America's National Cathedral removes Confederate windows

In 1953, the National Cathedral in Washington DC installed two stained glass windows depicting Stonewall Jackson and Robert E. Lee. A task force recommended removal, which started this month. Read the rest

Arlington National Cemetery is the only monument we need to Robert E. Lee

I was surprised to hear people suggest that removing statues of Confederate traitors would somehow lead to us tearing down the Jefferson Memorial. That is patent bullshit.

Arguments attempting to equate slave owning founding fathers of the United States, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, and their resultant memorials, with statues of Confederate General Robert E. Lee that are currently being removed across the nation are ridiculous. This fantastic article at Smithsonian.com describes how Arlington National Cemetery came to be, and why it is the perfect monument to the traitorous general who led an invasion of Pennsylvania in an attempt to preserve slavery on American soil.

While the Lees worked to reclaim Arlington, Meigs urged Edwin Stanton in early 1866 to make sure the government had sound title to the cemetery. The land had been consecrated by the remains buried there and could not be given back to the Lees, he insisted, striking a refrain he would repeat in the years ahead. Yet the Lees clung to the hope that Arlington might be returned to the family—if not to Mrs. Lee, then to one of their sons. The former general was quietly pursuing this objective when he met with his lawyers for the last time, in July 1870. "The prospect does not look promising," he reported to Mary. The question of Arlington's ownership was still unresolved when Lee died, at 63, in Lexington, on October 12, 1870.

His widow continued to obsess over the loss of her home. Within weeks, Mary Lee petitioned Congress to examine the federal claim to Arlington and estimate the costs of removing the bodies buried there.

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Man destroys Arkansas' Ten Commandments monument

A 3-ton monument displaying the Ten Commandments was destroyed hours after being installed at Arkansas' State Capitol Wednesday, smashed by Michael T. Reed at the wheel of a 2016 Dodge Dart. Reed, 32, was arrested and charged with "defacing an object of public respect."

Reed, evidently a vigorous supporter of the first amendment of the U.S. Constitution's implicit prohibition of state religion, posted vertical video of his manuever to Facebook under the caption "Freedom".

Reed was arrested in 2014 for driving a car into the Ten Commandments monument at Oklahoma's state Capitol, Oklahoma County Sheriff's spokesman Mark Opgrande told The Associated Press. He was admitted to a hospital the next day for mental treatment and was not formally charged, the AP reports. In the 2014 incident, The Oklahoman reported that the U.S. Secret Service interviewed Reed and that he told agents that he has bipolar disorder and that Satan had directed him to destroy the monument.

The ACLU had planned to sue to get the monument removed. Arkansas's plainly sectarian government plans to rebuilt it, presumably surrounded by concrete pilings. Read the rest

Strange living slime blackening Washington DC memorials

The National Park Service is studying rapidly growing colonies of microorganisms that are blackening the dome of the Thomas Jefferson Memorial and other landmarks like the Lincoln Memorial and tombstones at the Congressional Cemetery. A multidisciplinary team of molecular biologists, conservators, and architects is analyzing the growth of the biofilm to hopefully identify a method to stop it that won't further damage the stone that the microbes have claimed as their home. One option is to battle the tiny beasts with lasers. From the National Park Service:

National Park Service officials recently began testing ten different chemical biocides in small patches affected by biofilm at the base of the Jefferson Memorial and will monitor how effective each one is in the coming days and weeks. They will also experiment with more non-traditional treatment options, including ozonated water and irradiation with lasers.

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Stonehenge may be a "used monument" originally erected in Wales

One of the wonders of the world may be a "second-hand monument" originally built in Pembrokeshire, Wales, and only later moved to Salisbury.

It has long been known that the bluestones that form Stonehenge’s inner horseshoe came from the Preseli hills in Pembrokeshire, around 140 miles from Salisbury Plain.

Now archaeologists have discovered a series of recesses in the rocky outcrops of Carn Goedog and Craig Rhos-y-felin, to the north of those hills, that match Stonehenge’s bluestones in size and shape. They have also found similar stones that the prehistoric builders extracted but left behind, and “a loading bay” from where the huge stones could be dragged away.

Maybe the manufacturer had some kind of showroom outside the quarry? If the stones were being cut there, the buyers would surely want to make sure it worked before they drove it off the lot. Read the rest

Memory Palace podcast about a Confederate monument honoring a real racist

Nate DiMeo, host of the always excellent Memory Palace podcast, points us to the new episode "about the history of the Nathan Bedford Forrest monument (and Confederate monuments in general) that the city of Memphis is planning on moving from a prominent place downtown to a nearby cemetery, because Forrest was, essentially, a racist monster."

The Memory Palace: Episode 73 Read the rest