The dead leaves are ankle deep as my son, Jackson, and I trek through the forest at Payne’s Farm. We know there’s a path because a plethora of blue blazes mark the way through the denuded trees. The leaves have otherwise swallowed the path just as they swallow our feet. We shuffle through, raising enough […]
In 1831 an exciting account of a shipwreck was published by ‘editor’ Miss Jane Porter. The only survivors were a husband and wife and their dog, who survived by a lucky set of circumstances: One of the men said we should have a hurricane: “The hurricane months are over, you blackguard,” replied the captain angrily. […]
Spare us your phony indignation over the Thanksgiving holiday… Stop posting the painfully naive memes about American Indians being killed or robbed by the Pilgrims- cease with the historically ignorant platitudes about rightful ownership and true “Native Americans.” You are only showing your ignorance of history; but in addition, on full display is your gullibility. An intellectual capacity so lacking it can be manipulated by a mundane utterance or passing snicker.
Give thanks this holiday… as Abraham Lincoln intended it. Carve the turkey, pass the stuffing, and enjoy some pumpkin pie. Instead of watching three meaningless football games, pick up a book and learn something about the first Thanksgiving. Nathaniel Philbrick’s Mayflower is a good place to start. History is complicated and sometimes rather messy. If you can accept 14o characters or less as your teacher, your thoughts on any matter are insignificant.
It was only a matter of time before political correctness led to historical revisionism… it’s happening on college campuses around the country. Confronted with the realization that their advocacy is redundant and their demands trifling- these cereal box revolutionaries are targeting our history with their misguided platitudes.
The irony is thick as Liberal college students attack the legacy of Progressive icon, Woodrow Wilson… long heralded a progressive hero by academics, and firmly positioned in Schlesinger’s top 10 of all Presidents– Wilson’s name is no longer welcomed by the students of Princeton. A most unreasonable position considering that Princeton’s status as Ivy League mainstay is due in large part to the career and reputation of Wilson. Aside from changing names and blotting out monuments, the advocacy here advances little past public relations.
As predicted in an earlier post… Jefferson’s name was sure to be a target of the politically correct, kiddie cops. Student protesters in Missouri, and most recently Jefferson’s alma mater, William and Mary in Virginia. “Students” argue his slave holding in the 19th century is so offensive, it warrants removing his presence from both institutions. These judicious, young stewards are enlightened far beyond their 18 or 19 years and clearly understand the human experience better than any nasty slave owner from 200 years ago. The sarcasm is only applied to further illuminate the hubris- this could be the beginning of our end.
Jefferson critic Annette Gordon-Reed… is discerning enough to see advocacy gone too far. She recently told InsideHighered.com –
“I understand why some people think his statues should be removed, but not all controversial figures of the past are created equal, I think Jefferson’s contributions to the history of the United States outweigh the problems people have with aspects of his life. He is just too much a part of the American story … to pretend that he was not there. There is every difference in the world between being one of the founders of the United States and being a part of group of people who fought to destroy the United States.”
Conspiracies rely upon the unknown… where there is no paper trail, recorded voices, or first hand accounts, conspiracies thrive. Nothing brings out distrust more than secrecy, regardless of its motivation. To say that every conspiracy is unfounded is either dangerously naive, or the weakest defense of a person with something to hide. Where you find enough secrecy, there will always be conspiracy theories- because the historical record is not definitive…secrecy prevents it.
Mafia, Cubans, Russians, Alien contact… there has been enough secrecy surrounding John Kennedy’s assassination, and the subsequent investigation, to fill volumes- enough to even prompt another government inquiry. There is so much secrecy, so many unanswered questions surrounding Kennedy’s death that multiple conspiracies competed for the public’s attention. Every avenue unsatisfactorily explored by official investigation is open to scrutiny, followed by conjecture. Competing conspiracy theories have grown more outrageous through the years- many bordering on the absurd.
The ebbs and flows of the historical record… now show lone gunman theories back in favor. Every major study of the assassination in the last decade has fingered Lee Harvey Oswald as the shooter. The Grassy Knoll is now a punchline, rather than an epicenter. The new authoritative narrative on the assassination dismisses long sought after eyewitnesses accounts as unreliable, confused, or fraudulent. Tactics utilized by conspiracy theorist for decades have been turned around with chilling effect- on the 50th anniversary of the assassination- believe Oswald acted alone or else.
Never Forget Edward Lansdale- the key man.
Wilson’s legacy debated at Princeton… Liberals surely will be divided over student demands to separate from Wilson’s legacy
Nuclear missiles on Okinawa were ordered to launch… 32 warheads were prepared during Cuban Missile Crisis
Scholar doubts Hitler’s suicide… researcher believes dictator escaped to South America
We are in the Golden Age of Civil War research… modern technology has revolutionized research and publishing
Barack Obama’s decision not to attend ceremonies… commemorating the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address is drawing controversy. The Obama administration, already under severe scrutiny for the botched health insurance roll-out, was in no mood for more criticism regarding the President’s decision making.
The decision not to attend ANY sesquicentennial Gettysburg…celebrations struck many observers as an odd one. President Obama has gone out of his way establishing historic ties to our 16th President, a fellow Illinoisan. He announced his candidacy in 2007 near the doors of Lincoln’s law office in Springfield, was sworn in on the Lincoln bible in 2009 and 2013, and followed Lincoln’s train route to Washington in 2009. The country sees the connection- Lincoln must mean a lot to this President… why the snub?
Presidents have gone to Gettysburg before… but have avoided the November anniversary- the Gettysburg Address remembrance. Speaking at Gettysburg draws comparisons to Lincoln’s greatest speech- not a fair fight by any measure. Wilson’s speech at the 50th anniversary of the battle in 1913 is generally considered lackluster. Truman, Eisenhower, and Kennedy all visited Gettysburg during ceremonies honoring the battle- their words were forgettable. Lyndon Johnson is often praised for his words there in 1963, but those were delivered on Memorial Day.
No President wants to be compared to Lincoln,… especially during times of political difficulty. Despite the dangers of historical context, Presidents in the 20th century made the journey to Gettysburg- for appearance if nothing else. The current President allowed present difficulty to cloud his judgement- an army of spin doctors and acolytes are trying to repair the damage in cyber space, but a legitimate opportunity at historical remembrance was missed. It is entirely reasonable that the people question his alleged fidelity with Lincoln.