Archive for April 13th, 2011


‎4.13.2011 … Jack is almost 21 … two more days … what do parents give for the big 21 … John and I both received watches.

random:  🙂

A dedicated crew of dozens has secretly spent the past few weeks in Southern California building, testing and tweaking a custom-built truck as well as a life-sized version of the Hot Wheels toy track set so many of us enjoyed of us as kids. And if all goes according to spec, the Pro2-style truck (driven by a masked stunt driver) will jump across a gap more than 302 feet in length, breaking the world record for largest leap by a four-wheeled vehicle.

via World-Record Jump Attempt Set for Indianapolis 500 | Playbook.

Civil War, history:

As a teacher, there are some things you just don’t do. Holding a mock slave auction in your classroom is one of them.

Jessica Boyle, a fourth grade teacher at Sewells Point Elementary School in Norfolk, Virginia divided her class according to race and held a mock slave auction on April 1 as part of her lesson on the Civil War. She sent black and mixed race students to one side of the classroom and then allowed the white students to take turns buying them.

According to The Washington Post, Boyle’s classroom is roughly 40% white and 40% black.

The school only learned of the exercise after complaints from parents started rolling in.

In a letter to parents on April 6, the school’s principal, Mary Wrushen, wrote, “I recently became aware of a history lesson that was presented to the students in Ms. Jessica Boyle’s fourth grade class. Although her actions were well intended to meet the instructional objectives, the activity presented was inappropriate for the students.”

She continued, “The lesson could have been thought through more carefully, as to not offend her students or put them in an uncomfortable situation.”

But Boyle’s lesson is not an isolated incident. Last month, an elementary school teacher near Columbus, Ohio divided a fourth grade class into slaves and masters. And, as the Washington Post reports, lessons on the Civil War have long been among the most sensitive topics covered in the classroom, especially in Virginia where many of the Confederacy’s bloodiest battles were fought. Which shows, even as the U.S. marks the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, some wounds are still fresh and some topics — and classroom exercises — are still (rightly) off-limits.

via Teacher Puts Black Fourth Graders ‘Up for Sale’ in Mock Slave Auction – TIME NewsFeed.

Civil War: rinteresting article …

But you don’t have to tour a battlefield to understand the Civil War. Look at today’s headlines. As the nation commemorates the 150th anniversary of its deadliest war this week, some historians say we’re still fighting over some of the same issues that fueled the Civil War.

“There are all of these weird parallels,” says Stephanie McCurry, author of “Confederate Reckoning,” a new book that examines why Southerners seceded and its effect on Southern women and slaves.

“When you hear charges today that the federal government is overreaching, and the idea that the Constitution recognized us as a league of sovereign states — these were all part of the secessionist charges in 1860,” she says.

“Living history” on Civil War battlefields

These “weird parallels” go beyond the familiar debates over what caused the war, slavery or states’ rights. They extend to issues that seem to have nothing to do with the Civil War.

The shutdown of the federal government, war in Libya, the furor over the new health care law and Guantanamo Bay — all have tentacles that reach back to the Civil War, historians say.

They point to four parallels:

The disappearance of the political center

How much power should the federal government have?


nleashing the dogs of war

The president as dictator

via 4 ways we’re still fighting the Civil War –


history, Civil War


Among the private papers of Maj. Robert Anderson, commander of the Union garrison at Fort Sumter, is a single elegant sheet of faded lavender-blue notepaper, neatly creased where it was once folded between the gloved fingers of a Confederate adjutant. The note, preserved today in the Library of Congress, reads:

Fort Sumter, S.C.

April 12, 1861. 3:20 a.m.

Major Robert Anderson

U.S. Army

Comdg Fort Sumter


By authority of Brig General Beauregard commanding the provisional forces of the Confederate States we have the honor to notify you that he will open the fire of his Batteries on Fort Sumter in one hour from this time.

We have the honor to be

Very Respectfully


James Chesnut Jr., Aide de Camp

Stephen D. Lee, Capt., S.C. Army, Aide de Camp

via The Defenders –

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