Plus: Billy Graham and North Korea |

February 22, 2018

By Lily Rothman

In the wake of this month’s shooting at Florida’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, young Americans have become leading voices in the debate over gun control in the United States. Many of those new activists are too young to vote, but, as TIME’s Olivia B. Waxman noted this week, history shows that youth doesn’t have to be a barrier to changing the world. From the early 20th century labor movements through the civil rights movement and beyond, young people have long found other ways to get their opinions across.

Olivia told me that she was particularly fascinated by the story of 16-year-old Barbara Johns, who led a walkout over the conditions at her segregated high school all the way back in 1951. You can click here to read about how Johns and many other young Americans helped change the national conversation.

Here’s more of the history that made news this week:

Inside Queen Elizabeth's Real Friendship With Billy Graham

The unlikely friendship spanned decades

'I Am Selling the Greatest Product in the World.'

TIME went behind the scenes with Billy Graham's evangelism machine in 1954

Why Hope for a Unified Korea Is 'Withering Away'

"I think most younger South Koreans are not in any kind of thrall about what [the Olympics] means for unification," a historian tells TIME

What African Americans Who Knew Lincoln Thought of Him

"They Knew Lincoln, written by an African American high school teacher and collector of Lincolniana named John E. Washington, earned critical acclaim and sold out quickly — but was never reprinted"

Chester A. Arthur Is the Most Forgotten President in U.S. History

Research conducted over the course of several years reveals which Presidents are most widely remembered


Billy Graham, Pastor in Chief

“Graham was the most famous preacher on earth. Simply by standing next to Presidents, he conferred a blessing both on them and on their policies. Every one of them was aware of this, in ways that Graham sometimes was not. Was it crossing a line when he invited presidential candidates to his crusades or sent along suggestions for their speeches at National Prayer Breakfasts? What about when he lobbied lawmakers on behalf of a poverty bill or an arms deal, or consulted with candidates on their campaign ads or their running mates? It was one thing to serve as Eisenhower’s or Johnson’s private pastor. But it was quite another to act as Nixon’s political partner, carrying private messages to foreign heads of state, advising on campaign strategy and assembling evangelical leaders for private White House briefings." (Aug. 20, 2007)

Read the full story

Feb. 22, 1999

Today in 1999: After Impeachment

“Nobody needs to be told what to hate about this year, what made us flinch or groan, change the channel, fling the magazine across the room. Generations of scholars yet unborn will read shelves of books yet unwritten trying to figure out what went wrong in America in 1998 and why. So maybe it's the lazy luxury of relief, now that it's over, to look at what might have gone right and toast the new era with a glass half full. The serial predictions of anarchy never came true. The markets did not crash, the public did not rush to judgment, fact and fiction met but didn't merge, and the unending Senate trial took precisely 37 days. Within moments of the vote, the Senators were cheering the Chief Justice and one another, and no one lunged for anyone else's throat. The U.S. is still a superpower, and the only elected President to be impeached is still the leader of the free world.” (Feb. 22, 1999)

Read the full story

Feb. 23, 1953

This Week in 1953: Rosemary Clooney

“By Metropolitan Opera standards, Songstress Clooney is as innocent of musical training as a rose-breasted grosbeak. She never bothered to learn to read notes (‘I can tell whether the tune goes up or down, but I can't tell how far’). She disdains such long-hair affectations as warming up her voice (‘What have I got to warm up?’). But in common with the new postwar generation of ballad vendors, including such contemporaries as Patti Page (Mercury), Peggy Lee (Decca), Joni James (M-G-M), Jo Stafford and Doris Day (both Columbia), Rosemary knows how to put a song across.” (Feb. 23, 1953)

Read the full story


A Marvel At the Hollywood Reporter, historian Nathan Connolly looks at the long development of the concept of the black utopia, and how it reaches a new level in Black Panther.

New Procedure The American Historical Association has issued a new report on sexual harassment in the field. Their letter to members on the subject is available to read on their website.

Survey Says The results of the 2018 Presidents & Executive Politics Presidential Greatness Survey — which asks experts to rate and rank the presidents — have President Trump debuting at the bottom of the list.

Forgotten Martyrs For the New York Times, Richard Hurowitz notes the 75th anniversary of the White Rose, a group of Germans who were executed for challenging their own nation’s Nazi regime.

Double Loop Also at the Times, courtesy of Victor Mather, learn the fascinating story of Maribel Vinson—an important figure (pun intended) in the history of skating, and also the paper’s first female sportswriter.

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