...150 year ago today, the beginning of the American Civil War. This is perhaps the seminal event (well, series of events until April 9, 1865) in American history. Our country changed fundamentally by its conclusion, and I am personally glad of the outcome (though I know I've shared air with people who have the opposite sentiment). Though it is not my favorite period in American history (I'll see you in 2015 for the 150th anniversary of the beginning of Reconstruction), I certainly embrace its significance. I am also glad that for the next four years American history will move occasionally to the forefront of our discussions.
I want to recommend strongly to all of those who read this blog that you visit several Civil War era historic sites and historic battlefields during this 150th anniversary period. So many of those sites will provide you with excellent information and history related to their individual sites and battlegrounds. I am lucky to have Fort Monroe less than three miles away from me. And here is a hint. If you spend money going to these historic sites (paying admission fees, staying in hotels, traveling), you are helping local economies grow, and we all know folks need more work out there. What a great way to learn something substantive and help local American communities at the same time.