Political historian reviews Smithsonian exhibit about American imperialism in 1898
As a child in grade school in Guam, I recall learning to recite this pledge with my hand over my heart.
‘‘I pledge allegiance to the Flag of the United States of America, and to the Republic for which it stands, one Nation under God, indivisible, with liberty and justice for all.’’
It was a powerful exhibit that stirred that memory and brought it to my consciousness. But does the history of our country truly reflect that? Liberty and justice for all?
The Smithsonian exhibit in Washington, D.C., "1898: U.S. Imperial Visions and Revisions," revolves around the Spanish-American War and the struggle for independence that played out across the islands of Cuba, Puerto Rico, the Philippines, Guam and Hawaiʻi.
HPR traveled to the National Portrait Gallery for a media tour before the exhibit opened on April 28 and spoke to the exhibit's curators: historian Kate Clarke Lemay and Taína Caragol, curator of painting, sculpture and Latino art and history.
Back in Hawaiʻi, we talked to political historian and author Tom Coffman who reviewed the exhibit in the Star-Advertiser. He discussed the playbook and the political pawns in a high-stakes strategic game: American imperialism in 1898. It's a period of history he researched and wrote about in "Nation Within: The History of the American Occupation of Hawaiʻi."
"1898: U.S. Imperial Visions and Revisions" is on view through February 2024.
This interview aired on The Conversation on May 5, 2023. The Conversation airs weekdays at 11 a.m. on HPR-1.