Plus: A history of White House weddings |

By Olivia B. Waxman
Staff Writer

One of the ongoing debates in the historical field is how to view the U.S. Founding Fathers’ revolutionary work in establishing a democratic nation while acknowledging that they also enslaved people. This question is particularly fraught when it comes to Thomas Jefferson, famous for both the phrase “all men are created equal” and the lack of equality so present at his Virginia estate.

A new biography of Thomas Jefferson, His Masterly Pen: A Biography of Jefferson the Writer, by Fred Kaplan, looks into what the intellectual actually said about slavery. In an excerpt that ran in the TIME Ideas section, Kaplan describes how Jefferson heard about an experiment by a Virginia planter who freed his slaves and paid them to work for him. When asked if he would try it, Jefferson said, in a 1789 letter, “as far as I can judge from the experiments which have been made, to give liberty to, or rather, to abandon persons whose habits have been formed in slavery is like abandoning children.” That’s just one of the complicated views that Kaplan unpacks. Click here to read the full story.

Iran Has a Long History of Political Activism and Protest. Here’s What to Know
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Long Before the Club Q Shooting, Colorado Springs Held a Dark Place in LGBTQ History
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This week in 1943: President Franklin D. Roosevelt

“When the President, the Prime Minister and the Premier-Marshal sit down with Pavlov, Stalin's brilliant interpreter who can take English shorthand notes of Russian conversation and vice versa, not they but History will decide the prime agenda of their talk. The course of history for a generation would be influenced by what they said. But as they began the Big Three would be driven no less than lesser men by the compulsions of History-past and History-present. Plainly, the first question which history poses to Franklin Roosevelt and Joseph Stalin and Winston Churchill, the one on which the other answers all depend is: How to defeat Germany most swiftly?” (Nov. 29, 1943)

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This week in 1974: Inflation

“One of the minor economic miracles in the past couple of years has been the quietly cooperative spirit of U.S. labor. As living costs sailed skyward and corporate profits rose sharply, most of the nation's biggest and toughest unions accepted relatively moderate contracts that added little to the rapid pace of inflation. But that remarkable show of patience has now ended. The American workers' mood has turned increasingly bitter lately, and wage demands have climbed steadily higher.” (Nov. 25, 1974)

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This week in 1990: U.K Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher

“Thatcher relinquishes power this week, but her legacy is firmly in place. Her potential Tory successors proudly describe themselves as disciples of Thatcherism and pledge to continue it. More impressive still is the opposition Labour Party's turn from leftist economics and unilateral nuclear disarmament in the past three years toward more centrist policies to compete with Thatcherism at the polls. Even if Labour wins the next election, the public will not allow it to reassemble the huge governmental edifice Thatcher pulled down. Four years ago, Thatcher predicted, ‘I think, historically, the term Thatcherism will be seen as a compliment.’ As the proclaimed policies of her potential successors and the opposition demonstrate, that has already come to pass.” (Dec. 3, 1990)

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Photos: For the New York Times, journalist Arthur Lubow looks into Invisible Man author Ralph Ellison’s little-known work as a photographer.

Civil rights: For the journal Black Perspectives, DJ Polite tracks the Black families who fled Wilmington, N.C., after the 1898 massacre there, which was aimed at blocking Black Americans from participating in government.

Sports: As the 2022 World Cup continues, Theo Zenou tells the story of the 1966 World Cup trophy heist—and the dog named Pickles that found the missing prize—for the Washington Post.

Politics: History News Network’s Robin Lindley interviews psychiatrist and former Congressman Jim McDermott—who served in Congress from 1989 to 2017—on the lessons he brought to politics from his medical training.

World: In a Nation article, David A. Bell outlines the history of the Paris commune, which he calls “one of the most radical political experiments in European history.”

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