06/30/17 4:30pm
JIM COLLIGAN PHOTO

JIM COLLIGAN PHOTO

With Independence Day coming up next week, we here at Gimme Shelter are back in the business of bemoaning that Americans are woefully weak when it comes to having any real knowledge of the history of their country.

Well, not actually bemoaning. Maybe a bit concerned? Amused? Anyway, as a great sage — the name escapes us — once said, “Those who forget history are … are …” You know, something bad will happen.

We think. (more…)

11/26/15 9:00am

112615_TurkeyTwain_PublicDomain

Thanksgiving is rightly praised for being a unique American holiday. Canadians, as North Americans, have one, so we count them, even if they insist on having their day of thanks in October. Our day also has the virtue of not being associated with religious or patriotic rites.

This year the meaning of the day has become more important than in previous years. Reactionaries like the loud-mouthed Donald Trump and his softer-voiced colleague Ben Carson are retailing fear for good polling numbers. Other candidates for president are calling for religious litmus tests for people fleeing for their lives, seeking refuge from murderous thugs who are motivated by their religious beliefs. (more…)

Featured Story
04/07/15 10:02am
JULIE LANE PHOTO It’s Dr. Charles Crane’s marker, but is the inscription true?

JULIE LANE PHOTO
It’s Dr. Charles Crane’s marker, but is the inscription true?

It’s a story every American knows.

On April 15, 1865, 150 years ago next Wednesday, the greatest figure of the age, mortally wounded with a gunshot to the head while attending the theater with his wife, was carried across the street and placed in a bed at the back of a nearby house. A crowd of people packed into the small room around the deathbed. (more…)

11/27/14 8:00am
ELEANOR P. LABROZZI PHOTO This march of the turkeys — with a deer bringing up the rear — was spotted in an Island backyard this week.

ELEANOR P. LABROZZI PHOTO
This march of the turkeys — with a deer bringing up the rear — was spotted in an Island backyard Monday.

The stories handed down from generation to generation — whether facts have been lost, obscured or tempered by time — reinforce what families and nations believe about the best part of themselves. (more…)