Tag: Monuments and Memorials (Structures)

Massachusetts Court Won’t Use Term ‘Grandfathering,’ Citing Its Racist Origins

A wine organization announced in June that it would no longer use the term “master” to refer to its high-ranking experts. This month, lawmakers in New Jersey said county elected officials should be called “commissioners” instead of “freeholders,” a word that dates to a time when only white males could own land. And on Monday, […]

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Whence Came Stonehenge’s Stones? Now We Know

Back in the 30s — the 1130s — the Welsh cleric Geoffrey of Monmouth created the impression that Stonehenge was built as a memorial to a bunch of British nobles slain by the Saxons. In his “Historia Regum Britanniae,” Geoffrey tells us that Merlin, the wizard of Arthurian legend, was enlisted to move a ring […]

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A Virginia Town Built Around Confederate Generals Re-Examines Its Identity

LEXINGTON, Va. — It’s a short drive in Lexington from a home on Confederate Circle past the Stonewall Jackson Memorial Cemetery and over to the Robert E. Lee Hotel, where locals like to stop for a drink. There may be tourists there looking for directions to the Lee Chapel, or one of the two Stonewall […]

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Christopher Columbus Statues Removed From 2 Chicago Parks

Statues of Christopher Columbus were taken down in two Chicago parks early on Friday, making the city the latest to remove a monument to the Italian explorer blamed for the genocide and exploitation of Indigenous people. In Grant Park, a crew using a large crane lifted the statue from its pedestal, removing a symbol that […]

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Erdogan Reopens Turkey’s Hagia Sophia as a Mosque

ISTANBUL — President Recep Tayyip Erdogan sealed his long-stated desire to restore the historic Hagia Sophia as a working mosque on Friday, opening the magnificent Byzantine structure built in the sixth century as the world’s largest cathedral to thousands of Muslim worshipers for the first time in nearly nine decades. Huge crowds began gathering even […]

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Trump Doesn’t Speak for the ‘Silent Majority’

President Trump believes he represents the “silent majority” of the country against a dangerous, radical minority. He says as much on Twitter, frequently yelling “SILENT MAJORITY” at his followers. Accordingly, his campaign for re-election has tried to appeal to this “majority” with displays tailored to its perceived interests. Because Trump believes that this silent majority […]

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The Hagia Sophia Was a Cathedral, a Mosque and a Museum. It’s Converting Again.

On Friday, after 86 years as a museum, the great Hagia Sophia in Istanbul will once again echo with Muslim prayers. To Turkish Islamists, the conversion marks the fulfillment of a long-held dream of restoring a symbol of Ottoman grandeur. For many others around the world, the change is a dismaying setback for one of […]

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House Votes to Remove Confederate Statues From U.S. Capitol

WASHINGTON — The House voted on Wednesday to banish from the Capitol statues of Confederate figures and leaders who pushed white supremacist agendas, part of a broader effort to remove historical symbols of racism and oppression from public spaces. The bipartisan vote, 305 to 113, came amid a national discussion about racism and justice that […]

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Take the Next Step Toward Racial Justice

Since George Floyd’s murder, America has begun a remarkable reckoning with racial injustice. People of every race and generation have come together in largely peaceful protests across the nation to halt police brutality, which is disproportionately directed at people of color. But many Americans are demanding much more — that we finally redress the systemic […]

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Would Muhammad Convert Hagia Sophia Into a Mosque?

The recent decision by the Turkish government to reconvert the majestic Hagia Sophia, which was once the world’s greatest cathedral, from a museum back to a mosque has been bad news for Christians around the world. They include Pope Francis, who said he was “pained” by the move, and the spiritual leader of Eastern Christianity, […]

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A Stadium at Iowa State Says His Name: Jack Trice

Of the 130 universities that play major college football, only one — Iowa State — has a stadium named after an African-American person. The namesake is Jack Trice, Iowa State’s first Black athlete. Mr. Trice played tackle on the football team at Iowa State in the 1920s. And he majored in animal husbandry with the […]

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Trump Leans Into False Virus Claims in Combative Fox News Interview

WASHINGTON — An agitated President Trump offered a string of combative and often dubious assertions in an interview aired Sunday, defending his handling of the coronavirus with misleading evidence, attacking his own health experts, disputing polls showing him trailing in his re-election race and defending people who display the Confederate flag as victims of “cancel […]

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Dorothy Parker’s Ashes Could Be Moved. Again.

When the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People moves its headquarters from Baltimore to Washington in the coming years, there’s a small object from a backyard garden it doesn’t plan to take along: the ashes of the New York writer and critic Dorothy Parker. How Ms. Parker’s ashes came to be interred there […]

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Death of John Lewis Fuels Movement to Rename Edmund Pettus Bridge

The death of Representative John Lewis on Friday has renewed interest in a campaign to rename the Edmund Pettus Bridge in Selma, Ala., the site of a turning point in the fight for civil rights. Named after a former Confederate general and Ku Klux Klan leader, the bridge became the focus of national attention on […]

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Someone Tore Down a Union Army Statue in Saratoga Springs. Why?

Early on Thursday morning, the police in Saratoga Springs, N.Y., found a cast iron and zinc statue torn down from its stone pedestal in Congress Park and scattered in pieces on the grass. The statue is one of dozens that have been torn down across the United States in recent weeks amid widespread protests against […]

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‘Violent Fire’ Hits Cathedral in French City of Nantes

A fire broke out inside the cathedral of the western French city of Nantes in the early hours of Saturday, but the authorities quickly said there was no comparison with the blaze that engulfed Notre-Dame in Paris last year despite the ominous images of flames and smoke coming from the building. Over 100 firefighters were […]

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Pentagon Sidesteps Trump to Ban the Confederate Flag

WASHINGTON — The Pentagon, without once mentioning the word “Confederate,” announced a policy on Friday that essentially bans displays of the Confederate flag on military installations around the world. In a carefully worded memo that Defense Department officials said they hoped would avoid igniting another defense of the flag from President Trump, Defense Secretary Mark […]

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Monuments Are Falling. What Should Rise in Their Place?

“The time to honor the slave-owning founders of our imperfect union is past. The ground, which should have moved long ago, has at last shifted beneath us,” Lucian K. Truscott IV writes in his recent Opinion essay, “I’m a Direct Descendant of Thomas Jefferson. Take Down His Memorial.” The question of who — or what […]

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How Joe Biden Can Address the Monuments Issue

On July 9, former Vice President Joseph Biden announced a new slogan for his campaign: “Build Back Better.” In economic terms the tag line makes sense even if it lacks moral inspiration. It complements the call others have made for a “Building Back Freer” Covid-19 recovery process that both incorporates our current racial reassessment in […]

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A Conversation With Tammy Duckworth

Listen and subscribe to our podcast from your mobile device: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google Play | RadioPublic | Stitcher Senator Tammy Duckworth of Illinois joins the Frank Bruni, Ross Douthat and Michelle Goldberg for a four-way interview about monuments and Tucker Carlson, Russian bounties in Afghanistan, Medicare for all and taking care of […]

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Bristol Removes Statue of Black Protester After Just One Day

LONDON — Jen Reid, the Black Lives Matter protester whose statue was erected in place of a toppled slave trader in Bristol, England, on Wednesday, said just before the unauthorized installation that she did not know whether the city’s authorities would let it stand there for a few months or a single day. It turned […]

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Statue of Black Protester Is Raised in Place of Bristol Slave Trader

LONDON — Jen Reid had never marched in a Black Lives Matter protest before she took to the streets of Bristol, England, on June 7. By the end of that angry day, she had clambered up to stand in the place of a 17th-century slave trader, whose bronze statue had been pulled down and dumped […]

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The Mistakes That Will Haunt Our Legacy

As we pull down controversial statues and reassess historical figures, I’ve been wondering what our great-grandchildren will find bewilderingly immoral about our own times — and about us. Which of today’s heroes will be discredited? Which statues toppled? What will later generations see as our own ethical blind spots? I believe that one will be […]

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Rename theMilitary Bases That Honor Confederates

African-Americans were nonpersons in the eyes of the state when the federal government started to name U.S. Army installations for Confederate officers. Black people in the South were being lynched with impunity for such offenses as seeking the vote, competing with white people in business or simply failing to give way on the sidewalk. In […]

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Time Capsule Found in North Carolina Confederate Monument

As North Carolina crew workers picked away at a 75-foot Confederate monument on the Capitol grounds in Raleigh — using a crane to lift it piece by piece — they found something else underneath. As they removed the remainder of the monument’s base, they discovered a rusted metal time capsule that was buried beneath the […]

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