Plus: the history of Juneteenth |

By Olivia B. Waxman
Staff Writer

There’s a lot of Texas history in the news this week, and the debates over how we talk about it are part of a larger conversation about how we talk about American history.

On June 15, Texas Governor Greg Abbott became the latest governor to sign a bill designed to ban critical race theory from being taught in public schools. Teachers worry it could restrict their ability to have honest conversations about the history of racism in the state and throughout American history. Over the last week, meanwhile, a story debunking myths about the Alamo, which talks about the Texas Latinos who are often written out of that history, has been a popular read on Click here to read the mythbuster by Bryan Burrough and Jason Stanford, authors of the new book Forget the Alamo: The Rise and Fall of an American Myth.

At the same time, this afternoon, President Biden signed a bill making the Texas holiday of Juneteenth, which falls this Saturday, June 19, a federal holiday. Juneteenth marks the day in 1865 that enslaved Texans first found out they were free. But the holiday has also been a moment to recognize that the fight for racial equality is still continuing; in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder, more employers (including TIME) have begun to recognize the date as a company holiday to acknowledge that ongoing struggle. And amid concerns that Texas’ new law could hamper conversations about where Juneteenth fits in history, TIME’s Senior Correspondent Janell Ross writes about the importance of learning about its significance and what it has meant to her family. Click here to read her essay.

Here’s more history to know:

Activists Want Juneteenth to Be a National Holiday. Here’s the History Behind Their Fight
By Olivia B. Waxman
Advocates have long fought for recognition of the day that marks when freedom came to Texas
Read More »
What to Know About the Literary Origins of Netflix’s Buzzy Crime Drama Lupin
By Annabel Gutterman
Maurice Leblanc's fiction provides a roadmap for the series starring Omar Sy
Read More »
The Circus Was Once America’s Top Entertainment. Here’s Why Its Golden Age Began to Fade
By Les Standiford
As the U.S. entered WWI, the Ringling show employed about a thousand people—but forces that would reshape the circus industry had begun to emerge
Read More »
Column: There Is a Better Way to Use Power at Work. This Forgotten Business Guru Has the Secrets
By Matthew Barzun
Mary Parker Follett was the most sought-after name on the business speaker circuit in the 1920s
Read More »
Why Flag Day Is a Reminder That Patriotism Can Be Complicated
By Olivia B. Waxman
Flag Day overlaps with a milestone Supreme Court case that is part of a long history of debates over displays of patriotism
Read More »
This week in 1944: General Dwight D. Eisenhower

“Eisenhower has become even more confident, more incisive as his job grew. Few men can talk with his fluent clearness. His handling of press conferences makes good reporters beam with admiration. Before a complex operation he can take an airman, an infantryman and a naval officer, and rapidly explain to all three the peculiar requirements of their separate specialties far better than those specialists could hope to explain them to one another.” (June 19, 1944)

Read More »
This week in 1963: Barry Goldwater

“Being human, and far from a fool, Barry Goldwater is fascinated by what he repeatedly calls ‘this President thing.’ He is also a bit baffled by it. ‘Sure,’ he says, ‘the intensity of this President thing has surprised me. I still say that it isn't me, really, as much as it is a deep-seated frustration on the part of Republicans everywhere, and a lot of Democrats too. Among Republicans, it's a feeling that the party has no direction.’” (June 14, 1963)

Read More »
This week in 1971: Tricia Nixon Marries Ed Cox

“[A] White House wedding, whoever the incumbent or the bride, has a certain nimbus of history about it. Tricia's will be the fourth presidential wedding in five years, counting Julie Nixon's marriage to David Eisenhower when her father was President-elect; yet repetition has not much dimmed the novelty. Enough atavistic American love of royalty and appetite for pageant remain, along with gossips' curiosity about the powerful, to make it a kind of minor national ceremony.” (June 14, 1971)

Read More »

Memory: In her latest MSNBC column, historian Keisha N. Blain explains how a North Carolina plantation’s planned Juneteenth program relates to the history of efforts to sanitize the history of slavery.

The long view: Historian David Blight takes an in-depth look at social studies curriculum battles throughout history in light of the present-day controversies over critical race theory.

Anniversaries: For the Washington Post, Christopher B. Daley looks back at the legacy of the Pentagon Papers, which were released 50 years ago this month.

Namaste: For Yoga Journal, Tamara Y. Jeffries profiles the research of historian Stephanie Evans and how yoga uplifted civil rights leaders.

Podcasts: On Twitter, scholar Abby Mullen shares a crowdsourced list of top podcasts by historians and history buffs.

TIME may receive compensation for some links to products and services in this email. Offers may be subject to change without notice.
Connect with TIME via Facebook | Twitter | Newsletters
TIME Customer Service, P.O. Box 37508, Boone, IA 50037-0508
Questions? Contact
Copyright © 2021 TIME USA, LLC. All rights reserved.