Newsletters (Missouri Historical Society)
It's been 52 years, are we ready to listen?
Oh God, when is this violence going to stop?”
Those words might conceivably belong to any place and time, given humanity’s unfortunate tendencies toward hatred, cruelty, and destruction. They are, however, fifty-two years old, and were spoken by Senator Robert Kennedy in response to the murder of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. in April of 1968.
Comfort films for the historian
Well, I’m not sure there is a word that adequately describes the early moments of the summer of 2020 in the Presswood household. Anticlimax seems too kind and gentle, disaster too severe and dramatic, and all terms in between are somehow not specific enough. Graduate school is now over, and what would have been my graduation came and went nearly a month and a half ago. Sheltering in place, at least in terms of a mandated policy, has all but ended, and American life is now said to have reopened (the accompanying spike in virus rates notwithstanding). Taken at face value, these realties would ordinarily signal a much needed transition from rough and uncertain times to something more secure. In my case, however, that type of security has been illusive, thanks largely to the failure to secure full-time employment and the loss of my car, both of which have forced me to temporarily leave the St. Louis area.
The truth about Americans and baseball
In a March 26 USA Today editorial titled “During the Coronavirus Crisis, Americans Need Baseball,” Jenny Beth Martin and Rhonda Werry argue that “there isn’t any one sport quite like baseball to unite the American people.” The article, which is wonderfully written, highlights the role America’s national pastime has played in maintaining the nation’s collective psyche during times of crisis and tragedy, and laments the fact that the coronavirus, which certainly qualifies as a crisis, has kept Americans away from a game that has always been there to serve as a distraction from “ugly realities.”