Here’s the coolest thing I read today: You may recall that back last summer ISIS murdered an 82-year-old archaeologist who had tended the ancient ruins of Palmyra for some 40 years. They then destroyed the Temple of Bel. Now, in an act meant to be an “up yours” to ISIS, the entrance arch to the temple will be recreated in full size replicas, (using 3D printing technology) and will be displayed in both New York and London. Nice.
More news from the Israel Antiquities Authority: on Christmas Eve (of all days) they unearthed an ancient statue that may have been meant to represent Jesus.
Here’s an angle on the taking down of monuments and flags in our own country that does not get discussed much: once we relocate these things to other places so that they can be displayed in more appropriate contexts, who is going to pay for the upkeep? State budgets are tight, especially in the South, so will there be funds for such efforts? ” As these icons are relegated to the dustbin of history, someone usually needs to figure out how to manage the dustbin — and pay for it.”
The advocates for a National Women’s History Museum in DC have released some poll information that reveals (not surprisingly) that Americans are woefully ignorant about the contributions of women in our history. Further, “Nearly 60 percent of respondents said their history education focused more on the contributions and accomplishments of men than women, and previous research has demonstrated that only 15 percent of figures in history textbooks are women. This suggests our country tends to overlook and in some cases even omit the contributions of women from our nation’s classrooms.” No doubt this is all very accurate, but the sad truth is that Americans are woefully ignorant about our history in general, . . . but don’t get me started on that.
Today is the birthday of President Andrew Johnson, so the folks at the US Constitution Center are asking on their blog if he was the worst president in American history. They briefly review his career in this blog post, never really stating an overt opinion to their own question. As bad as he was, I do believe that his impeachment was a politically motivated attempt to subvert the Constitution’s checks and balances, something this blog post ironically never mentions. But hey, someone has to be at the bottom of the list, and he is as good a choice as any. Still, put my vote down for Buchanan.
Lastly, today is also the anniversary of one of the darkest chapters in American history, the Wounded Knee Massacre.