Historical context on the tragedy, the Rebel flag & violence, Waterloo, and Hamilton’s place on the $10.

The tragic event in Charleston rightfully dominates today’s news coverage, and there are several stories that focus on the church’s rich and important history. Among them are this one from the New York Times, this better one from CBS News,  and this from USA Today. The best that I have seen, however, is one from Slate, that discusses not just the church’s history (“Charleston’s Emanuel AME Church isn’t just a church. It is a historic symbol of black resistance to slavery and racism,”) but also puts the event into the context of the history of violence directed at black churches. In that same vein, We’re History puts the event in the context of Reconstruction violence, by focusing on the words the killer allegedly said as he committed the heinous act: “I have to do it. You rape our women and you’re taking over our country. And you have to go.”

Over on Civil War Memory, Kevin Levin brings attention to the fact that the Sons of Confederate Veterans lost their Supreme Court case against the state of Texas over license plates and that this happened on the same day that the church shooter was arrested. News reports are indicating that his car tag had a “distinctive plate,” and I almost immediately assumed it was an SCV tag. The pic Levin posted here makes me even more sure, as he concludes, “Today we learned, once again, that Confederate heritage [often] includes a great deal of hate.”

The Atlantic’s most provocative writer, Ta-Nehisi Coates draws the same connection, adds a little more Civil War context, and demands, “Take down the flag. Take it down now.”

Today is the anniversary of Waterloo, and this piece from Time gives us 7 reasons why the battle is still important.

The Smithsonian has good essay on how the Civil War changed medicine.

The house that Lizzie Borden moved into to get away from the crowds of gawkers that regularly showed up at the murder site is now going to be preserved and protected too. (FYI: I’ve been to the house where the murders took place, and it is a freaky but interesting experience. I recommend it).

Speaking of iconic mysteries, here’s the latest update on the renewed search for Amelia Earhart and her plane. It seem they are not as close as it recently seemed.

And here is the latest on the movement to get a woman (Tubman?) on our currency. It looks like it is going to happen, but not by replacing Jackson on the twenty, but by placing her ALONG WITH Hamilton on the ten. Huh? I can’t see the sense in this at all.

And finally, on the lighter side, here is a small piece for all you Abe Lincoln fans that are also dog lovers. (Like me!).


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