President honors Confederate war dead

He did not lay a wreath on the tomb of the authors of the Rebellion but on their victims' graves.

Odd that pundits struggle with such distinctions, easy as they seem to us. (Link)


They're learning how to communicate

...or they're reading this blog. Either way, it's impressive to see journalists learn how to use the right words:

Civil War Projectile Discovered in St. Mary's Landfill

Vintage Find in Landfill: A Civil War Projectile

I don't think they've mastered the difference between shot and shell yet but this is a cautious step along that monstrously steep learning curve.


Lincoln, the movie

Spielberg's movie "Lincoln" appears to be in pre-production, with full production planned for autumn; this suggests a late 2010 release date. This project crept back into the news this month with NY Senator Schumer's public request that it shoot scenes at Seward's home in Auburn.

A student newspaper says the film will be based on Goodwin's Team of Rivals, but this information is probably based on stale newspaper clippings. All stories reporting on Tony Kushner's involvement simply say he is writing the script without mentioning adaptation.

In February, it looked as though a December 2009 release was planned, then that the film was dead, then Spielberg missed a President's Day announcement deadline, then news emerged that Disney would probably make it. So this is progress.

BTW, what proportion of projects make it out of pre-production?

"Party like it's 1862"

How incongruous.


Juneteenth, Roy Harris, and bicentennials new and old

Fascinating news: Roy Harris's Bicentennial symphony is being dusted off by a pick-up band for performance at a Juneteenth celebration that is endorsed by the Lincoln Bicentennial Committee.

In other words, we have a convergence of 1809, 1976, and 1865 over the bones of the eternally neglected Harris (right).

That's historical.


The ACW overseas

If you like seeing historical patterns drawn, here's one that may be overdrawn: the Pakistani "civil war" vs the US Civil War.


The Sesquicentennial Tower of Babel

A couple of interesting quotes from a story about planning for the Sesquicentennial in Georgia:
the chance to make money on tourists
actually appears in black and white and is followed by
"We're certainly not celebrating the Civil War anniversary," said Edward DuBose, the president of the State Conference of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People. "We see the Civil War and the Confederate States here as a dark spot on the history of Georgia."
Note the linkeage of the Civil War to slavery, as part of slavery not as liberation.

Confusion and ambiguity about the meaning of the observance is not resolved by the false certainty of "making money on tourists." Without firm statements of purpose coming out of state commissions, all sorts of vocal, public, personal statements interpreting the events will drown out the stated purposes of observance.

The Centennial planners failed to "grasp the nettle" - address and resolve questions of meaning. This generation of planners is repeating the mistakes made in 1959.