Documents for Juneteenth

The new federal holiday—Juneteenth—is so new that many Americans have only a vague notion of its importance. In time, however, it will be as much a part of American identity as the Fourth of July. Indeed, the new holiday’s official name is “Juneteenth National Independence Day.” Kentucky congressman Thomas Massie, together with 13 other representatives, […]

A Poem for this Icy Weather

Shakespeare included this vivid winter lyric in his play, Love’s Labours Lost. It strikes a chord in 2021. When icicles hang by the wall And Dick the shepherd blows his nail And Tom bears logs into the hall And milk comes frozen home in pail, When blood is nipped and ways be foul, Then nightly sings […]

Not for an age…

He lives still while his book lives and while English-speaking people have the wit (and literacy skills) to read it.

Geography Counts

Basic literacy in the twenty-first century includes the ability to locate countries in the news on a map.

King Arthur’s Sword Excalibur

Until recently, English-speaking children were exposed to beautifully illustrated children’s versions of Malory’s stories for their leisure time reading. In school, they studied Tennyson’s “Idylls of the King” in the classroom. Nowadays, they are more familiar with modern retellings that conflate Excalibur with the sword in the stone.

Joan of Arc’s Feast Day is May 30

Joan of Arc’s feast day is May 30. She was burned at the stake in 1431, but not canonized until 1920. That event, like her death, was motivated by political interests.