Linton Weeks

Linton Weeks appears in the following:

American History Lives: A Story Of The People, By The People, For The People

Thursday, January 21, 2016

Gentle warning: This is a big story about a big nation. My beloved editor, Scott, suggests it can be read as a story and/or used as a living-history resource.

Americans are doers. In the United States today, history is an action word. This is, after all, a participatory democracy, and ...


The Sad, Happy Life Of Harry Whittier Frees

Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Tucked away in the archives of the Library of Congress is a curious set of photos from the first half of the 20th century — animals, mostly kittens and puppies, dressed as people and doing peopley things: baking a cake, holding a cello, getting married.

Of the photos, ...


Rediscovering Mr. And Mrs. Henpeck

Monday, December 28, 2015

Ah, the Henpecks.

Jokes about a married couple with a domineering wife and subservient husband — named Mr. and Mrs. Henpeck — made the rounds in the late 19th century. She is the strong one; he's the weakling. She reads the newspaper; he does the dishes.

The idea of the ...


Holiday Pop Quiz: Who Was The President ... ?

Thursday, December 17, 2015

The annual heavily choreographed PBS presentation Christmas in Washington has been canceled.

But there was a holiday season in the nation's capital long before the revue and there will be one for years to come.

Here are seven stories of holiday happenings at the White House. Your challenge ...


5 Statements On The Wrong Side Of History

Monday, December 14, 2015

Every day smart folks make assertions — about Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton and issues of all sorts. "Our emphatic prediction is simply that Trump will not win the nomination," opined Nate Silver at in August. And Clinton "is unelectable due to negative favorability polls nationwide and within swing ...


12 Pranks Of Christmas Past

Tuesday, December 08, 2015

Ah, the holiday season: Glad tidings. Comfort. Joy. Pranks.

Say what?

For some earlier Americans, Christmas was the yearly open season for playing practical jokes on other people — filching wagon wheels, turning road signs the wrong way, lighting firecrackers to scare animals. A sort of cold weather April Fools' ...


Building The Library Of Congress — In A GIF

Friday, December 04, 2015

Contracted by the government between 1880 and 1896, photographer Levin C. Handy documented the construction of the Thomas Jefferson Building of the Library of Congress on Capitol Hill.

Handy, who was nephew to legendary American photographer Mathew Brady, "produced more than 900 glass plate negatives that showed every ...


A Forgotten Presidential Candidate From 1904

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Despite what you read in some history books — such as the Biographical Dictionary of Congressional Women — Rep. Shirley Chisholm (D-NY) was not in 1972 the first African-American candidate to run for president of the United States.

In 1904, George Edwin Taylor — often forgotten in the ...


The Peculiar Parade Of Thanksgiving Traditions

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Time was in America that stores routinely closed on Thanksgiving Day. People sent Thanksgiving greeting cards, people donned odd costumes and schools and communities staged elaborate parades and Thanksgiving pageants in which Native Americans and Pilgrims gathered together and smiled and waved.

This year, as Forbes ...


'Masking' Memories: Thanksgiving In Disguise

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

These days it seems like the holidays are running together — at least commercially speaking — when Halloween masks start popping up around Labor Day and Christmas trappings are for sale in the stores before Thanksgiving.

In the stores it feels sort of like Hallothankshanachristmasgivingween.

But the jumbling of holidays ...


18 Rules Of Behavior For Young Ladies In 1831

Friday, November 20, 2015

"This is indeed," the Adams Sentinel in Gettysburg, Pa., proclaimed on Feb. 24, 1830, "the age of improvement."

The proclamation was part of a story about the Moral Encyclopaedia, a set of self-teaching books by a writer identified as "Charles Varle, Esq. of Baltimore."

An advocate of autodidacticism and good ...


What Do We Do Now In America The Same Way We Did It 100 Years Ago?

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Can we crowdsource a history story?

Often you add insightful information to stories I have posted and sometimes you suggest new stories for me to write. I feel like we are in a partnership.

So, I wondered further, if you would like to help me brew up a story ...



Civil War Leaders — In An 1880s Insurance Ad?

Thursday, November 12, 2015

Take a look at this photo. It's a handsome group portrait of, according to the Library of Congress, President Abraham Lincoln, flanked by Adm. David G. Farragut and Gens. William T. Sherman, George Henry Thomas, George Gordon Meade, Ulysses S. Grant, Joseph Hooker, Philip Henry Sheridan and Winfield ...


6 Jokes From 19th Century America

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

There were some mighty funny folks in 19th century America: writers Mark Twain and Ambrose Bierce, for instance. And, by some accounts, stage comedians Fanny Rice and Marshall P. Wilder.

For a while, Rice was billed as the Funniest Woman in America. And Wilder, who specialized in mother-in-law ...


Thomas Jefferson's 10 Rules Of Life — Mocked

Thursday, November 05, 2015

Thomas Jefferson was a great one for giving out advice. As Anna Berkes points out on the Monticello website, the third U.S. president often took the opportunity to advise family and friends on all-around "best practices."

Over the years, she writes, Jefferson "developed a list of axioms for ...


5 Best-Selling Female Writers You May Not Have Heard Of

Tuesday, November 03, 2015

A handful of popular female writers of 19th century America — such as Louisa May Alcott and Harriet Beecher Stowe — continue to be widely taught and read. Others who were extremely well-known back then, for some reason or other, are today pretty much relegated to the history books.

Take ...


Halloweens Past: Wacky Pranks With Wagons

Friday, October 30, 2015

When America was younger: Ladies wore hats, men sported spats and Halloween could be hard on the family buggy or wagon.

By the late 19th century, All Hallows Eve had become – all across the country — a night for playing tricks on neighbors. This was a breach of the ...


A Very Weird Photo Of Ulysses S. Grant

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Swim around enough in the oceanic photo archives of the Library of Congress and you will spot some strange things — including old doctored photos of two-headed humans and a man-monster superimposition.

But perhaps nothing as bizarre as this photo — labeled General Grant ...


American Women Who Were Anti-Suffragettes

Thursday, October 22, 2015

With the new movie about the British suffrage movement, Suffragette, scheduled to be released this week, recollections of protest and debate concerning a woman's right to vote in the U.S. are inevitable.

As the 19th century ended and the 20th began, the American wave of women pushing for ...


Pop Quiz: Who Was The Only President To ...

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Only is a lonely word. It sets people apart and places them at a back-of-the-cafe table for one. When speaking of the 43 men who have been president of the United States — a rarefied roster already — the word only is extra-exclusive.

Some of the presidential onlies are well-known. ...