“Facts are stubborn things…”

In the years leading up to the start of the Revolutionary War in 1775, the rebel-rousing Sons of Liberty used an engraving of what they called “The Boston Massacre” to encourage anti-British sentiments.   The engraving, done by Paul Revere, shows a line of British soldiers coldly firing their bayoneted muskets into a crowd of … Read more

Jimmy Carter’s “Malaise Speech” (which didn’t include the word ‘malaise’)…

On the night of July 15, 1979, in the midst of his third year as president, Jimmy Carter gave a televised speech from the White House that is often called his “Malaise Speech.” Malaise is a French word meaning a feeling of uneasiness or discomfort, adopted into English long ago. It definitely fit the timing … Read more

On this date, Ronald Reagan gave his famous “evil empire” speech—but he didn’t coin the phrase…

If you’re like me, you’re a tired of hearing about Donald Trump and Russia. However, as I was editing this post today on March 8, 2017, I couldn’t help being struck by the fact that Trump’s political hero, President Ronald Reagan, had a very different view of Russia than “The Donald.” It was on March … Read more

The 1984 presidential debate that launched the term “Spin Doctors” – and a famous quip…

Nowadays, most people are familiar with the term “spin doctors.” I think they’ve been more omnipresent than ever during the 2016 presidential campaign, though few people know how they got that name. The term is used to refer to the professional political consultants, PR gurus and media commentators who create or utter statements designed to … Read more

The Birth — and Death — of “the Hippies”

Credit for the origin of the term “hippies” is generally given to San Francisco journalist Michael Fallon. Fallon coined the term in an article published in the San Francisco Examiner on September 5, 1965. It was the first of a series of articles he wrote about the “new generation of beatniks” who hung out in … Read more