Mark Harris spoke to Fresh Air on Monday about how five major Hollywood filmmakers chronicled World War II. The footage was intended to document combat for the War Department, as well as show American audiences what was happening overseas. In the interview, Harris explains how the footage of D-Day came to be:
[Directors] George Stevens (for the Army) and John Ford (for the Navy) were really the ones that came up with a concerted plan. … It involved hundreds of cameras, hundreds of cameramen, dozens of cameras fixed to the front of landing vessels.
What is ironic is that most of the footage that was shot at D-Day was destroyed. Many of the stationary cameras didn’t function. The cameramen miraculously almost all survived, but a lot of their footage didn’t. So there was no way to create a clear narrative, chronological structure of what happened at D-Day out of the footage. What there was was an extraordinary amount of raw footage that was then collected from every camera, and every cameraman, that hadn’t malfunctioned. It was all sort of packed up, sent to England and edited, apparently, into several hours of continuous footage that was shown to the War Department back in the United States.
Most of the most shocking footage, the most realistic footage, the best footage, if you will, from D-Day was much too raw and frightening and upsetting to be shown to home front audiences. So while movie theaters across the country advertised for 10 days with signs outside that said, “Ten Days Until First Footage Of D-Day” … the actual footage that made its way to theaters was a very carefully manicured selection of stuff that was acceptable to show …
Most of the D-Day footage was not shown until much, much later. And really, you’d have to go forward to the movie Saving Private Ryan, the first part of which is a recreation of D-Day that is in part inspired by that never-seen footage.
photo of soldiers approaching Omaha Beach in Normandy on D-Day via wikimedia commons
Inky paw prints presumably left by a curious kitty on a 15th century manuscript.
From National Geographic.
Some of the leading philosophers in Islam such as al-Kindi, Ubn Sina, Ibn Rushd and al-Razi were also physicians. Since philosophers by tradition didn’t charge for their lessons, they earned their living as doctors
Medicine in the Islamic world can trace its roots back to the Greeks and such famous physicians as Hippocrates, Galen and Discorides. To this was added medicine as practiced in Persia, India and Byzantium. “The result was the creation of an extensive field embracing nearly every branch of the medical sciences, some 14 centuries of history and a vast geographical area stretching from southern Spain to Bengal, for in this particular field nearly all the regions of the Islamic world made some contributions.” (Seyyed Hossein Nasr, “Islamic Science”) Read more.
Arizona’s law banning Mexican-American studies is constitutional, judge rules
February 25, 2014
A court upheld most provisions of an Arizona state law used to prohibit a controversial Mexican-American Studies curriculum in Tucson on Friday.
The ruling dealt a blow to supporters of the suspended classes, who had hoped the courts would overturn a 2010 law championed by Arizona conservatives determined to shut down the unconventional courses.
“I was really surprised at the decision,” Jose Gonzalez, a former teacher of Tucson’s suspended Mexican-American Studies classes, told The Huffington Post. “But as a student and teacher of history, I know in civil rights cases like this there’s always setbacks.”
The experimental Tucson curriculum was offered to students in different forms in some of the local elementary, middle and high schools. It emphasized critical thinking and focused on Mexican-American literature and perspectives. Supporters lauded the program, pointing to increased graduation rates, high student achievement and a state-commissioned independent audit that recommended expanding the classes.
But conservative opponents accused the teachers of encouraging students to adopt left-wing ideas and resent white people, a charge the teachers deny. Aiming squarely at Tucson’s Mexican-American Studies program, the Arizona legislature passed HB 2281 — a law banning courses that promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, foster racial resentment, are designed for students of a particular ethnic group or that advocate ethnic solidarity.
Federal Judge Wallace Tashima said the plaintiffs failed to show the law was too vague, broad or discriminatory, or that it violated students’ first amendment rights.
The news wasn’t all bad for supporters of the suspended classes. Tashima ruled that the section of the law prohibiting courses tailored to serve students of a particular ethnicity was unconstitutional.
Originally filed in October of 2010 on behalf of the program’s former teachers, who lost standing because they are public employees, the case is currently brought by former Mexican-American Studies student Nicholas Dominguez and his mother Margarita Dominguez. They will likely appeal the ruling to the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals within the next 30 days, their lawyer Richard Martinez told The Huffington Post.
“This case is not over,” Martinez said. “It’s not only important to Arizona, but to the country as a whole that this statute be addressed.”
Arizona Attorney General Tom Horne began a campaign to eliminate the Mexican-American Studies program from Tucson Unified School District in 2006, when he was serving as the state’s Superintendent of Public Education.
Angered that Mexican-American civil rights leader Dolores Huerta had said that “Republicans hate Latinos” in a speech to Tucson students, Horne sent Deputy Superintendent Margaret Dugan, a Latina Republican, to give an alternate view. But the intellectual exercise turned confrontational when students, who said they were not allowed to ask Dugan questions, sealed their mouths with tape and walked out of the assembly room.
“As superintendent of schools, I have visited over 1,000 schools and I’ve never seen students be disrespectful to a teacher in that way,” Horne said in an interview last year.
The final product of his efforts was House Bill 2281, which then-State Sen. John Huppenthal (R) helped pilot through the Arizona legislature. Huppenthal, who succeeded Horne as state superintendent of schools, then found Tucson out of compliance with the new law and ordered the district to shut Mexican-American Studies down or lose 10 percent of its annual funding — some $14 million over the fiscal year. In January of 2012, the school board complied, voting 4 to 1 to discontinue the classes.
The decision drew national attention as administrators plucked Latino literature that once belonged to the curriculum from classrooms, explicitly banning seven titles from instruction.
This is what I’m often referring to when I talk about backlash and suppression of education in the United States. There is literally legislation that bans teaching the history of colonization and civil rights movements in various states-states like Arizona, in which 43% of the population are “minorities”…30% of Arizona is Hispanic/Latin@.
That’s not actually a coincidence. :|
This is systematic, institutional disenfranchisement in action.
In highschool, I would’ve gotten up at ass’o’clock in the morning for a zero hour class just to take a course on the history of my people. The Latino people of Arizona have been robbed.
And what’s worse is that Arizona is so rich with Native and Mexican culture, it’s so disheartening to see the government fight it so aggressively from their racist soap boxes. It makes me sick.
Traces of coca and nicotine found in Egyptian mummies - WTF fun facts
well DUH. a lot of historians are still trying to process the fact that ancient egyptians knew how to build boats, which is ridiculous. why would they not be seafarers and explorers?
this is not new or surprising information at all. it pretty much day one of any african-american studies course.
the egyptians knew that if they put their boats in front of the summer storm winds it’d blow them right across the sea to the Americas and they shared that with the greeks.
It’s really hard for people to understand that everyone had boats, exploration, and trade interactions without the same level of murder, colonization, and violence that the Europeans did. It’s really hard for people to get that.
The Sea-Craft of Prehistory (book; Eurocentric as heck)
Scientific Evidence for Pre-Columbian Transoceanic Voyages (273 pages-for the hardcore only!):The only plausible explanation for these findings is that a considerable number of transoceanic voyages in both directions across both major oceans were completed between the 7th millennium BC and the European age of discovery. Our growing knowledge of early maritime technology and its accomplishments gives us confidence that vessels and nautical skills capable of these long-distance travels were developed by the times indicated. These voyages put a new complexion on the extensive Old World/New World cultural parallels that have long been controversial.
Let’s not forget to acknowledge Alexandre Dumas this Black History Month
The writer of two of the most well known stories worldwide, The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo was a black man.
Let’s not forget that he was played on screen by a white man. And the fact that he was black is barely ever mentioned or the book he wrote inspired by his experiences.
Other things not to forget about Alexandre Dumas:
- chose to take on his slave grandmother’s last name, Dumas, like his father did before him.
- grew up too poor for formal education, so was largely self-taught, including becoming a prolific reader, multilingual, well-travelled, and a foodie, resulting in his writing both a combination encyclopedia/cookbook (which just— is fucking outrageous to me) AND the adaptation of The Nutcracker on which Tchaikovsky based his ballet
- he also wrote a LOOOOT of nonfiction and fiction about history, politics, and revolution, bc he was pro-monarchy, but a radical cuss, and that got him in a lot of hot water at home and abroad.
- even beyond that, he generally put up with a lot of racist bullshit in France, so he went and wrote a novel about colonialism and a BLATANTLY self-insert anti-slavery vigilante hero (which he then cribbed from to write the Count of Monte Cristo, the main character of which, Edmond Dantés, Dumas also based on himself).
- (…a novel which also features a LOAD of PoC beyond the Count, and at LEAST one queer character, btw, bc EVERY MOVIE ADAPTATION OF ANYTHING BY DUMAS IS A LIE; seriously, at LEAST one of the four Musketeers is Black, y’all.)
- famously, when some fuckshit or other wanted to come at Dumas with some anti-Black foolishness, Dumas replied, “My father was a mulatto, my grandfather was a Negro, and my great-grandfather a monkey. You see, Sir, my family starts where yours ends.”
- for the bicentennial of his birthday, Pres. Jacques Cirac was like, “…sorry about the hella racism,” and had Dumas’s ashes reinterred at the Panthéon of Paris, bc if you’re gonna keep the corpses of the cream of the crop all together, Dumas’s more widely read and translated than literally everybody else.
- and they are still finding stuff old dude wrote, seriously; like discovering “lost” works as recently as 2002, publishing stuff for the first time as recently as 2005.
coretta was better than mlk. remember that. remember that she coulda been like a beyoncè-yoyo ma hybrid if she didn’t join the revolution with her cheating husband. i wish that history books would really talk about her political work outside of her husband.
can we get the history books to talk about sexism in the civil rights movement in general? maybe just a little bit? like i need fannie lou hamer to be the center of any crm discussion.
Let’s talk about how the Civil Rights Movement was incepted by Black women seeking retribution and community consciousness about the rape and assault of Black women and girls. Rosa Parks was a typist and recorder for what would be the equivalent of a rape crisis center. The Civil Rights Movement was a women’s movement that shifted gears to garner attention b/c even in the scheme of racialized oppression; people cared more about Black men’s pain/suffering than that of Black women. All of this with the hopes that women’s rapes, assaults, kidnappings and lynchings would get attention by association/proximity to those of men.
READ THIS BOOK! CHANGED MY COMPLETE PERSPECTIVE OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT AND REPRESENTATION OF RACIALIZED OPPRESSION.
I read “At The Dark End of the Street” for my Politics of the Civil Rights Era class and it was i n c r e d i b l e. There is so much misinformation and repressed information about Rosa Parks and the way the rape of Black women was handled during the movement. Such an amazing, tragic read.
I love Anastasia but they get so much shit wrong and I had to talk about it.
More Feminist Graffiti from the ‘70’s, via The Male Gaze, an essay on women’s bodies in advertisement.