image galleriescontactsubscribe

Wall Street Journal column, part II b.

AUGUST 3, 2015
The second part of part two of a series of illustrations for a bi-weekly column in the Wall Street Journal.
Part two, part one here:

Part one here:
The 150th anniversary of the end of the Civil War, and the notion of winning the peace being just as important as winning the war, as demonstrated in Grant's rather generous conditions for surrender when he met with General Robert E Lee on April 9, 1865.

On the occasion of the 2015 FIS World Alpine Ski Championships in Colorado, a look at the history of skiing and its place in literature. Here's Hemingway, mere seconds after finishing his short story "Cross-Country Snow".

The ‘Happiest Place on Earth’, Disneyland, turned 60 on July 15, 2015. On that occasion, a look back at places of amusement in history. The Romans being the first (even though the ancient greeks had public leisure spaces as well) to expand the concept into a way of life, with innocent events at the Colosseum being the favorite pastime of bored citizens.

On the Ebola virus, and the history of pandemics. This is Mary Mellon, better known as Typhoid Mary, who was presumed to have infected 51 people, three of whom died, over the course of her career as a cook. It is her we have to thank for the food sanitation laws on hand-washing.

On the occasion of Dolley Madison's birthday, a look at her part in creating the role of the First Lady. After Dolley, it was expected that First Ladies would have a public part to play, one that was above day-to-day politics and often national in its scope. And she liked to wear turbans.

For the beginning of Summer, an article about some famous summer riots and other violent occurences, presumably triggered by the heat. According to a 1968 study of the US Riot Commision, having examined the causes behind the serious summer violence between 1964 and 1968, it only needs to be 80.6*F to create ideal weather conditions for a riot.

On the history of the Star Spangled Banner, and how it distinguishes itself from any other national anthem. Here's Francis Scott Key, who wrote it in 1812. Yet practically everyone outside (and probably some inside) America mistakenly assumes that the song refers to some battle during the War of Independence.

On the 35th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher being the first woman to be elected Prime Minister. And about a bunch of famous woman leaders through the ages.

For the Day of the Dead, a look at some famous people throughout history who, for one reason or another, got buried separate from their hearts (or heads). This is Robert the Bruce (1274-1329), King of the Scots, who died soon after winning independence from England. On his deathbed, Robert begged his knights to embark on another crusade so that his heart could go with them. Which they did.

40 years after the House Judiciary Committee voting to impeach Richard Nixon, a look back at investigative journalism. This is Ida Tarbell, whose 1904 book, ‘The History of the Standard Oil Company’, resulted in the company being broken up under the 1911 Sherman Anti-Trust Act.

About man's relationship with nature, historically, on the occasion of the beginning of Spring. During the Industrial Revolution, the question arose among poets, if true spiritual enlightenment could ever be found outside of nature. William Wordsworth’s (1770-1850) commitment to that ideal ultimately made him abandon urban life in favor of England’s Lake District. There, as described in the 1807 poem ‘The Daffodils’, he wandered lonely as a cloud across the Dales, being moved to a state of bliss by such majestic sights as ‘a host of golden daffodils’.

On the 30 year anniversay of Band Aid's efforts to help starving Ethiopians, and its revival 30 years later to help Ebola victims in West Africa. Which coincides nicely with the 150th anniversary of Henri Dunant, founder of the Red Cross (That's him there), persuading twelve kingdoms and states to become signatories to the Geneva Convention for the Amelioration of the Condition of the Wounded and Sick in Armed Forces in the Field.

On occasion of the anniversary of the British officially abolishing slavery throughout the Empire on August 1, 1833, freeing some 800,000 Africans from bondage. While it is important to commemorate this historic milestone, the attempts of the enslaved to free themselves must be remembered, too. Here's Gaspar Yanga, a slave from Gabon who instigated the first successful African slave revolt in the Americas.

© 2024 Thomas Fuchs