Blogs tagged "civil war"

Lincoln’s Enduring Legacy

Hermann Faber, Deathbed scene with man holding Lincoln, 1865
Abraham Lincoln’s assassinationOn April 14 we commemorate the death of Abraham Lincoln (1809–1865). The years in which Lincoln served as president, 1861–1865, were among the most momentous in America’s history. A month after his election, South Carolina seceded from the Union, triggering a four-year conflict that would leave nearly a million Americans dead or wounded, four million slaves free, and a nation changed forever.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Memorial Day: Commemoration, Rediscovery, and Reconsideration

Photo of poppy field
On the last Monday in May the nation celebrates Memorial Day. It is, of course, a day off from school and work and the unofficial beginning of the summer. There are cookouts, picnics, and always a televised concert on the National Mall.Much more important, it is an occasion to pay tribute to those men and women who have died in defense of the homeland. There is a rich literature of speeches, stories, poems, and essays about these sacrifices. Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

Walt Whitman’s “When Lilacs Last in the Dooryard Bloom’d”

“Syringa vulgaris” (common Lilac) cultivar, LtPowers, May 2013
“Passing, I leave thee lilac with heart-shaped leaves,I leave thee there in the door-yard, blooming, returning with       spring.”Walt Whitman may well have been describing his own vocation when he articulated his belief that literature could be a unifying force for the nation as it began its long road to healing from the scars of civil war:Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

15 Resources for Veterans Day

Veterans Day memorial service, large group of troops at parade rest
On November 11, 1918, the Great War came to an official end with the signing of the armistice between the Allied forces (Great Britain, France and the United States) and Germany.  One year later President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day to honor the soldiers who died fighting for their country in that war.Read More »
Categories Closer Readings

“The humanities are…the world's best hope”

LBJ signing NEH and NEA into existence, 1965
Did you ever wonder what the “humanities” are?Did you realize that the federal government provides financial support for the humanities?Did you know that this support is only fifty years old?On Tuesday, September 29, the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH)—the independent federal agency dedicated to supporting the humanities—will begin the yearlong celebration of its 50th anniversary.  What are the humanities?If we look at the enabling legislation for NEH we find this helpful statement:Read More »
Categories Closer Readings