US & the Pope; Yogi’s best; more bashing of Wilentz; dealing with the Rebel flag in the classroom; most intelligent presidents; a mysterious decapitation

JOINT BASE ANDREWS, MD - SEPTEMBER 22: (AFP OUT) Pope Francis departs in a Fiat after arriving from Cuba to the United States September 22, 2015 at Joint Base Andrews, Maryland. Francis will be visiting Washington, New York City and Philadelphia during his first trip to the United States as Pope. (Photo by Olivier Douliery-Pool/Getty Images)

The Pope’s in town, so how about a look back at the first papal visit to the US, when he was hurriedly whisked around NYC in 14 hours.

Over on We’re History, they have a piece on how the Pope’s visit shows just how far this nation has come from our days of hatred and fear of all things Popish.

The great Yogi Berra passed away today, which means his legendary quotes are all over the internet. Here’s a good list of some of his best.

That essay by Sean Wilentz about slavery and the Constitution stirred up a lot of debate. I’ve not posted much of it because I think most of us are in agreement about how off base he was, and because I felt Kevin Gannon effectively demolished it a few days ago. However, Joshua Rothman has now pitched in nicely, taking a different angle of attack on it.

Over on Civil War Memory, Kevin Levin has some nice suggestions on how teachers can handle the whole Rebel flag debate, and why they should spend class time to do so. All teachers should take a look at his thoughts on this, so pass it along.

And while we are discussing the struggle with how to deal with the memory of the Confederacy, here’s a very thoughtful essay about being the descendant of a Confederate soldier. Many others of us are too, and I wish that more reflected on their legacy in the same way as this writer.

And while we are on the Civil War: George Washington’s home became an important symbol to the nation as war raged near it in Virginia. CNN has a good piece on the history of the site’s preservation and the surge of visitation there during the conflict.

Speaking of presidents, how do you feel about this ranking of the “most intelligent” US presidents? Personally, I am raising a major eyebrow on this one.

Remember that story about how researchers believe that may know where Nefertiti’s tomb is? Well, they’ve gotten the green light to go and try to prove it.

And while we are on burials—-Been a while since we’ve had some good macabre news, so how about this: researchers have discovered the oldest known decapitated head in the Americas, and it was found with two severed hands carefully placed on top of it.

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