As we prepare for the Memorial Day holiday weekend, we should be reminded that we are not "celebrating," per se, but rather "remembering" those men and women who have fought and died in the Revolutionary War, Civil War, World Wars, Korean Conflict, Vietnam War, Operation Desert Storm, and current / ongoing fighting. To learn more about what these soldiers face and endure on a daily basis, we encourage you to look into the books we have published in our American History Series. One of these is "To My Beloved Wife and Boy at Home: The Letters and Diaries of Orderly Sergeant John F. L. Hartwell," edited by Ann Hartwell Britton and Thomas J. Reed (FDUP 1997).
On this date in 1844, Samuel F.B. Morse transmitted the message "What hath God wrought" from Washington to Baltimore as he formally opened America's first telegraph line.
The FDU Press formally conceived of and developed the Communication Studies Series with Series Editor Gary Radford nearly a decade ago. One of the books in the series, "Digination: Identity, Organization, and Public Life in the Age of Small Digital Devices and Big Digital Domains," by Robert MacDougal, (FDUP 2011), speaks not only of the history of communication and devices used to communicate, but also how they have changed society and human behavior.
On this date in 1949, the Federal Republic of Germany (popularly known as West Germany) is formally established as a separate and independent nation. This action marked the effective end to any discussion of reuniting East and West Germany.
To learn more about Central Europe and German history, read "Bismark and 'Mitteleuropa'," by Bascom Barry Hayes (FDUP 1994).
On this day in 1897, writer Oscar Wilde is released from jail after two years of hard labor. In 1891, the Marquess of Queensbury denounced Wilde as a homosexual. Wilde, who was involved with the marquess’ son, sued the Marquess for libel but lost the case when evidence supported the marquess’ allegations. Because homosexuality was still considered a crime in England, Wilde was arrested. Although his first trial resulted in a hung jury, a second jury sentenced him to two years of hard labor. After his release, Wilde fled to Paris and began writing again. He died of acute meningitis just three years after his release.
For more on Wilde's life and his writings, read "The Importance of Being Paradoxical: Maternal Presence in the Works of Oscar Wilde," by Patrick M. Horan (FDUP, 1997).