Harpers Ferry officials claim they have serious standing in the national celebration because the Civil War actually began when Brown and his men raided the arsenal that saw the first shot fired in the “War Between the States.”Freshman dorm arguments apparently make good history (for some).
They maintain Brown’s raid is the real jumping-off point for the 150th anniversary of the Civil War and not the shot that was fired by the infant Confederacy on Fort Sumter in Charleston, S.C., in April 1861.
Speaking of which, this freshman dorm argument was inevitable:
"John Brown was, in effect, a terrorist. Whether you agree that what he was doing was right or not," says Gerry Gaumer, spokesman for the Park Service in Washington, D.C. "There are people in the Taliban who believe what they're doing is right. Can you separate John Brown from what's going on in Iraq or Iran or Pakistan or Afghanistan? "They fervently believe what they're doing is right," he says. "But is there a better way?"Can we get some historians into the National Park Service and over to Harpers Ferry? The freshmen are running the seminar.