New Civil War Exhibit in DC with Rare Artifacts

Local Washington, D.C., area news reports indicate that a cottage once used by President Abraham Lincoln, who spent 25 percent of his presidency there, will host a new Civil War exhibit with rare artifacts, says WUSA TV 9 and The Washington Post.  The cottage is located on the grounds of the Armed Forces Retirement Home, and will feature an exhibit called “Seat of War.”

The exhibit is expected to demonstrate what war was like in Washington, D.C.  The exhibit runs through Jan. 15, 2012.  If you’re in the DC-area and go to the exhibit, we’d love to hear from you and post your photos (if they allow those).

Recent Robert E. Lee Photo Auction Skyrockets

Yesterday, The Washington Post published a story about the recent auction of a Robert E. Lee photo on the Goodwill Industries Web site.

The price of the “photo” skyrocketed, with the final winning bid at $23,000, but experts suggest that the item may just be a copy of an original engraving, which would only make it worth about $1,000.

Check out the rest of the story to see why the auction winner is not too disappointed by the price he paid for what may only be a copy.

Reconstructing War in Atlanta

Atlanta, Ga., now has more than 5 million people, up from 10,000 in the 1860s, but it remains one of the most pivotal places fought in the U.S. Civil War.  Now populated by highways, malls, and other commercial and residential structures, many would assume that any remnants of the battles between union forces and confederates would be long gone.

However, Archaeologist Garrett Silliman does not believe this is the case.  Check out his story in the Wall Street Journal.  He is in the process of identifying possible battlefields to preserve or excavate before they are lost forever.

Civil War Battle of the Wilderness Spared…

Wal-Mart had planned to build a new store near Virginia’s Civil War battlefield where Robert E. Lee and General Ulysses S. Grant first met.  The plan had come under fire from historic preservationists, who were about to take the retailer to court. The Battle of the Wilderness is often considered a turning point in the Civil War.

The Washington Post recently reported that Wal-Mart has withdrawn its plans after weighing the pros and cons of the project and maintaining the balance between economic growth and preservation.

To read more about the legal battle and the arguments in favor of preserving the battlefield, check out the full story.

Author Tim O’Brien Discussed the Differences and Similarities of Each War

As the final act in this year’s One Book One Community initiative that the Danbury Library, Western Connecticut State University, and Danbury public schools, Author Tim O’Brien read from his 20th anniversary edition of The Things They Carried and discussed the similarities and differences between today’s wars and that of the Vietnam War.

After discussing the power of books and how they can be shared by a community of readers, O’Brien talked about what he thought courage meant before he entered the infantry as a draftee and what he now believes it to be.

O’Brien said that when he went to Vietnam, he thought courage was a physical thing.

“Charging a bunker, putting your life on the line,” he said. “I learned that moral courage is harder than physical courage. To be able to stand up for what you think is right, go to Canada, deal with the embarrassment of the community or your family. Courage became more than physical. It became moral and physical.”

To check out what he had to say when comparing the Vietnam War to the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, please check out the full article in the Danbury News-Times.

Sunken WWII Japanese Subs Located

Latest reports from the Los Angeles Times and the Christian Science Monitor today reveal that Japanese submarines captured by U.S. forces and sunk off the coast of Oahu, HI, have been located.  Check out the photos on National Geographic‘s Web site.

The subs were gleaned of their advanced technologies and sunk by U.S. forces in 1946 to prevent the USSR from gaining the technology.  According to researchers, one submarine could have circled the globe more than a single time without refueling even though it was not nuclear powered.  The subs were allegedly designed to wage kamikaze missions against New York City and Washington, D.C., using bombers with folding wings.

The second sub mirrored the current sleek design of current subs and never saw battle.

These were just two of the five subs captured at the end of World War II by the U.S. military.  The search for these scuttled vessels has taken many years, with the first sub located in 2005.  Dives are scheduled to check out the submerged vessels, and will be conducted by researchers at the Hawaii Undersea Research Laboratory.

Check out the full news stories for more details on why these subs were so advanced.

News You Should Hear. . .

We would be remiss in not mentioning the anniversary of the Nazi-sanctioned Kristallnacht (Night of Broken Glass) or The November 1938 Pogroms, which were anti-Jewish riots staged in Germany between Nov. 9 and Nov. 10, 1938.  It is often referred to as the Night of Broken Glass because many windows of Jewish Synagogues, stores, and other structures were smashed.  But breaking glass was the least of the problems for Jews during this time.  Nazis also looted stores and set fire to synagogues.  For more information, please click here and here.

Author of The Endless Steppe a memoir of her family’s deportation to Siberia in 1939, Esther Hautzig, died this month on Nov. 1.  Please check out this wonderful piece on the author at Semicolon.  It is good to hear that she encouraged her students to keep journals and record their lives.  Also, check out the article in the New York Times:  “Mrs. Hautzig’s daughter said that her mother had had a knack for turning the squalid into the bearable.”

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