"Find Your Park": The Centennial at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park

"Find Your Park": The Centennial at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park

The National Park Service is turning 100! All year long the NPS has promoted the "Find Your Park" movement to encourage people to visit and connect with the wide variety of parks under the NPS. We are encouraging our readers to find their favorite parks by promoting the centennial events of some of the Civil War parks. Be sure to visit and check out some of these events and celebrate the NPS Centennial! For more on the Centennial and "Find Your Park" program visit findyourpark.com. Click here to see the Centennial events at Abraham Lincoln Birthplace National Historical Park!

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Stone Heroes North and South: The Connection between Mount Rushmore and Stone Mountain

Stone Heroes North and South: The Connection between Mount Rushmore and Stone Mountain

One displays the heroes of the Confederacy—Robert E. Lee, Jefferson Davis, and Thomas J. “Stonewall” Jackson—all on horseback riding across the wide gray canvas that is Stone Mountain near Atlanta, Georgia.  The other features four bust-style depictions of famous American presidents—George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Theodore Roosevelt, and Abraham Lincoln—gazing formally from Mount Rushmore over the Black Hills of South Dakota.  Each was created out of pride for heritage and nation.  Each inspires awe at its size and wonder at the artistic skill necessary to carve such massive. 

And each have very different meanings.  One is a very nationalistic and patriotic piece featuring four of America’s favorite presidents that was conceived to bring tourism into the area.  The other is a monument to the Confederacy led by Southerners who wanted to honor and sustain the Confederate legacy.  One honors the United States of America, the other the Confederate States of America.  They stand a nation apart, both figuratively and literally (in terms of locations), yet they are connected by the life of one man, the sculptor who set out to complete both projects and ended up finishing neither.

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The Civil War Sesquicentennial: Commemoration in the Digital Age

The Civil War Sesquicentennial: Commemoration in the Digital Age

The American Civil War has left behind layers. When modern Americans visit battlefields, we see not only scars left between the years 1861 and 1865, but also select remnants of eras before and after. We see historic structures, which were the homes and businesses of people who occupied these now hallowed spaces long before the soldiers in blue and gray. Monuments, placed by veterans, heritage groups, and state and federal governments dot the landscape. Fortified earthworks, rebuilt fences, even trees and parking lots all tell complex stories of various attempts at remembering. 

Which leads us to question, what has the 150th left behind?

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The Blue and Gray in Black and White: The Media’s Portrayal of Veterans during the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

The Blue and Gray in Black and White: The Media’s Portrayal of Veterans during the 75th Anniversary of the Battle of Gettysburg

“There’s Still Life in the Old Boys Yet!,” a newspaper article emphatically exclaimed. An accompanying photograph portrayed Union veteran Tim Flaherty, well into his nineties, dancing a jig for his comrades. The year was 1938, the July heat sweltering, and the final grand reunion of the blue and gray well underway. Seventy-five years after the battle of Gettysburg, 1,845 veterans were able to reach the rolling hills of southern Pennsylvania to once more commemorate the defining four years of their generation.

However, this reunion was different than the others.

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