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Monday, February 8, 2010
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Friday, July 4, 2008
This is the day for our national celebration. On July 4, 1776, the Continental Congress approved the Declaration of Independence, declaring the 13 Colonies independence from England. The first public readings took place on July 8, 1776 reportedly marked by the ringing of bells and the firing of muskets and canon. The first celebration of the date took place on July 4, 1777 also marked by the ringing of bells, the firing of canon and muskets, setting off of fireworks and lighting of bonfires. Parades, picnics and fireworks were becoming a traditional way to mark the day by the 1800’s.
Today, fireworks displays, parades, picnics and politicians shaking hands are the order of the day and well they should be. Celebration of the day is a natural out letting of fun filled pride and we should be proud. In our short history as a nation we have come a long way. We are far from perfect but such is the nature of a work in progress, especially when people are involved in the process. We are like a sculpture still being formed the artist, shaving a bit here, reforming the clay there, and using his tool to shape it a bit ever working toward his ideal.
No other nation is as generous in helping those in need be it here at home or abroad. Just look at the help given freely to victims of natural disasters over the decades. No other nation has freed or fought to bring freedom to more people. No other nation has fought so fiercely against tyranny and aggression yet has kept no land in conquest. Land retained was only enough to bury her dead. She then became a friend to help the former enemy rebuild. Witness Germany and Japan in World War II.
Yes, there’s still work to be done, but for today, rest, celebrate and be proud!
“Thus may the 4th of July, that glorious and ever memorable day, be celebrated through America, by the sons of freedom, from age to age till time shall be no more. Amen and Amen.”
Virginia Gazette July 18, 1777
Monday, June 16, 2008
A House Divided
On June 16, 1858 in his address to the Illinois State Republican Convention, Abraham Lincoln paraphrased this verse into “a house divided against itself cannot stand”. Lincoln had just received the Party nomination as its candidate for the Illinois Senate seat to challenge the Democrat Stephen Douglas. He was warning of a coming crisis that could split the Union. The division Lincoln referred to was the northern states against the southern states over slavery and the question of its expansion into the western territories. He felt that the federal government was ultimately going to have to decide the issue while his incumbent opponent Douglas supported states rights and popular sovereignty.
Lincoln’s speech did not sit well with some of the 1000 delegates at the convention thinking his position of federal intervention too radical. Lincoln would lose to Douglas in a close election but this speech drew national attention and would serve to catapult him into the Presidential election of 1860, which he would win.
Saturday, June 7, 2008
Lecompton Territorial Days
June 27 & 28, 2008
If you’re looking for an old time, small town celebration, this is it! Territorial Days celebrates Lecompton’s heritage as the first official capital of Kansas Territory. With something for everyone from frog and turtle races, horse shoe pitching, a softball tournament, small carnival rides, food vendors and bit of living history thrown in, it’s truly a family event. Featured at 2:00pm on Saturday in the Lane Museum is the presentation “Bleeding Kansas” by the Lecompton Reenactors, the living history group we are proud to be a part of.
For a map and a full schedule, go to our website link.
Friday, May 30, 2008
Kansas Nebraska Act
May 30, 1854
On this date President Franklin Pierce signed the Kansas Nebraska Act, opening the area west of Missouri to expansion and settlement. The stroke of the President’s pen threw off a spark, which ignited a fire that would grow in intensity until it engulfed the entire nation in the Civil War seven years later. The fuel for the fire was the issue of slavery. The tinder for the fire was “popular sovereignty”, power vested in the people. The Act rescinded the Missouri Compromise of 1820 wherein it was agreed that the land which lay north of 36o30’ north latitude and west of Missouri would forever be free from the establishment of any new slave state. Now the settlers in the new territories would vote and decide for themselves whether or not their new state would be “slave” or “free”.
The passage of the act marked a turning point in our Nation’s history by:
- Ushering in the era that would become known as "Bleeding Kansas"
- Dashing the hope of President Pierce for reelection
- Ending the influence of the Democrat Party in the North, making it the pro slavery party of the South
- Splitting the Whig Party into abolition supporting "Conscience Whigs" in the North and slavery supporting "Cotton Whigs" in the South, marking its end when southerners moved to the Democrat Party and northerners moved to the newly formed Republican Party