A look back at history through clear glasses

17972 miscellaneous nuclear explosion explosionI am a child of the 1950's and 1960's and have also witnessed the challenges of the 1970's, 1980's, 1990's and where we are now in the 21st century. I experienced the Cold War first-hand and remember quite vividly practicing shelter drills in P.S. 213 by taking cover under my desk in case we were attacked with an atomic bomb. Even at that age I questioned the effectiveness of that particular strategy.
As a student in J.H.S. 166, I remember the anxiety of the nation during the Cuban Missile Crisis and the leadership provided by our young president in addressing the threat to our nation. I remember quite vividly, while in Brooklyn College, the feeling of panic when the student deferment was pulled during the height of the Vietnam War as well as the relief I felt when my lottery number was 272.


Historic Howard U. hospital recognized at Twinbrook talk

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Of the 12,000 surgeons who served during the Civil War, only 14 were African-Americans. Seven worked in The Contraband Hospital, which is now a teaching hospital at Howard University.

During the Civil War, some 40,000 slaves sought freedom in D.C., according to Jill Newmark, exhibition specialist for the National Library of Medicine. She spoke last week at Twinbrook Library as part of a Black History Month program sponsored in cooperation with Montgomery County Department of Public Libraries and the Montgomery County Historical Society.


This Silver Spring native has his finger on the history button

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Evan Phifer 1 1Evan Phifer stands by one of the many educational exhibits in the White House Visitor Center he helped research. COURTESY PHOTO  

While attending a recent Washington Nationals' baseball game, Evan Phifer listened contentedly to the people around him trying to guess the answer to the history question posted on the team’s gigantic scoreboard.

After all, the 27-year-old Silver Spring native wrote that question.

As a research historian at the White House Historical Association, Phifer is part of a team providing historic content for researchers, web articles and anyone wondering about this country’s presidents and the White House.

When preparing a question that will be displayed in the fifth inning of each of the 81 Nationals’ home games during the regular season – not to mention additional ones in the playoffs this year –  Phifer is more interested in attracting interest than in stumping the crowd.

“Even if the person gets it wrong, they are still interested,” he said. “I hear people talking amongst themselves what the answer can be,” said Phifer. “It’s educational outreach.”

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