April 12th of this year marked 150 years since the first shots were fired at Fort Sumter, starting the long conflict known as the American Civil War. This spring there have been special museum exhibits, battle reenactments, and plenty of news stories. Ken Burns’s Civil War series was rebroadcast. But these things were all pretty much expected.
A surprise to me, however, is a new iPad app called The Civil War Today, put out by The History Channel. Open it up and it is a daily interactive broadsheet newspaper covering details of the war from that day, 150 years ago. Each day, there is a wealth of information including news stories, photos, letters, journal entries, battle maps, a quiz question, and more. Fantastically full of primary sources, this app will bring you an interesting, educational, and moving experience for the next four years. I imagine that in four years’ time, all the past content will still be available, just as all the content from the beginning of the war until now is available.
Despite being a couple weeks into the war coverage, it is definitely not too late to participate and enjoy the app. You can catch up on the days you missed, or skim them to get the main stories. Then start enjoying new content day by day. This app will give you four years of news, both with the clarity of hindsight and from the perspective of people who lived through the war.
Here is some more detail on each of the bits of content contained in the daily broadsheet. For each of these sections, you can tap on them for additional functionality, including zooming in, saving as a Favorite, or posting information about the app to Twitter, Facebook, or over email.
[This article, written by Jenny Williams, was originally published on Thursday. Click through to read the rest of the story, and please leave any comments you may have on the original.]