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New York and the Civil War

The Union may have won the war but the South has won Civil War tourism and its legacy. It’s an extraordinary fact of life that wherever the National Park Service has a site, a battle was fought there! And they are all in the South with the major exception of Gettysburg.

Time and time again presentations on life back then in antebellum (before the war) times begin with Gone with the Wind, still the box-office champion adjusted for inflation. What story does the North including New York have to tell that can compare with the pageantry of the South, the chivalry of the idealized plantation, and the glamour of Rhett Butler and Scarlett O’Hara, Clark Gable and Vivien Leigh? Freedom and preserving the Union that made the world safe for democracy in the three world wars in the 20th century should count for something, even for Confederates. Continue reading “New York and the Civil War”

For War of 1812 Bicentennial, Indifference from Albany

That was the headline of a major article in the New York Times on November 25. In case you missed it while shopping on Black Friday, it was a scathing indictment of the State’s commitment to history. The byline for the article was Sackets Harbor, home to a New York State Historic Preservation Site. Continue reading “For War of 1812 Bicentennial, Indifference from Albany”