The Washington Post’s long-running “Five Myths” series of columns in its “Outlook” section offers insights into current issues, historical figures and topics. In 2021, of special interest to historians were:
Five Myths About the Kennedys. No, it wasn’t just Vietnam that caused Robert Kennedy’s split with Lyndon Johnson. Other myths: The Kennedys were inseparable. The Bay of Pigs was an unmitigated catastrophe. JFK was obsessed with space. Ted Kennedy’s legacy was all about domestic policy.
Five Myths About Black History. The Tuskegee study infected people with syphilis. Slavery was a Southern phenomenon. Abraham Lincoln ended slavery and freed black people. Brown v. Board of Education ended school segregation. Black power was a departure for the civil rights movement.
Five Myths About Joe Biden. He’s an impoverished, or at least middle class public servant. His gaffes are a liability. He’s a moderate. He has always been a gay righs pioneer. He and Obama are besties.
Five Myths About the Lost Cause. The civil war was not fought over slavery. The South lost simply because the North had more resources. Robert E. Lee abhorred slavery. Confederate monuments only recently became controversial. Removing a Confederate monument is erasing history.