Just wanted to post a quick note for those of you in the Boston area that tomorrow night I will be speaking at the Olde Colony Civil War Round Table in Dedham. The program will take place at the Endicott Estate at 7:30pm. My talk will focus on the demobilization of the Army of Northern Virginia and is based on an essay that I wrote for William Davis’s and James I. Robertson’s edited collection, Virginia at War, 1865 (University Press of Kentucky, 2011). I hope some of you will be able to attend and please introduce yourself.
As I suggested in my proposal, social media has fundamentally changed the commemorative landscape. Whereas 50 years ago only a few institutions were positioned to shape a national Civil War remembrance the democratization of the web means that all of our voices can now be heard. Most institutions have done a pretty good job of utilizing social media tools such as Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube to disseminate information to the public, but what are they doing to engage their audience? Social media is a 2-way street and I am not simply thinking of a Facebook page that allows for readers’ comments.
[H/T to W.D. Carlson, who emailed this video with the subject line: "God Bless Lee and Jackson and God Bless Dixie"]
I am ashamed to admit that in my ten years as a resident of Charlottesville, Virginia I never made the time to attend a Lee-Jackson Day parade. Lexington is a beautiful city with an incredibly rich history and it certainly looks like everyone had a good time this past Saturday. If you didn’t have a chance to travel to take part this is is the next best thing. One question: Where is everyone? The place looks deserted. It also looks like there was no shortage of Confederate flags. I say, it looks like there was no shortage of Confederate flags. Which leads one to wonder why there was a need to file a lawsuit.
Whether or not Washington and Lee’s Law School closes in recognition of the national holiday in honor of Martin Luther King’s contributions to the advancement of social, political, and legal justice is entirely in the hands of the school community. The university already does quite a bit to honor the slain civil rights leader, but hopefully the administration will listen carefully to their students, who believe the closing of the school next year will send a clear message that brings home the significance of this national holiday.
And given the importance attached to their former president’s moral character, perhaps it would be helpful to ask what Robert E. Lee would do.