The Complicated Legacy of General & President Ulysses S. Grant

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Km4K8S5RlxM When I was a high school student, the consensus on President Ulysses S. Grant (1869-77) seemed to be that he was a good general in the civil war but an incompetent president, an alcoholic who presided over a corrupt administration, particularly Reconstruction. Northern abolitionists were disappointed with Reconstruction, and White Southerners hated it because … Continue reading The Complicated Legacy of General & President Ulysses S. Grant

Juneteenth: Should It Be A National Holiday?

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6FX-Iisvrj8 The 19th of June -- the day in 1865 when Union army general Gordon Granger read federal orders in the city of Galveston, Texas, proclaiming all slaves in Texas were free -- became Juneteenth, a state holiday in Texas. It is also known as Emancipation Day, Black Independence Day or Jubilee Day. While Abraham … Continue reading Juneteenth: Should It Be A National Holiday?

Criticized Worse than Abe Lincoln?

President Trump has repeatedly asserted that he is more unfairly criticized than Abraham Lincoln, who presided over the civil war and was assassinated. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2rggHxrOfc Tech Times: "Lincoln's character is actually demonstrated in his response to the vitriol, from his rivals. He was so humble, self-deprecating, and gracious to those who attacked him. He didn't insult … Continue reading Criticized Worse than Abe Lincoln?

Moments When Time Stands Still and History Changes Dramatically: Just Before Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, 1863

For students of history of almost every generation, there are moments when time stands still, to be relived over and over: what if the central characters had acted differently? What if Gavrilo Princip did not successfully murder Archduke Franz Ferdinand and set off WWI? What if it was raining (as predicted) and the roof went up on … Continue reading Moments When Time Stands Still and History Changes Dramatically: Just Before Pickett’s Charge at Gettysburg, 1863

Negative Stereotypes About General and President Ulysses S. Grant Do Not Stand Test of Time

Historian and journalist Ron Chernow, who is best known for a biography of Alexander Hamilton that was made into a widely successful Broadway musical, followed up in 2017 with a widely-acclaimed biography of Civil War General and President Ulysses S. Grant (1869-1977). The book challenged conventional wisdom about Grant and the Civil War, that he … Continue reading Negative Stereotypes About General and President Ulysses S. Grant Do Not Stand Test of Time

Lincoln Movies: Historically Accurate?

Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln" movie starring Daniel Day Lewis is worthy of study. First question: Is it historically accurate? Like so many motion-picture and theater dramas, it draws too heavily on the "great man" theory of history, as historian Eric Foner, author of The Fiery Trial: Abraham Lincoln and American Slavery, points out in this clip: … Continue reading Lincoln Movies: Historically Accurate?

Gettysburg in the Collective American Unconscious: Ghosts, & Heroes on Both Sides

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2StlW9XuA2g Last Reunion of Gettysburg Veterans https://youtu.be/mumPcoIZa_I Historian Shelby Foote on Gettysburg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3bhOqObhz3o Gettysburg: the 1993 movie https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mC7bYDBj_eA Actor Martin Sheen on Favorite Stories from Gettysburg https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zPFinBuDJ-M Filmmaker Ken Burns Discusses the Greatness of General Robert E. Lee https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_PzVdvN-BkA More Youtube videos on Gettysburg

Lincoln At Gettysburg: 269 Words That Changed A Nation

UNUM Ken Burns: "Lincoln felt he had failed the people with his short address, and yet, those 269 words were spoken and all speeches that came thereafter were measured against it." Edward Everett, president of Harvard University, spoke before Lincoln at Gettysburg. He was a leader of the Greek Revival movement in America, proposing that … Continue reading Lincoln At Gettysburg: 269 Words That Changed A Nation

How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War

CBS News: "In 1856, one of the most famous people in the United States became the Republican presidential nominee, but his name has since been largely forgotten." PBS Newshour: "In a new book, NPR’s Steve Inskeep has chronicled the little-known story of how the illegitimate son of an immigrant rose to become the Republican Party’s … Continue reading How Jessie and John Frémont Mapped the West, Invented Celebrity, and Helped Cause the Civil War

‘Every Drop of Blood’: Lincoln’s Momentous Second Inaugural in 1865

A little over a month before he died, Abraham Lincoln gave one of the greatest speeches in American history, barely more than 700 words. Journalist Edward Achorn, editorial page editor of the Providence Journal, focuses on the 24 tense hours surrounding the speech in his book, "Every Drop of Blood: The Momentous Second Inaugural Address … Continue reading ‘Every Drop of Blood’: Lincoln’s Momentous Second Inaugural in 1865