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 History isn't what happened, but a story of what happened. And there are always different versions, different stories, about the same events. One version might revolve mainly around a specific set of facts while another version might minimize them or not include them at all.
      Like stories, each of these different versions of history contain different lessons. Some histories tell us that ourleaders, at least, have always tried to do right for everyone. Others remark that the emperors don't have the slaves' best interests at heart. Some teach us that this is both what has always been and what always will be. Others counsel that we shouldn't mistake transient dominance for intrinsic superiority. Lastly, some histories paint a picture where only the elites have the power to change the world, while others point out that social change is rarely commanded from the top down.

       Regardless of the value of these many lessons, History isn't what happened, but the stories of what happened and the lessons these stories include. The very selection of which histories to teach in a society shapes our view of how what is came to be and, in turn, what we understand as possible. This choice of which history to teach can never be "neutral" or "objective." Those who choose, either following a set agenda or guided by hidden prejudices, serve their interests. Their interests could be to continue this world as it now stands or to make a new world. 
      We cannot simply be passive. We must choose whose interests are best: those who want to keep things going as they are or those who want to work to make a better world. If we choose the latter, we must seek out the tools we will need. History is just one tool to shape our understanding of our world. And every tool is a weapon if you hold it right.

General Information:
Contacting History Is A Weapon:

Email: thedirectorate@historyisaweapon.com.

Please refrain from including ANY attachments because we will simply delete them. Also, we rarely download items (e.g., from a third party site) from people we don't know. Do not be surprised if we refrain from responding over email; often, we will respond to certain communications on our update blog. Lastly, please include "HIAW" as the beginning of your subject line (yes, in CAPITAL LETTERSevery time you write to us

Blog Page: 
http://blog.historyisaweapon.com 
 
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Angelina Grimké Weld's speech at Pennsylvania Hall

By: Angelina Grimké Weld

The sisters Sarah and Angelina Grimké were not only outspoken abolitionists, denouncing the evils of slavery, but were early advocates for women's rights. In 1848, Angelina Grimké addressed a crowd at Pennsylvania Hall, in Philadelphia, her last public speech. While she spoke, thousands gathered to protest, and attacked the hall, throwing stones and breaking its windows. Later that night, they burned the hall to the ground.

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An Eyewitness Account of the Flour Riot in New York

By: Unknown Eyewitness

An Eyewitness Account of the Flour Riot in New York (February 1837). First printed in the Commercial Register (New York, New York), February 14, 1837, and then in Niles' Weekly Register (Baltimore, Maryland), 5th series, voL 1, no. 26 (February 25, 1837), pp. 433-44.

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Maria Stewart's "Address Delivered at the African Masonic Hall, B...

By: Maria Stewart

Here are the words of the pioneer African-American activist Maria Stewart. Stewart began writing and lecturing against slavery in the early 18302, despite pressure from peers to keep silent, and became a contributor to William Lloyd Garrison's abolitionist newspaper, The Liberator. In the 1833 speech, she advances the cause of abolition, but her comments ("we have planted the vines, they have eaten the fruits of them") speak also to sexism and the degradation of women's ...

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Letter to Thomas Jefferson

By: Benjamin Banneker

This document is a part of the Jefferson Papers Project, housed at the National Archives. “To Thomas Jefferson from Benjamin Banneker, 19 August 1791,” Founders Online, National Archives, last modified November 26, 2017, http://founders.archives.gov/documents/Jefferson/01-22-02-0049. [Original source: The Papers of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 22, 6 August 1791 – 31 December 1791, ed. Charles T. Cullen. Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986, pp. 49–54.]

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Letter to George Washington

By: Henry Knox

Henry Knox Letter to George Washington (October 23, 1786). In W. W. Abbott and Dorothy Twohig, eds., The Papers of George Washington: Confederation Series, Volume 4: April1786-January 1787, vol. 4 (Charlottesville, VA University Press of Virginia, 1995). pp. 299-302.

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A Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings of a...

By: Joseph Plumb Martin

Joseph Plumb Martin, A Narrative of Some ofthe Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings ofa Revolutionary Soldier (1830). First printed in Hallowed, Maine, by Glazier, Masters, and Co. in 1830. Reprinted as Joseph Plumb Martin, A Narrative of Some of the Adventures, Dangers and Sufferings of a Revolutionary Soldier; Interspersed with Anecdotes of Incidents that Occurred within His Own Observation: Written by Himself, ed. George F. Sheer (New York: The New York Times and Arno P...

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Common Sense : Addressed to the inhabitants of American, on the fo...

By: Thomas Paine

By Thomas Paine; Published in 1776, Common Sense challenged the authority of the British government and the royal monarchy. The plain language that Paine used spoke to the common people of America and was the first work to openly ask for independence from Great Britain.

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New York Mechanics Declaration of Independence

By: Peter Force, Editor

New York Mechanics Declaration of Independence (May 29, 1776). In Peter Force, ed., American Archives: Consisting of A Collection of Authentick Records, State Papers, Debates, and Letters and Other Notices of Publick Affairs, the Whole Forming a Documentary History of the Origin and Progress of At North American Colonies; of the Causes and Accomplishment of the American Revolution: and of the Constitution of Government for the United States, so the Final Ratification The...

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Joseph Clarke's Letter about the Rebellion in Springfield

By: Joseph Clarke

Joseph Clarke's Letter about the Rebellion in Springfield (August 30,1774). Letter to Major Joseph Hawley. In James Russell Trumbull, History of Northampton, Massachusetts, from la Settlement in 1654, vol. 2 (Northampton, MA: Gazette Printing Company, 1902), pp. 346-48.

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George Hewes Recalls the Boston Tea Party

By: George Hewes

George Hewes Recalls the Boston Tea Party (1834). In Henry Steele Commager and Richard B. Morris, eds., The Spirit of Seventy-Six: The Story of the American Revolution as Told by Participants (New York: Harper & Row, 1967), pp. 4-6.

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Samuel Drowne's Testimony on the Boston Massacre

By: Samuel Drowne

Samuel Drowne's Testimony on the Boston Massacre (March 16, 1770). In Anonymous, (Boston: Printed by Order of the Town of Boston by Gill, 1770), pp. 54-55.

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Thomas Hutchinson Recounts the Reaction to the Stamp Act in Boston

By: Thomas Hutchinson

Thomas Hutchinson Recounts the Reaction to the Stamp Act in Boston (1765). In Thomas Hutchinson, ed. Lawrence Shaw Mayo (Cambridge, Massachusetts: Harvard University Press, 1936), vol. 3, pp. 86-88, 89-90. The History of the Colony and Province of Massachusetts-Bay

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Letter Written by William Shirley to the Lords of Trade about the ...

By: William Shirley

Letter from William Shirley to the Lords of Trade (December 1, 1747). In Charles Henry Lincoln, ed., vol. 1 (New York: The Macmillan Company, 1912), pp. 412-17.

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Proclamation of the New Hampshire Legislature on the Mast Tree Riot

By: Richard Hofstadter, Editor; Michael Wallace, Editor

Proclamation of the New Hampshire Legislature on Mast Tree Riot (1734). In Richard Hofstadter and Michael Wallace, eds., (New A. Knopf, 1970), pp. 110-11. From vol. 4, p. 678.

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A True Narrative of the Rise, Progresse, and Cessation of the Late...

By: Charles M. Andrew, Editor

(1677). In Charles M. Andrews, ed., (New York: Charles Scribner's Sons, 1915), pp. 129-36. A True Narrative of the Rise, Progresse, and Cessation of the Late Rebellion in Virginia, Most Humbly and Impartially Reported by His Majestyes Commissioners Appointed to Enquire into the Affaires of the Said Colony Narratives of the Insurrections, 1675-1690

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Federal Bureau of Intimidation

By: Howard Zinn

An article on the Federal Bureau of Investigation and their intimidation strategies throughout history.

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The Feminization of Earth First!

By: Judi Bari

Judi Bari (November 7, 1949 – March 2, 1997) was an American environmentalist and labor leader, a feminist, and the principal organizer of Earth First! campaigns against logging in the ancient redwood forests of Northern California in the 1980s and '90s. She also organized efforts through Earth First! – Industrial Workers of the World Local 1 to bring timber workers and environmentalists together in common cause. This article reflects her efforts in the Earth First! move...

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An Excerpt of Fabio Ernesto Carrasco's Testimony

By: Fabio Ernesto Carrasco

On October 31, 1996, the Washington Post ran a follow up story to the San Jose Mercury News series titled "CIA, Contras and Drugs: Questions on Links Linger." The story drew on court testimony in 1990 of Fabio Ernesto Carrasco, a pilot for a major Columbian drug smuggler named George Morales. As a witness in a drug trial, Carrasco testified that in 1984 and 1985, he piloted planes loaded with weapons for contras operating in Costa Rica. The weapons were offloaded, and th...

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Behind the Death Squads : An exclusive report on the US role in El...

By: Allan Nairn; Michael Kienitz, Illustrator

From the Editor's page: "The rising level of political violence in El Salvador and the increasing military involvement of the United States began making front-page headlines in this country about five years ago. But as Allan Nairn reports in his carefully researched article, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon set their intervention in motion much earlier. They have been actively aiding official terror in El Salvador for more than two decades—often in violat...

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Behind the Death Squads : An exclusive report on the US role in El...

By: Allan Nairn; Michael Kienitz, Illustrator

From the Editor's page: "The rising level of political violence in El Salvador and the increasing military involvement of the United States began making front-page headlines in this country about five years ago. But as Allan Nairn reports in his carefully researched article, the Central Intelligence Agency and the Pentagon set their intervention in motion much earlier. They have been actively aiding official terror in El Salvador for more than two decades—often in violat...

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