Friday, June 13, 2008

Odds and Ends for Friday the 13th

Winfield Scott

Get ready for a tour de force of stories for this "Friday the 13th!"

  • Special thanks to Laurie Chambliss at Civil War Interactive for all of her hard work during the past year. Yesterday, she announced that her very popular weekly column, "This Week in Blogs," was coming to an end. was one of the many Civil War blogs featured in her columns. I will miss her fine sense of humor, attention to detail, and dedication. Perhaps another blogger out there will pick up where she left off.

  • I hear that Indiana officials have put together a "compelling proposal" to keep the Lincoln Museum's estimated $20 million collection in state. Back in March, we announced that the museum in Fort Wayne would be closing its doors at the end of June. I encouraged the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Museum in Springfield to submit a bid for the impressive collection. Apparently, they indeed made an offer, as did the Smithsonian Institute. Now, an Indiana group has joined the bidding. If they succeed, the Indiana group plans to share the collection with the Indiana State Museum, as well as the Allen County Public Library. We'll see how it plays out, but I suspect the collection would be better off in Springfield or Washington.

  • Tomorrow (Saturday, June 14) marks the official opening of a new exhibit, Something So Horrible: The Springfield Race Riot of 1908. We covered this horrific chapter in Springfield's history, as well as the creation of this fine exhibit. If you are going to be in Springfield soon, I suggest checking it out.

  • On this date in 1786, a mere 222 years ago, Winfield Scott (pictured above) entered the world! "Old Fuss and Feathers" had a truly remarkable career, which spanned a half century. He was a veteran of a number of wars, from the War of 1812, through the American Civil War. Not simply a military man, Scott was also the Whig nominee for president in 1852.

  • Finally, I'd like to thank the folks who sent me emails about the Thomas DiLorenzo piece I posted yesterday. I ended up watching the rest of his interview last night, but I must say, I was hardly surprised by much of what I heard. However, there was one part of the interview that was particularly revealing. Check back around the 22 minute mark when DiLorenzo begins his attack on "court historian" Doris Kearns Goodwin. At about 26:00, he condemns Goodwin for using "psycho-history:"

    I've read a good bit of this psycho-history, and it seems to me that they take actions by a lot of these politicians and just dream up excuses that are, sort of arm-chair psychology that they use, and they dream up excuses or rationales for things that they did and the whole enterprise sounds very dubious to me, a psycho-history.

    Of course, I might point out that "psycho-historians" do not simply "dream up excuses" for historical actors. No, on occasion, "psycho-historians" do the exact opposite. Sometimes they go out of their way to attach sinister motives to nearly every action their subjects make. Sounds familiar, does it not?

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