No Smoking!!!Inside???No,outside!!!

Effective April 1, 2003, smoking is banned statewide in all enclosed workplaces in New York, including all bars and restaurants and construction sites. According to Wikipedia.com,the law exempts (1) private homes and automobiles, (2) hotel/motel rooms, (3) retail tobacco businesses, (4) private clubs, (5) cigar bars (A cigar bar that makes 10 percent of its gross income from the on-site sale of tobacco products and the rental of on-site humidors, not including vending machines sales are exempt from the ban), (6) outdoor areas of restaurants and bars, and (7) enclosed rooms in restaurants, bars, convention halls, etc., when hosting private functions organized for the promotion and sampling of tobacco products.

In February 2011, by a 36-to-12 vote, New York’s City Council passed a law extending the city’s smoking ban to parks, beaches and public plazas where pedestrians congregate like in Times Square and Union Square, it is the most significant expansion of antismoking laws since Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg pushed to prohibit smoking in restaurants and bars in 2002.





Multiculturalism in the U.S.

According to Foner’s book,in the 1990s,there was a new term called “multiculturalism” appearing in American society. It means the equal value of all cultures and people with different color skin, different values, different languages, different traditions and different ways of interacting interpersonally.

Foner mentions one sign of multiculturalism is “the spread of academic programs”,as college students,we get the chances to choose study in many different cultural study programs. In additional,multiculturalism exists in another field as well,which is the diversity in work place,there were an increasingly diverse work forces in American society,especially Hispanics and immigrants from various Asian countries, and more and more women entered traditionally male-dominated jobs.


It’s all about the war

I Ain’t Marching Anymore is an anti-war song by Phil Ochs, a U.S. protest singer in 1965. Ochs wrote this song as American involvement in the Vietnam War was beginning to grow. The song is written from the perspective of a soldier who has been present at lots of wars is sick of fighting, it criticizes all of American military. It’s also forward about the older generation sending the young to war, and then the yound soldiers die or fall first. “It’s always the old to lead us to the war. It’s always the young to fall. Now look at all we’ve won with the saber and the gun. Tell me is it worth it all”

God Bless This Mess is also an anti-war song by Sheryl Crow in 2008. It’s written in protest to the war and which opposed the Bush administration. Toward the end, Crow sings, “The president spoke words of comfort with tear drops in his eyes. Then he led us as a nation into a war based on lies.”


The Brown Berets

The Brown Berets is a Chicano nationalist activist group of young Mexican Americans that emerged during the Chicano Movement. The Chicano Movement is a Mexican American Civil Rights Movement. It stated in 1965, it was a cultural as well as a political movement, helping to construct new, transnational cultural identities and fueling a renaissance in politically charged visual, literary, and performance art. One of the first organizations that gave strength to the movement was the United Farm Workers organization(UFW), formed in 1962.


Golden “Car Ages”

In 1950s, cars became an very important part of American families’ live. Whenever you watch a movie about that time period they always have big, fast, and flashy cars. Car ownership more than doubled in the 1950’s. From 1950 to 1970, the U.S. automobile population grew four times faster than the human population. By 1960, 80% of American families owned at least one car, and 14% had two or more.



The Korean War

The Korean War is a conflict between Communist and non-Communist forces in Korea from June 1950 to July 1953. At the end of WWII, when Japan collapsed, Korea had been divided into Soviet and American Zones. The war split the Korean Peninsula into two countries: the Democratic Republic of Korea (North Korea) and the Republic of Korea (South Korea).

The USSR and United States agreed to disarm Japan in halves, the Soviets taking the surrender north of the 38th parallel, the United States taking south of the 38th parallel. Later the USSR established a government in the North, while the USA established their own in the South. Eventually, the 38th parallel was extended through Korea to divide the country into the two separate sections that exist today, with the Communist government in control of North Korea and a Capitalist-democracy in control of South Korea.

There were over 33,000 Americans died in Korean, over I million Korean soldiers, 2 million civilians and hundreds of thousands of Chinese troops’ lives were taken during the Korean War.


FDR and the New Deal

From the cartoon, we can see a man was surrounded by a bunch of dancing kids. The man in the middle was President Franklin D. Roosevelt; on the backs of the kids’ shirts were printed WPA, PWA AND AAA, which stand for Works Progress Administration, Public Works Administration (which constructed roads, dams, and public buildings), and Agricultural Adjustment Act (which provided funding to farmers to curtail their production). These were all the programs set up under FDR’s New Deal. There were some other kids facing us, which from the artist’s points should represent the other programs adopted by FDR, such as Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), which served to insure deposits in banks, the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), which provided for navigation, flood control, electricity generation and economic development in the Tennessee River Valley and the National Industrial Recovery Act (NRA), which provided for codes of fair competition to regulate industry, and for the first time in American history guaranteed the rights of labor to bargain collectively, etc. These programs were responses to the Great Depression, and focused on what historians call the “3 Rs”: relief, recovery, and reform. That is, relief for the unemployed and poor; recovery of the economy to normal levels; and reform of the financial system to prevent a repeat depression.


Life During the Great Depression


The Great Depression was one of the hardest times in the United States history for farmers as well. With the stock market crash in 1929 and American economy crushed, the farmers couldn’t make money on their crops, so they also lost $1.50 per acre of land they planted. Having no mercy on the farmers, the elements took their toll. As giant dust storms destroyed fields, it left farmers broke with no way to repair the damage, forcing many to leave their homes in search of different work.


Hollywood Adopts the Hays Code

Morality became a divisive issue during the 1920s in the United States. One focal point of the cultural debate was Hollywood and its movies. Known for promiscuity, gambling and alcohol, Hollywood developed an image as a hotbed of immoral behavior. In the early 1920s the town was rocked by a series of scandals which brought widespread condemnation from civic, religious and political organizations. In 1921, one of America’s most popular movie stars, comic Roscoe “Fatty” Arbuckle, was accused of raping a young actress, Virginia Rappe. After she died of internal injuries, he was indicted for manslaughter. Arbuckle was eventually acquitted, but the public outcry about Hollywood’s lack of morals became deafening.

In 1922, after some risque films and a series of off-screen scandals involving Hollywood stars, the studios enlisted beacon of rectitude and Presbyterian elder Will H. Hays to rehabilitate Hollywood’s image.



Imperialism was one of the long-term causes that increased the rivalry in Europe, which influence the start of World War I. European countries started taking over colonies through the world since the fifteenth century. By 1900 the British Empire extended over five continents and France had control of large areas of Africa. With the rise of industrialism, countries (Great Britain, Germany and France) needed new markets. The amount of lands ‘owned’ by Britain and France increased the rivalry with Germany who only had small areas of Africa entering the scramble to acquire colonies. As a consequences, it caused Germany to ally with Austria-Hungary, and Britain to ally with France.


Racial Violence

During War World I, there were still racial violence going on in the United States. Foner gives examples of several racial violence in his book. Black people got killed or lynched unfairly not only in the North, but also in the South. According to Foner said, for example,  in Chicago in 1919, a black teenager got drowned by white bathers just because he accidentally crossed the unofficial dividing line between black and white beaches on Lake Michigan. During the year of 1919 in Chicago, “more than 250 persons died in riots in the urban North”.


Child labor or child slavery?

Child labor existed prior to the Progressive Era. After industrialization, many poor families sent their children to factories to work. Many children died from poor working conditions and hazardous equipments. The average age of child labor was four to sixteen years old. Many of these children did not go to school at all. During the progressive era four constitutional amendments were passed. One of these amendments outlawed child labor. The Progressive movement did succeed in creating safer work standards for all, and enacting age limits and work hour limits.


Angel Island Immigration Station

The picture on the left hand side was about several Chinese immigrants getting detention and interrogation at Angel Island, San Francisco Bay and the right hand side one was a picture of a barrack the Chinese were lived during that time. The immigration station station in Angel Island was established in 1910, the immigration officers detained the Chinese and asked them quetions about Chinese villages and family histories, they also were forced to prove they had a husband or father who was a U. S. citizen, if they could not answer quesions correctly or provide evidences, they would get deported. Unlike Ellis Island in NY, which usually processed immigrants in a day, the Chinese immigrants at Angel Island were detained in the immigration station for weeks, months or even years. Many Chinese still recalled the hardships of detention after many years later. A museum later was established at Angel Island in Los Angeles, CA.


Impeachment of Andrew Johnson

On February 24, 1868, the House of Representatives voted impeachment to President Andrew Johnson on vote of 126-47. There were eleven articles of impeachment proving his “high crimes and misdemeanors”.

The reason the Radical Republicans wanted to impeach President Andrew Johnson was because in February, 1868, he removed Secretary of War Edwin M. Stanton, an ally of the Radicals, and replaced him with John McAllister Schofield. This action violated the Tenure of Office Act, which was adopted by Congress in March 1867.

On March 2, the House agreed to the articles of impeachment to him. On May 16, 1868, Andrew Johnson was acquitted on the removal trial by one vote short (35-19) of the two-thirds necessary to remove him. Johnson completed his Presidential term and left office in March, 1869.


Things Remembered

The book sounds pretty interesting to me. In the book review, Eric Foner says, “‘Race and Reunion’ is the most comprehensive and insightful study of the memory of the Civil War yet to appear.” It gives a lot of information to people who get to know Civil War history straight forward from text books. As a foreign student, I would be one of them. Before coming to the Unites State, I’ve only read about Civil War from the text books when I was in school, I only knew that Civil War was about Americans from the north and south fighting over slavery and trades. However, I could get more details and facts from many other books like Race and Reunion.

The book uses Civil war as an example to emphasize how important historical memories are. Eric Font indicates that Blight has used some historical events to debate what happened during some other historical events. For example, “The origins of the reconciliationist memory, Blight argues, can be traced to debates during Reconstruction, when Republicans made a commitment to legal and political equality for the former slaves and then abandoned it in the face of violent opposition from the white South and a Northern retreat from the ideal of equality.”Eric Foner also uses the examples in the book tells us to view historical events (like Civil War) by different angles and ways.

Talking about similar examples, as a Chinese, the first thing come to my mind is the Nanjing Massacre. It was probably one of the cruelest massacres against humanity in recent history.  In this event, an estimate of three hundred thousand Chinese civilians and disarmed soldiers were murdered and 20,000 women were raped by soldiers of the imperial Japanese Army in the city of Nanjing, during the years of 1937-1938. The massacre also involves political elements; some Japanese nationalists argue the massacre was fabricated.  While the Japanese government has records of the number of casualties after Hiroshima and Nagasaki bombings, the Nanjing massacre perpetrated by them seems to be a forgotten issue. The exact number of killed Chinese civilians will never be disclosed as evidence was destroyed shortly after the Japanese surrender to the invasion war. Historical facts remember the massacre, while political manipulations try to clean it from the record.


Recording history digitally

Recording history has been easier than ever with the help of technology. Think of just a couple of decades ago when all the information was recorded in written documents. Tons of papers were used and kept from generation to generation. Like Luke says in his comment, “As anyone who’s done serious archival work before knows, you spend a whole lot of time digging through irrelevant material to find the gem that’ll be the center of your fourth chapter. But that gem only is a gem because of how you contextualize it and relate it to other bits of information you’ve gathered. “With the advances of technology, nowadays we can record all information in a disk, cd or just in the memory of our computer.  Our next generations don’t need to search through an encyclopedia to learn about us, they do not need to walk in to a library to research about which team won the superbowl in 2011 or the major political events around the world in 2010. They will just need to click to search the topic, and click again to sort through all the given information.

We are fully engaged with technology every day. We know what is going on with our friends’ life even though we have not seen or talked to them in years, we just need to check their facebook status. And it seems to be that all these social network information are being recorded and stored somewhere for good.

People will sure think of privacy matters, but regardless, we are making history every day, and history is not just a recollection of events in the past, we should learn from it for a better future in the same way our future generations should learn from us.