Restoring the alleged site of Christ’ crucifixion; Richmond “Freeman Marker” takes a hit; rebel flags & the National Cathedral; strong ratings for Roots; Nantucket’s sea monster

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In Jerusalem, the sites that (ever since the ancient world) have been said to be the place of Jesus’s crucifixion and burial are finally undergoing a long needed restoration. The Church of the Holy Sepulchre contains the two spots, and whether they actually are the real sites of those events does not really matter, because the preservation of them as Christian pilgrimage sites dates to the 4th century AD. The original structure was destroyed in 1009, but was rebuilt by 12th century Crusaders. Greek specialists that recently worked on the Acropolis are performing the work.

And speaking of historic monuments that are in need of repair: Anyone that has ever been to the Richmond area to tour battlefield sites have encountered the “Freeman Markers” that were put up between 1925-1933 by a group headed by famed historian (and Lost Cause promoter) Douglas S. Freeman. Sadly, a wreck caused by a driver that was tailgating the car in front of him pummeled the sign that marks the site of the Battle of Haw’s Shop (part of the 1864 Overland Campaign). This has happened before to other Freeman markers, but it still sucks (it’ll get fixed). The main reason I am posting this story, however, is because it provides a pretty good little history (of which most people are probably unaware) of the markers that are one of the first efforts in the nation to create car tourism of historic sites . . . and this effort subsequently led to preserving the land that is now the Richmond National Battlefield Park.

Looks like the remake of Roots pulled in some strong numbers. Great! Hopefully this means that Hollywood will give us some original (and more accurate) content about the Antebellum south, continuing the pop cultural hit on the Lost Cause.

And speaking of the Lost Cause, I am sure that you’ve seen the story about the National Cathedral in DC voting to take down some stain glass window panels with the Rebel Flag on them (and they might soon take down the whole windows altogether, as they honor Lee and Jackson). I’m not sure how I feel about this, but I love what they said about it: “We cannot in good conscience justify the presence of the Confederate flag in this house of prayer for all people, nor can we honor the systematic oppression of African-Americans for which these two men fought.” Nice.

Who does’t like a good sea monster story in the summertime? Smithsonian has a piece up today about a creature that was spotted off of Nantucket in 1937, creating a large amount of attention and tourism for the small island. (Which was exactly what the guy that planned the hoax was counting on).

 

 

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