I keep telling myself to update the blog and I keep neglecting to do so. In my defense, I’ve been busy. Closing out another school year at the high school and college level = a lot of grading for me. Additionally, I’ve been going through the process of moving from one school to another, which is always taxing. Finally, as it turns out, owning your own house is a lot of work. But with the Summer approaching and some free-time sure to come, I do plan on updating the blog more frequently. That being said, here are some newsworthy items.
- Civil War Monuments in New Orleans
- If you’ve been paying attention, the city of New Orleans began taking down old historical monuments meant to memorialize Confederate figures and post-Civil War acts of violence meant to promote white supremacy. Granted, I’m typically against the removal of monuments. I believe instead that they present educational opportunities. Monuments often tell us a lot about the people who erected them as well as the events they represent. HOWEVER, I do believe it is the responsibility and right of every community to maintain and shape their landscape. Kevin Levin has done a wonderful job of chronicling the events surrounding the monuments in New Orleans over at his blog. You can read the latest here.
- “Are Confederate Flags Condemning Confederate Monuments?”
- Andy Hall asks the question over at DeadConfederates. I’m sorry I did not see his post earlier but fortunately I got a hold of it today. In the article Andy states
When heritage groups do that (protest with Confederate Flags) they’re essentially conceding defeat on the issue they’re supposedly trying to reverse. It’s defiance, sure, but it also almost always results in the targeted organization or institution — the VMFA, Lexington, Danville, and now New Orleans — digging in its own heels. Why on Earth do heritage folks assume that they’re the only ones who can display resolve and intransigence in the face of adversity?
- This reminds me of the decision to remove the Confederate Flag from the old railroad depot in my home town several years ago. Maybe I should revisit that topic.
- Was America Founded by a Welsh Prince?
- I’m not sure how many of you are familiar with the story of the Welsh Prince Madoc ab Owain Gwynedd. As the story goes, the Prince sailed from his homeland and arrived in what is today Mobile Bay, AL around 1170 c.e. You can read more about it on Dave Tabler’s post on the Appalachian History blog. I have run across this story more than once and I have actually visited the ruins of one of the mentioned sights (Fort Mountain, GA). As fascinating as the story may be, I’ve found little over the years that supports the story. The only citation Dave uses is “A Consideration: Was America Discovered In 1170 by Prince Madoc Ab Owain Gwynedd Of Wales?” (Jayne Wanner, Barstow Community College, Barstow, CA, 1999). It’s just as likely that the sight could have been constructed by Hernando de Soto during his exploration of the region. It could simply be early Mississippian or early Cherokee, with the story lost in the oral tradition. Who knows, but the pre-Columbian exploration stories (Vikings, Mardoc, Knights Templar, etc.) are a guilty pleasure for me.