American History - General

Mar 2011
2,060
Florida
The film Little Big Man.

According to Wikipedia:

The historical Little Big Man was a Native American leader bearing no resemblance to the Jack Crabb character. Little Big Man is known for his involvement in the capture and possible assassination of Crazy Horse at Fort Robinson in 1877.

The movie's portrayal of the Battle of Washita River as a Custer-led massacre of women and children (which Penn compares to the Holocaust) is not entirely accurate as the camp was partially occupied by tribal warriors. The film, however, is consistent with historical records of other encounters between Indians and the U.S. Cavalry; the Cavalry's common tactic was to wait until the warriors had left the camp to hunt, or to lure the warriors away with assurances of good hunting, and then to attack the unprotected village. The two massacre scenes are historically reversed, the Sand Creek massacre occurring first in 1864, where Colorado militia (not including Custer) attacked a peaceful contingent of Native Americans, killing more than 150 women, children and elderly men. (The Sand Creek Massacre was depicted in another 1970 Western, Soldier Blue.) The Custer-led raid on the Washita occurred in 1868.

The film also presents an inaccurate representation of the death of Wild Bill Hickok. Hickok was actually killed after the Battle of the Little Bighorn on August 2, 1876, while playing poker at the No. 10 Saloon in Deadwood, South Dakota. Uncharacteristically, Hickok had his back turned to the door. At 4:15*p.m., a gunslinger named Jack McCall walked in and shot Hickok in the back of the head. Hickok was famously holding two pairs—of black aces and black eights—when he was shot, a set of cards thereafter called the "Dead Man's Hand".[3]

The film's depiction of Lieutenant Colonel George Armstrong Custer as a lunatic at the Battle of the Little Bighorn was intended as satire, though many of his quirks and vanities were inspired by contemporary observations. Custer's fatal tactics at the Little Bighorn were far more complex than portrayed in the film, which portrays him as having a searing hatred of Indians and acting ruthlessly towards them in battle. In truth, while his actions before and during the battle remain controversial, some historians suggest that he was somewhat sympathetic to the cause of the Indian population and publicly opposed, to the detriment of his own career prospects, the Grant administration's policy of expansion into Indian lands.

The character of Jack Crabb is partially based on Curley, one of Custer's Native American scouts from the Crow tribe. Curley rode with Custer's 7th Cavalry into the valley of the Little Bighorn, but was relieved of duty before the final attack, retreating to a nearby bluff and witnessing much of the action. Many conflicting stories of the era embellished Curley's participation, stating in several cases that he disguised himself with a Cheyenne blanket to escape the immediate field of battle. He was interviewed many times, with some writers claiming him to be the only surviving witness from the U.S. side of Custer's Last Stand. Curley gave several variations of his participation in the battle, and the accuracy of his later recollections has been questioned.[4]
Yet despite these inaccuracies...

In 2014, the film was deemed "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant" by the Library of Congress and selected for preservation in the National Film Registry
 
Mar 2011
2,060
Florida
But ... can we rely on Wikipedia for our historical research?
Wikipedia has the entire book The Travels of Marco Polo. It has the coordinates of Hydrothermal Vents and Cold Seeps provided by The Linnean Society of London. Both of which I mapped and I actually got permission from the Linnean Society of London to create the map based on their coordinates.


Heck, in making 160 interactive maps of history and science, of which 40 were based on books written by the explorer's themselves, I found the following discrepancies:

* The map of Livingstone's Source Of The Nile Expedition that is in the book and created by others, and has been recognized all these years as authoritative has a major error when compared to his written notes. The area of concern is his travels around Lake Mweru. The map does not indicate travel up its west side, but the text does.

Book: The last journals of David Livingstone: in Central Africa... Page 5 - “The journey from Kabwabwata to Mparru has been inserted entirely from notes, as the traveler was too ill to mark the route. This is the only instance in all his wanderings where he failed to give some indication on his map of the nature of the ground over which he passed."
It involves his visit to the Wiwkishi Caves in the Rue Mountains to the west of Lake Mweru.

* There is a v-shaped section in Marco Polo's expedition in Afghanistan (between Badakhstan, the Provence of Pascia and Pamirs Tajkistan), that while may be accurate, but the days traveled just does not match the rugged mountainous terrain.

* In Desoto's discovering North America, there is gap between his arrival in South Carolina and Alabama that theorizes his travels into Tennessee, while I could find no evidence of this actually occurring.
 
Last edited:
Mar 2017
287
Hussletown
Wikipedia is gratuitously and uncritically much maligned. If the Wiki article is properly referenced it is undoubtedly a good first port of call. Better than Historum which is mainly full of unreferenced and biased opinion. At the very least a good Wiki article, even if it contains some bias and/or unreliable content, will provide you with secondary references and even some primary sources accessible on the internet. You should also inspect a Wiki article's 'History' and 'Talk' pages to glean further information about the reliability and objectivity of its content.

In the last analysis you should treat all sources of information (lecturer, book, Wiki, Historum, etc.) with caution and exercise your critical faculties in deciding for yourself the quality and provenance of the information on offer.
 
Last edited:
Nov 2011
8,887
The Dustbin, formerly, Garden of England
Wikipedia is gratuitously and uncritically much maligned. If the Wiki article is properly referenced it is undoubtedly a good first port of call. Better than Historum which is mainly full of unreferenced and biased opinion. At the very least a good Wiki article, even if it contains some bias and/or unreliable content, will provide you with secondary references and even some primary sources accessible on the internet. You should also inspect a Wiki article's 'History' and 'Talk' pages to glean further information about the reliability and objectivity of its content.

In the last analysis you should treat all sources of information (lecturer, book, Wiki, Historum, etc.) with caution and exercise your critical faculties in deciding for yourself the quality and provenance of the information on offer.
Brown noser. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sycophancy
 
Mar 2011
2,060
Florida
Wikipedia is gratuitously and uncritically much maligned. If the Wiki article is properly referenced it is undoubtedly a good first port of call. Better than Historum which is mainly full of unreferenced and biased opinion. At the very least a good Wiki article, even if it contains some bias and/or unreliable content, will provide you with secondary references and even some primary sources accessible on the internet. You should also inspect a Wiki article's 'History' and 'Talk' pages to glean further information about the reliability and objectivity of its content.

In the last analysis you should treat all sources of information (lecturer, book, Wiki, Historum, etc.) with caution and exercise your critical faculties in deciding for yourself the quality and provenance of the information on offer.

This is the basis that I used when the only copyright accessible source that I could link to was Wikipedia. Many of the links I used from universities, government agencies, the media remain linked after several years, while many others like white paper abstracts and media broke the link and would be useless had I not quoted the article and referenced them in the placemarks in my maps. The one consistent place that did not break the thousands of links was Wikipedia and it formed a starting place in my map users search. And when partnered with all the other authoritative sources I used, it turned out to be as reliable as the authoritative examples I indicated.
 
Dec 2014
350
Italy
Well, I read all your messages and I came to a conclusion:

we can't rely on anything, neither Wikipedia, nor "all" the paper books, due to the inaccuracy of data.

For example (it's only an example):

Custer, at little Big Horn, had 264 men. Wikipedia says they were 270. Then I take a paper book and I read 272. Then I take another one, and read 280; then a third one, and read 282 ...

At this point, we must choose the figure we like. One can choose 264, another person likes 272, and so on.

Or ... if 20 paper books say Custer soldiers were 264, and another 19 say they were 272, the final result will be they were 264, but WE WILL NEVER BE SURE of it. We can rely on those 20 books and accept 264!

Same thing for the journals. Are we sure Donald Trump is the president of the United States, or ... Donald Trump doesn't exist, and he is only an invention?

I don't know if I managed to explain myself.
 

royal744

Ad Honoris
Jul 2013
10,582
San Antonio, Tx
I remember that event. It happened in 1979. Yes, The Iranians saw the United States as Satan in those times. Jimmy Carter was considered a weak man. He tried something to set free those hostages, but helicopter precipitated. This, costed him the presidency. Italian news dealt with that event very much.
The reason the hostages were not released under Carter’s presidency is that Reagan begged the Iranians not to release them. The quid pro quo was that Reagan would give the (literally) planeloads of arms including missiles. This would make Reagan look like a genius and Carter look weak. Of course, it didn’t come out til later that Reagan was paying off the Iranians with lots of shiny new arms.

This whole episode smacks of treason or near treason on the part of Reagan. Imagine how those hostages must have felt when they realized later that their imprisonment was extended for Reagan’s personal political gain.