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1. Getting Ready to Honor Memorial Day

Bill Mauldin:  Everyman Cartoonist and Enlistee in World War ll



This Memorial Day you may be wondering why I am shining The Snuggery spotlight on a particular enlistee named Bill Mauldin from World War ll. There were millions of men that enlisted and served.

But this particular one is a two-time Pulitzer Prize winning editorial cartoonist who was honored with a United States postage stamp issued in 2010 depicting this baby faced GI right alongside his two famous cartoon creations, named “Willie and Joe.”

Even the Commander of the European Theater of Operations during WW ll, one General Dwight D. Eisenhower was a big fan, though another famous general named Patton, wanted to tone down the grittiness and accuracy of Mauldin’s praiseworthy portrayal of men at war.

Eisenhower won that debate, of course, with the terse words, “Mauldin draws what Mauldin wants.”

With the cartoons that appeared in the military magazine called “Stars and Stripes,” Mauldin, a young cartoonist, showed his two cartoon buddies, named Willie and Joe, amid the muddy weariness and casual heroics that were part of the reality of the everyday infantryman’s life in WW ll.

And the GI’s loved both the cartoons, and the artist because he was one of them. He was an enlisted man just like they were, showing, through his cartoons, their lives on the front lines of battle.

As I mentioned, Maudlin got literal flack from General Patton who wanted the celebration of the average GI Joe toned down, with less laughs in Maudlin’s cartoons that were pointedly directed, at times, at the cost of the officers in charge.

No go, said General Eisenhower, as I referenced above, with his famous quote on the subject.

This Memorial Day, please have a look at the black and white drawings that lifted the lives of men on the front lines via a cartoonist named Bill Mauldin.

Take a look at this cartoonist whose face appeared on the cover of Time magazine in July, 1961, while his cartoon character of Willie made the cover of the same magazine in a June 1945 issue.

Other iconic renderings of Bill Mauldin include his depiction of Lincoln’s figure at the Lincoln Memorial, bent over with head in hands, following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963.

Please allow your child a peek into a cartoon world like no other; the world of former GI, Bill Mauldin.

He is buried at Arlington National Cemetery.

I hope we continue to see such cartoon lampooning of figures in our culture, both military and civilian, that perhaps need a poke or two with the pen of someone with the equal honesty of a cartoonist like Bill Maudlin.

And along with those pokes, may we see an equal and honest bit of honor, in cartoon form, to the men and women in the front lines who around the world both stand and serve in defense of our country.



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2. Getting to know Mark Carnes, previous Co-General Editor of the American National Biography

In April 2016, the American National Biography updated with 50 new lives. In honor of the occasion, we asked Dr. Mark Carnes to answer a few questions about his experience with the ANB. Dr. Carnes served as Co-General Editor of the ANB alongside Dr. John Garraty since its inception, until current General Editor Dr. Susan Ware came on board in 2012.

The post Getting to know Mark Carnes, previous Co-General Editor of the American National Biography appeared first on OUPblog.

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3. What is the most important word in historical scholarship today?

In addition to catching up with authors and discovering new research, the annual Organization of American Historians conference is a productive and inspiring time to check-in on the state of the field. This OAH in Providence, we had one burning question on our mind: What is one important word that all historians should have on their minds?

The post What is the most important word in historical scholarship today? appeared first on OUPblog.

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4. Interviews with historians: An OAH video series

At the 2015 Organization of American Historians conference in St. Louis, we interviewed OUP authors and journal editors to understand their views on the history discipline. Gathering at the OUP booth, scholars – working in fields ranging from women’s history to racial history, cultural history to immigration history – discussed topics both professional and personal.

The post Interviews with historians: An OAH video series appeared first on OUPblog.

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5. Local opera houses through the ages

Nineteenth and twentieth Century opera houses are finding new lives today. Opera houses were once the center of art, culture, and entertainment for rural American towns--when there was much less competition for our collective attention.

The post Local opera houses through the ages appeared first on OUPblog.

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6. Our lost faith in the American murder trial

We live in an age when Americans are both captivated and disturbed by murder trials. The Netflix smash hit Making a Murderer went viral in late December as it chronicled the seemingly wrongful convictions of a Wisconsin man and his teenage nephew for the gruesome killing of a young photographer. The success of this documentary was hardly surprising in the wake of 2014’s Serial, the most popular podcast in history and winner of a Peabody Award.

The post Our lost faith in the American murder trial appeared first on OUPblog.

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7. Eugene McCarthy and the 1968 US presidential election

Eugene McCarthy made first stop in New Hampshire on January 25, 1968, only six weeks before the state’s March 12 primary. When he did arrive, his presence sparked little excitement. He cancelled dawn appearances at factory gates to meet voters because, as he told staffers, he wasn’t really a “morning person.” A photographer hired to take pictures of the candidate quit after five days because the only people in the shots were out-of-state volunteers.

The post Eugene McCarthy and the 1968 US presidential election appeared first on OUPblog.

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8. What religion is Barack Obama?

On 7 January, 2016, I asked Google, “what religion is Barack Obama”? After considering the problem for .42 seconds, Google offered more than 34 million “results.” The most obvious answer was at the top, accentuated by a rectangular border, with the large word “Muslim.” Beneath that one word read the line, “Though Obama is a practicing Christian and he was chiefly raised by his mother and her Christian parents…” Thank you, Google.

The post What religion is Barack Obama? appeared first on OUPblog.

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9. A memorial for Gallows Hill

The executions on Gallows Hill were the climax of one of the most famous events in American history, but the hangings themselves are poorly documented. The precise location and events surrounding the executions have been, until this point, generally lost to history. Read here to find out how a team of experts was able to uncover the exact location.

The post A memorial for Gallows Hill appeared first on OUPblog.

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10. Complicating Rosie the Riveter

American women’s roles during World War II were much more complicated than the iconic Rosie the Riveter image suggests. The popular poster does, however, serve as an intriguing starting point for discussing a more complex history, one which reveals ongoing attempts by those in authority to rein in disruptive and unruly women.

The post Complicating Rosie the Riveter appeared first on OUPblog.

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11. #789 – Christmas in America by Callista Gingrich & Susan Arciero

$50 Gift Certificate Holiday Giveaway Enter here:   Mudpuppy Holiday Giveaway  . Christmas in America Written by Callista Gingrich Illustrated by Susan Arciero Regnery Kids     10/12/2015 978-1-62157-345-6 44 pages      Ages 6—9 “Ellis the Elephant is back! In Christmas in America, the fifth in Callista Gingrich’s New York Times bestselling series, Ellis …

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12. The “Greater West” and sympathetic suffering

At its root, Islam is as much a Western religion as are Judaism and Christianity, having emerged from the same geographic and cultural milieu as its predecessors. For centuries we lived at a more or less comfortable distance from one another. Post-colonialism and economic globalization, and the strategic concerns that attended them, have drawn us into an ever-tighter web of inter-relations.

The post The “Greater West” and sympathetic suffering appeared first on OUPblog.

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13. Why Henry George matters

What value does the story of Henry George, a self-taught economist from the late nineteenth century, hold for Americans living in the early 21st century? Quite a lot, if we stop to consider the ways in which contemporary American society has come to resemble America in the late-nineteenth century, a period popularly known as the Gilded Age. As in our times, that era was marked by a dramatic increase in income inequality. It also witnessed a sharp and disturbing rise in the numbers of Americans living in poverty, even as Wall Street boomed and overall productivity soared.

The post Why Henry George matters appeared first on OUPblog.

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14. A Veteran’s Day Hero Who Happens to be Pop Pop! Celebrate on 11/11/15

The Veteran’s Day Visitor

Words and Pictures by Peter Catalanotto and Pamela Schembri

November 11th is Veteran’s Day. How will our country come together to honor the men and women who are veterans? How will our children?

A holiday is a day set aside for remembrance and celebration and in the case of Veteran’s Day, to recognize with respect those who served in all of the Armed Forces in peacetime and in time of war.

Children for the most part know there is a military component to our government and that it is the duty of the Navy, Coast Guard, Marine Corps, Air Force and Army to protect our country.

Whether it is serving in military operations abroad or helping people in our own country during times of devastation, it seems more than appropriate to put a face, via picture books, and there are many of them, to those individuals and their families who over time have put service to their country front and center, sometimes at great cost.

It is not unusual for many young children today to have a dad, mom or both serving in the military. Certainly most children have a grandparent or other relative who was or is a veteran.

Children may ask how do we celebrate Veteran’s Day? How do we honor a grandparent, parent, brother, sister or for that matter, any relative or friend who “stood and served” at home or abroad either today or in the past?

There are as many ways as there are veterans. It may be with a simple “thank you,” attending Veteran’s Day parades, visiting forgotten veterans or a more simple and local version of the ritual of remembering those who have died in service to their country which the President of the United States does each November 11 as he visits The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery with the laying of a wreath honoring veterans everywhere.

The most important lesson I think we impart to our children, as they grow and mature, is that freedom is a tremendous gift, and as with all gifts, it comes with a price.

I think that when we model something as valuable to our children, whether it is the importance of reading or an acknowledgement of the veteran on November 11th, it signals to our children the importance of these men and women and their contribution to our country’s past and future, which can set a lasting legacy of example for each future generation of young Americans.

And so, to my father, my own two brothers and to all veterans past and present, thank you for your service to our country!


In the beginning reader series called, 2nd Grade Friends, this particular chapter book is appropriately called The Veterans Day Visitor for in it young Emily’s grandfather or Pop Pop as he is called, is a bit surprised to learn neither Emily nor her best friend Vinni have any idea of what Veteran’s Day is! Being a veteran himself he is eager to remedy the situation. He begins by explaining that people are different and as such will choose to celebrate the federal holiday in different ways. Some may hang a flag outside their home, others may attend a Veteran’s Day parade, while still others will opt to spend it quietly at home remembering their family members who served.

Initially, Vinni offers her take on the word “veteran”, believing a veteran is someone who is a “doctor for dogs!” Good guess, but Emily’s Pop Pop is quick to rectify the honest mistake.

Volunteering to come to Emily’s class on Veterans Day as a sort of live show and tell, Emily’s initial excitement is tempered by her concern over Pop Pop’s tendency to fall asleep mid sentence!

The big “What If” immediately enters Emily’s mind as she pictures what the class reaction would be if this occurred in the middle of Pop Pop’s story? Will her classmates understand?

Most children of this age can relate to the conflict between the obvious love and respect for an older relative and the fear of being embarrassed by someone we love in front of ones peers.

Will this happen to Emily or will the lesson of respect for heroes cause Emily to extend that same courtesy to her Pop Pop? It’s a lesson worth learning not only for Emily and her classmates, but also for early readers who may find this chapter book just the ticket for Veterans Day reading infused with not just a primer of facts on a holiday, but interspersed with lessons of tolerance and respect.


By the way, if you or your family knows an older veteran, here is an opportunity for your child to become involved in getting these aging war veterans to tell their stories. No less than the Library of Congress wants to hear their voices!

If you go to the following web site – www.loc.gov/vets it will provide tips for conducting interviews, provide a field kit with biographical data to gather and release forms.

This is the perfect Veterans Day family project and a chance for each of you to help “The Greatest Generation” tell their stories. Statistics say they are passing away at the rate of 1,000 a day so the window of opportunity to hear from this amazing group of people is rapidly closing and 11/11/15 is the teachable moment!


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15. Spectre and Bond do the damage

The durable Bond is back once more in Spectre. Little has changed and there has even been reversion. M has back-morphed into a man, Judi Dench giving way to Ralph Fiennes. 007 still works miracles, and not the least of these is financial – Pinewood Studios hope for another blockbuster movie. Hollywood roll over and die.

The post Spectre and Bond do the damage appeared first on OUPblog.

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16. Substance, style, and myth in the Kennedy-Nixon debates

On the evening of September 26, 1960, in Chicago, Illinois, a presidential debate occurred that changed the nature of national politics. Sixty-five years ago debates and campaign speeches for national audiences were relatively rare. In fact, this was the first live televised presidential debate in U.S. history. The two presidential aspirants were both youthful but […]

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17. The Salem Witch Trial judges: “persons of the best prudence”?

On 27 May 1692, Sir William Phips, the newly appointed royal governor of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, appointed nine of the colony’s leading magistrates to serve as judges for the newly created Court of Oyer and Terminer. When Phips sailed into Boston from London on 14 May, there were already 38 people in jail for witchcraft, and the accusations and arrests were growing daily.

The post The Salem Witch Trial judges: “persons of the best prudence”? appeared first on OUPblog.

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18. American religion in the Age of Reagan [quiz]

You may have heard about the recent Pew Research Center study that shows millennials (born roughly between 1980 and 1995) fleeing Christian churches to occupy the ranks of the “nones,” those professing no religious affiliation. But how much do you know about the decade that gave birth to the millennial generation?

The post American religion in the Age of Reagan [quiz] appeared first on OUPblog.

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19. The ideology of counter-terrorism

An effective counter-terrorism policy requires the identification of domestic or international threats to a government, its civil society, and its institutions. Enemies of the state can be internal or external. Communist regimes of the twentieth century, for example, focused on internal enemies.

The post The ideology of counter-terrorism appeared first on OUPblog.

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20. The history of American women [quiz]

Over the past several decades, few fields of American history have grown as dramatically as women’s history. Today, courses in women’s history are standard in most colleges and universities, and historians regularly produce scholarship on women and gender. In 1981, historian Gerda Lerner provocatively challenged, “always ask what did the women do while the men were doing what the textbook tells us was important."

The post The history of American women [quiz] appeared first on OUPblog.

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21. The meanings behind the anthems of Fourth of July

On the Fourth of July, Americans will celebrate Independence Day at picnics, concerts, fireworks displays, and gatherings of many kinds, and they almost always sing. “America the Beautiful” will be popular, and so will “Our County, ’Tis of Thee” and of course the national anthem, “Star-Spangled Banner” (despite its notoriously unsingable tune). The words are so familiar that, really, no one pays attention to their meaning. But read them closely and be surprised how the lyrics describe the meaning of America in three very different ways.

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22. Is It Important to Teach American History?

by Sally Matheny

Is It Important to Teach American History?
I love history, especially American history. I love reading about some interesting part of history I’ve never read about before, then researching primary documents to see if it’s true. So many fascinating facts never make the cut to be included in school textbooks. Perhaps if more of them were incorporated, a greater interest in American history would result. Is it important to teach the history of our country?

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23. New Shoes, by Susan Lynn Meyer | Book Review

Set in the 1950s during the infamous days of Jim Crow, New Shoes is a story of an African American girl who comes up with a brilliant idea to remedy the far-too-often degrading experience of buying shoes, especially for back-to-school.

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24. #723 – Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate

Layout 1
Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton
Written & Illustrated by Don Tate
Peachtree Publishers      9/01/2015
32 pages       Age 4—8

“GEORGE LOVED WORDS. But George was enslaved. Forced to work long hours, he wqas unable to attend school or learn how to read. GEORGE WAS DETERMINED. He listened to the white children’s lessons and learned the alphabet. Then he taught himself to read. He read everything he could find. GEORGE LIKED POETRY BEST. While he tended his master’s cattle, he composed verses in his head. He recited his poems as he sold the fruits and vegetables on a nearby college campus. News of the slave poet traveled quickly among the students. Soon, George had customers for his poems. But George was still enslaved. Would he ever be free?” [inside jacket]

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is indeed remarkable. Author and artist, Don Tate, has written an amazing story which he illustrated—with gouache, archival ink, and pencil—beautiful scenes of Chapel Hill, North Caroline, circa mid-1800’s. George Moses Horton is a real person. Young George’s desire to read and write were so strong that he listened in on the white children’s lessons while working long hours for his master. With diligence and hard work, George mastered the alphabet and learned to read and then write. He loved the inspirational prose he found in the Bible and his mother’s hymnal, but most of all, George loved poetry. He wrote poems while working those long hours in the field, but without paper or pen, he had to commit each poem to memory.

Poet-interior-FINAL-page-004[1]At age 17, George and his family were split up and George was given to the master’s son. George found the silver lining in his situation while selling fruit on the University of North Carolina’s campus(where he was teased by students). George distracted himself from his tormentors by reciting his poetry. It was not long before George was selling his poetry, sometimes for money—25c—other times for fine clothes and fancy shoes. A professor’s wife helped George put his poetry onto paper and get it published in newspapers, making him the first African-American to be published. George often wrote about slavery and some poems protested slavery, which made his work extremely dangerous in southern states—some states actually outlawed slavery poems, no matter the author’s skin color. The end of the Civil War officially made George a free man, yet his love of words and poetry had given George freedom since he learned to read,

“George’s love of words had taken him on great a journey. Words made him strong. Words allowed him to dream. Words loosened the chains of bondage long before his last day as a slave.”

Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is one of those “hidden” gems the textbooks forget about, but history should not. Tate’s picture book portrays George’s life with the grim realities of the era, yet there are moments of hope when the sun literally shines upon a spread. This is more than a book about slavery or the Civil War. Those things are important, because they are the backdrop to George’s life, but Tate makes sure the positives in George’s life shine through, making the story motivational and awe-inspiring.

Poet-interior-FINAL-page-010[1]Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton is about following your dreams and then taking your dream and yourself as far as you can go, never giving up on yourself, regardless of negative influences. For those who dream of a better life, especially writers and poets, George Moses Horton’s story makes it clear that the only thing that can truly get in your way is yourself. Schools need to get this book into classrooms. Stories such as George Moses Horton’s should be taught right along with the stories American history textbooks do cover.

POET: THE REMARKABLE STORY OF GEORGE MOSES HORTON. Text and illustrations (C) 2015 by Don Tate. Reproduced by permission of the publisher, Peachtree Publishers, Atlanta, GA.

Buy Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton at AmazonBook DepositoryIndieBound BooksPeachtree Publishers.

Learn more about Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton HERE.
Find a Teacher’s Guide HERE.

Meet the author/illustrator, Don Tate, at his website:  http://dontate.com/
Find more picture books at the Peachtree Publishers’ website:  http://peachtree-online.com/

A Junior Library Guild Selection, Fall 2015
School Library Journal, STARRED REVIEW
Publishers Weekly, STARRED REVIEW

Also by Don Tate
The Amazing Age of John Roy Lynch
It Jes’ Happened: When Bill Traylor Started to Draw
Duke Ellington’s Nutcracker Suite
Hope’s Gift
She Loved Baseball
. . . and many more


Copyright © 2015 by Sue Morris/Kid Lit Reviews. All Rights Reserved

.Full Disclosure: Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton by Don Tate, and received from Peachtree Publishers, is in exchange NOT for a positive review, but for an HONEST review. The opinions expressed are my own and no one else’s. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”


Filed under: 5stars, Children's Books, Favorites, Library Donated Books, NonFiction, Picture Book, Poetry Tagged: African-American History, American History, Civil War, Don Tate, George Moses Horton, Peachtree Publishers, Poet: The Remarkable Story of George Moses Horton, poetry, prose, slavery, University of North Carolina

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25. How much do you know about the American Revolution? [quiz]

Do you know your George Washingtons from your Thomas Jeffersons? Do you know your British tyrants from your American Patriots? Test your knowledge of the American Revolution with this quiz, based on Robert J. Allison’s The American Revolution: A Very Short Introduction.

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