Civil War week, had I been on the ball

April 15, 2010

April would be a great month to study the Civil War, what with all the Civil War anniversaries of high import.

April 14 is the anniversary of the assassination of Abraham LincolnApril 9 is the anniversary of Lee’s Surrender at Appomattox Courthouse, and April 12 is the anniversary of the attack on Fort Sumter in Charleston Harbor.

But of course, we studied the Civil War in our U.S. history classes last fall, in the first six weeks, as a review of what the students were supposed to get in 8th grade.

In your classroom, how do you deal with anniversaries when they are out of the current course of study?  How have you seen it done well?

The Surrender, by Keith Rocco - image from National Park Service

The Surrender, by Keith Rocco – image from National Park Service, via Pillar to Post

Notes:

Help others remember history:

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Below the fold, the identities of the soldiers in Rocco’s painting above.

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Quote of the moment, still: Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., on taxes as the price for civilization

April 15, 2010

The frequently quotable Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., circa 1930. Edited photograph from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Original photo by Harris & Ewing. LC-USZ62-47817.  Copyright expired.

The frequently quotable Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., circa 1930. Edited photograph from the Library of Congress Prints and Photographs Division. Original photo by Harris & Ewing. LC-USZ62-47817. Copyright expired.

I like paying taxes. With them I buy civilization.

Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., attributed. (see Felix Frankfurter, Mr. Justice Holmes and the Supreme Court, Harvard University Press, 1961, page 71.)

Did Holmes say that?

The quote was all over the internet in early October 2008 (and later), after New York Times op-ed writer Tom Friedman noted it in his column criticizing Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin for her assertion that paying taxes is not patriotic.

I found reference to the quote in a book about eminent economists, through Google Scholar:

Eminent Economists: Their Life Philosophies
By Michael Szenberg
Published by Cambridge University Press, 1993
320 pages

On page 201, Szenberg refers Holmes’s view of “taxation as the price of liberty.” In a footnote, he points to Justice Frankfurter’s book. The quote is dolled up a little. According to Szenberg’s footnote:

More precisely, he rebuked a secretary’s query of “Don’t you hate to pay taxes?” with “No, young fellow, I like paying taxes, with them I buy civilization.”

Frankfurter is a reliable source. It’s likely Holmes said something very close to the words Friedman used.

This is mostly an encore post.

Urge others to give a dime and give a damn for civilization:

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