American Resistance to World War I

by Bennett Muraskin Discussed in this essay: War against War: The American Fight for Peace, 1914-1918, by Michael Kazin. Simon and Schuster, 2017, 400 pages. THE UNITED STATES did not enter World War I until April 1917, over two and a half years after the war began. If the militaristic Theodore Roosevelt had won the presidency in 1912 (he came […]

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Antisemitism in Populist History

by Dusty Sklar THE ANTISEMITISM that has been surging to the surface since Donald Trump became President is in keeping with a tradition of rightwing populist rhetoric that has embraced antisemitism since the late 19th century. Back then, a number of important populist leaders thought Jews to be at the  heart of the problems faced […]

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May 5: Planning for the Scopes Trial

A meeting of community leaders in Dayton, Tennessee, was held on this date in 1925 to plan a challenge to the state’s new Butler Act, which made it illegal to teach Darwin’s theory of evolution in a public school. The American Civil Liberties Union had advertised its willingness to give support to any teacher who […]

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July 9: Bryan’s Cross of Gold

Populist politician and frequent presidential candidate William Jennings Bryan made one of the most electrifying political speeches in history on this date in 1896. Speaking at the Democratic National Convention, Bryan railed against maintaining the gold standard for U.S. currency by declaring, “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of […]

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