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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: September 2009

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Virginia Leads the Way in Commemorating the American Civil War

State Commission Receives $950,000 from National Endowment for the Humanities for Nationwide Educational Resource

Richmond, VA—The National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) recently awarded the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission $950,000 to support its efforts to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the American Civil War. The Commission, in partnership with the Virginia Historical Society (VHS), will use the funding to execute An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia, a four-part, multi-year educational resource for the nation. The Commission is only the third organization to receive the NEH Chairman’s

Special Award since its inception in 2006.

“Virginia leads the nation by being the first state to create a sesquicentennial commission and begin planning for the commemoration,” said Speaker of the House of Delegates William J. Howell. “In the absence of congressional action to form a national commission, An American Turning Point will serve as a visible focal point of a national commemoration. This is fitting because between 1861 and 1865, northerners, southerners, and Europeans alike saw Virginia as the military, political, and psychological epicenter of the war. The war in Virginia is part of our national memory.”

The General Assembly of Virginia created the Virginia Sesquicentennial of the American Civil War Commission in 2006. A legislative commission led by Speaker Howell and Senate President pro tempore Charles J. Colgan, Sr., it is charged with planning for and commemorating the 150th anniversary of Virginia's participation in the American Civil War, which begins this year (the anniversary of John Brown’s Raid at Harpers Ferry) and runs through 2015 (the anniversary of Robert E. Lee’s surrender to Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox). In September 2008, NEH awarded a planning grant to the Commission to support development of An American Turning Point.

An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia has four components: a 3,000-square-foot gallery exhibition to be shown at the Virginia Historical Society in 2011, then at seven regional museum in Virginia from 2012 to 2015; an interactive mobile exhibition in a 53-foot expandable tractor-trailer, which will travel throughout the U.S. from 2011 to 2015, bringing Civil War history to the people; a small, short-term, mobile panel exhibition designed for schools, libraries, and non-traditional venues; and an online resource that combines aspects of the

gallery exhibition with public programming opportunities and activities for the general public.

An American Turning Point explores personal experiences and poses questions to visitors that often challenge conventional wisdom. The exhibition seeks to portray a balanced story of Virginia's participation in the Civil War that invites discovery and includes multiple perspectives: Union, Confederate and African-American; battlefront and home front; and causes and legacies of the war. As with all of the Commission's programs, the educational resource will have elements that are meaningful to all Virginians, including diverse racial and ethnic groups, young people, and those who do not have a hereditary link to the American Civil War.

In addition to the four components of An American Turning Point, the Commission is sponsoring an annual conference series on a variety of topics related to the Civil War; working with the Center for Civil War Studies and Blue Ridge Public Television to produce a DVD for classroom use; launching a document digitization program with the Library of Virginia; and using technology to reach younger audiences, through vodcasts and immersive interactives.

“This is a commemoration, not a celebration,” said Paul A. Levengood, President and CEO of the Virginia Historical Society. “Every effort has been made to ensure that this is not your father’s Civil War project. An American Turning Point: The Civil War in Virginia looks at racial, class, and gender divisions, and treats the Civil War equally as a military event and a social upheaval with profound consequences. We recognize that the war continues to elicit powerful emotions—both the VHS and the Commission have undertaken this project as a way to increase public dialogue and enable people to understand this seismic event in new and personal ways. We hope this resource ignites a renewed interest in Virginia's historical heritage.”

Created in 1965, the National Endowment for the Humanities is an independent federal agency and one of the largest funders of high-quality humanities programs in the United States. NEH offers Chairman’s Special Awards of up to $1 million support projects of national visibility that are of compelling interest to the general public, show exceptional promise of dealing with important humanities ideas in new ways, and are likely to attract large numbers of visitors.

When the Band Played Dixie

By Calvin E. Johnson, Jr.

The following is dedicated to all who stand up for the truth.

In 1859, Ohio Native Dan Emmett first performed “Dixie” New York City.

Two years later, on February 18, 1861, the band played Dixie at the Inauguration of Confederate President Jefferson Davis in Montgomery, Alabama.

And on April 14, 1865, after General Robert E. Lee’s surrender, President Abraham Lincoln said: “Now Let the Band Play Dixie; it belongs nether to the South, nor to the North but to us all.”—New York Times Sunday Magazine, August 11, 1907.

For 150 years Northern and Southern Bands have played Dixie including the Milton High school “Dixie Eagles” Band who performed Dixie at the invitation and inauguration of the late Lester G. Maddox as Governor of Georgia in January 1967.

Dixie was played in 1976, during America’s Bi-Centennial birthday, at the Old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium in Atlanta, Georgia and the late Johnny Cash sang Dixie at the Ford Theater in Washington, D.C. to then President Jimmy Carter and members of Congress.

Dixie has been performed by many musicians including; Elvis Presley, Bob Dylan, Lawrence Welk, Louis Armstrong, Dinah Shore, John Phillip Sousa, Osmond Brothers, Boxcar Willie, Jane Froman, Lynyrd Skynyrd, Tennessee Ernie Ford, Mitch Miller, Johnny Hartman and The Rebelaires.

Roz Bowie, a Black Southern Lady, sang Dixie in 1986 at the reburial of a Confederate Soldier in Columbia, South Carolina.

So, what happened to “Dixie?”

Autumn is an exciting time for high school and college football. School bands will play to lift the soul but students, teachers, parents and fans will not hear "Dixie." Many of our institutions of learning have stopped playing Dixie even though the song is universally loved.

What happened to "Dixie" that was the official band music of the Confederate and Union Armies? What happened to this song that Northern and Southern children sang from their schools standard song book?

As a young boy, I remember going to the Great Southeastern Fair, in Atlanta and hearing "Dixie" coming from the Carousel. I also remember my teacher closing the window as the Headland High School Band rehearsed outdoors to "Dixie."

Today, men and women serve overseas to free the people of Iraq and Afghanistan....But school bands are no longer allowed to play "Dixie" and "Under God" is under attack in the pledge of allegiance.

Country music singer Lee Greenwood, who sang "God Bless the USA" and "Dixie" may have become politically incorrect. Yes, this Northern born American included "Dixie" on his "American Patriot" CD.

There was a time not long ago when high school bands played Dixie and public prayers asked for the safety of the football players and safety of the men and women of our United States Armed Forces.

Back when prayer started a school day, streets were safer and news was not filled with murder, rape and hatred.

Imagine for a moment that you are taken back to a high school football game of that time. The prayer had been prayed and the band begins to play Dixie. There is a huge cheer that builds as this tune is played. The people rise to cheer and sing this song that they love.

Dan Emmett's headstone reads: "Daniel Decatur Emmett 1815 - 1904 whose song 'Dixie Land' inspired the courage and devotion of the Southern people and now thrills the hearts of a reunited nation."

God Bless America and Let the Band Play Dixie!

Calvin E. Johnson, Jr. is a freelance writer, Author of the book, “When America Stood for God, Family and Country” and proud member of the Sons of Confederate

Monday, September 14, 2009

SCV Under Attack

The Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) has come under attack from certain media outlets like MSNBC and The New York Times in their attempt to criticize a South Carolina Congressman who heckled the president during a Joint Session of Congress last week

Some of these attacks have sought to label the SCV as hateful and bigoted. These allegations are untrue, unfounded and unfair, and the SCV calls on these pundits to retract these ill-informed attacks.

The SCV is a strictly historical and educational organization, and neither embraces nor espouses acts or ideologies of racial and religious bigotry. Membership in the Sons of Confederate Veterans is open to all male descendants of any veteran who served honorably in the Confederate armed forces, regardless of race, colour or creed.

Our country was robbed of the talents of over 650,000 Americans in the War Between the States. In the South, no family was spared by the cruel hand of devastation and their suffering should not be forgotten or belittled. General Robert E. Lee once wrote, ��the contest must be long and severe, and the whole country must go through much suffering. It is necessary that we must be humbled and taught to be less boastful, less selfish and more devoted to right and justice to all the world.

This charitable sentiment should be shared by all Americans, even those who thrive on controversy and disagreement. Allow every voice to be heard, as only then might we learn to live together in respect.

For more information about the Sons of Confederate Veterans, its members, and activities please visit:

Michael Givens
Lt. Commander-in-Chief
Sons of Confederate Veterans

Hawthorne High School, Florida Confederate Flag Ban Update

Dear Compatriots,

I want to personally thank each person who emailed or wrote letters or called the administrators at Hawthorne High and expressed their feelings about the Confederate flag ban imposed by Principal Carter.

You made a difference!

Principal Carter was "overwhelmed" by the public response. Instead of an outright ban imposed by administration, Principal Carter changed her mind and proposed that the students take vote on whether or no to impose a ban on clothing incorporating the Confederate Flag.

Principal Carter also agreed let HK Edgerton speak directly to the students of Hawthorne High prior to the vote.

This morning Monday, 14 Sept. 2009, H.K. addressed the entire school via closed circuit television and then addressed a history class in person, concerning our beloved Confederate flag.

In a phone conversation just minutes ago, H.K. had high praise for Principal Carter who had the courage to allow a different point of view to be brought to her students. HK says he was treated with great respect and much love by all of the students and faculty at Hawthorn High. He had many request by students and faculty for samples of his shirts that depict not only himself and Southern Heritage, but show black Confederate soldiers like Holt Collier and other black confederates who willingly fought by the side of General Nathan Bedford Forrest.

H.K.'s presentation was video taped by the school. This tape and samples of his shirts will be viewed by the school board in days to come.

The student vote on whether or not to allow the Confederate Flag apparel at Hawthorne High will be taken in the next few days. Lets all pray for a favorable outcome.

I will post the results as soon as it becomes available.

Thanks again to those of you who took the time and made the effort to help preserve our Southern Heritage.

Best Regards,

Dewey Barber
President, Dixie Outfitters
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