Week runs through this Sunday, April 24th, offering free admission to National Parks that usually cost money. In addition to the free admission, parks around the country are hosting special events.
  • Gettysburg Casino Rejected
    The Civil War Trust is pleased with the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board’s decision to reject a proposed casino near the Gettysburg National Military Park.


    • Digital Doesn’t Mean the Death of Print
      Robert Darnton dispels “5 Myths About the ‘Information Age,’” like “The book is dead” and “Libraries are obsolete.” 
    • How Media Shapes History
      What Do Rocky and Bullwinkle Have to Do With History? Plenty. The Chronicle’s Peter Monaghan explores Steve F. Anderson’s contention that theorists of history pay too little attention to the way media products like those shape the understanding both of historical events and of the way history is told.

JFK coconut message

  • Civil War Naval Songs
    Smithsonian Folkways has posted a collection of Civil War Naval Songs on Soundcloud online, as part of the commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War. See also their other song collections you can listen to online.
  • Emancipation Day – The Facts
    Last week the National Trust for Historic Preservation explained what Emancipation Day commemorates, and why it’s a public holiday in Washington, D.C.
  • 100 Years of IBM
    IBM looks back at its past 100 years in this video it has posted on YouTube. While IBM is touting its corporate achievements, the incorporation of different voices, historic photos, and product schematics make for an intriguing video to watch.


  • John F. Kennedy’s 1943 Coconut Shell Message
    The Letters of Note blog, which posts images and transcripts of “fascinating letters, postcards, telegrams, faxes, and memos,” presented John F. Kennedy’s 1943 rescue request on a coconut shell, following the sinking of the boat he was commanding in WWII. The image on the blog post is courtesy of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library.
  • Lego History and Packaging
    Codex xcix is a blog on “the history of the visual arts and graphic design.” It’s most recent post takes a look at the history of Legos and Lego design since the 1950s. Other recent posts look at depictions of the Rhinoceros since the 1500s, maps of the Grand Canyon (part 1 and part 2), and more.

Contributors: Elisabeth Grant, Vernon Horn, and Lee White

This post first appeared on AHA Today.

Tags: AHA Today What We're Reading


Please read our commenting and letters policy before submitting.