Tag: commemoration

Statue on a marble column with buildings in background.

A Crashing Monument and the Echoes of War

The beeping of construction equipment pierced the morning air. The dull sounds of traffic and commuters interrupted by a backhoe in the middle of the park. Then, a groan and a creak, and the taut cable began its work. The column upon which John C. Calhoun's likeness stood for more ...
Read More
Public Monuments and Ulysses S. Grant’s Contested Legacy

Public Monuments and Ulysses S. Grant’s Contested Legacy

On Memorial Day, three million people watched the first part of a three-episode documentary on the life of General and President Ulysses S. Grant. Three weeks later—on the much-publicized Juneteenth holiday, no less—a statue of Grant in San Francisco was vandalized and toppled. What gives? The motivations for this act ...
Read More
Honoring and Remembering Indigenous Civil War Veterans in Public Spaces

Honoring and Remembering Indigenous Civil War Veterans in Public Spaces

A groundbreaking ceremony for the National Native American Veterans Memorial was held on September 21, 2019—the fifteen-year anniversary of the opening of the National Museum of the American Indian (NMAI). The memorial will be located on the grounds of the NMAI on the National Mall. The ceremony included the presentation ...
Read More
Freeman Tilden’s <i>Interpreting Our Heritage</i> and the Civil War Centennial

Freeman Tilden’s Interpreting Our Heritage and the Civil War Centennial

On March 30, 2019, a group of public historians will convene at the National Council on Public History’s Annual Meeting to discuss the interpreter Freeman Tilden’s 1957 publication, Interpreting Our Heritage. My fellow NPS colleague Allison Horrocks and I created this conference panel to discuss Tilden's ideas in historical context ...
Read More
Bringing Peace after Destruction: Civil War Era Monuments and the Memory of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862

Bringing Peace after Destruction: Civil War Era Monuments and the Memory of the U.S.-Dakota War of 1862

As the fall semester loomed at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, protesters ignited a movement to remove “Silent Sam,” an infamous memorial dedicated by the United Daughters of the Confederacy in 1913. The monument honored students who served in the Confederate armed forces during the Civil War ...
Read More
Summering with Confederate Statues

Summering with Confederate Statues

Our family just returned to California after spending much of the summer driving around the South promoting our new book, Denmark Vesey’s Garden: Slavery and Memory in the Cradle of the Confederacy. We logged about 1,700 miles in the car, visiting thirteen towns and cities in six southern states. We ...
Read More
“Confederate Monuments...What To Do?”:  Historians’ Town-Hall Meeting on Memorialization—and Racial Injustice

“Confederate Monuments…What To Do?”: Historians’ Town-Hall Meeting on Memorialization—and Racial Injustice

Today we conclude our series of reports on relevant panels at the 2018 OAH that will be of interest to readers. Our last entry in the series discusses the future of Confederate monuments in the American landscape, authored by Jonathan Lande. The earlier reports can be found here and here. ...
Read More
A Statistical Analysis of Visitation to National Park Service Civil War Sites During the Sesquicentennial

A Statistical Analysis of Visitation to National Park Service Civil War Sites During the Sesquicentennial

In early 2017, the National Park Service released an official report on its efforts to educate visitors about the American Civil War during its sesquicentennial anniversary (2011-2015). Plans to organize educational programming for the sesquicentennial started as early as 1998, when a group of Superintendents at NPS Civil War sites ...
Read More