Today marks the 150th anniversary of the Confederacy's attack on Fort Sumter. Thus started the greatest conflict of Americans vs. Americans in US history. For those wanting to learn more about the history of the Civil war, I found two sources indispensable. The first is the trilogy by Shelby Foote. A southerner, his writing provides an excellent presentation of both sides of the story.
The other sources is Ken Burns' epic documentary "The Civil War" which first appeared on PBS in the late 1980's. Using unique techniques, he takes photos and narration to provide the feeling of movement so watching the documentary doesn't feel like looking at a photo album. Like Foote, he presents both sides in a balanced manner.
When it comes to this, I shall prefer emigrating to some country where
they make no pretense of loving liberty - to Russia, for instance,
where despotism can be taken pure and without the base alloy of
The students set up a gulag complete with prisoners, guards and barb wire on the Wash U campus.
Students constructed a memorial to the victims of socialism as a stark reminder of the horrors of socialism, and of its victims.
“We’re hoping to elevate the thinking of students about
the connection between socialism, tyranny, and murder. Too often, we
tend to think about state control in the abstract. This event is an
opportunity to show the student body what socialism really is,” said
junior Dirk Doebler, student leader of Young Americans for Liberty and
lead organizer of the event. “We’re just twenty years away from the
collapse of the Soviet Union’s despotic enslavement of hundreds of
millions of people, yet everyone seems to forget that socialism killed
over 150,000,000 people in the 20th century. All that gets lost in the
convenient narrative our professors would have us believe. With this
event, we’re striking down false notions. We’re speaking truth to
YAL leader John Burns reported on the event today.
The university shut it down… It was too offensive.
Growing up in the potential firing line between the US and the USSR, the members of the metal band the Scorpions had special reason to celebrate the fall of the Berlin Wall. Here is a video of their classic ballad Winds of Change which is about this historical event.
Here is the original video.
It's important to remember that this song, recored in 1990, is about this moment in history written from that moment in history. It is a song about hope and the dismantling of the the dark shroud that destroyed the hope of millions of people in Eastern Europe: the Iron Curtain.
On April 12th, 1961, Soviet cosmonaut
Alexseyevich Gagarin became the first human in space.
His remotely controlled
spacecraft lofted him to an altitude of 200 miles and carried him
once around planet Earth.
Commenting on the first
view from space
he reported, "The sky is very dark; the Earth is bluish.
Everything is seen very clearly".