The University of Colorado Denver Historical Studies Journal (HSJ) has been a unique annual opportunity for students ever since 1983 to display scholarly research and engage in the invaluable craft of academic writing and editing. It provides student writers with an opportunity to hone their craft to professional academic standards. Student assistant editors have this chance to see what goes into the editing process. The senior editor is given tangible experience in various aspects of the complex editorial process as well as the requisite responsibility of pulling the entire project together. The HSJ is an important and impressive repository of scholarly research that showcases the outstanding work that University of Colorado Denver history students have produced. This year marks the 38th edition of the HSJ. It serves as a portfolio of a wide array of fascinating topics that present a diversity of research.
The articles in this year’s HSJ represent a wide range of students’ historical research. The topics the authors have written about include local Denver history and regional history of the North American West, and international and global history. The essays take the reader to places such as Hungary, Italy, Afghanistan and Pakistan, Washington, D. C., Seattle, Washington, and the East Asia-Pacific.
Noah Allyn’s paper on the Eisenhower administration’s reaction to the Hungarian Revolution and the refugee crisis that ensued is a compelling account of how discrediting the Soviet Union and communism drove President Eisenhower to pursue Hungarian resettlement initially as a foreign policy. Allyn argues that the Administration circumvented immigration laws to establish a long-term blueprint for refugee resettlement. The second article, John Elstad’s “Back Channel Diplomacy,” opens with a vignette about United States Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons stranded in an Arizona desert repository. Elstad considers the connections that the F-16 “Vipers” had to United States – Pakistan diplomacy during the Soviet –Afghan War. Utilizing recently declassified Central Intelligence Agency documents on the transaction and concerns over Pakistan’s nuclear weapons development, he finds a network of interrelations among Washington, Islamabad, and the Afghan mujahideen pertaining to covert actions. James Stark provides military history. He explores the role of the 10th Mountain Division in helping to determine the outcome of World War II in Italy. Afterward it was slated for action against Japan. He tells of the 10th Mountain Division as a soldier’s story. Stark relates how the 10th Mountain division fit into Operation Downfall but was delivered from it by the atomic bomb. Daniel Harvey’s contribution is an inside story of the 1980s hardcore punk scene in the Mile High City. His article reveals the hardships that Denver punks faced keeping their hardcore punk scene together at a time when punk rock was not widely accepted locally. Nonetheless, the 1980s hardcore punk scene left a lasting impact on Denver’s underground music. In “What Happened to the Parades?,” Crystal Huntley focuses on the splendid and spectacular Masonic and Templar conclaves in the West. During the late nineteenth- and early twentieth-centuries the western cities of Denver, San Francisco, and Seattle hosted impressive gatherings of Masonic orders and Templars. Bringing back to the fore the history of extravagant parades and pageants that awed cities, she recounts a history of the significant presence of Masonic and Templar fraternities in the American West. Matthew Taylor’s historiographical essay considers how historians researching and writing about the American Revolution and slavery have engaged in an evolving discourse about the relationship between the two subjects. In his examination of three waves of historiography, he finds that the cultural context in which historians write has a significant impact on the arguments they make about the role of Black people in the War for American Independence.
It has been an honor serving as Editor this year. I appreciate that Dr. Tom Noel entrusted me with the responsibility of accomplishing this challenging task. A special thanks to Dr. Dale J. Stahl for his indispensible advice and supportive help in ensuring the publication of the HSJ this year. I give my gratitude to Candice Peters for her superb layout design and cover design as well as her enthusiasm for this project,
and professionalism. I want to thank Dr. Gabriel Finkelstein and Dr. Stahl for their invaluable editorial contributions. They fine-tuned my work and that of the student writers and the assistant editors. My appreciation goes to Tabitha Fitzpatrick for her needed help. I thank the authors for this year’s fine collection of papers, and for their steadfast efforts in refining their work. They worked with me cooperatively and with unwavering commitment. The six authors taught me a lot of history. I value their informed contributions. I hope that in the editing process I imparted some insights to them. I would like to thank each of the assistant editors for their hard work. The HSJ could not have been accomplished without the dedication and editorial contributions of the assistant editors: Noah Allyn, Bianca Barriskill, José M. Carbón, Teresa Donahue, and Nick Ota-Wang. They each put in essential effort to accomplish this edition of the HSJ. I am grateful to Dr. Cameron Blevins, Dr. Ryan Crewe, Dr. Gabriel Finkelstein, Dr. Marjorie Levine-Clark, and Dr. William Wagner for submitting commendable student papers for consideration for publication. With much appreciation I thank my partner John W. Price for his crucial and steadfast technical support. He lent a much needed helping hand several times on this project.
The publication of the HSJ takes months of hard work and dedication. I thank everyone for their commitment, as this was truly a team effort. We accomplished the work during a pandemic. It was a privilege to work with authors, assistant editors, faculty advisors and History Department members, and CU Denver Design & Print Services in creating this edition of the University of Colorado Denver Historical Studies Journal. I wish them all the best.
Mark Alexander Ortiz