E-Newsletter no. 11, 12 March 2014

ISSN:2202-5561 © Honest History Inc. 2014

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Centenary Watch

We provide a brief update. The Commonwealth makes administrative changes at the top but local grants money still sluggish. Victoria gears up. In London, No Glory puts an alternative view while in Berlin the Chancellor is criticised for not spending enough.

Honest History-Manning Clark House lecture series

Honest History is collaborating with Manning Clark House, Canberra, to hold a series of eight lectures on the honest history theme. The lectures will be on Monday evenings, at 5.30 pm for 6.00 pm. The first lecture will be on Monday, 24 March, by Dr Norman Abjorensen, ANU, and is entitled The Manner of Their Going: Prime Ministerial Exits in Australia.

Later lectures on dates from May to November will come from Kerry Neale (Australian War Memorial/ADFA), Frank Bongiorno (ANU), Amanda Laugesen (ANU and Australian National Dictionary), Pamela Burton (author), Angela Woollacott (ANU), Karen Fox (ANU and Australian Dictionary of Biography), Peter Stanley (UNSW/ ADFA). More details soon on our and MCH websites.

Honest History and the Australian Historical Association

Honest History is pleased to now be an Affiliate of the AHA.

ABC Local Radio Canberra 666 and online

Honest History spot Tuesdays, 10 am: next 16 March; speaker and topic to be advertised soon on our website and Twitter: busting myths and shafting shibboleths


Defending the working class 1930

‘I … a member of the working class do hereby solemnly swear to protect the working class against armed and other aggression of our capitalist class enemy… should I betray the trust imposed upon me I will receive the scorn and contempt of the entire working class’. Labor Defence Army pledge, Cessnock, NSW, January 1930, quoted CMH Clark, A History of Australia, Vol. VI (1987), p.331.

Industrial disputes in historical context

Two graphs derived from Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show days lost through industrial disputes since 2008 and since 1995. Different time-frame, different story. We need more resources on the Honest History site in the areas of labour and industrial relations history. Want to help? Get in touch.

President Wilson wonders what he has done

Woodrow Wilson was puzzled at the exultant reaction to his April 1917 speech to Congress asking for a declaration of war. ‘My message tonight was a message of death for our young men… How strange it seems to applaud that.’ John Milton Cooper, Jr, Woodrow WIlson: A Biography (2009), p. 388.

Billy Hughes in perspective

Number of mentions of Australian Prime Minister Hughes in Cooper’s biography of Wilson (above) which includes about 50 pages on the Versailles Conference of 1919: nil.

A spell in Sydney two hundred years ago

‘Just published, and to be had No. 96 George Street, a new improved spelling book designed for the use of schools in New South Wales.’ Lots of ‘spelling and easy reading’ but no ‘grammatical precepts’ or ‘vocabulary tables’, the latter being ‘too fatiguing to the learner’ and ‘therefore, perhaps, very seldom attended to by the teachers’.

Chorus of Women: a project for 2015 and a conversation next month

A Chorus of Women is presenting a choral work ‘A Passion for Peace‘ in Canberra in April-May 2015 to mark the progress of women’s peace-making over the century since the conference at The Hague in April-May 1915 of the International Women’s Congress for Peace. There is an information session in Canberra on 16 March (next Sunday).
A Chorus of Women is also having a Canberra Conversation on 15 April this year at Manning Clark House on aspects of Anzac and peace.

Selfies in khaki

Soldiers in World War I knew about selfies although they tended to do them with mirrors. You need to scroll down a bit. (You may also need to have subscribed to News Limited.)

ANU Conference on East Asia prospects in historical context

Professors Joan Beaumont, Evelyn Goh, Michael Wesley and Hugh White discuss Asia today – 1914 redux? next Tuesday, 18 March.

James Brown at the Wheeler Centre

James Brown (Anzac’s Long Shadow) speaks about his book at the Wheeler Centre, Melbourne, lunchtime, 27 March.

Joan Beaumont at MAPW dinner, Canberra

Professor Joan Beaumont (Broken Nation) addresses the Annual Fundraising Dinner of the Medical Association for the Prevention of War (ACT), next Wednesday, 19 March. Her topic is ‘Australia and World War I: a clash of values and principles’.

The Savoy Ladies Group: short film

The first Melbourne screening of this short film is on 29 March. The film is about how Italian women tobacco farmers in the Ovens Valley have combated social isolation.
David Stephens

Coming soon to the website… Mike McKinley and Judy Hemmings on military drones. May be not just an American thing? If it becomes an Australian thing, how does it square with ‘the Anzac tradition of arms’?