Tuesday, December 28, 2010

State forgets its history

From the NY Times:

It was anything but civil. On Jan. 7, 1861, Mayor Fernando Wood exhorted New York’s Board of Aldermen to declare the city’s independence from Albany and from Washington — a bold stroke of self-preservation that he maintained “would have the whole and united support of the Southern States.”

Two years later, the federal government diverted Union troops fresh from the Gettysburg battlefield to quell bloody draft riots in Manhattan, a defensive military maneuver that might have allowed Robert E. Lee to escape and prolonged the war.

If that is all New Yorkers remember about the Civil War, it is no wonder that the State Legislature balked at authorizing an official sesquicentennial commemoration.

“The Union does not win the war without New York,” said Kenneth T. Jackson, a historian at Columbia University who edited the Encyclopedia of New York City.

Yet earlier this year, the State Senate failed even to authorize a sesquicentennial commission, much less appropriate any money to support commemorations, exhibitions, retrospectives or any other events around the state to mark the start of the Civil War 150 years ago.


Anonymous said...

Well we have the Manton Post Office and the Ferraro Post Office. The Bobby Kennedy Bridge and the Edward Koch Bridge. There is the Jackie Robinson Parkway.

And Queensmarks and Queens is named for Queen Catherine of Braganza and 350 year old millstones should be put in the middle of an interstion with spikes driven through them.

Worlds Fair buidlings are rotting and St Savious is turning to dust in shipping containers and 150 year old homes in Old Astoria are getting torn down.

Nedersteins gone and the landmark status of the Steinway workers houses overturned.

We dug up a rock and dubbed it Arbitration Rock.

And we have a first rate borough historian who replaced anothter first rate historian who replace another ....

Hell, we learned our history good.

Anonymous said...

Celebrating the Civil War is not PC anymore, since is raises slavery and black issues-- on both sides. Also, these things cost money, and as we know the only money left is to pay state politicians their enormous salaries.

Anonymous said...

In 1909, the state held a lavish 300th anniversary of Hudson's arrival. Today, such appreciation of history is forgotten.

Anonymous said...

Since offical Queens history is reduced to "immigrants" and the "Underground Railroad" we can have endless discussions on the Irish Brigade and the ... well ... Underground Railroad.

Hell every building over 150 years old has slave tunnels (Old Astoria) or a crawlspace where fugitives supposedly hid (King Manor and Bowne House).

What people will do for funding .....

georgetheatheist said...

Just curious. Do you think in 100 years the Holocaust will be as forgotten as the American Civil War?

Anony2 said...

George, sadly that is a very good possibility. Think about the Crusades and how apathetic we are now.