Thomas J. Craughwell

Thomas J. Craughwell is author of the new book 101 Places to Pray Before You Die: A Roamin’ Catholic’s Guide (Franciscan Media). His other books include Thomas Jefferson’s Crème Brûlée: How a Founding Father and His Slave James Hemings Introduced French Cuisine to America (Quirk, September 2012), The Greatest Brigade: How the Irish Brigade Cleared the Way to Victory in the Civil War (Fair Winds, 2011), and Stealing Lincoln’s Body (Harvard University Press, 2007).

What the Well-Dressed Anarchist Is Wearing This Year

 

For the title of Grand Poobah of Dorm Room Start-ups, it’s a toss-up: Mark Zuckerberg, who developed Facebook, the Godzilla of social media (over 500 million users world-wide), or Bill Gates, who invented Microsoft, the world’s largest manufacturer of software. Both guys were students at Harvard. After they came up with their bajillion-dollar ideas, both […]

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The Last of the Signers

 

This month marks the 285th birthday of Marylander, Charles Carroll, the only Catholic to sign the Declaration of Independence (because he was the only Catholic delegate sent to the Continental Congress), and the man who out-lived all of his fellow signers. In 1732, the year Charles Carroll was born, only one of the Thirteen Original […]

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Bring Back Horsewhipping

 

Okay. Now I’m pissed off. Vandals have defaced the Baltimore monument in honor of Francis Scott Key, whose most famous work is known today as “The Star-Spangled Banner” and is, of course, our National Anthem. The scumbags who vandalized the monument splashed it with red paint (which has become their oh-so-subtle trademark — “Look! It’s […]

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Off With His Head!

 

A few days ago, the first employee to show up at the office of the Old Mission Santa Barbara discovered something very, very wrong. During the night, an intruder had entered the mission grounds, hacked off the head of a life-size bronze sculpture of St. Junipero Serra, then doused the mutilated statue with red paint. […]

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A Case Study in Anti-Trumpian Selective Outrage

 

The largest donation Oxford University ever received in its 900-year history was $100 million from Leonard Blavatnik. The gift was to fund the creation of a department for the study of government, and today Oxford is home to the Blavatnik School of Government. Leonard Blavatnik is a Ukrainian-born billionaire who, according to The Guardian (UK), […]

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‘The Unbearable White of Medieval Studies’

 

I put my title in quotation marks because it does not originate with me (I wish it had!). It is a jibe coined by history professor Rachel Fulton Brown of the University of Chicago, who appears to delight in provoking her colleagues. She admires the wildly unfashionable ideals of chivalry — and she says so. […]

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When the Saints Go Marching Out

 

On the first day of the new school year, the kids at San Domenico’s School in San Anselmo, California, probably noticed a change in their campus. Half a dozen statues of saints are gone. That still leaves ten in place, including the statue of the school’s patron, St. Dominic (San Domenico is Italian for St. […]

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Feathers Are Out, Berets Are In

 

The Knights of Columbus’ distinctive feather-crowned admiral chapeau (it was never referred to as a hat) has just gone the way of the tri-corn headgear of George Washington’s Continental Army. At the Knights’ annual convention this summer, Supreme Knight Carl Anderson announced, “The Board of Directors has decided that the time is right for a […]

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Another Shrine Comes Down

 

The mayor of Passaic, New Jersey, may just have committed political suicide. Last Wednesday, Mayor Hector Lora sent a crew from the Department of Public Works to a private shrine located on state property on the right-of-way along Route 21. The shrine, dedicated to Our Lady of Guadalupe, has stood on this spot for 14 […]

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Misplaced Pride

 

Like all of you, my workday ends with a sense of relief rather than a laugh, but last night was different. During my recap of current news I came upon a photo I found hilarious: The advertising guys at KLM Royal Dutch Airlines released an image of three sets of rainbow flag-inspired seat belts with […]

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