TEEGARDEN: LESSONS FROM OUR FOUNDING FATHERS
The Colorado Statesman
Happy Birthday to the U.S. Constitution. James Madison wrote it, John Marshall interpreted it, Roger Taney and Jefferson Davis tried to destroy it, and Abraham Lincoln not only saved, but also redeemed it.
Brilliant document though it was when adopted by the Constitutional Convention 226 years ago, the U. S. Constitution was originally infected with the deadly virus of slavery. By all logic, neither the document nor the democratic government it established had any chance of surviving to adulthood.
TEEGARDEN: REMEMBRANCES OF JULY 4th
The Colorado Statesman
July 4, 1863 was “Moving Day” in the American Civil War. While the battle of Gettysburg actually took place over the three-day period of July 1 through 3, culminating with the ill-fated Pickett/Pettigrew Charge against the Union forces on Cemetery Ridge, the longer term impact on the war arguably occurred the next day.
TEEGARDEN: A LOT AT STAKE IN CIVIL WAR
In reflecting on the greatest Civil War battles prior to Grant’s Overland Campaign of 1864/65, as well as upon public opinion in both the North and the South during that period, it’s truly bewildering that the Union didn’t “throw in the towel.” It takes nothing away from the courage and determination of the southern white people who constituted the Confederacy to say that they had the much less daunting task of the two warring sides.
TEEGARDEN: 150 YEARS AGO THIS MONTH…
I’m in search of a bright line answer here: Was there an actual date which we can consider the turning point of the Civil War?
Two years ago, in April 2011, America kicked off its so-called Sesquicentennial recollection of the American Civil War, which technically began on April 12, 1861, with the Confederate artillery attack on the Fort Sumter, a federal island fortress in the Charleston, SC harbor. While writing a number of columns for The Colorado Statesman in recognition of this 150th anniversary of that period of U.S. history, I’ve subscribed to the obvious acknowledgement that 1863 was a singularly important year in our history — consider just the following list, which is by no means complete:
TEEGARDEN: TIMES HAVEN’T CHANGED MUCH
The Colorado Statesman
Instead of a column this week, I wanted to share a quote I recently came across, penned by our greatest President at a relatively young age (30).
Whether you’re a Republican or a Democrat, right-wing, left-wing, or somewhere in between, you have no doubt heard an example of overly provocative political speech or writing which not only was in opposition to your own point of view, but was also overblown and dramatic.
TEEGARDEN: ABRAHAM LINCOLN, MARTIN LUTHER KING, JR. AND KEN SALAZAR…
January (1st) marks the 150th Anniversary of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation, by America’s greatest President, Abraham Lincoln. Make no mistake, and ignore criticism to the contrary — this one act by Lincoln (combined with winning the Civil War, of course) had more to do with the elimination of America’s Original Sin of Slavery than any other in history, including passage of the 13th Amendment.
TEEGARDEN: A MOVIE REVIEW BY A LINCOLN DEVOTEE
Last week, my friend and colleague, Doug Young, wrote a brilliant review of the recently released Stephen Spielberg film, Lincoln. As follow up, I have three enthusiastic recommendations: First, go see the movie. Second, take 5-10 minutes to read the actual texts of Abraham Lincoln’s two greatest speeches, the Gettysburg Address (November 19, 1863) and his Second Inaugural Address (March 4, 1865). Third, with both the movie and Lincoln’s poetic prose fresh in your mind, read or re-read Mr. Young’s review in the November 23 edition of The Colorado Statesman.
TEEGARDEN: HIS LEGACY AND LEADERSHIP
This weekend, the much-anticipated movie, Lincoln, will be debut across the country to much fanfare and pre-release hype. In preparation for what will likely be another Stephen Spielberg masterpiece, starring, among others, Daniel Day Lewis and Sally Field, it seems appropriate to reflect upon a few of the complexities and ambiguities of our 16th and still greatest President.
TEEGARDEN: NEVER BEEN TO GRACELAND, BUT…
Last week was Elvis Week. The Beatles may have had “Eight Days a Week,” but Elvis got 9! That’s right — Aug. 10 through Aug. 18 was Elvis Week, and the primary celebrations occurred in Memphis, Tennessee, at Graceland, and throughout the Memphis metropolitan area.
TEEGARDEN: HISTORY OF KANSAS TERRITORY TRULY COMPELLING
My goal for this column is to interest a few folks who, like me, have previously ignored the compelling adventure that comprises the history of the Kansas Territory.
“Bleeding Kansas” evokes an attention-grabbing mental image, to be sure! So how is it that every time this aspect of our national history has been presented to me, my eyes have glazed over and I’ve drifted off in search of more interesting topics?