Today I received a letter for an essay contest sponsored by the local chapter of the United Daughters of the Confederacy here in Charlottesville. I have to say that I got a kick out of it. The contest offers students in three different grade levels the opportunity to compete for a prize of $50. Students in grades 4-6 must write a 1,000 word essay on Commodore Matthew Fontaine Maury; students in grades 7-9 will write about the life of Judah P. Benjamin; and high school students in grades 10-12 get to explore the important contributions of Stand Waite. Your guess is as good as mine as to why Stand Waite was chosen.
The guidelines are quite telling. My favorite is the following:
Use “War Between the States” rather than “Civil War” unless quoting directly from a source.
The UDC also offers the following observation concerning sources:
The internet plays such an important role in education today that books are no longer being used. Please encourage students to use at least one book as a source for their information.
Guess what ladies, you can actually find books on this thing called the internet.
[Image: Mrs. Homer S. (Jane) Durden III, President General, 2008–2010]