History for the New Year!

Happy New Year to you all! A year of many anniversaries! Will the 70th anniversary of D-Day at the start of June be missed for the 100th anniversary of the assassination that triggered WW1 on the 28th? What about the abdication of Napoleon on 1814? The accession of King George I in 1714? How about some none political anniversaries? I’m certain that we will see history being used as a political tool to justify political stances today. How can we get ourselves informed so that we can make up our own minds? Unsurprisingly, I think that the answer is to engage with all the many, many programmes, exhibitions, films etc that we will be bombarded with.

So, here are a few to start you off:

‘Start the Week’ on Monday 30th December saw leading historians, including Margaret Macmillan, debating with Michael Gove about the place of history in schools. Listen to it at: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b03mcmwx – all GCSE and A level historians should!

Writing of Margaret Macmillan, her new book: ‘The war that ended peace: how Europe abandoned peace for the First World War’ is the must read if you want to get a comprehensive view of the causes of World War One. Alternatively you can pick up a lecture by her on the theme at: http://www.wilsoncenter.org/event/the-outbreak-world-war-i (Skip the 1st 10 mins rather dull intro by someone else!)

You shouldn’t miss the just released film about Mandela, based on his autobiography ‘Long Walk to Freedom’. Very topical in the light of the recent death of the man himself.

On the BBC Parliament site you can access lectures on Suffragettes and the July Crisis of 1914 – essential for AS historians.

Dan Snow has a programme on the Roman Empire on Wednesday on BBC4 – nice for Latinists too. On Thursday BBC4 has a programme specifically on Pompeii and Herculaneum.

Exhibitions coming up include a major exhibition on the Vikings at the British Museum from March and the Imperial War Museum with so much on WW1: http://www.iwm.org.uk/centenary. Closer to home, York Castle Museum wants people to get involved, see: http://www.yorkcastlemuseum.org.uk/Page/1914.aspx

Even closer to home, the WW1 history group will be meeting every Monday to work on the many projects we have been asked to get involved with. See you all on Tuesday and ‘Happy New History Year!’

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