Grave Matters: A History of Death and Mourning
On Memorial Day, we pay public tribute to those who lost their lives fighting for our country. But how do we live with the memory of the dead the rest of the year?
In this hour, the History Guys explore Americans’ changing attitudes about death. A Gold Star Mother explains why she thinks there should be more media coverage of military deaths in Iraq. Historian Drew Gilpin Faust talks about how the Civil War altered the American way of dying. And BackStory‘s own Ed Ayers tours Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery — and visits his own gravesite.
Web Exclusive: Wisconsin Death Trip
In 1967, Michael Lesy stumbled upon an otherworldly collection of photographs from late-19th century Wisconsin. He talks about some of the darker images and their meanings in this audio slide show.
- More information on the the media ban at Dover Air Force Base
- Slideshow about the luminaries buried in Richmond’s Hollywood Cemetery
- Article about the contested history of San Francisco cemeteries
- Silent film of a Memorial Day Parade in Cornwall, NY, 1920
- An excerpt and review of Drew Gilpin Faust’s “This Republic of Suffering”
- NYT op-ed about the origins of Memorial Day
- PBS documentary about the growing home-funeral movement
- Two blog posts from the VFH-based Encyclopedia of Virginia about photographing war dead, then & now