Kansas City Star

  • Jonathan Sperber: Don't underestimate reach of "The Daily Show"

    Don’t underestimate the reach of “The Daily Show.”After Jonathan Sperber, a University of Missouri history professor, appeared on the show in April to discuss “Karl Marx: A Nineteenth-Century Life,” his biography of the German philosopher and revolutionary, he heard from several old friends. “That included the girl I had a crush on in 1966,” Sperber said recently....

  • Let’s celebrate the 100th anniversary of the T-shirt

    Chances are, you’ve sported a T-shirt in the last couple of days. But did you sing “Happy Birthday” to it?Yes, this year is being trumpeted as the 100th birthday of the much-beloved, almost-everyone-has-one T-shirt.But wait a sec. While it seems to be fact that the U.S. Navy introduced sailors to a “light undershirt” in 1913 (the poor guys had been sweating it out in itchy wool), their European counterparts had already donned the lighter shirts as summer undergarments.So the T-shirt — so named because its shape resembles the letter T, natch — has to be older than 100....

  • Theft of pioneer woman statue grabs attention

    Independence wants its pioneer woman back.The recent theft and apparent destruction of the 6-foot bronze statue that for more than 20 years stood sentinel outside the National Frontier Trails Museum has been taken personally by residents and overland trails buffs.Museum officials are discussing a possible fundraising campaign to finance a replacement pioneer, and three sculptors already have volunteered their services....Read more here: http://www.kansascity.com/2013/07/09/4337559/replacement-considered-for-stolen.html#storylink=cpy

  • Historian takes another look at the trial of Haymarket ‘anarchists’

    For anyone who observes May 1 from a labor history perspective, there’s a fresh take on the Haymarket Riots of 1886 and the trial that followed.Timothy Messer-Kruse, author of “The Trial of the Haymarket Anarchists: Terrorism and Justice in the Gilded Age,” examines the litigation during which several “anarchists” were convicted and later hanged for their roles in a bombing that killed seven police officers in Chicago.For much of the more than 100 years since, said Messer-Kruse, the trial has been portrayed as a sham of justice likely perpetrated to suppress the burgeoning labor movement, which then included support of an eight-hour workday.But if the trial harmed the labor movement, Messer-Kruse said, at least some blame must go to the defense lawyers of the alleged anarchists....