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By William H. Benson

The Parallel Lives

Of The NOBLE AMERICAN RELIGIOUS THINKERS AND BELIEVERS:

Roger Williams VS. Cotton Mathers

NEW ARTICLES

Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the Opera

Phantom of the OperaGaston Leroux published his novel, “Le Fantome de l’Opera,” or “Phantom of the Opera,” in 1911. Earlier he had worked as a theatre critic for a French newspaper, the “L’Echo de Paris,” and had heard talk of a chandelier, fastened above the crowd,...

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Tact

TactNews broke early this month that school officials at New York University fired an adjunct organic chemistry professor named Dr. Maitland Jones, after 82 of his class of 350 students signed a petition, that charged Jones with making the class too hard. The mean...

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‘On Writing’ and ‘Why I Write’

n the year 2000, the horror fiction writer Stephen King came out with a different kind of book, a nonfiction book that he entitled, “On Writing: a Memoir of the Craft.” He begins with a series of scenes from his childhood, and explains how he launched his career of writing popular fiction.

King uses a metaphor, that of a toolbox, to describe how he works when he writes. At the bottom of the toolbox lie the fundamentals: appropriate vocabulary, sticking with accepted grammar, the use of active verbs rather than passive, and avoiding adverbs.

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Older Posts

Recap of Queen Elizabeth II

Recap of Queen Elizabeth II

Queen Elizabeth II of New ZealandQueen Elizabeth passed away last week, Thursday, September 8, 2022, at 96. She was born on April 21, 1926, and had one sibling, a younger sister named Margaret, born August 21, 1930. When ten, Elizabeth discovered she was next in line...

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Vaclav Smil

Vaclav Smil was born in 1943, during World War II, in Czechoslovakia, in the German Protectorate of Bohemia and Moravia. As a teenager, Smil’s parents expected him to chop wood, every four hours, to keep the fires burning in the house’s three stoves, “one downstairs and two up.”

One writer suspected that Smil may have thought then that “this is hardly an efficient way to live.”

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Bill Russell and Retirement

Three weeks ago, on July 31, 2022, the former Boston Celtics’ imposing center, Bill Russell, passed away, at age eighty-eight. Over thirteen seasons at Boston, from 1957 to 1969, he collected a total of eleven championship rings, a record never since eclipsed or matched.

When he retired in 1969, he moved to Mercer Island, in Seattle, Washington, and it was there he passed away. For fifty-three years, he enjoyed a well-deserved retirement in the cool Pacific Northwest, although he coached seven seasons in the NBA in the 70s and 80s.

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Battle at Rzhev

Battle at Rzhev

In the early days of World War II, 1939 to 1940, the Nazi German war machine advanced across eastern Europe, until its soldiers stood on the outskirts of Moscow, deep into the Soviet Union, poised and ready to attack the Russian capital city.

However, the Battle of Moscow stalled when the Soviet’s Red Army found sufficient strength to initiate a counter offensive, at Joseph Stalin’s insistence, that pushed Germany’s 9th Army west, some distance from Moscow. The counter-offensive worked for a time, until the German army stopped.

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IN RETROSPECT: Pestilence

IN RETROSPECT: Pestilence

IN RETROSPECT: Pestilence On June 26, 1284, officials in a German town called Hamelin hired a musician to rid the town of its rats. The “rat-catcher’s magical flute” hypnotized the rats that followed the piper out of Hamelin’s gates and into the Weser River, where...

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1776

1776

The logo for the Broadway musical “1776” features an eaglet inside a broken eggshell, biting down on a flagpole. The small flag atop the pole shows its colors: red and white stripes, and a blue field in the upper left corner. Across the bottom portion of the egg appears a larger English flag.

The musical begins with John Adams alone in the Pennsylvania State House’s belfry, four floors up, leaning on a massive bell. A messenger approaches and informs him that he must return to the hall.

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One of University of Northern Colorado’s 2020 Honored Alumni

William H. Benson

Local has provided scholarships for history students for 15 years

A Sterling resident is among five alumni selected to be recognized this year by the University of Northern Colorado. Bill Benson is one of college’s 2020 Honored Alumni.

Each year UNC honors alumni in recognition for their outstanding contributions to the college, their profession and their community. This year’s honorees were to be recognized at an awards ceremony on March 27, but due to the COVID-19 outbreak that event has been cancelled. Instead UNC will recognize the honorees in the fall during homecoming Oct. 10 and 11……

Newspaper Columns

The Duodecimal System

For centuries, the ancient Romans calculated sums with their clunky numerals: I, V, X, L, C, D, and M; or one, five, ten, 50, 100, 500, and 1,000. They knew nothing better.

The Thirteenth Amendment

On Jan. 1, 1863, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation, and by it, he declared that “all persons held as slaves” within the rebellious states “are and henceforward shall be free.” Lincoln’s Proclamation freed some 3.1 million slaves within the Confederacy.

The Fourteenth Amendment

After Congress and enough states ratified the thirteenth amendment that terminated slavery, Congress passed the Civil Rights Act of 1866. This law declared that “all people born in the United States are entitled to be citizens, without regard to race, color, or previous condition of slavery or involuntary servitude.” The Act equated birth to citizenship.

The New-York Packet and the Constitution

Jill Lepore, the Harvard historian, published her newest book a month ago, These Truths: A History of the United States. In a short introduction, she describes in detail the Oct. 30, 1787 edition of a semi-weekly newspaper, The New-York Packet.

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Mr. Benson’s writings on the U.S. Constitution are a great addition to the South Platte Sentinel. Its inspiring to see the history of the highest laws of this country passed on to others.

– Richard Hogan

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Mr. Benson, I cannot thank you enough for this scholarship. As a first-generation college student, the prospect of finding a way to afford college is a very daunting one. Thanks to your generous donation, my dream of attending UNC and continuing my success here is far more achievable

Cedric Sage Nixon

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– Extra Times

FUTURE BOOKS

  • Thomas Paine vs. George Whitefield
  • Ralph Waldo Emerson vs. Joseph Smith
  • William James vs. Mary Baker Eddy
  • Mark Twain vs. Billy Graham
  • Henry Louis Mencken vs. Jim Bakker