Plus: HBO's The Gilded Age |

By Olivia B. Waxman
Staff Writer

Asian-Americans are the fastest growing racial and ethnic group in the U.S, and yet so much of their histories are not taught in K-12 classes. Now, though, that could be changing. In the last year, Illinois and New Jersey became the first states to enact laws requiring the teaching of Asian-American history. TIME staff writer Katie Reilly talked to students and teachers about their efforts to lobby for more of these mandates at a critical time, when anti-Asian violence has been on the rise during the COVID-19 pandemic and amid a nationwide conversation about what constitutes a full teaching of America’s diverse history. Click here to read the full story.

Here’s more history to know:

Trump Could Still Lead the U.S. to Civil War—Even if He Doesn’t Run in 2024
By Barbara F. Walter
"It turns out that differences themselves do not lead to violence. This is the finding of political scientists who have studied hundreds of ethnic conflicts around the world"
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5 Edith Wharton Books to Read After Watching The Gilded Age
By Cady Lang
From 'The Age of Innocence' to 'Custom of the Country'
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Review: Historical Drama Munich: The Edge of War Is the Ultimate Dad Movie—In the Best Way
By Stephanie Zacharek
'Munich: The Edge of War,' in which two young men attempt to stop Hitler, seamlessly melts a fictional narrative into a historical one
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Why the Asian-American Story Is Missing From Many U.S. Classrooms
By Olivia B. Waxman
Educators say anti-Asian racism is linked to how the AAPI community is often depicted in U.S. history
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Why the U.S. Capitol Attack Makes Holocaust Remembrance Day More Important Than Ever
By Olivia B. Waxman
TIME reached out to USC Professor Steve Ross to understand where the insurrection fits in the history of anti-Semitism in the U.S.
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This week in 1961: John F. Kennedy’s presidential inauguration

“Leaving wife Jackie in Palm Beach early in the week (she flew up to Washington later), Kennedy climbed aboard his twin-engined Convair Caroline… he squinted out the window, picked up a ruled pad of yellow paper and a ballpoint pen. Over the first three pages, he scribbled a new opening for his inaugural speech. ‘What I want to say,’ he explained, ‘is that the spirit of the revolution still is here, still is a part of this country.’ He wrote for a minute or two, crossed out a few words, then flung the tablet on the desk and began talking, ranging over a wide variety of subjects, both personal and political.”(Jan. 27, 1961)

Read More »
This week in 1977: America’s mood

“The search through the past is much more than just the Bicentennial celebrations and their lingering afterglow. It is people looking for smaller dimensions, for more simplicity in their lives. It is folks digging for roots, trying to build bulwarks against the tide of social disintegration that has washed over so much of the country in the past two decades…With 150 million Americans living in cities of 50,000 or more, the U.S. is still very much an urban nation. But the Census Bureau finds that the majority of the population has shifted toward the South and West for sun and casual living, and also for a private corner of the space that remains. All over the country, demographers have noted, the urge is to go small—out of central cities to suburbs, out of suburbs to smaller towns.” (Jan. 24, 1977)

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This week in 1999: Homework

“After some historical ups and downs, homework in this country is at a high-water mark. In the early decades of the century progressive educators in many school districts banned homework in primary school in an effort to discourage rote learning. The cold war—specifically, the launch of Sputnik in 195—put an end to that, as lawmakers scrambled to bolster math and science education in the U.S. to counter the threat of Soviet whiz kids. Students frolicked in the late 1960s and '70s, as homework declined to near World War II levels. But fears about U.S. economic competitiveness and the publication of A Nation at Risk, the 1983 government report that focused attention on the failings of American schools, ratcheted up the pressure to get tough again. Other forces have kept the trend heading upward: increasing competition to get into the best colleges and the batteries of statewide standardized tests—starting in grade school in a growing number of states—for which teachers must prepare their pupils.” (Jan. 25, 1999)

Read More »

Rules: After Democrats in the U.S. Senate failed on Jan. 19 to get the 60 votes necessary to overcome a filibuster and pass voting rights legislation, CNN’s Zachary B. Wolf looks into the 1970s origins of that threshold.

Time machine: New York Times columnist Charles Blow writes about parallels to today’s political climate in the failure of an 1890 bill in Congress that would have provided federal supervision for southern elections.

Tracker: The Washington Post’s Greg Sargent summarizes a PEN America report on common themes in the 2022 state bills designed to restrict how history is taught, such as overly vague descriptions of topics that are supposed to be off-limits.

Dive in: History News Network features an excerpt from Bill Hayes’ Sweat: A History of Exercise that details the history of swimming, first depicted some 10,000 years ago in Neolithic-era cave paintings.

Spreading knowledge: Mental Floss’ Michele Debczak talks to the National WWI Museum and Memorial about how peanut butter became a kitchen staple after the war.

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