(A version of this article originally appeared in the Johns Hopkins News-Letter on April 14, 2011.)
On April 19, 1861, four days after the surrender of Fort Sumter and 86 years to the day after the Battles of Lexington and Concord, the City of Baltimore witnessed an outbreak of violence that resulted in the first combat deaths of the American Civil War.
President Abraham Lincoln entered Richmond, Virginia on April 4, 1865, a day after the Confederate capital had fallen to the forces of the United States. He was accompanied by Rear Admiral David D. Porter, a handful of officers, a small escort of sailors, and his son Tad, whose twelfth birthday it was.
Abraham Lincoln at Gettysburg. (Library of Congress)
Abraham Lincoln was born on February 12, 1809, in Hardin County, Kentucky. Growing up impoverished, he received very little formal education, later writing that “the aggregate of all his schooling did not amount to one year.”
On November 19, 1863, in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, President Abraham Lincoln stepped forth and delivered the second greatest speech of his career.(The greatest speech in the history of the English language is Lincoln’s Second Inaugural Address. But that’s a discussion for another time…)
Over the last several days, white nationalist terrorists descended on the city of Charlottesville, Virginia in order to protest the recent removal of a statue of Robert E. Lee. As a direct result of their actions, at least three people are dead.
This is merely the latest outrage perpetrated by white nationalists in defense of Confederate symbols in general and memorials to Lee in particular. Yet there are “moderates” on the right who would have us believe that Lee was a good and noble man, that the use of him as a symbol by bigots and terrorists represents a perversion of his legacy.
Most Americans know that the Marquis de Lafayette and thousands of other Frenchmen helped us secure our independence. (Library of Congress)
Earlier this week, Jared Kushner’s father-in-law was in Paris to take part in France’s annual celebration of Bastille Day as a guest of President Emmanuel Macron. While holding a joint press conference with Macron, the prolific tweeter who lost the popular vote last November proved that he does not need to be in the United States to embarrass the United States. He remarked that “France is America’s first and oldest ally. A lot of people don’t know that.” He went on to add that “France helped us secure our independence, a lot of people forget.”