Reconstruction, Civil War & slavery on TV, the misuse of Memorial Day, Reagan &FDR, and naughty nuns.

Today the New York Times has a debate forum asking “how should Americans remember Reconstruction?” I like what several of the “debaters” had to say, but I am most inclined to side with Foner.

Meanwhile, on Civil War Memory, Kevin Levin has opened up a discussion of the New York Times debate by asking his readers if it is even possible to create a public memory of Reconstruction.

Over on Civil War Pop, Christian McWhirter discusses the new spate of Civil War era movies and TV shows that are in the works, and is cautiously optimistic that things are looking up and are possibly leading to “a full-blown Civil War pop culture renaissance.”

Speaking of history on TV, here is another piece that points out that the History Channel’s new miniseries on the Texas Revolution is “lousy history.” I swear, it seems to me that the network is doing just about everything they can to distance themselves from and alienate legit historians. Blame it on the success of Hatfields vs. McCoys, Ancient Aliens, and Pawn Stars. Blah.

That dude that planned several events in which groups gathered to burn and bury the Confederate flag on Memorial Day apparently pulled it off. I have to wonder if anyone even noticed.

As for the misuse of Memorial Day, here is a thought-provoking piece from Nick Sacco in which he argues that it is naive and ahistorical to think there was ever a time in which “Memorial Day was observed in a pure form without politics and wholly in the interest of honoring the war dead.”

Did Ronald Reagan learn anything from Democrat icon FDR that shaped his own presidency? You bet he did.

Neat little story here from the New York Times about a school archeology/history project that started when one student saw a gap in the classroom closet floorboards. Check out the things they have found and how it has gotten them excited about history!

And speaking of archeology, British archaeologists excavating a church site in Oxford have uncovered skeletons of nuns who died in disgrace after being accused of immoral behavior.

Now this is really cool: a location-based smartphone app that instantly brings up the history all around us. I am off to download it now.


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