Planning Lee’s 200th Birthday Bash

The Robert E. Lee Commission of the Commonwealth of Virginia is planning a press conference for Thursday, January 19th to discuss plans for the general’s 200th birthday next year. What are its goals?

“The plans for the 200th birthday celebration include a variety of educational efforts and activities that will last throughout 2007. The goals of the Commission are to develop and support educational efforts about all facets of Lee’s life and his legacy in the Commonwealth, and to support and promote tourism in the Commonwealth with a variety of activities, events, and programs that will highlight locations around the state that were touched by or shaped by Robert E. Lee.”

And who serves on this commission in addition to co-chairman Delegate Benjamin A. Cline and Senator Emmett W. Hanger Jr.?

“Other members of the Lee Memorial Commission include Delegate Robert Hurt, Delegate Lynwood W. Lewis, Jr., Delegate Thomas C. Wright, Jr., Senator Frank M. Ruff, Jr., and representatives of Washington and Lee University, the Robert E. Lee Memorial Association, the Confederate Memorial Literary Society, the Virginia Division of Sons of Confederate Veterans, and the Virginia Division of United Daughters of the Confederacy, as well as the Director of the Department of Historic Resources, the Director of the Virginia Tourism Corporation, and the Superintendent of Public Instruction.”

Looks like the Myth of the Lost Cause is alive and well and in good hands.

Searching for Black Confederates: The Civil War’s Most Persistent Myth

“Levin’s study is the first of its kind to blueprint and then debunk the mythology of enslaved African Americans who allegedly served voluntarily in behalf of the Confederacy.”–Journal of Southern History

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