As the Civil War’s 150th anniversary comes to a close this spring, one would be forgiven for wondering about the last four years’ lack of notice and celebration.
Congress decided against creating a national commission (though it did so for the War’s centennial in 1961-65), and the 150th anniversary of the Gettysburg Address came and went without a word from President Obama. But even more striking than all of this, says historian and member of JMC’s Academic Council, Allen Guelzo, is the silence regarding the 150th anniversary of the passage of the 13th Amendment to the Constitution, abolishing slavery in the United States.
In this piece for the Philadelphia Inquirer, Guelzo wants to remind us that the “13th Amendment was not merely an incident in the long-past details of the American Civil War. It was a blow against centuries of oppression and exploitation everywhere.” As he says: “If we cannot find enough in that to celebrate, we have a far bigger problem at hand than mere historical amnesia.”
Read the full article here.