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By: James Barret (History ’17)
For my final paper in ‘HIST 344: America’s Most Wanted’ taught by Professor Greenberg (a course that all history majors should take), I will be writing about D.B Cooper’s infamous hijacking of Northwest Airlines flight 305 and extortion of $200,000. Although the Cooper case has many different elements, one that I will likely not be able to address in my paper due to the parameters of the assignment is the aftermath of the hijacking. The way I see it, the general public’s fascination with Cooper comes down to two major questions: Who was this man? And perhaps more importantly, did he survive his skydive into a cold rainy night somewhere in the woods north of Portland, Oregon? I will certainly work to answer these questions, or at the very least put together a guess in the final paper. But a third question has been bugging me lately and it is much more abstract. What exactly does the world gain from a story like Cooper’s? And furthermore, what would happen if there became definitive proof as to who this man was and what happened to him? Similar questions have been asked before, specifically by The New York Times Geoffrey Gray. Gray and I reach similar conclusions but differ slightly, I see Cooper as interesting because all the options are still on the table. Gray believes that Cooper enthusiasts will lose their drive if they know what all went down.
Chelsey Crabbe ‘17
I am a senior Thesis writer whose topic has been portrayed within a Hollywood movie, a scenario that even clouded my own judgment after watching the film. I am researching the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives program (MFAA), a military unit attributed with protecting and salvaging Europe’s greatest cultural treasures against the Nazi regime during World War II. My focus is on the subsequent cultural restitution, or return, that occurred after the war as the Allies found themselves with troves of Nazi loot. I found this topic to be quite fascinating since I am passionate about cultural heritage, a fan of Art History, and a student needing to satisfy her European interests with a topic that had some sources in English. Therefore, I chose to tell the story of the Monuments Men, the full story, and not just the one that would attract moviegoers.
Written by: Chelsea Crabbe (History, 2017)
In honor of Women History Month, I’ve decided to write a little bit about our female thesis writers, including myself. As Viginia Woolf insightfully claimed, “for most of history, Anonymous was a woman.” Now, not only are topics of gender becoming valued areas of research within the historical field, at Trinity, five women are exerting their talents within this area of study at the highest of calibers. I have always found some subjects to be gendered. For instance, math and the sciences have been predominantly a male-dominated field, for whatever reason. However, I have also categorized the subject of History as being historically male and with good reason. For centuries and centuries, our histories were written by men and, during this resurgence of women’s rights activism today, I am proud to say that we have five females writing not only histories, but challenging the field, a field that oftentimes can be rigid and traditional. Although our topics may be starkly different, we share a common bond as women within the field of History. While I am obsessing over lost paintings, Sedona is spending hours analyzing the movement of cows and Elizabeth is testing her limits by deciphering colonial manuscripts. Elly is encapsulated by her powerful women who love power and parties and Callie is wrapping her head around what do with a convicted Nazi. We’re committed to our topics and wouldn’t be in the library at all hours if we didn’t love history. I’m sure that my fellow peers would agree that we are history nerds and we’re proud! And you can be sure that our theses will certainly not be signed anonymous.
Known as the most talented man of the twentieth century, Paul Robeson is famous for his role as a prominent singer, actor, social activist, athlete, and lawyer. He was the ultimate Renaissance man. Born in Princeton, New Jersey in 1898, his mother was a teacher and his father was a Presbyterian Minister, who escaped from slavery in 1860 at the age of fifteen through the underground railroad. Robeson’s mother died when he was just five years old and his father when he was only twenty. Earning a scholarship to attend Rutgers University, he excelled both academically as the class valedictorian and in sports as an All-American athlete. By twenty-four, he had graduated from Columbia Law School, funding his studies by playing for two seasons in the National Football League.
On Tuesday, October 20th, Dr. Stephen D. White, Candler Professor Emeritus of Medieval History at Emory University and Visiting Professor at Harvard University delivered the History Department’s annual George J. Mead (Class of 1937) Lecture: “Magna Carta: How a Total Failure Became “the Greatest Constitutional Document of All Times.”
The Mead Lecture in History, established by a bequest in 1952, is Trinity’s most prestigious endowed annual lecture. Previous lecturers have included James McPherson, Philip Curtin, Alan Samuel, and E. P. Thompson. The fund was established in honor of George Jackson Mead of Bloomfield, Connecticut. He graduated from Choate preparatory school and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Mr. Mead was a founding partner in the Pratt & Whitney Aircraft Company and the designer of its Wasp engine, whose widespread use and reliability transformed military and commercial aviation in the U.S. He later served as an advisor to President Franklin D. Roosevelt, guiding wartime aircraft production throughout the nation, and was awarded the President’s Medal of Merit in 1948. His intent was that the Mead Fund support lectures, prizes, and other programs to stimulate the study of government, economics, and history, in order to better prepare students for government service. Mr. Mead received an honorary doctorate from Trinity College in 1937.
On Thursday, April 30, 2015, the history thesis writers presented their research findings to the department and other guests. For more than a year, five students have been researching and writing and, in the process, forging bonds of friendship among each other and mentorship relationships with history professors. Their research projects explored a variety of themes, and served as critical interventions in the study of American slavery, Nazism and the Third Reich, Mediterranean city-state formations, the U.S. and World War II, and international travel and literary production.
The names of the students, the titles of their projects, and the names of their advisors are as follows:
Tyler Green, “A Connecticut Yankee in London: Mark Twain’s Rise fromd Humble American Humorist to Literary Great”
Thesis Advisors: Profs. Lefebvre & Hedrick
Duncan Grimm, “Forging an Alliance of Purpose: John Gilbert Winant, Edward Roscoe Murrow, and Creating an Anglo-American Worldview”
Thesis Advisors: Profs. Regan-Lefebvre & Hedrick
On March 9th, Prof. Wickman took undergraduate students enrolled in his seminar course, “HIST 311: Place in the Native Northeast” to Deerfield, MA. Having read scholarship and primary sources related to the 1704 Deerfield Raid prior to their field trip, Prof. Wickman’s seminar students walked around Historic Deerfield to deepen their sense of place there. In the first photograph, Prof. Wickman and his students are standing next to a sycamore tree that stood within the stockade at the time of the raid. The other two photographs (below) show the 18th-century Wells-Thorn House, which the class toured to get a feel for changes in colonial architecture and settler lifestyles in the decades after the raid.
“Hartford, Conn. — After a long and spirited battle with prostate cancer and Parkinson’s disease, Jack died peacefully at home on Sept. 18, 2014 surrounded by a continuing stream of family and friends, comforted by the music and companionship he so adored. He never complained about his fate. His strong will to live, sense of humor, and generosity of spirit gave him incredible strength throughout his final journey.
Jack was born in Baltimore, Md. on July 20,1942, son of Dr. Paul Oakes Chatfield and Helen Taylor Chatfield. He graduated from Randolph Macon Academy in Front Royal, Va. in 1960 and from Trinity College in 1964. It was during his freshman year that his attention became riveted on the growing black student movement in the South. He became increasingly absorbed through news reports, speakers, and conversations with fellow students and when he learned that Trinity friend Ralph Allen had joined the movement and was badly beaten in Dawson, Ga., he left immediately for southwest Georgia. On his first night in Dawson he was injured by shotgun blasts fired by night riders into the house where he was staying. Jack’s involvement in the civil rights movement was passionate, inspirational, and lifelong.
Jack received his M.A. and PhD from Columbia University. From 1970-1978 he taught at the Watkinson School in West Hartford, Conn. In 1987 he began his teaching career at Trinity College which spanned 25 years until his retirement in 2012. Highlights at Trinity include the Hughes Award for Teaching Achievement in 1992, The Brownell Prize for Teaching Excellence in 2002 and organization of the SNCC conference – “We Shall Not Be Moved – The Life and Times of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee” in 1988, the first major reunion of SNCC members since the group disbanded in the 1960’s.
Jack leaves his wife of 45 years, Barbara; son, Jonathan of West Hartford; daughter and son in law Julia and Nir Levy of West Granby; grandchildren Zoe and Anya Chatfield and Mason Levy; his sister Lora from Bradford, VT who has been present for weeks providing priceless nursing and moral support; brother in law Alan Schneider in San Francisco Calif. and several nieces, nephews and cousins. Special thanks to VNA HealthCare and Jack’s wonderful hospice team.
Jack’s body will be donated for research and his ashes buried at Trinity. There will be a Celebration of Jack’s life at Trinity in the next few weeks. In lieu of flowers donations may be made to Watkinson School or the Professor John H. Chatfield ’64 Scholarship Fund at Trinity College.”