December 9, 2017

President Trump attended the opening of the Mississippi History Museum and Civil Rights Museum in Jackson on Saturday, touring the facilities and making brief, mostly scripted remarks. "The Civil Rights Museum records the oppression, cruelty, and injustice inflicted on the African-American community, the fight to end slavery, to break down Jim Crow, to end segregation, to gain the right to vote, and to achieve the sacred birthright of equality," Trump said, adding, "That's big stuff, that's big stuff. Those are very big phrases, very big words."

The president spent much of his time on the podium telling the story of Medgar Evers, a Civil Rights activist who was assassinated by white supremacists. Trump also said he has "studied, watched, and admired" Martin Luther King Jr. for his "entire life," and he noted that he has had electoral success in Mississippi.

Trump's presence at the museum opening was protested by Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.), a Civil Rights leader, as well as Derrick Johnson, the NAACP president, among others. Lewis and Johnson boycotted the event because of Trump's presence.

Watch Trump's full speech below. Bonnie Kristian

November 4, 2017

A new batch of formerly classified files pertaining to the assassination of President John F. Kennedy was released Friday, among them a 1975 CIA memo which says allegations of the agency's connection to assassin Lee Harvey Oswald are "totally unfounded." The memo describes a fruitless search of CIA and other federal agency records to see if Oswald was linked in "any conceivable way," The Associated Press reports.

Friday's document dump also unexpectedly included information about Civil Rights leader Martin Luther King, Jr. A 1968 FBI document, which does not mention JFK, accuses King's Southern Christian Leadership Conference of financial misconduct and King himself of communism and marital infidelity. As Newsweek notes, it "is not clear if any of the information in the dossier was verified," or why the document has been released with the JFK collection. Bonnie Kristian

July 28, 2017

Early Friday morning, the GOP's seven-year mission to kill ObamaCare ended with a dramatic thumbs-down, when Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) strode into the Senate chamber and cast a surprising no vote on his party's third attempt this week to roll back the Affordable Care Act:

McCain's vote prompted gasps from his assembled colleagues — and proved decisive in killing the bill. He joined Republican Sens. Lisa Murkowski (Alaska) and Susan Collins (Maine) in dissent, along with all Democrats, and the proposal was defeated 49-51. A disappointed Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said, "It's time to move on."

Read more about how McCain ended up casting the deciding vote at Politico. Kimberly Alters

December 15, 2016

The three-story building where Adolf Hitler was born in 1889 will be seized by the Austrian government in an attempt to keep it from becoming a pilgrimage site for neo-Nazis.

Austria's parliament passed a law allowing the seizure after a long battle between the government and the building's owner, Gerlinde Pommer. For years, the Austrian government gave Pommer money so she wouldn't rent any rooms to outsiders, the BBC reports. She let a charity set up shop in the building, in the town of Braunau am Inn, but when she refused to allow renovations, the charity had to leave. Pommer will receive some form of compensation from the government, which now must decide what to do with the former guesthouse.

When the Nazis were in power, the building was turned into a shrine to Hitler, attracting thousands of tourists. It was shut down in 1944, but locals say neo-Nazi sympathizers are still attracted to the site. Interior Minister Wolfgang Sobotka and others argue it should be bulldozed, but some historians and cultural organizations say the government should not deny the country's Nazi past, and keep it as is. Catherine Garcia

January 16, 2016

In 1692, 19 people were executed during the Salem, Massachusetts, witch trials. Until 2016, researchers weren't sure exactly where. As part of the five-year Gallows Hill Project, a team pinpointed the location of the hangings — Proctor's Ledge, which now overlooks a Walgreen's.

The hangings were long thought to have taken place up on Gallows Hill. Another man was executed, but not by hanging and not at Proctor's Ledge. He was crushed to death, The Boston Globe reports, and five other accused witches died in jail.

Now that the true site at the hill's base has been nailed down, Salem plans to put a plaque there.

"This is part of our history, and this is an opportunity for us to be honest about what took place," said Mayor Kimberley Driscoll (D). Julie Kliegman

March 4, 2015

Students in Selma, Alabama, have started a petition to change the name of a bridge that honors a purported member of the Ku Klux Klan.

Protestors marching for black voting rights were beaten after they crossed the Edmund Pettus Bridge on "Bloody Sunday," March 7, 1965, and for the 50th anniversary this weekend President Obama will visit the landmark and give an address. Most area residents don't know much about Pettus, who was a Confederate soldier, U.S. Senator, and alleged grand dragon of the Alabama Klan in 1877. "They're responsible for too much death and misery," Rev. Joseph Lowery, a veteran civil rights leader, told The Associated Press. "We don't need to honor them. I'm with the kids. Let's change it."

There are conflicting opinions on Pettus; Selma historian Alston Fitts believes he was not part of the KKK, as Selma did not have much Klan activity following the Civil War, while history professor Michael Fitzgerald at Minnesota's St. Olaf College is almost certain Pettus was a member of another terrorist organization, the White League. Pettus himself shared his insights into race relations when he testified in front of a congressional committee investigating the KKK in July 1871: He stated that whites were the real victims in the post-Civil War South, not blacks. Catherine Garcia

February 15, 2013

February 15

On this day. 1879: President Hayes signed a bill that allowed female attorneys to argue cases before the U.S. Supreme Court.

On this day. 1903: With President Theodore Roosevelt's permission, a toy store began selling the first "Teddy bears." The inspiration for the Teddy bear was one of Roosevelt's hunting trips. TR, an avowed conservationist, was also a big game hunter. President Roosevelt described himself as a conservationist; yet on one trip to Africa alone, he and his party killed some 6,000 animals.

On this day. 1933: President-elect Franklin Roosevelt escaped an assassination attempt. But Chicago Mayor Anton Cermak was killed in the attack. After the shooting, FDR's car sped to the hospital. The fatally wounded Cermak whispered to him: "I am glad it was me instead of you."

Quote of the Day
"We've got to teach history based not on what's in fashion but what's important." -Ronald Reagan


More from West Wing Reports...

* Chester Arthur: The Indignity!

An early look at Senate races in 2014

Photo of Lincoln at Gettysburg? Paul Brandus

March 14, 2010

The Week provides its readers with the most insightful current events commentary from the left and the right, from here and abroad. As the media landscape becomes increasingly polarized, The Week developed the Opinion Awards as a way to establish standards of excellence, and celebrate those opinion journalists who are compelling because they are thoughtful, insightful, and eloquent.


Panel discussion on the topic of "Will There Ever Be a New Politics"
Moderated by Sir Harold Evans

Senator Lindsey Graham
, South Carolina
Senator Claire McCaskill
, Missouri
Eugene Robinson
, Associate Editor, The Washington Post
Joe Scarborough
, Host of "Morning Joe," MSNBC

Columnist of the Year:
David Brooks, The New York Times
Cartoonist of the Year: Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Blogger of the Year: Nate Silver, Fivethirtyeight.com 


Panel discussion on the topic of "How We Pick The President: What's Moving Voters in 2008?"
Moderated by Sir Harold Evans

Howell Raines
Karl Rove
Doug Schoen

Columnist of the Year: Ruth Marcus, The Washington Post
Cartoonist of the Year: Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal Constitution
Blogger of the Year: Josh Marshall, Talking Points Memo


Welcome remarks by Benjamin Bradlee
Panel discussion on the topic of "America in the World."
Moderated by Sir Harold Evans

Tucker Carlson
, "Tucker," MSNBC
Thomas Friedman, The New York Times
Jim Lehrer, "The Jim Lehrer NewsHour," PBS
Claire Shipman, "Good Morning America," ABC

Columnist of the Year: Michael Kinsley, The Washington Post
Cartoonist of the Year: Chip Bok, The Akron Beacon-Jourmal
Blogger of the Year: Joshua Fruhlinger, Wonkette; The Comics Curmudgeon


Welcome remarks by Chris Dodd
Panel discussion on the topic of "Covering the Presidency: Are White House Correspondents Real Journalists?"
Moderated by Sir Harold Evans
Tony Blankley, Editorial Page Editor, The Washington Times
Michael Massing, Contributing Editor, Columbia Journalism Review
Michael McCurry, Former White House Press Secretary
Norah O'Donnell, Chief Washington Correspondent, NBC News
Arianna Huffington, The Huffington Post
Jake Tapper, Correspondent, ABC News

Columnist of the Year: Nicholas Kristof, The New York Times
Blogger of the Year: Ed Morrissey, Captainsquarterblog.com
Cartoonist of the Year: Mike Luckovich, The Atlanta Journal Constitution


Welcome remarks by Chuck Hagel, U.S. Senator (R-NE)
Panel discussion on the topic of "Is the Media Elite Out of Touch with America?"
Moderated by Sir Harold Evans

Ed Schultz, "The Ed Schultz Show"
Tina Brown, CNBC & The Washington Post
Margaret B. Carlson, The Week
Pat Robertson, Christian Broadcasting Network

Columnist of the Year: Peter Beinart
Single-Issue Advocate of the Year: Jonathan Turley
Bloggers of the Year: John Hinderaker, Scott Johnson, Paul Mirengoff for Powelineblog.com
Cartoonist of the Year: Tom Toles The Week Staff

See More Speed Reads