Recent History Commentaries

Featured image for “Extremism”
Extremism
America is paralyzed by mistrust and extremism. The Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Intelligence Project” has identified 488 anti-government groups around the country that flourish exploiting lies and false conspiracies. “In 2021,” the project reports, “the conspiratorial and permanently dubious view of government was pervasive, as evidence by the movement’s popularity on such issues as COVID-19 regulations, local school curriculum, the...
Read More
June 3, 2022
Featured image for “From Hürtgen Forest to Snowflakes”
From Hürtgen Forest to Snowflakes
In honor of Memorial Day, last Friday I began by describing the longest battle American forces faced in the the Hürtgen Forest during World War II. I wrote how my father, Private James Lichtman, survived an 88mm German canon attack, and a minefield as he crawled to an aid station to receive medical attention for his frozen feet. This is...
Read More
May 30, 2022
Featured image for “The Battle for the Hürtgen and One Soldier Who Lived It”
The Battle for the Hürtgen and One Soldier Who Lived It
In chronicling one of the bloodiest battles of World War II, historian Charles Whiting writes, “Thirty thousand American G.I.’s were killed or wounded in the longest battle ever fought by the US Army—a battle that has been ignored for more than fifty years, a battle that should never have been fought.” My father, Private James Lichtman, was one of the...
Read More
May 27, 2022
Featured image for “Our Bitter Harvest”
Our Bitter Harvest
“Now is the winter of our discontent made glorious summer by this sun of York.” —Richard III, Act I, sc. 1 In March 1954, Democratic presidential candidate Adlai Stevenson spoke to a crowd of supporters about the poison that had infected much of the American public by a demagogic United States Senator. “We are witnessing the bitter harvest from the...
Read More
May 20, 2022
Featured image for “We Are Americans”
We Are Americans
Character is a word that’s rarely used today; rarer still is finding leaders who demonstrate character. But there are a few. Republicans Liz Cheney and Adam Kinzinger, against their party’s wishes, chose to participate in an investigation into the causes of the January 6, 2020 insurrection. It takes character and courage to choose principle over politics. Where would we be...
Read More
May 13, 2022
Featured image for “Profiles in Courage”
Profiles in Courage
In 1877, Lucius Quintus Cincinnatus Lamar, a former distinguished Confederate officer, was the hugely popular Democratic Senator from Mississippi. So revered for his commitment to duty and integrity that a Washington reporter said of Lamar, “he would be a conspicuous personality anywhere, with a character and quality of his own.” Lamar was now faced with an impossible choice in the...
Read More
April 26, 2022
Featured image for “You Can’t Kill Ideas”
You Can’t Kill Ideas
“Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.”— writer, philosopher George Santayana In simpler terms: People who don’t learn from their mistakes don’t grow up. People who shut out the truth about the past, the present or both remain trapped in their own fear. “In Oklahoma,” The New York Times reports, “a bill was introduced in the...
Read More
April 8, 2022
Featured image for “The Liberal Republican”
The Liberal Republican
Sometimes, those who have contributed mightily to their country slip below history’s radar. John Gilbert Winant was one of them. After serving two terms as the Republican Governor of New Hampshire, Democratic President Franklin Roosevelt tapped Winant to be the first head of the Social Security Board. While Republican colleagues called him “a Republican New Dealer,” Winant’s work so impressed...
Read More
February 18, 2022
Featured image for “Waiting for a Miracle”
Waiting for a Miracle
The “vaccine might be a killer,” a broadcaster warned. It’s “unchristian,” a local clergyman said. When Jonas Salk, physician-scientist, first developed a vaccine for polio, influential radio broadcaster Walter Winchell told his listeners not to take the vaccine because it “might be a killer.” Salk tested the vaccine in secret. The March of Dimes approved the results and a virus...
Read More
February 11, 2022
The Walking Dead
“Common sense is not that common.”—Voltaire Embed from Getty Images Yup, it’s official, the Republican Party is dead! The party of Lincoln, Reagan, Eisenhower, George H.W. Bush, and God Love ’em, John McCain, is dead from the neck up. On Friday, the Republican National Committee censured (formerly condemned) Republican Representatives Adam Kinzinger and Liz Cheney who “chose to join Nancy...
Read More
February 8, 2022

Read Some of the Most Recent Articles
The Latest... And Often Greatest