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Maybe a vintage Thomas Nast cartoon will help you get in the holiday spirit.
The Georgia State Archives won’t be closing after all. This is shaping up to be a pretty good Christmas for all us history buffs.
Oh, and the world didn’t end yesterday. So there’s that, too.
The War of 1812 tour is now available on the Kentucky Historical Society’s Explore KY History app. If you haven’t downloaded this thing, let me once again recommend it to you. Most Americans probably associate the War of 1812 with the Chesapeake or the Gulf of Mexico, but Kentucky suffered more casualties in that conflict than all the other states combined.
One of the most notable Kentucky vets was Isaac Shelby, who became the state’s first governor in 1792 and then ran for the same post twenty years later. Shelby didn’t throw his hat into the ring until less than a month before the 1812 gubernatorial election, and he was more than sixty years old.
He won handily anyway, partly because he’d already made a name for himself during the Rev War and Kentuckians were gearing up for another confrontation with England. (Shelby had led a regiment at King’s Mountain; in fact, he was one of the primary architects of the expedition that defeated Ferguson’s Tories.) In the summer of 1813 he took the field himself at the head of 3,500 volunteers who fought at the Battle of the Thames, thus seeing action in both of America’s wars with Britain.
Today is the anniversary of an event that is familiar to students of American religious history, one which has come to be called the “Great Disappointment.”
No, not that one. I mean the Great Disappointment of 1844, in which, contrary to the expectations of thousands of Millerites, the world did not come to an end. You’d think people who build their reputations on a painstaking study of Scripture would eventually get around to reading Matthew 24:36, but it’s one of the most widely ignored verses in the Bible, right up there with Matt. 5:44, Matt. 5:28, 1 Cor. 6:7, and the last part of Leviticus 19:19.
On a different note, if you’d like information about a battlefield preservation opportunity, click here.
As of November 1, the Georgia State Archives are closed to the public. Open access hours aren’t being reduced, mind you—they’re being eliminated entirely. You’ll need an appointment to use a state’s main archival repository. Appointments will be limited, of course, based on the availability of the remaining staff.
I don’t know the ins and outs of Georgia’s fiscal situation, but I’d imagine $30 million would go a long way toward helping the public servants at the archives keep their jobs. That’s the amount Delta Airlines got in tax breaks authorized by Gov. Nathan Deal last year. Two weeks after Deal signed off on that, he and his wife received preferred customer benefits from Delta worth some $8,000 consisting of “free upgrades when seats are available, Sky Club membership, bonus miles, priority check-in and boarding, fee waivers and more,” according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. A spokesman called the perks a “contribution to the state of Georgia.” Deal will only utilize his seat upgrades and priority check-in while traveling on official business, you see. Georgians who are unable to access their public records can thus take comfort in knowing that the governor’s check-in at the Delta counter has been expedited.
The Explore Kentucky History app connects historical markers, related items in the Historical Society’s collections and user-submitted images and stories to points of interest on a map. The information is then grouped together into tours, with a Civil War-themed tour the first available.
As of today, it’s available on iTunes. I just installed it on my iPhone, and it’s awesome. (And free!) If you’re interested in the history of the Bluegrass State or the Civil War, you’re going to love it.