history

Nepotism in the White House

Jun 14, 2017
North Charleston / Wikimedia Commons

President Trump's daughter, Ivanka, has an office in the West Wing and high-level security clearances. Trump’s son-in-law, and Ivanka’s husband, Jared Kushner, is a White House senior advisor. Despite an obvious conflict of interest, presidential nepotism is not new. 

 Today we examine the history of familial favoritism in the White House.   

Gabe Rosenberg

Scott Gordon, mayor of Zoar Village, was driving a tractor when I caught up with him. It was the weekend Zoar celebrated the opening of its new art museum, and the dedication of the town as a National Historic Landmark.

Kaiser Family

In southwest Ohio, about a mile from the Indiana state line, a long-forgotten town with a special place in African American history is struggling to be reborn.

United States Patent Office

John Scott Harrison, a former Ohio Congressman and the youngest son of U.S. president William Henry Harrison, died of heart problems in May 1878. To protect his rest, Harrison's family entombed him in a metal coffin surrounded by marble slabs, and hired an armed guard to stand watch.

The tar baby story in which Bre'r Rabbit outwits Bre'r Fox is a classic trickster folk tale. But like all fables, it is a double-barreled affair, with entertainment firing in tandem with a serious message. The question the story addresses is a fundamental one: Who controls access to food and water? Or, more crucially, who controls access to food and water when the rules have been turned upside down by giant forces like colonialism, slavery, global trade and the loss of the commons to enclosures?

In 2015, after a 10-year legal battle, the Library of Congress released a trove of Rosa Parks' personal documents. Last year the papers were put online for the first time. They include postcards from the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., lists of volunteers for the Montgomery Bus Boycott, and pages and pages of journals.

Buried in the Parks collection is another document that doesn't have as much historical significance – but it got my attention. It's a pancake recipe, written on the back of an envelope.

Adora Namigadde

This story is part of the Curious Cbus project. You ask the questions, you vote for one of the questions and we answer.

About an hour and a half outside Columbus lies a township within Pike County with a strange name: Pee Pee Township. Some locals think it's funny, while others would rather relieve themselves of the burden.

"Marcus Gavius Apicius purchased me on a day hot enough to fry sausage on the market stones."

So begins the tale of Thrasius, the fictional narrator of Feast of Sorrow. Released this week, the novel is based on the real life of ancient Roman noble Marcus Gavius Apicius, who is thought to have inspired and contributed to the world's oldest surviving cookbook, a ten-volume collection titled Apicius.

From the front door of the glass-walled gift shop at the Alnwick Garden in the far northeast of England, the scene looks innocent enough. A sapphire green English lawn slopes gently downward, toward traditional, ornamental gardens of rose and bamboo. Across the small valley, water cascades down a terraced fountain.

But a hundred or so plantings kept behind bars in this castle's garden are more menacing — and have much to tell visitors about poison and the evolutionary roots of medicine.

Researchers in Southern California say they've uncovered evidence that humans lived there 130,000 years ago.

If it's true, it would be the oldest sign of humans in the Americas ever — predating the best evidence up to now by about 115,000 years. And the claim has scientists wondering whether to believe it.

In 1992, archaeologists working a highway construction site in San Diego County found the partial skeleton of a mastodon, an elephant-like animal now extinct. Mastodon skeletons aren't so unusual, but there was other strange stuff with it.

Adora Namigadde

Military women, brides and historical re-enactors have two things in common: Larissa Boiwka, and her corsets.

On April 6, 1917, the U.S. declared war on Germany and formally entered World War I. By late June, American infantry troops began arriving in Europe. One thing they couldn't do without? Coffee.

"Coffee was as important as beef and bread," a high-ranking Army official concluded after the war. A postwar review of the military's coffee supply concurred, stating that it "restored courage and strength" and "kept up the morale."

World War I sometimes seems like the war America forgot.

The U.S. entered the fight a century ago, on April 6, 1917, nearly three years after it erupted in Europe during the summer of 1914. The Americans made quite a splash, turning a stalemate in favor of their British and French allies.

April 6 marks 100 years since the U.S. Congress voted to declare war on Germany, entering World War I. The war took the lives of 17 million people worldwide. What's not as well-known is the role that animals played at a time when they were still critical to warfare.

Columbus Neighborhoods

This story is part of the Curious Cbus project. You ask the questions, you vote for one of the questions and we answer.

Refugee Road is a pretty typical busy city street, with heavy traffic driving past chain restaurants, houses and schools.

Pages