Author Archives: Fred Zilian

Princess Red Wing – Shining Light of the Original Americans

(Note: This essay was originally published by the Newport Daily News on January 10, 2021. Note: This is the fourth essay in a series on Notable Women.) Princess Red Wing of the Seven Crescents—educator, historian, artist, and storyteller—spent her life … Continue reading

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250th Anniversary of Beethoven’s Birthday: A Cause for Celebration and Music

(Note: This essay was originally published by the Newport Daily News on December 28, 2020.) Nine months after the “Boston Massacre” here in the New World, Ludwig van Beethoven was born in the Old, and Western music would never be … Continue reading

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The Plague in Ancient Athens: A Cautionary Tale for America

(Note: This essay was originally published by the Newport Daily News on December 7, 2020, and by the History News Network on December 20, 2020.) Twenty-four hundred fifty years ago the ancient Greek city-state of Athens—Western civilization’s first democracy and … Continue reading

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Zora Neale Hurston: Harlem Renaissance Writer

(Note: This essay was originally published in the Newport Daily News on November 16, 2020, and at the History News Network on November 22, 2020.) Against the strong headwinds of racism and resistance against women’s rights, Zora Neale Hurston forged … Continue reading

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Battle of Salamis Opens Door for Ancient Greece’s Golden Age

(Note: This essay was originally published in the Newport Daily News on October 5, 2020, and at the History News Network on October 11, 2020.) Twenty-five hundred years ago in the Battle of Salamis, the ancient Greeks defeated the invading … Continue reading

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In Removing Confederate Symbols, US Military Follows German Military’s Example

(Note: This essay was originally published by the History News Network on August 23, 2020.) By moving to eliminate all Confederate names on military installations and banning the display of the Confederate flag, the U.S. military is following the example … Continue reading

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A Conversation with Carl Sagan, Part III: Disarmament

(Note: Forty years ago I exchanged letters with Carl Sagan. In his letter, he asked me two questions. The first focused on how we might move people to think more in terms of the interests of the “human species as … Continue reading

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Alice Paul and the Silent Sentinels Spearheaded Suffrage Campaign

(This essay is the first in a series on Famous Women. It was originally published by the Newport Daily News on August 29, 2020. ) I am always stunned by the fact that, until one hundred years ago and only … Continue reading

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World War Two Ends with Great Impacts on US

(This essay was originally published by the Newport Daily News on August 14, 2020.) Seventy-five years ago today, Japan surrendered unconditionally to the Allies, ending World War II. In 1984, historian, actor, and broadcaster Studs Terkel published an oral history … Continue reading

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A Conversation with Carl Sagan, Part II: Nationalism over Liberalism

(Note: Forty years ago this month, I finished reading Carl Sagan’s book, “The Dragons of Eden.” I wrote him a long letter. He wrote back and asked me two questions. The first: “What would be necessary to make the reader … Continue reading

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