A Civil War Proclamation For All Virginians

By now many of you have had the opportunity to digest Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell’s proclamation designating April as Civil War History in Virginia Month.  I wanted to take a few minutes to share a few thoughts.  First, perhaps I am guilty of criticizing the governor prematurely, but my remarks reflected an eagerness to see…

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Civil War History in Virginia Month

[commentary to follow] WHEREAS, the month of April is most closely associated with Virginia’s pivotal role in the American Civil War; it was in April 1861 that Virginia seceded from the Union following a lengthy, contentious and protracted debate within the Commonwealth, and it was in April 1865 that the War was essentially concluded with…

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Thoughtful Reflection in the Heart of the Confederacy

Over the past few months I’ve done a number of interviews about the Civil War Sesquicentennial.  At the end of my latest interview this past Friday the reporter noted that this was not the story that she anticipated writing.  What she meant was that she was not going to write up a story around the…

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April is “Civil War in Virginia Month”

Well, at least that is what Governor McDonnell announced at a recent conference sponsored by the Virginia Sesquicentennial Commission.  With April right around the corner, however, we have yet to see a proclamation outlining the scope of the commemoration.  Perhaps the governor’s advisers are studying a recent Harris Poll on how Americans identify with this…

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The Real Price of Forgetting the Past (Continued)

In response to my last post in which I suggested that public historians have reason to feel good about the seismic interpretive shifts that can be seen in our museum’s and other historical institutions John Hennessy offers the following: As it relates to the supply-side of the equation, I think there is little doubt that…

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