Thursday, February 24, 2011

A Portion of Jefferson's Extensive Library is Found

At Washington University in St Louis, Missouri some of Thomas Jefferson's books were discovered in the rare books section of the library. The search is on to see if there are more than the 28 titles and 74 volumes. Currently historians are pouring over the books looking for personal notes written by our Third President of the United States. The books were actually donated to the University by Jefferson's granddaughter, Ellen Wayles Randolph Coolidge. It was never believed these books were originally from the library of Thomas Jefferson however most of his library was sold off after his death to pay off debt and granddaughter Ellen purchased many of them. This is very exciting to see more of the library of Thomas Jefferson as well as what kind of notes and drawing he added to these books. I look forward to hearing more on this in the future.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Our Nation Divided: Confederacy is Born

And so it begins. One hundred fifty years-ago today the Confederate States of America was formally created and Jefferson Davis was selected as their first and what would be their only leader. I find it interesting as the Civil War develops and the drama unfolds how it seems Jefferson Davis' role as leader of the Confederacy is more ceremonial than anything else. Maybe Civil War buffs will argue how I'm wrong but to me it seemed that the people of the South looked toward Robert E. Lee as their leader and champion of their cause rather than Davis. I liken it to the American Revolution when John Hancock was President of the Congress and effectually the leader of the government however it was the general George Washington who was the leader of the people and the champion of their cause. Lee will eventually deny the commission from President Lincoln to lead the Union Army against the rebellious South and it won't be until April 1861 when we see him take command of Army of Virginia. When Lee takes command it truly is then when the South has its voice, although it is more the silent type, it speaks loudly on the field of battle.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Today in History: Celebrating Ronald Reagan

Few Presidents in our history have touched the lives of American people like Ronald Reagan. You could probably only count them on a single hand and argue about the second hand in terms of presidential superstars, those in the upper echelon of our history. One can easily argue that Reagan deserves to be on that first hand of Presidential superstars. We could argue all day long based on what political philosophy you hold to on what you really think of Reagan and his conservatism, but as a historian one must look at the presidency separate from ones own political viewpoint. 

In 1980, the United States seeking hope in the future of the American way of life. The scandal of the Nixon administration still had a bitter taste on the Americans mouths. Then followed a massive recession during the Carter Administration. To no surprise the American people saw no good coming from the government and their leaders. Then in steps Ronald Reagan, a charismatic leader who inspired the people to believe in themselves and not the solutions that government offered. It was exactly what the people wanted to hear at the time. 

Today we celebrate President Ronald Reagan's 100th birthday. To remind us all of who we was and most importantly what he stood for I have attached some YouTube videos. Take some time to look through them with an open mind. 

Reagan's First Inaugural Address -
"We the People" -
The Wit of Ronald Reagan -
Tribute to the Life of Ronald Reagan -

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