Monthly Archives: April 2011

No casino in Gettysburg this time

Fantastic news from Pennsylvania—the state’s gaming control board rejected the proposal to open a casino near the battlefield at Gettysburg.  Hopefully we won’t have to go through round three in another few years.

This article has a few additional details.  The third paragraph—probably inadvertently—seems to frame the controversy as a straightforward battle between local residents on the one hand and “preservationists and historians” on the other. That wasn’t the case, but I expect that message boards and comboxes will be filled to bursting with remarks of that sort in the coming days.

Anyway, it’s welcome news.  Hats off to everybody who helped make it happen.



Filed under Civil War, Historic Preservation

Floridians attempt to claim war’s first shot

They’ve already got great weather, oranges, and Mickey Mouse.  Do they have to have this, too?


Filed under Civil War, History and Memory

Yesterday’s festivities in Charleston

…are the subject of this report from the AP.  Along with a brief description of the events, it includes the standard sound bites, along with a few invocations of the always-handy “nation-still-divided” theme.  Pretty much what you’d expect.

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Filed under Civil War, History and Memory

On this 150th anniversary of the start of the Civil War

…let us pause for a moment to consider the true underlying cause of the conflict, which of course is the nefarious Jesuit Order’s ongoing attempt to control the world.

Conspiracy theorist Eric Jon Phelps (whose distinctive views on the American Revolution we’ve noted here before) tackled this very issue in a recent online missive.  Here’s what he had to say:

In VAIII I cover the Jesuit Order’s control of both the North and the South during the “Civil War,” or rather “the War Between the States,” or better yet, “the War of Northern Aggression.”  The Jesuits controlled Jefferson Davis, Judah Benjamin and Robert E. Lee (with their conscious assent).  The Order also controlled Abraham Lincoln and the “Radical Red/Black” Republican Party (although Lincoln underwent a true conversion to Jesus Christ after Gettysburg and then began to oppose his Jesuit masters).  Both ex-priest Charles Chiniquy and General Thomas Harris (a Baptist-Calvinist) missed the Jesuit connection to the North.

I’d always assumed the Vatican had something to do with it, but even I was surprised to hear that both the North and the South were under Jesuit control. As somebody who’s been probed by aliens on no less than three occasions, I guess I should have known better.

Phelps further explains that the Vatican—and I swear I’m not making any of this up—started the slave trade, instigated slave revolts, inspired the abolitionist movement, brought on the War of 1812, engineered the Missouri Compromise, stopped the black colonization movement, split the Democratic party in 1860, sabotaged the Confederates at Gettysburg, stopped Meade’s pursuit of Lee, implemented the Union’s hard war policy, set off the New York draft riots, and masterminded the Fourteenth Amendment.

Those Jesuits got around, didn’t they?

And did you know that Lee and Longstreet deliberately threw the Battle of Gettysburg?  Or that Lee and A. P. Hill conspired to have Stonewall Jackson knocked off?  That right there is the kind of thing your history books will leave out.

Phelps then switches gears, explaining his belief in “white predominance,” which refers to “predominance in intellectual capacities as reflected in culture, the arts, sciences and nations.” Other races, he maintains, have “obviously lower cultures,” and the important thing is that “White raced-peoples must be preserved.”  Accordingly, he urges, “we must observe racial separation as mandated by the Word of God when the Lord created the races to keep mankind separate.”

But he’s quick to point out that he avoids the phrase “white supremacy,” and with good reason. “Since this term conjures up the ideas of the White KKK and the White Nazis,” he states, “I do not use this term.”  See, if he started using terms like “white supremacy,” people might mistake him for some sort of racist kook, instead of the mild-mannered advocate of white intellectual predominance and racial separation that he actually is.

Is the Internet great, or what?


Filed under Civil War, History on the Web

Most Pennsylvanians don’t want the Gettysburg casino

…according to a recently released poll.  In fact, the numbers are rather dramatic.  I’m starting to think that the whole “meddling, outsider preservationist” canard doesn’t hold up to scrutiny.  Seems like I’ve read that somewhere.

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Filed under Civil War, Historic Preservation

An African-American politician says we should stop bickering and start commemorating

Read all about it.  Here’s a sample:

Ford said senators should get involved in anniversary commemorations to encourage understanding, to prevent misinformation and the spread of hatred.

“If people died, and we’re going to have this celebration, I want everybody in South Carolina to be united on it, to understand each other, to talk to each other,” said the 62-year-old New Orleans native. “Don’t be just mean-spirited. Be willing to talk to your white colleagues. Be willing to talk to your black colleagues. Be willing to go to the schools and talk to students, say, listen, we’ve got to move forward from what you think happened between 1861 and 1865.”

 An NAACP spokesman is calling him a “Confederate apologist.”  I think that’s quite an overstatement, but maybe that’s just me.  Anyway, check out the news story and see what you think.


Filed under Civil War, History and Memory

Who benefits from state archives? Not just historians

Try as I might, I still can’t manage to suppress my irritation at some of the thick-headed arguments being espoused in favor of slashing the Tennessee State Library and Archives budget.

Last time I quoted one Concerned Citizen who remarked, in response to Mark Cheathem’s pro-TSLA editorial, that he was being asked to pay taxes to support a service that would benefit someone else.  Since this is basically how taxation works, it’s a rather odd argument.  It’s odd also because the fellow is assuming that academic researchers are TSLA’s main—if not sole—constituency.

Here’s a nugget of wisdom from another commenter: “By the way, this article does fail to point out one group that will be dramatically affected by libraries closing: The Homeless. At least in Nashville, they used the library more than anyone else and form a line on Church Street every morning – I guess Homeless people read more than most of us.”  I guess they do, since they’re informed enough to be able to distinguish between TSLA and the regular public library—a distinction that the commenter is apparently unable to make.

Another reader stated that institutions like libraries “are non-critical even if very desirable. They should all be at the front of items to be cut to balance a budget.”  Let me submit to you that archives are more than “very desirable.”  Indeed, preserving and maintaining records has been a function of governments since the days of the first civilizations.  This isn’t a Republican or Democrat thing; this is an obligation to society thing.

It seems that too many of us are simply ignorant of the scale of contributions that institutions like TSLA provide.  So here, for the enlightenment of those who think the state archives exist only for the benefit of researchers and history buffs, is a sampling of some services we Tennesseans enjoy thanks to these folks:

  • TSLA administers the Tennessee Electronic Library, an online collection of hundreds of thousands of reference resources provided free of charge to the state’s schools, libraries, and colleges.  For all these institutions to pay for this service on their own, the cost would be over $90 million annually, but TEL pays $1.5 million per year to provide this material at no cost to the state’s citizens.  TEL users conduct over 30 million online searches every year.
  • TSLA conducts free workshops for Tennesseans who are trying to trace their family history and provides information on preserving family records and materials.
  • TSLA provides a free library service geared specifically toward the blind and visually impaired, providing braille and large print materials to Tennesseans who would not otherwise have access to this reading material.
  • The Archives Development program makes TSLA’s expertise available to smaller repositories throughout the state, ensuring that local and county records are maintained for the benefit of people who live in these communities.
  • TSLA’s Education Outreach program provides teachers and children with access to primary source material for use in the classroom, which is a tremendous enhancement to Tennessee education provided without cost on the part of county or city schools.

I could go on, but the point should be clear.  State archives and library facilities do more than give us history nuts a place to do research.  Schoolkids, teachers, local officials, and the disabled are just a few of the other groups that benefit from these facilities, even if they never set foot in the facilities themselves.


Filed under Tennessee History