Thursday, April 15, 2010

Fourteenth of April, not done yet

Philip Gentry, in his blog, 2'23", adds to the list of unfortunate events* for which my birthdate, April 14, can be remembered. He says:
April 14th is often given by periodizing historians as the end of Reconstruction, and the beginning of the resurgence of white supremacy in the south. On this day in 1873, the Supreme Court handed down its decision in the so-called "Slaughterhouse Cases", holding that the Federal government had no right to protect the voting rights of African Americans. And that same day, down in Louisiana, a group of white militia slaughtered over a hundred black citizens in the Colfax Massacre, burning down a courthouse in which a large group had taken refugee, and shooting all those who tried to escape the flames. It's a bit much to claim that this single day sent our country down the path of Jim Crow laws, segregation, and the Ku Klux Klan, but it was certainly the beginning.

Happy April 14th.
A good post, worth a few moments of your time it includes, and discusses the significance of, this image:

*The list contains many battles and other violent doings, including —

- 1865, U.S. President Abraham Lincoln is assassinated in Ford's Theatre by John Wilkes Booth.

- 1912, the British passenger liner RMS Titanic hits an iceberg in the North Atlantic at 11:40pm. The ship sinks the following morning with the loss of 1,517 lives.

But, be it remembered, also:

- 1775, the first abolition society in North America is established. The Society for the Relief of Free Negroes Unlawfully Held in Bondage is organized in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania by Benjamin Franklin and Benjamin Rush.

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