The Tennessee State Museum’s traveling exhibit on the War of 1812 is now at the East Tennessee Historical Society, and will be in Knoxville through May 19. Looks pretty cool!
Monthly Archives: February 2013
Now, here’s the sort of thing that’s perfect for stirring up debate in the historical blogosphere:
A new bill proposed in the Georgia legislature would prohibit local governments from hiding or removing statues of Jefferson Davis, Robert E. Lee or other Confederate army heroes indefinitely.…
Rep. Tommy Benton, R-Jefferson, introduced the proposal at the request of the Sons of the American Revolution and the Sons of Confederate Veterans.
The bill, if passed, would require that monuments be kept in a prominent place. It would also make it illegal to “deface, defile, or abuse contemptuously” any memorial dedicated to the Confederate army.
“We’re not saying they can’t move them,” Benton said. “We’re just saying they can’t just put them in a field somewhere.”
You can read the proposed bill yourself by clicking here. It’s pretty short, so go ahead and give it a look.
Of course, I’m in favor of throwing the book at anybody who mutilates or damages historic monuments and markers, but I would assume Georgia already has vandalism laws to cover that sort of thing. As for the bill’s more novel provisions to stop such monuments from being “relocated, removed, concealed, obscured, or altered,” I’m not sure what to think.
My inclination in disputes over older monuments is usually to let them be and keep them in good condition, since they have intrinsic historic value. But I’m not sure it’s a good idea to have a state law prohibiting local government agencies from moving monuments except in cases of construction projects, since the bill (if I understand it correctly) makes no distinction among monuments “dedicated to a historical entity” based on their age or significance.
What do you guys think?
Whenever Glenn Beck and David Barton get together to talk about history, you know you’re in for a show.
Check out this conversation they had about the movie Lincoln. Beck asks Barton about the film’s accuracy, and Barton claims that, contrary to what the film shows, the Thirteenth Amendment passed Congress easily as a “slam dunk” and without all the wheeling and dealing.
In reality, the vote in the HOR was anything but a “slam dunk.” Approval of a proposed constitutional amendment requires a two-thirds majority, not a simple one, and the Thirteenth Amendment just barely passed. A mere handful of additional nays, and it wouldn’t have.
Barton’s supporters are always assuring us that he’s an expert in matters constitutional and historical; he does know how new amendments get added to the Constitution, right?
As for the “wheeling and dealing,” Lincoln’s administration did, in fact, put quite a bit of pressure congressmen to support the amendment. The exact nature and extent of that pressure is a matter of some uncertainty (for obvious reasons, it’s not the sort of thing that leaves a paper trail), but that Lincoln was more heavily involved in this congressional matter than was usual for him is pretty well established.