Plus: Mercury in retrograde and cherry blossom trees |

March 22, 2018

By Lily Rothman

New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu only has a few weeks left in his term—a term during which he came to represent, for many, the campaign to remove Confederate monuments from American cities. His new book, In the Shadow of Statues, is a memoir that delves into his realization that what he’d been taught in school about the Civil War was incorrect, and why it’s so important to make sure that those errors are, as he puts it, unlearned and fixed.

“You don’t have to receive the blame. I do think that you have to accept the responsibility, all of us, of fixing it—but you can’t do that until you recognize that what happened back then was just wrong,” he told me. “And in order to do that you have to know what the truth is, what it is that occurred.”

You can click here to read more from Mayor Landrieu, and here’s more of the history that made news this week:

Is Mercury in Retrograde? Here's Why People Care

Apparent retrograde motion of planets has been seen for centuries, but there's a reason more people have started to care in recent years

DC's Cherry Blossoms Could Have Caused a Diplomatic Crisis

The story behind the trees is far more fraught and dramatic than bright blooms on a sunny day. And they came close to not arriving at all

The Way People Experience Emotion Evolves Over Time

Recognizing that fact has changed our understanding of the past

Dispatch From the My Lai Trial

Peter Ross Range reported on the trial of the only man convicted for his role in the infamous Vietnam War massacre. Here's what it was like

The True Story Behind the Movie 7 Days in Entebbe

TIME spoke to historian Saul David, author of the leading book about the Entebbe raid, to sort the fact from the fiction


March 22, 1968

50 Years Ago Today: ‘Unforeseen Eugene’

“He was laughed off as a windmill tilter, shrugged off as a lackluster campaigner, written off as a condescending cynic. But last week, when the votes in New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation presidential primary were counted, Minnesota's Democratic Senator Eugene J. McCarthy came off—to practically everyone's surprise—a hero. THE UNFORESEEN EUGENE, proclaimed a placard toted by one of his fans after the balloting, and that said it all. McCarthy's entry into the primaries against an incumbent President was unforeseen. His appeal on the stump, despite a low-key approach, was unforeseen. Most unforeseen of all—by the pollsters, by newsmen and by a shaken Lyndon Johnson—was his showing on election day.“ (March 22, 1968)

Read the full story

March 22, 1954

Today in 1954: McCarthy’s Men

“McCarthy's voice never faltered and Cohn's chin never quivered as they set off their counterbattery fire. But the reckless fury of their salvos proved that Joe McCarthy stood pinpointed as never before in his public life. Nobody was challenging his rights as a Senator. Nobody was attacking his license to hunt Communists. But the Army, in taking aim, could not have been more menacing. It had drawn a careful bead on the one-man subcommittee's real brain, the precocious, brilliant, arrogant young man whom McCarthy had come to regard as indispensable—"as indispensable." said Joe, "as I am." And Roy Cohn, thanks to a lifetime process of self-inflation, presented a lovely target.” (March 22, 1954)

Read the full story

March 22, 1976

Today in 1976: American Chic

“It was high noon, high season and hurly-burly last week on that nondescript stretch of Manhattan's Seventh Avenue that is the fount of American fashion. In scores of clangorous workrooms, dressmakers tacked and stitched round the clock filling orders for spring and summer lines. Designers and assistants were feverishly sketching the fall collections that will go on show in May. On the street, whose signs proclaim it FASHION AVENUE, traffic was all but paralyzed by porters pushing wheeled racks of garments from shop to shipper. The end product of all this activity festooned stores large and small across the country, as window displays and clothes departments bloomed with the bright fresh crop of U.S. fashions.” (March 22, 1976)

Read the full story


Twitter Mystery If you missed the search for Sheila on Twitter a few days ago, the New York Times and Jacey Fortin will catch you up on how a group of Internet sleuths tracked down the identity of the only woman in a photo from a 1972 science conference.

Conference Conflict And speaking of Twitter and things that are “too male,” the Times’ Maya Salam has a nice summary of the dust-up over a Stanford history conference that featured 30 white men as its speakers.

Remembrance Terry L. Jones at the Advocate, out of Baton Rouge, has the story of how Shell is dealing with the unmarked graves of 1,000 slaves that were found a few years ago by an archaeologist working for the company.

The Unpublished As a number of publications take steps to address past biases, historian Yuliya Komska argues in the Washington Post that book publishers should do the same.

Hear This Slate’s Shon Arieh-Lerer and Aaron Wolfe made a really fun video about the history of classic cartoon sound effects. You’ll never hear “meep meep” the same way again.

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