African Americans In Combat

One of the strongest voices for abolitionism came from former slave Frederick Douglass, whom Lincoln invited twice to the White House to discuss slavery. In this essay, Douglass continued to push Lincoln and other Northerners whom he believed were moving far too slowly in recognizing the rights and abilities of African Americans.
September 1861
Date of Event: 
Monday, September 9, 1861
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Lincoln & Douglass

The prairie lawyer president and outspoken abolitionist formed an unusual friendship

At dusk in early April 1866, a large crowd filed into Representatives Hall of the imposing Illinois Capitol in Springfield. Just 11 months earlier, President Lincoln’s rapidly blackening body had lain here in state as thousands of townspeople had filed past to say goodbye. Read more »

The Freedman’s Bank

A nineteenth-century blueprint for the savings-and-loan scandal

It was a banking system. The act that made it possible slipped through Congress with hardly any debate and little attention to economic reality. Many of its highestranking officials knew little or nothing about the peculiar nature of the banking business. More than a few were incompetent, and some were plain crooks. When it failed to flourish, Congress expanded the sorts of investments it was permitted to make without regard to the risk involved. It collapsed at great cost. Read more »

What Should We Teach Our Children About American History?

The fiercest struggle going on in education is about who owns the past. Militant multi-culturalists say that traditional history teaching has brushed out minority ethnic identities. Their opponents say that radical multiculturalism leads toward national fragmentation.

In 1987 a sweeping revision of the social studies program in New York State public schools gave the curriculum a strong multicultural slant. It was not strong enough, however, for a task force on minorities appointed by Thomas Sobol, the state education commissioner, in 1989.Read more »