Biblically, a traditional marriage has been defined by “a state instituted and ordained by God for the lifelong relationship between one man as husband and one woman as wife.” However, your ancestors hoped for in a “traditional marriage” isn’t quite the roses and white picket fence that they believe it to be. Even though the definition of marriage as “an agreement between two people” has never changed, if you take a look into history it seems as though the idea of traditional marriage has.
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Thursday, March 16, 2017
Andrew Jackson at 250: President's legacy isn't pretty, but neither is history tennessean.com/story Historical reputations rise and fall; Jackson isn’t unique in this regard. But his case is peculiar in the extent of the fall and for what it says about historical memory. Oddly, Jackson’s reputation was the victim of his success. His sins were remembered because his achievements were so profound.
MARCH 15, 2017 By Christopher Klein
MARCH 15, 2017 By Christopher Klein
Andrew Jackson called himself a Jeffersonian Democrat, while Thomas Jefferson called Jackson a dangerous man. Find out more about this "hero of the common man."
The first Irish-American president? The answer may surprise you. While John F. Kennedy was the first Irish-Catholic president, Andrew Jackson was the first chief executive with roots in the Emerald Isle. Check out that and nine other surprising facts about “Old Hickory.”
Jackson’s parents emigrated from Ireland.
Both of Jackson’s parents, Andrew and Elizabeth, were born in Ireland’s Country Antrim (in present-day Northern Ireland), and in 1765 they set sail with their two sons, Hugh and Robert, from the port town of Carrickfergus for America. The Jacksons settled with fellow Scotch-Irish Presbyterians in the Waxhaws region that straddled North and South Carolina.
The seventh president was born on March 15, 1767, but exactly where is disputed. The Waxhaws wilderness was so remote that the precise border between North and South Carolina had yet to be surveyed. In an 1824 letter, Jackson wrote that he had been told that he had been born in his uncle’s South Carolina home, but dueling historic markers in both states still claim to be the true locations of Jackson’s birthplace.
Jackson killed a man in a duel.
The fiery Jackson had a propensity to respond to aspersions cast on his honor with pistols. Historians estimate that “Old Hickory” may have participated in anywhere between 5 and 100 duels. When a man named Charles Dickinson called Jackson “a worthless scoundrel, a paltroon and a coward” in a local newspaper in 1806, the future president challenged his accuser to a duel. At the command, Dickinson fired and hit Jackson in the chest. The bullet missed Jackson’s heart by barely more than an inch. In spite of the serious wound, Jackson stood his ground, raised his pistol and fired a shot that struck his foe dead. Jackson would carry around the bullet in his chest as well as another from a subsequent duel for the rest of his life.
He won the popular vote for president three times.
Jackson captured nearly 56% of the popular vote in winning the presidency in 1828, and he nearly matched that figure four years later in his reelection. “Old Hickory” also won the most popular votes, although not a majority, in his first presidential run in 1824. Since no candidate won a majority of electoral votes, the 1824 election was thrown into the House of Representatives, which selected John Quincy Adams in what Jackson’s supporters claimed was a “corrupt bargain” with Speaker of the House Henry Clay, who was named secretary of state by Adams. In his annual messages to Congress, Jackson repeatedly lobbied for the abolition of the Electoral College.
He was the target of the first attempted presidential assassination.
As Jackson was leaving the U.S. Capitol on January 30, 1835, following a memorial service for a congressman, a deranged house painter named Richard Lawrence fired a pistol at the president from just feet away. When Lawrence’s gun misfired, he pulled out a second weapon and squeezed the trigger. That pistol also misfired. An enraged Jackson charged Lawrence with his cane as the shooter was subdued. A subsequent investigation found the pistols to be in perfect working order. The odds of both guns misfiring were found to be 125,000 to 1.
Unbeknownst to Jackson, he married his wife before she had been legally divorced from her first husband.
After moving to Nashville, Tennessee, in the 1780s, Jackson fell in love with the unhappily married Rachel Donelson Robards. After she separated from her husband and believing that she was granted a legal divorce, Robards wed Jackson. In fact, however, the divorce had not yet been finalized, and her first husband accused her of adultery. Jackson legally remarried Robards in 1794, but the episode resurfaced in the nasty 1828 presidential campaign when Jackson’s political opponents spread the gossip about his wife’s alleged adultery. After Rachel Jackson died just weeks after her husband’s election, the grieving president-elect believed the anguish caused by the slander hastened her demise.
He was the only president to have been a former prisoner of war.
During the Revolutionary War, the 13-year-old Jackson joined the Continental Army as a courier. In April 1781, he was taken prisoner along with his brother Robert. When a British officer ordered Jackson to polish his boots, the future president refused. The infuriated Redcoat drew his sword and slashed Jackson’s left hand to the bone and gashed his head, which left a permanent scar. The British released the brothers after two weeks of ill treatment in captivity, and within days Robert died from an illness contracted during his confinement.
He adopted two Native American boys.
Although he led campaigns against the Creeks and Seminoles during his military career and signed the Indian Removal Act as president, Jackson also adopted a pair of Native American infants during the Creek War in 1813 and 1814. Orphaned himself at age 14, Jackson sent back to Rachel an infant orphan named Theodore, who died early in 1814, and a child named Lyncoya, who was found in his dead mother’s arms on a battlefield. “He is a savage that fortune has thrown in my hands,” Jackson wrote to his wife about the boy. Lyncoya died of tuberculosis in 1828, months before Jackson’s election.
He was a notorious gambler.
Jackson had a taste for wagering—on dice, on cards and even on cockfights. As a teenager, he gambled away all of his grandfather’s inheritance on a trip to Charleston, South Carolina. Jackson’s passion in life was racing and wagering on horses.
Chastened by a financial hit he once took from devalued paper notes, Jackson was opposed to the issuance of paper money by state and national banks. He only trusted gold and silver as currency and shut down the Second Bank of the United States in part because of its ability to manipulate paper money. It’s ironic that Jackson not only appears on the $20 bill, but his portrait in the past has also appeared on $5, $10, $50 and $10,000 denominations in addition to the Confederate $1,000 bill.
Saturday, March 11, 2017
A Brief History: The Three Waves of Feminism
SEPTEMBER 22, 2015 BY CAROLINE DOREY-STEIN
While the roots of feminism are buried in ancient Greece, most recognize the movement by the three waves of feminism. The third being the movement in which we are currently residing.
The first wave (1830’s – early 1900’s): Women’s fight for equal contract and property rights
Often taken for granted, women in the late 19th to early 20th centuries, realized that they must first gain political power (including the right to vote) to bring about change was how to fuel the fire. Their political agenda expanded to issues concerning sexual, reproductive and economic matters. The seed was planted that women have the potential to contribute just as much if not more than men.
The second wave (1960’s-1980’s): Broadening the debate
Coming off the heels of World War II, the second wave of feminism focused on the workplace, sexuality, family and reproductive rights. During a time when the United States was already trying to restructure itself, it was perceived that women had met their equality goals with the exception of the failure of the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (which has still yet to be passed).
This time is often dismissed as offensive, outdated and obsessed with middle class white women’s problems. Conversely, many women during the second wave were initially part of the Black Civil Rights Movement, Anti Vietnam Movement, Chicano Rights Movement, Asian-American Civil Rights Movement, Gay and Lesbian Movement and many other groups fighting for equality. Many of the women supporters of the aforementioned groups felt their voices were not being heard and felt that in order to gain respect in co-ed organizations they first needed to address gender equality concerns.
Women cared so much about these civil issues that they wanted to strengthen their voices by first fighting for gender equality to ensure they would be heard.
The third wave (1990’s – present): The “micropolitics” of gender equality
Today and unlike the former movements, the term ‘feminist’ is received less critically by the female population due to the varying feminist outlooks. There are the ego-cultural feminists, the radicals, the liberal/reforms, the electoral, academic, ecofeminists… the list goes on.
The main issues we face today were prefaced by the work done by the previous waves of women. We are still working to vanquish the disparities in male and female pay and the reproductive rights of women. We are working to end violence against women in our nation as well as others.
We are still fighting for acceptance and a true understanding of the term ‘feminism,’ it should be noted that we have made tremendous progress since the first wave. It is a term that has been unfairly associated first, with ladies in hoop skirts and ringlet curls, then followed by butch, man-hating women. Due to the range of feminist issues today, it is much harder to put a label on what a feminist looks like.
Quite frankly, it all comes down to the dictionary’s very simple yet profound definition: “the theory of the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.” If that’s what a feminist is – who wouldn’t want to be called that?
Feminism: Why Not ‘Egalitarianism’ or ‘Humanism’?
SEPTEMBER 24, 2015 BY CAROLINE DOREY-STEIN
During my studies of women’s leadership and equality, I have become increasingly frustrated with the hesitance some co-workers, friends and family respond with when I discuss feminism. The most common rebuttal is “why is it called feminism if it’s the equality of both men and women?” or, my personal favorite, “why not ‘Egalitarianism’ or ‘Humanism’ instead?”
I’ve even been told “Caroline, I don’t think you’re a feminist.”
I wanted to address this question because if I hear it frequently, chances are so do others and we should all be equipped to answer.
Before I begin my explanation of why it is ‘feminism’ and not another word signifying equality, I want to stress something. I do not just go up to people and blab about how great feminism is! I am not preachy with a few exceptions in my writings and sometimes when I talk with fellow feminists (that’s preaching to the choir, however). Typically feminist arguments surface when someone just simply asks me about my work. When I explain I’m studying women’s leadership and gender equality and it makes them somehow uncomfortable, this is when the retorts to the term arise.
The movement was given the name ‘feminism’ because it focuses on the gender inequality issues that impact women. Just like any other civil rights category, feminism is a term used to show that one supports women’s equality and wants to address the serious amount of gender discrepancies they face daily. It does not take away from other civil rights matters.
Feminism is not called Humanism or Egalitarianism because Feminism, Humanism and Egalitarianism are three distinct theories.
Humanism is a branch of philosophy and ethics that advocates for equality, tolerance and secularism. It recognizes that human beings do not “require” religion in order to develop moral systems or behave morally. More simply, Humanism is the theory that humans are allowed to use logic to decide what is ethical instead of using a higher power to define for them.
Egalitarianism is a form of political philosophy that advocates all human beings are fundamentally equal and therefore equally entitled to resources. Yet, it has some distinct limits in applied practice. Egalitarianism has been an inactive socio-political movement for quite a while now.
Equality was originally conceptualized as a means to give everyone the same things, and although concepts and theories of equality are meant to be fair, rarely if ever are they in practice in reality.
This is not to infer that these two practices did not help shape Feminism. Humanism and Egalitarianism are important intellectual movements whose philosophies inform Feminism as well as global human rights legislation. But Feminism is the only movement actively advocating for gender equality.
The movement operates on the tenant that gender is not an acceptable basis for discrimination, oppression and/or eradication. It’s called Feminism because the gender being denied personhood and subjected to oppression is female. Feminism was given its name because it began as a socio-political movement to achieve gender equality for females and through its own rhetoric has become a movement to achieve equality for all persons regardless of gender.
Sunday, October 2, 2016
1.) Some chapels buried thousands of bodies in their floorboards. Instead of a separate cemetery, bodies used to be buried in churchyards, which in the olden days was profitable for churches. Since there was a finite amount of space in the yard, some churches buried corpses under their floors - one London chapel had 12,000 bodies in it.
2.) The Spanish Donkey was one of the worst tortures ever. During the Spanish Inquisition, this device would be used for torture and eventual death. The person would be placed on a triangular log and weights attached to their feet. They would be pulled downward by the weights as the sharp edge of the log slowly sliced them in half.
3.) 17th century rich people ate human flesh. They thought that consuming flesh, drinking human blood, and even rubbing human fat on the outside of the skin could cure any number of diseases.
4.) Human skulls were used by ancient civilizations as cups. Many ancient cultures hollowed out the skulls of their slain enemies and made them into drinking cups, with the earliest ones dating to about 14,000 years ago in what is now England.
5.) The Victorians made "memorial jewelry" - out of parts of their dead loved ones. To remember their lost family and friends, some Victorians had jewelry made out of parts of their loved ones' bodies, including teeth, hair, and bone. This brooch was made with a pretty knot made of hair.
6.) If someone died abroad in the Middle Ages, they might have been boiled so that their bones could be shipped home. Before modern embalming, it was difficult (and smelly) to transport a body back home if someone died far away. In the Middle Ages, some people chose to have their corpse cut into pieces and boiled. That way, the rotting flesh could be buried in the place the person passed on, but their bones could be easily shipped back to their ancestral burial ground.
7.) It was popular in France for royal women to give birth in front of a crowd. Marie Antoinette had such a large audience that she was almost crushed by the throng of people who tried to fit into her room at Versailles when she was giving birth.
8.) Dentures used to be made of the teeth of fallen soldiers. The teeth would be removed from the bodies, then placed in artificial gums for use by living people.
9.) In England, suicide victims were buried at crossroads to keep them from haunting towns. People in medieval England thought that burying people who'd committed suicide - which was a very serious crime - at a crossroads would confuse the restless soul and prevent them from coming "home" in spirit form.
10.) A guy wrote a book about a ship called the Titan crashing into an iceberg - fourteen years BEFORE the Titanic sank. Morgan Robertson's 1898 book tells the story of a British ship called the Titan, which was deemed to be unsinkable, that hit an iceberg and sank, killing many of the passengers because there weren't enough lifeboats. In 1912, the Titanic sank in almost the same manner.
11.) General Antonio Lopez de Santa Anna ordered a full military funeral in 1838...for his leg. The Mexican leader lost his left leg when it was hit by a cannon, and had a funeral - with full military honors - for it when it was buried.
12.) Hungarian countess Elizabeth Bathory is considered the most prolific female serial killer in history. Four hundred years ago today, in August 1614, the notorious 54-year-old royal died under house arrest in Čachtice Castle in modern-day Slovakia, having been implicated in as many as 650 deaths — mostly peasant girls and servants. Elizabeth was prone to fits of rage and seizures, and it appears that mental illness — possibly the result of years of inbreeding — was common in her extended family. The torture and murder was done largely for Báthory’s pleasure, and some scholars believe she was a sexual sadist in addition to a psychopath. Báthory and her accomplices terrorized the surrounding countryside for years with impunity. And it was not until her bloodlust crept up the social ladder, and the daughters of nobles went missing, that her fellow royals started to pay attention to the dark rumors surrounding the countess. Just after Christmas in 1610, Báthory’s castle was raided by the local authorities, who were horrified to discover dead and dying maidens strewn across the courtyard and basement. The countess’s collaborators were imprisoned, put on trial, and themselves tortured and executed. Báthory herself was never tried or convicted — perhaps to spare her family the embarrassment — but she was placed under house arrest in a tower room within Čachtice Castle where she died less than four years later.
13.) Sultan Ibrahim I of the Ottoman Empire once drowned 280 of his concubines. The reason? One of them had slept with another man.
14.) The first major syphilis outbreak made people look like gross zombies. In 1494, Florence, Italy had a big syphilis outbreak, and before antibiotics, you just sort of had to...deal. With syphilis, that meant that parts of your face would literally be falling off, and you'd just have sores all over your body.
15.) When Mount Vesuvius went off, it actually exploded people's heads. The city of Herculaneum was hit not by magma or ash when Vesuvius went off, but by a superheated cloud of gas with temperatures up to 1000 degrees Fahrenheit. This meant that people's heads got really hot, really fast. Since the liquid in your head has nowhere to go because of your skull...their heads legit exploded.
16.) The first recorded serial killer in history was a woman. Nowadays, most of the major serial killers (that we know about, anyway) are men. But back in Roman times, there was a serial killer named Locusta who liked poisoning people. A lot. Fortunately for her, Emperor Nero sometimes needed people killed, so instead of punishing her for being a murderer, he pardoned her and asked her to help him out.
17.) One of Joan of Arc's most ardent supporters was a serial child killer. Joan of Arc was amazing, obviously, but she had help in the French Army, including Gilles de Rais, a knight. He fought bravely for France... and also killed anywhere between 80 and 800 children in horrifyingly brutal ways.
18.) James Smithson, the founder of the Smithsonian Institution, is buried there. Employees have said they've seen Smithson's ghost wandering the halls of the famed Washington, D.C. museum, to the point where in 1973, the institute did a study of Smithson's casket and remains to make sure everything was a-OK.
19.) In 1892, two soldiers stationed at the fort that used to occupy Liberty Island tried to dig up some treasure they'd heard was buried nearby. When they got to the box, a demon appeared to them, most likely the spirit of Captain Kidd, a pirate who liked to bury his treasure there.Liberty Island used to be a haven for pirates... and might be haunted by one.
20.) The Romanians believed redheads with blue eyes were vampires. Redheads were believed to be a specific kind of vampire called strigoi, who were able to send their spirits out at night to meet other strigoi.