I Am a Park Ranger

Tomorrow a House Republicans will have the opportunity to question National Park Service chief Jonathan Jarvis for his handling of a situation that Republicans themselves caused. I trust that Jarvis will stand up for his agency during those few moments where he is allowed to get a word in over the grandstanding and deflection that will most assuredly be on full display.

If mistakes were made than so be it. No doubt the Park Service will examine their policies and try to improve their management during these times of crisis, but I refuse to join the outpouring of vitriol that continues to be directed at some of the most dedicated and passionate federal employees that we have. Update: A few more thoughts to consider.

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All Kinds of Irony

ZZ7870BBEBThis photograph was taken earlier today in front of the White House. It’s a march of supposedly military veterans protesting the closure of the federal government. It was led by Republican Senator Ted Cruz and Sara Palin.

Confederate flag in front of White HouseAnd check out that Confederate flag. What is up with that design?

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Civil War Memory Over the Charles River

Anderson Memorial BridgeI suspect that for the vast majority of Bostonians and tourists, the city’s history is indelibly stamped (no pun intended) with the events of the American Revolution. I, on the other hand, see the American Civil War everywhere or signs of how Bostonians chose to remember their Civil War. We’ve got some pretty impressive sites such as Harvard’s Memorial Hall and, of course, Saint Gaudens’s Robert Gould Shaw Memorial (54th), but there are also more obscure reminders that are likely missed by most people.

The Anderson Memorial Bridge over the Charles River is one such example. The bridge was built by Larz Anderson as a memorial to his father, Nicholas Longworth Anderson, who fought through and survived the war. Anderson rose from the rank of private to Col. of the 6th Ohio Volunteer Infantry to Brevet Major General of Volunteers. He fought in western Virginia early in the war and saw action in most of the major battles of the Western Theatre, including Stones River and Chickamauga.

The bridge was completed in 1915.

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US Park Rangers Lodge Issues Statement

Yesterday the United States Park Rangers Lodge issued the following statement yesterday on its Facebook Page re: National Park closures. Those of you who are feeling inconvenienced by these closures and have chosen to take out your anger on people who are trying to do their jobs should read it. [click to continue…]

History of the Slave South With Stephanie McCurry

I certainly understand the concerns expressed by many regarding the impact of MOOCs on higher education. At the same time, for those people who are interested in furthering their understanding of American history, it is impossible for me not to see the value of spending some time online with a scholar of Stephanie McCurry’s caliber. The course begins in January 2014.

The issue seems to be how MOOCs are utilized and assessed within a college curriculum rather than the educational value of the course itself.

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